Can fantasies change?

OceanSpray

Confident
Going to be really real here. But I still fantasize over the abuse I went through. It’s been explained to me ad nauseum about why those neural pathways develop and that it’s relatively common. I don’t feel like it is though. More so, there’s threads on this very forum who discuss how disgusting it is to have rape fantasies, let alone molestation ones.

Masturbation has been one of my number one stress relieving coping mechanisms and I know it’s not a bad thing in itself. But the things I think about are some of my all time greatest shames and I’m point blank terrified to really go over them with my therapist.

We’ve touched on rape fantasies here and there but I feel like mine go further than what’s normal. I thought that after the years of therapy I’ve had that this would have straightened itself out. That I would learn to be turned on by more normal things and it’s just not happening. I often watch “normal” porn but that’s never what’s actually playing out in my head. In my head is a very, very different scenario.

It doesn’t really touch real life. If I’m intimate with someone, the fantasies aren’t there for once. I don’t identify with the person in power in those fantasies. I’m 100% of the time the one who has zero power. I don’t feel even the most remote desire to carry out the fantasies with any children or anyone else really. I am always the child or the powerless wife/slave/whoever.

I need it to stop. I need to clear my conscience and have a sexual relationship with myself that isn’t something so vile and shameful. I want to be healthy and this isn’t it.
 
I thought that after the years of therapy I’ve had that this would have straightened itself out.
You would think, right? I changed my fantasies. It took a long time and was tedious, focused work. There isn’t really a black-and-white spelled out instruction manual for how to do it. I found Wendy Maltz’ book “The Sexual Healing Journey” to be a good enough guide. I had to start at the very beginning (I did her couples work exercises with just myself to the best of my abilities) just orienting to senses in my body, then a lot of mirror work and affirmations and journaling and art and rebuild my sexuality from the ground up. All that was the foundation in order to then begin to face the fantasies, which was a slow and uncomfortable process involving being as open as I could stand with my therapist about the process and also working with two trauma-informed massage therapists. All in all it took about four years to be stable and predictably transform the abuse fantasies into something more reliably… recovery focused. Most of the work was done by the end of one year but residual stuff took time.
 
In early life trauma there is a lot of stuff that gets screwed up, which causes more screwed up around puberty which usually has early onset after trauma.

It's a part of trauma that's not well understood. Likely because of what the OP has overcome in some ways which is shame.

And its not just victims of CSA that get that stuff screwed up - it seems almost automatic and everyone gets screwed up. There is a lot of work going on around this because in some cases it "heals" during peoples teens but they don't understand the mechanisms around it all as yet. The one they do know is "alone time" is a self soothing mechanism that is pretty universal in pre-puberty trauma victims.

The other part in all this is fantasy seems to follow into well - unconventional places. Likely because its patterned in by the time we realize its unconventional. I haven't found out yet if that changes, but then again I haven't gotten past 1975 in therapy yet and there is trauma littered across my life in so many places it's likely going to take a while longer to work through it and start to find out.
 
I can share that, for me, the fantasies stopped (or in a case or two, greatly lessened) after time.

It doesn’t really touch real life. If I’m intimate with someone, the fantasies aren’t there for once. I don’t identify with the person in power in those fantasies. I’m 100% of the time the one who has zero power. I don’t feel even the most remote desire to carry out the fantasies with any children or anyone else really. I am always the child or the powerless wife/slave/whoever.
Yeah, this was me. They are mostly gone now. And I never shared any of it with my therapist. I don't know why they went away, except it was a short time after I had a relationship with a Dom. Oh, I loved (?) it when I was doing it, but when the relationship was over, I gave some serious thought to it and to how I was thinking. Took about 2 years, I guess, but now the fantasies are mostly gone.
 
Thank you all. Addressing this in therapy is rough. This is at the absolute top of the shame list and I don’t see the shame reducing anytime soon despite what people have said. I don’t know, maybe it has a little bit knowing that it’s somewhat normal. But normal doesn’t mean healthy and eventually I want to get back into dating and companionship and I don’t want this lingering in the back of my head anymore. When I’m with someone, I can focus enough on them, I don’t need to play things out. But just being in a relationship with someone knowing this about myself keeps me from feeling like I deserve anyone who is healthy themselves. I don’t know if that makes sense.
 
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