I was the one raped by a cop a year ago. Besides some dude that was on and off again before and after that, I haven’t really been physical with anyone. I’ve felt asexual for so long… Until last night I was with a guy I’ve been dating. It got physical for the first time last night and I had a physical reaction- there’s no better way to describe it besides straight PTSD. I was so scared I’d ask him to stop and he wouldn’t be one of the outliers that stops on the first hand push away or “no.” But he did. But I still cried and had to explain. He held me and was amazingly sweet, even told me he’d sit in the waiting room at therapy when I mentioned I definitely need to go back, but I still feel torn up inside. I didn’t think it still had a hold of me, but now I feel like it will always creep back into me when with someone new. How do I accept and live with that? How do I live with this? I got so angry last night because I had convinced myself I cleansed myself of it months ago, but now it feels like such a major part of my story forever.
It will not always creep back into you. You will get better. It will always be a part of your story, but you will not always have to live with it.
There was a part of you that didn’t think the rape still had a hold on you, and there was a part of you that manifested all of that asexuality you felt. One was a coping method of the thinking part of you, and the other was a coping method of the feeling part of you. Both parts were doing their best to protect you from pain, but they weren’t reconcilable, and they certainly weren’t sustainable.
It really is okay that you had a breakdown. The physical reaction you had was a good thing, one that quite frankly was inevitable. You needed to have it. You needed to feel all of that pain you’ve been avoiding. I know it didn’t feel like anything positive, but it was. It was progress.
You’re absolutely right to want to go back to therapy. You’ve still got some work to do, and this is the perfect time to do it. On a practical note, I highly recommend you find a therapist who specializes in EMDR. It really works, and it’s exactly what you need for the kind of trauma you experienced.
I know you aren’t feeling it at the moment, but this is you healing. You’re ready to move forward now in a way that you weren’t before, and things will be different. It won’t be an act of cleansing this time. It will be an act of acceptance, and you will get better.