Good Morning and Happy Monday,
I've had a bit of a chance to sit with some of the resonant things that struck me in what has been shared in response to this question about the, what I perceive to be, fundamentally visceral nature of what I have experienced in being sexually betrayed.
I don't think I'll be able to touch on all of them in this one post, and not even sure I'm ready to fully engage with much of it, but want to try to at least begin some engagement and dialogue on some of the things.
Sorry if this is more stream of consciousness than not...it's sorta where I am I guess.
(some discussion of sexual assault ahead)
First, to the ladies who (very vulnerably) shared they felt some sort of sense of rape witht their betrayals That is the stuff of nightmare...and I am so sorry you had to encounter that. How utterly horrible. Full stop. I think that concept might be a launching point in this discussion though. I wonder even if I am even experiencing some version of the same thing. There is a VERY deep sense of violation at the center of this swirl for me..like at what I would call my core...even shades of feelings of assualt/non consent (not violent/physical of course...but conceptually, psychologically, emotionally..yes). And since several responses here mentioned my visceral reaction to OM's semen...I think I may see a possible connection here? Also, the issue of ownership was mentioned in connection to this strugggle for me as well. The thinking sorta going like my core/primal reaction to the semen thing likely comes from a kind of outsized sense of ownership I have connected to my wife's body and a kind of failure to understand her autonomy. And if I could relinquish any sense of ownership, and correct the lenses with which I view her autonomy, then perhaps I could get a greater measure of peace with some of this visceral sex stuff. And, at soem level, semen is semen. Whether mine, OM's, or someone else's. Go to the lab, put it in a test tube under a microscope and it is all just the same cocktail of proteins and cells from one man to another and really has no reason, in and of itself, to cause such visceral disgust.
I have treid this framework and I just keep slamming up against walls with it. I get it on some fundamental, clinical, "facts only" level. Truly I do. But I guess those are the walls I keep slamming into. I'm not finding any comfort in the lab. Because the lab and my heart don't relate. (Gently and carefully) using the illustraion of victims of male sexual assault, one of the common things these victims (of both genders) will do...is scrub themselves. Obsessively. Even to the point of injury. Sometimes for a really long time. Because, while the touches and bodily fluids (and all the other physical horrors of assualt) that were forced upon them are in fact still, clinically no different at all from their husband's, SOs, or partner's, the context they encountered them in makes them entirely, wholly, completely, thoroughy...different. It's not the semen these folks are desperately trying to scrub off of themselves...it is the violation. The semen in that instance becomes a sort of definitive symbol, a representation of the core violation. And that shit don't scrub...especially not in the lab. So, yeah, for me, I don't think I'm hung up on some proteins and skin cells, and fluids. But I AM stuck in ALL of what those things REPRESENT. And, for me, (I think?) it represents violation. It represents I think even a sort of permanance. The act of sexaully mating, by design, is meant to create permanent things between those mating...offspring being the ultimate example of that. And that particular bodily fluid is the near symbolic embodiment of that. Oxytocin injected into our brains during that act is one of the most powerful hormones in exsitence...whose sole purpose is to create an exteme pairing bond...hinting at permanance. A mate for life kind of thing. And that the person who consequentially opened within me the deepest places of vulnerabiltiy that can be opened in a human being by pledging and promising and inviting me to be that mate for life person who will be the only one to share those permanent bonds, offspiring, sexual union, and all the other things mating for life brings...when that person gives all of those things to someone else...essentially mates with someone else...while being life bonded/mated/married to me...that is what the sex, the fluids, and really everything that is exclusively within a mate for life context...symbolizes to me. It's not about semen...but it also really is.
Well...this sorta became a book. About semen. Awesome.
I want to touch on the ownership and autonomy things as well as rugsweeping and remorse too. And also to some individual posters whose thoughts in this thread resonated with me. But think I should probably do that in another post so I will do that.
I also want to add, I am not at odds with anyone personally in this response. I TOTALLY GET things are being shared with a true heart to help. And I SO REPSECT and APPRECIATE that. I just really want to get help here and the only way I can see that happeneing is if I share in gut level honesty why/where/how I am struggling with those things and why they don't seem to be "working" for me. THANK YOU again for your investment in this. In me. A random stranger on the internet.