• About this Blog

    After nearly a decade after sexual trauma, I've decided to seek help and start the healing process. This is my story.

loose ends

It’s been awhile.
I had two weeks off of counseling and I had been putting off “being sad.” But one day, I sucked it up. I crawled into the safest place I know – my bed – with a new box of tissues and my journals. I re-read the story, the details, MY story. And for the first time, I didn’t relive it. I just read it. I knew it was my story, but it didn’t hurt like my story used to.
That night I made love to my husband. And I cried. I cried, not from flashbacks, not from fear, but I cried because I felt safe, I felt whole, and I had missed him so, so much. I had missed feeling sexual.
I told my counselor all this. I told her how I felt good. Really, really good. I introduced a rigorous exercise routine into my life. I was eating really well. I finally felt good about my body and my soul. And yes, I finally felt healed.
She told me to come back in two weeks to see if it sticks.

I went back… and, no, the trauma is no longer traumatic. I can claim what happened to me as sexual assault. I no longer deny the act or push it out of my mind. I acknowledge the assault as part of my existence, part of my story, but I don’t dwell any more.
But that one sexual night with my husband? Seemed to be a fluke.
I told my counselor how I just don’t feel it. I wanted counseling and healing to be a big bandaid over my heart where my libido once was. I felt asexual, unable to exude sexiness or even playfulness. I felt cold. Truthfully, I felt like I was jeopardizing my marriage because I was turned off by sex.

My counselor and I talked about automatic thought. When sex was initiated, up to this point my automatic thought has been “no no no no” because it triggered anxiety and reminded me of my trauma. Now that that’s behind me, my automatic thought needs to catch up. Instead of immediately thinking “NO” when my husband kisses me passionately, I need to remind myself that he is my husband who loves me and I trust him and sex is a meaningful part of our relationship.
Admittedly, I struggled with that. Rewiring your automatic thought isn’t easy. It took a heart-to-heart with my husband, discussing my fears and anxiety, what turns me off, what turns me on, what triggered flashbacks, etc. It was the heart-to-heart that did it.

I don’t want to say I’m 100% healed. But in two days, I’ve had sex twice. That’s more than we’ve had in two months. All of the sudden, I feel like a teenager again. I can’t wait to get my clothes off.
And that’s what I was missing.

I’m writing this from the other side. My story will never have a conclusion. My struggles will be ongoing. I will share them with complete honesty. Please, if you have questions, leave me a comment. If you’re not comfortable with a public question, let me know in your comment and I will email you in private.

I feel healed. Thank you for your support.

another week

My counselor was sick on Thursday and canceled on me. Funny how things work out. I get another week to try to force myself to be sad. Like I have the time or energy.

I didn’t write this PostSecret postcard, but I could have. I never called it “semi-rape.” I never called it “rape.” I’m choosing to call it sexual assault, even though “assault” sounds violent. It wasn’t violent, but it was violating.

I don’t want to go today.
I don’t want to go today.
I don’t want to go today.
I haven’t been sad like I was supposed to.
I haven’t written about my sadness like I was supposed to.
I don’t want to be sad. I don’t want it lingering on me anymore.
I just want to be done.
I don’t want to go today.

The Fourth Session

I wrote my story. Then I read it to my counselor. And for the first time, I sobbed.

She told me I need to feel sadness. To really feel it. To embrace it, to let it come, and to let it go. To cry in solace, to experience sadness… and then to write about sadness.

But I’m struggling. What good does feeling sadness do? Why should I waste a day feeling sorry for myself instead of doing my laundry or grocery shopping? How am I supposed to justify sobbing on my couch over a cup of tea when I could be productive?

My counselor is on vacation next week. That gives me two weeks to find the time to cry. It’s like I’m expected to sit down and say to myself, “Okay, self, be sad.”

And then I’m supposed to write about my sadness. How do I put such a feeling into words? How do I write the absolute SHIT I feel about my assault? How do I do it without being mad or feeling pitiful? …or without getting that nauseous pit in my stomach, from the thoughts that I have to literally shake out of my head and mouth? What is sadness?

I don’t get it. And I don’t want to be sad. I just want to be healed. I want to stop stop stop stop thinking about it.

The Third Session

I called it “assault” for the first time today. It was the first time I said that word aloud. It finally felt right to say it.

She asked me to read from my journal.
She helped isolate lightbulb moments… why I don’t like early Dave Matthews… why I don’t like Rocky Horror… why I don’t like sex. I associate fear, guilt, shame.
That’s the kind of stuff that pisses me off the most, because I’m the type of person who, under normal circumstances, would totally dig Dave Matthews, Rocky Horror, and sex.
Some of the best things have been ruined for me. Fuck that. I want them back.

She let me glow about my time spent in Europe, she smiled as I explained how in-tune with myself I was over there, how I finally felt authentic, how I finally felt beautiful in the essence of adventure.
I need more adventure.

She asked me to write, in detail, my assault in my journal. I usually journal as soon as I get home. I’ve put it off. I can’t stand the thought of forcing myself to think through the details.
I can’t avoid it, but I am. Avoidance has been my method of coping for ten years.

The Second Session

For the first time, I got angry about it.

She said, “Guilt is the emotion when we do something that goes against our morals and values.” I nodded. She added, “What values did it go against?”

I was a good teenager. I was a good student, good friend, good daughter, a good girl. I was NOT the kind of girl who gives blowjobs at a party.

Fuck, I didn’t even know what a blowjob was until it was staring me in the face. And then I was forced to learn. I became the kind of girl who does stuff like that. A girl with loose morals. A girl with a virginity pledge whose boyfriend constantly tested the boundaries. A girl who let him test the boundaries. And then who let other boys test those boundaries.

And that pisses me off.

I never said no. But I never said yes.

The First Session

She read the form I filled out. “So you were 15 and your boyfriend raped you.”

“I haven’t warmed up to the word ‘rape’ yet,” I said, “but yes.”

“We call that trauma.” She put words to my story, words that I never let myself use in reference to myself.

I spent my education studying sexual abuse, assault, and domestic violence. But I couldn’t bring myself to identify what happened to me. I was too busy making excuses for these boys to come to terms with terminology. I was in denial.

I cried. She let me. I coped with my hurt through humor. She let me. I told her I felt guilty – for all of it. For letting it happen, for not saying no, for continuing the behavior, for not telling anyone, for not feeling the need for help, for making excuses, for utilizing her services when someone else with far worse trauma could be sitting in my seat instead.

But she said, “You are deserving.”

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