If you have a partner and you want to be sexually active and want to have intimacy with that person, but because of your incest or your sexual abuse in your past, you will find that to be impossible.

It’s really difficult for many of us to have loving sex and a loving sexual relationship with someone when we’ve had that in our past because we are triggered. It can cause us to have flashbacks, we can have a PTSD like type response or have a panic attack. Often times, in the middle of lovemaking, you stop and freak out. We might even have a complete emotional breakdown and you would feel really broken.

Finding a partner that understands is key.

Finding a sexual partner that understands and someone that you can be open with not only physically, but also emotionally and talk to them about the healing process is important, but can be very challenging.

But we have to take two steps forward and slide back a little. It might not be the perfect lovemaking experience every time we try, but we’re getting that much better at it. Having a partner that’s understanding and responsive is really key.

Know that it’s not your fault.

Overcoming shame and accepting yourself is crucial in your sexual healing. Every one of the sexual problems you’re experiencing has a certain inner logic. Each one was directly connected to something that had happened to you in the past. But, they are not your fault. Often times we are made to feel this struggle, and the fact that we may have to stop and start is all our fault. But it is not.

Why do we want to heal?

Why we want to work through this? Why do we want to have a loving sexual relationship? Often times, because our past is the incest or that sex was on someone else’s agenda, we had no say or just choose to stay quiet. This is a time when we get to have a say. This is what we get to decide when, where, who, how, etc.

You want to work on your sexuality right now because…

  • You’re ready
  • (Insert your lover’s name) will leave you if you don’t.
  • You want your body back.
  • You don’t want your abuser in your bed or your marriage is at stake.

You don’t want to work on your sexuality right now because…

  • You’re not ready.
  • You’re not sure anything will change.
  • You’re afraid of having flashbacks.

Go back and circle any reasons that indicate your own internal readiness or start making a list. Put a mark next to those that are based primarily on outside pressures. Compare both sets of answer and respond to these following questions;

  • Which sets of reasons is more compelling to me and why?
  • Do you feel pressured to heal sexually? If so, by whom and why?
  • Does that pressure remind you of the abuse? If so, how?

Why these are all important? Because, often times we repeat the pattern and we talk in therapy all the time about recapitulation of past issues, but we’re living it again today. The thing that we don’t recognize is that we have a choice not to. And as soon as we can recognize that and the sooner we can learn to accept that part of ourselves, we can move forward and are on the path to recovery.

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