Thursday, June 10, 2010

SEX THERAPIST VISIT

So I have been quite open on this blog about my history. Now that I have disclosed my history, I am only left with my way forward.

I have a list of things that I would still like to do as part of my way forward plan - consulting with a sex therapist was one. I wanted to go for myself, for my marriage and for anyone who consults with me once I open practice again in 2011.

In this blog, I am committed to showing what happens behind the scenes as I work myself towards healing. I want to show what is possible, what options we all have to heal with, and how I am doing it. I trust there is no judgement but rather an acceptance that we all are all the same, and that we will all have the potential to go through the same things in different ways in our lives.

I love Caroline Myss's 'Healing Wheel' idea:

I stand at the centre of all the options I have in this moment in history that can play a part in healing me.
All these options are equally weighted and I don't favour one over the other - I just listen to what I need at that time and respect it.
I can spin the wheel and choose what I need at what time (diet, surgery, chemo, questioning my beliefs work, etc).
I can also spin the wheel and imagine feeling the wind that is generated from all the options I have to heal me and that way feel more empowered.

Our sensual and sexual expression is a key component on all of our wheels but is so often over-looked.

Like I didn't want to leave any stone unturned last year when I did lots of self exploration (Am I a mother? Am I am a female? Do I want to live or die? If I want to live - how do I want to live?), it was now time to explore one more thing - my sexual expression.

I went to see Jonti Searle (jontisearll@mweb.co.za) who did a guest lecture at the ante-natal classes I attended when I was pregnant with my first daughter, Grace, just over 5 years ago.

Out of respect for my husband, Glenn, this post is only about me. Glenn and I have a rock solid marriage, he has been 150% supportive since my breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, and fully accepting of my lack of nipples and reconstructed breasts, but I wanted to see if I am truly ok with myself.

I was very nervous Jonti would head straight into a Cosmo/GQ style list of sexual positions on my first visit but instead he just talked about the differences between being sensual and sexual, awareness, and the importance of being fully present.

Jonti and I talked about where I was at, as well as my goals. It felt very odd discussing things that are so private with someone else. The only person I ever discussed such things with was my boyfriends and best friend - but then we both got married, and never talked about it again as our husbands became our new confidants.

While it felt slightly uncomfortable, I also had a sense of relief that I could now talk to someone where I my privacy was guaranteed and that I was not betraying my husband in any way.

Jonti believes in starting with our sensual sides, instead of sexual sides. Homework after my first session is a very simple technique of lightly touching my hands - touching each hand very slowly and lightly with the other hand. Then I need to do the same on my face. Simple! You can do this with your partner but the main focus is to start with yourself. I need to do this for 5 mins every day. Easy!

As I sat across the room from Jonti with my eyes closed doing the above exercise, I got a huge lump in my chest and throat. The thoughts that came to mind were: this is so simple...indulgent...so long since I have nurtured, given back to and been aware of myself in this way.

One of the documented mental symptoms of breast cancer is that these people cant say 'no' and tend to put everyone before them. I see this simple technique as one way I can start becoming aware of and nurturing myself again (along with meditation).

One of my mental symptoms just before I was diagnosed with early breast cancer was a feeling of 'helplessness' and of feeling 'trapped' - trapped on a wheel that I could not get off: When would I ever be able to leave the house and follow my passions again? When would our renovation end? When would all day and night mothering end? I felt hopeless and burnt out.

I felt a huge sense of relief as I sat there and took the first step forward. I felt like I was doing something for myself. I also felt like I was conquering something that made me feel uncomfortable but which is so vital to my being and that felt good.

1 comment:

mary brown said...

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