I have never developed a habit of self-preservation; I tend to take things until they break me. Witness end of last relationship; he deliberately inflicted damage to try to get me to dump him, but I just kept taking the damage, almost helplessly.
As an abuse survivor, I get triggered. I used to have more difficulty with this than I do now... the two most recent times I've been triggered, I've managed to yank myself back from the flashback, and I sob for a while and am delicate for a while longer.
It's difficult to yank myself back like that, though. The brain flashes to "just take it, just take it, and then it'll go away and I can maybe be safe." To "S/he'll hurt you if you don't do it." To "You're not allowed to say no - it doesn't matter, nobody will listen."
And of course I know he wouldn't hurt me. Which is why I was capable of pulling myself into the present and saying "I can't do that."
And, of course, he stopped. And I fell apart a little, and he held me and talked me through it. I'd triggered because he'd inadvertantly done something that the rapist had inadvertantly done - and he had me turned around, I couldn't see his face. So I told him yes, we can try this again, "and I don't think I'll trigger if I can see your face, if I know it's you."
We did stuff we'd already done for a while. And yum. :) And then I asked to try again. There was the discussion of "Are you sure you want to try this?" He would not have said a single word about it had I not broached the topic... he's willing to give me as long as it takes, for anything like this, and he refuses to put any pressure on me in that sense. But I told him yes, as long as I could see his face, I genuinely wanted to try. I wanted to please him, and I wanted to get past the trigger.
We took things step-by-step, very slow, all the while with him watching my face and asking me if I was still okay, if I was still here with him. And it became a whispered litany... "I'm here, I'm here, I love you..."
It surprised him that I was able to manage it, and I'd counted that as mostly physically, that I took something that he thought he'd be spending months easing me into. But I'm realizing more and more that the biggest part of this that he's proud of isn't that I overcame something to please him... but that I acted in my own defense. Recognized that something was going to hurt me, and stopped it. Because yes, I'm his to do with as he will, but as he told me several times that day, he does not want to break me. I analyzed the situation, determined the cause, took steps to avoid the trigger, and initiated the particular event, taking control of my trigger in order to break it. He's proud of my self-preservation. And it says a lot that I trust him enough that I can say "stop" and know that he will.
I've pleased him, and pleasing him pleases me... and I am inordinately proud of myself, just as he is, for feeling safe and for kicking that trigger to the curb.