July 1, 2020

The Wounds our Lovers Awaken.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by M U H A M M E D S A L A H (@muhammedsalah_) on

He woke my hot, wild, witch’s heart, that wonderfully wicked man.

My care is fathomless. Not even I am aware of how deeply it runs. But when someone or something starts to tap into it, it can feel a bit overwhelming for me—possibly for them as well.

Care activates my creativity. I write, to be more specific. It also activates my need to over-function and prove myself—especially in an intimate container.

This has, in the past, inevitably led to feelings of insecurity, and anxiety. I feel transparent, in that state—exposed. It seems to me that every wound, every awkward twist in my psyche is achingly on display. Even though this is probably not the case from the other person’s perspective, I still tend to feel like a live wire—stripped bare. And for someone who breathes in vulnerability, and exhales communication, this can get a bit messy.

Messy is a loaded word, and it indicates that something needs to be cleaned up. I don’t actually need to be cleaned up, at this point. I need to relax, and honor my complexities, as they are what makes me me.

Hi, I’m Justice. I type when I’m triggered. I also laugh and undulate when I cum (yes, this is a thing), and when I am in my own vital channel—living in Right Livelihood, working, writing, loving, being of benefit, and not being anxious—I am grounded in ecstasy.

If a man wants my giggle-splashed orgasms, he’s gonna have to deal with the triggered typing. Trust me, I’m worth it.

I’m worth it. I’m worth it. I’m worth it.

I repeat this to myself over and over as crystalline tears percolate in the corners of my sparking baby-blues.

My other mantra is “I didn’t do anything wrong.” That one I repeat, ad infinitum. And then there’s the addendum, “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

Those two, together, I also use to educate my clients about shame—the deeply seeded confusion we internalize about our self-worth, which grows into noxious weeds, and keeps us from experiencing true belonging, to ourselves, and with another, or others.

It’s not only lovers that we long to belong to, it’s community as well. We yearn to be seen, to be held, to know we matter, and have value.

We are conditioned to believe that value comes from what we are able to offer others, or in reverse, what others are able to extract or take from us. That is the crux of the predatory relating model, and it can be subtle in its manifestations.

It’s not always about blatant rape; it’s also about using each other as means to ends, instead of letting people be the ends, themselves. It’s about seeing men’s bodies as tools and seeing women’s bodies as objects. It’s dehumanizing. And we wonder why we hurt, hide, and don’t trust each other?

I would say that about 80 percent of my clientele has experienced some kind of sexual abuse as a child. I will include myself in this demographic. I too experienced an inappropriate exchange with a well-known adult. Recently, I uncovered that memory. The energy stuck and sticky in my body. The dynamic formed how I relate to men.

Anxiety and arousal became a fused response in my mind, and even more deeply. It is psychoneuroimmunology. That means that when I experience feelings of attraction, or more accurately, arousal, my immune system reads that as an attack, and goes into fight or flight. It might not happen immediately, though there is usually that sense of anxiety as soon as I start to like someone, followed by the thought that he’s never going to like me back.

But then he did and into angst peppered infatuation I fell. I know we all experience this to some degree, but as a person with an anxious attachment style, too soon I start to view the situation as a problem that needs to be solved. How to get more time, more attention, how to get my needs met—which is so utterly human.

Honestly, I’m not doing anything wrong. But it feels like I am, and it’s easy to convince myself I’m screwing up.

So I simultaneously become the problem, while effectively attempting to delete my own feelings of insecurity by hyper-focusing on my lover’s stress, when what we both need is time, and space. Inevitably, this tends to create more stress between us, and as the nature of the dynamic dictates, I will most likely choose a person to play this little dance out with someone who has an avoidant attachment style.

This is what this has looked like in the past: as I spiral into my anxiety, he will withdraw into depression. This is us abandoning ourselves, and each other, and it is so poignantly painful.

I could see this playing out with the last man I engaged with, the one who woke my hot, wild witch’s heart—so wicked. We moved too fast, but it felt so good, and though the feelings of care only increased, so did both of our coping strategies. I went into over-functioning as he withdrew. It hurt. It wasn’t just him pulling back from what we were creating; it was the loss of potential and the deep feelings of confusion that I internalized until they came gushing out in a trigger-typed text.

Though the message I sent still came from that place of care (I can’t turn it off once it’s been turned on) it was also me falling into what I do when I am hurt—rationalizing and analyzing while simultaneously trying to let us both off the hook.

In that last message, I wish I had been more vulnerable. I wish I had shared the impact he had on me. I wish I had…

This is me still trying to control an outcome, and over-functioning to avoid my pain and deep sense of loss. It’s not only the loss of him, and what we might have been together, it is also of the awakened pain of all the partnerships past that have gone astray.

What I want to do is reach out, which I know will not alleviate this state. What I need to do is, stay in my lane, practice healthy boundaries, and emotional hygiene, and open myself to people who can (and will) meet me.

Still, I long to take a man to my breast, to hold his heavy head, breathing life and soul through our bodies. I long to play, to make love, to flirt and dream. I’ve done this on my own. It’s time to do it together. Scars made in relationships need relationships to heal them. We can’t do it alone.

Men and women: what will it take to finally feel our wounds as opportunities for mutual care?

Read 13 Comments and Reply

Read 13 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Justice Bartlett  |  Contribution: 373,735

author: Justice Bartlett

Image: @muhammedsalah_/Instagram

Editor: Marisa Zocco