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Breath

"Hallie, he's not David."


I couldn't breathe. My eyes were closed. I couldn't think. I started having a PTSD episode in front of my therapist for the first time.


I started crying. Hyperventilating.


"Hallie...breath..."


"Please, repeat after me, 'He's not David.' You're safe," she repeated.


"He's not David. They're not the same person," I breathed.


Time passed.


My mind finally cleared.


"I was hoping he could have sensed that I was hesitant to have sex. I was hoping he would have sensed that I was hesitant and would have said something."


I started crying again.


A pattern. I feel pressure when I can feel someone else's desires. My empathy is high, and I freeze. I shut off emotionally and become numb, going through the motions. I see it coming. I can feel their desire. I know what's going to happen. I knew it was going to happen. I let it happen.


Why do I get so weak? Why can't I stick up for what I want? Why do I rely on others to make the decision? Why do I think their decision is better than my own?

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