Childhood Dumb question about csa

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
should never have used me as his sex object!! Then too, at this same time he was emotionally rejecting me, perhaps, because he felt guilty for his actions and was then, pushing his guilt feeling onto me. A
I understand this too. I think your assessment is spot on and that’s how I’ve thought of my dad too. That he was disgusted by me because of what he did to me. All I want is him out of my life. And I want to keep healing my brain-body so that I can keep reaching out and depending on people who I deem trustworthy. And I want to eat food and experience pleasure with people I love.
 
I understand this too. I think your assessment is spot on and that’s how I’ve thought of my dad too. That he was disgusted by me because of what he did to me. All I want is him out of my life. And I want to keep healing my brain-body so that I can keep reaching out and depending on people who I deem trustworthy. And I want to eat food and experience pleasure with people I love.
I continued to live with my father after becoming aware of his ongoing sexual abuse and yes, it's a very uncomfortable and disturbing experience, for sure! Often, I'd wished I could have screamed at him I felt so angry! His behavior felt so degrading and disrespectful! Yet, my T was well aware of my ongoing abusive situation and he apparently felt I could deal with it since, it was then, consciously aware. However, his ongoing penis fondling was still apparently stressing me out since, I continued to dissociate during these episodes.

My father never changes and I'd assume your father hasn't either. We however, unfortunately, have to find away to heal from it.

My first T told me that, my father was lacking the emotional maturity needed to establish the proper boundaries in my father-daughter relationship and that, this was my father’s responsibility and not the responsibility of a child. My T suggested that, I should feel sorry for him. Yet, I feel sorry for the both of us.

All of my father’s relationships seemed lacking in emotional intimacy. My father also seemed to fear his wife. I never noticed them embracing nor showing affection nor any playfulness together. My T once described my parent’s relationship as a business partnership.

I suspect that, my father thought he wasn’t really harming me, as long as, he wasn’t touching me nor engaging in sex with me. I wasn’t being sexually aroused by his behavior nor forced in any way. On the contrary, I was blocking out my feelings and freezing by means of my dissociation. Anything penis related became an unpleasant reminder and stressor for me. And because my father was so totally withdrawn during his abusive sexual arousal, I think I might have inadvertantly learned to associate male sexual arousal with emotional abandonment.

My father once frightened me terribly at age 4 with his intentional erect penis exposure.Yet, he never did come to me afterwards to comfort me nor to reassure me that I was safe. Rather, it was as if, every time he’d fondle his penis this was my reminder of my earlier frightening childhood experience when I was so dependent upon him for my safety.
 

Friday

Moderator
But I don’t understand how those baby things mess up a person in the head.
Because it’s wrong.

***

Think about hunting for a moment.

Billions of children have watched & learned how to hunt, dress & butcher kills, & cook them from time immemorial.

- Most people? Are going to hunt/dress/butcher/cook in the normal way. Yep, there’s a ginormous range of normal. And it’s all fine. Really. Completely happy, healthy, normal, rational, caring adults raised from children who were first around hunting, then hunted themselves.

- Some people? Are abusive and/or neglectful twats who make any or all of that process? Dangerous, violent, terrifying, scarring in every sense of the word (physically, emotionally, mentally), and deadly. Instead of time spent with someone who loves you teaching you to care for & maintain the tools you’ll in advance? It’s either broken & badly maintained pieces of crap (neglectful), or getting smacked around, snarled at, insulted, and otherwise abused (abusive), a combo of both, or …crickets. Not being taught how to prepare in advance at all. <<< And exactly the same at every single step in the process. Right down to the end result of cooking = rotting food if there is any, being beaten/burned/screamed at & all other kinds of abuse, or being denied food outright. >>> ALL of which leads to varied and tremendous amounts of damage for the child who lived through it.

- Some people? Aren’t hunting, they’re torturing creatures to death, for the singular purpose of causing as much pain as possible. And make their kids watch &/or participate.

What’s the difference between those 3 things? The PERSON doing it. And the experience they create by doing so.

