scar tissue, gold, and pleasure

image by joe de sousa, unsplash

image by joe de sousa, unsplash

I was terrified of sex.


I had zero relationship to my own body.


My body was just a thing I neglected, and begrudgingly carted around. It served as some kind of damned container for my tangled wads of unexpressed memories and emotions. 


I avoided sex at all costs. At bedtime, if there was a partner on the scene, I would routinely dash off to the bathroom to change out of my clothes behind a closed door. Into my pajamas in an out-of-body flurry, then race into bed and feign sleep  at the speed of light ... with a racing heart in my throat: what if he wants it tonight?


My body was a trap I hated and could not be free of.


I was terrified of the touch and sex, the physical and emotional intimacy because ... it innately requires feeling and presence. 


Feeling and presence required also feeling the overly-stuffed garbage disposal of shit that my body felt like back then.


Every kind of abuse, you name it. Much of it on repeat. Over the years it impacted and locked itself into every single cell, bone, muscle, organ, and vein in my body.


The way I dealt with the physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual traumas was to freeze.


Stop breathing.


Stay invisible. 


Don’t move. 


Certainly don’t speak or fight back.


Be a good girl.


Stay calm.


Keep the peace. For everyone. Everywhere.


I protected myself daily with this mechanism.


And so my body became a prison made of individual locked cells of tiny little Erin prisoners, little miniatures of all the times I froze.


Stacked up. Crammed in. Avoided. Forgotten. 


Until I was completely frozen.


With a body made of ice, and a nervous system made of a billion wild horses with spiked hooves running through my body at the first signal of closeness or desire.


At the slightest hint of intimacy, of the emotional or sexual kind, my nervous system would unleash stored-up terror, and my world would collapse under the overwhelm of so much awfulness running through a body that I suddenly had to feel. 


Yes. One fingertip on my body could evoke such a thing.


One request for a phone number or a coffee date could too.


I ran from the freezing as much as I could.


It all came out sideways. I made decisions from the sideways trauma leaks. I hurt the people in my life. I hurt myself, too.


I’m not even really sure how to put it into words. Maybe some of you know what I’m trying to describe, but in your own way.


I eventually reached out for help, and began seeing a somatic trauma specialist. 


Since that day, my reclamation of my body has taken many forms.


I began cultivating *listening* to my body. My ACTUAL BODY. It was like an epiphany that I even had one, and that it was all my own. 


I began slowing down. Creating boundaries. Seeking pleasure. 


Oh goodness, I had to start so small there because pleasure was DANGER DANGER and to move from Shutdown Iceberg Lady to a woman who could allow the eensiest of pleasure was a process. 


Pleasure. 


Why is it such a naughty word? Why does it elicit fear for most of us?


Because I can look you in the eyes and vow: the moment I began to allow the *embodiment* of pleasure into my world, everything changed.


What is pleasure?


Pleasure can be anything that connects you to your molten beauty core, the one that drips with gold.


Oh, you don’t have one of those?


Yes. You do.


Maybe you feel alive and free, flushed in your cheeks and blissful, when you are standing at the sea.


Maybe you fall completely into the piece of god+goddess that holds court in you when you are cuddling your kids to sleep.


Maybe you, unlike me all those years, feel the diviiiiine union of oneness that swirls through the intimacy that you and your lover cultivate together.


Or maybe, like me, you derive a deep peaceful sensual full-souled living when you are studying history + humanity, laying MIA soldiers to rest, sharing soul feasts with the women I serve in sessions, or devoting myself to my man, or in my quiet times seeking ever more of my pleasurable indulgences.


However it shows up for you, that sense of feeling ALIVE, and HOME, and WHERE YOU BELONG ... that’s your molten beauty core, that’s where you drip gold.


It’s there for all of us. 


For me, it laid there for years. Unclaimed.


Waiting for the layers of shame to thaw under a spell of my own casting. 


Waiting for me as I attracted relationships that mirrored the original abuse.


Waiting for me while I dashed into my pajamas. 


Waiting for me while I suffered silently under the perpetual realization that there MUST be more to living than THIS. 


Waiting for me while I listened in a peculiar kind of isolation while my friends would talk about sex. 


Waiting for me while I timidly reached for pleasure that very first time.


It’s still here, waiting.


It’s kinda like scar tissue that drips fucking gold.


It always will be here, eternally ripe for more and more expansion and expression.


Yours is waiting, too.