Could be triggering...talking about sex

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Could be triggering...talking about sex
9
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 10:52pm
Hi, guys. It's been a while since I've written. I just kind of lurk every so often these days.

My T says I've really come far in the last year. She even told me she's proud of me and how hard I've been working.

Some of you may remember my story....(if not, feel free to ask)

I haven't been in contact with my mother in more than a year now and I have to say: although I miss her sometimes, my life is so much LESS stressful than when I was in contact with her. I've really been able to start to change some of the ways I think, and also to be toward my children the way *I* want to be, NOT the way SHE wants me to be. I agree with my T.....I *have* worked hard and continue to do that every day. I think my T thinks I'm ready to stop therapy. And, if my mother were my only problem, I might agree.

But, a problem that lingers, and I can't fix it on my own, is sex. And, my husband. He of course is very sexual..... I've always hated sex....the thought of it, the sounds, the looks...everything. But, it seems that now that I'm not so stressed about my mother, I guess sex is the bigger problem. It's like sex angers me now. Every time my husband wants sex, I get literally angry. I feel bad for him, but I also feel so guilty. But, I just get so mad about it, I don't really even know why. So, my husband has started to look at porn on the internet- which just disgusts me, and then I get even madder. I'll come home and find him looking at it, or I'll wake up in the middle of the night and he'll be on the computer- and all the while.............. relieving himself, to put it mildly- which totally grosses me out. I just think it's sick and perverted. Anyway, so now, because he's been going to these sites, I'm starting to get porn emails and crap like that..........so finally I put the parental controls on the computer like he's a little baby. So, he can't go to those sites anymore. I know he's a grown adult and all that...and he "has needs" - which I also find disgusting....but, I can't help but feel angry at him- that he even wants sex at all..... I know it's normal and all that....but, to me, it's not normal. It's torture for me. I try so hard to think about anything but sex.... but, I don't seem to be able to "escape" like some people can..... God, I wish I could.

Anyway, the moral is.....I still can't bring myself to talk about it to the T. I sit there the whole time talking about other stuff, all the while, thinking the whole time about sex and how much I despise it, but I just can't say it. I've even tried to write about it to her, but then when she tries to respond, I shut down and mentally, fold up into a ball to protect myself. I know that's not good, but I don't know how to overcome this obstacle. I don't know what to do.

Becky

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Registered: 03-21-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 3:15am
You're not alone! I think this is one of the most difficult aspects of the healing journey to talk about. Have you read The Sexual Healing Journey? It's a terrific book, with lots of ideas to help heal survivors' attitudes about sex.

I only recently began talking with my AMAC group about aspects of sexual healing--and I'm still not very comfortable with the subject. I do, however, feel I can talk about it to my dh and I'm very grateful for that.

Do you think that you could write a list of questions, or a list of topics, or just something down on paper that you could bring to your T. and just read from the paper, or just hand her the paper to read for herself? I have done this before and it has helped me to talk about things I want to talk about, but which I find difficult to discuss. Is there anything you'd like to talk about here on the board?

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Registered: 05-14-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 3:06pm
I was also going to suggest writing things down and handing it to your T, although it sounds like you have already tried that.

I also need work in this area; I pretty much do it for my husband. I don't HATE it or feel angry, but it's usually not a real fulfilling thing for me. I know this has to do with my issues and not him. I haven't really tackled this in therapy too much because the other stuff I'm dealing with has been at the forefront. I have told my T that I don't enjoy it, and she knows about my SA. She has given me some good suggestions, but we haven't gone in-depth yet because that's not where my focus is right now.

I think you were smart to put the parental controls on the computer to keep your husband from going on those sites. Pornography is disgusting and demeaning. Does your T know that he's been doing this as a substitute for the real thing, and does she know how you feel about sex? Even tho it's hard to talk about, it sounds like it's the time to address it.

I wish I had more to offer. I think you should definitely pat yourself on the back for the progress you've made with your mother. I know how hard those issues are, since that is what got me into therapy in the first place. I have very limited contact with my mother, by my choice, and I too have found my life to be much more peaceful. I also miss the closer contact at times, (in fact I've been feeling this way a lot this week) but I have to remind myself that this is a choice I made and even though it's hard sometimes, it's better than the "hard" I get when I'm around her too much.

Hope things settle down for you before too long. . .I do think you need to talk to your T about this. Writing things down work best for me. It could even be as simple as writing I HATE SEX. IT MAKES ME ANGRY and handing it to her. Since she's been working with you for awhile I would think she would know how to work gently with you on this.

