Body Memories and Boundaries

Please welcome Sofia Leo from I Won’t Take it with an honest post about relationships after abuse.


Readers of my blog will be surprised to hear that I’ve been seeing a BOY. Yup. Sworn to singlehood (“one can only truly be enlightened if one is celibate” was my mantra for almost two years) I never would have thought the day would come.

We met via eHarmony. I know, right? Turns out there’s something to it. We emailed a few times, texted and finally talked on the phone before scheduling an in-person meeting. We hit it off immediately and last weekend was my fifth visit to his house, 90 miles away –

Week Five and another play-date with D. His kids (a girl age 17, and a boy age 16) were at their Mom’s for the weekend so we had the house to ourselves and I spent Friday and Saturday nights because The Girls were busy elsewhere so I had no social obligations.

Ate well-prepared venison for the first time and learned to cook it, too. We stayed in, sitting around in sweats, watching movies. D was sleepy and drifted off a lot on Saturday, laying on the couch.

He’s depressed about his work situation (laid off a couple of weeks ago) but would not easily admit to that fact. He’s scared of me and what I might represent. You see, from the moment we met we recognized something in each other. We have the same history, although we haven’t told each other our whole stories.

He admitted last week that he signed on to eHarmony looking for a fuckbuddy. What he found was me and I think he’s having trouble with the notion that he and I will never be just fuckbuddies. He was not prepared to find a kindred spirit and he is freaked the fuck out.

I can see the wheels in his mind churning constantly, watching for me to reject him for something, trying to catch me in a moment of disgust or disapproval. I think if he saw it, he would pounce on it and find a way to start an argument and make me leave. He’s just that scared, hence the sleeping as an escape from reality if only for a little while.

The fact is, he doesn’t want to be fucked, he wants to be loved. He pours his feelings out through his fingertips and onto my body where they are having some really strange effects. In the beginning, I thought, “Right on! Go ahead and turn me inside out – I love it!” and I soaked it up like a sponge. Now, however, I can feel much more behind his actions and it has me wondering just what’s going on in his mind.

He is giving, and only giving, taking nothing in return and frustrated because his Little Brain is refusing to obey his commands.

I understand what’s happening and am waiting to see if he comes to the same conclusions – that this is not a meaningless FWB situation we have going on here. Oh, it might not last forever, but if we part it will be as friends, with no hard feelings and hopefully some healing on both sides.

As for me, I feel very safe with him. He spends a lot of time massaging me, finding all the little tight spots and working them out with his hands. It is bliss, I gotta say.

I told him that I have three triggers that I won’t tolerate being messed with – I will not be tied up, choked or marked. He has been respectful and not made me feel trapped.

Yesterday morning we were laying in his recliner and he was massaging my neck. I carry my stress and baggage in my neck muscles and he has not been able to work the knots free, hard as he’s tried.

I was fairly relaxed, but he came upon the largest knot and commented on it, “this spot is always tight, isn’t it? Does it give you problems?” as he slowly worked his way towards the base of my throat. With one finger, he probed a spot that instantly made me flush. “This muscle has been torn in the past…” he thoughtfully moved his thumb in circles, talking very quietly, maybe paying attention to my reaction or maybe not, I really don’t know.

I do know that my brain was flooded with memories of that time when ex#1, the psycho, came home drunk and high on god knows what. I was eight months pregnant and feeling like shit on toast. It was very late and he was raging. He stomped around in his heavy hiking boots, kicked a lamp that was right next to my head where I sat on the couch barely awake, shattering it into pieces. I knew he was winding up for something truly terrible, so I tried to diffuse the situation by announcing it was time for bed. I got up slowly, my big belly a real hindrance, and headed down the hall to our bedroom.

He caught me by the shoulder, jerked me around to face him and began yelling, spewing foul breath and spittle an inch from my face. His eyes got dark and he made a decision. I needed to die. It was that simple. I was not worthy of living. I would make a terrible mother and it was his duty to protect his unborn son from me. He was too out of it to realize that without me there would be no son. That I was carrying a boy was never a question.

He shoved me up against the wall and starting choking me, still shouting about what a horrible person I was. The scariest part of this whole incident is that when my vision started going black around the edges, I welcomed death. My life was hell with that man and I really wanted to check out in that moment. I didn’t want to be a Mom. I didn’t want to be a wife. I didn’t want to have to live through any more nights of his addiction as he was chased by demons of his own making. I was d-o-n-e. Go ahead, just end it.

