Good educational resources for sexual abuse possibly causing a mix up of sex and love

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Hey all! Wasn't sure where this belonged so move where it's most appropriate.

I'm reclaiming my Facebook and not only that but I am being me and being honest. Very honest. It's liberating and therapeutic. One of those ways is to share good resources on past behavior that the family holds against me and why they happened.

Example is I came onto my cousin (by marriage). For two reasons. He's a pastor but the main reason is that sex and love are intertwined in my brain as the same thing. That last part is the resource I wanted to post. That in some sexual abuse victims, sex and love can become the same thing in their brain and it takes work in therapy to untwist that and redefine what love actually is. But I couldn't find any good resources about that to post. Like good valid ones. So wanted to reach out and see if anyone has any good resources on that, why that happens and sort of breaks it down in lay man's terms. It can be more then one of course.

Thanks so much!
 

Friday

Moderator
I'm reclaiming my Facebook and not only that but I am being me and being honest. Very honest. It's liberating and therapeutic. One of those ways is to share good resources on past behavior that the family holds against me and why they happened.

Example is I came onto my cousin (by marriage).
Wait a minute…

You not only tried it on with your cousin’s husband, now you want to announce to the whole world -people who know him, in any event- that you did so?

Are you TRYING to ruin his marriage &/or get him investigated/sacked by his church, or ostracized by his parishioners for sexual misconduct?

Or did it not occur that in this climate of sexual abuse by priests that no one is going to care if you walked naked up and down the street carrying a sign that reads “It was all my fault”; they’re going to read sex + abuse + priest and lash out against him and your family?

I get that the idea of doing so FEELS very liberating and therapeutic to publicly post a sorry-not-sorry (apology + excuse)… but it seems far more like a continuation of doing anything to feel better yourself -no matter how much it hurts others, nor how inappropriate it is- just like you were doing when trying to sleep with him.
 
Last edited:

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I read this differently. Not that the cousin was married. But maybe I read that wrong?

I would just be careful about using social media to explain yourself. You have nothing to prove to people, and what is your motivation?
Employers look at social media.
People can take screen shots and share it.
So do you really want to post about you coming onto your cousin on social media, even if it is the result of trauma?

What is it you want from that post and maybe explore that here? In a safe place where your identity is not known.
 

JGirl

Confident
I took this to mean that the family already knows what happend and that @lostforgottensoul wants to find an article about how sexual abuse victims confuse sex and love. It is a way for them to understand past behaviour. I am assuming that this does not mean that specific details about the incident will be shared.

I don't have any good articles about it.

My advice- I have tried to give articles to my parents about the impacts of mental/emotional abuse on a young child (from things my sister did) and they didn't bother to read them. If you decide to put information/articles up, then make sure that you are ready for a variety of outcomes. Also make sure that you have given a lot of thought to what you are putting up for everyone to see. Once you get the idea to post something, carefully weigh the pro's and cons. Like @Movingforward10 said, employers often look at social media and people can take screen shots. Also remember that you don't have any control over what people may post. Could they say something that you don't want posted? Are you at a place where you can ignore negative comments? Would emailing an article be a better option? I am glad that you are in a place where you feel empowered by being honest. I am just giving you some things to think about.

Good luck finding the article you are looking for.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
I took this to mean that the family already knows what happend and that @lostforgottensoul wants to find an article about how sexual abuse victims confuse sex and love. It is a way for them to understand past behaviour. I am assuming that this does not mean that specific details about the incident will be shared.
This!

I've already apologized for it years ago.

I didn't post this to be shamed even more.


Are you at a place where you can ignore negative comments?
Yep.


Like @Movingforward10 said, employers often look at social media and people can take screen shots.
I'm not planning on putting up any specific details. More general ones. Generally this can lead to this type of behavior. Or this is what can happen from abuse. That type of thing. Not real worried about my job. They are very mental issue friendly and hire a ton of vets therefore are pretty PTSD friendly. If that makes sense. But, again, will not be posting specifics.

To add, I want to do this because when it happened (like 8 yrs ago) my family was like "why would you do this" and at the time I didn't know myself. Today I do and want to answer that question for them in a general fashion. If that makes better sense. Not to excuse anything but to explain.
 
