Did my abuse make me gay?

ODAT

Registrant
I am married for 18 years and am happily married but sometimes I yearn to repeat the oral abuse I experienced at 8. In my 20-40’s I satisfied many married men orally in replicating my earlier abuse. At some point I learned to enjoy it. I’ve not done this in 20 years but it feels like the itch I can’t scratch…
 
I see guys here wondering whether they would have been naturally gay, bi, or straight without the abuse, and this kind of questioning is the norm for adults who have experienced same-sex CSA. Some guys figure it out, but some never do. From what I can tell, the folks who are happiest are those who are able to just let the question go and be who they are without labels.

My personal opinion is that everyone, CSA survivors or not, would be a lot happier if we could all just let the labels go as a society.
Bravo @Strangeways . As I've said before in this thread, the abuse upended my natural development and self-understanding, made it so white hot, too hot to objectively comprehend my sexuality for decades. And now that I can, the labels need to go out the window. What I am left with is the understanding that I am physically attracted to some men and some women. The how and why is impossible to know at this point, its just one of those casualties of abuse. And I am happier, much happier, with this understanding of myself.
 
Bravo @Strangeways . As I've said before in this thread, the abuse upended my natural development and self-understanding, made it so white hot, too hot to objectively comprehend my sexuality for decades. And now that I can, the labels need to go out the window. What I am left with is the understanding that I am physically attracted to some men and some women. The how and why is impossible to know at this point, its just one of those casualties of abuse. And I am happier, much happier, with this understanding of myself.
Noting your comments on your process: I'll put forth for consideration that 'how' or 'why' are 'impossible to know' for anyone. And there may not be benefit to asking those questions, about any individual's development and understanding of their sexuality / sexual attraction as an adult.
We've probably all thought about the impact of CSA on our adult lives, seeking perspective on its relationship to elements of sexuality (including sexual thoughts or choices which can be frustrating or distressing in our interpretation as out of the 'norm'). As you describe, we often try to 'figure out' the relationship between our sexual abuse as children and our adult sexual persona (behaviours, fantasies, the subjects of our attractions, urges we act on and those we suppress, conclusions we arrive at as to how to label our own sexuality). Our brains may come up with theories about ourselves, as some 'answer' for a question that may be nagging at us. But to put too much of our mental energy there can amount to trying to figure out something unfigureoutable.
(This is a term I claim credit for coining, but put it in public domain so y'all can co-opt it if it fits).

Labels often aren't substantive, as they imply some connotation that people will disagree and argue about. Anyone can tell themselves and others that they're 'straight', 'gay', 'bi', 'pan', 'asexual', etc, based on some dictionary definition. But the reality is we have no idea what anyone who uses these terms is actually thinking or feeling, fantasizing, what they're doing (or not doing) sexually with whom they do it, how their body or mind receives and reacts to sexual stimuli. - I'm a skeptic by nature, and believe you never know anyone 100%, even yourself, no matter what people claim to 'be'.

Like you, it took me quite a while to be chill understanding that I'm attracted to some women and some men (and I don't need to inject my childhood trauma in that conversation with myself). We can't consciously control our thoughts and feelings; the only thing we can control is our own behaviour (including our actions taken in response to thoughts and feelings). Rather than exploring how or why I am 'this way' , I'm trying to plane down my pointy head and ask different questions of myself: ? Am I healthy and honest when I have physical contact and in my communications? What plan do I have to stay self-aware, and prevent myself from acting on an impulse that could emotionally or physically harm someone (including myself)? How can I divert nagging questions and doubts about myself, so they don't interfere with my efforts to bring value to the world around me? Will I hold myself accountable when I fuck up (and how can I do that without beating myself to a bloody pulp with the guilt and shame that never completely goes away ? )

I'm not gonna pretend that I have my shit together, that past trauma doesn't still impair me, or that I've crossed any threshold as to concepts like 'healing' or 'recovery'. It benefits me to communicate in some way with other guys who have a reason to be on this site, rather than disconnecting from humans (although the person who understands me best is my crazy bitch dog; she's bestowed me the same title).
For most of us, we're on this site because someone harmed us when we were vulnerable. The injuries can't be undone, and are stored in our minds and bodies. The sexual element of trauma can have its own particular brand of mind-fuck. Good chance we've hurt or lied to others and ourselves at some point, as we're dealing with our crap.

What I try to think about and actualize in my life: If I can use those experiences to check myself, if for anyone who's had trauma (sexual and/ or other) to be sure we're not taking advantage of or harming someone who is vulnerable, that if we have physical relationships they are only with other consenting adults, then does it really fucking matter whether we're gay, bi, straight (whatever the hell those terms mean) or something else that we might not even be able to categorize?

Sorry for babbling a novella, bruh. If I deleted this long-ass post, you prolly ain't reading it.
 
Noting your comments on your process: I'll put forth for consideration that 'how' or 'why' are 'impossible to know' for anyone. And there may not be benefit to asking those questions, about any individual's development and understanding of their sexuality / sexual attraction as an adult.
We've probably all thought about the impact of CSA on our adult lives, seeking perspective on its relationship to elements of sexuality (including sexual thoughts or choices which can be frustrating or distressing in our interpretation as out of the 'norm'). As you describe, we often try to 'figure out' the relationship between our sexual abuse as children and our adult sexual persona (behaviours, fantasies, the subjects of our attractions, urges we act on and those we suppress, conclusions we arrive at as to how to label our own sexuality). Our brains may come up with theories about ourselves, as some 'answer' for a question that may be nagging at us. But to put too much of our mental energy there can amount to trying to figure out something unfigureoutable.
(This is a term I claim credit for coining, but put it in public domain so y'all can co-opt it if it fits).

