Posts Tagged ‘respect’

Is it possible to reclaim a sense of intimacy once you’ve been abused?

And what about when you have been sexualized since childhood in violence?

I have never been intimate with anybody, ever. I’ve had plenty of partners, and plenty of sex, but nothing with an emotional connection.

I would even go so far as to leave any man who seemed too connected to me.

That seemed to change when I met the abuser who ultimately tried to kill me… My emotions got involved, but still, I would dissociate and simply go through the motions.

Now that I am finally single I’ve had a lot of time to think all of this through. I’ve decided to be celibate for the time being, and do some work on myself before I try to connect with someone else on any sort of “intimate” level.

Honestly, I do not even know what I like, or whom I like sexually. As I was sexualized in violence, that is what I reenacted time and time again as an adult. But I’ve realized that I don’t think that’s what I want. Nor I am completely certain I am straight. How would I know for sure, if I am not even capable of saying no or expressing what I like sexually. And what do I like, anyways?

In many ways, I have taken my power back and changed my life for the better. Yet this is one hurdle I cannot seem to jump over.

I tend to go through cycles where I cannot stand the thought of being touched or touching someone else in any capacity. And the thought of being intimately close with a man leaves me nauseated and anxious. I tend to forget that men are capable of feelings, even though some of my dearest friends are men (my mind simply has decided they are more “human”…)

Most importantly, how do you cultivate a sense of safety while being intimate? Sex is the closest you can possibly get to someone, and about the furthest I get to a person emotionally. Sex was the weapon used against me as a child, a teen, and an adult. Even sex with “good guys” is spoiled, because all that is in my mind is a sense of violation and going through the motions. So how could I ever feel safe?

I’m not quite ready to talk about this in therapy (yes, I do see the irony in talking about it to the world and their mother on the net), so I went searching for the perfect book to suit my needs.

A book for survivors that talked openly and honestly about discovering intimacy. I found a book called Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines.

I have only just begun the book, but it seems like it has some really good advice, more then the standard “sex is normal and good” that I seem to read in survival books.

When you are so disconnected to your own body that you forget you possess one, what do you do?

But also, how do you find a partner willing to be patient enough to work through these issues together with you?

I will continue on this vein as I get more into the book.

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This last week it hit home to me just how far I have come in my healing journey, and far I have yet to go.

I just broke contact with someone I was in a very brief and intense ‘relationship’ with (I use the term loosely, as I did not take him seriously, nor was my heart investing in the man).

Hindsight is 20/20, right?

Well, I soon was able to reflect upon what I should have seen clearly– the red flags that were waving high and brightly in my face. The insistence that he was such a nice person, or rather, that he used to be, and that his ex ruined that side of him by cheating on him and breaking his heart.

He soon insisted he just needed someone to heal him (me, obviously). He wanted me to text him repeatedly throughout the day to give him updates on what I was doing (I refused to on principle). He kept insisting that I was cheating on him (I was not). He was soon saying things that cut me, using my vulnerabilities against me in verbal manipulations.

I wound up feeling worthless, crazy, guilty…

And I recognized those feelings.

I had been there before.

The last straw came when he blamed me for getting sick, insisting it was all my fault as I had been the *only* one he had seen all week (he lives with others though).

Yet *I* was and am not sick. Not at all.

I finally told him that I would leave him be if he would please do me the courtesy of doing the same.

Even though I did not know this man very well. Even though I did not have much of a romantic attachment to him…

Doing that was extremely hard, and I am still a bit depressed over the whole incident. I found it very triggering, and very reminiscent of a previous relationship with another man of a similar vein who I was with for a long time who I *was* deeply in love with. After verbally abusing me severely in a way that still haunts me today, he strangled me in a hotel room, and yet I returned to him, only to become burned out from the repeated abuse, and I finally left a few months after.

Anyways…

My point is this–

In the last year, I have worked hard to build up my perception of myself. I hardly ever talk down to myself anymore, I am confident, I walk tall, I take care of myself, I nourish my mind and my body… I have worked hard to change my life from what it used to be.

I will NOT allow anyone to make me lose the self respect I worked so hard to garner.

I am capable

I am strong

I am fierce

I don’t need a d*amn white knight because I am my *OWN* hero

~Hugs~