(((hugs))), Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

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Registered: 06-09-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 8:47pm
Oh my God BECKY when I read your posting I felt like someone stole a page from my journal. Everything you said is exactly what made me find a new therapist with the intentions of dealing with my past SA and my crazy mother. I felt the same way you do and sometimes I still do...I am reading books like "The Courage TO Heal" and "Toxic Parents", and seeing a therapist once a week. We have talked about my aversion to sex and how much it bothers my boyfriend, I feel like I could go without it and he is a nympho because he wants it so much. I wanted to pass along some suggestions she's given to me, they may work for you...don't have sex if you don't want to, but try sex on your terms- find something that excites you and use that to have sex with your husband, for instance, buy a sexy teddy to feel good about yourself. Make sex enjoyable for you, ask him to hold out or have less sex but you must initiate sex at some point. She suggested masturbation by yourself, don't tell your husband your doing it(added pressure) but explore your body and sex on your terms, if you feel uncomfortable you can stop. She also suggested being intimate with your mate without it always leading to sex, maybe carressing and fondling without having intercourse, this would allow you to feel comfortable and in control of the sexual experience. I guess the most important thing is that your husband know what your going through so he can be supportive, my boyfriend and I have not quite worked all this out. But I have found talking to my therapist about it allows me to feel free, it's not a dirty secret anymore. I'm not sure how you can feel comfortable talking to your therapist but it's a big step and you'll know when you're ready. I wish you the best and am so glad to have found someone who knows my pain- please keep us updated!
Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 10:47pm
Hi, Free_Girl. I started to read the S.H.J., but I couldn't finish it. This was a while back.... I can't remember what my problem was with it.....either I didn't understand it, or was uncomfortable with it..... I'm not sure.

I know this a huge problem but, I can't seem to figure out how to deal with it.



I know one of the suggestions is to only have sex when YOU want to....but, I NEVER want to. And, I'm so shy sexually. I can't initiate anything...and everything about it grosses me out. It's like I think guys are all perverts.

I don't know how to talk about this openly with my T. When it comes up, I become very small inside, like suddenly I'm a little girl. I really believe I never grew past like 10 years old sexually speaking...which is the age I was sexually abused.

Even talking about it here......it took me weeks to be able to write that post.

Would it be confusing if I said yes, I suppose there are things to discuss here, but I don't know what????????

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 11:01pm
Hi, Heidi. Yes, I don't know why I get angry with my husband. I think it's just because he wants the same thing my dad did or something. And, the fact that everything about it just grosses me out. I don't know how to get past all that. And, the pornography thing just disgusts me. I was torn about putting on the parental controls because am I driving him to do it somewhere else???? But, I think I'd rather that than to have to look at it myself. Every time I get those nasty emails or check the websites he's been to it disgusts me. I haven't told my T that he's doing that....I can't seem to bring it up.....although I sit there the whole time thinking about it inside my head...and I'm afraid to write it because now that my mother is not so forefront in my mind, I know this issue has to be dealt with. So, I guess I'm just avoiding it. Yes, she does know how I feel about sex.....although I can't verbalize it....I have written it though.

As for my mother....I know that to be around her, I have to accept and conform because I'm not and won't ever be strong enough to stand up to her. She has a hold on me like no one else ever has. I do miss the few happy times we had....but, I don't miss the horrible fights we've had, and feeling like a terrible daughter, and having her never understand me, and always having to put her first. And, anyway, she denies doing any of that....so how can I fight against that......... I can't.....so I choose to not have any further contact........... She said someday I'll have to answer to God for doing this to her.......... well, then I guess I'll be visiting H***. Oh, well. It's the first time in my life I've had peace.....and I've begun to like it.

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 11:12pm
Hi there. Thank you for writing. Isn't it kind of a happy/sad thing to meet or talk to people who know what you mean???

God, if I never had sex ever again....it wouldn't bother me at all... it's unfortunate that my husband doesn't feel that way. I joke that if Jews could be nuns, I could be one with no problem.

I know the suggestions your T has given you are right... I've read them and my T has also said some of that......but my problem is I'm so grossed out by sex that I can't even stand the thought of touching myself. I'm so inhibited. I'm so shy sexually. And, I can't initiate anything............. And there's my husband, I almost never touch him because to him a hug means sex.......and I can't deal with that. But, then I always feel so bad about myself.....like I'm a terrible wife and I'm a weirdo. I even get embarrassed when other people talk about sex. I don't think I matured sexually (mentally speaking) past 10 years old.....that's when I was sexually abused. When my T tries to talk to me about it, I shake it off and act just like a kid that age would. I just mentally crawl inside myself. Like into a shell or a ball. I can't seem to help that. I even cross my arms...like protecting myself from even just the words...let alone the actions.

