Denied of a healthy opportunity to develop my sexuality? (trigger warnings)

Reflecting

Registrant
This is a delicate and sensitive topic, so I hope it's alright to discuss. One area of my journey I've been lately trying to come to terms with is how/why I enjoy certain things, both emotionally and physically in regards to sex, and their link to my emotional & childhood sexual abuse/adult assault growing up. I'm not sure as to whether they're related to my abuse, who I simply am as a person, or both?
I feel both angry and sad that I wasn't able to explore my sexuality and desires in a healthy & safe environment due to my abuse. Are these behaviours and feelings in the bedroom my own because of my true personality, or are they my abusers? Can I really say my sexuality is my own, if it was influenced by others in a hurtful & coercive situation? Humans are complex and multi-faceted: we all have our own space on the sexuality spectrum and our own love languages. However these nagging questions are eating away at me on a deeper emotional level.


****** Strong Trigger Warnings for Abuse & Sex Details! **********








My parents weren't very affectionate physically or emotionally growing up, especially my mother, who would invalidate or undermine my own feelings and my sister's from an early age, so none of us would express our true feelings or talk honestly with each other. They also had an unhappy marriage and would frequently scream at each other, blame us for their problems and have us pass messages to each other when they stopped talking to each other, so my sister & I would walk on eggshells at home.
I have vague memories of having someone come into my bedroom when I was in primary school and touching my penis, by climbing into bed and holding me from behind whilst they did it. I have always enjoyed both emotionally & physically, being the little spoon during cuddles, and in the bedroom, I have asked partners to start touching me whilst in this position.

I was also assaulted as an adult when I was drunk/drugged. I have some memories that are clear, others that aren't so clear as I blacked out a few times. I recall at one point, my perpetrator laid down on top of me and slowly rubbed his erect penis against mine, whilst holding me tightly against him and gently moaning. After a while, he sat back up and then suddenly pinned my hands to the bed before penetrating me roughly.
I love the sensation of having someone on top grinding or rubbing against me, especially watching their reaction, and I like having a confident woman suddenly pin me to the bed before having vaginal sex, as I feel both desirable and vulnerable, as odd as that sounds.




****** End Triggers************


I can either be a quiet shy person, or when I'm with close friends and/or talking about particular topics, I'm an outgoing motor-mouth so perhaps these behaviours are just linked to my personality? Or maybe the lack of physical affection & constant belittling of myself by my parents make me crave a warped form of "intimacy" in whatever form I can?
 
I imagine most of us have asked questions like this about our sexual expression/orientation. How could it be otherwise given the fact, which you note, that we weren't free to develop our own relationship with our body and its sexual needs? It has taken me a long time to unpack my history and make sense of my sexual behaviors which have been quite extreme. Without telling the story again, I'll simply say that I now can trace back everything that once seemed strange or called perverted, is rooted in sexual trauma I experienced when I was young. My guess is you will be able to say the same thing. Even as you describe events and your eventual preferences they seem linked, but this is for you to determine for yourself. I'll simply say again that sexual trauma is very powerful, laying down deep memories we carry with us for the rest of our lives... elements of what I call the residue of trauma.

Deep respect for the work you're doing. This is what the healing journey looks like.
 

KMCINVA

Registrant
Reflecting

I echo Visitor's sentiments. How could anyone understand their sexuality once abused by a man. Sadly, too many in the medical profession and educated people cannot see beyond their close minded view. Sadly most refuse to look at the studies of trauma which they they fail to see and instead their ignorance enhance with their words and actions the abused has not impact. It was through therapy, support and wonderful loving and open minded people I learned who I am. I have pleasures that eluded me for a lifetime--the abuser is no longer the monkey on my back. I truly believe as you heal and your sexual experiences help you to define you orientation. For me I was blessed to meet a woman who helped me find me. We have a wonderful, not conventional, relationship but full of love and passion.

Only you can learn who you are. No matter what others say or your past negative experiences you are valuable and have support here. Sexual trauma is finally getting studies and much is being learned how it impacts the brain.

Kevin
 
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I feel both angry and sad that I wasn't able to explore my sexuality and desires in a healthy & safe environment due to my abuse. Are these behaviours and feelings in the bedroom my own because of my true personality, or are they my abusers? Can I really say my sexuality is my own, if it was influenced by others in a hurtful & coercive situation?
Very well said!

Lots of threads (including my own) regarding Sexualizing or Eroticizing the Abuse - seems like another "CSA-Normal" thing.
 

BMB

Registrant
Reflecting,

I wish I had something meaningful to share.

As a 35y old survivor of emotional neglect and sexual abuse as you, I can only say that I share with you the same questions or doubt that you brought in this post.

But I must say that after I started to work with the consequences of my traumas, I was able to have some glimpses that, despite the fact we really lost some opportunities, we can all start or work, or develop from now onwards.

I do not know how it will be, how long it will take. But I know that we can get to a situation that it is more confortable (and in my case also healthier) than the one under the power of trauma.
 

