A voice in my head

flying

Registrant
One of the most frustrating things for me is a voice in my head that puts me down. When I get stressed, or uncomfortable, I automatically feel shame. Then, I get a voice in my head that calls me gay, calls me a liar, that I'm full of shit. It's hard to quiet the voices when I get in this state of mind.

I have identified as bi off and on for many years, wondered if I was gay, felt straight as well. I currently don't label my sexuality, I'm just me.

I don't think the voices are really about my sexuality. I think the uncomfortable feelings, then shame, then negative voices in my head are part of the pattern of numbing out I used to survive as a child. When I felt bad because of what someone was doing I tried taking control by blaming myself, thinking it was something wrong with me that caused it. If it was me, then I was in control.

When I get the shame and name calling, I am not having sexual feelings. I feel empty, like an avocado that's been scooped out of its skin.

I love it when I feel good about my sexuality. I am attracted to people and it feels good. I feel warm, fuzzy feelings, and I feel alive. These are usually for women, but sometimes for men too. I feel like me when like this.

When I'm lost in my head I feel disconnected, anxious, confused, and judgemental of myself. I don't feel sexual, unless it's an overpowering urge to see a prostitute or go to internet sex chatrooms. I don't act on these urges.

I want to be happy more. I want to focus on letting go and being emotionally intimate with my wife. I want to be kind to myself and love myself. Sometimes I do.

I think being gay or bi is a good thing. I just don't think that the voices in my head are really about my sexuality. I think they are about internalized shame connected to sexuality that I've had for most of my life.
 

YamaR

Registrant
Hi flying, I have been exactly on the same place as you have. The voice in my head have been the most sever critics and sometimes accusers. I struggled with my sexual identity often and freuqently, once I became aware of my childhood sexual abuses and rapes.

There must have been an obvious reason, why I was pick out and all the shame and guilt is well deserved. I should not lie to my self and admitt that I'm gay or bi-sexual and follow it true. Those mental arguements and discussions never ceased.

That is until two things happen:
A) To accpet and acknowled without judgment, what happened to as part of a live experience. Resulting in accepting myself, loving my self and loosing the feeling of shame and guilt.
B) Dropping the classififying and judging adjective in my mind. By adjectives I mean being gay, being bi, being straight, being used, etc. but just being.

Once I achived that, the guild and shame vanished by it self. As you rightly say it was not about my sexuality, but the shame and guild, which drove urges and punischment expressed in the sexuality.

I must admit it was not as easy as it sounds to achive the above. As achiveing in this context means...that my heart and mind fully embrace, accpet and dropp any classifying judgements. To be really free.

It might not work for everyone, but it did for me.
You are not alone and you are on the right track.

Have a great weekend, Yama
 

flying

Registrant
Hi flying, I have been exactly on the same place as you have. The voice in my head have been the most sever critics and sometimes accusers. I struggled with my sexual identity often and freuqently, once I became aware of my childhood sexual abuses and rapes.

There must have been an obvious reason, why I was pick out and all the shame and guilt is well deserved. I should not lie to my self and admitt that I'm gay or bi-sexual and follow it true. Those mental arguements and discussions never ceased.

That is until two things happen:
A) To accpet and acknowled without judgment, what happened to as part of a live experience. Resulting in accepting myself, loving my self and loosing the feeling of shame and guilt.
B) Dropping the classififying and judging adjective in my mind. By adjectives I mean being gay, being bi, being straight, being used, etc. but just being.

Once I achived that, the guild and shame vanished by it self. As you rightly say it was not about my sexuality, but the shame and guild, which drove urges and punischment expressed in the sexuality.

I must admit it was not as easy as it sounds to achive the above. As achiveing in this context means...that my heart and mind fully embrace, accpet and dropp any classifying judgements. To be really free.

It might not work for everyone, but it did for me.
You are not alone and you are on the right track.

