So….. INTIMACY has been a really difficult thing for me, for a very long time. I pick and choose when, where, and how I sleep with someone. I never give them control. That in itself makes me really uncomfortable, someone else dictating when I use my body.
BUT for obvious reasons, I was sexually incested (not sure if that is a real word.. but you get the point) from the age of 4 until I was 10. I was raped at 15 and 18. I was sexually assaulted and physically abused by my ex boyfriend at the age of 21. So, as you can see, sex is really such a really sensitive topic.
HOWEVER…. this is making my new and amazing relationship with my amazing and loving boyfriend very difficult. My boyfriend is very affectionate and wants to be able to express his love to me, through… making love. (Sorry baby to put you on the spot…. but I am always transparent… love yous!). And these last couple of months, I realized I was still holding onto a lot of things that I didn’t realize that I continued to carry around with me. He has made some very significant points that he should be the one that I should be able to let all my fears go with. And I without a doubt agree. I wholeheartedly feel I have found the love of my life and that he is my person. He makes me feel so alive.
So why still the fear it? Well I have been doing some research of my own, and I have looked into a few things as to why my decreased libido happens more with someone that I am emotionally connected to verse having not an emotional connection with.
I found this article online that identified the issues with romantic relationships and non romantic sexual relationships. Unfortunately I have forgotten the name of the article *face palm*, but I do have the quote that I wrote down in my “how to love me” journal.
“The difficulties are often identified later, when engaging in sex within the context of a loving relationship. For example, with a trusted adult the sexual abuse happened with, then it makes sense that when sex and intimacy come together later in life alarm bells can sound”. (I will try and find the article a little later and attach it at the bottom, never want to take credit for someone else’s words or findings).
ANYWAY… This stuck out to me very much. It’s exactly what is said, alarm bells started sounding off, BUT, not in a fearful way. In a way that put certain things into perspective for me.
When you have had things taken away from you that wasn’t for someone to take, it leaves you without anywhere to get your footing back. For me it doesn’t come from adults that the abuse took place with (minus my ex, etc). But, it comes from people in which that I have been my most vulnerable with. People that knew me. And most times it is that way. So PART of my intimacy issues stem from the fact that I am very close to this man, but the closer I get emotionally the further I get physically because of past trauma.
Now, before I proceed I will say that that is completely unfair of me to place those past burdens on my significant other. I am in full acknowledgement of this. BUT, how I feel and my fears are valid. There is validity to how I feel. But the main question is, what am I going to do about it?
This… sparked my idea of writing a love road map to my significant other since we both speak different love languages. My main love language is ‘Words of Affirmation’ and his main love language is ‘Physical Touch’. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ANY OF THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES BOOKS, I SUGGEST THAT YOU DO, SUCH A GREAT READ AND VERY EDUCATIONAL.
Anyway, I began writing this journal about a week ago when I reached an emotional and motivational peak to find a solution to fill this gap between these love languages. It is like speaking Mandarin to him and he is speaking Japanese to me. We simply do not understand each other. And in order for this relationship to work in this aspect of communication it requires doing a little digging to figure out how to get to the bottom of it.
Some of the things that I identify with that help me on an emotional level and on a physical level is that I constantly need reassurance. NO, this is not needing an ego stroke or constant attention. However, those who have been sexually abused or abused in general have anxiety associated with it. For me, I can notice the moment the energy in the room has changed and I immediately think I did something wrong and want to fix it. I also have constant anxiety that I am making someone angry, that is a real life fear. So for me, I need reassurance, I need words of encouragement, I need to know that I am on the right track. That is something that I need. I wish that I was not that way, but I am 1249594759495975% that way. And that is okay.
But what makes it not okay, is not communicating this with my significant other. I haven’t been able to find the words to figure out how to communicate this to him without feeling needy. But fuck it, I have to. He cannot read my mind. At least not when it comes to this. And that is what sparked my idea to write this love road map.
Now, I am about to call men out for a split second. Haha!
BUT… most times when you tell a guy that you need them to be more emotionally available to them and that you need them to express themselves emotionally. They assume you need to have a 7 page thesis written about all the things that they love about you. And no sir, that is not what I need lol! At all. Maybe for my birthday or some shit, but not every single day. Or at all. But what I do need is to know that you care about me, that you appreciate the things that I do for you. That you think about me. That you miss me. Hell, that you love me. These are things that are reassuring.
It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Like my best friend said to me, he can write on a post it note and leave it on something that you know I use often that has little sayings on it. It can be as simple as saying you like my butt. It doesn’t have to be dire romantic. But it does make a difference when I know that it was thoughtful, you meant it, you put a lot of love behind it. When doing simple little things like that keeps my emotional cup full. And my emotional cup being full and the more I feel like I am in love, the more I am going to want to share my vulnerability of sexual intimacy with you. ( I know I changed from 1st to second person, but I flowed with how it felt, sorry if it got confusing).
I realize that this does sound like tit for tat. If you don’t do this I can’t do that. But in all honesty that is how communication works. It’s like wanting someone to open up, but then not listening to them. It is telling someone they need to write, but not giving them the tools they need in order to make these things happen. So I am giving my man the tools by writing in this journal to provide him with ways to communicate in my love language so that I can begin to speak to him in his love language.
Anyone that has been abused is going to require an additional amount of loving, understanding, communication, empathy and a space to feel safe. And I realize that anyone who may not have been through those things aren’t exactly going to be able to understand what it is that we need. Which is why I came up with the idea of my book ‘How to Love a Battered Woman’. Yes it is gender specific, in regards to the title. But I can only speak from a woman’s perspective because that is what I have been through as a woman.
With me writing my love journal it has actually allowed me to realize things about myself that I may not have noticed before. Things that I may not have realized that I was projecting. And one of those things was making my partner feel like he was the problem. That he was the one that I was not attracted to or that he was not satisfying me in the bedroom. Which is incorrect. It is the opposite of him. It is not his fault, unfortunately, it was those before he entered my life’s fault.
Love in a healthy, positive, happy way is so foreign to me. But I am trying very hard to become fluent in those languages as well. But that takes trust within in myself to know that I deserve those things, and believe that my partner can do those things for me. We just have to work a little harder and communicate even more for our partners to understand what it is that we need and who we are.
While addressing this, this takes self love as well. My book and my blog are all about how I can fall more in love with me and how I can realize what it is that I need from myself in order to grow. How I can love this battered woman to give myself the strength so that others can learn to love this battered woman too.