Sexual attraction towards abuser/people who remind me of abuser

joeylittle

Administrator
This doctor has hyped himself up so much that he's convinced me that no one else I see will be as good as him. In fact, he's told me that exact thing multiple times.
People who do this are usually not nearly as talented or capable as they say they are. The only exception to that in the medical field IMO might be brain and spinal surgeons...they seem to be genuinely hyper-competitive and have an excess of confidence.

So unless this doc is going to be cutting you open to do some extremely risky and complex surgery? I'd say you should feel fine about walking away.

And frankly, even if this is a high-risk surgical situation? It's a competitive field. Find someone you can feel comfortable with. Consider bringing your mom into your appointments. It sounds like you are comfortable talking with her, so don't hesitate to include her as an extra layer of protection.
 

prynne

Confident
It doesn't always matter.

One of the irritating things about having been sexually abused is we often get into thinking that anything falling short of sexual abuse must somehow be acceptable.

It's not appropriate.
This is a good point. That is the way I was thinking about things, but when you point it out it does sound unreasonable. Even if he wasn't acting inappropriately on purpose, it was still inappropriate. Intent isn't always everything. His poor judgment had a negative effect on me.
He knows you have been sexually abused, yet he chooses to be physical when he gives you directions.
I know some people just don't understand PTSD, so I have a hard time assuming negative intent. At least for right now. Because of my parts, I change my mind about things constantly. Exhausting. Many times since this appointment, I have switched back and forth between feeling disgusted by what happened and feeling delighted by it.
And even if you like someone, and want more of their attention, doesn't mean "so I won't enforce any boundaries with them."
This is kind of mindblowing for me, even though I feel like it shouldn't be. For me, liking someone always means I don't enforce my boundaries so they'll like me and won't leave me. That's unhealthy and only causes problems. I shouldn't want to be around people who don't want to know and respect my boundaries. And not enforcing my boundaries strains my relationship with people who do want to respect me. I'll add it to the list I have going right now of things I need to work on in therapy
You got this. Back yourself:)
Thank you :) I will.
You're doing a lot of really impressive processing.
Thank you for acknowledging how hard this everyday stuff is! I have a hard time doing it myself.
Do you need the best? Or do you need a good doctor who behaves appropriately?
Find someone you can feel comfortable with
These are good points. With the work I'm doing with him, good enough is fine. I don't need the best. This isn't life-threatening stuff

I told my mom what happened and she didn't have much of a reaction. That's normal for her, though. I was honestly shocked that she showed any surprise at all. She minimized what happened, which upset me, but she gave me some options to not see him again. I could request to see a different doctor who works in the same clinic. She said his kids are around my age so... I honestly am not really sure what she meant by this. So he's treating me the way he would treat his kids? She also said it would be best for me to keep seeing him or someone in the clinic because my family is about to switch over to her insurance, which has better benefits if we see doctors who work at the hospital where she works.

So I may switch to another Dr in the same clinic...that idea scares me because he would probably find out about it and I am afraid of him and what he might do. Realistically he couldn't hurt me. I think? PTSD makes it hard to tell what fears are reasonable. Or I could stand up to him during our next session. I think this may not be possible for me right now with how much attachment A has to him. She is not happy about me considering leaving him and she is probably going to try to stop it at all costs. I could bring my mom. Realistically, she probably wouldn't say anything to stand up for me. But maybe he wouldn't be as weird to me in front of her. He seemed more hesitant to touch me when we were in front of his secretary. I think he would be weird to my mom though, in a different way, as her coworker. They hate each other, apparently. I don't think this would be much better than going alone.
 
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I'm so sorry you find yourself in this situation. So much of others replies are absolutely spot on, and by the sounds of it, adult you knew that deep down, but we all need a sounding board now and then to help process/rationalise our thoughts and feelings.
Something I will add is regardless of T's intent, he as the medical professional (who's supposedly so amazing 🙄), and as such would 100% know that these words, too friendly touching and scolding are highly inappropriate and unprofessional. Honestly my first thought was he sounds like a narcissistic abuser.
With regards to mum, maybe it's difficult to accept the trauma you've endured and therefore difficult for her to show real emotion about it? I've seen this in my own family, and whilst it seems the person is being callous and hurtful, we've later found out that the person was struggling to deal with the truth and therefore their own emotions.
I've known a few paramedics, nurses and other medical staff who've said similar that they almost separate their emotions from a situation to be able to deal with it. My guess would be they do it so much in their jobs that it trickles through to how they deal with life outside of work?

My gut reaction is anger for you, and I know that's not particularly helpful, I just hate the thought of someone taking advantage of your trauma when they're literally supposed to be there to help you heal. Manipulation and bullying springs to mind, how do these people keep their jobs?!?! Sorry, you probably don't want to hear my angry rant 🤦‍♀️.

