Am I Doomed?

wreckage

Registrant
I was just wondering- should I resign myself to masturbatory fantasies that give me shame and then guilt? I have been in this cycle for as long as I remember.
I have metacognitively thought about this and I think there has been a nexus of my physical abuse as a kid, coupled with sexual abuse that has brought me to the masochistic/huniliating fantasies I entertain.

I have a history of addiction and was raised Roman Catholic- just thought i would mention those tidbits as they might add clues to my behavior.

I can't seem to stop. I have also been diagnosed 9years ago) with cyclothymia.

Whatever. Sometimes I think I will have to accept that I am harboring a dirty secret and am on the margins. I can't remember when i wasn't like this. I have, at about 4th grade, begun (before the CSA) to fantasize with spanking and fetish (with nuns no less.

I don't know why i shared so much but I am really looking for answers as to whether i will ever return to my former self (before the CSA or am I to be in eternal arrested development?
 

DavidM-LT

Registrant
Hi there!

That was very courageous of you to share so much. Kudos to you! No one is here to judge you. We’re all here to heal, find a way to do that, find a way to understand what the blazes happened to us and how to deal with the present, and many other things.

At least at the moment I can’t say much about the actual fantasies. But the guilt associated with masturbation, that’s something I know a lot about.

Is it really bad? The jury is actually still out on that. What I would say is problematic is the compulsory part. If it’s compulsory, you’re not in control - it has control of you. For anyone that presents a problem. But for CSA survivors it’s a real hindrance to healing.

Most people associate masturbation with being horny. But there’s many other reasons to do it. One of those reasons is that it’s a way to get into that inner child that we all have, and he then gets comforted. I had a long history of a problem with it, and it was a way of getting comfort (not sexual pleasure) in times of duress.

There might be a way for you to get closer to the root of what pushes you to do it, and then find a way to cut it off at the pass, ya know?

I hope at least some of that made sense
 
perhaps your CSA goes further back than you think. Are you actively in T? Discuss this there.12-step groups are also available. You need to get help if you feel it is becoming "unmanageable"
 
Wreckage,

Thanks for trusting us with your story. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable. I remember being terrified that I might have to tell things about myself that others would find absolutely disgusting. But after a long time I began share and it helped with the shame factor.

A lot of us discovered masturbation and fantasy as a way to comfort ourselves from shame, difficult feelings, difficult situations and anxiety. It seems to follow the addiction cycle; I’m not saying that you have an addiction. If you take a look at it and see ways you can minimize things that contribute to it you will go a long ways in controlling it and giving yourself peace of mind.

Guilt and shame contribute to it; find ways to get rid of these the correct way. Confession and discussion with your higher power and with people with whom you find support.

Difficult feelings and situations (anxiety, PTSD); find ways to minimize these such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or other positive therapies. For me, being in the correct meds to control anxiety helped immensely.

Practice H.A.L.T. Don’t be Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired for long periods of time.

You’ll see that it’s hold on you is not specifically YOU, it’s the situation and it is the go to thing for comfort. It won’t go away quickly or completely. Just trying not to do something will always be met with failure. The cycle is that the answer to doing it or not will always be YES at some point. Don’t beat yourself up about it.You are moving in the right direction... (I’m no expert just stuff I learned)
 
I don't know why i shared so much but I am really looking for answers as to whether i will ever return to my former self (before the CSA or am I to be in eternal arrested development?
Hi Wreckage

It is impossible to turn back the clock and change history. What we really need to do is put history where it belongs in our past where it can't hurt us anymore. Sounds so easy, I know though many years of this now it is something easily said but very difficult to make happen. I find talking to be the best way to put things in the past it does seem to get easier to talk the more times you voice or write your abuse down it gets easier to talk about. That is the way I am looking at it a this point in time.

Take Care
Esterio
 
@wreckage
In sharing with those who understand you start to heal those things that still hurt you, the shame starts to go away and you can start to accept what is left after the wreckage of CSA. I can't go back to who I was before it happened but I can do better from this point on.

We are here for you with no judgment. You are not alone.
 
Some wonderful comments in response to your post W. I'll add a few thoughts since like many/most of the folks who found their way to this website, I too have used masturbation to soothe myself. In reading I've done about trauma I've encountered studies of behavior by monkeys that have been experimentally put under stress. A primary response is to masturbate compulsively. The same has been found with children who've been traumatized. Clearly, the feelings aroused in masturbation are powerful. They can take us away from the terror we're feeling inside.

Doubtless the content of your fantasies when masturbating are the product of life experience, but ultimately that is less important than the honest acknowledgement that trauma lay beneath this behavior. Finding compassion for that frightened child will help greatly in healing. Trying to control the sexual acting out may be effective, but it may also lead into shame that is not useful in our healing journey. I made the decision some years ago to stop shaming myself for fantasy and masturbation. That decision gradually took some of the energy away from the experience, which meant I could simply masturbate without it becoming an hours long obsession. I trusted that I simply needed the relief in this or that moment. At the same time, I was trying me best to simply care for myself in very mundane ways... make the bed, wash the dishes, hang up clothes, shower regularly, do basic grooming, take an occasional walk, eat well. I treated myself with kindness, which proved to be a powerful antidote to shame. Early this year it dawned on me that I hadn't masturbated for about four or five months. It has now been closer to eight months. Remarkably, as I've cared better for myself, no longer indulging the story of myself as a damaged, worthless human being, I've had less need to prove my unworthiness by acting out in some way.

This is the journey of a lifetime. It is wonderful that a place such as MaleSurvivor exists and that we can tell the truth about our pain. We can get support from others who've lived these traumatized lives. I often grieve over the terror and suffering with which I've lived most of my life, but that is ameliorated by the fact I know healing is possible for ALL OF US. We can do this together. Please be gentle with yourself W. I'm not going to use your username because I KNOW you are more than what happened in your past. You are worthy of the life you aspire to... we all deserve to be held with respect and compassion.
 
I told my therapist last week that I interpret addictive behavior as a "shame induction mechanism" in which we perpetuate shame through acting out, then because the shame is activated we act out again. Interrupting that cycle doesn't happen using a whip and a chair to control the behavior. It is uncoupling the shame. Then the behavior is simply the behavior and we can get on with our lives. Healing can happen when we stop demeaning ourselves. It is still hard work, but done with compassion rather than judgment.
 
I told my therapist last week that I interpret addictive behavior as a "shame induction mechanism" in which we perpetuate shame through acting out, then because the shame is activated we act out again. Interrupting that cycle doesn't happen using a whip and a chair to control the behavior. It is uncoupling the shame. Then the behavior is simply the behavior and we can get on with our lives. Healing can happen when we stop demeaning ourselves. It is still hard work, but done with compassion rather than judgment.
I love this. Thank you for sharing it. I plan on using it. I have a 12-step group of sex addicts who really need to hear this.
 
I spent my time in the sex addiction 12 Step trenches but alas when I was doing that work almost twenty years ago I was still bound by the shame and focused on controlling my acting out behavior. Blessedly, the most self-destructive behavior had stopped but the world of pornography based at my home computer was not so easily released. After all, such behavior didn't put me at risk for contracting AIDS and didn't cause suffering for another human being. The cost I was paying wasn't at that time clear.

12 Step groups are amazing. At the moment my focus is on Overeaters Anonymous, but I certainly respect what is being done at SAA and SLAA meetings. We all can use support in our healing journey.
 
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