I don't feel my partner can fix me, but she can love me and I can learn to love and trust, something I needed to do as a child. This is helping me to engage in sex and enjoy the experience, but that is when I get most of the flashbacks.
I think these words are so important. With love and trust come the ability to feel the emotions of sex. It requires love and trust from the partner as well as the survivor. It takes time and I found as I healed and was with someone who made me feel important I could love and trust. Yes the abuser was with me many times, sitting on my back depriving me of joy. He no longer is in the room, because most times I can get him out of my head.
The response of the partner is important to a survivor, how they react, how they respond and their words and many times lack of words are healing, their smile, their hug, their touch allows us to feel safe. I spent many years feeling unsafe because I was not healing, I was just getting by, fighting the abuse and abuser in my mind, feeling neglected and rejected only compounded the falling apart. I began to have syncope and the doctors after I told of the abuse long after being treated told me they had the answer, the abuse. I dissociated as I was continually triggered, I escaped being me to an unknown world. I could not feel joy in anything, touch, words-I felt an underlying negativism, a rejection, an abandonment and triggers that were abusive pushed me further away.
Getting back to having sex while in the present was difficult at first, a few casual encounters were fun but not fulfilling. The woman were kind and fun people but my emotions were not there, I was still struggling as I tried to heal. I was blessed and a woman with understanding of trauma took me to new heights of enjoyment. It was slow going at first and in time as I began to love myself I found joy and fulfillment.
JamesM you are correct no one can fix us, only we can fix ourselves by healing and accepting we were screwed up from the abuse. As someone said on the site, there are many emotionally messed up people in this world. I was one and have faced it and I can see and understand others who have yet to face their past, their issues because it destroys as I was destroying myself and others as I ran from the abuse and abuser.
As you said our past affects our future. I now believe as I understand my past, my present and future cannot deny the abuse and I do not need to let it control the present and future. All life events are part of our present and future. How we view these events, how we accept these events is how they influence our present and future.
I enjoyed reading your thoughts and I am sorry you suffered much as a child. I am glad to see you are finding joy in life. Your wife must be an extraordinary to be there for you.