Perversion from past abuse?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Perversion from past abuse?
5
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 5:12pm
Hi, I'm new here - just found this board the other day. For several months I have been working with a counselor mainly for issues having to do with abuse I suffered as a child. But the one problem that I have been grappling with most of my life is that I feel so utterly sexually perverted because of what happened to me. I have never had any sexual activity (I am 33) in part because of the abuse, yet I still feel sick and perverted. Worse yet, I get extremely turned on by depictions of (or anything that reminds me of) the abusive situation. Then I feel awful. I try to avoid those triggers but it is not always possible. Then I hate myself for getting aroused. I was wondering if anyone else suffers from such conficting emotions because of what happened to them? If so, have you been able to reconcile it or make peace with it? How did you do that? I just wish I could overcome this revulsion and shame - any ideas welcome.

Lee

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 8:52pm
Actually yes i've met someone like that and no i do not believe you are perverted. I'm on a couple of MSN support boards as well and there is a woman there who has much the same problem as you. It is certainly not something i hear of often but that's probably not 'cause women like you aren't out there, more like they are scared too. So try to feel a little better hun, from what i know everything you've said is normal to all of us on some level if not all. Take care & Safe Days,

Danielle.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 11:52pm
Hi, Lee, and welcome--

You know, what came to mind when I read your post is that it seems to me that being aroused by depictions of what happened to you could be that you were aroused when it happened to you. That would be a body memory, and arousal is a normal response to sexual touching, etc. I don't think that it makes you a pervert or anything. It would be wrong if you were acting that stuff out on another child, which from the sounds of your post I highly doubt you would do.

Have you spoken with your counselor about this, and about the guilt, shame, conflict, etc. you feel in connection with those feelings? I'm sure she can help you work through those feelings.

You are not perverted because of what happened to you. It was not your fault, and you were not bad for any feelings of pleasure you may have felt.

I was violated at the age of 4, and masturbated for years afterward because I knew how to achieve orgasm and it felt good. I had feelings of guilt and shame and thrown into the mix I was raised in a religious, church-going home. So every lesson or talk on chastity hit it close to home that I was dirty. Plus my parents reacted badly when they first found me doing it and I got the lecture and many subsequent "How are you doing with your problem?" Well, it stuck to me for a long time because it felt good, but I would lie about it because I was afraid to tell them the truth. More guilt for lying. Now it totally blows my mind that they didn't clue in that something had happened because of the obvious signs.

I'm sorry I can't offer more in the way of advice, but I do think your counselor needs to know how troubling this is for you. And know that you can always come here to think out loud, ask for suggestions and/or relatability on different things, and just let us know how you're doing. I hope you can find some peace with this.

Hugs, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 12:07pm
Heidi, i've never heard anyone else ever talk about early masturbation before. thank-you so much for being able to admit that. i too had the knowledge of "how' very early. It was complusive in childhood. I can even remember my mother catching me once and telling me how "gross" that was. I guess everthing she ignored wasn't.

They are coming to visit this weekend. I don't want to be here anymore.

Anyways, i just wanted to say thank-you, there's still so much shame for myself and it really helps to see others do not hold onto it. Safe Days,

Ellienad

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 6:14pm
Danielle,

That was actually what woke me up to the fact that I had been abused. I thought it was a normal part of child development for a child to explore themselves and discover those sensations on their own. I kept watching for it in my children as they approached the age that I started so that I could "nip it in the bud," and lo and behold, they never did it. So then I thought I was just really and truly and dirty kid. Then I was watching a talk show where they were talking about abused children, and one family talked about catching their little 3 or 4 year old doing it and said that she was "really going at it to get an orgasm" and the specialist they had on the show said that little kids don't know how to go after that unless something has happened to give them that exposure. In that instant the lightbulb went on and I immediately knew who, when and where, and all of a sudden I had my explanation of why I was the way I was.

Man, if I could have grown up free of all that guilt I would have been a totally different person. It angers me that I had such a load to carry. Everyone just thought I was this strange little girl who had all these fears. If someone had helped me I could have reached acting "normal" a lot sooner than I did. So much lost time.

I'm glad that you felt you could talk about this for yourself here. I never talked openly about it until we put the My Story folder up, and it was very liberating to refer to it in a matter-of-fact way. It got rid of a lot of the shame. I hope that it's the same for you. It wasn't your fault, and you were not/are not a bad person for that. I wish that your mom would have helped you and seen beyond that one behavior to think of where you learned that. Masturbation is also soothing to a child, so considering the stress we were feeling that probably added to why it was so compulsive.

Hope this weekend goes better than you are anticipating. Be sure and let us know how it goes.

Love and Light, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 11:29pm
Thanks for trying to give me some insight. I'm surprised you had the "masturbation problem" too - I did too - I thought I was a real nut becuase I did it constantly when I was 3 years old and up. But adults never seem to notice stuff like that - all I ever did was get yelled at for it. At least I don't feel so alone anymore - that others go thru the same stuff. But with luck and hard work with my conselor, I hope to be able to break free from the shame.

Lee