• All donations and upgrades are manually verified and approved within 24hrs.
  • Upgrades are ongoing. Learn how to save your bookmarked posts.

Vigilance and My Shut-Down of Sexual Feelings

Thread starter #1
Perhaps, some PTSD suffers can relate. My sexual feelings never did have anything to do with my boyfriend's physical presence. The 'here and now experience' just felt too unsafe. This I always tried to hide.

However when I was alone, after age 24, I could feel somewhat sexually aroused or at least until, my heightened arousal would evoke a frightening visualization of darkness within my mind. Then I would always shut-down.

Actually I would begin to imagine this darkness as floating near me inside my room. I feared that I might die if, it ever moved too close to me. During my mid 20s, my first T explained this fear as, merely my fear of losing consciousness during an orgasm and that, I'd be fine.

I then recall him asking me, if I was enjoying sex. I answered, my arousal yes. He replied saying, 'No, no one enjoys the tension.' Yet for me, my arousal/ tension 'was' my entire sexual experience. I wasn't having orgasms, not ever and not while, this frightening visualization would be entering my mind. This I had noticed during my mid 20s, when I had told him that I was still having sexual anxieties. He then insisted that, I was mistaken and that, I only needed more time. He always felt certain that my Non Contact CSA had been previously resolved at age 24.

So had my heightened sexual arousal brought about this frightening visualization of darkness. The only other times I've experienced something similar had been during disturbing dreams and possibly once, while under hypnosis induced by my T. Only during my heightened sexual arousal would I be this fearful of losing my conscious vigilance as if, my vigilance had been my only way of protecting myself.

In 2001, while under this hypnosis, I found myself feeling intensely angry or fearful. I'm not sure why. I was also screaming under my breathe with my fists clutched and arms held close to my face. And I didn't know why. A moment later my T spoke, "That was your father molesting you." Yet I saw nothing but this total darkness while under this hypnosis. Perhaps I might be associating this darkness with a memory of sexual or physical abuse. But then too, once inside this darkness I wasn't experiencing myself as having a physical body. I realize that this is weird stuff and I'd simply ignore it if only I could.

Though I could easily arouse myself, self-gratification hasn't mattered much to me over the years. I wasn't having orgasms. Very rarely had I any sex and no meaningful intimacy. I just wanted some normalcy in my life. I also knew that if I wasn't comfortable with my sexual feelings that, a loving, sexually intimate relationship wasn't likely to happen.

Last summer after six sessions with a Phd, I was told that the source of my PTSD trauma could not be found. So now at 73. I'm searching within myself for more answers.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
#2
Welcome to the forum. It's never too late to find our answers. Hopefully being here and reading others stories, issues and victories will help you. And sharing about your own life, someone will relate.

Hope you find your answers.
 
#3
Welcome to the forum. I'm happy that you continue therapy, I will remember that when I get fed up that I'm not getting anywhere in T.

From a male perspective, it was a urologist who explained it best to me. "The part of your brain that kept you alive is the same part that keeps you from having an orgasm. Vigilance and pleasure cannot exist in the place at the same time in your brain". Now if a doctor at any time since about 2003 or so explained that to me or even asked the question my marriage would have been much better. My wife has internalize my problems as a problem with her. I could go on but have to get to work. Once again welcome.
 
#4
A moment later my T spoke, "That was your father molesting you." Yet I saw nothing but this total darkness while under this hypnosis.
What a piece of shit therapist. As in ‘deserves to be reported to their governing body / license revoked’ level of POS.
I then recall him asking me, if I was enjoying sex. I answered, my arousal yes. He replied saying, 'No, no one enjoys the tension.
I’m just kind of stunned by level of McQuako’s you’ve had in your life. This one at least isn’t a complete and total violation of ethics... it’s just stooooopid.

