When I met my first girlfriend it was a very confronting time. Not only was I confused about my sexuality, but I had never met somebody where the sparks flew so quickly. It was dynamic, alive and fun. We lived in each other’s pockets, talked every day, I had never met somebody whom I related to so much. She listened to me, engaged with me, her thoughts on the world were unique and she was very intelligent. I was hooked and fell in love quickly, but it scared the hell out of me. I remember crying a lot, but being with a woman, was different from a man. She kind of nurtured me through these emotions and I felt safe to start to express a little of how I was feeling. A few notable things happened during our first year together:
- I started experiencing nightmares: and I woke up feeling utter terror at times.
- When we were intimate or vulnerable, I would shut down soon after – meaning, I would feel as though I was trapped in a black hole and couldn’t get out. It was like being in a vortex. I would sometimes pick a fight after being intimate or vulnerable too -the experience making me feel on edge and wanting to escape. I also got really tired at times, which I now know was dissociation.
- I started to go to counselling for these issues, but found it very hard to make headway – sometimes even walking out of sessions when things got too ‘close’ or feelings got too intense. Things were incredibly difficult when I didn’t feel in control.
- We went away for a summer holiday and it was really fun and relaxing. One day I went along and got a reiki massage. I had never done anything like this and it was a weird experience. As the woman laid her hands over my liver/kidney area and then later my heart, I started to cry. I had no idea why. I recall her saying to me, ‘has something happened to you in your childhood’. I shrugged and said ‘I couldn’t think of anything’. She told me it was my last life and that I would need to release this in order to move on.
- That night, my girlfriend and I got drunk. We were dancing and hugging and then I started crying, completely out of the blue. I started heaving, I couldn’t stop. I lay down on the couch and spaced out. There was an empty glass of wine in front of me. I felt like I wanted to smash it against the wall and asked my GF to get rid of it. She also needed to take me to the bathroom as I regressed to a small child and was so, so scared. Eventually I fell asleep and the next day was awkward. I didn’t know why I had responded that way and didn’t have any language to talk about it.
- A couple of months later, we went to a crystal shop and I bought two crystals – one for anger or depression and the other one for healing (or something like that). I remember getting weird vibes when I wore them. One night, I wore the healing one to a party we were going to. I didn’t really want to go that night, I was feeling anxious for some reason. We met a woman there, who had a really cool name and it turned out that she was an author of three books. We asked her all about them and so she told a very confronting story about how her mother sold her to a Barrister when she was about 14 years of age. She talked of her sexual abuse and a couple of things she said, really connected with me. I felt very strange, I excused myself and went to the bathroom. The room was spinning, I was so scared. Apparently the author said to my GF, ‘I think your girlfriend has been sexually abused. She may not be ready to deal with this yet’ and recommended the book ‘Courage to Heal’. Soon after I asked my GF if we could leave and we got in the car and I bawled my eyes out. I had never cried like that in my life. I couldn’t stop and wept myself to sleep. It was so, so sad. I knew something had happened to me, something bad, I didn’t know what it was or who, I just felt like a fog had been lifted and that everything I had ever known was a complete and utter lie. And so the journey to recover my sense of self and identity began.