Fear sex, nudity and women. My story.

RR_Leo

Registrant
Hi all,

This is my first post after browsing the forum for many days. First, please let me extend my gratitude for the many who shared their experiences here which I could relate to in many ways as a victim of female abuse. I would like to share something I went through as well... ..I have come here because I have come to time in my life where I feel extremely lonely and cut off from the world and quite frankly I am looking for answers to understand why I am different and lack the human and social aspects that come so naturally to others.

I can understand also the trauma I went through could be considered mild in comparison to other survivor stories but it has extremely limited my personal and social life and would love to hear anyone who can add some insight.

Basically I have NEVER been in a relationship my entire life despite being in my mid-30s. Any dates have been superficial and I would usually go on a date every couple years just to appear normal to friends and family but never had any intention in getting into a lasting relationship. The reason being I am afraid of all kinds of women, young and old and the thought of sex causes me to run as far away as possible. However I have a libido and enjoy sexual energy in general. Now to my story:

Although I was a very shy and sensitive kid growing up, I believe this phobia of sex and the female gender has its roots in an incident that happened when I was around 9 or 10 years old. I remember playing doctor one time with my half-sister one year older then me. I didn't really understand the boundaries between boys and girls as I grew up in a house full of mostly women and was rarely let outside to play with boys my age. But one evening I remember we were bored and my step-sister suggested we show each other our private parts. Nothing else happened except we examined what the 'funny' thing between our legs were and I think I touched it out of curiosity and that was it. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time but the next day I was up for a rude awakening and what would be a very traumatic experiences for me. My half-sister decided to tell our other older sister about our curiosity game who told my mother who ended up telling my grandmother. We were beaten with every wire in the house and I was called every name in the book from 'disgusting pig' 'vile creature' 'devil child' etc.......Most of the abuse was directed towards me and not my step-sister for some reason despite both of us being there at the time.......The physical and mental abuse went on for days, each time my mother would say she would tell me Father as well so he could join in on humiliating me for being the 'gross one in the family'............ It even went on to an extent that if even me and my step-sister were casually in a room doing homework or reading books, my mother would burst in accusing us of doing 'nasty things' and demanding to see my step-sisters underwear to inspect. As I come from a very conservative and religious family I remember my mother telling me I would go to hell if I touched another girl. My mother would also refer to my male part using derogatory words which must have caused me to become dissociated from my body as well. All this was really too much, I was just an innocent kid and here I was being accused of being some kind of rapist and disgusting human being.... it really scared me to death. From that day onwards I associated any kind of sexuality and nudity with pain, disgust and humiliation. This obsession in staying pure and avoiding sex continued into high school and college and developed to such an extreme that if a family member was around and a women in a bikini came on the TV I would quickly change the channel lest I be accused of being a dirty person. This experience caused me to shut down in the relationship department and fear women would betray me, humiliate, falsely accuse, vilify etc.

I feel my mothers outbursts and overreaction to that incident denied me the right to be a sexual being and enjoy my masculinity. I feel deficient in every sphere of my life have a very low self-esteem and deep anxiety with relationships which I link back to this incident as well........ I would love to have a beautiful wife at my side and children one day but don't know if I can handle the pressure and anxiety of sex and intimacy especially as I have never trusted anyone to be that close.

Any feedback, comments or advise would be very very much appreciated! Thank you ALL!
 
My goodness, looking at this from an outsider's perspective, of course you can't form relationships with women. Those incidents were so traumatic - and understandably so - that it's colored your whole life. Just thinking about being with a woman or being aroused instantly made you a monster to your incredibly sick family. It's no surprise that you internalized that.

Have you tried therapy?
 

RR_Leo

Registrant
Hi Strangeways,

Thank you for the reply and your kind words. To answer your question, no I have never been to therapy. I am sure it might be useful in recovering but I fear making myself vulnerable and the deep sexual shame and guilt surrounding my past.
 
I am sure it might be useful in recovering but I fear making myself vulnerable and the deep sexual shame and guilt surrounding my past.
I certainly understand. Well, being here is a great first step in that you'll see that it's possible to talk about it without being judged. You'll find a ton of support. Many of us have been through similar things as you.

It IS possible to get over sexual shame. To be very honest, it's extremely difficult - but it's possible. I wonder if you can imagine what your life might look like without that kind of shame.
 

