So my therapist made me cry today. That's a first. She also asked me to write down my thoughts about today, so I thought I'd use this as a place to do that. Hope no one minds the length. Shouldn't ne anything triggering.
We were discussing my difficulty handling my survivor partner's total shut down sexually. I do not handle it well some times, becoming quite clingy. If I am in a weak place I cry and ask my girlfriend for reassurance, like I'm reaching out to her to fix my emptiness and fear. I have known deep down that only I can help myself and only she can begin her healing process. We can support eachother, but we can't really do it for the other person. They are two individual battles. Knowing something deep down and acknowledging it consciously are two different things though.
My therapist linked my reactions to my own emotionally abusive and "enmeshed" childhood in a way that I understood and kind of agreed with. It made sense and was terrifying too. She made me stare down that both of us are broken in our own ways. We are very similarly wounded, our issues appear different, but they are more alike than it seems. She says that we have the possibility to help eachother a great deal, but only after we take care of our own issues.
Vicki (my girlfriend) and I have a reoccuring pattern that we both dislike. I am usually okay with her distance and lack of interest, I can usually understand where it is coming from. But sometimes I miss her affection so much and I get into a very bad place. I need to cry. I need to talk to her, but talking makes her shut down more. She then feels guilty that I am hurting. She calls herself a "frigid asshole". I do not think she is that. WHen I break down she dissociates more. So we have a lovely cycle of her distance triggering my fear of abandonment and rejection, which feeds her distance. We dont fight. I can't say we have ever had a fight. But we've had many nights where we've gone back and forth like this.
In fact, we had a similar conversation a few days ago as I was leaving her at a music festival for the week. She got very drunk the night before that and said some things she didnt mean. The next day I was packing up to leave (I have to work this week but she got the week off for the festival) and had a hangover and was depressed. She asked what was wrong and I started crying and going over the stuff from the previous night, along with my old issues. She didnt shut down as much and reassured me she will be going to therapy soon. I calmed down, we joked a bit, I hung out for another half hour or so then hit the road. We talked briefly when I arrived home just to tell her I was home safe.
So, she hasnt answered any text messages for the past few days. This is a 10 day festival with camping and no electricity, so she is shutting her phone off to save the battery, plus it is her vacation and she probably doesnt want any phone calls. I logically know this, but the paranoid side is worried she is mad or I upset her too much.
Anyway, to sum up the rambling, my therapist pointed out that when I get overwhelmed by my fear I turn to Vicki and I act like a child begging for reassurance. I'm sure Vicki has enough to hande, processing her own shit, and it's probably so stressful to deal with me too. I reach out to Vicki to fix what is not her responsibility nor in her ability. I need to grow up and just sit with my emotions when I have the urge to cry and cling.
I feel bad that I do this to Vicki. I feel guilty that I did this right before I left the festival and I hope it doesnt put a damper on her vacation. Its taking me too long to understand some things about myself and my motivations, and its so overwhelming when I feel it. I'm the partner but she is just as patient with me as I am with her. I'm glad she's put up with me and been as supportive as she can. I'm going to try to change this behavior, because it never really helps us. We've been together for three years and we've both said we arent going anywhere any time soon. We're looking at the long haul. Still, after our discussions that go no where I get paranoid that she will get sick of it and leave. I'm sure she's afraid I'll get sick of no intimacy and leave.
I want to be on good terms with myself and my own feelings so that I can do the best things for her when she starts delving deep into herself...she doesnt remember the abuse or why it affects her so much yet...she has a long road ahead of her.
I was invited to speak to a women's studies class (about 250 people to be exact) about my experiences, the effects of my experiences, etc. I feel ready to break my silence and I hope that I can take a very negative experience and turn it into a productive one at least. So I was thinking about discussing the definitions of rape versus incest versus sexual assault, etc. I was also planning on discussing statistics, different emotional and physical responses and prevention.
So I'm inviting all of you to contribute to this lecture and tell me your ideas of what I should discuss. I'm preparing a power point presentation with different sections. Therefore, if any of you have anything you want me to discuss feel free to share it. Everyone here has been so amazing and in no way am I suggesting I'd be telling your story. That is up to you. But I sincerely hope in some small way you feel slightly empowered.
Thanks so much everyone!! *safe hugs*