CW: discussion of abuse, SA, severe mental health struggles, depression, negative self-talk, etc.
Okay, I think it’s time to talk about my insecurities and anxieties more because I feel like they’re at an all-time high. Or low? I dunno, whichever.
Basically, I feel like shit about myself and just, like, not confident at all. I feel on edge, anxious, dissociated, and I’m deeply disconnected with some core parts of who I am. I feel like I have nothing of actual value to give anyone. I mostly feel unattractive, undesirable, and generally off putting at the best of the times. I hate my body, and frequently hate myself. I’m constantly exhausted, have frequent emotional breakdowns, anxiety / panic attacks, and shutdowns where I can’t speak, can’t move, and can’t even think.
I’m also up all hours of the night most days, have fairly regular nightmares, dissociate through large chunks of the week, and I’m often off somewhere else in my mind at all times, or hyper-fixating on an anxiety. I’m forgetful, my memory feels fragmented and lost, I’m always nervous, distracted, depressed, overwhelmed, scared, and I feel like a burden.
It’s made both emotional and sexual intimacy pretty difficult. I struggle with impotence at times by getting stuck into my head about being an unfulfilling unsatisfying, and absent partner. That’s a thing I heard a lot in one of my past relationships from last year,after we stopped living together and things between us took a fast nosedive. That narrative was repeated so often to me that I honestly believed it for quite a while, and it’s really led to a lot of intense inadequacies now.
I’ve always been pretty independent and struggled a lot with socializing and large gatherings, but I definitely had a better balance before. This time last year I had multiple friends with benefits, was hosting sex parties, and enjoyed group sex quite often. It wasn’t perfect, but there were good times! Not that I need sex parties, group sex, or multiple play friends to be happy, of course.
In retrospect, a lot of that was coping with overwhelming trauma from living and operating out of survival mode for the last two decades. But ever since last June / July, with the series of breakups I had around that summer, I’ve been even more of a mess than usual. It wasn’t really the breakups that wrecked me though. Moreso it was the crushing realizations of how affected I was by back to back, to back, toxic and abusive relationships… I’d essentially gone through not one, not two, but three extremely harmful connections, in very volatile homes, over the past three years in which I was verbally and emotionally abused, manipulated, demeaned, controlled, guilted, and significantly gaslighted.
All of which was on top of my already long history of dealing with queerphobic street harassment, gender based violence, sexual assault, online death threats, my transphobic family disowning me, and my father’s overbearing expectations and regularly demeaning, degrading, and invalidating comments about me all throughout my teenage years.
Now that all of that harm has been removed from my life and I’m finally living pretty stable, spending my weeks going back and forth between Vern and Fenric’s place, which I both consider my homes, my brain and my body are playing catch up on what’s transpired over the last two decades. It’s been a rough process.
I feel just completely and utterly replaceable and invaluable to everyone. My self-worth is… almost non existent. I feel the most guarded I’ve been in years. I’m in need of near constant affirmations and assurances from those I’m closest with, I’m scared to express my needs, I internalize the frustrations or mood shifts in everyone around me, I feel responsible for every little thing that goes wrong (even if it’s completely illogical for me to do so), and I can barely go outside without feeling sensory overload or sheer panic. I’m triggered by so many things, be they memories, sounds, locations, actions, etc. and I’ve really cut myself off from any semblance of community.
Even polyamory has been really rough for me, and I genuinely hate that. The thought of my partners dating or hooking up with any new people in any capacity sends waves of terror through my body. I feel it swell up inside me, making me feel flushed, light headed, clammy and sweaty, my heart racing and my head swimming. I feel my voice vanish, my mind immediately imaging the absolute worse case scenario, and I shut down. It’s not exactly jealousy, though I think that’s a part of it. It’s more that I’m feeling unsafe and insecure in myself and I don’t feel like I can relax or truly feel comfortable with where I am in my life. I’m so scared of losing what I have now, scared of hurting those I love, but I also don’t want to stifle or hold back my partners in any way.
I’m just so tired.
I hate it. I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling like everything is a threat and that I need to be hyper-vigilant at all times.
There are people that I want to see, connections that I long to forge, but the truth is that I don’t feel ready for it. I miss community, yet I also don’t want it. I don’t trust it. I can’t handle being in loud, overwhelming space around too many people, and if I do share space with others I need to know, without a doubt, that they’re safe and I won’t have to exert any energy on defending myself, or validating my existence, or asserting my identity and pronouns, or anything even remotely draining. I need quiet. I need safe. I need relaxed.
And also my abusers are still invited out to all of the social events that I am, so, that’s an immediate “nope” anyway.
My counsellor tells me that’s the rub of having complex PTSD. It isolates you, keeps you from feeling connected to others, emotionally numbs you, exhausts you, isolates you, strips away your self-worth, makes you feel shame and guilt and all these other shitty things. All of the extremely negative messaging I’ve been subjected to over most of my life has really stuck and it’s real fucking hard to re-write any of it. Not that I’ll even ever be able to undo it all. This is something that’s been affecting me in various ways since I was a kid, and I’ll be coping with and healing from it for the rest of my life.
But there’s been slightly more hope recently.
Just this past weekend was Queer Prairie Kitten’s birthday, and while I was initially super worried it actually ended up being the best social night I’ve had in a very long time. I was surrounded by good metamours, new friends, and Fenric came with me. We had a few drinks, cuddled with a hottie, and I made-out with four hot queers! It was extremely affirming, comforting, chill, and just my speed with less than 20 people around, all of whom were fairly familiar with one another.
I need more of that. More small gatherings with partners, metamours, and friends that allow space to cuddle, makeout, chat, and enjoy each other’s company in a calmer environment. But I don’t want to burden anyone with that either, or put expectations for it onto somebody else either.
I just sincerely hope that I can find and have more similar opportunities because it’s exactly what I need in my healing process right now.
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