Labels often aren't substantive, as they imply some connotation that people will disagree and argue about. Anyone can tell themselves and others that they're 'straight', 'gay', 'bi', 'pan', 'asexual', etc, based on some dictionary definition. But the reality is we have no idea what anyone who uses these terms is actually thinking or feeling, fantasizing, what they're doing (or not doing) sexually with whom they do it, how their body or mind receives and reacts to sexual stimuli. - I'm a skeptic by nature, and believe you never know anyone 100%, even yourself, no matter what people claim to 'be'.

Like you, it took me quite a while to be chill understanding that I'm attracted to some women and some men (and I don't need to inject my childhood trauma in that conversation with myself). We can't consciously control our thoughts and feelings; the only thing we can control is our own behaviour (including our actions taken in response to thoughts and feelings). Rather than exploring how or why I am 'this way' , I'm trying to plane down my pointy head and ask different questions of myself: ? Am I healthy and honest when I have physical contact and in my communications? What plan do I have to stay self-aware, and prevent myself from acting on an impulse that could emotionally or physically harm someone (including myself)? How can I divert nagging questions and doubts about myself, so they don't interfere with my efforts to bring value to the world around me? Will I hold myself accountable when I fuck up (and how can I do that without beating myself to a bloody pulp with the guilt and shame that never completely goes away ? )

I'm not gonna pretend that I have my shit together, that past trauma doesn't still impair me, or that I've crossed any threshold as to concepts like 'healing' or 'recovery'. It benefits me to communicate in some way with other guys who have a reason to be on this site, rather than disconnecting from humans (although the person who understands me best is my crazy bitch dog; she's bestowed me the same title).
For most of us, we're on this site because someone harmed us when we were vulnerable. The injuries can't be undone, and are stored in our minds and bodies. The sexual element of trauma can have its own particular brand of mind-fuck. Good chance we've hurt or lied to others and ourselves at some point, as we're dealing with our crap.

What I try to think about and actualize in my life: If I can use those experiences to check myself, if for anyone who's had trauma (sexual and/ or other) to be sure we're not taking advantage of or harming someone who is vulnerable, that if we have physical relationships they are only with other consenting adults, then does it really fucking matter whether we're gay, bi, straight (whatever the hell those terms mean) or something else that we might not even be able to categorize?

Sorry for babbling a novella, bruh. If I deleted this long-ass post, you prolly ain't reading it.
Thank you for writing what I have thinking, more or less 🤣🤣🤣. I know that labels are not helpful to me and neither is excavating the past to find who I "really am or would have been". I am what I am, weird as that might be.
 
I am married for 18 years and am happily married but sometimes I yearn to repeat the oral abuse I experienced at 8. In my 20-40’s I satisfied many married men orally in replicating my earlier abuse. At some point I learned to enjoy it. I’ve not done this in 20 years but it feels like the itch I can’t scratch…
I spent decades believing that if I could reenact my abuse it would set me free. I believed with every cell in my body that if I could just get down on my knees one time it would free me. I asked my counselor several times why it wouldn't work. The last time we talked about it I said "you know it would heal me if I did it, you just don't want me to heal". He told me the same thing he told me the other times we talked about it telling me why it wouldn't set me free. But this time he had a look of compassion on his face and in his voice that wrecked me. After 4 decades of those thoughts, I haven't had one since.

Having said that, sometimes, especially when I get down, I can feel the pull to give myself over to that thinking again. I recall my wife's grandmother saying that 40 years after giving up smoking, she still reaches into her purse on occasion to get a cigarette. I think those fantasies are like that for me. Sometimes I am tempted to go back to them.
 
I spent decades believing that if I could reenact my abuse it would set me free. I believed with every cell in my body that if I could just get down on my knees one time it would free me. I asked my counselor several times why it wouldn't work. The last time we talked about it I said "you know it would heal me if I did it, you just don't want me to heal". He told me the same thing he told me the other times we talked about it telling me why it wouldn't set me free. But this time he had a look of compassion on his face and in his voice that wrecked me. After 4 decades of those thoughts, I haven't had one since.

Having said that, sometimes, especially when I get down, I can feel the pull to give myself over to that thinking again. I recall my wife's grandmother saying that 40 years after giving up smoking, she still reaches into her purse on occasion to get a cigarette. I think those fantasies are like that for me. Sometimes I am tempted to go back to them.
Good on you for gaining some perspective on troubling noise in your head. Our minds come up with thoughts that are illogical, and compulsions to act on an idea or fantasy imagining that would lead to a specific outcome. Good on your Therapist for telling you straight out, in a way that finally made sense to you, that the voice in your head suggesting re-enacting abuse would 'heal you' is a mind-fuck trying to delude you. I've come to accept that distorted thoughts in my head may never completely disappear, and they're usually gonna pop up when I'm stressed (e.g. there will be some benefit or pay-off for me if I act on an instinct that is objectively unhealthy). My goal is to recognize them early for what they are, and override them with a mental message, "that's a bad idea that ain't gonna work, so don't be a dumbass and go down that path, okay?"

For some reason, bizarre illogical anxiety-provoking thoughts and ideas tend to pop up in my head when I'm driving alone. In the center of my steering wheel, I have carved in the letters "CTFD", my prompt for myself to "Calm The Fuck Down". Definitely helps my brain go someplace more stable. I'm thinking of getting that tattooed on the back of my hand.
 
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