The Sexual Healing Journey begins

SexualHJ-one

I don’t know if I am being brave or stupid, not even having the sleep issues resolved yet and wanting to go ahead and start the sexual healing journey. If you have been around for a while you’ll remember that I decided this was going to be my project for 2013. If that’s news to you, you can read about it here.

Anyway, I am figuring that when the sleeping crap is PTSD related and a great big part of my PTSD comes from childhood sexual abuse, I might as well start the journey now. That way, if it’s gonna give me sleep issues, I can just tell them to draw a number and stand in line and I won’t even notice much of a difference.

Like a regular journey might, this one starts with a trip to the travel agency, in the form of reading the “About” or “What to Expect” chapter the book starts out with. Or at least that had been the plan, before I discovered that one disadvantage of the book is that the pages are bulging with closely spaced lines full of small print that doesn’t even contrast so well with the page, because it’s eco-friendly yellow-grayish paper. And while I’m all yay for eco-friendliness and not wasting space with big letters and spacing, it gives me a real problem.

See, I’m not a very good reader. Especially when I read a longer text, the lines seem to wobble and words blur and jitter before my eyes. I have a hard time staying focused, my thoughts want to go somewhere else and often I can’t put meaning into the words I read. The small print of the book flat-out invites that to happen. So before I even started with anything I had my first little breakdown over feeling like I was incompetent because I couldn’t even read it. Tears, anger, disappointment, self-hate, perfect drama…

It’s sorted now. Mom assured me that even the brightest chipmunk can have a reading problem, and she said she’ll read the book to me. Even said that that’s good with her because she’d like to know what I’m reading about anyway. So that was sorted, we had a read-aloud trip to the travel agency and I took notes of what to expect.

What I learned about the sexual healing journey:

The book explained that sexual abuse affects not only the psychological but also the sexual development and that therefore facing sexual issues directly is going to be a big part of the journey. – That sexual abuse has effects on sexual stuff should hardly be surprising, but it’s really something that gets hushed up a lot. I’ve even had therapists who grew uncomfortable at the mention of sexually deviant behavior or thoughts and prefferred to deal with the nonsexual issues, like that was going to make the sexual issues magically disappear.

I learned that I fit 6 of the top 10 sexual symptoms of sexual abuse consistently, and another 3 symptoms are floating by every now and then – not really surprising me either, though it’s a bit disheartening to see it spelled out so plainly just how well those symptoms apply to me.

I learned that anyone can go on the sexual healing journey – goodie, because that includes me.

I learned that the sexual healing journey is going to take time, as in months up to years – but then what else is new? At least time is something I’m not short on, so it’s alright.

I learned that sexual healing and the general healing go parallel ways alongside each other and will alternate in which is more prominent, and that you can go back and forth between them, rather than wait for the sexual healing to take place once the general healing is achieved – makes sense to me. My sexual crap is not really good at patiently waiting in the backseat anyway.

I learned that highs and lows are to be expected and that it’s good to have help along the way – not the most surprising of revelations, but I suppose it’s good to point it out anyway. The book said it can be uplifting to increase understanding and stuff, but that the journey can also get depressing and upsetting, can upset daily routines or day-to-day functioning. Is that really what I need, I wonder? But then, my day-to-day functioning is not really the grandest to start with, and it is that way BECAUSE of all those issues I’m having, so getting my stuff upset a little more is probably a small price to pay. (Of course I might think differently when it’s actually happening. But until then, I’m good with it.) I have my mom and F, my therapist, in place to help me, I feel like I can dare to start the journey.

I learned that on the sexual healing journey I’m required to face my most personal feelings and that I might want to keep a journal or something to write about my feelings – I’m blogging, that’s kind of like journaling. I’ve also got my mom here to help me tolerate what’s gonna come up. At least I hope that’s how it’s going to work. Even so, I’m nervous.

