Consequences of Premature Sexuality

MO-Survivor

Registrant
So I dug out the book, "Traumasexuality," again this weekend. Chapter 3 in the book is titled: "Consequences of the Damage Caused by Premature Sexuality." I found it to be extremely insightful / helpful, and the author states it is the key chapter in the book. I will warn you - the content can be TRIGGERING, so please read below with that in mind. Some of the triggering is caused by the testimonials in the book, which I don't have below in my notes - so hopefully it won't trigger but will only be helpful. As an aside, I have actually held the attitude recently that I mostly welcome triggers since they make me feel and think more deeply than I would normally. They can help me uncover the frozen kid within me; because accessing those feelings can be difficult for me, and I know without accessing those feelings and the frozen parts of me, healing isn't possible. That said, I'm not encouraging anyone else to trigger themselves. I'm only expressing my own recent thoughts about triggers. You have to know yourself and what is okay and what is not.

What I like most in this book is:
  • The author is a CSA survivor, who counseled thousands of men who were CSA survivors
  • The book lists out the impacts of CSA on our lives - in the many varied forms they can take. You can definitely identify with what he talks about
  • The author presents things in a very non-judgemental (no condemnation) way because he presents matter-of-fact: "You were not aware this was happening. It just happened while you were growing up"
  • There is hope written all throughout the book. He helps bring understanding to why we think and do some of the things we do, with a belief (backed by his experiences with thousands of men) that it is possible to heal and recover by addressing those parts of us inside that are frozen and / or were not allowed to develop when we were young
The next chapter deals with, "Repairing the Damage." I look forward to reading it.