Blue22

Registrant
From that day onwards I associated any kind of sexuality and nudity with pain, disgust and humiliation. This obsession in staying pure and avoiding sex continued into high school and college and developed to such an extreme that if a family member was around and a women in a bikini came on the TV I would quickly change the channel lest I be accused of being a dirty person. This experience caused me to shut down in the relationship department and fear women would betray me, humiliate, falsely accuse, vilify etc.
I can relate, different trauma but same associations and internalization.

For how common avoidance coping supposedly is in trauma response, I tend to get stuck in groups of survivors who either suffer from being hyper-sexual or somewhat capable of at least dating or talking to someone, while I'm rather inept or unable to do anything...it's a very isolating feeling that I haven't been able to connect with people with similar avoidance response, very much a failure self-evalution.

At one point, I described the celibacy as involuntary....and then the whole incel phenomenon came into existence and my options were either to flee what I thought was a simple description or join a group of people who were nothing like me & had terrible motives. As if this new aggressive "incel" class of people had co-opted my way of describing my disability. And I still get scared that I'm actually part of that group despite my disgust at it.

It's as if the childhood trauma of being accused of depravity repeated itself - I'm minding my own business naively exploring the world and suddenly get lumped in with awful things, again finding myself in a "I don't belong" mindset.

Talk about reinforcement. Therapy has been, for the most part, fruitless. Some of the exercises simply don't work for me. The instructions seem rather simple - nothing physically demanding like running a marathon - but I just can't get started.

Anywho, it's really comforting in a bittersweet way to read of someone in a similar position.
 
I feel great shame at my attraction to women, and I think this is in large part because of comments from my mother. Oddly, she was not always against it. My father had a collection of Playboy magazines, and she made him get rid of those just when I would have started getting interested, but when she realized I was interested she gave me a glare that I remember to this day. At the same time, later, if a pretty woman walked by or appeared on tv, she would tease me with a "I know what you're looking at." Sometimes I still hear those words. It's confusing.
 
Thanks for your post Leo. I share many of your feelings and experiences, I could have written that post. I started recovery a few weeks ago so I don't have many answers at the moment. I'll share anything that helps on my journey.

Hope you are well.
 

RR_Leo

Registrant
I feel great shame at my attraction to women, and I think this is in large part because of comments from my mother. Oddly, she was not always against it. My father had a collection of Playboy magazines, and she made him get rid of those just when I would have started getting interested, but when she realized I was interested she gave me a glare that I remember to this day. At the same time, later, if a pretty woman walked by or appeared on tv, she would tease me with a "I know what you're looking at." Sometimes I still hear those words. It's confusing.
This! Resonates a lot with me. I could never forget the glare I got when my Mother saw me chatting with an old college female acquaintance at a community event some time ago. Like that "how dare you be interested in another women" look.

Might I add that I recently learned my dad had cheated on my Mother a few times during my childhood. I didn't know it at the time but might explain her behaviour.
 

RR_Leo

Registrant
I can relate, different trauma but same associations and internalization.

For how common avoidance coping supposedly is in trauma response, I tend to get stuck in groups of survivors who either suffer from being hyper-sexual or somewhat capable of at least dating or talking to someone, while I'm rather inept or unable to do anything...it's a very isolating feeling that I haven't been able to connect with people with similar avoidance response, very much a failure self-evalution.
I couldn't agree with you more here. I am always amazed by people on this Forum and other places who have been through worse but still manage to establish and maintain loving relationships and start families. Where do they get that courage to trust another human being after whats happened? Thank you for sharing!
 

RR_Leo

Registrant
Thanks for your post Leo. I share many of your feelings and experiences, I could have written that post. I started recovery a few weeks ago so I don't have many answers at the moment. I'll share anything that helps on my journey.

Hope you are well.
Thank you Unatempestad. Glad to know I'm not alone. Please do share if you find anything you have done so far useful!

It IS possible to get over sexual shame. To be very honest, it's extremely difficult - but it's possible. I wonder if you can imagine what your life might look like without that kind of shame.
Thanks Strangeways. But I wish I could imagine things turning out differently. I have been avoiding for so long I can't picture anything else but being alone sadly.
 

Timawarrior

Registrant
It is beyond terrible what you went through. I can not understand such hatred and abuse people inflict on others, especially to young children. I thank you for sharing your painful story. Always stay strong.
 