I learned that the book claims that I can repair the damage done to me – bold claim, hey! I’m skeptical about it, because it doesn’t feel that way, but then, I don’t feel like a good many of things beforehand and am not all that good at anticipating feeling in general. It says when I reclaim my sexuality, I reclaim myself. Sounds awkward to my ears and makes me nervous. But I’m all for reclaiming myself, so I’m gonna take a deep breath and do it anyway.

I learned that I’m advised to go slow, listen to myself, trust myself, and only start the journey when I’m ready. That I am my own gauge. – Tell that to the girl whose own gauge is nothing but a jumble of cryptic symbols. My gauge has been messed with, you know, which is why I need this book in the first place. So I don’t know how well I do with trusting it. I guess the advice means well, but it rather sounds like something I want to have achieved at the end of my journey than something I can fall back on already. But even so, I feel ready. So I guess I’ll pack a bag, bring food supplies and just start the journey to find out what it is like.

Wish me luck.

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vwoopvwoop
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 15:33:45

    you’re much braver than i am, lola. i have zero interest in the many texts that claim to help heal from sexual trauma, i feel much more comfortable just being essentially asexual instead. i know i probably should look into healing from all that stuff but i don’t feel ready, and i can’t be sure i’ll ever feel ready. i’m proud of you for giving it a real effort, though, and your mom offering to read it to you…that’s really great and i know my reaction should be positive but honestly my own mother issues just put that whole idea into a giant “not safe” zone. i’m glad it IS safe, and i think it will be extra healing because she accepts you and loves you and will never judge you harshly for everything you will experience on the healing journey. take it slowly, though, won’t you?

    • Lola
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 17:27:29

      Thank you for the good words and your concern, Hats. ❤ I don't yet know if I am being brave or stupid, but I guess I won't find out until I try. I never felt ready in the past either, and I don't really know what changed, but something did change and I want to give it a shot. Maybe because I am fed up with my own messed up sexual beahavior and the intruding thoughts and the flashbacks. I don't know, somehow I also feel safer here at home and with mom than I used to. In a way I can totally relate to your "not safe" reaction, though. But my mom is way different, thankfully. Maybe what changed is that I have become more capable of telling her apart from my birth mother even in emotional situations. I used to mix them up a lot. But really, it's weird that they technically even share the same label (mother), because they are so different in virtually all regards. And yeah, I will take it slowly. In fact that's probably one aspect in which it is good to have mom read to me, because sometimes (uhm, okay, I should probably make that often) she's more aware of where I am at, emotionally, than I am and she's more capable of tailoring challenges to my abilities than I am as well. So she's a good person to have there. She's safe. She's good at keeping me safe. I feel ready to make small steps and see what happens. I'll post about it. 🙂

  2. prideinmadness
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 17:29:51

    I didn’t think I could do certain things my self help book said but it takes practice, drive and time. If you want it then you’ll get it.

    • Lola
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 17:34:15

      Yes, I suppose some things take practice, and it’s probably a baby-step by baby-step kind of thing, going slow and keeping at it. Thank you for the encouragement! 🙂

      • prideinmadness
        Dec 30, 2012 @ 20:11:13

        For sure, it is baby steps. It took me years to get to where I am and there is still stuff I haven’t tackled that I know effect me but I have time!

        Keep us posted on your journey 🙂

        • Lola
          Dec 30, 2012 @ 20:38:17

          Yeah, baby steps and lots of time will probably be the way. At least the book is realistic in this way and doesn’t make any suspicious promises like ‘just three months of this and you’ll be a new person’. That’s a good start. And yep, I’ll keep you all posted! 🙂

  3. Clayton
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 23:59:59

    Good luck 🙂

    I think this is a wonderful thing to do and write a blog about. 🙂

  4. Trackback: The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 2 « Who needs normal?!
  5. Trackback: The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 1 « Who needs normal?!
  6. Trackback: The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 2 « Who needs normal?!
  7. Trackback: The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 3 « Who needs normal?!
  8. Trackback: The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 4 « Who needs normal?!
  9. Trackback: The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 5 « Who needs normal?!
  10. Trackback: The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 6 – Collage Day « Who needs normal?!
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