Monday, May 27, 2013

Jump, crash, waiting to burn... Rise from ashes?

"@WomenOfHistory: You cannot always wait for the perfect time. Sometimes you must dare to jump."

One of my equine therapists said something similar. She said that there will never be the right moment and that you just have to wait until your fear/anxiety has lessened enough to go for it. That particular day was to mount a horse named Tess. 
So I stood in mountain (minus the arms above my head), petted Tess' shoulder, and talked to her. My therapist reminded me to bend my knees and breathe. 
I relaxed after a few minutes,then with Tess' permission, up I went into the saddle to sit in a naturally perfect posture ("seat.") my therapist instructed me into a mountain pose - this time hands in the air - while still in the stirrups. I breathed through my fear to safety. In fact, this was the first time I ever felt completely safe and at home in my life (that I can remember.) I was amazing. At the end of the session, Tess and I trotted. It felt so natural, so freeing, so safe. 

My therapist took my picture in mountain pose and sent it with the text reminder: "Centered, grounded, breathing, and safe!" 

During the same session, she also said that I have good instincts and should trust my gut. 

Easier said than done when important relationships are on the line. 

My hubby and I have been abstaining from ... [deep breath] sex for about a year - my choice not his - in an attempt to truly heal from the sexual abuse I survived during my childhood. In this time, we learned some tools to communicate better through sessions with a couples therapist. We made leaps of progress while we still were being guided by the therapist (who also happened to be the equine therapist I mentioned above), especially right after I had an equine therapy session. 
There is something special about horses. The safety and trust I feel when I'm around them is hard to describe. So I started lessons to learn to ride. My instructor is impressed with the progress I've made in my confidence. When I'm with horses, I am confident. I'm not afraid of them any more. I think they see and sense the real me inside - gentle and caring, fragile, but willing to learn. I see and am in awe of each horse's unique beauty. No words need to be said between us. (Though I talk constantly to whichever horse I am privileged to ride.)
If only human relationships were as easy!? While I seem to be hypersensitive to the emotions and moods of each creature around me, I don't seem to be able to find anyone who is able to reciprocate to me. 
And that saddens me. Speaking words, using this voice of mine which for most of my many decades on this Earth has been silenced through abuse, is one of the hardest tasks for me. It involves believing in my right to need, to want. Believing so much in those rights that I can not only stand firm against those who want to violate my rights in favor of their own needs and wants, but speak out loud my belief in my rights.
For a year, I held my ground, but struggled and still struggle to voice my stance. 
This last Saturday, I compromised my ground. I gave in when I wasn't feeling even close to ready for sex (because as the quote says, supposed you just need to have faith that you are ready.) I was not able to verbalized what I needed to be ready. I didn't believe enough that my need to not have sex yet deserved a higher priority than my hubby's need for sex.
I crashed into the canyon. 
I haven't burst into flames yet - though the temptation is very strong to self-abuse. I spoke with my hubby the next day and again yesterday (after I started to process the event with my therapist) about how I felt on Saturday. I kept a positive spin because my hubby's narcissistic tendencies does not allow him to hear criticism. Besides, he saw the whole experience as extremely positive while I felt violated. 
Feeling violated is the spark that may ignite the flames of self-abuse. Feeling violated causes a massive internal volley in my head:
How can I feel violated when I didn't say no?
But I didn't give an unequivocal yes either.
On and on; back and forth until I just want my head to explode already and put me out of my misery. But I have children who need me and I choose to keep living for them. 

But the temptation is great to cope with self-abuse as I have done most of my life.

How do I regain my ground and strength?