Children. Lots of children. Ok, four children, but with four children it can be difficult to get away and see each other. Steve and I are having trouble with this one. We wanted to see each other on Saturday. His son, Charlie, is not quite four years old. Steve has full custody and there is no visitation with Charlie’s mom. It’s been just Steve and Charlie for well over 3 years now. Charlie is still a baby and needs his Daddy.
On Saturday, Shane raged again. He was mad that he couldn’t go into Serenity’s room and did not deal with his anger. He let the anger take over again. I didn’t feel like I could leave him.
The children come first. Even though Steve and I desperately wanted to see each other, we knew we couldn’t leave our kids. Steve seems to think that he needs to justify this to me. I assured him that the kids come first. We are adults and can put off our wants when our children have very real needs.
We also need to find a balance. On Sunday we were both able to steal some hours to be together. Again, we met at his house. My mouth was completely healed so I was nervously and eagerly anticipating our first kiss. I’d baked Steve a chocolate cake. He said he likes brownies and soft chocolate chip cookies. I haven’t found a brownie recipe that I like yet so I decided to make this cake that is similar to brownies but ever so much better.
I gave it to him when I got there. He immediately dug into it. He took one bite, got a huge smile on his face, and said, “This is really good!” Then he leaned over and kissed me! Our first kiss was over my baked goods! Oh, how I melted. When I bake, I bake my heart into my goodies. For him to kiss me for the first time over something I’d baked him was priceless to me. It felt like being accepted and appreciated at the core of my being.
I knew that I had to talk to him about the physical triggers I have. I had to explain the PTSD reactions that physical touch can often bring out in me. We moved into the living room because he’d mentioned watching a movie. I said, “Yes, we can pick out a movie we’re going to pretend to watch.” My opening for this necessary discussion came up rather quickly. I was sitting on the floor, looking at his movies and he was scratching my back. We got to laughing about something and his hand stopped right on my side behind my left breast. I froze. One of my biggest triggers and he’d accidentally found it. I asked him to move his hand and he did. I stood up to be closer to him and I started talking.
I told him that it is important to me that if I say “Stop” no matter what we are doing, that he stops. He said, “No means no. If you ever tell me to stop, I will. I promise you that.” He gets it. There is still a part of me that thinks that he’s just a skillful liar. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.
We spent time on his back porch, just kissing and talking. It was a gorgeous day and it was so comfortable to be in his arms. I find myself breathless with kissing him. It’s like there isn’t enough air when he touches me. It feels wild and out of control. I think Steve could tell that I was overwhelmed and asked if I’d like to go in for a drink of water. I thought that was a good idea.
We ended up on his couch, which incidentally is very small. Like I’ve said before, Steve is a large man, 6’2″ and built rock-solid. I had to laugh because we were like two teenagers, making on this couch while trying not to fall off it. I’d set the boundary that we needed to stick to things from the waist up. It slowly progressed to me willingly taking off my shirt and bra. I refused to wear my new amazingly sexy bra, thinking that wearing a beige serviceable one would be enough to fight off temptation. I was wrong.
Quickly, the couch just became too small. He got up, put his hands out for mine, and said, “I know it is still only waist up and you have nothing to worry about, but we’ll be more comfortable in here.” He led me to his bed and he was right. We were much more comfortable there!
At one point, he had his thigh between my legs and it was getting rather intense. I simply said, “Stop.” and he immediately and without hesitation moved his leg and pulled back from me a bit. He still kept his arms around me but held me loosely. All I could think was, “I said stop and he did. He stopped. He stopped. He stopped.” I couldn’t stop the tears. When he looked at me and saw tears streaming out of my eyes, he gathered me up in his strong yet gentle embrace and said, “It’s ok. Nobody will ever hurt you again.” He repeated it until I’d calmed down. I still don’t know what to make of that. I felt protected and safe. Since I have such an overactive imagination, I looked at him and saw the armor in place. In that moment, I was sure of the fact that he would defend me with his life. He wants to be my knight. I want to let him be my knight.
Yet, I fight that voice of the Ghost of Abuses Past that tells me it is wrong to want a knight. I still hear it whispering in the inner reaches of my mind. It is telling me I’m weak and wrong for wanting him to take care of me. It is telling me that I am wrong. I’m fighting it. I know that it is a good thing for a man to want to protect his woman. It simply is. I need to make myself believe it. I need to shut that Ghost up.
Because I really like Steve. I like the idea of him protecting and defending me. And I like the idea of me protecting and defending him. He may think that he’s found himself a princess to defend but he’s wrong. He’s found himself a warrior woman who will defend her man as much as he’d defend her.
I don’t know where this is going but I want to find out. It’s so early and moving so fast that it is scary. Can he be the other half I’ve been searching for? Will he be the one to love me for the rest of my life?
It’s too early to tell, but I’m open to the possibility.