Below are the notes I took on Chapter 8. I hope you find them helpful.
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Chapter 3: Consequences of the Damage Caused by Premature Sexuality
Introduction
  • Traumasexuality =
    • A temporary sexual identity with 3 important characteristics:
      • Internal conflict in sexual desires
      • Active victimhood
      • Chronic questions concerning sexual and / or sex identity (this possible temporary identity can last a lifetime)
Internal Conflict
  • Internal Conflict = the struggle that plays out between your own sexuality and the imprint of the sexuality of the perpetrator
    • You live with two sex drives: your own, and that of the other who has established himself / herself in you, but it feels like they both come from you
    • You can live in extremes:
      • Your own sexuality is dominant. However, even in this, you have a chronic feeling that, ‘there is something wrong with me,’ because you cannot give yourself completely to another in sexuality
      • The perpetrator’s sexuality is dominant. Your own development stops when the abuse starts
        • This is most common when the abuse occurs at an early age
        • You act out and repeat the abuse without knowing it
        • You have rigid sexual patterns and never manage to progress to a real relationship
      • There is a third possibility: the zero point – where you live halfway between the two extremes. This creates a vacuum of asexuality and sexual apathy
        • This is dangerous because it can create: apathy, powerlessness, depression, or worse
Active Victimhood
  • Active Victimhood = the urge to repeat the sexual trauma and the painful struggle that accompanies it
    • Without being aware, you have a long-term relationship with the perpetrator and the presence of a third person is always felt in your relationships
      • This sexuality derails your own sex drive / life
      • Partners do not understand the compulsive behaviors with addictive elements
      • This usually leads to sexuality that doesn’t have a satisfying end
      • This is very difficult to deal with and can lead to hopelessness, because there isn’t anyone to talk to who will listen or can understand
    • The perpetrator’s influence always comes into play and always wins (implied outside this statement is: unless / until you are able to address your past CSA)
  • Active victimhood = the drive to repeat the sexual trauma is an attempt to process the trauma and regain control over what you have lost
  • This pattern will repeat and repeat until you have dealt with your sexual abuse
  • You have lost your own sexual control, creativity, and inventiveness, and you hardly even notice you are repeating the abuse. But you ask yourself why you are doing the things you are doing
  • A pattern can always be reconstructed from active victimhood:
    • You have a reason to act out sexually – usually you feel alone
    • There is a subsequent sexual event
    • There is a conclusion, and you are not typically satisfied or happy with it
  • Repeating the abuse can occur in three variations (not all mutually exclusive). You do this without realizing what you are doing:
    • Repetition as a victim
    • Repetition as a perpetrator (note: this doesn't mean you become a perpetrator, unless you have fully embraced this idea)
    • Repetition as a witness
  • Repetition as a victim:
    • You repeat your abuse with yourself in the position of the victim
    • The focus is on the person who has caused your trauma
    • You seek the same type of perpetrator and perform the same sexual actions as your CSA
    • Repetition as a victim includes the idea of Projections:
      • Projections = attaching characteristics of the perpetrator to someone else and then attribute the same control to that person
      • You see people and believe they want sex with you
      • You also sexualize contact with someone, and sex and intimacy become one in the same in your approach. However, intimacy is usually missing
    • Several things that can also happen that helps drive repetition as a victim:
      • You saw the perpetrator as a father figure
      • The abuse became something deemed natural and pleasant
      • You became addicted to relationships because the rational side of your brain no longer worked, and you live in a perpetual state of being in love to keep your feelings occupied and absent of the painful side of the abuse
      • You desire to engage in impossible relationships. Example: a homosexual man seeking contact with heterosexual or married men
      • You long to be specially chosen
  • Repetition as perpetrator:
    • This variation of repeating the abuse involves introjections instead of projections
      • Introjections = you include the perpetrator’s characteristics / behaviors into your own and consider them your own. You don’t realize this occurs, it happens automatically
      • Introjections are facilitated by the fact that all boys need a masculine role model. And for many boys, they have no choice but to take the perpetrator as their masculine example
    • Three variations of pepetratorship:
      • False perpetratorship = you believe you were the perpetrator / initiator in your relationship with the perpetrator. You believe you hold sole responsibility – usually facilitated by believing there was reciprocity in your abuse (your perp gave you things, you agreed, etc.)
      • Completely embracing pepetratorship = you believe you are the same as the pepetrator, that sexual experiences (even with children) are natural, and you have no access to your conscience. You can no longer feel
      • Rejecting perpetratorship = you do not want to be like the perpetrator. This can lead you to never wanting to expose your masculine sex drive and you tend to emasculate yourself and want to remain a boy forever
        • You can reject / despise your own adult body
        • You can have such disgust that you avoid orgasm because of the identification with your perpetrator and instances of sexual abuse
        • This can drive men who become fathers to fear becoming a perpetrator to their own children, and this can prevent making healthy connections with their children
  • Repetition as a witness:
    • The deep craving for a witness – the desire to be seen and for someone to stop the abuse, can drive repetition as a witness
    • This can manifest itself through exposing yourself when it is not appropriate
    • You can take on the role of a voyeur when repeating as a witness. Looking at pornography and unknowingly looking for sexual scenes similar to your own abuse is one way this can occur
Identity Questions
  • Identity questions are rooted in the dualism of: your own sexuality vs. the pepetrator’s sexual imprint, and of masculine identity and sexual identity
  • Sexual identity can be:
    • Homo-hetero
    • Homosexual
    • Paedosexual
  • Homo-hetero
    • Usually there is the question: “Am I homosexual?”
      • This question relates to questions about masculinity / femininity
      • This question relates to passive / active behavior
      • In culture, usually: Homo = feminine = passive, and Hetero = masculine = active. This drives some of these questions
    • “… you have to realize that it is not the homosexual force or lust that presents itself but the repetition of a sexually attractive trauma that replays itself in a homosexual context.”
    • There are typically three (predictable) responses:
      • A group of men that longs for and enjoys homosexual contact
      • A group of men afraid of homosexual contact and avoid it
      • A group of men disgusted by homosexual behavior
  • Homosexual
    • Your own homosexuality as a boy is confused through an abuse experience with a man
    • You also might:
      • Be convinced you are homosexual and later it appears you are not at all
      • Find that others believe you are homosexual while you are certain you are not
  • Paedosexual
    • Some % of men find they desire sex with a boy and do not understand why they want this, and the idea is (usually) abhorrent to them
    • This is driven because the abuse drives the frozen and authentic kids into the background. They are waiting and waiting to come back into your life
      • In your search to find yourself again (the frozen and authentic parts) you can look outside yourself for the lost parts of yourself
        • These are projections towards children or young people who represent the lost parts of you
        • You will look for boys you see something of yourself in: you can see they are damaged, and you want to help them recover
        • Because what is inside you is not yet whole and still hurts, you attempt to heal outside yourself – in others
          • This can take on a legitimate life, such as helping kids through youth work, but could also take on a sexual aspect that is destructive
    • Paedophilia as a sexual orientation does not exist. Instead the feelings relate to the survivor themselves, in an attempt to externally heal themselves (which will never work)
      • Seeking out boys is seeking to find what you lost in ‘not feeling’ anything. You are trying to undo your own division (the division of the frozen and authentic parts from the rest of you) and heal the pain of the separation
    • Other characteristics that identify this:
      • Looking for boys of the same age as when their own abuse first took place
      • Looking for boys who looked like themselves at the age of their own abuse
      • Getting stuck on an age – typically the same age as the abuse
      • You can also look for adult men where you see the damaged child in them, and you attempt to help them recover the lost parts of themselves
    • These attempts to find and heal the lost parts of yourself, externally (whether in boys or men) is impossible
      • The only alternative is looking inside yourself instead of outside yourself
      • You must turn yourself inside out. Then you will see your own division and decry the perpetrator living in you, and you will bring back to life the lost frozen and authentic kids in yourself – who need your help
    • You can also seek girls the age you were when you were first abused
      • Searching images of young girls later in life is an attempt to return to the moment in which you still had control over your own sexual development
  • Other questions / thoughts about sexual identity
    • Sexual abuse prevents you from achieving a complete masculine identity
    • Anal sexual abuse can cause several things in addition to other abuse:
      • You have two bodily areas associated with the sexual abuse instead of one which can drive additional fears & behaviors
      • It can cause you to adopt a passive sexual role
      • You can question your own masculinity because of what happened, and your inability to stop it. You can suffer with questions surrounding femininity, and that can then elicit behaviors accordingly:
        • Dressing as a woman
        • Behaving as a woman
        • Seducing a man in the role of a woman
 
