To say I’m nervous would be an understatement. I’ve been trying to keep busy and distract myself all day, because if I think about it too much, I want to throw up.
At the same time, I’m glad I’m going to do this, finally. It’s been brewing for a long, long time. It’s at least a year since E first gave me the name of a sex therapist she knew and respected–I’ll call her Marie. I finally called Marie in March, and then I had to get on a waiting list.
But I’ll back up a little, for myself as much as for any of you readers. It’s useful to remind myself why I’m even doing this. Although I’ve done a lot of healing work in therapy and am doing much better than last year (and the year before and the year before that…), I haven’t been able to make progress in my sexual relationship with my husband. We have a very sweet marriage. As you know, he’s patient and good-natured, and for some inexplicable reason, he basically adores me. We get along easily. We’re affectionate and enjoy spending time together. And we pretty much don’t have sex.
We used to. But since I’ve building awareness in therapy of what happened to me and what effects past abuse experiences have had on my life, I also realized how absent I am during sex. As in: I get aroused and **poof** I am no longer emotionally and mentally present. In some way, I know this is connected to having been aroused in situations I didn’t even want to be in, so it’s all mixed up with shame and confusion. At some rather primitive level, I suppose I think I am disgusting and terrible when I experience sexual desire. So I disappear.
Now that I realize this, I can’t do it anymore. I mean, I could, but I don’t want to. I don’t want to have sex with my husband where only my body is present. I want to be there as me, myself, my adult Q-in-the-current-moment self. But I don’t know how to do that. And E doesn’t have the expertise to give me those skills.
That’s where Marie comes in. She’s experienced and known in the community for her work on sex and relationship issues. When I called her office, I got offered a chance to see one of her interns, but I held out for the sexpert (ha ha).
I got to do an intake call with her back in March or April, and I had a good impression of her on the phone. I liked that she asked me, “Who do you think will be the client, you or the relationship?” After thinking a bit, I said, “The relationship.” So it’s going to be couple’s therapy, which is also scary as hell. It means I will have to open up and say more to my husband than I’ve been able to so far. That holds so much promise for the intimacy in our relationship, but also so much angst.
Tomorrow, though, it’s just me. We decided that the first few meetings I would go on my own, so Marie could get a better sense of what I’m struggling with. Then we’ll decide together when to bring him in.
My heart is literally beating faster, thinking about it. I imagine, though, that I will feel better once I have met her, seen her office, and started to get a sense of how we might work together. The unknown always adds to the fear.
The other thing I keep telling myself is this: fear is no reason to deny yourself something that you wish for. Maybe my sexual brokenness isn’t fixable. But maybe it is. Maybe it’s possible to have that type of connection with this kind, loving man I’m married to. And since it’s possible, shouldn’t I try? Yes, I tell myself, yes, I’ll try. And my friend Fear, I’ll hold your hand tight while we walk into Marie’s office together.
CREDIT: Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash