Experts suggest ways to correct habits that keep us from resting well
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I sometimes have flashbacks during sex when I relive part of my abuse. I have learnt to stay with the flashback and when I feel able I tell my partner to stop. My emotional state has then become very different and I talk with her about how I feel. She does not judge my experiences as abhorrent, disgusting or evil. At the same time she was doing something that reminded me of what my rapist did. At this time I am losing my arousal quickly and am feeling sad and like a child. I do not mind her condemning the rapist, I do that myself. Instead, she wants us to form new memories together and over time this is having a positive effect on me. I hesitate to tell my partner to stop during a flashback since I can see she is aroused and enjoying herself. However, I become increasingly distressed and she adjusts quickly and comforts me.
I see nothing wrong in my childhood responses to being raped by a teenager experimenting with his power and sexuality. My experiences with him made me want him to get me aroused again. That is not to do with sexuality, since I had no control over my body. He is not in my thoughts when I am having sex and I am not thinking of anyone other than my partner. I would be concerned if I was thinking of anyone else, man or woman. I want my partner to express her feelings, but not in a way that makes me feel bad about my past. I have gradually learned to trust her and accept her love. When I acknowledge it I become emotional and upset, but this is decreasing over time and I am becoming more able to express my feelings for her. It is difficult for me to accept unconditional love from anyone after years of suppressing my feelings and isolating myself.
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