Childhood My father frequently showed me pornography as a child, and i don't know what to think about it.

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I have a lot of confusion about this, and I really wonder if I'm just minimizing really hard, or if it really isn't that big of a deal, or anything at all. I don't know what to think about it. I've never been able to bring myself to talk to my therapist about it, which, as I type this, is making me feel sick about it in that that's how I act with things that are traumas, and I really, really don't think this is a trauma. I think I am just hesitant to say it because it's embarrassing, and that's all. It's just weird.

I don't know exactly what age it started, because these things kind of ramped into this. I will explain this later. I think around the age of 9 or 10 or so, is when it started. My dad started showing me pornography. Mainly on the TV, when nobody was around but me and him.

This continued, for years. At the end I was outwardly expressing my disgust, strongly. I'd make some disgusted noise and dramatically walk out of the room like a teenager.

When I say ramped up, I mean like, he exposed me to things that you shouldn't expose children to at x age. So, I don't even remember the start, but he would always watch any sort of material he wanted when it was just me and him around. This kept going. I was cool with it because I was like "oh, cool! i get to watch the big kid stuff and the grown up stuff!" even if I got really scared by the scary movies, I still liked it ultimately. But, this expanded into the pornography when I reached that age. He even would show me it on the computer, eventually, and when technology caught up for it to be common enough, his laptop. At first it was like the other things, to me. "Oh wow I get to see adult stuff cool!"

and I also liked it, which is.. i dunno. thinking about that, see this is why I am saying it is confusing. I have also had a lot of problems with my sexuality my entire life, and I was mostly paying attention to the females when watching it with him. I also had my first sexual experiences with females. Throughout my life, through my high school and college years, my sexuality has bounced between being into females -only-, and being into males -only-, and being into both, and being into neither, and this has continued my whole life. My adult trauma has only complicated it. It's always been fluctuating though, and thinking of this early pornography exposure and my watching of the women in it, was something that caused a lot of confusion for me growing up.

As I got older, I got a better grasp of what was going on, and I started to just feel really grossed out by him showing me pornography.

There was never anything beyond this, like, I was never touched. He just showed me pornography from a young age and continued for years. I don't even know what to think of it.

I think I actually recall masturbating once or twice during this. I thought I was hidden under the blankets well enough for it to be unnoticeable. This is also what had me starting to masturbate. I feel really grossed out by that and so wrong about it, actually, now that I think about it. It's just gross. I also recall walking in on my father laying down in his underwear in front of the TV with porn on it. Then, he noticed I was there and stood up and turned around and kind of looked surprised, and then just walked off and came back with pants and kept watching it and said nothing about it. I didn't even think of what was going on during that, for years. Had no clue I had basically just walked in on him masturbating, and he came back with pants on and kept watching porn. It's just weird and I don't know what to think about any of this.

I feel wrong even posting in this section, because all the things that happened to me as an adult, really make this look like nothing, and I never felt bothered by it before, aside from being disgusted by it. I didn't really think about it, or care about it, or anything. It didn't feel like a big deal, but it's weird, and I don't know what to think about it now that I look at it, years later, as an adult, some one who has been a teacher of children that age. An adult who has been subjected to years of domestic violence, sexual assault, being used as an object, emotional abuse, I can go on and on, it was just horrible. My father showing me porn was nothing at all like those horrible years. But it's still confusing, and I don't know what to think.

On top of this, it feels wrong posting here because I've already read so much about the horrible things that so many of you have gone through as children. I often identify in that I have had many of those things happen to me, just as an adult, but, I don't view this weird shit from my childhood as trauma, or anything like that. But I am also very confused about it and I don't know what to think, and I am posting here because I'm hoping maybe the people here can help me figure out what to think.

I am really having a hard time hitting "create thread" right now. I really am having a hard time with the idea of anyone reading all of this. f*ck it.
Oh @Sweetleaf - of course this was abuse. What if one of your friends told you that her dad had made her watch pornography with him when she was a kid? This was a huge betrayal. As a parent of a kid the same age you were when your dad made you watch it, I am horrified that anyone could do that and I feel so sad for you that it happened to you. It may not have traumatized you, but it was wrong, wrong, wrong.

And I get where you're coming from, those feelings of "so many people here had it worse." The bottom line is that you are here, you belong here, and we want to help you help yourself get better. You've shared SO MUCH in a short amount of time. You are brave! I know how it feels when it seems like everything wants to come out at once, but you aren't even sure if it matters. It matters! You matter!
@Sweetleaf , mate.
I don't know where to start with this, but I'll try.
Thank you for posting.
The funny thing about trauma is there's no in-game ranking system. Just because it's not as bad as something else and it doesn't rate highly in your personal system of traumas, or comparatively with other people's, or didn't 'traumatize' you or give you PTSD-proper, doesn't mean it's not all kinds of fkd up that it happened, and doesn't mean you don't need to come to terms with it, or that it doesn't rattle around in your head.

You don't have to be grateful it isn't worse. You don't have to be happy that he didn't touch you or do other things to you. You don't have to qualify this in terms of experience, your own or anybody else's.

