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    Abuser is dying

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am also sorry for what you went through, and for what you've experienced recently. The trauma is difficult in itself to go through, but adding on conflicting feelings can make it feel more complicated. It can be so hard to see abusers as people, and...
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    Abuser is dying

    Thank you for your response. I definitely would want an apology. I'd actually really like just an acknowledgement that it happened, and part of me also wants some gaps in my memory filled in, but I'm not so sure that having more details about what happened would really be helpful. But in some...
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    Abuser is dying

    Content note: Childhood sexual abuse (though no details given in this post). I was sexually abused as a very little child by a family member whom I recently found out has been having ongoing health crises and is likely to not survive for very much longer. This has brought up a lot for me both...
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    How to feel safe

    The one that Friday mentioned above.
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    How to feel safe

    I don't think I've ever heard of that technique before! I wonder how that works?
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    How to feel safe

    Thank you for your response. I think that is sometimes the difficulty -- it is helpful to know where it comes from (I also feel like I know where mine comes from), but the uncertainty and inability to have complete control over your own safety has been something I haven't really found a...
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    How to feel safe

    I've always struggled a lot with feeling safe, and with the uncertainty that comes with living. It is hard to live with the fact that no matter what you do, you can't 100% guarantee your own safety or that the trauma will not happen again. This has led me to add more and more locks and...
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    emotions related to STD testing

    For those who have been sexually abused, especially those who had repressed it, how do you feel about the need for STD testing? It makes me sad. Up until several years ago I thought I knew my sexual history. Now I don't and I will forever have to give that answer. This isn't something that...
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    Horror Movies and PTSD

    I don't personally like horror movies, but it seems common for PTSD survivors to experience this. I've known several who love horror movies.
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    Love and Sex

    I'm a child sexual abuse survivor, and have some difficulty understanding how sex can be loving. I understand how it can be consensual, but how does it express love? It feels very confusing, because sex is separate from love yet somehow connected to it? Like hookups exist but sex is also...
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    Sexual attraction (contains sexual content, though not explicit)

    This is something I have been struggling to understand and that you touched on in your post: if sex is about communicating affection, what explains hook-ups? This whole topic feels very complicated to me and I've been trying to wrap my head around it for some time.
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    Avoiding sex and romantic relationships

    Thanks for this. A lot of what you said above really resonates with me. I also tend to read male attention as being scary, even if I know the person means no harm. And I also want a relationship in theory but run away at even the slightest bit of attention. It's tough. Thanks for this; I...
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    Avoiding sex and romantic relationships

    I asked my therapist about this a little bit today and she shared something I wanted to add to the conversation here, because it was helpful to me and may be helpful to others reading and posting. She said that in order to feel attraction, you need to feel safe. So if you're someone like me...
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    Was my therapist now my best friend

    Your therapist should not have done this. Your reactions are normal given what your therapist did. It sounds nice, but it really can mess with your mind, whether that intention is there or not. There are a lot of ethical concerns related to your therapist's behavior.
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    Sexual attraction (contains sexual content, though not explicit)

    If you were to switch all the gender pronouns in your original post, you would describe my situation perfectly. Glad to know I'm not alone. The way I think of the unconscious "crossing sexuality off its list" is that at a young age we learned to associate sex with trauma and danger. Our minds...
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    Sexual Assault For women who have been through sexual abuse, period question

    If/when you do decide to come back to this, I wonder about starting with tampons? Just because they're cheaper and people seem to find them to be more simple than cups (maybe?). This may be slightly TMI but may help someone: one of the things I did was practice inserting a tampon when I was...
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    Avoiding sex and romantic relationships

    Your parallel comparison makes sense. I think the main thing I wonder is if others feel like me. In some ways I feel frozen in time, like at a pre-puberty sort of stage where I understand what sexual things are and sort of why people pursue them, but not completely and I've never felt sexual...
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    Avoiding sex and romantic relationships

    I'm not working on that specifically, and I'm not with a trauma therapist. But she is someone I have a good connection with who I see as really capable. The sex and relationship issues have only come up from time to time but the trauma in general has been one of the most present parts of our work.
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    Avoiding sex and romantic relationships

    Thank you very much for your reply. I've been in therapy consistently for almost ten years. For the most part it has been a very slow process. Regarding frame of reference, I think I felt worse because I *was* asking people who have been traumatized, though possibly in different circumstances...
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    Avoiding sex and romantic relationships

    Content note: discussion of sexuality, mostly in general, non-graphic terms. Back story: I'm 28 and female, and was sexually abused as a young child (3-ish years old) by a relative who did not live with me. I have never had a romantic relationship in my life, nor have I ever gone on a...
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    wanting another parent figure

    Yes, it's something I worry about too, as it has happened before. It is something I discuss in therapy, fortunately. I've thought about some of the ramifications of working with someone like this, including the real estate agent, because you're right that it's a big financial decision and the...
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    wanting another parent figure

    I'm almost 30 years old and grew up having a difficult relationship with my mother, and no other mother figures growing up. My mother was emotionally and sometimes physically abusive and generally showed very little warmth. I notice that ever since I was a child I would find women who were...
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    people not always being there

    Thank you for replying. I think what you say is correct. My therapist and I have talked about object permanence being an issue for me, so this likely has a lot to do with it. It is so painful, and it feels like no matter what has happened in my life, object permanence doesn't sink in...
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    people not always being there

    I suppose part of it could be more young-adultish rather than childish, but it's hard for me to tell. I'm 27, so I just got out of the early twenties stage anyway. However, I feel like these issues have always bothered me more than other people my age, even when I was a bit younger. My...
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    people not always being there

    Yes, I work and have other things going on as well. However, I will say that I often respond to messages faster than a lot of others around me. But again, as I stated above I understand that people do and should have other parts of their lives. Honestly, if their lives were all about me it...
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