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Blog Comments posted by abhaya

  1. Thank you both, @feralcat and @seong98.  I appreciate your support and kindness. 

    Yes, I have a therapist, though I only see her every other week due to costs. I will be seeing her on Monday, and I have a planned conversation with my primary care doc tomorrow am to talk about my mental health.  Thanks for checking that I'm getting care.  I think that I am experiencing a bit of overwhelm, and my capacity to bounce back is a little more limited than when I'm feeling balanced and healthy.  I had an anxiety attack today at work (well remote work, so I was able to manage it at home) and I'm aware that I'm feeling tender lately.  Thanks again for listening.

  2. "Just like the contrast between crazy and sanity, there is the contrast between intense, emotional connection and being alone. How do I maintain a sense of -being- through sexual intimacy and vulnerability, without becoming scared and paranoid that my personhood is being taken away from me. Every time I have a vulnerable emotion, a romantic moment, or really wonderful sex... I get the overwhelming fear that I am being taken advantage of and the wall is built back up again. Sometimes it makes me mean and cold or distant and away. How does everyone cope?"

    I don't have a good answer, but I know that struggle too.  There's a part of me that feels I always have to be wary against the kind of harm that I know the person I love who is with me now would never ever do.  Sometimes I can let that tightness go, but not always, and honestly having a really strong friendship has helped because he has learned so much more about what it is that triggers me over time, but it still happens sometimes. Sitting with you, offering support.

  3. Yes!  I don't know what music you like but that reminds me of a Blues Traveler song called "Mount Normal." Like becoming "normal" take so much work and so much risk just to be able to reach what most people do just by existing. It's such a relief to know that it's already where I am and I don't have to be somebody else.

    Glad I can be part of your support circle, @matts.  Lean on me anytime. 🙂

  4. 45 minutes ago, matts said:

    So, as a random data point, ~25 years from shame and hiding a big secret to, like, "yes -- that's me, and would be anyone else if it happened to them. Which it does, too often."

    This is a very helpful map, @matts!  So glad you've come to that place.  I am really hopeful I can get to that place too someday. Hearing others' stories is helping a lot because I can see it better when I see that someone is nice, and brave, and good, and they went through similar things and reacted in a similar way... it's like "hey, maybe I'm not so crazy after all!"

  5. Wow, thank you for posting this @matts, I resonate so very much.  I am glad you've got a good support network that you trust and that they've said they will tell you if it's too much.  I struggle with  this myself, and I can't seem to shift the part of me that wholeheartedly believes that I shouldn't take up space or people's time and attention, even though I have absolutely no problem being there for others and holding space for whatever may be coming up for them--heck, I picked that for a profession! Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate how open you (and others on AS) are about your experiences and your healing journey.  It's huge to see that I'm not alone and that so many of my experiences are similar. 🙂

  6. Quote

    They pushed for information, and I gave it, but I am completely not ashamed. I've learned from group therapy, and you all here, that I am normal. I am having a completely normal, human, reaction to what happened, and dealing with it the absolute best way that I can. If that's not enough for any person, then f them.

    There is so much power in this statement, in such a good way.  I'm cheering you on, @matts!!! I see you finding a way to stand in truth with bravery and strength!   Go you!

  7. No big "aha!" here, but I resonate with what you both have said.  My drive was very strong in my younger years, but also very edgy.  I think in some ways that as long as I stayed disassociated and sex was a performance I could do it and not really feel the impact, but as I've gotten older, and done more healing, and come into alignment with myself and my trauma, it has gotten harder to be that person.  That said, I am grateful to have a really kind and supportive partner.  We have been together about nine years and there are times where nothing happens between us for a couple of months, and then we may go through a week where it happens once, or a bunch, and then it's off again.  I think part of why I struggle is that the parts of my that are most exciting to me are pretty close to the parts of me that are most traumatized, so its like I can get closer and closer to that place where I'm really engaged and then if I'm not careful something switches in my mind and I tip over into flashback.  It was very difficult at first because he started treating me so gently because he didn't want to hurt me that it completely made me turn off, and he started to feel less attracted because he was worried that every time he tried to be with me he would end up feeling awful for bringing up the trauma.  I agree, communication is really important, and maybe couples counseling with someone who understands trauma if you can, and resources like the supporters board here on AS if your person is open to learning more?


  8. Hi @Zoe--Anastasia I also relate.  I have struggled with finding a balance and navigating through daily life for pretty much my whole life and it gets so frustrating because I feel angry at myself for not being able to follow through with what I know will be helpful or resistant against people who try to coach me to do those things (and then mad at myself for acting like a petulant teen). I'm sorry that the struggle is so hard for you right now and I see that you're working hard to heal and be present and do kind things for yourself. 

    I think the only thing that I would add is that I am sending you kindness, because  you deserve kindness.  My inner voices can be so harsh and critical and use the words of my T or other "experts" against me in much the same punishing way that my abusers did, as examples to tell me I'm a failure and I'll never get better.  If that happens to you, I just want to send you kindness and say: you're not a failure, it's ok that it's a process and that sometimes it is really really hard.  Keep trying and if it doesn't go well, try again tomorrow.  You are a good human and you are dealing with a lot, and that is not your fault. You may have things you can do to help yourself with your healing, but that doesn't mean that you deserve shame on those days that it's just super hard to take those steps. 

    Sitting with you if that's ok?

  9. I super strongly resonate with the points you made about how we don't recognize rape, or CSA, or DV if it doesn't fit our simplified definitions.  That fits too well in my story, where I honestly didn't understand what had happened for years because my experiences didn't fit the definitions I understood.  Thanks for doing this work, @Capulet, you are making a difference every day.

  10. @matts I wonder if part of why it's hard to tell them the boundaries is because some part of you feels like you have to be a support to them?  I know that I have said yes to hearing people's stories when it wasn't a good and healthy time for me for this reason, and if that is true I just want to say that it's ok not to have to be the strong one for them.  Yes they deserve to be heard and this shouldn't have happened to any of you, but it's ok to ask them to get support from other sources.  Sending you support and sitting with you too, if that's ok?

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