I decided to add this page as a way of openly sharing some of  the experiences I had during therapy and the many issues surrounding them. My therapy took many years and through them I did a lot of self-help techniques as well as had some amazing professional help.  I felt that my My Story page should stand alone with a "conclusion" of sorts. The aftermath of my sexual abuse and how I was able to find a way to accept what happened and enjoy who I have become despite it. October 7,2010- Meeting my therapist for the first time was very strange for me. I've never gone to anyone for outside help with my stress past or present.  Now, I'm to meet a woman and find a way to articulate what exactly has brought me to this office. If I can't find an efficient way to do this there won't be much value in the process.  The office is out of her home.  It's a big, beautiful house and intimidates me more than just a little. "So, tell me a little about yourself" (or similar), prompts Sandra.  Seriously?  Where to begin. I copped out a little and started with my immediate situation related to my husband's deteriorated health compounded by a shift work job and little sleep.  It was nice to have someone to talk to. It was a comfortable space and the pace of the conversation was natural and not clinical.  I felt that it was a safe place to allow myself to speak freely.  Sandra was very empathetic and asked me questions that no one had asked me before. But, the one question, the kicker, "what was the last thing you have done for only yourself?" I started with things like: I prepared dinner (that's not for just you), ummm..I drove my husband to his specialist and made it to work on time (not for you at all), cleaned my apartment (Teresa, ONLY for you).  I actually had to sit there and think for a moment and come up with, "I painted my nails."  Now that's sad.  This realization slapped me in the face. Where do I fit into my own life as a priority?  I couldn't remember when I really did anything of significance just for me. HUGE wake up call and I left that office very aware that I was not looking after myself, at all. My reaction, I kinda got mad. How could I have allowed everyone and everything in my life become more important than me? Don't I deserve to be a little self indulgent after all I've been through?  I forgot about me. I was really disappointed. I started to do things like go out for dinner with friends, go to the movies, get to bed and actually sleep.  I didn't these things all at once but more like every now and again like I was sneaking in some time for myself. I felt guilty about all of this. I had to shorten hospital visits or miss them altogether. I spent less time on the phone and out with actual people.  I would rent movies and turn off the phone so I could just relax.  Basically, I had to cut out a new boundary for myself even from my chronically ill husband.  It was a lot to retrain myself that this was actually ok.  I was able to be more calm and therefore be more level headed when dealing with others. I went to therapy A LOT at first. I needed to process so much both past and present. It took a long time to wade through all the crap and figure out that I could choose to let most of it go.  I found a way to appreciate my life and not hide behind the facade of a woman that I showed to everyone.  It was quite a journey to find my authentic energy and get comfortable with it. I had to find me. I had to find my "inner child" that didn't have a childhood and make room for her now. (I'm still working on that one)  I would go through many processes in this long time of therapy but the first big Ah-ha moment was realizing I didn't do anything for me.  If I didn't put myself first, who would?  There was a slow and positive shift starting to happen in me.  It was amazing. November 14, 2010 - I spent many years in therapy. It took a long time to break down my life and break into my heart. I was so insulated emotionally, it was hard to open those feelings up. The sharing of my childhood was hard enough but, Sandra Elsley, my therapist, worked with me through basic things like breathing techniques to relieve stress as well as the hard stuff like recounting specific memories.  She was also very honest. She worked with me through so many of my "faces". There were times I really thought I was being honest and real and she was able to discern through my talking that I wasn't really contributing. Basically, she called bullshit, and she was usually right. The funny thing was I didn't realize it until I was called out. I was used to be being personable and able to talk about many things, but in therapy, I had to be going somewhere with all that talk. We broke down my history from what things were like before the sexual abuse started, the sexual abuse itself and how my life has played out since having my father arrested.  I started journaling also. I kept a journal when I was very little but it was more cute than anything. Once I got a little older, I couldn't even risk having a diary of any sort. I knew my dad went through our rooms.  Journaling again allowed me to pour out my thoughts onto paper. There's so much clarification that works out when you write. When you have to articulate in words a feeling and the context of it, a new perspective is found when you look back on those words. Without the pouring out of these words, I was just holding onto the emotions and memories and doing nothing with them. I didn't think about them which means I didn't even pay attention long enough to decide if I should just let it go. There was a huge shift as I started to let go. Instead of being weighed down by a lifetime of haunting memories and guilt, I could choose to be free of it. I wasn't that scared girl anymore and I didn't have to feel like her on the inside, hanging onto so much misery like some kind of cross to bear. I figured out that through my writing process that I could let out so many things and not betray my own experiences. I did survive and I could move forward actually feeling engaged in my life instead of just getting through it. I didn't have to be ashamed of what I had been through because I didn't do anything wrong. In hiding it, I gave my father continued control over me and he didn't deserve to have ANYTHING over me. I was done protecting him through my silence. My therapy was intense at first and probably at least twice a week. As time went on and a foundation of trust and a plan established, I didn't have to go as often. I could do some work on my own. I continued to journalize and found that I could feel again... or for the first time, I don't know. All I do know is that I would rather feel all the pain and sadness so that I could get to the love and peace and joy in my life. It took a long time and it wasn't easy, but wading through all that mess to come out on the other side feeling alive on the inside made me feel whole. There were other methods of therapy that I experienced over the years and I will continue to share them.

