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Sharing your trauma triggers with your partner

Unhealed pain has a way of making its way into the cracks of a relationship and exposing its brokenness. The good news is that we can choose to explore healing. And when we explore together, our relationships transform. Intimacy grows in the presence of vulnerability and trust.
 
I didn’t know what was in my way until I got in a new relationship. As he would say certain things or touch me certain ways, internally I would recoil. Areas of past pain surfaced with new, safe touch. Discomfort kept surfacing and I didn’t understand why. For years I’d stayed out of the dating scene and self-protected by not getting close to anyone. This man was safe, but I’d had a reel on repeat in my head for years that men in general weren’t safe. Now that I wanted a relationship, I couldn’t shake this feeling that I had barriers up that were hindering our connection. That meant a deep dive into what the barriers were and why they went up in the first place so that I could begin to tear them down brick by brick.

More than anything, I wanted a healthy relationship. But the framework I was working from would never allow for setting a foundation for the vision I wanted.

 For me, pursuing healing looked like:
  • recognizing fears
  • unpacking memories
  • noticing triggers
  • being vulnerable and feeling exposed
  • persevering when I wanted to curl up, break up and never leave the house again.
 
AKA, HARD WORK.

I've saved you the confusion of where to start. This is the list of conversation starters I wish I would have had! And it's yours for free.

Download your free resource: Start the Conversation: Communicating sexual triggers complete with 10 different ways you can open the conversation with your partner around sexual triggers.

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The fear. The anxiety. Not knowing how to share what I was going through. Maybe you have that trust with your partner already, or maybe you’re hesitant to share because you’re unsure what the response will be. I was in the second situation. I SO know how hard trusting someone is, especially after sexual trauma. It felt beyond risky. All the what if’s ran through my head. 

What if they don’t believe me?
What if their reaction is strong?
What if they don’t think it was a big deal?
What if he takes it personally?
What if they try and fix something they can’t and don’t listen?
What if they want it all to be better right away and it’s going to take time?
Sharing my story was one of the bravest and hardest things I’ve ever done. AND one of the most healing. My brokenness was no longer in the dark AND I wasn’t holding it alone. Do you know what happened instead of all the what ifs… my partner didn’t make me look at him when I told him I just couldn’t. He listened, validated, cared. Sat in the silence and in the tears. This response began to reshape the way I thought men felt about sexual assault. Deep reshaping can’t happen in one night, but it allowed me to see a new perspective which brought hope. This conversation also opened the door for me to share how triggers were showing up for me, and impacting our sexual intimacy.
 

Communicating with my partner propelled my healing journey: 

  1. through uncovering shame and being brave enough to share when the reaction was unknown
  2. in reshaping how people may respond to me and my experience: as valid, cared for and seen
  3. by opening the door for future conversations around comfortability and triggers
 
He didn’t know how healing it was to have a comforting response, and I didn’t know I needed to share and be held. God did though. And He always pursues healing for us even when we try our hardest to reject the pain that inevitably comes with healing.
 
So here’s a bold question and I think you have a brave answer for it. Do you want healing more than you want to stay stuck? I made a freebie just for you to dip your toe into and start those bold conversations with a little help from someone who is a few steps ahead. BUT if you want some extra support with the practical hows, you’ll want to join the three day email mini-series: Communicating Sexual Triggers.

Where are you on the spectrum of “I’ve never uttered my story to another soul” and “I share my triggers openly with my partner”? Wherever you land, you can continue to build new communication channels with your partner that lead to greater intimacy and healing.

 

Join the three day email mini-series: Communicating Sexual Triggers

For three days, you can expect to do a mini deep dive into how to communicate your emotions and pieces of your story. It will include:

Day 1: How to become attuned to your body and emotions for the purpose of strengthening communication
Day 2: Low-risk ways to prepare for or continue communicating your needs and story (broken out by different levels)
Day 3: Your resource for how to disrupt the pattern of shame and propel vulnerability when it feels hard.

I won’t ask you if you’re in because you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to see a shift in sharing with your partner. Of course, I’m here for you. As a Trauma Healing Relationship Coach, let me be your resource. Don’t heal alone, we can walk through any piece together! Start a chat with me by clicking the chat bubble in the bottom right hand corner of this screen.

WHERE TO NEXT?

Strengthen Trust
I want to learn how to build trust for myself and for others (my partner).
This would propel my relationships toward intimacy.
Navigating & Recognizing Triggers
I want to identify my triggers and explore new ways to move through -- not stuff down.
This would give me deeper self understanding for healing.
Maintain Momentum in Healing
I want to continue doing the hard work of healing by validating and embracing my story.
This would give me peace and freedom.

I've saved you the confusion of where to start. This is the list of conversation starters I wish I would have had! And it's yours for free.

Download your free resource: Start the Conversation: Communicating sexual triggers complete with 10 different ways you can open the conversation with your partner around sexual triggers.

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Navigate your trauma with clarity AND increase COMMUNICATION in your relationship!

Join the Three Day Communicating Trauma Triggers Mini-Series!

Recognize and learn to disrupt patterns as you travel through the three day mini-series all about inviting your partner into your story as you share your triggers.