Trapped765

Registrant
This is a delicate and sensitive topic, so I hope it's alright to discuss. One area of my journey I've been lately trying to come to terms with is how/why I enjoy certain things, both emotionally and physically in regards to sex, and their link to my emotional & childhood sexual abuse/adult assault growing up. I'm not sure as to whether they're related to my abuse, who I simply am as a person, or both?
I feel both angry and sad that I wasn't able to explore my sexuality and desires in a healthy & safe environment due to my abuse. Are these behaviours and feelings in the bedroom my own because of my true personality, or are they my abusers? Can I really say my sexuality is my own, if it was influenced by others in a hurtful & coercive situation? Humans are complex and multi-faceted: we all have our own space on the sexuality spectrum and our own love languages. However these nagging questions are eating away at me on a deeper emotional level.


****** Strong Trigger Warnings for Abuse & Sex Details! **********








My parents weren't very affectionate physically or emotionally growing up, especially my mother, who would invalidate or undermine my own feelings and my sister's from an early age, so none of us would express our true feelings or talk honestly with each other. They also had an unhappy marriage and would frequently scream at each other, blame us for their problems and have us pass messages to each other when they stopped talking to each other, so my sister & I would walk on eggshells at home.
I have vague memories of having someone come into my bedroom when I was in primary school and touching my penis, by climbing into bed and holding me from behind whilst they did it. I have always enjoyed both emotionally & physically, being the little spoon during cuddles, and in the bedroom, I have asked partners to start touching me whilst in this position.

I was also assaulted as an adult when I was drunk/drugged. I have some memories that are clear, others that aren't so clear as I blacked out a few times. I recall at one point, my perpetrator laid down on top of me and slowly rubbed his erect penis against mine, whilst holding me tightly against him and gently moaning. After a while, he sat back up and then suddenly pinned my hands to the bed before penetrating me roughly.
I love the sensation of having someone on top grinding or rubbing against me, especially watching their reaction, and I like having a confident woman suddenly pin me to the bed before having vaginal sex, as I feel both desirable and vulnerable, as odd as that sounds.




****** End Triggers************


I can either be a quiet shy person, or when I'm with close friends and/or talking about particular topics, I'm an outgoing motor-mouth so perhaps these behaviours are just linked to my personality? Or maybe the lack of physical affection & constant belittling of myself by my parents make me crave a warped form of "intimacy" in whatever form I can?
Reflecting
Trapped765
I struggled with this for many years. I was made to have sex with males for decades. I physically enjoyed it at times. Even occasionally emotionally did so. I wondered if i might be gay. The idea did not bother me it was just something that i thought i should know about myself. A harder thing for me to deal with was the fact that they would let children have sex with me while i was helpless to stop them. It felt good! For years i stayed away from children because i thought i might be a pedophile and hurt children.
I eventually figured out that our experiences shape our personality. But we have a base to build on that is part of our dna make up. Like my nieces boy. His daddy has a very hard time controlling his anger so does the boy. As does the daddy's father and grandfather. The difference in them is the boy wants to control the anger and the others reveled in it. In my opinion you're probably like most humans who want and need the physical comfort of another person with you. How that is expressed in you can be from cultural social and personal experience. If it works for you and harms no one that does not want to be harmed, like a little bdsm game, then ask why does it matter how you take your comfort? I am a big burly hairy male and in my life i have held many a woman in my lap and arms rocking them gently while stroking their backs. No sex involved. Many of them were lesbians who just missed their fathers.
I was trained to be submissive and i tend to be so sexually but in everything else i am the leader. The one people come to figure out and solve problems. When the abuse starts that young it is nearly impossible to know with certainty how a person would have been without it. I think trying to know what you need is more important than why you need. It is good to know both but often impossible to know for certain.
Blessed be peace unto you and good ripples brother.
 
Trapped765 speaks about all of this in a way that is beginning to resonate with me. I've always relied on my intellect to respond to life in the belief that if I understand what is happening, I'll make a best choice of how to go forward. The truth, of course, has been that my body's response to trauma when I was an infant and young boy laid down a template that dictates my response when stress is activated. It really doesn't matter what my mind tells me because it is invariably a day late and dollar short. By that I mean, research in neuroscience is finding that the body acts BEFORE the mind is aware of giving direction. When my mind tells me it is a mistake to seek out pornography so I can masturbate, my body has already insisted it needs the distraction, the release. Historically, this dynamic has left me feeling profound shame... my mind knows it isn't helping. It thought it knew enough to stop me from making the same mistake again... but it is not in charge in the least.

Healing from trauma is not simple or easy. No matter how smart we are, we'll remain at the mercy of our reptilian brain whose whole purpose is survival. An animal will chew off its foot to get out of a trap... and it is that brain that is activated in trauma. So I walk around hyper alert in anticipation that I'm going to be violated again. Even if that never happens, there is enough uncertainty and stress in the world that I'll be triggered. Even stillness can make me uncomfortable, so distraction in a thousand and one ways is needed. Old ways of doing that have themselves created neural pathways that are easy to find and follow. How could it be otherwise?