With regards to A, could you contact a different T by maybe email or phone? rather than in person when A maybe more likely to interject? Totally appreciate it will be very difficult for A, but my hopes is with time and a decent T, A will come to realise you truly are doing what's best.
 

prynne

Confident
I've known a few paramedics, nurses and other medical staff who've said similar that they almost separate their emotions from a situation to be able to deal with it. My guess would be they do it so much in their jobs that it trickles through to how they deal with life outside of work?
I haven't considered this before, but it makes sense. My mom has never been an emotional person, which is probably helpful with her work.
With regards to A, could you contact a different T by maybe email or phone? rather than in person when A maybe more likely to interject? Totally appreciate it will be very difficult for A, but my hopes is with time and a decent T, A will come to realise you truly are doing what's best.
Thankfully, this dr isn't my T, he's a different kind of dr. I agree that it would be easier to successfully stand up to him indirectly than in person. Thanks to everyone's help, I know for sure that I need to cut things off with him, now it's just a matter of convincing myself to do the right thing for myself. I hope that I can convince A somehow before things get any worse. Yesterday, she showed me that she is willing to completely shove me away to get away with sucking up to him
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I hope that I can convince A somehow before things get any worse. Yesterday, she showed me that she is willing to completely shove me away to get away with sucking up to him
My Cece is this way. Several times I've negotiated with her not to violate others' boundaries or seduce or utilize manipulative tools. Her name comes from what I used to call her, Companion. She was a protector-part, her entire purpose was non-violently solving problems in the best way she could by sacrificing our body and soul to get through the moment.

Sometimes she forgets that we're grownups now and we don't have to do that anymore, but I respect her so, so much because she did the very best that she could do to make certain I could be at the point I am now. And I'm crying writing this because I never thought I'd get to the point that I'd be able to show compassion to myself, and I apologize that this is now about me and not you, but I'll leave it as an example either way.

Integration is f*cking hard. You gotta work with folks where they're at and that's so, so hard and messy. Showing yourself, parts of yourself, compassion isn't easy. You let A know that you love her and you'll take care of yourself and you appreciate what she's trying to do.
 
My Cece is this way. Several times I've negotiated with her not to violate others' boundaries or seduce or utilize manipulative tools. Her name comes from what I used to call her, Companion. She was a protector-part, her entire purpose was non-violently solving problems in the best way she could by sacrificing our body and soul to get through the moment.

Sometimes she forgets that we're grownups now and we don't have to do that anymore, but I respect her so, so much because she did the very best that she could do to make certain I could be at the point I am now. And I'm crying writing this because I never thought I'd get to the point that I'd be able to show compassion to myself, and I apologize that this is now about me and not you, but I'll leave it as an example either way.

Integration is f*cking hard. You gotta work with folks where they're at and that's so, so hard and messy. Showing yourself, parts of yourself, compassion isn't easy. You let A know that you love her and you'll take care of yourself and you appreciate what she's trying to do.
Sending you so much love and support. I must be incredibly difficult. You're doing amazing being able to see, accept and show compassion, and I hope you are able to see that too xxx

I haven't considered this before, but it makes sense. My mom has never been an emotional person, which is probably helpful with her work.

Thankfully, this dr isn't my T, he's a different kind of dr. I agree that it would be easier to successfully stand up to him indirectly than in person. Thanks to everyone's help, I know for sure that I need to cut things off with him, now it's just a matter of convincing myself to do the right thing for myself. I hope that I can convince A somehow before things get any worse. Yesterday, she showed me that she is willing to completely shove me away to get away with sucking up to him
Ah ok, get ya. Is it bad that I'm grateful this doctor is not your T? I 100% agree with you that cutting all ties is absolutely the best thing for you (and honestly I hope he isn't a doctor for much longer considering how he treats patients!), but I also appreciate it must be incredibly difficult to do, especially for A. I guess A has been through so much too, but that doesn't give her the right to shove you aside. Your opinion, needs and safety are not only valid, but paramount. Sending tons of gentle support your way x
 

Applecore

Learning
One observation. If your doctor is genuinely calling you "baby" he should be reported and fired. He is not helping his patient's suffering and is therefore in breach of the sacred code of medical ethics. You are going to a doctor to get better, and he is not helping. I fired a therapist who may have meant well but she affectionately touched my shoulder without my consent after telling me I am "fantastic" - it seems you are in similar territory here.
 
