Questioning Sexuality

LeiaFlower

Confident
This breaks my heart, I’m sorry they treated you this way—very wrong and hurtful, although from how you describe it it sounds like everyone in your family was steeped in this skewed perspective. . .The rescue fantasy is fairly common for survivors, it happens all the time with T’s—it’s called transference—where the small part of you projects the ideal caregiver onto the person who is nice to you. . .This is often very confusing to survivors. The best way I can describe it is like this. The transference happens unconsciously of the child parts seeking out the ideal caregiver to do what their real caregiver never did.
my parents were okay with affection but I was very touch deprived as a kid. Then the groomer came along to I guess rescue me from the physical and emotional abuse in my household. Only to hurt me as well. I guess that’s why my younger self probably long for affection because I didn’t get it much from other people, and my groomer probably used touch to abuse me.
The fact that you can’t remember your abuse hints to me that it may have happened when you were preverbal, but even if it didn’t the fact that it is hidden from you means you have no words to talk about it, like a baby. In normal child development a baby is merged with its caregivers, they cannot distinguish a separation between themselves and the other. So when an adult transfers this infant longing to merge onto another adult, the adult brain interprets the long to merge as a sexual motivator. Your brain is fighting back against that for various reasons by saying
I hung around this person from infancy until age nine I believe. I remember because iCarly “iFight Shelby Marx” was airing on the TV in her room in 2009. But I think that was the last time I was over. We didn’t move away until 2010 so I’m not for sure what happened that time or why that’s the only time I actually remember being over there despite going over there often.
Which is true, but the concept of merging in an adult body is processed as a sexual feeling.

Through therapy, some survivors can experience reparenting with the help of the therapist so that they can gently develop that stuck infant part.
I’ll have to ask my therapist if it’s something we can work on, reparenting. I’ve worked on it previously with my former therapist but it didn’t help or go far. We only spent like one session talking about it.

Because she's traumatized?. . . My T does parts work. She does relational transactional analysis and psychodynamic therapy. She is all about healing in relationship with others and integrating traumatic parts of ourselves that we cut off to protect ourselves. I found it stressful and confusing and upsetting as I felt I had lost the plot thinking I had different parts to me. But actually it made sense. And I learnt to like (love?) Younger versions of me.
It definitely sounds like something I want to work on. I don’t necessarily want to hate younger me. I just don’t understand her or why she does and did things. I wish she would tell me what happened so I can finally understand but I get why she doesn’t trust me.
If this example helps any:
I have been with my partner for 18 years. Only when I started therapy 2 1/2 years ago and actually dug around the CSA, did I start to cry after sex. Sex with my partner that I know is safe and I know how sex goes and no reason at all for adult me to cry. Made no sense to me. I love my partner. I was enjoying and consenting and yet: massive sobbing after.
But parts work helped to make sense. My T helped me realise that it was younger me not feeling safe. Adult me was fine. But sex for younger me was triggering.
Sharing that as it shows how not compatible younger part's feelings are with adult versions of ourselves. So adult you may be heterosexual. It younger part seeks closeness to females because of the past?idk this is just a theory and I am just a random person on the internet.
How did you know when you were ready for sex? I think I’m still a virgin I can’t remember if rape happened. I hope it didn’t. But, how do I know when I should start looking for a partner? Where do I even start? How do I show I’m romantically interested in someone? How do I know if they want more than sex but a relationship?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
How did you know when you were ready for sex?
So this has taken me a very very very long time to work out. I'm in my 40's. When I was a young teenager I acted out the abuse. I didn't know me or my body or what I wanted or how to know what I want or how to express what I want. I was detached from my body and detached from the trauma that happened to my body and me.
So, now, I know when I want to have sex and when I am just "going along with it". And ,for me, it's about being aware of what my body feels and what my mind is saying. So if I am having instrusove thoughts: best not to have sex. But if I feel desire in my body and if I am connected emotionally with my partner and if I am in the moment just thinking about the two of us: then it's positive to have sex then. (And then I am less likely to cry after).

I think I’m still a virgin I can’t remember if rape happened
Whether rape happened or not, I view things based on consent. I also, because I'm gay, view 'sex' differently. Sex is whatever we make it, rather than (in my opinion) 'traditional heterosexual sex', which focuses on it being 'one' thing.
The concept of virginity is just a concept.
If any of that makes sense. None of that may be of any use to you!