So job one is not shaming myself because my body rushes to resolve the stress building inside. IF change is going to happen, it will only happen when I'm a compassionate ally for myself. I will want to be kind when my body finds release it feels it needs. I will also want to seek out support from folks who understand how horrific trauma can be and who are seeking a healthier relationship with themselves. Perhaps if I learn new skills in self-care, practicing them with kindness, I'll lay down new neural pathways that make the old ones unnecessary. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with anything I've done to survive. Judgments others may have about my behaviors are none of my business. Of course there have been those along the way who suffered because of my inability to show up for life, for intimacy. I make living amends to them to the extent I'm able. So it seems humility is called for... Hopefully, with compassion and care, this life that has been a hell realm will have some moments of peace. One day at a time, right?
 
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2Bnormal51

Registrant
"The truth, of course, has been that my body's response to trauma when I was an infant and young boy laid down a template that dictates my response when stress is activated. It really doesn't matter what my mind tells me because it is invariably a day late and dollar short. By that I mean, research in neuroscience is finding that the body acts BEFORE the mind is aware of giving direction. When my mind tells me it is a mistake to seek out pornography so I can masturbate, my body has already insisted it needs the distraction, the release. Historically, this dynamic has left me feeling profound shame... my mind knows it isn't helping. It thought it knew enough to stop me from making the same mistake again... but it is not in charge in the least."

Visitor, this writing of yours has truly hit the mark. I like you suffered from infant to young boy, a bit in my adulthood. I also still have this side affect, when I'm anxious, or tense, without any reason, I need release. At times I so desire a man to be with me just to touch me, hold me to feel one with myself! I also have to this day, "why can't I be like that man" this jealousy of my perception of how I wish to be like some man I see. It just seems never ending at times, when I think I'm over it......it sneaks up like a sudden hidden shadow.......
Thank you for sharing this, it helped me to take note.......now what to do about it.....sigh......
Take care and I am following you.......being here has helped me in many differing ways for sure, and your testimony of your struggles is one of them!
Later.....:cool:
 
Trapped765 speaks about all of this in a way that is beginning to resonate with me. I've always relied on my intellect to respond to life in the belief that if I understand what is happening, I'll make a best choice of how to go forward. The truth, of course, has been that my body's response to trauma when I was an infant and young boy laid down a template that dictates my response when stress is activated. It really doesn't matter what my mind tells me because it is invariably a day late and dollar short. By that I mean, research in neuroscience is finding that the body acts BEFORE the mind is aware of giving direction. When my mind tells me it is a mistake to seek out pornography so I can masturbate, my body has already insisted it needs the distraction, the release. Historically, this dynamic has left me feeling profound shame... my mind knows it isn't helping. It thought it knew enough to stop me from making the same mistake again... but it is not in charge in the least.

Healing from trauma is not simple or easy. No matter how smart we are, we'll remain at the mercy of our reptilian brain whose whole purpose is survival. An animal will chew off its foot to get out of a trap... and it is that brain that is activated in trauma. So I walk around hyper alert in anticipation that I'm going to be violated again. Even if that never happens, there is enough uncertainty and stress in the world that I'll be triggered. Even stillness can make me uncomfortable, so distraction in a thousand and one ways is needed. Old ways of doing that have themselves created neural pathways that are easy to find and follow. How could it be otherwise?

So job one is not shaming myself because my body rushes to resolve the stress building inside. IF change is going to happen, it will only happen when I'm a compassionate ally for myself. I will want to be kind when my body finds release it feels it needs. I will also want to seek out support from folks who understand how horrific trauma can be and who are seeking a healthier relationship with themselves. Perhaps if I learn new skills in self-care, practicing them with kindness, I'll lay down new neural pathways that make the old ones unnecessary. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with anything I've done to survive. Judgments others may have about my behaviors are none of my business. Of course there have been those along the way who suffered because of my inability to show up for life, for intimacy. I make living amends to them to the extent I'm able. So it seems humility is called for... Hopefully, with compassion and care, this life that has been a hell realm will have some moments of peace. One day at a time, right?
oh my goodness so much wisdom and truth in what @Visitor says. In my first session with my T he actually honored my maladaptive coping mechanisms saying that they helped get me to the point where I was when I walked into his office. Though he said it was time to embrace new coping mechanisms he did it in a way which didn't shame my past. It reminds me of a man I heard in recovery for over eating. He said he was grateful for the role food played in his life as he turned there instead of drugs or gangs like so many of his friends did who are long dead.

You are also right about the judgement of others. People are quite understanding of trauma...as long as it hasn't had an effect on you.

Your comments about porn remind me of something else my T has taught me: I am going to self-sooth. For me, I want to develop new ways of self-soothing which are not harmful. And when I do fall back into old ways of thinking or behaving, I am becoming more compassionate about the fact that I am still a work in progress.
 
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