How Could Past Unresolved Trauma Impact My Sexuality?
By Ray Doktor
Throughout evolution, humans have been exposed to a plethora of traumatic events, including violence, rape, incest, assault, natural disasters, wars, genocide, car accidents, and perpetual emotional abuse and neglect. Trauma can temporarily or permanently incapacitate an individual’s ability to cope with or pay attention to both new and familiar situations. For some individuals, traumatic experiences alter their psychological, biological, and social equilibrium to such a degree that their lives are disrupted and challenged.
Sexual trauma is about violation and boundaries being crossed. The trauma becomes more complex if the negative experience(s) happened by a family member or during childhood. Trauma in childhood causes confusion and a sense of betrayal. The person often times feels guilt, shame, or embarrassment. This can cause distortions in sexual relationships. Any sexual contact could trigger an emotional charge. There might be only fragments of memory of the past trauma or none at all. However, the body holds the cellular memory of the trauma. During intercourse a person might dissociate or not be fully connected to her body. She might experience psychosomatic problems without any diagnosis. This could create problems with her sexuality with her future partner(s). Even if she attempts to put the traumatic event out of her conscious mind, her unconscious might hold the memory in the body.
There are therapies and techniques available to help you move past the traumatic memories. Therapy that includes connecting to the somatic experience of the event is more effective than traditional talk therapy. It is not necessary to rehash the past and every detail to experience success. However, in my experience, connecting to the emotions of the past event and releasing the charge has seemed to be the most effective way to help individuals to experience new positive changes toward a healthier sexuality.