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*TW* Being vulnerable around SO

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*TW* Being vulnerable around SO

Postby raptureblues » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:53 pm

**trigger warnings - general abuse talk, mentions of sex + sex-related trauma**

i'm really struggling right now with being vulnerable around my partner and generally connecting with him. as soon as i feel vulnerable, i disconnect. i push him away. i don't let him help me with this issue either. i try and talk to him about it but i keep avoiding the issue or shutting down when i talk to him. i'm so heavily avoiding everything right now that i'm not realising when i've been triggered by something. i deny any problem that comes up. it's exhausting.

it's not that i don't know why this is happening. i know why. being vulnerable is terrifying. i don't cope with a lack of control. i then use coping mechanisms like avoidance, dissociation, denial, etc to "protect" myself. it's pretty obvious why that is. abuse is entirely about not being the one in control. can i unpack that right now? no, not even close. can i handle the day-to-day issues that tie into this? i'm trying, but not doing very well.

i don't see my partner in person often (we're in a long distance relationship) but i'm visiting him in a few weeks. he's planning to propose to me. i keep panicking about it, not because i don't want it to happen but more that i don't know how to connect with him and how he feels about me without totally freaking out. i keep feeling like i have to meet his expectations with regards to sex and general behaviour. i feel like i'll ruin things if i put one toe out of line. i feel like he might suddenly change when we get engaged. i'm scared maybe he just wants me to be open with him so he can control me or use me. i keep swinging wildly between sex repulsion and hyper-vigilance, and hyper-sexuality and completely ignoring my own needs.

i know my partner is safe. he's never treated me badly. he's always communicating with me. he's always honest and open and willing to work around me. it makes me feel so unbearably guilty that i can't seem to calm down and handle this. i know the more i pressure myself to handle this, the worse i function, but i can't seem to settle down. i know i'm probably in-and-out of emotional flashbacks, which is probably why i keep applying all of this trauma logic to my partner, but i can't seem to ground myself at all unless i completely disconnect from my partner and avoid talking to him completely, which is making me miserable.

i don't think anyone else in the system is triggered, otherwise i'd be wondering if it's not me who's unwell. but it feels like my issue. everyone else seems mostly fine. the only things that tend to trigger the system when it comes to my partner is sex, but we're managing that as a system as best we can. so it's my issue, my problem. i'm the one who's completely unable to handle this. the others have been trying to help me but i'm struggling to connect with them too, keep getting bad denial ruminations and feeling like i've made all of this up again.

it's so frustrating! i know i'm supposed to ground myself, but i've fallen into this cyclical hellhole where i'm heavily avoidance coping and can't get myself out of it. my therapist asked what would happen if i stopped intensely distracting myself and i immediately started panicking. i'm barely sleeping or eating. when i'm awake, i'm playing video games to distract myself. whenever i'm not distracted enough, i'm going catatonic or having panic attacks.

i know i should probably talk to my partner again, but i'm terrified of doing it. i'm so scared of upsetting him or disappointing him. i hate myself for all of this. i know why this is happening but i'm really struggling to apply that understanding and actually cope. my therapist said this is all about fear, and yeah i'm terrified, of course i am, but i don't know how to make it stop. maybe that's part of the problem? i don't know.

i know i'm answering a lot of my own questions, and also going round in circles, but i needed to get this out somewhere. advice isn't expected but appreciated if you have any thoughts.

- alice
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: *TW* Being vulnerable around SO

Postby ArbreMonde » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:52 am

Do you have access to EMDR therapy? It's really good to undo triggers and stop the intrusive traumatic memories. It helped me a lot in the same area than the one you describe.

Good luck and tons of moral support.

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Re: *TW* Being vulnerable around SO

Postby SOHank » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:40 pm

Being able to express your emotions on here is a step towards healing. I applaud you for that!

What you wrote does remind me of a girl I dated in college. She was afraid of commitment, but we were discussing long term plans together. Things were going really well until suddenly they weren’t. To this day I’m still not really sure what happened, but figure it’s something like you describe and it got to be too much for her. After finding out about my wife’s DID, I looked back at prior relationships I’ve had and it made me wonder if there wasn’t something more she didn’t share or didn’t even know about…
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