Do you ever feel like you’re losing the progress you’ve made? Like your moving backwards?? It isn’t fun!
Cathy: Do you ever feel like you take a step backwards? It can be really frustrating. For anyone who has old abuse history, sexual trauma, anything like that, that can come up really hard. You might be getting along fine. We actually have a comment from someone asking for help with this. She’s getting along great with her partner, loves sex, feeling like everything was going really well and she’s still dealing with some abuse issues and feels like she’s lost on that. I’m Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.
Reid: I’m Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com.
Cathy: What would you tell someone?
Reid: Okay. Everybody take your breath. Gooooooh. I have a different reframe for the whole thing.
One, if you feel comfortable sharing with the people that you’re dating or partnered with, that you have had such a history – not everybody is in a place where they’re ready to share that kind of stuff – I’m going to advise you to take a workshop, do some therapy, basically work on the things you need to work on so that you can share about these things. It’s not everybody’s business. You have a right to your privacy. Not everybody needs details.
However, sharing with the people that you’re in community with, the people that you’re partnering with romantically, so that when stuff comes up and gets triggered, they’re like, “Oh, okay. You said something like this might happen.” One, that helps them not freak out. They may still take it personally, think it’s something about them. They’re going to through their human beingness on it too, but it won’t come as such a surprise, hopefully.
Then the piece for you all to reframe is oh, and this has happened a lot with some of the people that I coached. Old stuff shows up to get released because you’re finally in a relationship that’s strong enough or you’re finally strong enough to let go of something, to kind of let it come through. In a weird, really wonky way, it’s a good thing that it’s happening because it means everything’s okay. It just doesn’t feel like everything’s okay.
If you could carbon-date the emotions, what you’re usually feeling is old wounding, hurt, upset, betrayal, anger from back when the incident happened. It’s not actually what’s happening in the moment and what both parties usually end up doing is they make it about the relationship. This happens with people that aren’t even-don’t even have abuse histories. They’re in this great relationship, finally, and then they’re like, “Oh my God, we’re so mad at each other.” What’s happening is they’re releasing old anger from past relationships or just bullshit from their parents that they grew up with. Really, the relationship is so strong and secure, that it’s safe for them to let their shit out.
That’s just my perspective on it. Your mileage may vary but that was my voice.
Cathy: I think it helped me too. I have an abuse history and I’ve had this happen. When it does happen, there’s this first knee-jerk reaction, “Oh my God! I’m back to square one,” or, “Did all this work and I still have all this stuff coming up again.”
Realizing that most relationships, the sexual connection ebbs and flows sometimes anyway. We have times when we’re really more connected and other times, we are less connected. That’s part of the natural part of the relationship.
Talking about it really helps. Like Reid said, it’s coming up to clear. Every time I go through that and I have a little bit of, “Oh my God, not again.” Once it’s cleared, I have a whole new access to my body and my sexuality, so it’s really positive. I think everybody feels that, “Oh my God, what is happening, feeling. I don’t think—“
Reid: Yeah. “Oh, no. Not again.” If you can reframe it, they’re like, “Oh. Whoooo. I’m in a place now where I can let go of more of this.” Eventually, you will let go of most of it if not all of it, and then all of a sudden, it doesn’t show up anymore.
Cathy: Let us know what you think. What’s come up for you and what’s helped you through these times?
Reid: Again, we’re not doctors, or actually, you have a PhD.
Reid: We’re not medical doctors or therapists, nor do we play them on television. This is just our advice and views expressed here are not necessarily those of YouTube.