How to Tell Your Partner Your Story
If you read my blog posts and listen to my music, you know that I am open about my experiences. I choose to share them to stand up for myself and other survivors, and I hope that I do so in a way that every survivor can relate to. However, I do not share everything and there are some things that I will never share. Publicly and privately, I practice wisdom in sharing my story.
In “hands.”, I sing about sharing my story with a dating partner. During the second verse, I sing: “Healing ain’t linear. It’s holding your hand as you hold my heart to share who we are through our fingerprints.” Notice that I describe a process. The partner knows that I am a survivor, but he cannot learn the ins and outs of my story all at one time.
As I wrote last week, you may want to tell a casual or serious dating partner that you are a survivor. Physical intimacy—from kissing to intercourse—can be triggering, and your partner could help you through those triggers. However, you do not have to. If something triggers you, you could simply say that you want to stop or that you are having a hard time.
If you do share that you are a survivor, though, you may want to protect the details of your story until you trust your partner more. More trust could equal more story, if you want to tell your partner more of it. Also, sharing your story with your partner does not mean that you have to talk about it whenever it comes up. For example, if your partner starts talking to you about a news story that is similar to yours, you could ask him/her/them to change the topic if you want to.
You are in control of sharing your story. If you want to share it, guard your heart with when, where, how, and to whom you share it with. If he/she/they ask questions that you do not want to answer, respectfully tell them that you are not going to answer those questions. Do what you believe is best for you: your gut will help you to decide what that is.