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Archive for September 4th, 2009

For the last couple of days, I have been talking about issues with sex after childhood sexual abuse. Several people have posted comments on these blog entries. Paul also wrote about this topic on his blog here. Paul’s coverage of the topic cited different sources that got me thinking a lot about this aspect of healing.

Sexual healing has been one of the biggest hurdles for me. I have been married for a very long time, so my options have been either to buck it up and have sex or divorce. (Hub is definitely not willing to have a sex-free marriage.) I bought the book The Sexual Healing Journey a few years ago, but I still have not read it. I have been very resistant to opening the can of worms involved in healing myself sexually. Instead, I have relied on lots of dissociation to get through it.

Some events have transpired recently that have me thinking that I might be able to heal this area of my life. This is the first time that I have even considered this aspect of my life being capable of healing. Other sexual abuse survivors have told me that I could heal this area, but I frankly did not believe them. I thought I was too defective in this area, so why even bother?

I have never talked about this before, so it is hard to write, but I am going to throw it out there. Here are some of my big sticking points.

1. I don’t know what I like, so I don’t know how to communicate that to my husband. I never liked anything as a kid, and my opinion on what was being done was irrelevant, so I feel completely in the dark about having a “this is what I like” discussion since I don’t know what I do like.

2. I have a hard time taking any initiative because, as a child, my job was to let others do what they wanted with my body. So, I am just passive – along for the ride – rather than an active participant. I just flee my body through dissociation and hope it ends quickly.

3. A part of myself feels like I am betraying myself if I let myself enjoy it. If an orgasm is “good,” then what was the problem when I was a kid? Yes, I get the difference intellectually, but the little girl inside feels like an orgasm is a betrayal of myself.

4. I am afraid to awaken this part of myself because, from what I understand, sex is a “need.” I don’t want to “need” sex because then I will have to rely on another person to meet this need. I would rather not have the need then have to rely on another person to meet it. Again, I know intellectually that my husband is happy to meet this need as often as I want it, but there is a part of myself that is grateful that I don’t “need” sex.

5. I sometimes just want my body to be mine. For my entire life, my body has been someone else’s to use. Sometimes I just want a sabbatical in which I get to have the exclusive say over my body. (Yes, I know that I can say no to my husband, but that is choosing to end my marriage if I want to go for months without sex, and I am not ready to do that.)

These are just some of the issues I wrestle with when I even bother to think about healing that part of myself. I frequently think it is not worth the effort. Can anyone relate?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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