But, how do I know when I should start looking for a partner? Where do I even start? How do I show I’m romantically interested in someone? How do I know if they want more than sex but a relationship?
I have no idea! I don't know how old you are or if age has a role to play in this. Seems to me, whatever age people are, these days apps are the way people find partners, rather than going out and meeting people?
But thinking about what you want and how to do this: going on dates are maybe good and safe ways to experiment? Meet someone in a public space for coffee or dinner and see how you feel? No obligation for anything. See if you feel like you like them. And see if you want to get to know them more?
Communication is good. Say what you want and need. They should say what they want and need.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
When I was a young teenager I acted out the abuse. I didn't know me or my body or what I wanted or how to know what I want or how to express what I want. I was detached from my body and detached from the trauma that happened to my body and me.
I’m not going to lie that’s something I really want to do. To give up and go numb. To detach myself and retraumatize myself because I think I deserve because I feel like a liar because my memories aren’t here. And if I create more trauma either then I’ll finally have something for someone to believe or then I’ll have the memories back. I know I shouldn’t. It’s just really hard not to. It takes everything every single freaking day not to give up. And it’s exhausting to do all the time.
So, now, I know when I want to have sex and when I am just "going along with it". And ,for me, it's about being aware of what my body feels and what my mind is saying. So if I am having instrusove thoughts: best not to have sex. But if I feel desire in my body and if I am connected emotionally with my partner and if I am in the moment just thinking about the two of us: then it's positive to have sex then. (And then I am less likely to cry after).
I hope I’ll be able to get to this point.
Whether rape happened or not, I view things based on consent. I also, because I'm gay, view 'sex' differently. Sex is whatever we make it, rather than (in my opinion) 'traditional heterosexual sex', which focuses on it being 'one' thing.
Yeah, I guess you’re right. Sex is should only be considered sex if it was consensual. If this was said about someone else I say this but for myself I’m more degrading.
I have no idea! I don't know how old you are or if age has a role to play in this. Seems to me, whatever age people are, these days apps are the way people find partners, rather than going out and meeting people?
But thinking about what you want and how to do this: going on dates are maybe good and safe ways to experiment? Meet someone in a public space for coffee or dinner and see how you feel? No obligation for anything. See if you feel like you like them. And see if you want to get to know them more?
Communication is good. Say what you want and need. They should say what they want and need.
I’ll try the suggestion of the public spaces. Though I think dating apps will only scare me or lead to superficial relationships.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I’m not going to lie that’s something I really want to do. To give up and go numb. To detach myself and retraumatize myself because I think I deserve because I feel like a liar because my memories aren’t here. And if I create more trauma either then I’ll finally have something for someone to believe or then I’ll have the memories back. I know I shouldn’t. It’s just really hard not to. It takes everything every single freaking day not to give up. And it’s exhausting to do all the time.
I understand. It's as though you could justify these feelings if something happened now, as opposed to fully believing yourself that all this is from the past? That's how I see/saw it.
What's really really positive, is that you're aware and that awareness is stopping you from going down that road.

I hope I’ll be able to get to this point.
Well if I can, anyone can! I mean, took me many years to even acknowledge half of what happened in the past. So hopefully you'll get to that point way earlier in your life than I did!

Yeah, I guess you’re right. Sex is should only be considered sex if it was consensual. If this was said about someone else I say this but for myself I’m more degrading.
I think a lot of us show compassion to others but fail to show it to ourselves. But it's good to acknowledge that and then learn to have that same compassion for yourself as you deserve it just as much as anyone you would give it to.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
I understand. It's as though you could justify these feelings if something happened now, as opposed to fully believing yourself that all this is from the past? That's how I see/saw it.
What's really really positive, is that you're aware and that awareness is stopping you from going down that road.
The awareness of this helps somewhat but I genuinely don’t know now if me wanting to have sex with men is because of being in a trauma brain right now. When I wasn’t in this state I thought I was asexual. I have romantic interest for men but I don’t want to have sex with them; however, I view sex as degrading and gross and a way to control someone. Though after reading the book Sexual Healing I realized that this thinking is due to trauma. Which made me even more confused on whether or not I would want to have sex with men if I wasn’t in trauma brain and didn’t have distortions. I guess I can’t really “experiment” to see if asexuality is the case because I’m still in trauma brain. But the trauma keeps repeating to me every day that I need to punish myself. I still use masturbation to self harm and it’s getting worse. Like it isn’t degrading for me anymore and I’ve gone numb to it. Now my mind wants to try more things to hurt me. Does any of this makes sense?

And I know I don’t want to have sex nor do I have a romantic interest in females. I’m just overly affectionate. When I feel safe and supported by my friend or when I want to show I care or appreciate her, I get affectionate. That’s when the hugging, holding hands, laying my head on her lap, sharing personal space. And the want to platonically kiss and cuddle with her. Though I do wonder if I should at least explain any of this to her? If she sees it as only for when you’re in a romantic interest with someone then I of course should respect her boundaries. But I don’t want her to think I’m gay and then get uncomfortable when I want to hold hands… if I should ask how should I word this to emphasize that it’s platonic and I only want to cuddle when I have bad anxiety or kiss when I’m happy that I’m friends with her?
I think a lot of us show compassion to others but fail to show it to ourselves. But it's good to acknowledge that and then learn to have that same compassion for yourself as you deserve it just as much as anyone you would give it to.
I agree if someone close to me was going through this I’ll try to talk them out of it by saying they don’t deserve to be treated like that. However, everything is telling me I deserve to be abused. It’s hard not to believe it.
 
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