Note: Yeah, more sexually explicit stuff--please don't email me about it.
My cousin, Brad, and his family are moving to Tennessee. They stopped here on their way through. Darrin and I went to my parents' house to visit them around 11:00 p.m. What a beautiful family. We visited for about 30 minutes, then went home.
Darrin wanted to talk again. I just wanted to sleep. We got ready for bed. I expected that Darrin would insist on talking, as he had at lunchtime, but he didn't. When he came to bed (by the way, the man prays for nearly an hour--I swear, he does! I told him once that if he prayed more often his prayers would be shorter, and God wouldn't go to sleep listening to Darrin drone on forever...that was VERY well received!), he just hugged me, kissed me, and told me good-night. I was relieved.
I got up and did my morning devotional around 6:00. Then I ran. Darrin asked me to try to keep my running to fewer than two hours, so I did. I also did some really great thinking as I ran. Lots of weird things fell into place--things I hadn't thought about before. Things that made tons of sense in a very bizarre way. I ran my normal route twice (about 13 miles), then went home.
Darrin and I joined my parents and cousin's family for a short visit before my cousins had to leave. Darrin stayed to help my dad with some computer setup stuff for his business, and I went home to study. Around 2:30, Darrin got home. He wanted to know if I'd eaten yet today. I hadn't. He said, "Sam, it's been almost 2 days now. When do you plan to eat again?" I told him I'd eat as soon as I felt able. He snorted at me, and left the room. Why do people snort--it's so disgusting.
Darrin returned and told me he wanted to buy DJ a new bed. DJ has needed one for about 6 months now, we just haven't gotten around to buying one. We left to go to a nearby city to shop. We hit Sam's Club, but didn't find the bed we wanted. Darrin bought me a canteloupe and two dozen roses, instead. I think there's a message for me somewhere in that purchase.
We went to Denver Mattress Company, and found exactly what we wanted for DJ. Then we went home. Darrin said, "Okay, Sam, we have a one-hour drive--talk to me." Surprisingly, I was ready to talk, finally. So I told Darrin about my newest discoveries.
1. I only cry after sex when we are in "missionary position" (okay, I hate that term). That's the position I was always forced into when Cousin David molested me. I think it makes total sense that, now that I'm acknowledging my feelings, instead of stuffing them, I might have some sadness/fear/grief when in a similar physical setting.
2. When Darrin and I were first married, I adamantly refused to allow him to use a condom. Birth control wasn't actually an issue, because I wasn't able to get pregnant for nearly four years, but we didn't know that. We started out using the pill--not a good move. It killed any libido I might have had--bad for an SSA woman. We tried spermacidals--not good for Darrin. I guess those foams, etc., are a bit on the stinging side. Bad for HIS libido. Anyway, about five years ago, I finally decided I could try sex with a condom. The first time, it was horrifying for me, but I had no idea why. Now that I've allowed myself to remember, I understand. My cousin introduced sex to me by showing me a condom, then showing me how it worked--which I suppose would be fine in a marriage, but not with an eleven-year-old girl. It makes sense that I might have some aversion to condom use.
3. I have a horrifying fear of internal exams (and I haven't had one for nearly eight years). I also have never been able to wear tampons. I realized that having anything in my vagina has caused me intense stress for many years. I have no idea how I was able to spend 20 years of marriage in a semi-normal sexual relationship with my husband. I think I was somehow able to separate our intimacy from any feelings, thus isolating it from the fears and phobias I've been experiencing with other "things".
4. I have a feeling that the abuse I went through with my cousin may have involved more than I actually remember. There are a few reasons for this: (a) One time, shortly after our marriage, Darrin caught me getting out of the shower. He picked me up and kissed me on the stomach. I reacted in a rather unusual way--I screamed, twisted out of his arms and vomited. I told Darrin later that I must have had a touch of the flu. In reality, I don't remember ever being more frightened in my life. (b) Once I had relaxed enough to pretend I was okay with sex, Darrin decided we should do a little exploration, "have some fun." Again the unreasonable fear manifested itself. He was giving me a foot massage (innocent), but then he kissed my knee and inner thigh (less innocent). I started shaking and sweating. Once again, I ran to the bathroom and threw up. We never experimented again.
For the first time, Darrin and I discussed these things. Of course, because it's my new hobby, I wept the whole time. Darrin suggested that I really needed to see a counselor again, to see if I could get some help and resolution. Then he said that if I was okay with it, he ought to go with me. Perhaps the counselor could give us suggestions to help us maintain our current intimacy, while working through the things that were bothering me now, and it might also help Darrin understand better why I react the way I do to many things. He said, "You know, Sam, I just want things to be better for you. And I don't want you to equate our lovemaking with what your cousin did to you anymore. I want you to take care of yourself, get a physical, and not be afraid. I want you to be able to use any kind of birth control, and any kind of "girl stuff", you want--without thinking about past abuse. And I want the freedom to express physical love to you, in any way that feels natural and loving, without inciting fear or making you feel ill. I guess, after 20 years, I don't feel like that's too much to ask."
Have I mentioned lately that I love my husband? He's amazing. Really amazing. And I adore him.