LULLABY: Finding Rest After Abuse

Last week, I talked about my experience with emotional abuse, specifically mentioning at one point that I am currently practicing celibacy. I'm going to explain that a little more in depth in this post for those of you who might be confused by my seemingly extreme decision.


Let me first quickly go over how the majority of our sexual interactions went.

We would either go for a drive in his vehicle to a secluded area, meet at a hotel, or sneak away to an empty room somewhere closeby.
Once at our desired locale, it was all very perfunctory. Wam, bam, thank you ma'am.
And then, after everything was said and done, we parted ways, much like 2 ships passing in the night.

Usually, there was no lingering, no cuddling, no exchanging of kind words. Well, at least that's how it was at first. Later on, there were parting words of "I love you" on both sides that seemed genuine (they were on my end, I assure you), but that was pretty much it. The whole endeavor was essentially wrapped up with a "good job," some pats on the back, and a noncommittal "see you later."

Initially, I felt very empowered by this. Look at me, having sex with a man without letting the messy part of a relationship complicate things. I'm so progressive and sexually open. Who needs commitment?

I look back on that now and cringe.


I had absolutely no idea the profound harm that I was doing to myself.

A few months ago, I was listening to one of my favorite songs by Roy Kim, a Korean singer / songwriter, and after the first verse I began to sob. The song is called Lullaby, and the first verse is written as follows:

I want to sleep with you.
I won't touch a thing.
Just lay down beside me, and I'll sing you a song.
Just close your eyes, and just go with the flow.
Leave yourself, go astray.
Oh, don't worry; I'll stay.
Listen: la, la, lala, lalala, la, lala.
Still a wonder to me how I met such a beauty, my love.

For the full song, view the YouTube video below.
Highly recommended. Roy Kim is the best.

Now, to most this seems like a sweet little song that a man might sing to the woman that he loves. It's adorable, and the lyrics are wonderfully gentle in nature.

To me, this song is relief.

I don't know - or at least I don't remember - what it's like to lie down in a bed next to a man without him either demanding or expecting sex. The first two lines alone trigger a waterfall of tears.

I want to sleep with you.
I won't touch a thing.

Even thinking about sleeping in a bed with another man right now sends me into a panic that, until recently, I haven't been able to explain. It's already terrifying enough to open yourself sexually to another human being, and it only gets harder if sexual activity has been, in the past, closely related to abuse.

After abuse, everyone is a potential abuser to one who was abused, regardless of who they are. There are a few exceptions to this rule, of course, and long term friends, family, etc are exempt from this harsh reality. Typically, women are as well, depending on the nature of the abuse. At least, that's how it has been for me.

Moving on down the verse, the man singing this lullaby assures the woman that he loves that she doesn't need to worry. He'll be there when she wakes up.

Oh, don't worry; I'll stay.

The first time he got a hotel for us, I opted to stay the night because I felt bad about him paying for a full night only to use it for half an hour or so. Plus, the bed was comfortable, and it was kind of nice to have a mini vacation in the middle of the week.

He left immediately after he was sated.

I can't tell you how odd it felt waking up the next morning in a hotel room, all alone. It's a feeling that I'll never forget, and it's a feeling that I wouldn't wish on my greatest enemy. I don't even wish that feeling on him. Needless to stay, I didn't stay the night at any hotel rooms that we used in the future.

All of this has led me to remain celibate until I feel I am ready to engage sexually with another human being. And even then, I will do a much better job of guarding my heart from people who don't have my best interests in mind.

As I've said before, I have a lot of things to work on, and I have no business being in a relationship until I have some of that sorted. So until then, it's celibacy.

I'm not ready to have sex again.
I don't even want to have sex again. Not yet, at least.
I'm still at the point where never having sex again seems like a dream.
And that's ok.

Time heals all wounds, as they say.

Peace.
Stef.

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