After scaring away the light hearted men by telling them my story about the recent rape, I was left with only 3 men to choose from. Of those, one I did not have a connection with, one scared me a little, and the other was surprisingly attractive, sweet, and kind. This was a guy I felt a surprising amount of connection with.
At first I thought it was just the excitement of the first date. So I let a few days pass. By the second date, I realized the feeling was only growing stronger. This was not a fluke, there was genuine chemistry.
Not that I was terribly exciting to be around. He did not know the difference, but I did. As hard as I tried to keep in the present time with what I was doing, my thoughts were difficult to control. For the most part it was easy to get my thoughts back under control with a little effort. It was the exaggerated startle response that gave me away.
The startle response is of course jumping in surprise at normal things, for instance being startled by someone as the jump out to scare you. That is a normal response. An exaggerated startle response looks like someone touching you and you jumping with the same fear. Or being shocked by loud noises that normally would not shock you. What that looked like for me is jumping every time he touched me, such as an accidental brush of his arm against mine as we stood in close proximity to each other while waiting in line. The jumping from me as I heard him walk up to me, only to turn and be startled that he was a few inches closer than I realized. Sometimes I jumped and pushed his hands off of me, even when the touches were socially appropriate touches. Even when it was touches I wanted.
I was a mess.
Luckily I was fun to be around, and he was well aware of why I was reacting odd. It was SO embarrassing. There were a few times I almost cried from the sheer terror of being exposed to this stimulus and being unable to control my body. I just wanted my body to stop. I wanted to return to normal. The feeling of being trapped and tortured like a puppet on a string forced to react when I did not want to was uncontrollable. Crawling back into my fiance's arms crossed my mind more than once, but I swallowed that bitter pill with grace I think. How could I go back to a man who could love me and yet leave me like this? I TRUSTED him. I Needed him, and he left me like this. I deserved someone better.
Feeling the warmth and strong, silent affection of this new man was scary, but was even more relieving. As I grew to trust him more, I worked my way into hugging him. That hug was like gold currency for my soul. He held me with gentle care. He earned my trust, and I was uncontrollably in need of his help.
After hugging, laughing and flirting, I worked my way into a kiss. It was a great kiss. Yes. This was a guy I could have sex with.
One night after a date, we snuggled on my couch. Leaning towards him, I let him make a move to kiss me. He kissed me sweetly and passionately. The feeling was nice and comforting. But as he kissed me, the feelings of the rape, the flashbacks began to overrun me. My stubborn will kicked in- I knew that I had to push through this to get past those feelings. My body was difficult to keep controlled, but I did the best I could.
When you first become intimate with a person, their body language helps you understand how they feel about you and gives you an idea about how they are reacting to you, especially while you try doing different things. It took considerable effort, but I was able to keep my body relaxed for the most part. But then my body began to react in very weird ways. I started to tremble uncontrollably. It was not like a cold chill, or even a quiver from being tickled, it was a full on convulsive movement. It made the feelings of helplessness all the more powerful.
The feelings and physical sensations were building up in me. As hard as I was going to fight their eruption, I knew there was a certain amount I would not be able to hide. I stopped kissing this guy, closing my eyes to hide my fear and took a deep breath.
My body is going to start doing some weird things. Ignore them. It's because of what happened.
We dont have to do this. If I am hurting you I can stop.
No, you don't understand. I cant control this and the only way to get rid of it Is to do this. I'll be fine if just ignore it, ok?
Well I dont want to hurt you.
Not doing this will hurt me worse than just doing this. And I will tell you, I promise, if I need you to stop.
Ok. As long as you are ok.
I'll be fine; just ignore it.
With that we slowly returned to kissing. As his hands touched me I could not stand him touching me in even PG-13 ways, so I would quickly move his hands to my outer frame- my arms, my hands, and my hips. Breathing was difficult. My muscles took effort and conscious ability to get them to relax. As I kissed him I had to relax them one by one. They would quickly tense again as the memories and flashbacks entered into my brain.
My body was electrified with sexual tension. It was so intense I felt like the desperate tension was a turnoff, or that the walls would begin to wiggle back and forth like the Matrix. My jaw clenched uncontrollably, no matter how hard I tried to relax it. We began to remove outer layers of clothing. The flashbacks came on strong. The physical effort it took to keep myself in presentable fashion was draining. Luckily I was so desperate for sex, my body had that extra boost of energy. My body became rigid and board-like because I could not keep up with the tension.
We kissed while our clothes were in different states of removal. He touched himself against my intimate parts as we kissed, but he delayed actually penetrating. That was helpful I think, because it gave me time to mentally prepare for what came next. Often he stopped to check to see if I was still comfortable with what was happening. I'm sure it was because quivers would rip through my body of shear physical terror, but I barreled through it. Stopping now would give that fear power.
Finally we were both so overcome with sexual excitement that he penetrated me. For months I had waited for sex. The idea I would be having sex with anyone new was devastating. But I had mourned that loss already a few weeks before. Now the sexual tension through my body was practically electric. If the wind blew the right way, I was sure I would have an orgasm. I was almost crying from the need to be relieved from the sexual tension I had had. My body was literally in pain from waiting.
As he penetrated me, I drew my breath and.....
nothing. I was so numb I could hardly feel him.
Not that he wasnt endowed enough, but there was something emotionally wrong with me. I was numb emotionally and it had affected me physically. It has happened before, but it was Never that bad.
With frustration I tried everything I could think of to enjoy it. Typically I can orgasm multiple times easily, but no matter which position we tried I could not orgasm. As I would near an orgasm and feel myself go numb I got incredibly angry from frustration. Again my stubbornness kicked in, but it didnt solve the issue.
Thats when it happened.
Suddenly my arms from my neck all the way to my fingers went numb as I tried to straddle him. Almost as if they had fallen asleep, i felt the numbness create a weird dissociative sensation for my arms. By shaking my hands, I began to feel a little more sensation, but the feeling did not go away. Then the walls started to move and the room began to spin. Panic overtook me. There was an incredibly intense feeling in my chest as I wanted to scream in terror and anguish. The tears welled up in my eyes as I became light headed and nearly passed out. Smacking myself in the face so I didnt pass out was the only thing I could think to do. My eyes stayed closed and my breathing became ragged like I was nearly sobbing.
Suddenly the ominousness of the situation hit me. This was going to be a battle, but this was going to be a battle I was going to win.
Again I clenched my teeth. I forced my ribs to control my breathing. My fists clenched the couch for dear life, but I pushed through.
But I only became more numb.
He finished shortly after. Which was practically a relief. I may not have completely "won," but I hadnt stopped. We never spoke of my weird body reactions, but he held me tightly and verified I was ok. Even though I was frustrated and angry, I was ok. We tried two more times that night. Never before had I tried so hard to orgasm, and never before had I failed so miserably, and for what seemed like no reason.
By the end of the night, between the drug flashbacks, the rape flashbacks, the numbness, and the lack of an orgasm, I was beyond frustrated; I felt hopeless.