For whatever reason, his Mom was there that night (We lived in her house. She worked the graveyard shift and should not have been at home that night) and she managed to distract him enough that he let go of me. I slid to the floor, gasping for breath and crying. For a long moment I was sorry he hadn’t finished the job.

The rest of the night was spent trying to keep the psycho from leaving the house. He puked in the hallway. Wet himself. Finally fell out of a window that was high enough off the ground it knocked him out cold. His mom and I stood looking down at him, looked at each other and then went to bed. He woke up on the lawn and came inside like he did it every day. He denied everything that had happened the night before, calling us crazy and refusing to even think about getting help. He admitted what drugs he’d taken the night before and that he’d downed a surprising amount of cheap ale. The ale seemed to up the Crazy Factor and ever after I did my best to keep him away from it when I could. He never choked me again, but he did like to grab me by the throat and glare at me like he was thinking about it. I hid the bruises and told no one.

All this came vividly back and I had a moment of panic. I pulled away, head down, trying to control my breathing. I didn’t want to freak out. This shit happened so long ago that it shouldn’t be affecting me this way, right? Obviously I still have some work to do on this particular set of memories.

I’ve read about Body Memories and had a few myself, but this was above and beyond anything I’d experienced to date and I did not like it one bit.

D asked if I was okay and pulled me close again. “You’re safe with me,” he said and I believed it.

Maybe I’m crazy for trusting this man I’ve known only a short time. It’s a sad fact that my Picker is seriously out of whack, but I didn’t choose this one – eHarmony decided we were compatible on some other level and I decided to trust them to see where it might go.

Now I’ve arrived at a place I’m very unsure of. I trust D like I never trusted a man in my life. If he’s a monster inside it’s a species I haven’t encountered yet. I suspect he is another tortured soul finally becoming brave enough to try again, but do I take that chance?

I don’t have D’s permission to blog about him, so I’ve been filling up my “draft” folder with these musings. He doesn’t know my real name. He knows my town but not my address. I can flit into and out of his life at MY whim. Has this given me a sense of safety that I wouldn’t normally have, encouraging me to take absurd risks? I mean, who drives 90 miles to the house of a man they’ve never even met? Who then spends the night? I may have lost my mind…

Interestingly, I left my eH profile up and have not had even ONE response  besides D’s. Not a one. A few profile views but nothing more. How weird is that?

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18 thoughts on “Body Memories and Boundaries

  1. Thank you for sharing this! However way it turns out, I am glad you found each other and have that trust and well…harmony right now.

    I need to read up on the body memories concept. It doesn’t happen often but it has happened where something will trigger a prior experience and the other person ends up confused or thinking I am weird for it.

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  2. I’m so glad you got free of ex#1, the psycho. It’s not easy to break away from a relationship like that. Great that you’ve found someone you can trust. We can’t live our lives expecting the worst to happen when we’ve had the worst happen (hope that makes sense). Everyone deserves a fair go and I really hope this one is the right one xxxxx

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    • It was a battle to get away from ex#1 and you would think I’d learned all the Life Lessons I needed to learn, but he was only the beginning. I am an optimist, though, so I don’t go through life expecting disaster around every corner. I sure to try to peek before turning it, though 🙂

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  3. Good for you that you are trusting to a certain extent again, and taking things on your terms. When you say that he doesn’t know your real name, does that mean he knows you by a screen name? Just curious.

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  4. Sounds a bit like it’s baby steps for both of you! Trust always takes time to build after all. It’s good for you both to learn that there are trustworthy people out there, people with whom you can make a connection and be OK to just be in the same room together. If he’s picking up on your past issues, then he’s probably smart enough to work out that you may have chosen to give him an alternative name for yourself, and if he’s that smart, he should also be smart enough to go along with it until the point where you’re both ready for the whole truth.

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  5. I am Dave, also known as D in th the above posting. I am also an idiot suffering from a disease that half of all people suffer from, testosterone poisoning. (This disease brought to my attention by Ms. Sofia). I am here at this site for enlightenment. See I overreacted about another blog posting Ms. Sofia posted elsewhere & this is one of a dozen sites where she is assisting in my education. I took a single paragraph an interpreted it as a stand alone paragraph, not in the context of the previous hundreds of postings aand thousands of comments. I am here to tell all that I love Ms. Sofia with all of who I am. I am thankful for her understanding of the effects of my poisoning and its effect on me. This disease is incurable but with a woman like Ms. Sofia can be put into remission.
    Sofia, I love you and will do my best to show you so, be there for you, comfort you, and will never stop doing so.
    I’m sorry
    Dave

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