Last edited:

joeylittle

Administrator
For two reasons. He's a pastor but the main reason is that sex and love are intertwined in my brain as the same thing. That last part is the resource I wanted to post. That in some sexual abuse victims, sex and love can become the same thing in their brain and it takes work in therapy to untwist that and redefine what love actually is.
What strikes me about this is that you're talking about a few different 'takes' on the way childhood sexual abuse influences/shapes/drives sexual behavior in adulthood. So, you might not find any resources that talk about this phenomenon as you've laid it out.

It might be helpful for you to decide which of these pathways is closer to the sex = love phenomenon that you're describing...

One way it happens - the child is taught by the abuser that the abuse - the sexual contact - is something 'special' that people do when they love each other. In this kind of example, "love" is being very narrowly defined as "sex" - the child can grow up without understanding that "love" has multiple manifestations. Affection isn't love, caring isn't love, kindness isn't love - sex is love.

A different lens to use - affection ('love') is given through sexual contact. In this, the child doesn't know how to differentiate between fondness, affection, approval, support, etc. - and sexual activity. So in this framework, the more abstract concept of "love" is almost detached from what we might call 'romance' - 'love' is physical contact, and physical contact leads to feeling approval, feeling cared for, feeling supported...and the absolute closest form of physical contact is sexual activity - therefore, it's the highest ("best") way to show care for someone.

A third thing that will factor into how to research this - you said, two reasons, the first being that he's a pastor. So, that would be a kind of attachment phenomenon, I'm guessing - as in, if one's abuser was a doctor, then all doctors become objects of attachment. Any one pastor would represent your abuser. Is that what you meant by "two reasons"?

There are (I'm sure) other angles - I'm just laying out the ones I can see in your post, and am wondering if anything I've written seems more like the phenomenon you're trying to explore? Or, anything seem way off base?
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Is that what you meant by "two reasons"?
Well, because my past was a religious cult, I went on this "all pastors must have sex with me" sort of thing for the better part of my 20s. I think part of that was cult based thinking but another part was saying "f*ck you" to "god" or whatever is that higher power. That I stopped doing that of course and am now having weekly sessions with a pastor to sort through the religious component of my trauma. It's an add on to my therapy and complements my therapy a lot. My therapist isn't against talking about god but he is panenthesit and I thought that would confuse me more then I'm already confused. That is where someone believes that the world is in god. So, I found a non-denomination very not judgemental pastor to talk to. That's been going on for about a month. And he knows about my past of coming onto pastors and we are sort of investigating that still. So why I did that is still a bit unknown but I think it's a mix of the religious component of the cult where religion equaled sex and a bit of anger in this higher power that I think is out there but don't know what that is yet.

I hope that explained that. It's hard to understand myself and I haven't really unraveled that part of it fully yet so that's why I wanted to leave that part out. I can't explain something if I, myself, don't know why I did something. If that makes sense.

To add, my therapist knows I am having these weekly sessions with this pastor and is all for it. We also talk in therapy about some things me and this pastor talk about. So they are sort of intertwined that way.

Oh, I forgot to add that there is a ton of fear around these religious things and so talking to the pastor around a church is exposure therapy and is helping quite a bit with the fear I have around religious things.

One way it happens - the child is taught by the abuser that the abuse - the sexual contact - is something 'special' that people do when they love each other. In this kind of example, "love" is being very narrowly defined as "sex" - the child can grow up without understanding that "love" has multiple manifestations. Affection isn't love, caring isn't love, kindness isn't love - sex is love.

A different lens to use - affection ('love') is given through sexual contact. In this, the child doesn't know how to differentiate between fondness, affection, approval, support, etc. - and sexual activity. So in this framework, the more abstract concept of "love" is almost detached from what we might call 'romance' - 'love' is physical contact, and physical contact leads to feeling approval, feeling cared for, feeling supported...and the absolute closest form of physical contact is sexual activity - therefore, it's the highest ("best") way to show care for someone.
I think it's both. Where, sex and love got confused for both reasons. The second one though, seems even closer to why I was going out and having sex with a ton of guys and why I would come onto everyone, especially pastors as described above. That I felt sex is caring. Sex is being supported. That sex is how you get someone to not leave you. It's been a lot of things for me. So, in researching this, maybe break it into pieces? It's a super complicated and complex thing.
 
Last edited:

Sideways

Moderator
Okay, so as the this thread evolves, the picture seems to be getting simultaneously clearer, and murkier.