Healthy. Father-child. Relationships. Do. Not. Involve. Showing. A. Kid. Pornography.
Or acting like that's in any way an okay thing to do to.
I'm absolutely horrified and sickened and saddened that he did this to you. I feel strongly protective and like I'd quite like to give him a piece of my mind.

Image-based abuse is still abuse.

As to arousal when you saw sexual images and pornography, well. Pornography is designed and curated to be as desirable as possible to the largest range of people.

I was 11-12 and pretty innocent when my abuser first started with the porn. And masturbation lessons followed pretty quickly after. I felt sick and dirty and aroused with the thrill of the illicit at the same time. Even writing that was hard.
Was it right of her to do that?
And was it wrong of me to be turned on by the porn or watching her masturbate at the same time I felt sick and dirty and wrong about it?
Sexuality is a headf*ck at the best of times for me. But I'm betting you'll tell me it wasn't.
I want to respond to you both so badly.
But it is to distressing to try and it is so much to wrap my mind around. I have tears rolling out of my eyes writing this. Not the sobbing crying. Just the tears rolling. But that is a fragile state. I think I'm going to sleep and come back to this thread tomorrow or something. This just makes me want to cry.
I slept, probably way too long, but I think my body needed it.
I am still very much having a hard time with this actually. I have had to use the mental safe, that my therapist has helped reinforce for me through EMDR, and sometimes it can help me just take thoughts or memories and pretend I'm shoving them in this thick ass safe, shutting the door, and spinning the lock, with the hopes they stay contained in there and I don't have to feel so much, until I pull them out at therapy. It works sometimes.

Last night I laid down but kept crying for a while. Just fell asleep doing that.
I think it's because I have been trying to deny that this is much of anything, for so long. I spent a very long time, many years of my adult life, not even thinking about it, like ever.

Feeling the feelings that have to do with it. It all just makes me want to cry.

But I'm betting you'll tell me it wasn't.
What do you mean by this?
I am really bad at understanding things sometimes.
I'm sure sexuality is quite the headf*ck for a lot of us here.
Shit, it's a headf*ck for people who have no trauma at all sometimes.

This is all still really mindf*cky to wrap my head around. I feel like I have been in denial (and thus am now struggling with the thought) about this being that bad of a thing my whole life, like something that could have the word "abuse" attached to it. It did disgust me at the time, it did feel wrong at the time, but I went with it because ugh f*ck. The disgust took over fully eventually and that pretty much ended things thankfully. Not because he quit watching porn when I was around, but because when he would I would remove myself from the area.

It was after an EMDR session, or more like EMD session, using the flash technique, that I first thought about these memories of him showing me porn, and only very recently that I started on my own just delving into it again. It was hours after the session that I thought about this stuff. It was because I was thinking about how, when she was explaining why I was having such a hard time having the technique work for me, and why "the bad stuff" was being so sticky, and even attaching itself to my happy place thoughts, and possible reasons why I could be so stuck.

She asked me "do you have any previous things that happened to you like that? maybe you're stuck because there is older stuff that needs to be cleared out first"

It didn't come up in the session, but it came up when I was thinking of the session, later.

However, I have since progressed with EMDR, and it has lowered some of my pain, it has worked wonderfully on some things. I have a long way to go of course.

I should know better than to compare my own trauma to other things that have happened to me, or compare what has happened to me to what has happened to others. I have applied that to other things that have happened to me, but not this father-showing-me-porn stuff. It's like the wool was pulled over my eyes so hard I couldn't even apply shit I already knew. I just have had such a hard time wrapping my head around it, or even talking about it, or thinking about it. Especially thinking of it as abuse. It makes my head kind of hurt right now.

It feels unreal, to view it like that. It's just so hard to think about it all. It feels good to have confirmation that it was bad, from you both, but it also hurts to think about it all. It feels good to have validation that I'm not weak or overdramatic or anything for having some trouble with this, that this was abuse, and shouldn't have happened.

I'm absolutely horrified and sickened and saddened that he did this to you. I feel strongly protective and like I'd quite like to give him a piece of my mind.

As a parent of a kid the same age you were when your dad made you watch it, I am horrified that anyone could do that and I feel so sad for you that it happened to you. It may not have traumatized you, but it was wrong, wrong, wrong.

It's abuse. The end.

Oh @Sweetleaf - of course this was abuse. What if one of your friends told you that her dad had made her watch pornography with him when she was a kid?

^ all of that stuff makes me want to cry. It might not be like my adult trauma. I might have been in denial about it, I might still kinda be in denial about it. In fact, it's kind of too much to handle, to have to think about it. This is one of those times where I am like "f*ck! why does this have to come up when therapy is so many days away?"

Yet at the same time it's so hard to think about trying to tell my therapist about this stuff, because it feels like I won't even be able to get the words out of my mouth without starting to bawl. On top of that there is just the difficulty of saying the words. Do I tell my mother? Do I tell my sister? She didn't really have to be around him alone like I did, like ever. She's like 5 years older than me. She was always with my mom, and I just got kinda stuck with my dad while my mom was off doing things with my sister all the time. I don't think I want to tell them about it.