Early trauma can take us in so many different directions. Thanks Leo for telling about your experience and how it is playing out in your life. I'd encourage you to continue sharing how you're doing and would suggest as Strange has that you think about seeing a therapist to share more deeply your shame and guilt. I say that wondering what you could possibly feel guilty about since nothing you've done is wrong. I understand how religious fundamentalism has great angst about things sexual. Playing "doctor" is so normal and what actually happened for you and your sister so innocuous, your family's reaction is itself loaded with shame... not yours, but theirs'. It is so sad that you've been charged with responsibility for carrying that shame. That is what happens in trauma... we end up carrying feelings that really belong to other people. And how could it be otherwise because every kid learns how to be in the world from his or her parents? Detaching ourselves from that is ultimately what the healing journey is all about.

I remember in therapy an exercise my therapist had me do. I was to visualize a circle with me standing inside and my mother standing outside. We each held the end of a rope. I could instantly feel the tension pulling from her end and needing to pull my end so I wouldn't be pulled out of the circle. We were in a tug of war instantly. My therapist invited me to put down my end of the rope. When I did I felt this amazing sense of relief. I realized that I'd been carrying my mother's anger and depression my whole life. I didn't need to pick up that rope ever again. Granted, it took me a few more years before I understand that the rope also carried her sexual confusion which she acted out with me when I was an infant.

It is possible to move past this shame Leo... and this is a good place to find support for YOUR healing journey. You're not alone with any of this.
 
Might I add that I recently learned my dad had cheated on my Mother a few times during my childhood. I didn't know it at the time but might explain her behaviour.
Perhaps her behavior can explain why he cheated on her? Society always looks at the man as being the problem. We've been groomed to do that.
It's time to take a more investigative approach to situations like this and gut the emotionalism and get down to the cold hard facts before jumping to conclusions. I have found that every story has two sides. Men must be heard. Men must be believed. Men must be protected. At. All. Cost.
 
I am looking for answers to understand why I am different and lack the human and social aspects that come so naturally to others.
May I offer a comment? You are a man. Men who have been sexually abused, traumatized, or harmed all see ourselves as less than a man, less than human, and social outcasts. We're certainly told such. However, we still have our manliness, our humanness, and our quality social skills - they're just buried so no one can hurt them. We are protecting them. At the right time, at the right place, and around the right people you will be able to let those wonderfully manly qualities out and you'll be free to be - you.

Your courage is powerful!
 

Timawarrior

Registrant
Perhaps her behavior can explain why he cheated on her? Society always looks at the man as being the problem. We've been groomed to do that.
It's time to take a more investigative approach to situations like this and gut the emotionalism and get down to the cold hard facts before jumping to conclusions. I have found that every story has two sides. Men must be heard. Men must be believed. Men must be protected. At. All. Cost.
I couldn't agree more.
 

dark empathy

Registrant
@Leo, I'm really sorry to hear this, and no wonder it had the effect it did.

Like Blue22, I can say the same thing, different circumstances, but remarkably similar effects.

I was genophobic for years, I was convinced that if I went anywhere near a woman I'd be some sort of disgusting pervert myself, and I actively flinched at anything to do with sex. Likewise, up until 2015, I'd never been close to a oman in any romantic sence, hadn't even kissed anyone and "dating" was some sort of alien process to me.

I actually wonder myself, given how many guys here have reported similar symptoms, just how much this happens and isn't talked about.
I know myself, one major problem I had is that I had two contradictory beliefs. I believed both that all the bad stuff was happening because I was disgusting, , and at the same time that all of this was perfectly normal. Indeed while things were going on I was actively discouraged from defending myself and not hitting girls or touching girls, though o of course they could do what they wanted to me.

This is why I admit I find the current "all victims are women, all abusers are men" culture actively triggering.

the only thing I can say, is that it does get bettter over time, albeit there isn't really a recipe for that.

Therapy I found a little hit and miss depending upon the therapist. Indeed the best thing I found was just hanging around ms and chatting to other guys.

I can say though, it does! get better.
indeed, I personally did! get amazingly lucky, going from being entirely genophobic and unable to even wear shorts in summer in 2015, to ending up married to an extremely wonderful lady in 2016.

I have no idea how this actually happened at all, and I wish I could say it was down to something I'd done and could give advice about.

but I can say that yes it has! got better.
 
I feel my mothers outbursts and overreaction to that incident denied me the right to be a sexual being and enjoy my masculinity.
Hi Leo

Thanks for sharing your story. I am sorry for your experience and see it to be a very traumatic up bringing. You did nothing wrong and it was not your fault. I would have though a better response would be a talk about the differences between boys and girls and that we need to be respectful of the differences and teach you how to set boundaries so that you can be respectful of others.

take good care
 

Trapped765

Registrant
Hi all,

This is my first post after browsing the forum for many days. First, please let me extend my gratitude for the many who shared their experiences here which I could relate to in many ways as a victim of female abuse. I would like to share something I went through as well... ..I have come here because I have come to time in my life where I feel extremely lonely and cut off from the world and quite frankly I am looking for answers to understand why I am different and lack the human and social aspects that come so naturally to others.