Of course people enjoy arousal! :banghead: I’d even hazard to say most people, as that’s the entire purpose of arousal. But even if that weren’t the case? Each and every single possible aspect of sex is someone’s happy place. Even if just 1% of the population... we’re still talking hundreds of millions of people. So rather than have even the most basic understanding of Sex&Sexuality, just declares your happy place is enjoyed by no one??? WTFO??? Even if the only part you liked about sex was taking off your shoes... that’s a place to start... to be Awesome! So let’s take that, and work with it, until your enjoyment extends to all the other areas you want it to. I’m so sorry you had such an ignorant buffoon who couldn’t see that you were already more than halfway to a healthy vital sex life, and instead became a picture in the dictionary next to “With friends like these? Who needs enemies!?!”

Last summer after six sessions with a Phd, I was told that the source of my PTSD trauma could not be found. So now at 73. I'm searching within myself for more answers.
Good on you :)

That’s where I started, maybe 20 years ago. It never occurred to me “this” might be a disorder. I just knew there was a lot about myself & my life I didn’t like... so I set about changing things. Until I DID like myself & my life. It was another 15 years before my life went sideways, again... but this time I’d learned enough to know I didn’t haaaaave to reinvent the wheel ;) IE there’s therapy, and books, and a wealth of shared experience out there to leapfrog ahead. But the most important thing, in my opinion/experience is my own self. Finding my own answers & solutions to build my life the way I want it. Loooooooove the tips/tricks/shortcuts/genius moments I’ve learned from others, and still learn. But it’s the willingness to keep looking that’s invaluable. I can’t change what my life was, but I can change what it is, and will be.
 
Thread starter #5
What a piece of shit therapist. As in ‘deserves to be reported to their governing body / license revoked’ level of POS.

I’m just kind of stunned by level of McQuako’s you’ve had in your life. This one at least isn’t a complete and total violation of ethics... it’s just stooooopid.

Of course people enjoy arousal! :banghead: So rather than have even the most basic understanding of Sex&Sexuality, just declares your happy place is enjoyed by no one??? WTFO??? Even if the only part you liked about sex was taking off your shoes... that’s a place to start... to be Awesome! So let’s take that, and work with it, until your enjoyment extends to all the other areas you want it to. I’m so sorry you had such an ignorant buffoon who couldn’t see that you were already more than halfway to a healthy vital sex life, .
@Friday The T who told me, "That was your father molesting you" wanted me to then also create false memories of molestation since I had no memory of childhood molestation. She might have also been leading me while I was under, who knows and I was already confused enough. This therapy occurred in 2001, when I think this 'false memory' technique was still considered valid. Fortunately, I had a gut-feeling and terminated with her later that day. No I didn't report her.

My first T, had greatly helped me during my first few years of therapy. Beyond that point, we apparently weren't on the same page. I was extremely naive while he was being stupid ... yeah, what could possibly go wrong?!!

"Halfway to a healthy vital sex life" hasn't quite been enough to substantiate, no, as I'm not yet fully grounded. I also think this 'halfway' syndrome has placed me at great risk for a regression which, has been happening, as I continually struggle with my symptoms. This T thought I was fine at age 24 and only needed more time to adjust. But then, he was my T until I was age 32 while my life only seemed to be in limbo. During my mid 20s, I was sensing that I still had an underlying unresolved issue. My PTSD I suspect. Yet he apparently couldn't see it. The T (Phd) that I saw last year couldn't see it either.

I was surprised when this T said, "No, no one enjoys the tension (arousal)." I think he must have been referring to himself. I have experienced my arousal as being exciting and exhilarating. It has also helped me to relax. I just have to realize that an orgasm isn't likely to happen and to just acceot it and enjoy it for what it is. I can toooo easily lose awareness that I even have a body. So I can understand my confusion, as to who I really am, when I have this disconnect between my many jumbled thoughts and body feeling.
 
Thread starter #6
"The part of your brain that kept you alive is the same part that keeps you from having an orgasm. Vigilance and pleasure cannot exist in the place at the same time in your brain". Now if a doctor at any time since about 2003 or so explained that to me or even asked the question my marriage would have been much better. My wife has internalize my problems as a problem with her.
@Spokesperson brave To me, having an orgasm seems as if it would be a matter of 'life or death.' And of course, I would survive an orgasm. Yes, the problem is that, my brain is still attempting to keep me alive, even though, the trauma event is no longer happening. If only vigilance and pleasure were something I could multi-task, as if a 50/50 focus might be enough rather than, this much more risky 'all or nothing.' :)

I can understand how your wife has internalized your problem as a problem with herself. I was sexually intimate with a good friend about 10 years ago for several years though we rarely saw each other ... it was a long drive. Anyway, I never did orgasm, as I have never orgasms during intimacy. He knew this. Still I totally enjoyed his company. Later, he would often apologize for what? ... just being himself, as if, he thought he was lacking something. He wasn't.

