My second counselling session for my sexual assault was pretty important. I talked about my hesitation to do sexual things with Grady, being afraid to even kiss too much let alone anything more… and I had kind of a big realization.
My counsellor at one point basically asked me to look at the ground, breathe, and listen to her repeat what I had just said… when I tried to explain why I’m afraid to kiss too much. She repeated, I don’t want to Grady to get too into it when we kiss.
Obviously I broke down in tears because I had not realized what I’d said. I had been kinda just talking on and on, rambling, and so when she just picked it out and said it, I was really shocked.
I realized that I had been feeling guilty.
I’m scared that when I kiss Grady, he’ll want more, and I feel bad for not wanting more.
My therapist pointed out that I might also be afraid that I won’t be able to stop him, because that’s what happened to me all those years ago. It took me a minute to process, but I realized that’s true. I don’t want to have to stop him, because it’s scary to do it. So I just avoid it completely.
I learned that my body is trying to protect me.
My counsellor told me that feeling disgusted and afraid, and my body not being able to properly be turned on, is all my body trying to protect me.
She tells me to take time to appreciate how amazing my body is for protecting itself. My mind and body aren’t quite in sync, but she says it shows strength that my body is taking care of itself.
Incredible. This all makes sense, right?
But I can’t help being frustrated.
My body doesn’t quite believe my mind when I want to do something even when I feel safe. Why can’t it just relax?
Well, the one time Grady and I did take our time, I was relaxed. All it took was some time.. Just lots of cuddling and talking, before doing anything else. And then I felt safe enough to do more. The problem is that we don’t usually have a lot of time, and honestly it’s a rare occasion for me to be interested at all.
So how can I get my body to trust my mind whenever, or all the time?
How can I get it to stop causing all these problems?
I’m trying not to see this as something to do out of guilt.
Before I realized that I avoid sex to avoid disappointing him, I’d felt like I’m almost trying to help myself because I feel bad for Grady. (I know that’s not a great attitude — I’m trying to fix it!) I’m fine right now with rare sex or no sex. I don’t tend to want it more than that. But I want to get better, and back to the way I was before.
So I can’t help feeling like I’m just trying to solve these problems so Grady can be happy. I love him, and I want him to be happy! And sometimes I feel like he isn’t… even though I know he is.
To deal with what I assume is completely unnecessary guilt, I’m trying to remind myself that this isn’t for Grady — it’s for me to feel more like myself. I’m not happy with my body, I feel insecure, and I’m not as confident in general. Everything about me has been affected by my assault, and I want to get back to my adventurous self so that I can be happier.
Part of that is wanting to feel safe being close to Grady, but that’s not the only reason.
I know that I need to also trust my body, not just to appreciate it.
But it seems the first step might be to appreciative of it.
So every day, I try to think about my body’s progress.
Every day, I try to think about my body protecting itself, and I try to appreciate and thank it.
It’s true that my fear and disgust at sexual things is frustrating, but it has also saved me from more harm.
Maybe my body doesn’t trust my mind because my mind really isn’t ready. Maybe I want to be ready, but I’m not.
Either way, I’m making baby steps towards trusting my body and myself again. It’s confusing with all these conflicted feelings of fear, disgust, and guilt… but I also feel I’ve progressed.
And that’s what we want 🙂
What’s something you are working to improve about yourself? Share with me in the comments below!
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