Monday, January 18, 2021

What trauma leaving the body may look like

I have tender loving feelings for the man... Yet, I've split up with him 4 or 5 times since September (he's counting). 

Now, you may think, what a frickin wimpy kid solving conflicts using such radical measures!

While I don't mean to defend my innocence, I'd like to write why I'm 100 % convinced that what's happening is a process of the body trying to reach equilibrium.

My relationship with T. (right, Chris is a made-up name) is very physical. It can get super-passionate (a few times a day on the weekends), and while it's something I always sought and I enjoy at the moment, my body gets confused later.

So you resort to a hasty breakup? Bear with me.

He's not exactly an affectionate romantic. Since pleasure and pain are so closely linked together in the world I've lived in, it seems that I cannot be with either sensation individually. It's a tricky matter I'm trying to heal. I'm choosing to embody pleasure and learn from past pain to create a different destiny. 

Maybe all the bad sexual experiences that I endured in the past are a blur... but their energetic imprint stayed stuck in/around the physical body... I believed that I cut some cords and released the faint memories from the body-memory... yet, I was in for a surprise. Yesterday I did yoga (first time in ages) and myofascial release at home. I stayed in the pigeon pose for some time, worked on opening my hips, and I stretched my legs so I could do a split again in a few weeks if persistent. Damn, everything crawled under my skin! It was the most unpleasant feeling, I felt so disconnected - did I willingly joined a torture club and the first lesson was in masochism? I clenched my teeth and didn't feel like being there; I wanted to disassociate from my body in order to stop the pain. Lying on the back, my left arm still extended, holding onto the foot of my left leg spread out to the side... I observed pain in the whole limb and also in both hips... Was I voluntarily offering my body for abuse? Specifically, sexual abuse. The whole pelvis area felt constricted, my pussy closed, wrapped in an aura of dread... I tried to stay with that anxious energy and let my irritation find a breakthrough and transform... It didn't happen. So I released the grip. I massaged my groins and let a few tears escape my eyes. What the hell was that?

The first time I sensed my body's irritability, tension, and a sense of stuck psychosomatic trauma was during a 10 days silent Vipassana meditation course in 2019. 

Every morning we would sit down on a meditation cushion, and except for toilet and meal breaks, we would stay there to meditate for 10 hours. No eye contact was permitted, no words, no other activities (including reading) either. By day 4, I've had enough! I began perspiring on my cushion, fidgeting, scratching myself; I felt so uncomfortable inside out, I wanted to jump out of my skin, and with the whole room being so quiet, everyone with their closed eyes deep into it, my irritation grew. I craved to scream and shout, to fuck, and then get the fuck out. I did neither. I did what I was instructed on the first day. 

Sit with the feeling. Invite it, let it be do not need to despise it nor love it. And then it happened... I crumbled. Huge sobs escaped my trembling body, and that one tissue I had handy became soaked in a minute. I don't remember how long I sat there crying, but just before the hour was up, I reached a strange sense of tranquillity. Something has left my body. I didn't need to know what or how. It did, and I felt relieved. The whole Vipassana experience changed since that moment. The remaining days were spent in peace.

Hopefully, I don't need another retreat to stop self-sabotage because I found the culprit to watch out for and along with it the cure.

The body keeps a score (the title of an excellent book, by the way). Why? After a painful event long gone, why do we still feel like an impending tragedy is just around the corner?

The answer is biological and to me, energetical too. I will not overwhelm you with the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, but my natural response to perceived danger is flight. I scan my brain for predictable outcomes and run. The mind is trying to protect us from similar harm... filing traumatic events under threats to our wellbeing, and something to avoid. The body remembers very well how that felt... it does not want to feel that way again.

You see, soon after a proper intense love-making session with T... I go into a self-preserving mode. I might be shaken by the intensity of the climax or by the fact that I actually do it with someone I love and who loves me, and at the same time, I am searching the files in my unconscious mind for any evidence that this shakiness could be dangerous to my wellbeing. I've had sex before, I also experienced 'accidental orgasms' while not being in love with that person, hell, I’d not choose them again from an empowered attitude in a million years... yet, the body responded anyway. It's natural to feel aroused when all the right spots are being stimulated. After relaxation comes a thought: I must keep my guard up.

My only logical explanation of my consistent efforts to end what I'm experiencing with T. is that I desperately seek the comfort of knowing how to label and file this new experience in my life. When I cannot make sense of it, get confused and want to run, I seek the familiar. Sometimes familiar doesn't mean 'better'. I need to know who I am in my own body without someone ‘invading it’. And I can feel that invasion even weeks later. I feel conflicted between wanting to run away from pain/pleasure towards pleasure/pain, whichever is more familiar, while still not recognizing which is which (and what's better for me). The sexual experience feels natural, the person feels different, the feelings are heightened, and the premise of love quite real. On top of it, when we both descend back to the earth, the energy is in homeostasis, I perceive his withdrawal along with all the freedom he gives me as rejection. I struggle with that the most.

How can we self-help?

The good news is that if the traumatic events of the past passed, we're free now. So let the body know that it is safe. Self-soothe. Breathe. Relax. Eat well. Have a bath. Let's not focus on the why, why we feel this tight. Let's focus on the hows, the solution to feeling more of the good stuff. Stay present, understand that healing trauma is not pretty at first, but numbness is worse.