Have a great weekend, Yama
Thanks Yama, this is really helpful. When I am happy I am not judging myself, or labeling myself. I am just being me. I accept myself, feel confident, don't worry about my sexuality, I just feel good. I love that.

When I have the inner critic I am very judgemental, hard on myself, compare myself to others and I don't measure up.

This negative voice in my head has been one of my biggest struggles since adolescence. When I am scared of my feelings I shut down and go into my head. Then, the critic takes over and tries to convince me that I'm a bad person.

I am a good person, I'm honest and loving. I'm a good dad, a good husband. I reject the labels of my sexuality because I don't feel like they define me accurately. I am me, and that is good enough. I deserve to feel good about it, without shame.
 

Northmale

Registrant
Nothing but love, empathy and understanding here. One of the hardest things for me to realise is that THAT voice isn’t mine. It was given to me by my abusers as part of their range of tools and techniques to systematically break me down.

You are who you are on your best days. Confident, assured and open to pleasure. It’s not a case of not listening to that voice, it’s a case of recognising it is not your voice and then choosing to ignore it and not let the abuse continue.
 

flying

Registrant
Nothing but love, empathy and understanding here. One of the hardest things for me to realise is that THAT voice isn’t mine. It was given to me by my abusers as part of their range of tools and techniques to systematically break me down.

You are who you are on your best days. Confident, assured and open to pleasure. It’s not a case of not listening to that voice, it’s a case of recognising it is not your voice and then choosing to ignore it and not let the abuse continue.
Thanks Northmale, I just saw your message. Yes, realizing it's not my voice is an important step. This is one of the hardest things for me.
 

flying

Registrant
Just want to report that I woke this morning fantasizing about women. Felt good, then I felt guilty or shame. Then the voices came in, calling me gay. Weird.

I've been working on my adolescent self in therapy and this knee jerk reaction seems to come from that time period. When I was going through puberty and men were messing with me. I didn't know what was going on, what I was feeling. I shut down, but I started worrying about being gay. I am healing my adolescent self, and seeing that this reaction is shame. The shame belongs to the men, not me. I didn't do anything wrong. There was nothing about me that caused them to do what they did, other than I was isolated and vulnerable. This isn't about my sexuality, I know who I am. This is old shame that I don't need anymore.

I've actually been able to get mad at the men recently, and it feels good.

Thanks for reading.
 

YamaR

Registrant
Hi Flying, yes yes and yes that is the way to go. It is not you it was and is them.
As for the wake up feeling, I have been there often. Till I could my face my own had voices. When ever they told me ( voices) ... don't pretend you are gay, admit it, you caused all that happens to you...
I told them off;( me to the voices) ..and so what, that is your problem not mine!

Well it took a while until they (voice) know they had no more power over me.
 
There was nothing about me that caused them to do what they did, other than I was isolated and vulnerable.
The thing about me (and maybe you) that ALLOWED them to do what they did was isolation and vulnerability. For me, they took advantage of my lack of meaningful connection to any other human who deeply cared about me and/or was paying attention to me. I needed attention and care, as every adolescent/kid does, I didn't get it, someone else noticed that I was vulnerable to those needs and stepped in and took advantage of them for their own purposes that include their own pleasure and their own getting off on screwing me up. My needs didn't cause anything. My needs were just my needs. But my needs made me vulnerable but the vulnerability wasn't the problem.

The problem for me consisted of deep emotional abandonment at home with alcoholism coupled with youthful lack of self-awareness of what was going on inside of me that needed direction. Then men came along and "directed" me in 100% inappropriate ways and I bought into what they were telling me about myself - I was worthwhile as far as my sexuality was concerned and my sexuality was equal to their sexuality since I was a participant. None of that was true but abusers don't give a shit about the victim or their future or their well-being. They only care about themselves and what they can get away with.

I've actually been able to get mad at the men recently, and it feels good.
That's a really good sign.
 