- Most people, regardless of the specifics determined by personality and culture, go about hunting like they go about every other aspect of their lives… in a “normal” (thoughtful, caring, deliberate) way. Which is what they pass on to their kids.

- Abusive/Neglectful assholds f*ck up EVERYTHING they touch. The more important-to-life/living a thing is? The greater the potential for harm they create. Hunting & how we relate to others? (Not even including the sex piece, just in how we conduct ourselves.) Are BOTH complicated and important aspects to life. So the potential to reeeeeally hurt others is very high. Which says something, because abusive/neglectful twats can make something as simple as a can of spaghetti-o’s, or brushing your teeth, or crossing the street a deadly dangerous experience. Which is wrong. And it f*cks up their kids, hurting them in countless and immeasurable ways.

- Sick & twisted / evil-f*cks who include things like torture & other profoundly wrong things as part of their duty as parents to raise their children up in? Manage to take Abuse one step further.

What makes things WRONG? And how it affects people -especially children, in their care- is always the person doing it, first. What they’re doing, second.

Some THINGS are just wrong. But they’re rare. Billions of children live/have lived, and grow up, in single dwelling multi family single rooms homes… exposed to every -healthy- aspect of sex. Completely untouched by it. Because, like billions of children exposed to hunting, and cooking, and every other aspect of life? Aren’t being raised by someone who is abusive/neglectful/evil as f*ck. But by normal, caring, thoughtful, parents.

Surviving an abusive/neglectful asshole brushing teeth is an accomplishment. Surviving something far more central to life? Even halfway whole about it? Olympic.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you @Friday . I see it now. It’s a bunch of bullsh*t mindf*ckery that he did to me and even though it all added up bad… it’s not the *things* anymore. It is who he is. He is a sociopath and his dad was too.
 
I think the most deeply hurtful part of my CSA abuse was that, my father had emotionally abandoned me. As a child I had no one else to turn to. Then too, my mother was abusive in that she knew my dire situation yet, made no attempt to help me.

For me, all of my abuse was psychological where, all I could do was block out my feelings. I don’t know if, my sexual abuse might have been worse if, my father had touched me or not. But every time he would fondle his genitals in from of me, I greatly feared he might physically approach me while, I could only maintain my freeze state of dissociation until he had walked away.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
greatly feared he might physically approach me while, I could only maintain my freeze state of dissociation
This resonates with me as well. It’s only because I had a powerful experience last week that sent my body into one of the worst freezes I’ve ever experienced (still experiencing effects of it) and involved layers of events and people that I could finally say NO MORE! I cannot afford to stop at fear anymore—I must move the fear out with anger from here on out or else pay the price for not acknowledging and accepting my need for protection.

The price is my body collapsing. And I now realize how hard that will be because every day I find myself repeatedly in positions where my shoulders are collapsed, my legs are tightly crossed, my brow is furrowed. I am going to have to work very hard to open myself back up. Because I Am Safe now.
 

katz

MyPTSD Pro
When I first entered therapy at age 20, my first T would repeatedly trigger me in regards to my yet unrecognized CSA, my penis phobia and extreme fear of sexual intimacy. This he seemed to just know while, I didn’t have to tell him about my CSA. Actually I wasn’t even consciously unaware of it until age 24. I only knew I was suffering from social anxiety and my fear of being approached by and alone with an adult male. I also felt anxiety when being alone with my male T until I’d learned to trust him.

I couldn’t allow any thought of a penis into my conscious mind until age 24. There were times when I was triggered that I felt like climbing the walls of his office to escape. Yet none of my T ever pushed me into recalling my CSA nor asked me to provide details.

Before age 4, I can only assume I wasn’t being touched for my father’s own sexual gradifation. If this had been the case, he certainly stopped doing it by the time I was age 4. My only recall is of him staring at me, while exposing his naked erect penis (only once), fondling his genitals beneath his pants (many times) while speaking to me, once retrieving my panty from the dirty laundry and of trying to take a peek at my body. This he only did when we were alone.