One observation. If your doctor is genuinely calling you "baby" he should be reported and fired. He is not helping his patient's suffering and is therefore in breach of the sacred code of medical ethics. You are going to a doctor to get better, and he is not helping. I fired a therapist who may have meant well but she affectionately touched my shoulder without my consent after telling me I am "fantastic" - it seems you are in similar territory here.
I'm so sorry you were upset by your therapists actions. Consent is everything, that goes without saying (or at least ot should), but when someone is talking about trauma it's seems to me that it should be of the upmost importance. Even if it is just a well ment touch to the shoulder, and what baffles me the most is you'd think a therapist would know that better than most!
After a really really difficult session recently my therapist asked if she was allowed to hug me. I was kinda shocked, because I suddenly realised I've never been asked that before, but mostly i felt very appreciative because I really did need a safe hug in that moment. Maybe asking when appropriate needs to be normalised more
 

Roland

Confident
It's really common to feel attracted to your abuser, and it's not necessarily a bad thing if you find someone that looks like but doesn't act like an abuser if that makes sense. It doesn't mean you wanted it at all, it just means your mind is confused and associates abuse with sex, turn-ons, love, etc, because that's the sad reality of abuse. It's like a maze. It can be managed.

I'd fire that doctor ASAP, that's creepy and not professional behavior. That's ASIDE from your reaction to him, and how you feel about (or the part of you).
 

Applecore

Learning
I'm so sorry you were upset by your therapists actions. Consent is everything, that goes without saying (or at least ot should), but when someone is talking about trauma it's seems to me that it should be of the upmost importance. Even if it is just a well ment touch to the shoulder, and what baffles me the most is you'd think a therapist would know that better than most!
After a really really difficult session recently my therapist asked if she was allowed to hug me. I was kinda shocked, because I suddenly realised I've never been asked that before, but mostly i felt very appreciative because I really did need a safe hug in that moment. Maybe asking when appropriate needs to be normalised more
Thanks. To give you a bit more detail, I'm a huggy person, and being affectionately touched by friends doesn't tend to bother me. Some years ago, after having felt the awkwardness of a male friend getting a hug from me I felt ashamed at having messed up and stopped.

The unsolicited therapist's touch didn't bother me in itself too much. It was more what it symbolized that bothered me. It was another piece of evidence that the well-meaning therapist's boundaries and own awareness needed more work, and I wasn't paying to be in the room to help her with herself. Clearly, the exact opposite - which is why I decided to end treatment.

Let's remember that for very many therapists, their preferred mode of self-development or personal growth has been to become a therapist., and this is very well documented inside the profession.

Even asking for consent to hug could be problematic. Request for consent can feel like pressure from the person with power - power which a therapist certainly has. About 20 years ago a dentist, mid appointment with my mouth open and his equipment in my mouth, asked for my consent to kill one of my teeth. Of course I said yes, because I thought he was the experienced professional and I was the ignorant patient. Today, dentists tell me that it shouldn't have happened.

When I was a younger man I interviewed people for a living in a non-therapeutic line of work, sometimes about the death of their next of kin. There was one occasion when a woman interviewee was crying as she recounted the death of her father. I held out my open hand, palm facing upwards. She took it, and we shook hands. I'm proud of that occasion and I hope in future to resort to that way forward.

So personally I'd be happier if your therapist had asked you what you feel you needed right then, rather than asking you the suggestive question about the hug. Still, I am very glad it was right for you and that she didn't mess up.
 

Applecore

Learning
It's really common to feel attracted to your abuser, and it's not necessarily a bad thing if you find someone that looks like but doesn't act like an abuser if that makes sense. It doesn't mean you wanted it at all, it just means your mind is confused and associates abuse with sex, turn-ons, love, etc, because that's the sad reality of abuse. It's like a maze. It can be managed.

I'd fire that doctor ASAP, that's creepy and not professional behavior. That's ASIDE from your reaction to him, and how you feel about (or the part of you).
Yes, I agree with this. I'd add that it's not always that your mind is confused, because sometimes it can be that the mind is processing the abuse in a reasonable manner - and with awareness, hopefully it can be a way to get over it.

Some people have specific sexual fantasies precisely because they fear those specific sexual realities and never want them to be realized. We've all heard of rape fantasies here. Personally I know of someone who strongly fears betrayal, and sexually fantasizes about being betrayed. Trouble is, thinking itself can become a habit, even an addiction. I'd guess for that person, trying to sexually fantasize about something else more positive - such as love and loyalty - might be a helpful way forward.

A therapist once said a wise thing: "Let's not over-pathologize what you are doing. It might be a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation. Let's have a think about how your mind might be giving you exactly what you need. Let's try to harness that and put it to good use."
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
Even asking for consent to hug could be problematic. Request for consent can feel like pressure from the person with power - power which a therapist certainly has.
Me and my therapist approach this as "meta-therapy." As in, we discuss therapeutic modalities and touch and boundaries within the therapeutic relationship, openly, rather than leaving the framework unsaid. It's infinitely helpful for someone like me who has years of education on the subject and who has special needs within therapy.
 
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