November 20, 2010 - After so much effort to get better I slowly and begrudgingly came to the conclusion that I was definitely not better and I needed to consider other methods. With all the counseling sessions, breathing workshops, group workshops, journaling, yoga, anger management, visualization, and various other positive steps, I was still very capable of melting down. As a woman, I found it easy to blame my emotional outbursts on lack of sleep, working shift work, pms, etc. I refused to acknowledge that all my non-medicinal therapies may not be enough. I have to admit now, that was another ego trip for me.  I really thought that with enough time and healing the causes of my anxiety/panic attacks would sort themselves out and they would stop. NOT SO.  I was still looking for other methods of self help and continuing my therapy when Sandra breached the subject of anti-depressants with me. I really felt like I had failed somehow. What the hell is a "chemical imbalance" anyway? I thought it was some sort of medical catch phrase to explain why specific symptoms and behaviours got treated with drugs. I thought that with enough energy movement, and purging of toxic energy built up in my body that my responses to so many situations would normalize. As it was, I was still having a lot of panic attacks. I would get that overwhelmed brain rush of too many paranoid thoughts at once, the rapid hear beat and sweats. Then, I'd feel all self conscience as if others could really see this process happening and everyone was talking about it. I actually left full grocery carts in the store and walked out as I couldn't figure out what cereal to buy. Too many options, good, bad and ugly. I didn't want to waste money, eat unhealthy and I didn't want to make a mistake.  I was also prone to over reacting over situations that really shouldn't have been so emotional. A joke could be taken highly personally and I would be accusing another of attacking me or trying to humiliate me. Whoever I was upset with had very little shot at getting me to see another perspective. I really ruined many good times with these sorts of tirades. So, again, I'm faced with the idea of going on medication to help me through the rest of my therapy. I saw anti-depressants as a failure. As it turned out, after wearing down my highly sensitive ego, that my healing progress had come to a standstill. I needed to be able to find perspective and deal with emotional issues as well as day to day functions without being totally irrational. Fine! I'll go to my doctor.  **leaves office with tail between my legs** Failure or not, I had to admit that I really hadn't given it a shot and I pretty much tried everything else. I needed some help and maybe that help would be in the form of a pill. I was also worried because there are far too many stories about how bad these drugs can be until you sort out the right drug and dosage for each individual. I didn't know if the process of finding the right drug would turn out to be some sort of horror show. I was prescribed Effexor. It took about 2 weeks for my body to adapt. The highs, lows and anxiety was not fun. I rode it out and finally I could feel that I was coming out level. I felt clearer. It's hard to describe. I didn't feel this impending meltdown waiting to get me around every corner or in each conversation. I could breath a bit better and not feel like the rug was going to be pulled out from under me any minute. I was smiling more and interested in going out with friends instead of just going through the motions. There was no euphoria and no "zombie" like effects. I just felt like things got simpler. It was a huge relief. I did continue with my therapy but now I could move forward and not get all caught up in the details of things. A little more Big Picture, if you please. Thank you. So, my failure was in being so stubborn. I'm not saying drugs are right for everyone, but after so many years of avoiding them, it turns out they weren't going to take over my progress at all.  I've gone off the antidepressants to from time to time to explore the possibility of me getting off them permanently. Well, it's not meant to be. As a mom of 2 young boys, I can't afford to be riddled with emotional outbursts, inconsistent emotional availability and in short, yelling at my kids all the time. I really had to ensure that I did what I could to be the best person possible. At this point, I'm on Welbutrin. It's working well and I feel like a more effective mom, wife and individual.  That is certainly not a fail.