The only way out is through.

Remember that no person and no activity is the same even though you've been there done that thousand times before. 

Frankly, my body has been through so much trauma with men that I lost count of how many times I've wriggled myself out of a safe embrace. Would you recognize genuine love if it was right in your face? I bow down to you!

I'm loving this new experience even though it drives me nuts sometimes. I shall welcome it.

Don’t run away from perceived pain. Let’s try to heal it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I'm single and I know it... lalalalala

Maybe I should call both of my blogs BreakUp blogs?

Instead of asking why do I keep attracting the SAME type of men, I'll answer myself in this paragraph. My deep calling is to heal people and lead them out of the darkness. If I search for the word: depressed in Whatsapp, I get offered message threads from my Australian ex and one message from my current British 'ex'. I know how challenging it can be for men to admit that they feel/felt depressed. Perhaps we all feel that way at some point in life. But we must use the readily available tools to pull ourselves out. Let's say, why won't we stop drinking so much, start eating healthily, go outside in nature, AND - this is the other common theme of my exes - seek human connections! Learn how to communicate and stay fairly social even during a global pandemic (I mean - reach out to your old friends, make new friends - even if only online, look where you can be of service). What's happening right now can be considered a good excuse for those men who have already been a little socially awkward to completely isolate themselves and stay with their negative thoughts and depressive feelings alone in their mancave. I explain my pattern in this way: Until I make healing - inspiring people to heal and transform - my full-time career, I'll forever keep attracting wounded underdogs just so I have something to do.

I've written a lot about my heartbreak from 2016 and the healing journey in Australia here:

It is a good blog. Sadly, I haven't advertised it enough. It could have helped many people with a broken heart; it's raw, entertaining, insightful...

In 2020 I found someone more stable, more intelligent, and apparently more faithful too... But in the end, it was all the same shit. (The Aussie wanted to live with me though)

He knew that working as a carer wasn't for me. But he also became too comfortable living alone. I get that. I love staying in my own energy and sleeping alone. But I also love the feeling when you come back to a warm place where someone's home (like that time with my sis. The first month was torture, then we made some compromises and created a new rhythm that suited both)

Well, just another guy whom I imagined marrying and having children with! ... If only I knew that he wasn't ready.. ehm, I kinda knew. Did I unconsciously hope I'd change him - heal him? Yes. Guilty again.

Everything about him and his life screamed: Run! But I went ahead with the experience, fell in love, and became emotionally attached.

He successfully retracted from every long-term commitment, and altruistic wasn't his middle name. When someone tells you they're selfish, believe them.

Obviously, he doesn't know me well if he thinks I'd smother him if we lived together. Maybe he should ask my best friends E. and O. what's my idea of co-living or if I appreciate my space and privacy... if he didn't hear it from me.

It wasn't time wasted. I view it as a 4-month long interactive course in nailing the last bits and pieces of my ideal relationship. Now the list is complete. Along with the ideal attributes of my future husband and father of our child - I also learned my own shortcomings.

I learned that if I push a man to the edge of his sanity, yet he comes back, it's painful for both. On top of it, his comeback means nothing so better not test a man like that anymore (too often) unless I make sure that his return is welcome. Because: "Toxic is if they can't let you go, but can't treat you right either" (Anon)

I learned that if he's persistent in his efforts to pursue me, I shall question his motives too. Is he serious about me or - he doesn't have anyone else to hang out with? (spoiler alert-it's the latter) AND - does he treat sex as the remedy for depression, the extra energy that he - during this pandemic- has no other outlet for, am I his indoor entertainment for the lack of outdoor entertainment? Was his eagerness to keep meeting up and use me for sex a reflection of his refusal to introspect and fill the void with more permanent nourishment?

I learned that in any relationship, one must set boundaries. Those who know me would tell you that I don't have a problem with assertiveness. No. But I have a boundaries problem when it comes to honoring my need to sleep alone and spend more time in silence. And then there's the sex issue, when I just want to keep fucking, making myself feel better by making him feel better, and losing myself in the relationship to please and avoid my deeper needs.

I learned that even if he's handsome, it doesn't really add a lot to my already beautiful world.

That being said, I know that there was a lot of good stuff too. I learned that a man who's not easily offended is the only man who stands a chance to last next to me. I loved his humor, how he wasn't taking himself seriously, and I loved his brilliant, imaginative mind and insight. There were glimpses of his hard heart softening, which felt beautiful. Sometimes, I thought that he actually knew me well. Now I believe it was probably something I wished to see rather than what it was in reality.

He said that if we lived together, I must have something to do during the day to not always be in the flat while he's working from home. That's something to respect and despise too. Who the hell did he think I was?? A baby?

What I cannot comprehend is #1. that after all that time, he still thought that I'd accidentally get stuck "with no job, no money". Is that how little he believed in me? #2. that he wouldn't offer his place "indefinitely". Because of my generous nature, wanting to help people, and my history of dating generous men - I just could not comprehend what was all that indefinitely-stuck shit about.

Do you want to build a life with me? If yes, then I hope that it is for indefinitely. We're stuck together, in love, co-creating, and having satisfying sex forever. If the answer is no, well then, get the fuck out of my life now.

So he did.