I was sexually abused as a child by someone that I knew ( step-grandfather). Now, I have a very difficult time trusting my boyfriend and knowing that he really truly loves me. I get upset easily and I worry way too much. I don’t know how to feel confident about his love for me. Please help. By the way, getting professional help is out of the question due to the amount of money it takes. Thanks!!
If I understand your problem, you are able to function sexually with your boyfriend, but find that the emotional side of your relationship is suffering. You say that you are afraid to trust him, that you become upset easily and worry way too much. Let’s start with the trust question. When you say that you can’t trust your boyfriend, what thoughts come to mind. Are you afraid that he will cheat on you, hurt you, betray you? You need to identify what you are thinking and feeling.Then, you need to ask yourself how your thoughts and feelings are connected with the sexual abuse. Are they the same? Usually, when a person has been sexually or emotionally traumatized, the mind will resurrect the old feelings in our current relationships. Dredging up old pain is the only way the mind knows to heal. You see, usually, when a trauma occurs, we bury the feelings alive–just to get through the situation–but, later, the feelings rise to the surface so that you can work them through, heal and, eventually, let them go.So, I think that all your feelings, lack of trust, upset and worry are the old feelings coming to the surface. How can we heal the old feelings now? You can begin writing a journal in which you describe your earlier abuse, how you felt, what you wanted to say and do to your abuser. Some people feel healed by actually confronting the person that abused them. Others write letters that they mail (some people discard the letters).The point is, you need to focus on what happened, feel how you felt then and, then, you need to find a way to talk about those feelings with someone that cares. I think you could try talking with your boyfriend. First, explain to him what I said about the mind bringing old feelings in order to heal. Also tell him that the mind works by association–when something upsets you in the present the mind is unconsciously associating back to what happened in the past in order to heal.Next, follow this plan. Every time the upset, worried or mistrustful feelings come up, your job is to go to your boyfriend and: describe what upset you, label the feeling in the present, and tell him what memory is being sparked by the current situation. For example: Your boyfriend comes home late and doesn’t call. Your are to: describe what he did (or said), say how you felt about it, and, most important, connect to how the current event reminds you of your earlier trauma. Here’s how my formula would sound: When you came home late, I felt so worried, upset and which reminded me of the day that my step grandfather. . . . I think you get the idea. Note: It is very important that your boyfriend understand that when you come to him, it is not so that you can blame him. Let him know that he is merely a catalyst who is helping you to remember and work-through old hurts.By the way, soon, I will be opening a members only chat room. Free with membership is the chance to join in a relationship discussion group run by me. Talking about your painful experience, in a group run by me, is an excellent and safe opportunity for healing, and I urge you to participate. After you apply my techniques, please let me know how your healing is progressing.