My Father Friend requested me!

My Father Friend requested me!

42 Days of Teresa – Day 32

Can you believe that?  My father, my abuser, casually sends a Facebook friend request to me. No message or context. Truly it happened months ago but I’m writing about it now.  I can say that it surprised me. Then, the strangest thing happened that surprised me even more.  I laughed. I laughed at the realization that I wasn’t upset, traumatized, scared or angry. I just see this friend request on my laptop screen, in my hotel during a vacation.  I had just been offline for about 10 days and was catching up on whatever I had missed in my online worlds. All I could think was, “Wow, he’s got some serious nerve.  Did he honestly think we’d just start being virtual buddies?”  It was absurd….and laughable.

I’ve had plenty of time to think about this request since then.  I confirmed for myself that I have truly healed regarding the abuse from my father.  I wasn’t re-traumatized and was able to function in all other aspects of my life in a healthy way even though I hadn’t responded to this friend request.  Even seeing pictures of the man that physically, emotionally and sexually abused me for so many years, didn’t cause me any anxiety or panic attacks. I was truly grateful for this.  Without having any actual contact with him since charging him for sexual assault at 16 years old, I sometimes wondered if I had really emotionally healed or found another way to block out my feelings where he was concerned.  I feel confident that I have moved forward. Do I need to tell him any of this?  I don’t believe so.  My ability to move on and accept that I have forgiven him doesn’t mean that I need to redraw any boundaries where he is concerned.  In a big way, he has fulfilled all that he was meant to do for me in my life.

I am grateful for this personal confirmation.  I am grateful to be able to share this here.  My journey of healing has been long and I have survived and become powerful in my own right.

Married to an Addict

Married to an Addict

42 Days of Teresa – day 23

If someone were to ask what it is like to live with an addict and wonder how to cope inside of the relationship, I’d say mostly this:

I was married to an addict. It’s a classic tactic to end the fight with violence or threat of violence and avoid accountability. The process it to make a better offence as a form of defence. The huge display of anger and self righteousness is way to avoid the issues. You get distracted by the fight and what happened there to avoid really getting to the issues. The reality is, there is nothing you can do for an addict that doesn’t want to truly get well. It’s heartbreaking. It shakes you to your foundation and everything you thought you knew about your relationship. It shakes you to the point you wonder if you can trust your own judgement about anything if you could be wrong about this. Something you truly though you believed in, loved, trusted and had a solid, mutual understanding about. The reality is, a junkie is no longer the person you fell in love with. For all the ups and down, glimmers of hope, second, third, thirteenth chances, you have to find a way to look after yourself first. No matter how much you love and worry about you husband, in the end, you’ll be folowing them down a dark road that isn’t yours to travel. Let him go. Let him find his way home…clean and sober or nothing. The con game is long and cruel. He may still love you too but addiction changes people into only a shell of themselves that even they don’t recognize in the mirror. They hate themselves for it and still the addiction holds them. You can hold a space for him but you must create clear boundaries of love and protection for yourself. It’s horrible. It’s scary and my heart breaks for you and anyone who has an addict as a life partner.

 

Orgasms and Shame during abuse.

Orgasms and Shame during abuse.

42 days of Teresa – day 10

** Warning ** Some of this content is graphic. It may have trigger issues for some. Please read this only if you are in a good place emotionally.

Opening up about my childhood sexual abuse has been a long and healing journey.  Once I got to the point when I didn’t find myself retraumatized when I recounted more raw or graphic details, I felt so free. Free to explore what that next level would look like.  My next level of sharing and pushing the conversations further.  The one topic that has always been commented on the most was the issue of orgasms during abuse or rape.  It was one of the hardest personal revelations that happened for me as I took the time to recount so many memories.  I was strangely surprised when it occurred to me that this had been what I was experiencing all those years ago at such a young age.  It was also apparent that this issue wasn’t commonly discussed even during therapy or online.

What was obvious is, during sexual acts, even those that are against your will, the body will respond the way it’s naturally meant to.  How do victims mention this aspect of their abuse if their intention is to report it and be taken seriously?  It’s bad enough that the legal system is not supportive or willing to hold these predators properly accountable for their crimes but society is quick to turn their back on the victims too.  How can you describe the horror of your abuse if, at the same time, you endured pleasure at the same time?  The shame and guilt that gets tangled in the emotions only adds to the trauma.

