My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (34)




Let’s talk about control.

Because of the field I’m in, I presented marriage enrichment weekends (No, I don’t see any irony in that, what do you mean?) and I would ask the following question for the attendees; who feels that their partner is trying to control them? Time and again one person in the relationship would raise their hand whilst the other partner might look shocked or offended. Sometimes both would raise their hands and then you can bet on it, they are in a power struggle.

I thought I also have a control problem, for one I like to follow my own rhythm, I also like to be active and pro-active and make suggestions on how to proceed with things. I think some people might perceive it as an attempt to control. I also have other more controversial inclinations, like I find it very difficult if a man opens a car door for me and to sit in the passenger seat, it makes me anxious. I decided it says something about me wanting to be in control.

But the time came (and it was very recently) that I decided it have nothing to do with control. To understand why and how I came to this conclusion I need to fill you in and share something you don’t know about me yet; as a child I was sexually molested. (If you feel shocked or sorry for me, don’t; if we can believe stats, I share this fate with almost a fifth of the world’s population; men and women – that is sad and shocking!)

Because of this I’ve really made a study of it and really worked hard to heal and overcome. In the process I realized that there are very little ‘real’ help out there for victims – and none for perpetrators! I also realized that three things are needed for healing, namely working through the emotions, dealing with the consequences and identifying the triggers. Most therapists only work on number one. (One day I am going to hold workshops all over the country on the consequences for adults if they’ve been molested as children – just need to get a sponsor first.)

I’ve made a long list of the consequences and started to work on them as I identified them in myself. (And believe me there were things that I thought I worked through or didn’t have and they would surprise me much later by appearing.)

That brings me back to control; as it is one of the consequences of molestation I was very aware of it. (You must understand, in molestation all control is taken away from you and therefore the fear to be controlled or have no control. As the exception people choose a relationship where they have no control as they think that is the way it should be.)

But then the other day I was in the car- in the passenger seat – with a girl friend of mine. We were driving towards a mall. At some point she asked me where we should turn and with a shock I realized that I was so relaxed that I actually had no idea where we were. It was in stark contrast to the discomfort and anxiety I normally feel when sitting next to a man and then it hit me. My reaction to a man opening the car door for me and me sitting next to him whilst he drives has nothing to do with control but everything with a trigger. That action takes me right back to the molestation and when I realized it, I knew that I can overcome; it lost its power over me.

You see, sometimes someone steal something from you and that one person and one event can even steal your whole life, but it is up to you if you are going to allow it. It can stop here!

3 Responses to “My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (34)”

  1. Charmaine says:

    Well done Lorette! Too many adults are living half a life because of feelings of shame and anger. You are so right, it can stop here!

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  3. Carmen says:

    Well put Lorette!

    I can really identify with what you’ve written. Not just with this post, but many others. We need to acknowledge the severity of molestation and the consequences it has on us as adults. Too many victims are ashamed when they are not to blame. If you ever start that work shop, I’ll be the first to sign up!

    Thanks for sharing your insight and your story.

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