When the present mirrors the past

This will have to be dealt with in therapy, at some point. Bea and I have talked about it before, although not in as much detail. I have been ruminating on my behavior and having sex with my husband lately–Trying to understand what it is that happens, and why. I think I need to write about it, and see what comes out.

I’m laying in bed next to Hubby. We’d watched a show together and then I’d read my book for a while. Now I’m laying down, and trying to fall asleep. I can’t get comfortable. I’m way too aware that Hubby is sitting next me. He places a hand on my back, and I flinch a bit, jumping at being touched. After a minute, I’m okay, and his hand on back feels good. I’m almost asleep when he lays down next to me, kisses me goodnight.

And then….it’s like another part of me takes over. I lean into him, kiss him again. Even as we are making out, and I’m wanting this, another part of me is screaming to stop, that I don’t want this, that this is not okay. I don’t stop it though, because the part of me that seems to be running the show is determined to….well, not stop.

Hubby’s hands are everywhere, and I can’t think. Clothes come off, and his touch feels good. But as soon as it feels good, I panic. The part that was running the show is gone, she disappeared, and there’s just me. And I’m frozen, and uncomfortable and wanting the touch to stop, but I can’t say anything. And so…..I float away. I’m not here, not having sex with my husband, not feeling these things. I’m so good at pretending, so good at being gone but hiding it that Hubby has no idea.

After, I lay on my side, facing away from Hubby. He curls around me. “I love you,” he says. “I love you, too,” I say. But really, he loves someone who doesn’t exist. He doesn’t love me. I feel dirty, bad, shameful, slutty, not okay. I lay there, blinking back tears. I’m not crying on the outside, but in my head, I am sobbing uncontrollably. I can’t explain the tears, or the feelings. I have no words for what it is. Bad, grief, sadness, anger, fear, confusion, I don’t know what.

It’s the same now, as it was with him. I wanted to be touched, but I didn’t. I wanted to feel good, but I was afraid of it. Every time my body was made to feel good, my head and heart felt bad, wrong. I can see why then, rationally, logically. I was a child. Of course it was confusing and upsetting, even if it felt good, even if I wanted to be touched. But how…why…is this still my experience? Why has sex always felt bad, wrong? I’m thinking this isn’t the way sex is supposed to be. I think people are supposed to feel good in their hearts and minds afterward, not like they want to hurt themselves.

My adult experience with sex mirrors this past experience in so many ways. The feelings are always the same, they always have been. So how do I fix this? How do I change it? How do I know what is normal? Bea told me the best definition of normal is “anything between 2 consenting adults is okay.” But…even if it’s between hubby and I (two consenting adults), I still have all the same feelings as I did in the past. So what does that mean? That it’s normal to feel that way? That parts of me aren’t consenting? That everything is very confusing? I’m not sure.

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8 thoughts on “When the present mirrors the past

  1. Alice I can so relate not that it makes it better at all ..but it’s as if we running from ourselves in some crazy way not wanting to feel but feeling all confused.
    There isn’t a time I can remember that I’m not that little girl lying there crying after making love to my husband I choke back the tears try hard to pretend even have to go shower sometimes to scrub my dirty body..
    We’ve managed last year to have a brief breakthrough during psychotherapy and things started dramatically changing but then as quickly as we progressed here it was over and we back at the beginning again but that’s gotta be progress hey ,back and forth we go !
    Know you will get to a better place were you’ll to enjoy it differently.
    Love lisa

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    • Thank you lisa.

      I wonder if the breakthrough and then taking a few steps back had something to do with feeling too vulnerable– that’s when i fall back again. But, i think every breakthrough is progress, and ultimately, it makes the next one easier and maybe stronger by providing a foundation. I don’t know if that made sense, it makes sense in my head.

      How do we get to a place where we arent the sad, scared little girl? Thank you for sharing, for letting me know I’m not alone. Xx

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      • I don’t have answers how we aren’t that scared child anymore. .but I do think you bang on the vulnerability part and yes its pretty much what happens to me to..except im vomiting now after any intimacy but I to have hope little steps forward though it’s incredibly hard to see any progress sometimes.
        Sending hope and love Alice

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      • It can be so hard to see progress. I try to remember the little things, like the fact that a year ago, I had no idea what it meant to sit with a feeling, or that I couldn’t allow myself to feel anything on a “real” level. We are taking those babh steps, and we are healing. Xx

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  2. For what it’s worth, I think that as the abuse gets worked through and processed that you will become more able to be present with hubby.
    Thoughts of K are too surface now and your mind is struggling with the past and thinking you are to blame or bad or too this or too that. It’s crazy stuff.
    For me, I think if I could just explain to hubby why I am like I am that things would be better. But I can’t. Sometimes he starts to talk during sex and is asking me what feels good or why I am so silent. It sends me into a panic as it lures me out of a dissociative state. I’m not totally present but not as zoned out as I need to be in order to not feel.
    But I do feel. I feel but I am not an active participant. Instead it is something that happens to me. I know that isn’t quite what happens for you…at least at the beginning it isn’t. Maybe you get scared of being present. Maybe being a part of, feeling as if you are instigating, enjoying your hubby triggers you into a dissociative state. The good feelings trigger memories and make you feel guilty and as if you are a child again.

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    • I think this last few sentences is exactly right. Its the idea i am enjoying it that snaps me out of feeling and at rhe same time, sends me away.

      This is all so hard. I agree, if i could talk to Hubby and be totally open and honest, so much would be better between us. But it is a scary idea, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing…making me feel not so alone with this. Xx

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      • Right?!? I know I will eventually go there and start talking (or more likely writing) to Bea about it. But for now, I turn the idea over and over in my head. Sometimes, things I write about for me and think about take weeks or months for me to bring to therapy. But I think that is where this will end up at some point.

        Liked by 1 person

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