I’m fearful of knowing my deeper self and of what is beyond my own conscious understanding. I think this is an inherent unavoidable human fear. What I don’t understand seems to defy logic and this is acceptable to me. Yet, when I combine this illogical element with my intense fear I begin to panic.

I doubt that, my few paranormal experiences have anything to do with my CSA and I don’t really know what to make of them. However, I think it’s extremely difficult to clearly separate the two. As a child, I couldn’t understand my father’s interest in his own genitals nor could I relate to what he might have been feeling.

I grew-up with a childhood fear that, a frightening entity might be hiding in my bedroom closet or under my bed at night. I have no description for this entity other than to define it as larger than myself, more powerful than I and seemingly ‘human like.’ At night, I sometimes feared this entity might grab my ankle if, I steps out of my bed. This might also suggest that, it seemed ‘human like’ within my imagination while, possessed a grasping hand while, unlike an animal that might bite my foot. Also, this entity was always imagined as being dark in color and also blurry, perhaps, because I’d imagine it as being in my darkened room at night within dim lighting.

I’d never consciously thought of this entity as being my father nor any other sexual predator. Yet the mere thought that this mysterious imaginary entity might be hiding in my room was in itself frightening enough.

This paranormal podcast speaker brought up a very good point about being careful not to try to fill in the blanks within our memories. I think, it’s important to stop immediately if, you catch yourself doing it. The T that I was seeing in about 2002 wanted me to create a false memory of sexual molestation by my father. I refused to do this and immediately terminated with her.

Memories to me only seem to last a few seconds at best. They don’t play out like a movie but are more fragmented. For me, they also occur out of sequence, as if, a mixed collage of mostly visual glimpses with perhaps, a few other sensory memories mixed in.
Most of mine are just very uncomfortable feelings. It can take me days to figure out what exactly triggered it. But, once I do. It reassures me that I am able to handle it at this time. I have also found over the years, at least for me, is that once I have figured out what it was, (smell, color, vision) it doesn't bother me as much the next time I see it. I can just see/feel it and then acknowledge it and it goes away.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
once I have figured out what it was, (smell, color, vision) it doesn't bother me as much
This is the same for me. And I think that my recent episode with headaches and vomiting might actually be body memories from his earliest assaults. Because I hadn’t acknowledged how badly he hurt me until now and I’m crossing my fingers that this was “cracking the big nut”— that all this pain is me releasing very very very old trauma because I accepted it. As a child I would get triggered and vomit. And one of the body memories was him putting his penis on my mouth when I was a couple months old. And me vomiting afterward. Even though I still hear a voice in my head insisting that never happened that voice seems to be clearly his voice. Reminding me of how I merged my ego with his for 39 years. And that is all like burning trash now. Those feelings of being merged with him are garbage that I burn. And it stinks and it’s uncomfortable but I believe that once I get through it I will never return to dismissing or discounting my feelings about the body memories or the confirmed csa event again. I believe I will get stronger but it’s kind of like I was stripped down to a single neuron and I am rebuilding and it is slow and I need a lot of help right now, like an embryo.
 
I understand how slapping and hitting hurts children. I understand how it hurts a child to make fun of them. But I don’t understand how those baby things mess up a person in the head.

Because my CSA was ‘non contact sexual abuse’ I have no memories of sounds, smells, physical touch nor sexual arousal related to my CSA. I do however have visual memories of my father’s frightening and intentional penis exposure when I was age 4 and yet, seeing a naked penis in itself doesn’t trigger me. Rather it’s when the man expresses his interest in me that I’ll trigger and begin to dissociate and freeze. This I will do if I haven’t an easy escape. Even when I’ve agreed to physical intimacy with my partner I’ll still become numb and dissociate, as if, my mind were warming me not to go there.

I had kept my childhood memory of my father’s frightening penis exposure out of my conscious mind until age 24 and from that point on, I’d become aware of my father’s continuing genital fondling in front of me. I hated it!!

My new awareness hadn’t changed my father’s behavior and so, I must assume he’d been doing this for many years without my conscious awareness. I might also assume that, I’d been freezing or dissociating during these earlier CSA episodes without consciously realizing it.