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Thanks for sharing this MO. I've been aware of this book and checked it out online but chose not to buy it, likely because it came to awareness after I'd done a great deal of reading on the subject and had come to conclusions similar to the ones he presents in the book. Although some of the language doesn't resonate with me the most important message is the one you feature in focusing on this chapter...

"You were not aware this was happening. It just happened while you were growing up"

We are overwhelmed by shame and confusion, believing on some level that there is something wrong with us... when in reality, the sexual trauma we experienced thrust us into a world for which we were completely unprepared. This chapter addresses that issue... the damage caused by premature sexual experience. It can be profound, as men here attest on this forum over and over again. Hopefully the men who are still beating themselves up will find some relief reading this. This is a challenging journey but we are doing it... with one another's support. Finding self-compassion and then learning self-care is at the heart of healing.
 
@MO-Survivor thank you so much for typing this up. This stuff really resonated with me and seemed eerily accurate for my experiences. Finding healthy sexual relationships has been such a huge struggle all my life, this Chapter 3 puts a healthy perspective on why we all suffer so much from our childhood sexual abuse.

Will there be notes for Chapter 4?
 
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MO-Survivor

Registrant
Thanks for sharing this MO. I've been aware of this book and checked it out online but chose not to buy it, likely because it came to awareness after I'd done a great deal of reading on the subject and had come to conclusions similar to the ones he presents in the book. Although some of the language doesn't resonate with me the most important message is the one you feature in focusing on this chapter...

