Sexual Assault I have really disturbing unwanted thoughts about abuse and CSA

OnyxSage

New Here
Hey y'all, I've been struggling with this for a very long time, since I was 11 or 12 I think (though the violent intrusive thoughts have been there as long as I can remember), and I need to talk about it and get some advice because the guilt is eating me up inside. I have experienced some forms of abuse in the past, but my memory of my childhood is really fractured so I'm not sure of everything that happened. I really hope that's the cause of all of this.

For a long time since I was a preteen I've felt this sick and unwanted attraction towards young-looking people in fiction and media. I also have really bad and sexual intrusive thoughts sometimes, about rape and abuse, even about family and friends. There's been a couple of times when I've been really horny and wanted to let out some steam that I purposefully looked for fanfiction that featured age differences in them, but I felt so horrified with myself afterward. I've never, and I mean NEVER felt attracted towards a child, but it doesn't take away from the fact that I used to get off to horrifying shit in writing when I was younger (like bestiality, rape, etc.). I feel this weird draw to gory and violent stories, sexual and otherwise. It's a strange sense of relief and catharsis that I can't make sense of, almost like how revenge feels. Arousal towards horrible violent shit seems almost like an after affect of that. I feel the need to stress that I'm only attracted to such things in fantasy.

There's some definite warning signs that I may have been molested when I was young. I wetted the bed until I was nine, I learned how to masturbate when I was like five, and I remember knowing how a penis looked like when I was really little and drawing it because I thought it was funny. I've also got really bad anxiety and depression issues, and I have these weird muddled memories about seeing a hairy man naked, though I'm not sure if those are real or if they're something my mind made up. I was also exposed to porn really young (like 9 or 10 years old I think) because I had unrestricted access to the internet, and like I said I used to look up some really horrible and graphic things without really realizing how awful it was. In addition, I'm on the asexual spectrum, and the first time I tried to have sex I had a panic attack and had to hole myself up in the bathroom. I feel this horrible fear and anxiety towards sex even though I want to have it, and the only reason I'm not completely sex-repulsed right now is because my boyfriend and I are taking it very very slow, and I trust him to respect my boundaries.

I don't want these thoughts, I hate them so much and I've tried so hard to get rid of them but I can't. Every time I get aroused I feel this weird sense of shame and fear, and there's been times where I've become aroused when stressed or afraid, but not in a good way. Sometimes I feel like I should just get rid of myself so I don't end up hurting someone. Is there a reason for me having these horrible thoughts and feelings? Is there a way to help get rid of them? Please help, my soul hurts so bad and I want it to stop.
 

foxrye

New Here
Hi, I was assaulted as a child and had a strong fear of just looking at children until 20 as I was afraid I'd be attracted to them (and that someone would hurt me again), even though it made no sense.

I first stopped being around children for like a year by going to a new place, not next to a primary school that had me dissociating constantly.

I then worked in fast food for a little time through desperation for a job, which actually really helped me to see children as actual people again and not something to be hurt, as I was. I don't recommend this at all, it could've been very harmful. it's def safer to get advice from a professional on this front. I was on the waiting list for a long time though and needed a job to live. There were no other jobs.

My point in saying this is that it doesn't have to be forever that you feel this way. Just the moving helped me a lot.

So I don't think that this is that abnormal of a thing to fear. I'd suggest looking into stories of people with pure O OCD, as many of them have the very same obsessive and INTRUSIVE (not exactly coming from you!) fears. And also getting into therapy as soon as you are able, if possible. I know it is not pleasant to think that you might be secretly a monster and I hope you can get the help you deserve.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Have you got a therapist to work through this stuff with? Because, irrespective of the cause, you don't deserve to be feeling such intense shame over these things. Something Ts can be excellent at is helping with shifting big emotions like shame, and giving us strategies to deal with intrusive thoughts.

The things that you're dealing with are common. There is absolutely no shame in deciding "I'm gonna get help to stop this problem".
 

oakleaves

Confident
OCD can cause some of the experiences you describe. Like ego dystonic thoughts - you don't want them or agree with them but they are there anyway. I agree it might be helpful to have a proper assessment with a therapist.
 