On the one hand, you're entering new territory in therapy. Meeting with a pastor is a really big deal with your personal history, LFS. A congratulations is in order there, because that must have taken an immense amount of courage. I hope it helps you carve out the future you want for yourself.

I'm reclaiming my Facebook and not only that but I am being me and being honest.
Good for you 👍. Like it or loathe it, FB is still one of the primary ways humans connect in the 21st century. And if you're ready to connect with people, it's fantastic that you're moving back into your FB space and having another go.

That last part is the resource I wanted to post
Would it be fair to say, based on the conversation that has evolved above, that you're still exploring the complex reasons why you engaged in this particular behaviour with this particular person?

If so, do you think that FB specifically is an place to explore that? Considering your audience, the degree of control you have over what happens after posting, the lack of safety especially (which is so incredibly important in therapeutic work, right?)...?

One of those ways is to share good resources on past behavior that the family holds against me and why they happened.
This seems a bit confused to me.

There was your comment about this being 'liberating'. And, I'm guessing that feeling you're describing is a pretty awesome feeling to have. So, I'm reluctant to say "don't do that" if it's making you feel good.

But - your family is necessarily part of the audience on FB. So, some things to consider:
Do you think that FB is a place where they're going to appreciate you exploring these issues?
Do you think they'll appreciate being handed all this information?
Do you think they'll appreciate you having this particular conversation in such a public way?
Do you want your FB page to be about your past? Or your present?

And, this is me thinking out loud (because you seem to want to have a dialogue about it, and this might warrant being part of the things you're exploring - so, ignore it if it's irrelevant, think about it if you're curious, etc etc):
You've commented that this FB project feels liberating, and in the same post, said that you're specifically targeting past behaviours that your family have had a problem with in the past. Is there any possibility that you're mistaking the feeling of 'liberation' with 'revenge'?

It would be a bad outcome if your FB page became a brand new reason for members of your family to resent you, given how far you've come with your recovery...

It sounds like there's a lot of issues that you're looking at with a new lens, and that's brilliant. That's an entirely worthwhile thing to do with your energy. But, perhaps be careful not to confuse the feeling of liberation with what may actually be an abandonment of reasonable, healthy boundaries. There's a lot of very sensible reasons people tend not to explore their CSA recovery on platforms like FB.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Do you think that FB is a place where they're going to appreciate you exploring these issues?
I don't care. See, here's the thing, it's MY Facebook page. Facebook where my family waged a war against me (truly every family member went after me, many for lies that weren't even true) and then I blocked who I needed to block and stayed away from Facebook for years. When all along its MY page to do what I want and say what I want. Now, like I said, no specifics will be mentioned but if I want to post general research about why one intertwines love and sex after abuse as the same thing, why can't I? I'm not going to put out personal information like they do. They took those PRIVATE messages that were sent to him and printed them, then passed those PRIVATE messages around to the family. Enough of this "will they care" crap. It's MY Facebook page. I couldn't get two shots what they think of what I post on my page. At least I have enough moral to not post private information like they do.

And yes, this is super liberating! I'm taking control back.


Do you think they'll appreciate being handed all this information?
Most probably won't read it but some, I'm positive will. I'm wanting to post it for those that care enough to read it and try to understand it.


Do you think they'll appreciate you having this particular conversation in such a public way?
What conversation? What, about general research on how one can make sex and love the same thing due to abuse. THEY made PRIVATE messages public. I don't plan to.


Do you want your FB page to be about your past? Or your present?
I want it to be about what I want to post about.


Is there any possibility that you're mistaking the feeling of 'liberation' with 'revenge'?
No!

This is not why I posted this thread. Disagree with me all you want about Facebook but that is for another thread. I posted to ask if anyone has valid sources about sexual abuse causing one to make sex and love the same thing. Can we please stick to that?
 

Sideways

Moderator
if I want to post general research about why one intertwines love and sex after abuse as the same thing, why can't I?
You totally can.
its MY page
No, it's not. It's more like a public notice board. Have you considered a private website (for safety reasons) so that it would be your page?
Can we please stick to that?
Sure. I don't have any resources that are as specific as the information you're looking for, but by far and away the best resource we have here for supporter education is the Blue Knot Org's website: here.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
For CSA I recommend Judith Herman and her book Trauma and Recovery. (As always) Yes it deals with sex and love being mixed up. I hope it helps.
 
Top