"You were not aware this was happening. It just happened while you were growing up"

We are overwhelmed by shame and confusion, believing on some level that there is something wrong with us... when in reality, the sexual trauma we experienced thrust us into a world for which we were completely unprepared. This chapter addresses that issue... the damage caused by premature sexual experience. It can be profound, as men here attest on this forum over and over again. Hopefully the men who are still beating themselves up will find some relief reading this. This is a challenging journey but we are doing it... with one another's support. Finding self-compassion and then learning self-care is at the heart of healing.
Love the highlight, as that is a key feature in the book for sure. Compassion, non-judgemental, no condemnation, grace... all things that you can pull from his account in the book. These things happened to you. No, it isn't fair. But understanding and healing is possible. I agree with the translation of the book - it's not 100% and can make some of his content less impactful. But overall, lots of good content.
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
@MO-Survivor thank you so much for typing this up. This stuff really resonated with me and seemed eerily accurate for my experiences. Finding healthy sexual relationships has been such a huge struggle all my life, this Chapter 8 puts a healthy perspective on why we all suffer so much from our childhood sexual abuse.

Will there be notes for Chapter 9?
I will definitely summarize Chapter 4 :)
 
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These conversations are important. I'll look forward to Chapter 9. Thanks MO for sharing all of this with us.
 

Inturn

Registrant
I heard about this book recently and read the abstract online. I was debating whether to buy it but your summary of Chapter 8 really struck me as much of it resonates with me. I am going to get it; hopefully it will not take too long to arrive. Thanks MO for sharing this important topic with us.
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
I heard about this book recently and read the abstract online. I was debating whether to buy it but your summary of Chapter 8 really struck me as much of it resonates with me. I am going to get it; hopefully it will not take too long to arrive. Thanks MO for sharing this important topic with us.
This book has been helpful. Glad the notes were helpful to you.
 

flying

Registrant
Thank you for sharing. I definitely have the second trait with sexual identity. I've felt predominantly straight all my life, most feelings and fantasies are for women. But I do have some fantasies about men and am attracted to some. I think in 8th grade I started feeling like there was something wrong with me. A lot of abuse happened at this time, and I started feeling gross with girls and disgusting on the inside. I started wondering if I was really gay. I also thought gay meant taking advantage of a friend sexually. I know being gay is a healthy, normal orientation, but back then I didn't know.

I am still mostly attracted to women in thought and feeling, they are what I notice on a daily basis. I notice an attractive guy occasionally. All these years later I still worry that I'm really gay. I know it is a result of the shame and abuse. My sexual feelings are good. I have no confusion when I am centered with my feelings. When I get in my head, old voices come and the shame and worry pop up.

It's hard to talk about this with people.

Thinking back, my mom flirting and being seductive from the age of 3 into adulthood, my stepdad pushing porn and crude language on me as a little boy, the older boy who did stuff in front of me, the neighbor who did stuff, the older guy who tried to seduce me when I was 13, the man on the train who tried to molest me at 13 or 14. My sexuality was hijacked by that time.

I'm writing all this to remind myself to have compassion for the kid I was and the man I am.
 
We all deserve compassion for what we've gone through. We lost our innocence... our freedom to explore the world and define who we would be. Instead we lived with confusion and shame... not at all useful in creating a meaningful, joy filled life. And so we find ourselves here where we can tell the truth about our experience and our feelings. I'm grateful for that.
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
Thank you for sharing. I definitely have the second trait with sexual identity. I've felt predominantly straight all my life, most feelings and fantasies are for women. But I do have some fantasies about men and am attracted to some. I think in 8th grade I started feeling like there was something wrong with me. A lot of abuse happened at this time, and I started feeling gross with girls and disgusting on the inside. I started wondering if I was really gay. I also thought gay meant taking advantage of a friend sexually. I know being gay is a healthy, normal orientation, but back then I didn't know.

I am still mostly attracted to women in thought and feeling, they are what I notice on a daily basis. I notice an attractive guy occasionally. All these years later I still worry that I'm really gay. I know it is a result of the shame and abuse. My sexual feelings are good. I have no confusion when I am centered with my feelings. When I get in my head, old voices come and the shame and worry pop up.

It's hard to talk about this with people.

Thinking back, my mom flirting and being seductive from the age of 3 into adulthood, my stepdad pushing porn and crude language on me as a little boy, the older boy who did stuff in front of me, the neighbor who did stuff, the older guy who tried to seduce me when I was 13, the man on the train who tried to molest me at 13 or 14. My sexuality was hijacked by that time.