Wonderful to read about all the great healing men are doing in the face of these old demons that all really belong to the abusers, often aided and abetted by others in our lives who find it easier to criticize another person than offer positive encouragement. As Ed notes, kids who are abused are vulnerable and in need of attention. Pedophiles understand this and select their victims carefully. I know about my early life and how it could have made me a suitable target. It wasn't because of something wrong with me, but rather something wrong with my parents who were unable to give me the simple care EVERY child needs and deserves.

We heal when we find sufficient compassion for ourselves, including the behaviors we have used through our lives to cope with pain that was too much to bear. From compassion we begin to practice self care... which includes turning away from self destructive behaviors and from mental chatter that we've used in the past to put ourselves down. We claim our worthiness and do worthwhile things for ourselves. That past is gone... the present belongs to us as grownups committed to healthy living. I'd encourage you to keep FLYING... :cool:
 

DavidMunoz

Registrant
Thanks Yama, this is really helpful. When I am happy I am not judging myself, or labeling myself. I am just being me. I accept myself, feel confident, don't worry about my sexuality, I just feel good. I love that.

When I have the inner critic I am very judgemental, hard on myself, compare myself to others and I don't measure up.

This negative voice in my head has been one of my biggest struggles since adolescence. When I am scared of my feelings I shut down and go into my head. Then, the critic takes over and tries to convince me that I'm a bad person.

I am a good person, I'm honest and loving. I'm a good dad, a good husband. I reject the labels of my sexuality because I don't feel like they define me accurately. I am me, and that is good enough. I deserve to feel good about it, without shame.
I can Identify with the comparing to others and not measuring up flying. Ever since I can remember, my life was always in comparison to others and their masculinity or appearance, since I always considered myself weak and ugly. I did not understand this blame and guilt until now. Comparing myself always brought great depression and anxiety. It continued once the memories of my CSA surfaced once again but, now it was attacking my sexuality. Since I was reenacting certain events I conceptualized that it could only be associated with homosexuality. I now understand that the voice in my head was always attacking my sense of existence and was never truly speaking the truth but merely picking apart my insecurities. Glad you're here to share similar worries.
David
 

Tom E.

Registrant
flying
I agree with you. That negative self-talk is still with me too, telling me I'm no good, a loser & a weakling. I try, TRY not to listen to it. It's gotten better.
 

flying

Registrant
Hey guys, thanks for all the thoughtful replies. This stuff has been at the center of my pain for a long time. In therapy I've started focusing on my 13 year old self. He is a very confused, scared, angry kid, full of shame. For him, the abuse was overwhelming and it made him turn off his sexuality. He likes girls, but feels extreme anxiety being close to anyone. Men like him, he doesn't know why. For him, being gay us a bad thing that means taking advantage of others, being secretive, shameful and a liar. My therapist directed me to talk with him about this.

I told him that being gay is about love and caring. It's not abuse, it's not what those guys did. Those guys were predators. That is abuse, not sexuality. I said I will love you even if you are gay, you are a good person. You deserve to figure this out in your own time. Whoever you are is ok, you aren't an abuser.

This is helping because I think I've had an irrational fear of being gay since I was 13. It didn't mean I liked guys more than girls, in my 13 year old mind it meant I was bad, shameful, a liar. When I would get those feelings I would get triggered and spiral into my head. I would turn off my sexual feelings and start worrying about my sexuality.

This isn't about sexual orientation, it's about abuse. I know how I feel and who I am attracted to, it's just the overwhelming, irrational worrying that gets to me. It has gotten a lot better at times, and I am understanding myself better today.

My 13 year old self didn't have anyone to talk to, he just had to process everything by himself. Nothing made sense. The more I heal, the more I see how deep this stuff is.

I spent years trying to be accepting of my sexuality by saying I am bisexual. But the real issue is the old trauma that I internalized. It's not about my orientation. I realize that I am not confused at all about that. Now, I just have to let myself be happy.
 
