Why I didn’t run, though I wanted to…

Trigger warning for sexual abuse and assault survivors. 

A few weeks ago, I started back to online dating. It was the third “date” with one man and I was still feeling ambivalent about where I saw things with him. So  prior to said date I messaged him that I was “not ready for more than kissing and cuddling.” He said he understood. I believed him. 

On said date, there was so much more that occurred. In some ways my body responded and in other ways I shutdown. My mind screamed from within to get out. To leave to run. No, I don’t want this and not with him. Yet parts of me also enjoyed the attention. This seems counterintuitive to many, yes, I understand. It did to me at first as well. 

In my state of cognitive dissonance, I was internally frozen. I chose to stay and play along rather than run and risk being completely overwhelmed by him. At least in going along I was able to feel at least a little bit in control. To run I risked being overwhelmed, which I knew from experience would lead me to being frozen and unable to move. 

Yes, in the beginning things were enjoyable and I allowed things to go too far. One boundary after another fell and before I knew it I was in my own living hell. 

You’d think at my age I’d have this down. You’d think at my level in life I’d not be so naive and trusting. Or maybe these are the things I think. In the end, another layer of my childhood came up this week to be healed. I used this heart meditation to see and love the little girl who was harmed when she tried to fight back, when she tried to run. 

The next day, he wrote and wished me a good day. Several hours later I was able to respond and this is what I said:

My day had a rough start, but ended better. I had a tough time with last night… I had hoped we would talk about sex before trying to have it. There was a lot of conflict for me as part of me wanted to stay and part of me didn’t. I wasn’t ready to go as far as we did. I realize this may be hard to understand but sometimes sexual abuse survivors can respond in contradictory ways. For me, it means that I go along with some things I don’t necessarily want to because I’m more afraid of fighting and being hurt than if I just went along. So while part of me was aroused, part of me was also afraid. 

He apologized for putting me in that situation. I saw where he might also be suffering on that day, for at least from what he had said beforehand, he saw women in his life suffer at the hands of other men. 


Metta to those who have suffered and also to those who caused that suffering.  Until survivors and perpetrators of harm can heal their inner conflicts, these things will continue to happen. 

Namaste 

See also obligatory sex.

29 thoughts on “Why I didn’t run, though I wanted to…

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  1. Hugs to you, Tiffany. I’m so glad to see that you’re conscious of and accepting of this part that needs some healing. She needs love and compassion, and nurturing! That’s tough to do sometimes, because it’s easy to say….I should be over this by now. I think I’m most happy to see your open communication with your partner. That’s critical and wonderful!! Much love to you. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so glad you are. I’m sorry you may not, but also know that the right guy won’t be scared away. I know it can’t be easy at all, Tiffany, but I’m so hopeful for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m thinking of you today! Getting ready for a Chinese New Year’s party for The Year of the Cock (some say Rooster).
        Since I don’t have any Rooster socks, I’m going to wear my woodpecker ones 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Awww! Haha! That’s awesome. (Why wouldn’t anyone take advantage of an opportunity to say cock??) Have a great time (in your pecker socks), Tiffany!

        Like

      1. Thank you, I did have some gentle encouragement from a dear friend and I’m glad I said something too, in the end. I didn’t want to perpetuate the cycle. Now to be a mom who inspires her children to also break these damned circles! 💪

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a loving perspective…it seems that there is more understanding than fear in what you wrote. I’m amazed at your words of explanation to him and how else would he know if you couldn’t rise out of fear to speak about your feelings so clearly? I feel that I’m outside looking in because I don’t personally know the experience of sexual abuse but I can hear strength in your understanding here. It’s beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jayne, yes, I’m less in fear now than when in the situation. I waited until I had an understanding prior to writing him or this post. Thank you for your beautiful and supportive words, brought a few tears to my eyes and my heart glowed! Thank you!

      Like

      1. Well, it was honestly beautiful to see the beauty in it and very easy which was refreshing. It’s as if great darkness can be turned into something brighter than light with a vividly sharp edge. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring me from the best places. Jayne

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jayne, I feel like you’ve just described so much of why I do this work: the transformation of something “ugly” or mildly beautiful into something greater. You’ve inspired me further with your support. Thank you for this! ❤ Tiffany

        Liked by 1 person

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