I distinctly remember trying to prevent my body from responding.  I was so young and had no words for what was happening to me.  It felt good but I was embarrassed and my dad would either laugh at me or ask me what was wrong.  The more I tried to prevent it, the longer the session of abuse would last.  He always said he wanted to make sure I was happy. I actually managed to disassociate from what was happening.  I could just check out and wait for it to be over.  Thinking back on it now, I recognize that this was the beginning of that high wall I built around my heart.  I systematically shut down so I didn’t have to feel all the emotions of what had happened to me.  It took so, so long for me to be able to break down that wall.

It took a long time to be able to relax and believe that a healthy relationship was what I could be in.  Friends were not made easily as I never felt safe to share anything real about me.  I wan’t interested in sex since I didn’t trust that any guy I’d let near me wouldn’t hurt me or humiliate me.  I could be friendly and social but not intimate.  I just shut right down.  I would panic and leave the situation at the first opportunity.  It took a long time, with a boyfriend that I later married, to allow myself to be intimate and enjoy it. I was so lost because my reflex was to disassociate and just wait for it to be over.  Then I’d feel guilty about that!  It wasn’t easy.  Many years later, I was able to have sex and relax and stay present and share that experience with my partner.  Orgasms during my many years of being abused by my father had to be separated from my experiences in the present day.  To get to a point where there were no flashbacks and emotional backlash took many years.

I’ve been able to overcome it but only through sharing and allowing this process to simply be.  I had to stop judging myself and forgive myself when I didn’t respond the way I wanted to when I was having sex.  I wanted to be “good”.  Mostly I wanted to be happy. I’m able to say that I am.

Random memory

Random memory

42 Days of Teresa- day 2

I remember one time I was walking home from school towards my house. I would have been in grade three or four.  As I was walking down the hill, I heard a vehicle coming and so I ensured that I was as far to the right as possible.  I lived in the country so it was a gravel shoulder just off the road itself.  I did hear the vehicle honk it’s horn so I stepped even more to the right just in case I wasn’t over far enough.  The pick up truck passed me and continued down the hill.

When I got home, I saw the same pick up truck in my driveway.  As it turns out, my dad was getting a ride home from a friend and the two of them were in the house when I got in.  My father starts telling me how glad he was that I didn’t look back at the truck when the horn honked.  He explained that only sluts look up when horns honk.  I was glad that it turned out that I passed this test even though I actually had no idea what a slut was at the time. (I’m not sure how many 8 year olds do. ) All I really knew was that I avoided getting in trouble simply by assuming I was walking too close to the road.

 

 

Personal Retreat- musings #3

Personal Retreat- musings #3

Slow down to Speed up.  This seems to be a theme for me lately.  I needed to find the calm so I can clarify what it is that I want to achieve.  I also needed to slow down and appreciate the many wonderful things about my life not instead of always looking ahead to what I expect will be “better”.  In taking this time for myself, I was able to realize that I have been spending my energy in too many directions and burning myself out. I have also been self sabotaging myself and in turn, creating in-action.  It all comes down to one main F word. FEAR.  damn it.  I know it. I’m standing in my own way.  I need to step back from a few roles that I have assumed, specifically in volunteering.  As much as I enjoy the connection I have to my community and the groups that have become so integral to my family, I am dividing up my energy to the point that I burn out.  I need to focus.

The vision I have for helping those on their journey of healing after sexual trauma is spreading across my heart and I know it what I need to do.  I have discovered that I am able to discuss openly and in a raw way, many of the aspects of abuse.  In this, I am able to help others find their voice, and they are able to connect to others, and so on and so on.  I see a lot of healing for survivors and those that support those survivors.

In taking the time to quiet my environment, simplify things and focus on where my energy is happiest, I have found myself.  I am grateful.

Next steps in my Journey

Next steps in my Journey

** Warning ** Some of this content is graphic. It may have trigger issues for some. Please read this story only if you are in a good place emotionally.

I have had this blog for more than 4 years now.  I appreciate each and every one of you that have come here, shared comments, experiences and support.  I look forward to continuing my writing here but now feel it’s time to spread my wings.  Connecting with people and discussing some of the many issues here and  in person is becoming increasingly important to me.  I see myself working through the subjects of healing and forgiveness after sexual abuse or trauma.  I also some heavier work around the topics of orgasm experienced in traumatic sexual experiences.

