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.