I just don't know what to do.

My T says I never have to deal with it if I don't want to..... but, I do...I just don't know how or maybe I'm scared to. I don't know.

Thanks so much for writing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 8:28am
I totally understand where you are coming from, I have just begun to work on this issue and I don't love sex now but I am doing it more for my boyfriend. I needed to feel more comfortable so we have changed how we do it. I haven't felt ready to do the masturbation thing either and it grosses me out to know that my boyfriend even masturbates. But at the same time we have been talking a lot lately, trying to be open about everything and I finally realized that this sex issue is a big deal, especially for him. I feel as though the SA is my issue that I need to deal with, with his support, but I can't expect him to never get sex. Either we never have sex and I know he's miserable, or he cheats or we have sex that I am comfortable with. Since he has been very understanding of all my issues the past three years, I feel he deserves the same respect and I am willing to work on the sex issue. It is very hard to break down the beliefs about sex you have as a result of being abused and I can't tell you how to do that but I think talking to your T is the only realistic way you can deal with this. I chose to start seeing a therapist specifically about my SA because I had seen doctors/counselors before and had never mentioned my experience. I always went complaining about my mother and how much stress and aggravation she caused me. But I could never get to the real issues until I acknowledged and admitted that I blamed my mother for putting me in harm's way- allowing me to be sexually abused. I struggled with the idea that she didn't know about it, etc... but none of that matters, she was the parent and she should have known better. Now I'm starting to feel like this is my life, not hers and I should take back all of the things I have denied myself because of other people. I know it's normal to be sexual and to want sex and so I am working on being more "normal" about sex. I don't know that there is any way to deal with all of these issues without seeking the help of a professional. I found it easier to talk to someone once I realized it wasn't my fault and I had nothing to be ashamed of. Not talking about it is allowing your abuser to still control you. You should take back your life and live it to the fullest, it's not fair that you should have to deal with all of this, you were only an innocent child! I hope some of this helps, keep in touch.
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Registered: 05-14-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 9:17am
Boy, what your mom said about your having to answer to God for not having contact with her sounds like something my mother would say! That is so typical of parents like ours. They don't accept responsibility for their actions and blame the consequences on everyone else. You're braver than I am; I still have enough contact with my mom to keep her quiet, because I hate conflict so much. Especially lately I have really had feelings of pure hatred towards her. She did so many things that ruined my life and messed up my head.

Your mom is the one who is going to have to answer to God for her actions, not you. You are doing what's necessary to survive, and I think God understands that.

Was the "honor thy father and thy mother" thing an issue for you when you started dealing with this? It was for me. I grew up in a very religious environment, so it was confusing to see my mom's "church face" and then deal with the other her the rest of the week, and because I was trying so hard to be a good girl and be obedient to religious principles, that honoring thing got me stuck a lot. My first counselor helped me to see it in a different light--she said, "With some parents the best you can do is to BRING them honor by the way you live your life." That helped me out a lot, because I thought that to honor my mom I needed to get her opinion on everything and take her advice and sing her praises. Looking at it the other way has allowed me to put the burden of responsibility where it belongs without feeling guilty.

Anyway, I know this isn't the big issue for you anymore; just reading what your mom said got me going. Don't let her make you feel guilty. I'm glad that this area of your life has settled down. It's a hard thing to deal with.

Love, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

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Registered: 03-21-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 9:33pm
My parents pulled the same bs with me. I did have a tough time with it, religion-wise, the whole honor-thy-parents thing. Ultimately, I have become more spiritual and less religious, if that makes sense. I believe and rely more upon God than I ever have before--but I don't go to church and I don't think I'm technically even a Christian anymore. Yet I love and trust God more in the last six months than I ever have in my life.

As a side note--For my parents to put on any airs of religious virtue is so hypocritical, it's laugh-out-loud funny. I don't know how they keep straight faces. :o} Then again, my mother was a PTA board member, and at the same time was keeping my uncle's drug money in the dining room hutch. I think of that now--I knew the money was there and what it was from, and I knew about her PTA face--but that all seemed so normal to me! I'm a PTA board member now, and I look around at the other women on the board with me, and I think that if I found out one of them were keeping drug dealer money in their house, I'd be shocked! There were so many hypocrisies going on, it's amazing.