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2023-11-08 - 8:03 a.m.

Interesting post read this AM.

Men don't often recognize abuse. It is helpful when they do and share it with others to work through the ramifications and not perpetuate it.

A few evenings ago my boyfriend had work to do and I was tired after my work 😴 so I went to bed shortly after arriving at his home ( which is close to my work. He so sweetly picks me up. Offers for me to save money on Lyft or Uber and is so gracious Bd welcoming in enjoying my presence if I chose to stay at his place in town- in tge town I work in, but. Now this is key- ALSO as gracious and happy and wiling to pick me up to drive me home. He is just as happy to help me by taking me to my home 🏡

Zero pressure

Sometimes he will walk Bellatrix with me , then leave. Other times if it obvious I am spent he just offers to walk her for me, then leave.

That is absolutely what I need ❤️. Actual love
Not conditioned on how I am making him feel in a given moment. Not with me because I am his dopamine hit

Although we both joke he is trying yo maje ne addicted yo bring st his ge bought gold extra dark chocolate 🍫 and when he brings me home with him he also greets ne with a cup of hit decaf tea abd tgat chocolate which he brings to me in the easy chair where I put up me feet
Which yes on occasion he will massage .

This man is so beautifully attentive and loving.

Abd also has his own things tgat he apprechiates time apart to focus on. His friends...the coworker he walks with who is a Dad that enjoys a small break from family life once in a while , the other friend who comes by to play games, a long time gamer ( former coworker) who is the one person my boyfriend still games with, the about once monthly poker playing...his visits to his besties' home.

So the other night I went to bed and he came to cuddle just a bit as I fell asleep.

And he smelled of garlic.


I did not expect what a visceral actual PTSD moment I would have.

My brain went into recognition and response of body as if it were Art in the moment of pressure.

People put there. Men or Women understand that even if you have had a good sexual connection

There is NOTHING more destructive to a person's well being and capacity to enter relationship with you in any form than sexual abuse

And yes pressuring for sex
Or pressuring to not leave when one wants to
For your needs
Is terrifying abuse to a person.

Unwanted touching is abuse.

If your lover says specifically you may touch when try are sleeping that is one thing. Consent for holding and caress mane sense. Discuss what is OK before you touch a person in any way.

Art was so pushy and when I was tired or needed alone time or just wanted to go home cause I was worried about my kid or my dog and it was time to go

He argued , he cajoled, he got angry. Or hurt and frustrated and felt abandoned and upset abd it came out passionately like anger. He was ridiculously passionate but in this very vehement and what seemed unbalanced way to me.

What was controlling and very threatening to me.

I left and woukd not see him again but for one more time in public to break up. I met him st the diner he liked to go to breakfast with me on occasion but we never even made it in to eat. He got there early and had coffee already and I knew best to have the discussion outside as it was going to be loud Italian ugly so I asked if he would instead just come out and walk with me as we talked.

Fight was more like it.

He articulated what he expects in a relationship which was completely unaligned with what I expect.

Missing ingredient was mutual respect.

It was all about being there for his needs.

And minimizing mine.

Which my wonderful boyfriend does not do!

But, ot just was a bit of a shock to my system when faced with the overwhelming smell of garlic
Yo have my body respond so viscerally.

The thing is my boyfriend respected me. He read the body language. He is sensitive
He have me space so lovingly.
.I did not want yo speak of ART

I did not want to soil the moments if the tenderness and love of this man who so gently accepted my body's response and understood

It was not a reaction to him.


Muscle memory
Trauma memory is strong.

He joked " Maybe you are a vampire"
And " If I need some space I can just eat garlic".

He has twisted himor and jokes Bout being manipulative but it somehow lands perfectly
And then makes me laugh
As he is so non manipulative in general

When he does have a fear and tries to manipulate in one small way of talking about another reason to avoid something I know it. My current boyfriend is aboidant of uncomfortable things. He is not the passionate person who goes into fight mode. He is a big guy who actually goes into flight mode, and seeks to escape discomfort.

So when he Said , in regard to one family of mine " Oh is she is too tired after such a long day when we pick her up and doesn't want to to go to my family's for Thanksgiving I can understand. I think we should give the option."

I was clear in that " No. I think you do have anxiety and are worrying about this- about my fam meeting yours, but it will be fine!"
My boyfriend will sandwich his fears , or hide them, in a suggestion presented as if out of concern for another. A different kind of manipulative discourse. It is more fear of articulating his fears/ concerns.
But at the sane time the concern for the other is also genuine ( often, maybe not always really as much as presented).
The work he needs to do internally is getting comfortable with expressing his needs and accepting meeting of his needs in a relationship but also getting over fears.

That is really the work much of us have to do!
Fear is the driving force behind controlling behaviors and I even think violence.

Writing about this helps me process I think.

I think ot brave of Arik B to write so publicly about his sexual abuse. Cause yeah a mocking girl touching a guy is as much abuse and as horrifying as my EX who cajoled me to stay when in a histrionic state which cane across angry and aggressive.

No one's body should ever be put in that fight or flight state within a relationship!
And why woukd any person choose to assault a stranger?
Unwanted sexual touch is physical assault.
One kid of mine told me they were first sexually assaulted in middle school by a boy.
The boy did not now it was wrong. He did not use words. He did not ask. My kid was terrified at his unwanted touch. Parents out there, teach your kids the language of consent.
Don't opt them out of sex ed in school as your kids who don't get that class due to your religious objections are the ones not learning that no one should touch without permission. That is lesson . Instead keep the class abd go over the materials with your kids! You can teach then what you object to in the curriculum and guide then through it.

I look forward to seeing my boyfriend after work tonight when my body is not in the recoiing state of wanting to curl up.

And I do not want him to stop eating garlic.
I want to eat it too next time.

I want to condition my body to think of something other than the visceral reaction to past.

I know it's possible.

The joy of planting the grape hyacinth and realizing I completely forgot ( for a time) what they meant yo me in the past is proof of that. Now they can mean it still
No domestic violence
But don't remind me only of that blue ribbon

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