How do you experience intimacy?

Okay, there’s a theme of using my senses. Mindfulness.

This idea of being myself is one I am developing. When I am in a situation where I am at risk of being seen I think I split so I have a third person observer (ego?) feeding me ideas of how I should be acting based on past experiences and ideals. I don’t know what being myself means. I used to think it meant losing all boundaries.

I would say I am most myself around my kids. I like that person. When I am with someone new I carry that parent part with me, and also my bright adult fact checker. I wonder if being myself is like bringing out my inner child.
I relate to so much you’ve shared. Those moments where you slowly manage to meet eye contact with someone… specifically a safe person… and to see a kind look on their face. I was thinking about all the emotions that come in at once - maybe a little fear, relief, exhilaration.

I too feel like I’ve felt most like my true self with my kids. I also find I get so excited planning events and creating play ideas for them, like it also satisfies that for my inner child.

I wonder if your 3rd person observer might be the part of you that is reparenting yourself, giving yourself the loving guidance you didn’t have? (Of course I don’t know all of your story though so that might be way off base; it just popped into my mind.)

Love the way you’ve been incorporating everyone’s inputs here. You’re awesome 👏
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
When I am with someone new I carry that parent part with me, and also my bright adult fact checker. I wonder if being myself is like bringing out my inner child.
Because I don't relate to parts, this may not be useful, but that is all 'you'. If it's coming from you, it's a side of you. (But I surely wouldn't want to NOT employ choices such as adult fact checking, as you/ we are adults!)

To me, being me is the awareness of my strengths and faults, and self-awareness, what I burden others with, what are my capacities, likes or how I feel in my heart. To be honest with myself and others.

Tbh, and I say this very respectfully, and realizing there's more to intimacy than physical intimacy, but I can't quite understand (apart from rape) how when people have had children they don't realize they've been pretty physically intimate? Even delivering the baby and their relationship to their doctor. Or choosing to marry. You had asked how things may have changed over the years, so for example in that case, maybe with your H you dissociated, and now you may not? (Or any other example). But maybe you began with an ability towards intimacy you're not giving yourself credit for? (It's a relative thing. For example, a masectomy often interferes with people feeling intimate, one it's their self identity, the other sometimes afraid to hurt them. Etc. And not just meaning physical intimacy). I think waxing and waining is normal. 🤗

To me I guess, it's who and how I trust, and with what, and they the same with me.

ETA, for example, I provide a lot of personal care. There is zero 'sexual' about it. But they trust me with their safety, health, care, and above all Dignity. Now, while we complete it we're laughing and talking, sometimes about very personal things. That is the intimacy, that they trust me with that. And I do my best. But personally, I can provide the care, I couldn't receive it. And I've had some people feel the same, and they all came around. But I would likely avoid it at every cost I could as regards myself.
 
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OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Giving someone who knows exactly where to hurt me the opportunity to NOT do that when we disagree.
Okay I am seeing that there is an element of fear for some people with intimacy and for others there is an absence of fear (lounging in the couch). I resonate with both.
wonder if your 3rd person observer might be the part of you that is reparenting yourself,
Don’t think so? It’s fleeing and judging. Maybe it’s the parent part that judges? Inner critic is the parent? Not sure.
Even delivering the baby and their relationship to their doctor.
When I delivered my first baby in the hospital I felt very much outside my body—like one of the most outside times—outside my body is self judged as fake. Second and third baby different because I made sure it was at home. Elements of intimacy yes. So what was the intimacy? I guess the connected to the midwife. Ex kind of tried to be present when they came out so he was affected too. Connected to my cat and my body during labor with the second home birth. So… connection helps me understand intimacy.
and now you may not? (Or any other example).
I may not dissociate now. But I haven’t experienced anything physical and intimate (yet) while in a new-ish state of self awareness. I’m quite vigilant, which is an improvement. T is trying to explain it in terms relating to how I related to ex. It’s taking me a while to face his effects on me.
very personal things. That is the intimacy, that they trust me with that. And I do my best.
I can see this. It relates to being embarrassed, I think. And giving someone an opportunity to hurt you but they don’t.
 
Okay I am seeing that there is an element of fear for some people with intimacy and for others there is an absence of fear (lounging in the couch). I resonate with both.

Don’t think so? It’s fleeing and judging. Maybe it’s the parent part that judges? Inner critic is the parent? Not sure.

When I delivered my first baby in the hospital I felt very much outside my body—like one of the most outside times—outside my body is self judged as fake. Second and third baby different because I made sure it was at home. Elements of intimacy yes. So what was the intimacy? I guess the connected to the midwife. Ex kind of tried to be present when they came out so he was affected too. Connected to my cat and my body during labor with the second home birth. So… connection helps me understand intimacy.

I may not dissociate now. But I haven’t experienced anything physical and intimate (yet) while in a new-ish state of self awareness. I’m quite vigilant, which is an improvement. T is trying to explain it in terms relating to how I related to ex. It’s taking me a while to face his effects on me.

I can see this. It relates to being embarrassed, I think. And giving someone an opportunity to hurt you but they don’t.
I’m so sorry, I misunderstood. I re-read what you wrote. I thought you meant reminding you of Your ideals like core values, but you meant others’ past expectations it sounds like. I’m sorry about that. Yes I think you’re right about the inner critic. 😕
 

Sues

MyPTSD Pro
That’s amazing! What are your interactions like with them that are different from all others?

I don't have any other friends, just what I guess you'd call acquaintances, or the people that I interact with. I keep everyone away from me and I stay distant and "safe."
 
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ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
To me intimacy has something to do with darkness. Not in a bad sense. More like waking up next to the person you love, and watch them sleep under the blue light. It’s going to make a coffee while they still are asleep, or waking up next to a warm pot and a small note for you. Waking up sad, and be soothed by the other’s presence. It’s the small gestures before going to work. It’s the kiss before saying goodbye. It’s having your cheeks next to each other and giving hands in a park. It’s holding each other while walking in the streets.

With friends, it’s sharing your stories and making tea. Choosing a song that will relieve them. It’s laughing at something silly and having your laugh contaminate the other person, or yourself being contaminated by their laugh.

Intimacy for me is linked to the ability of seeing and being seen. No matter if it’s the light or the darkness of the soul. It’s possible to be intimate in very horrible situations, but also in very sweet ones.

Physically wrestling someone also does bring a form of intimacy. In a very warped and unhealthy way, but it does. Being injured then looked after by the same person, also a very intimate experience. In a horrible way. In a soothing way.

My experience isn’t so much with CSA but with physical violence. Violence can have an aspect of intimacy—it isn’t the whole of it and it’s not something you wish for, but it can be part of it.

For me intimacy doesn’t necessarily means understanding or even safety. It’s the exposure of you in the reality of you, and somebody responding to it, or you doing it with someone.

Perhaps that’s more of a me thing and this big tendency I have to sponge emotions for others, but I can experience intimacy even when we’re in great pain—perhaps even more so.

On the sex side, I can get there (now I don’t know but I used to) but with a lot of work and someone who is willing to guide me to that connection. I need to be held, to be spoken to, why not some music, all things that prevent me to zone out or just act mechanically, because I can feel others better than they can feel me, that’s how I protect myself.

Basically for me intimacy is any moment that touches your heart. It can be cruel. It can be amazing. It’s something that is now deeply missing in my life and it’s hard not to have it, but I also understand that my experience has been tainted by assault and violence and that I need time to come back from that front.
 
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