I was in a relationship for a few years that started off great and ended in a pretty nasty way. He told me that he had been suicidal in the past, was abusing alcohol, had unresolved psychological issues and began to abuse me both physically and verbally. It was hard to believe that someone I cared about so had changed so drastically and that I was scared to death of because of the absuse. I felt that I could have stayed in the relationship while he got the psychological help he needed, but the abuse was too much. That was almost 3 years ago and we have gone our separate ways... we are also geographically separated by many miles and are in no contact at all. I have been dating someone for the past year and a half who is amazing. I went to a psychologist and was able to sort out a lot of my feelings and feel that I am in a healthy loving relationship for all of the right reasons. Things couldn't be going better. I have one issue that I need help with and figured that this forum is so open and non judgmental and that maybe someone has gone through this also.
Anytime my boyfriend, or anyone for that matter touches my neck I freak out. This isn't a consious fear, it more or less catches me off guard, I gasp and I cower in fear. This stems from being abused in the past relationship where I was grabbed and strangled. I have told my boyfriend about the abuse from the very start of our relationship. I explained to him that I trust him fully and that I can't control my fear of being touched there. Even when my mom tried to put a necklace on me I did the same thing. Its not a premeditated fear, for instance I'm not afraid of the thought of someone touching me, but its a reactive fear...I react when it happens.He is very respectful of my space and wont touch my neck on purpose but occasionally his hand will land there in his sleep or if we are fooling around. It bothers me that he doesn't think that I trust him and I don't know how to explain this type of fear to him. Has anyone gone through this type of thing before and have any advice for me in terms of 1) how to work through this fear and 2) how to explain to him how its not him, but its me? I would like to someday get over this fear and don't know the best way to go about it.
Thanks so much in advance, and sorry for the novel!