The other night, my partner was kind of upset and quiet. I wasn’t exactly sure what was wrong, but I had been feeling pretty zoned out that evening and really just wanted to lay in the bed and do nothing and sleep. I ended up asking her what she was upset about, and she talked about my problems with intimacy. For obvious reasons, I have some trouble with physical intimacy…my body hurts, I’m ticklish, and I dissociate pretty easily in that situation.

She described the issue in a really good way, and it helped me a lot in understanding her experience of this problem. She said that it’s as if much of my body is covered in caution tape, don’t touch or you might trigger something. Don’t touch or you might hurt her. Don’t touch or she might leave her body and go up to the ceiling. I asked her what parts have caution tape, and she basically listed everything except my arms and legs. I really hadn’t understood this from her perspective before, as I’ve always told her to basically do whatever and I’ll tell her if I don’t like it. But for her, it’s not that simple. She does not want to take the chance of touching me on the caution tape areas even if I tell her it’s fine, because she is scared she will hurt me or trigger something and I won’t say anything.

I never realized what this was like for her. Part of this is that I am baffled that anyone would WANT to touch my body, so I didn’t think that it was a big deal that I didn’t want to be touched. I’m thinking that I might try to do some exposure stuff with allowing her to touch my body in a non-sexual way and increasing from there. I feel sad that she felt so sad about this whole thing, but I’m hoping that I can get better and we can be more intimate.

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