In away, he had taken my orgasm problem onto himself and was beating himself up with it. If we had been in a long time commitment, I can see how he might have begun to doubt himself. My lack of an orgasm, though I've lived with it my entire life, has greatly stifled my possibility of establishing a healthy intimate relationship.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
#7
Seems the issue may be somewhere waaay elsewhere than with your lack of the big O, tho.

As in if people place the health of whole intimacy or relationship, quite a lot of self value / self concept, and such, on a single factor, or such a tiiiny facet of life like an orgasm?

Yeah. There is an issue...
But in priorities and thinking.
Not in sex life.
 
#8
Depending on what works for you. I could recommend moving outside trad talk therapy to massage, movement, art, mindfulness training, yoga, breathing, medium-ship, meditation, visualization training because all of these kinds of arts train you to TRUST you own body, intuition, and primal instincts, even in small ways and to always LET GO and just GO WITH IT. This has huge implications for mindfulness and mind-body interconnections that have obvious connections to orgasm as well as just the enjoyment of the self in all its forms.
 
Thread starter #9
Depending on what works for you. I could recommend moving outside trad talk therapy to massage, movement, art, mindfulness training, yoga, breathing, medium-ship, meditation, visualization training because all of these kinds of arts train you to TRUST you own body, intuition, and primal instincts, even in small ways and to always LET GO and just GO WITH IT. This has huge implications for mindfulness and mind-body interconnections that have obvious connections to orgasm as well as just the enjoyment of the self in all its forms.
@Powder I will agree that traditional talk therapy isn't likely to work for me anymore. Something has not been right with me for a very long time. Then too, it has taken me many years to realize this. Massage therapy would drive me up the wall as if, that person's touch had been a chalkboard scraping.

I don't mind being touched as long as I don't have to focus on it. But to focus my attention entirely on the sensations of being touched by another person -- I would simply soon numb out.

I know that my visualization skills are quite good and that I can easily visualize myself, as being in a safe place. The only problem is that, as I would become highly aroused and near orgasm I would then, begin to fear losing control over my 'safe visualization.' So perhaps, much of this 'letting go' is based on trust. Thank you for these many helpful suggestions.
 
#12
@spinningmytires I can feel the sense of overwhelm in your writing and can relate to it greatly, although it doesn't always manifest physically for me in the same manner. Sometimes it does, but it can take many forms. Like not wanting to be touched. This has come and gone for me.

In my opinion, the long-term fear of one's own emotions is the root cause. For me, it was like a scene in the original "Beauty and the Beast" when the Beast says "Just let them come" and I just stopped caring if my flashbacks and intrusive thoughts were acting on me. I no longer took control. For a while, it was like a scene from the film. It was chaotic. But I learned a lot about myself, necessary things to know about myself. And, so I am glad I "let them come." Unpleasant, but necessary.

And I no longer feared. What's the worst that can happen? You feel something? You feel it anyway? So, I no longer fear so much. But some of this still can happen, so I totally sympathize with this state of habitual repression of emotion, and I think it's biological and goes with conditions of trauma, which include PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and even just car accidents and other kinds of non-intentional trauma, such as sports injuries. It doesn't have to be emotionally traumatic. The person could have been having a great time damaging their brain. LOL

The point is, I think it's from biological brain injury that does not necessary show up on our imaging due to them not being sensitive enough. I think its a functional issue, not a tissue issue, and so the tiny electrical impulses are not going to always be tracked yet on an EGG. Can't track emotions and their repression (in all cases) yet on these tests. Someday, I hope, we can help people this way, and do this with forms of biofeedback.

Have you done biofeedback? I have not, but I would like to try.
 
Top Bottom