“I felt her sorrow, timidly come to my fingertips and breathe a sigh of relief.
As if suddenly there was a sanctuary willing to listen and gently hold the tears which she had buried so tightly into her skin and bones.”
This past year, many of those who have come to work with me were grieving the loss of a beloved partner through death or the end of a relationship.
Within the all consuming grief and the separation from the one they loved, they had lost their sense of self, leaving behind what felt like an unrepairable void in their sexual aliveness.
In these voids in our life, our sexual and creative vitality seems to shrink and fade and as that sense of aliveness forms much of our identity, these people were in denial of their grief and in search of support in the recovery of their sexual self.
To feel our fullest vitality, our most delicious sensations of pleasure, joy and life, we must be willing to fully be in our grief and sorrow.
For what is not met, held, forgiven and made peace with, leaves lingering ‘weight” on all our experiences.
We have an expectancy and demand upon our fragile self to be fully performing and fully functioning.
Labelling our joy desirable and our sorrows unwelcome. This conditional way of relating with our own self affects our ability to thrive in the world.
Yes, the feelings of arousal may dwindle.
Yes, we may feel we have lost our sexual confidence and our identity.
Yes, we may feel messy and undesirable.
But to flourish and feel fully alive again, our grief must feel safe to express without judgement or constrained to our demands of man measured time.
Our grief makes us feel untouchable.
People rush to fix and soothe us or in their own discomfort turn away,
It is not words that we need.
It is often silence and the simplicity of non-agenda touch that is the catalyst for our healing.
Our body has to feel at ease, safe, soft and receptive to all that we are and a gentle hand that expects nothing in return can soothe and melt our lonely defences.
Our grief may be temporarily tamed, but as wild horses, it will constantly be seeking a release. The more tame we think we have become in controlling our emotions, the more wild we are in truth, restricting.
Pent-up and fucked up.
We are naturally expressive, vibrant, flourishing and creative. Yet we manipulate and control all our wild juicy expressions, including our messy and chaotic.
In suppressing our grief, our loss, our pain, fearing to go there, judging it as bad, unacceptable, socially undesirable, we limit our capacity for pleasure, joy awesomeness and love.
The more we falsely parade the shiny, the more vengeful our un-met seethes, waiting for that crack that can topple over the whole fucking mountain.
Our capacity for love, and pleasure and all that we desire expands the more willing we become to welcome our sorrows and pain.
It may seem slightly nuts, and mostly confusing that I am speaking with you of grief, as a sexual trauma therapist.
But the most valuable information I could ever tell you, is that when we focus intensely on the challenges of our sex life, as the problem, we only cause it to shy further into withdrawal.
Often our persistence is aggressive in our approach to hurry up and fix the problem, adding to internal messages that feed our belief we are broken, our lack of self-esteem and not enough-ness.
Yet, it is not our sex that needs our intense focus. Before we get to the sex, we have to re-create the environment of our nervous system and our body. For what lies heavily on top of our natural abilities to express our sexual self, is all our grief, all our abandonment, all our rejection that makes us small and it is within that perceived shit storm that we refuse to go, that our sex is lost and dormant.
We have to be willing to show up for all of who we are.
And the wondrous most magical truth is, that in meeting our pain, our creativity, our sense of aliveness and our sexual self becomes free … and more delicious, more vibrant … more fabulously alive ❤️