It seems difficult and even unfair to write here. I am not the survivor of any one incident of acute sexual abuse. But the confusion with which I live life makes it seem as though all I ever have experienced is inappropriate sexual contact.

My mother and I have been fused in many ways. Only recently have I methodically and systematically gone about undoing our unhealthy connection. She is a responsive person, but she has her own limitations, which is why I feel I must be precise and deliberate with each step.

I have two children and am separated from their mother. She is a survivor of sexual abuse by a pediatrician. She also never had a father since the age of two.

It has been helpful to read what others have said about their spouses who are not forgiving enough. I have read about how some spouses say they want to be in a relationship with someone who is not neglecting them. I feel I have neglected my kids' Mom since our relationship started. What I am trying to face is that I have neglected every woman I've been with, because I have not been willing to go through the pain of what happened with my Mom.

I really want a family. I think there is love between my kids' Mom and I. I see it. I feel it. It is something I have never known and is more than just the usual enticements of relationship. I am nurturing our relationship, but as I get closer, the horror and fear of intimacy overcome my senses. I get close to that feeling of wanting to take her in my arms and then I am frozen again in a place of disgust and loathing.

Lately I have been reading about everyday trance states. I realize that I have held my own mother in a trance for as long as I can consciously remember. This was more than a healthy, mother-son bond. What I find now is that I can't imagine looking her in the eye because it would be too frightening. If I am that frightened, I don't know how I could ever take someone in my arms and tell them that I love them.

Tonight the MOMC (the Mother of My Children -- a shorthand we use for each other) was talking to me about music. She was asking me about my early experiences with music. What I couldn't tell her is that I was terrified of playing music because it was a way that I both connected with my mother and invited her to cross boundaries with me.

For the past several months I have been sitting at the piano every day. At first I would imagine my mother creeping up behind me. It was an affirmation of the hell I lived in. Over time I have been able to access my feelings while playing and I do this every day to heal.

Another thing that is interesting about playing the piano is that I have taught myself how to play it all over again. When I was young, I stopped taking lessons because I thought the teacher was too much into reward and punishment for my progress. I may also have stopped because of the tension with my Mom that would increase when I did something musical.

As I have started playing again, I have had to train myself to use both of my hands in coordinated way. I know this might sound strange, but I think that this has been a way to overcome the split in my psyche. At any moment I feel like I could let go of the effort and go back to living a split, dissociated life. But I don't. I remember, and go on.

What I would like to do is share this with the MOMC, but I am afraid of her not understanding and chalking it up to another weird form of therapy, mostly because I did things like that for many years.

I would appreciate perspectives.

With hope for healing,

Lose the drama; life is a poem.