I wish I could say I was completely healed. I wish I could say my past doesn’t affect me anymore, but it does. I think we get so caught up trying to be “perfect” or acting like we are completely whole like we have it all together when in reality, we don’t.
I struggle to admit that today, I still fight my own battles. I don’t always have it together. Some days I do, and some days I feel like I am back to square one. But I am proud to say I do have more good days than bad. My life today is exactly where I want it to be but just like everyone else, I struggle.
I have accepted my past abuse and sexual assault, but I haven’t forgotten it. I still have PTSD and certain things still trigger traumatic memories.
If you are new to my blog, try starting my story from the beginning.
Sexual Abuse PTSD
A lot of people ask me how I am now, and if my abuse still affects me. I have found ways to overcome it but I haven’t told you that I still suffer. It’s not all the time, and it’s not every day. I feel like I am very vulnerable and I do my best to share every aspect of my life, but not this. I haven’t shared this, and just like that, I am scared all over again.
So here it is. I am opening myself up to you. My past abuse and the rape I endured actively affects my relationship with Jacob. To this day I still have flashbacks, and the flashbacks are triggered when Jacob and I are intimate.
I am not going to go into the details of our sex life but I want to be open about how it makes me feel because I know this affects more women than me. Normally I wouldn’t share this because it is WAY beyond my area of comfort but I know this will help other women in the same position as me.
When I was raped, I tried to get my brain to forget about it. I didn’t want to accept that it actually happened. Despite being blacked out the night I was raped, I had numerous flashbacks that followed. The flashbacks were mainly him on top of me and me feeling completely lethargic, overall not okay. I DID NOT want to have sex with my abuser.
When I was in my abusive relationship I felt like my body was no longer mine. It felt like an object used for someone else’s satisfaction. I constantly felt used after my rape with my abuser… like I no longer belonged to myself, I was just his. Not in a romantic way, but in a possessive way.
So because of this experience, there have been many times where this trauma has come in between my relationship with Jacob. Sometimes I feel like closing off and don’t want to tell him that I’m struggling because I hate to feel weak. I also hate to admit that I am having a hard time.
I tend to cut myself off from my husband. There have been times when Jacob kisses me and I find myself covering my body with my arms out of habit or I have unknowingly used my arms to cover my chest. I didn’t notice it at first until it happened more frequently. Not only was I mentally closing myself off to my husband, but I also started to close myself off physically as well.
My past has affected my sex life but so has my birth control. I have had a lot of girls message me saying that they don’t like their birth control because it lowers their libido. My birth control dramatically lowers my sex drive. So when Jacob and I do get intimate I feel like I don’t want it, which defeats the purpose of doing it to begin with. Of course, I love my husband and I want to share those moments with him but when I force intimacy, it brings back flashbacks of traumatic experiences.
Three months ago I finally broke down to Jacob. I told him how I am struggling to be intimate and how it has nothing to do with him. I explained it’s all due to my past and as you may have guessed, Jacob was SO understanding. We talked through everything and he was able to finally understand why I am always so closed off.
Overcoming Sexual Abuse
One night when we were being intimate I started struggling. I was having flashbacks of my rape. When I recognized what was happening, I worked on completely changing my mindset. Instead of thinking about my abuser I kept telling myself over and over in my head that Jacob was “my protector.” Once I shifted my mindset and turned Jacob into my protector, I felt so much better.
If you struggle with intimacy post-sexual assault, try to find something that works for you. I found a method that works for me, but even though it has helped, I have made plans to go back to therapy. My therapist told me that when I got married I may struggle with sexual intimacy. I assumed I would be fine, but now I know that I need to go back and do something to help me heal completely.
I have said this before but I’ll say it again, there is no shame when it comes to seeking professional mental help. For some reason, we try to act like we don’t have problems. I have people messaging me all the time thanking me for being open because they aren’t ready to share vulnerable things with the world. I understand that it is scary but once you do it, it truly feels great!
I have debated writing this blog post for a few months now. As I was writing this I almost backed out and started deleting everything because what I am sharing is SO personal. I haven’t even shared these details with my family or my sisters who I am so close with. It’s because I get scared sometimes too. Sharing personal things is awkward sometimes, but I know without a doubt that what I am sharing will help someone. If it helps even one person, then it is worth it.
It’s great to share the happy parts of our lives because we shouldn’t dwell on the past, but it is also necessary to share the struggle so that we can relate to each other. So that we can share value! So that we can inspire others!
“I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, because of you I didn’t give up.” This quote or saying has impacted me for the past five years. When I was pregnant, I had it as my screensaver. I knew that even though I was going through the hardest trials of my life, that one day I could use my experiences to help and inspire others. I made a commitment to myself that I would help others through my story. So if sharing my intimate life can help others with their trials then I will gladly do so.
I seriously love you guys. Thanks so much for supporting me, it means the world to me. Everything I do with my blog and my writing is for YOU. If this post has impacted you in any way, please share it in any way you can. Whether that is social media, friends, family, etc! If you have anything you want me to blog about next let me know in the comments below!
Resources for abuse/sexual assault survivors
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