It really is f*cked up. And when I think about it, it did change me and stuff, like, there are so many things in my life that might not have happened or would have likely gone very differently if this stuff didn't happen, because the exposure to both the sex stuff and just all the adult material in general, really started me off down several different paths. One of which you can still see in my writing - the potty mouth aspect of me, it kind of started off because my father just allowed that. He never disciplined me. Like ever. Not once. As a kid I liked this, and he was my favorite parent, because he never punished me. But, as an adult, I have not contacted him in 9 years, despite him wanting to contact me so much. (tough shit f*cking loser, never gonna happen, enjoy dying alone) As an adult, I realize that he was actually a really, really shitty horrible parent, that never, ever acted anything like a father figure. At all. Ever. I know that he did on -some- level give a shit about me, unlike my f*cking psychopath ex. He still did a bad enough job to warrant never hearing from me again for the rest of his life.

But, the fact I have this -horrible- figure in my past, who I can't even see a picture of, who is so much more evil and f*cked up than my father, makes it hard to see things for what they really are, in regards to what went on when I was a kid.

It's just so hard to see abuse for what it is - abuse - trauma. It's hard. It's been hard with many adult traumas, so, I suppose it's no surprise it's hard to deal with over a decade of denial and repression.

I still don't know what to say. I still don't know what to think. I am so glad I have so many more tools to deal with things than I used to, but I've really been needing them. I feel bad now, for having compared traumas to each other, in that I do know that no matter what they are all bad, they are all trauma, they all are not things anyone would want to experience.

This shit is just so hard to wrap your mind around though. I don't know what to say so i will just post
I think it’s all related. Showing a young child pornography will affect how that child views men, women, relationships, etc. My guess is that the pornography stuff from your childhood is intertwined with the abuse you endured as an adult. Not knowing what a healthy male-female interaction should be? Not knowing relationship red flags? There’s a lot more. The sexualizaion of children IS a HUUUUUGE deal because it messes up young impressionable minds.
My guess is that the pornography stuff from your childhood is intertwined with the abuse you endured as an adult.

This is one of the many things that makes this all so hard to grasp and so hard to deal with, the thought that the early exposure to pornography, and especially in that way (rather than, say, finding it on your own, in your teens or something), could have helped make me more vulnerable to the sort of abuse I received as an adult, in some way. But I can't even start trying to put that one together. Not right now.

There's been some other -REALLY- difficult stuff that's come up into my mind, things I'm remembering, that I was so disturbed by, that I forced that shit in the safe so hard I can't even presently remember, though I'm sure it'll pop back up if I fire up the right neurons. It's like the "tip of the tongue" phenomenon going on, sort of. Sweaty palms. I know it was something a little more f*cked up than what I have said in this thread so far, and has to do with that stuff. Why can't I recall it right now? Not like I really even want to. ugh.

Well I just thought of something else to distract me, not that it's something good at all to think about. Still makes my palms sweaty but at least it's something else to think about. This is one way, that I think I have just realized, typing this post out, that all this being shown porn as a kid stuff, made me more likely to wind up with my abusive ex. And really, like, -every- single one of my exes, this happened with them, too, but at least they were relatively normal people. Even the one that cheated on me, that is like -normal- bad relationship stuff, stuff that happens to normal people, stuff that really does suck, but in and of itself isn't really traumatic, just sad or heartbreaking etc. but it is stuff that can be handled, and that you can move on from, or at least that I moved on from.

I am not proud to admit this. This actually makes me feel really dirty and like a slut, basically. I hate saying that word, especially in relationship to myself, but it's the only word I can really pull up to describe my emotions. I initiated or agreed with sex very early in all of my relationships, rather than getting to know them before sleeping with them. In one of them, I slept with them the night I met them, and didn't even know their name until the next morning. At least I was safe with it, you know. used protection and all that. That wound up forming a relationship which lasted for like 2 years, and they were a very positive nice person, a good person, even though they broke up with me like a spineless coward would. Basically, I just got lucky a bunch of times, and then, I got really f*cking unlucky.

Of course I don't think I'm ever going to be like that again - like I don't even know if I ever want to really have sex again, but, if I ever do, it's going to take a long time before I feel comfortable enough with someone to do anything like that.

Ugh. I know there's probably so much other shit, too. I just haven't delved into it yet.

I am beginning to see how it can be intertwined with my adult trauma.
Hey @Sweetleaf, I understand what you are going through. I often feel like what happened to me doesn't count or is not that bad and probably happens in most families. According to my therapist very many people who have been abused struggle with those feelings.
I've read a lot of materials on childhood sexual abuse, every definition I came across lists the behaviours that don't involve physical contact, like showing pornography to a child, as an instance of sexual abuse.
The last thing I wanna do is make you cry or convince that things are worse than they seem, but I agree with others, your father abused you.
I hope it did not traumatize you. If you think you might be in denial about this, find a bit of strength to tell your therapist about it. I know you said it's embarrssing, but it's not you who should be embarrssed about it.
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