Its been a while since I've written here. I guess I've had too much going on and too much I didn't understand to be able to write about it.
A month ago I struggled with my subconscious becoming triggered. I could be talking calmly when I realised my voice had cracked and my chest was pounding. It was strange finding myself with all the physical symptoms of being overwhelmed, yet being totally calm and happy. What's worse, these symptoms hit me while I was trying to date. Just flirting with a girl I liked (E) caused me to physically shake. E was fun to talk to. She seemed to like me but somehow I couldn't bring myself to open up to her.
This is no worse than previous attempts. Actually, remaining calm and collected while flirting was a big improvement. Every relationship I had since I was abused was tainted. I was in love with the girl I was abused with. I felt a terrible loss when when I got out and she didn't. But worse than that, ever since, falling in love has felt like loosing control. It's scared me so much. It's felt like being brainwashed all over again; it's felt like my thoughts weren't my own.
This month I've worked hard with my therapist to untangle these things; to remember what love was like before we were abused. This has taken time. My therapist has been trying EMDR with me (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). It's been really effective. Even when the physical triggering has been overwhelming EMDR has calmed my body down. Even when the triggering is completely subconscious EMDR has both calmed me down and allowed sad memories to come flooding back. It has actually allowed me to remember my I am upset. So it has taken me from shaking for no reason to crying for old memories. I've written before about the difference between triggering and feeling and this is just the same. For the first time I've been able to feel clearly how much I loved V and how pure that feeling had been. For the first time I've seen that this pure love ran right through the abuse and nothing C did changed the way I felt about V. C got in the way of us expressing love for each properly but I don't think it ever stopped either of us loving one another.
This breakthrough has been huge. For the first time I can think of my relationship with V as pure and not associate it with the things C did.
So about a month ago, things with E fizzled into nothing. It was to be expected really but I was sad about it all the same. It happened right before I travelled abroad to a friend's wedding. Somehow it was well timed because at the wedding I met someone. We spent three days just hanging out in a country that neither of us knew. We went on a road trip together for the fun of it. I was relaxed without triggering once. I saw her off at the airport and we agreed to meet again. Her next travel stop took her to England (my home country). And then it happened. I'm in a relationship. All right its now a long distance relationship. But I haven't triggered once.
For the first time since I was abused I'm in a relationship and not triggered!