CW: this article discusses sexual trauma and mentions abortion
The term “sex” is used to describe penetrative intercourse
I thought he would stop for a condom like others before him had. And it would be in that moment I would express to him, again, that I was not ready for that step. I held my virginity like a badge of honor I gave to myself. I wanted to be in love, for in love, penetration would have the weight I felt it should have as opposed to my schoolmates and movies that would try to convince me otherwise. I always felt like I had a different relationship to sex than my peers, at least, I wanted to. At that stage of my life, maybe the idea of romantic love was as close to the idea of enlightenment I could get. But he never stopped for a condom.
It was the middle of the afternoon, and we’d been “fooling around” on his bed like we normally did. I’d mask my discomfort with moans that were easily interpreted as displays of pleasure. It kind of felt good, I mean, to be naked writhing around with someone felt good. The touches, though…too much pressure…not enough…almost…not quite. I was a junior in high school, he was 23. Being that he was older and used to sex, I (being ever so mature), told him that since I wasn’t going to have sex with him he could feel free to sleep with other girls. But he wanted me, I suppose.
Being penetrated on his bed after getting sweaty from a bike ride that hot spring day felt a bit like an outer-body experience. With someone else inside of me, maybe there wasn’t enough room for me too, and I froze. A common sexual assault response. A few pumps, and he was done. I hate that vulgar sentence, but it was vulgar. And I didn’t have the time in those few moments to decide what I felt about the situation. That was my mistake. I thought I could decide how I felt about what was happening to me. I didn’t just…feel.
I don’t remember what he said after it happened. But I do remember putting on this pair of jeans that were a little too big for me almost immediately, quietly shaking all the while. I had to leave - I had a shift at the movie theater selling popcorn and junior mints. When it got slow enough I called my sister from the ice room and told her that I had sex. She knew me and the anxieties I was facing, and offered me these words that stuck with me ever since; “You’ve had sex, but you haven’t made love yet.”
It was then I felt I decided how I was going to feel about the situation. Now that this big deal of “losing” my virginity was over, I would just lean into it. I could just enjoy sex now and have fun with it, I thought. And maybe I could even fall in love with him and have a glimpse of what I had been desiring for all my teenage years. We never discussed his trespass until later, years after we’d ended our 6 year relationship.
My healing process from the pain I went through in this relationship started with the realization that I had stifled my anger. I thank my younger self for protecting me the best way I knew how in those moments, but I came to recognize the damage I was doing to myself by trying to control a very valid feeling from expression. At that moment, it wasn’t actually dangerous for me to express anger. I know that for some readers, hiding anger can and maybe already has kept you from immediate physical harm. Let’s look beyond anger in relation to specific moments and examine how you can work with this feeling to free yourself from emotional captivity.
There were many moments throughout our relationship that warranted anger. Though, I thought I was beating the system by not feeling it. In a way, I was, which I understand now after the countless stories that have been shared with me of similar accounts. “Freeze” and “fawn”* responses are completely normal when experiencing something traumatic. It’s our body’s way of protecting us the best way it knows how. But after years of turning my anger inward, I became depressed, maybe even apathetic. Numb - physically and emotionally. I mean, I remember laughing throughout those years. I mean, I did things. But I was disassociated, at least a lot more than I am now. After a few times of bumping up and down on him, waiting for it to feel good, I suppose I gave up hope. Sex became more of a performance. Sometimes that was fun. And when my attempts of communicating what I may find enjoyable were met with disregard, sex became a chore. And then, I don’t know. My body became used to trapping emotions.
But you can’t trap emotions without imprisoning yourself. I have examined my fear of anger and I know where it stems from. I can pinpoint the moment where expressed anger became dangerous. I had been on the receiving end of anger before, and despite my boyfriend’s misbehavings, I couldn’t subject someone to that damaging frequency. There can be a lot to unpack when deciphering where and why we do things but the purpose of this article isn’t for me to explore that. It is to get this message to you: Your anger deserves to be honored.
THE PATH OF EMOTIONS
The book, “Path of Emotions” by Synthia Andrews discusses emotions as the language of our soul, like a gateway from our higher consciousness to our physical bodies. Our emotions carry information, and if we learn to discern the messages of that information, our life-force enhances. Our relationships deepen to ourselves, to others, and to spirit. Suppressing emotions like anger can lead us to feeling depleted, as anger will continuously try to get your attention until you give it a path to follow, and can even lead to physical ailments and dis-ease.
Working with Chakrubs was what led me to my understanding that I had been repressing anger, and this was a cause of my inability to enjoy physical intimacy (amongst other things). Crystals help facilitate energy movement in the body. And so, while in a session* with the Xaga Chakrub, memories of my experiences with anger would come up. Obsidian crystal, which is what the Xaga Chakrub is made from, is a stone that heavily influences shadow work, helping us uncover repressed emotions and memories in order to face them consciously.
It’s actually pretty funny that in the early days of developing the Chakrubs brand, which relied greatly on the messaging of “self-love” - I had been tapping into my deep-rooted anger, and therefore allowing it to be expressed. So, whereas the branding for Chakrubs was soft and pretty, I was often practicing yelling, and head-banging to rage-music. I would go for drives to find secluded areas where I could just scream and free my anger. I would retro-actively go back to that moment where I lost my virginity and play pretend I was there and yell at my boyfriend. I went back to that scared little girl who was yelled at at 4 years old, and tell her she was safe. I forgave the person who had yelled at me, making me scared to ever feel that emotion myself.
I created a pathway for my anger. I let trapped anger be felt and safely expressed. It then was able to become a powerful ally. I now know that when this emotion comes up for me, it will be to tell me that a boundary is being broken, or that I need to take action. Every emotion holds value. When you allow your emotions to be felt, you can translate the message it is communicating. The emotion then recedes and the body is able to return to equilibrium.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION with CHAKRUBS
During a session with your Chakrub, it is natural for an onslaught of emotion to arise. As mentioned earlier, this is because of the crystals’ natural ability to facilitate energy flow along with the energy flow that happens through sensual stimulation. If anger arises, take notice of where you feel its sensation in your body. Try to simply observe the emotion, without the need to offer it context. If memories of anger come up, again, take note, but continue to feel.
It should be about 90 seconds to fully feel an emotion, according to Harvard brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Anger is ruled by the Solar Plexus Chakra, which is where the saying, “belly full of anger” may derive from. So at the end of 90 seconds, continue to self-pleasure with your chakrub and imagine energy dispersing from your solar plexus into the rest of your body. Imagine yourself bathing in a warm glow of pink healing light, or golden honey.
When you finish your session, write out any memories that came up that were associated with anger. Ask yourself what messages on boundaries or action were needing to be understood.
Thank yourself for taking time to deepen your emotional intelligence and for the allowance of energy flow.
- Do not condemn yourself for reacting a certain way when faced with something like sexual assault or abuse, you and your body do the best it can to keep you safe in those moments
- Ask yourself if you have repressed emotion, such as anger, due to subconscious judgment of that feeling
- Anger can help us identify valuable information, such as a boundary is being broken or you need to take action
- Creating a safe space for anger to flow can help remove energy blocks causing intimacy issues
*Freeze is your body's inability to move or act against a threat. Fawn is your body's stress response to try to please someone to avoid conflict.
*Session is what we refer to as a self-pleasure practice with Chakrubs
This story hit very very close to home..and I deeply resonated with it. Anger is an emotion I have always felt in my body so intensely that I purposely suppress due to how scary and powerful I feel when it comes up.
Thank you for sharing this…I feel like I can take away a lot from this to work on myself. Thank you 🙏🏻