This is basically a continuation from the It's Hard to Remember… thread by Ben. I decided to start a whole new post on intimacy so that it would get more exposure.
Everyone who responded to my intimacy question I want to say thank you. I was very impressed by the responses. It truly gave me much comfort. I know that this issue is central to many SA survivors as well as to many partners and spouses alike. However I almost have to approach this issue from a very basic and novice point of view. As survivors, I think we all know what it is like to have problems with intimacy but I have completely denied myself any intimate relationships. I could never handle the emotions and so I've made myself unavailable to anyone that would get near me. It's incredibly frustrating, to say the very least. I'll be 25 in a couple of weeks (Dear God, the quarter century mark...I'm getting old.
) and I am so ready to start experiencing life. It just seems like there are so many wonderful emotions that have been locked away from me. I'm ready to unlock them.
Even with friends I find that I have difficulties. Fortunately I have a good group of friends that have helped me out a lot. But I noticed a pattern in how I made these friends. I became friends with them only on my own terms. I, more or less, initiated our friendship. If someone came to me to initiate a friendship I would run like hell. There's no way I could let myself be approached. Maybe it's a trust thing…I don't know. I've never thought trust was an issue for me but maybe so.
And as for romantic relationships, well, no way. I withdraw all to easily. When a woman has shown interest in me or has completely offered herself to me I totally withdraw. I always thought I liked girls but after feeling myself withdraw so often I really have to question my sexuality. Whether I like guys, I don't know. I'm becoming more at peace with that thought everyday but I do know that I like girls, at least a little bit.
But I have tried, at the moment of feeling like I want to withdraw, to do the exact opposite. I reach out, just a little...it doesn't always work, and I definitely don't always remember, but it has given some comfort to try.
First, part of me was glad to see you mention withdrawal because of our similar experiences. Secondly, I'll try to do the exact opposite. Maybe it will help.
Intimacy is a huge issue for all of us. If you are ready to tackle it the first thing you have to do is trust someone completely. You had trust before you were abused and that trust was destroyed. It is a scary thing to do for all of us.
But it is important that you do it. You will feel you are standing on quick sand but that will pass. Just be sure of the other person.
Let them know the issues that it involves and be patient with yourself. It will not happen overnight. You should start slowly and safely for yourself and the other person. Do not be afraid to stumble. It has been a long time for you. And be gentle with yourself
Intimacy involves caring sharing and comfort. It is a huge step to take but well worth it believe me. My prayers are with you brother. Keep us informed
What can I say? That was a wonderful bit of advice. I'll certainly take that to heart. Any other thoughts?
Okay, that's enough for now.