This is the work each of us is doing... the most important work we've ever done... claiming our aliveness no longer bound to the trauma in the past. Deep respect Flying.
 

YamaR

Registrant
"I spent years trying to be accepting of my sexuality by saying I am bisexual. But the real issue is the old trauma that I internalized. It's not about my orientation. I realize that I am not confused at all about that. Now, I just have to let myself be happy. "

Flying you have said it perfectly! And I have copied this last sentence of yours in my dairy and under the quotes of great men/women in History!

Thanks for that.
 

flying

Registrant
Hi Guys, I've been rereading your comments and I really appreciate them. I've been struggling this week, lots of anxiety. I almost feel like I'm having a constant low level panic attack. This has led to my depression.

I think it started last week (when I was feeling good). I noticed teens where I work, a bunch of girls were giving a boy all sorts of attention. He was attractive, and my noticing this caused a physical reaction of panic. Then, I felt like I was a child molester. From there, it spiralled into anxiety and depression and the old voices.

I hate dealing with this stuff all the time, but I'm grateful that I'm not numbing it with drugs, alcohol, porn, and other stuff. I talked to my wife about getting triggered by the teens, and that helped.

Thanks for reading
 
You're so far ahead of where you were Flying... observing the thoughts, NOT acting out to avoid the difficult feelings AND sharing them with your wife. This is healing my friend. We're all on a healing journey, looking squarely at the trauma and its effects while experimenting with healthier responses to it all... It is self-compassion and self-care that will see us through all of this... so please be generous and gentle with yourself. You're not alone with any of this... the men here have your back.
 

Rwfox99

Registrant
I know what you mean about the voices. I call them the demons in my head. When the demons start, I just want to die. I know I shouldn't think that, but it seems like that be the easiest thing. I do try to change my thoughts and think of things that make me happy, but the feeling keeps coming back.
 
One of the most frustrating things for me is a voice in my head that puts me down. When I get stressed, or uncomfortable, I automatically feel shame. Then, I get a voice in my head that calls me gay, calls me a liar, that I'm full of shit. It's hard to quiet the voices when I get in this state of mind.

I have identified as bi off and on for many years, wondered if I was gay, felt straight as well. I currently don't label my sexuality, I'm just me.

I don't think the voices are really about my sexuality. I think the uncomfortable feelings, then shame, then negative voices in my head are part of the pattern of numbing out I used to survive as a child. When I felt bad because of what someone was doing I tried taking control by blaming myself, thinking it was something wrong with me that caused it. If it was me, then I was in control.

When I get the shame and name calling, I am not having sexual feelings. I feel empty, like an avocado that's been scooped out of its skin.

I love it when I feel good about my sexuality. I am attracted to people and it feels good. I feel warm, fuzzy feelings, and I feel alive. These are usually for women, but sometimes for men too. I feel like me when like this.

When I'm lost in my head I feel disconnected, anxious, confused, and judgemental of myself. I don't feel sexual, unless it's an overpowering urge to see a prostitute or go to internet sex chatrooms. I don't act on these urges.

I want to be happy more. I want to focus on letting go and being emotionally intimate with my wife. I want to be kind to myself and love myself. Sometimes I do.

I think being gay or bi is a good thing. I just don't think that the voices in my head are really about my sexuality. I think they are about internalized shame connected to sexuality that I've had for most of my life.
Oh my god, I just wrote a poem about this... so many voices.

For me it’s negative self talk, ptsd reminds me of things said during abuse and OCD constantly bothers me. I don’t think they are real voices though

Edit: if you are constantly worried that you are gay and you aren’t gay you might want to look up HOCD
 

flying

Registrant
Thanks guys, for the comments. Sometimes these voices make me want to die. I took a look at HOCD, and I definitely have some compulsive symptoms. I'm going to get back to doing CBT on a regular basis. It helps slow my mind down and get it off of the merry-go-round.
 
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