Once out of denial at age 24, I began noticing my father’s genital fondling within my peripheral vision. And when I did, I’d immediately freeze automatically. My freeze response was always the same and seemingly beyond my control. Within my freeze state I was afraid to move! I could only pretend that I couldn’t see what he was doing and only wait for him to stop and walk away. Then everything seemed normal, again, as if, it had never happened.

These CSA experiences made me feel as though, I'd been split in two. And perhaps I was in that, I had to bury my emotions in order to cope with it. By the time he was about age 65 he had finally stopped doing it.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Even when I’ve agreed to physical intimacy with my partner I’ll still become numb and dissociate,
I understand this. When I was a teenager I was terrified of sex, thought it would split my body in two. And it took a funny friend to help me with the penis phobia.

Also, I no longer discount the effects of the csa on me. This thread kind of kicked that off for me by talking about it in session and then having a series of critical events. My trauma was similar to yours in that my clear memory was no contact csa. I think Friday said it best when they said “It’s not the things he did, it’s who he is.”

I also resonate with freezing whenever I sense that someone is doing something sexually inappropriate. My brain is ultra primed to notice abnormal behavior. Usually my response is freeze or flee.

My body feels like it’s in an extended freeze currently, with trembling always just under the surface and no motivation to move or eat.
 
I understand this. When I was a teenager I was terrified of sex, thought it would split my body in two.

When I’d agree to physical intimacy with my partner I would still become numb and dissociate. It was rather this involuntary dissociation that made me feel as though, I were split in two. My intellect knew what was happening and yet, I couldn’t feel anything.

I wasn’t fearing my physical body might split in two. I was fearful of arousal or something and perhaps, a split between my physical body, my feelings and emotions from my thoughts, consciousness and intellect. Or was I rather fearful of not maintaining the split. This confuses me. Anyway, I’ve always buried my emotions during physical intimacy and this is what I meant when I say, I’ll be perceiving myself, as if, split in two.

As for my penis phobia, I had been living in denial that anyone had sexual feelings until, I was age 24 — myself included. The penis itself wasn’t freaking me out. I think, I’d been associating the penis with my father’s penis exposure while, I was trying to keep this painful memory out of my conscious mind. The penis was only a reminder. Yet once I accepted my CSA this penis phobia immediately went away.

I'd suspect that, a dissociation can go on for days at a times without even realizing it. Yet my freeze state only occurs when I'd perceive or suspect an immediate threat and I couldn't escape it. Once the suspected physical danger has passed my freeze will also be gone.

During my freeze I can only sit still and wait for the threat to leave. My motivation to act or to tend to my own needs, lfor example, hunger, will be zero. It’s as if, I’m not really there in the presence moment and in denial of my perceptions. Then too, immediately afterwords, I’d forget that the incident ever happened. It’s as if, I myself really hadn’t been presence during the abuse.

As for flashbacks, I’m not aware of having any flashbacks related to my CSA.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
once I accepted my CSA this penis phobia immediately went away.
I understand this concept of accepting and then a feeling or sensation never repeating again. In fact I’m counting on it for this most recent episode.

Interesting about how you can’t eat when you are frozen. I have problems eating and I think it has to do with fear being so ever present with respect to accepting the csa. Accepting it means accepting that the person I thought was weird and gross was actually dangerous.

But maybe he’s not so dangerous anymore. Because he’s not so close anymore. Because I keep myself far away as possible. And I’m done. There is nothing he could say that I want to hear. I feel confident that I understand why he did all the things he did and I don’t excuse any of it.

I’ve been thinking about seeking out a therapist who uses micro dosing with psychedelics. Because I did use psychedelics and mdma in college and it helped me tremendously. I would like to have access to that sense of connection and oneness in one to three sessions, to feel that sense of my mind being cleared. I did DMT once and it stayed with me about ten days afterwards. A mellow pleasant feeling I could tap into.

I don’t know how to let go of the fear and sadness. The grief. If I can’t do the psychedelics therapy I might need to tap into my anger to let go of the fear and sadness.
 
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