I believe that this subject of orgasm in abusive situations is not discussed enough and this blog has become a safe place to come to and share issues and experiences.  The emotional conflicts between guilt, shame and trauma versus the intense pleasure that can happen if an orgasm happens during a sexually abusive situation need to be discussed.  The reason I feel this is important is that there are too many suffering with this inner turmoil in silence. If talking about this issue became easier, victims may feel more confident to report offenders.  It’s also a goal of mine to live in a society that supports the victims and are wiling to advocate for them instead of quietly trying to get them to “move on”.  If a victim has an orgasm during any sort of sexual abuse, that is not consent. That does not make it any less of a crime.  We are talking biology here.  The body responds to specific stimulation and a specific result happens. Survivors of sexual trauma can be more forgiving of themselves and respect the fact that they did NOTHING wrong.  The orgasm doesn’t change that. The pleasure from that orgasm, while shocking, embarrassing or confusing is not be ignored.  It should be acknowledged, talked about and released. I would like to be part of the discussions that help people through this process.

I invite all here to help me  with this goal by suggesting ways that I could expand what I do here.  Would people want to hear me speak on stage? on tv? in workshops? sharing circles? online webinars or conference calls? YouTube videos?  I read all your comments here, on Twitter and on Facebook. I appreciate them all more than you know. If you have suggestions or more topic ideas, I would love to hear them.

 

Why Forgive an Abuser?

Why Forgive an Abuser?

People ask me how I’m able to move forward after being abused for so many years.  Some people have actually expressed anger and frustration that I am no longer angry and silently wishing some horrible tragedy befall my abuser.  “They don’t deserve to be forgiven” or similar statements are made in a blurted out emotional declaration.  At the end of the day, I needed to forgive.  I needed to move on. Having that kind of anxiety and pain stored in my body was exhausting.  I had so many triggers around certain types of clothing, sex, trusting others around my own kids, being able to treat myself well and not feel guilty about it amongst other things. I wanted to be able to let that go.  My father was long gone out of my life but with this anxiety and panic still floating though my body made me feel like he could show up unexpectedly.  In a way he was.  I was tired of it.

What does forgiveness mean to me? What does that look like?

In choosing to not carry around the burden of anger, fear, resentment and anxiety, I was so much more relaxed.  This is in no way a “wiping the slate clean” and somehow saying what my father did was ok, it’s just that his choices are not my problem anymore.  I can look forward, surround myself with healthy, positive, supportive people.  I can make myself the priority that my parents never did.  I can love myself enough to let the pain go.

I no longer have to relive my experiences as I discuss or share them.  I don’t wonder if my father understands how much he hurt me.  I don’t ask questions around why me, what could I have done differently to prevent the abuse, why didn’t he love me.  The answers couldn’t possibly make me feel any better about what he did to me.  The answers would undoubtedly lead to more questions and none of the answers would help me heal or lead to a place that I would feel loved or supported.  I had to do that for myself.  I found a positive energy about what happened to me and that lies in the fact that I was strong enough to charge my father, move on in my life (with a lot of support and therapy) to a place that I don’t live in fear and am willing to be open with people.  I am still working on putting myself first and loving myself enough to not put other’s agendas ahead of my own, but I’ll get there. Forgiving my father has allowed me to enjoy who I have become despite the abuse he put me through.

Now that I am 40 years old, I find myself enjoying the who I have become without asking for permission to be who I am.  It’s a great feeling.

 

 

Back at it

Back at it

I have been so overwhelmed and grateful to each and every new reader and subscriber to this blog.  In recent months I have waded through one of the worst spells with depression in years.  I just disappeared inside myself.  I was not engaged in my day to day life.  I was in total task mode, doing what I needed to do for my family and that’s about it.  It was a long, tough Fall.  Since Christmas things have shifted in my energy and mindset and I feel like I’m back to me again.

During those long weeks of wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I just unplugged.  I was actually worried about myself.  I’m used to having a few bad days but then they pass and I feel fine again.  I was considering going to my doctor for some different medications but the whole idea of running the gauntlet of drugs sorting out what drug and in what dose made things much worse in my mind.  I toughed it out.  In toughing it out, I stepped away from almost anything creative, including this blog.  I checked in, responded to comments and thanked the universe for allowing me to have this space.  It’s been over 3 years of writing this blog.  On the very first day from the very first post, all I wanted was to create a space where childhood sexual abuse could be talked about openly with a healing energy.  We are not alone and we are not few.  It’s a sad reality.

