DH & I started couseling (poss. trigs)

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Registered: 07-07-2006
DH & I started couseling (poss. trigs)
Fri, 05-01-2009 - 8:43pm

Gosh, it's been so long since I've posted...My name is Sarah, some of you may remember me, some may not. Short version: I was SA when I was 13 by a man whom I had a crush on, he was 28 at the time. Shortly after the assault he and I had no contact until I was 18 when I bumped into him again locally. We began an affair, and it was all very traumatic and confusing. I ended it, got my head screwed on straight-ish and left for college shortly there after. While at school, I met my now husband, and we've been together since 1993, married in 95, and have 4 kids.
In 2005 we relocated from PA to NH (where I grew up) and I began having flashbacks and panic attacks about what happened when I was a girl. I had a past BF who is now in law enforcement, and through his guidance and an amazing PD & DA I was able to successfully prosecute my SO. He is now a licensed SO, and will remain one forever. Yay me.

Fast forward to now... Sarah behaving badly. :-s The last couple of years have been a challenge. I have found myself 'struggling' with overly flirtatious behavior or seeking out the attention or reasons to contact old BF's and such. Mostly all under control. Never did anything, never cheated or thought of cheating. I had one week that was particularly difficult where i had the contact information of an old BF who still lives locally, and he said he wanted to get together for coffee... I had to literally *will* myself not to call him. I knew if I did, bad things could happen.

Then came Facebook. Holy hell. :-s DH and I have had some struggles over the last few months, money, work, time, kids... and in the process of all this I was contacted by an old friend -- male -- from college. I knew back in the day that he was interested in me, but we never dated or anything. At the time, it was completely platonic. Now, as K and I would exchange emails, he would get flirty and fun... and stupid me... I never discouraged the advances. One thing lead to another and within a short amount of time, we went from innocent emails to sexting. *groan*... I love my DH more than life itself. I truly do... well, DH found the text/IM's and had a cow... we've been unable to move beyond it... and last week we started marital counseling.

While we were explaining all this to the couselor, as well as my history of sexual assault and extended exploitation/abuse by a neighborhood boy who was a few years older than me.. She said something that stunned me. She said my overt sexual behavior, both as a young teen, teen, and even now (given that I'm back in my home town) was classic symptoms of PTSD.

I nearly fell off the couch. I always thought that it was just Sarah behaving badly. I honestly did. She pretty much insisted that I see a specialist to work through my abuse in order to save my marriage. Sigh. I tried this once before when I was in the process of prosecuting my SO, it stunk. But, then, I was seeing a social worker, and I would leave with photocopies from text books she had read in "preparation" for our session.

I am beyond terrified...I have been running from this for over 20+yrs. I need to save my marriage, I have no explanation for my behavior, other than I was attracted to the attention I received from K, not K himself. What can I expect at all this? Has anyone else been told that "bad" behavior they have is actually related to PTSD? How do I learn more about this? I don't feel like I have PTSD... I always thought I had it all together. I was never addicted to drugs or alcohol, graduated from college... I just don't know what to think.

We see her again on Monday, and she will have names of therapists or a name of a therapist to see on my own to deal with my past... It turns my stomach to think about. But I can't lose my DH, so I guess this is what I have to do...

thanks for listening to me ramble.....


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2008
Sat, 05-02-2009 - 12:05am

Acting out sexually or seeking attention through sexual means even if not sex itself but flirting etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2008
Wed, 05-06-2009 - 12:07pm
Welcome back Sarah.




Avatar for alsmith32
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 05-16-2009 - 1:49pm
We have a lot of similarities. I was molested by an older neighborhood bully when i was maybe 7 or 8. And it has affected me on and off, I feel like I have attention-seeking behaviors like you talk about. I am in my 40's and it is still a raw nerve for me. my abuse was weird because it happened in front of a bunch of neighborhood kids that the bully had gathered there apparantly to watch.
My Dh and I have been married since 91 and we have 3 kids and we have marital difficulties too, he keeps telling me I need to change. I don't have interest in sex. i just want someone to care for me.
it's hard getting to grips with this whole concept that something that happened so long ago can still affect one today.