My guest, whom I call Toni in this episode, is here to share a personal story of abuse and eventual transformation. Within the interview, she shares a lot of difficult episodes and traumas in her life in a brave and transparent way. You will get a lot out of this episode will learn that despite the hardest upbringing, there can be transformation, growth, and healing along the way. Please listen along and support Toni as she shares her story here.
Connecting the Past to the Present
As Toni states, her “introduction to sex” began in third grade because she was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend at the time, but later the man who would become her stepdad. As she got married in her early twenties, she was subjected to a manipulative marriage with a partner who didn’t treat her in a healthy, respectful manner.
It wasn’t until Toni went to see a psychotherapist, and was talking about her current relationship, that her eyes were opened up to how her past traumas with her stepdad had been playing into her adult difficulties with sex.
She very understandably had intimacy problems and was in a bad place emotionally, as she describes it. Sex, to her, was this intimidating, challenging presence that manifested itself negatively in her life.
Losing the Glue of the Family
Toni describes growing up in her family and the dynamics at play within: she says that when her Grandma died at a young age, she left a very large absence. Her grandma was only in her 40s and was the glue of the family. At this point as well, Toni was largely ignored. She also didn’t have siblings either, so it became hard for her to connect with people.
Once the abuse started, things were extremely challenging for Toni. She says that her abuser, her stepdad, was a master manipulator and treated her mother with romantic bait-and-switch types of behavior. And she was angry with her mother all from the time the abuse started until she turned 16. She thought her mother was complicit with his behavior but didn’t stop it.
As she reconnected with friends later in life, well after the fact, they all expressed how they knew something was wrong with the way her stepdad treated her and abused her, but they just didn’t know how to handle it. He was an important man after all. And the small-town politics did not make it easy to handle.
Trust Issues, Boyfriends, and a Serious Altercation
When asked about her past boyfriends, she said she felt like she was supposed to date and have relationships because that was “normal”. But she definitely had trust issues. She said that it took a special person to actually even consider dating when she was a teenager.
Toni shares that she was a tough girl. Not only mentally calloused because of her abuse, but also because she developed early as a girl, so she was subjected to boys groping her at a young age. She learned to defend herself with her fists.
And once she turned 16, she decided she had had enough. He had abused her, physically beat his mother right in front of her, and she eventually pushed him down the stairs and pulled a knife off him, holding it to his throat. Toni says that after doing that, he left her alone.
Her Road to Transformation to the Present
After getting married to her manipulative husband and having a kid with him, she left him and met another man. This would become the moment that Toni started to transform and heal after having suffered so much abuse for so long.
She reconnected with her biological father, and that healed some abandonment trauma she had been carrying her whole life. Additionally, the new man met was a nice man who treated her kid with care. Unfortunately, though, she found out he had a history of drug addiction and would soon resort back to drugs. The relationship soon ended.
Toni would have another relationship with a kind, caring man. She says that sex was not an issue with him. They ended their relationship a couple of years ago after a 13-year run. She says that currently, she doesn’t foresee herself being in another relationship. And when she says that, it comes from a place of power and not resignation. Not at all! Toni has grit and strength and has built up her independence. She is also sexually independent and only open to those who deserve her for the amazing woman she is.
Lastly, she shares her journey and struggles to tap into her more feminine powers and awaken the woman inside of herself. It was a difficult journey, but she is a transformed woman because of it.
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Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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