Anyway, I just wanted to get back on here and say hi.  My heart is full of gratitude for those that come here, share, support and heal.  I feel that I am finding my creative mojo again.  I feel like I can open up and move forward feeling a sense of flow instead of being overwhelmed by trying to think of something to write about.  Depression sucks.  The way each day can feel so long and empty and just bleed into the next without purpose or passion.  I’m glad I’ve moved past that and hope I don’t feel that way again for a long, long while.

Thank you to those that have subscribed to Finding Center.  It’s inspiring and exciting to be part of a healing journey with all of you.  I have so much more to say. That’s a good thing.  I’ll be looking forward to sharing with all of you.  <3

 

Surfacing Again

Surfacing Again

In recent months I had been struggling to keep my life together.  I become overwhelmed with anxiety and basically shut down emotionally so I could cope with the many changes to my schedule and task list in the late summer and fall.  I was totally disconnected from the things I was doing even  though they were all good things.

Getting my kids homeschooling schedule settled, their hockey and scouting groups settled and trying to keep myself in a healthy frame of mind was tough.  I ended up just moving through my task list without really feeling engaged in the moment.  Even as I recognized this in myself, I couldn’t figure out how to get centred again.  I accepted that I had to step back and get my mental health strong again before I could properly expect myself to write again.

When I would try to force myself to write or do anything creative it basically caused an anxiety attack as I felt so much pressure to write something “good”.  It’s not logical, I know.  It was just my reality.  At this point, I’m feeling better and can move this creative process connected and happy again.

I look forward to getting more active on here again.  I miss the writing and connecting with those that have been so wonderful and giving with their personal stories.  The subjects around sexual abuse have been tough on here lately but the response has given me so much courage to delve even deeper into them.  I’m learning a lot about myself and where I am on my healing journey.

I am deeply grateful to all of you for sharing your stories, commenting and supporting this blog.  The conversations will continue.  <3

Longterm Effects of Sexual Abuse

Longterm Effects of Sexual Abuse

** Warning ** Some of this content is graphic. It may have trigger issues for some. Please read this story only if you are in a good place emotionally.

The sad truth is that I had no idea what was happening to me when my father was molesting me.  I was too young and nothing was ever explained.  I knew that it shouldn’t be happening and that I was generally scared.  I’m realizing now that I have dealt with a lot of disassociating reflexes during sex.  I didn’t know that’s what it was, but an internal dialogue in my adult life had me telling myself that I should relax and stay present.  I would end up over thinking whether I was doing things “right” or not and still not be able to relax.  I also felt guilty after I had an orgasm and felt that I should reciprocate or ensure my partner’s pleasure.  I forgot all about my own pleasure and got all task oriented.  That’s the way it was when I was a kid.  I don’t know how I didn’t look to the present to see how my sexual relationships were effected by my past.  I guess I tried to compartmentalize it so much so I didn’t have to think about it in my current relationship.  The problem lies in my reflexes, the automatic chain reaction that happens when I’m having sex.  When I was a kid I would say and do what was asked of me, when I could my mind would go blank. I would wait for it to be over.  I purposely tried to feel NOTHING.

I have heard how sexual abusers have found some satisfaction in acknowledging the orgasm their victim had.  Like they did a good thing by making their victim “feel good”.  Maybe that’s how they could live with the whole situation if it had the idea of mutual pleasure. This at least would lend to feeling ok with feeling good about the reaction the body has when your stimulated.  The pleasure would be the one part you don’t feel bad about.  My father said he was going to “teach” me what boys wanted so that I wouldn’t want to have a boyfriend.  As it turned out, my “teacher” was both mean and stupid.  There was a lot of “my thing” and “your thing”  and he did nothing to make me feel normal.  When my body shook when I had an orgasm, he would ask if I was ok or “what’s wrong?”.  What was wrong was your face is between my legs, I’m scared, now I’m embarrassed and lying to say I’m cold or something so I don’t have to have a discussion about why I’m shaking.  The fact is, I don’t know why my body is doing that and I feel gross.

The bottom line on this for me is that if I’m not careful, I disassociate and shut down and specifically try to NOT have an orgasm.  There’s a stress trigger that happens and I stop responding to what’s happening in the moment.  At least I am aware of this breakdown now and can stay present and enjoy my present experiences.  Truly, I am becoming very self aware and am allowing myself to let go of so many limiting beliefs. Recognizing how the abuse effected me has been a huge game changer in my day to day life as I deal with all my relationships. It still boggles my mind that I didn’t put the dissociative reaction related to the sexual abuse with my adult life.  What else haven’t I realized yet? It’s a bit scary.