TW: This post may trigger some unpleasant memories for some of you. Please read with caution. xx
Growing up, I’ve had a loving family, a good education, the ability to try whatever I wanted to try. I was a pretty happy kid because of the security blanket placed above me by my family. My family were my best friends. I didn’t have many friends growing up, and a lot of the “friends” I had were not true friends. Little did I know that experiences I had as a child and teenager would come back to haunt me as an adult.
Throughout my life I strived to be normal. But my reactions to things growing up showed me I wasn’t normal. I remember kids my age telling me how they’d watch PG-13 movies and R-rated movies with their families. Shallow Hal was my first PG-13 movie and I thought it was hilarious! Comedy movies don’t bother me, I can appreciate normal comedy, raunchy comedy and dark humor.
But I also remember being young and seeing sex scenes on television and in movies. I remember my brother teasing me by locking me in the room when there’d be a scary scene or a sex scene and I’d be crying to be let out because I didn’t want to watch it anymore. He’d laugh and wouldn’t understand the big deal. I had a combination reaction of being traumatized and curious of what I saw. My family regularly watched movies with sex scenes in them, some of them borderline rape. My mother would tell my dad to fast forward it and told me to cover my eyes, but I’d glance over and see things that I can’t unsee.
I’m haunted all the time by memories and images and it is difficult because I can’t articulate it properly into words. The other day I had a mini panic attack because G and I were watching the Newlywed Game; the host asked the men which of their wives’ friends would they most likely want to see naked. G laughed and asked what kind of stupid question is that, and agreed with me if the answer was anything besides “none” you were a bad husband. He got frustrated with me because I was triggered by that and he didn’t do anything. I try to contain my triggers but I’m an open book.
This morning I teared up and had another mini panic attack because I was listening to “Black Barbies” by Nicki Minaj. It brought me back to the times when I saw G kept looking up naked pictures of her. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t lived through it. You can’t hate somebody you’ve never met or talked to, but I just find myself loathing celebrities/porn stars that I know G has seen naked. It doesn’t even bother me the slightest that G has been with other women besides me, but porn does bother me. It makes me cringe inside knowing he’s seen thousands upon thousands of women naked. They say nudity is natural and beautiful and a way into truly knowing someone.
People laugh or dismiss me when I say that I have PTSD and triggers from pornography. It’s just porn calm down. Every man looks at porn and every woman just has to accept it or be a lesbian. Porn is no big deal everybody watches porn! Who cares about nudity? It’s natural! It just makes me feel more depressed and like my feelings aren’t valid. I have so many triggers and I’m just discovering some now. It hurts because G is right, I can’t avoid everything and we can’t avoid everything that has suggestive humor or sex/nudity. But I wish I could. I’m triggered by certain celebrities. I’m triggered by rape scenes or sex scenes on television/movies. I’m triggered by the word porn. I’m triggered by women with better faces or bodies than me. If you don’t have PTSD you don’t understand what it’s like.
Sometimes I wake up crying and sweating because I had a nightmare. It’s not even close to being G’s fault. Being with him reopened wounds from my youth. Being with him means I have to face head on what I tried to bury deep for so long. I can shake it off for a little bit and then it comes back. I’m scared by the fact that women with fake bodies are captiviating, and that someone with a nice(r) body can catch my man’s attention even for a second. I guess it’s because of how I conduct myself when in a relationship. When I was single, sometimes I’d get curious if a celebrity had pictures leaked, and I followed accounts online (not nude accounts, but ones with sexy people). But when I got with G I stopped because I knew I wouldn’t want that to be done to me.
These last almost 4 months have been great. Besides G’s slip last week, things have gone smoothly. I’m learning to talk about it less with him and he’s been more comfortable talking with me. I can feel my breathing change and my eyes tear up, even as I write this. Sometimes I feel like I’m too damaged for love. I have so many triggers, I get upset easily, I feel pain in my heart and my soul. It takes a lot of work but G and I are moving past this.
G understands me well, but I know part of him can’t rationalize why I feel how I feel about porn. You wouldn’t think so, but I’m a very sexual person. I love making love with my man, and learning new things together. But I prefer leaving others out of our bedroom and minds. It makes me sad because the news still publishes stories about naked celebrities as if they’re news, and that is triggering for G and many men. I panic when I see sexy news headlines because it just makes me think of everything.
I’ve been manipulated into revealing sexual information about myself and people have saved my innocent pictures to masturbate to. I’ve heard men saying they wanted to take my virginity because of how innocent and pure I was. It disgusts me. I’ve walked in on my dad and brother looking at porn and my dad screamed at me. I still remember it. I remember the person who manipulated me into revealing sexual information about myself masturbating as he got the information. I still cry sometimes over it. I don’t see a therapist. I take medication and it is helpful, but I feel I’m broken. Broken beyond repair.
I feel abnormal and like I should just be locked away from people sometimes. G and I are both broken souls who come together and heal. But sometimes I just feel like I’m too damaged. I’m at work and I’m just tearing up writing this because these are just raw emotions spewing out of me. I love G so much, more than anything in the whole world. He completes me and is my soul mate. He gives me a sense of purpose, helps me grow and also helps me heal. But I just have so many issues. Sometimes I feel he’d be better off with a girl who loves porn, has a good amount of friends, is more sociable, who wouldn’t mind not seeing him everyday. G still chooses me despite my flaws. He is very careful with me and holds me to the same standards he wants to be held to. He’s been hurt before and I try to he as good to him as possible. I also try to be understanding and patient.
I know it is counter to his progress for me to bring it up a lot, but it is reassuring for me. I know that he gets frustrated because he feels like I don’t trust him or that he should just do it anyway because I get snappy and difficult no matter what he does. It makes me sad because I know I’m difficult and I know I should be in therapy but I don’t want to be judged.
I love G more than the stars in the sky and the sand on the beach. I couldn’t picture my life without him in it. I shouldn’t snap at him or give him the quiet treatment, I should be able to talk with him better after 2 years. I don’t mean to fail. I love you, G. Please continue to forgive me and understand I don’t mean to behave badly towards you, I’m just a mess.