Nyoom

New Here
These are incredibly common reactions towards trauma and are symptomatic of various mental illnesses. I suffer from similar thoughts to what you described, to the point I planned on killing myself out of fear I may be a nonce. Fortunately, I felt safe telling my boyfriend about my thoughts, as he is highly perceptive and interested in psychology, and we both agreed it was likely a trauma thing, so did research on it. Thoughts like the ones you described can be a result of trauma (I've heard particularly common amongst CSA survivors and PTSD sufferers), and can be symptomatic of OCD. Perhaps googling POCD to see if that aligns with your experience. It may not be OCD, and instead be a presentation of trauma and anxiety. While it's highly distressing, it's very normal to have such thoughts as a result of trauma, and there are many therapies that can help with managing these symptoms. If it is more OCD based, I've heard ERP is highly effective.

I really want to express how common it is. I eventually worked up the courage to tell my mum about my intrusive thoughts, after struggling with the idea of telling her for days, and having a huge panic attack beforehand but knowing I couldn't handle things on my own. She's a mental health nurse. I told her, burst into tears while doing it, could barely get her words out. Wanna know what she did when I finally said it? She laughed, because she hears this sort of thing from her patients all the time, and it was almost funny how worked up I was when it's such a common issue, especially since she knows that I'm heavily invested in psychology too lol. Obviously she gave me a hug, we discussed setting me up with a therapist, etc etc. But it really does go to show how common it is, that she laughed when she saw that I was so broken up about sucha common symptom. Under any other context, her laughing at me crying would be horrible, but there it was weirdly comforting. I know hearing that won't make it easier, but hopefully that knowledge that therapists hear this sort of stuff all the time and understand it as a trauma response and/or OCD might help you have the courage to speak up to a professional :)
 

prynne

MyPTSD Pro
I've experienced childhood sexual abuse and I have similar issues with sexuality. For the past few years, it's been the thing that has caused most of my suicidal episodes. The shame is just so unbearable. Although, when I hear you describe doing and feeling the exact same things, it seems obvious to me that it's not your fault.

Our brain makes connections. That's its job. When we're exposed to sex at a young age, our brain makes connections between sex and children. So when you think of one thing, you think of the other. It doesn't help that the strongest connections are made by events when you were feeling intense emotions or were in danger. I've read that once our brain makes a strong connection it doesn't usually forget, however, we can train our brain to have a different, stronger connection. We can do this by redirecting our brain to this new preferred connection anytime it tries to take the usual path. Every time you do this, the new connection gets a bit stronger. Like rolling marbles to wear down a tiny path in your brain. So what I try to do is when I think of sex and then of children/child abuse, I redirect myself to think of healthier sexual situations. Anytime I think of children and then of sex, I redirect myself to think of the good parts of my own childhood or something else nonabusive and positive related to children.

This could also be caused by the impulse to "redo" a traumatic event, but this time you're in control by being the abuser or choosing the abuse. This is an impulse we have to try to make ourselves feel safer. I can't think of what this is called right now. I would love to know if anyone else remembers.

I hope this helps. It's not your fault and you're not a monster.
 
J

Jay Beirden

Hey y'all, I've been struggling with this for a very long time, since I was 11 or 12 I think (though the violent intrusive thoughts have been there as long as I can remember), and I need to talk about it and get some advice because the guilt is eating me up inside. I have experienced some forms of abuse in the past, but my memory of my childhood is really fractured so I'm not sure of everything that happened. I really hope that's the cause of all of this.
I can't offer much but I wanted to say that this post made me tear up because of how much I see myself in this. I'm so so sorry you've had to deal with this. It's feels f*cking impossibile sometimes (a lot of the time) but I promise you you're not a bad person, and you're not going to feel this way forever. This post is months old and other replies have already said this but what you've described rings very true to my experience with ocd, I would definitely look into it if you haven't already. I hope you're doing okay. We'll get through this.
 
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Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
There's a type of OCD known as pedophile OCD, I would encourage you to look into this. I struggled with intrusive thoughts as well due to exposure to abuse as a child. I would convince myself that I wanted to "f*ck kids, f*ck dogs, get shit/pissed on, etc" and that I was a deviant, awful, monstrous person. Because those things happened to me as a child && my brain was trying to figure out how to process it. And it got stuck in thought loops. Paraphilias require the object of the paraphilia in order to get off/get aroused. It is not a paraphilia if it is a trauma response. That's OCD or PTSD.
 
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