I can understand also the trauma I went through could be considered mild in comparison to other survivor stories but it has extremely limited my personal and social life and would love to hear anyone who can add some insight.

Basically I have NEVER been in a relationship my entire life despite being in my mid-30s. Any dates have been superficial and I would usually go on a date every couple years just to appear normal to friends and family but never had any intention in getting into a lasting relationship. The reason being I am afraid of all kinds of women, young and old and the thought of sex causes me to run as far away as possible. However I have a libido and enjoy sexual energy in general. Now to my story:

Although I was a very shy and sensitive kid growing up, I believe this phobia of sex and the female gender has its roots in an incident that happened when I was around 9 or 10 years old. I remember playing doctor one time with my half-sister one year older then me. I didn't really understand the boundaries between boys and girls as I grew up in a house full of mostly women and was rarely let outside to play with boys my age. But one evening I remember we were bored and my step-sister suggested we show each other our private parts. Nothing else happened except we examined what the 'funny' thing between our legs were and I think I touched it out of curiosity and that was it. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time but the next day I was up for a rude awakening and what would be a very traumatic experiences for me. My half-sister decided to tell our other older sister about our curiosity game who told my mother who ended up telling my grandmother. We were beaten with every wire in the house and I was called every name in the book from 'disgusting pig' 'vile creature' 'devil child' etc.......Most of the abuse was directed towards me and not my step-sister for some reason despite both of us being there at the time.......The physical and mental abuse went on for days, each time my mother would say she would tell me Father as well so he could join in on humiliating me for being the 'gross one in the family'............ It even went on to an extent that if even me and my step-sister were casually in a room doing homework or reading books, my mother would burst in accusing us of doing 'nasty things' and demanding to see my step-sisters underwear to inspect. As I come from a very conservative and religious family I remember my mother telling me I would go to hell if I touched another girl. My mother would also refer to my male part using derogatory words which must have caused me to become dissociated from my body as well. All this was really too much, I was just an innocent kid and here I was being accused of being some kind of rapist and disgusting human being.... it really scared me to death. From that day onwards I associated any kind of sexuality and nudity with pain, disgust and humiliation. This obsession in staying pure and avoiding sex continued into high school and college and developed to such an extreme that if a family member was around and a women in a bikini came on the TV I would quickly change the channel lest I be accused of being a dirty person. This experience caused me to shut down in the relationship department and fear women would betray me, humiliate, falsely accuse, vilify etc.

I feel my mothers outbursts and overreaction to that incident denied me the right to be a sexual being and enjoy my masculinity. I feel deficient in every sphere of my life have a very low self-esteem and deep anxiety with relationships which I link back to this incident as well........ I would love to have a beautiful wife at my side and children one day but don't know if I can handle the pressure and anxiety of sex and intimacy especially as I have never trusted anyone to be that close.

Any feedback, comments or advise would be very very much appreciated! Thank you ALL!
To RR-leo
From Trapped765
I don't know if this is an option for you or not. I have a friend who cannot be close to females. He is not gay and does not have sex. But to stop from being lonely he goes on dates with other males with both knowing it is not about sex. They go to movies plays concerts then dinners or some other activities. I don't know how he handles the no physical intimacy part. I hope this might help you.
Bless you and peace to you.
 
I remember in therapy an exercise my therapist had me do. I was to visualize a circle with me standing inside and my mother standing outside. We each held the end of a rope. I could instantly feel the tension pulling from her end and needing to pull my end so I wouldn't be pulled out of the circle. We were in a tug of war instantly. My therapist invited me to put down my end of the rope. When I did I felt this amazing sense of relief. I realized that I'd been carrying my mother's anger and depression my whole life. I didn't need to pick up that rope ever again. Granted, it took me a few more years before I understand that the rope also carried her sexual confusion which she acted out with me when I was an infant.

It is possible to move past this shame Leo... and this is a good place to find support for YOUR healing journey. You're not alone with any of this.
@Visitor - This therapy exercise your therapist suggested is enormously helpful. I'm already starting to put down the rope of 'feelings of unacceptability, ridicule & shame' that my deceased father projected onto me & which I carried & I'm also starting to feel some relief too. What you wrote has been a massive help! :) Thank you!
 
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