I'm writing all this to remind myself to have compassion for the kid I was and the man I am.
Thanks for sharing flying. Like Visitor said, we all need that compassion and understanding. This place is definitely somewhere you can do that, and 1:1 conversations are also very helpful. That’s really cool that you can keep things straight when you are in the moment and in your feelings. For some of us, feelings can be a huge distraction from intimacy, because of what you say - they get us to thinking too much.
 
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flying

Registrant
Thanks for sharing flying. Like Visitor said, we all need that compassion and understanding. This place is definitely somewhere you can do that, and 1:1 conversations are also very helpful. That’s really cool that you can keep things straight when you are in the monument and in your feelings. For some of us, feelings can be a huge distraction from intimacy, because of what you say - they get us to thinking too much.
Thanks MO, I appreciate your feedback.
 

flying

Registrant
We all deserve compassion for what we've gone through. We lost our innocence... our freedom to explore the world and define who we would be. Instead we lived with confusion and shame... not at all useful in creating a meaningful, joy filled life. And so we find ourselves here where we can tell the truth about our experience and our feelings. I'm grateful for that.
Thanks, Visitor
 

wmcpeters

Registrant
@MO-Survivor I am so glad i have engaged after being signed up on MS for so many years. Perhaps I'm finally ready to face the abuse, deal with the triggers and focus on becoming more mindful about what I feel and how it impacts me. What you have shared speaks volumes to me. Volumes! Thank you for summarizing - I look forward to Chapter 9 - and will definitely seek this out for reading. At some point I hope to dig in to this more with a therapist and talk with my wife more about how my abuse has impacted our intimacy. Again, many thanks. Be strong. Be the light. Peace!
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
Hey @wmcpeters - I am so glad you are here as well. I knew about this site LONG ago, shortly after it was up and running in the early 2000s. I didn't engage, or even really visit it at all over the years - until late last year. I felt "stuck," prayed about being stuck and wanting to be out of the repetitive patterns & place, but honestly didn't have that much hope of that happening. Engaging here, followed by starting with a T and doing reading on my own has kick-started something that has already gotten me "unstuck" and moving forward. I'm glad my sharing with others (and you) has been meaningful / helpful. I have learned a LOT already from others here. I think the biggest high-level things I've learned are: 1) I'm a lot like everyone else here in terms of how CSA affected me, and 2) I have been a really good adapter, and that sounds like a good thing and in many ways has been good. But... it really blinded me to seeing & acknowledging some of the deeper effects of CSA - until I dove in with my T. It has made things a bit surreal to me, honestly, the paradox between living for years as that adaptive person - only to see that there are layers and layers of unresolved stuff. Thanks for the encouragement, and peace to you also!
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
So I have started on Chapter 4, and I really like the way he lays things out. He essentially says, “These things must happen for healing to occur (there is typically an order to them; some things are predecessors of others, and much is cyclical - like has been discussed here).”

I won’t probably post a summary though until the week after next. This week is really busy for me and my T wants me living in the moment, so I need to step away this week, Hope you all have a great week!
 
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Imagine that... living in the moment! It definitely is worth giving a try. Have a good one MO.
 

Youngtrumpet

Registrant
Repeating the abuse can occur in three variations (not all mutually exclusive). You do this without realizing what you are doing:
  • Repetition as a victim
  • Repetition as a perpetrator (note: this doesn't mean you become a perpetrator, unless you have fully embraced this idea)
  • Repetition as a witness
I don’t understand what “Repetition as a perpetrator” means. Isn’t someone a perpetrator or not? Unless you have fully embraced the idea? There are not levels of a perpetrator. I don’t think I could believe that.
 
I think there are levels of perpetrator. For example if a 10 yo boy is abused and then he acts out this abuse on another kid is he really aware that he is abusing another kid? Probably not. If you are say 16 then you may have some knowledge that what you are doing is abuse. As an adult you should know better.
 
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