I regret every single same sex encounter I've ever had

I regret them bc each was rooted in the same sex CSA that I suffered. I was a 13 year old, lost, alone and adrift and needing attention and an older male gave it to me through sexual touch. It screwed me up big time. It was too big of a secret for a 13 year old to process and it was confusing bc I thought I must have been looking for that but I wasn't. I was looking for emotional connection, a need to be seen and valued and so my 13 year old brain took that abuse and made it fit what I was looking for - connection and a need to be valued. And each time I acted out sexually with men, I was seeking to make that (false) connection. But it was never enough bc it wasn't really meeting the need. It was temporarily masking it, medicating it.

And now I'm dealing with those unmet needs and I can bc I've put down the sexual acting out and I am working on finding appropriate (for me) sexual partnering and finding the rightful place for my sexual energy. It is being restored even after being misdirected. I am working on the shame of what was done to me and the shame of how I reacted and I am moving on to stop blaming myself for how I coped. It doesn't mean that I don't have to deal with the losses from how I coped (and there are many) but I don't want to keep blaming myself for handling a situation that no 13 year old boy should be handling on his own. I was just very good about keeping up appearances that all was okay, that I didn't need anyone or anything, etc, but if anyone was really paying attention to me, they would have seen how desperately I needed attention and help.

Edit: maybe it is not even the same sex part that is the most regretful part of it. Maybe it's that every sexual encounter after the CSA was rooted in the CSA. I feel like I'm really breaking the chain right now and need to separate the past from the present and this is part of that. I want to go forward not living the same life that I've lived up to this point.
 
Last edited:
You will find what works for you with no excuses, I understand feeling that way because I was acting out the only way I thought I could get love and validation that is what strikes me the worse. Sleeping with him or her for the chance they might want me or love me but I always picked the wrong person. It is the act born from CSA that I mixed up with just wanting to be seen, held and valued.
 

Tom E.

Registrant
EdfromNYC
I understand where you're coming from. Not sure what my sexuality would have been either; were it not for early male/male sex experiences.
 
My heart breaks for you while I read this

Edit: maybe it is not even the same sex part that is the most regretful part of it. Maybe it's that every sexual encounter after the CSA was rooted in the CSA. I feel like I'm really breaking the chain right now and need to separate the past from the present and this is part of that. I want to go forward not living the same life that I've lived up to this point.
I was just thinking this. Many people gay or straight deal with sex not meeting their emotional needs.
 
I regret them bc each was rooted in the same sex CSA that I suffered. I was a 13 year old, lost, alone and adrift and needing attention and an older male gave it to me through sexual touch. It screwed me up big time. It was too big of a secret for a 13 year old to process and it was confusing bc I thought I must have been looking for that but I wasn't. I was looking for emotional connection, a need to be seen and valued and so my 13 year old brain took that abuse and made it fit what I was looking for - connection and a need to be valued. And each time I acted out sexually with men, I was seeking to make that (false) connection. But it was never enough bc it wasn't really meeting the need. It was temporarily masking it, medicating it.

And now I'm dealing with those unmet needs and I can bc I've put down the sexual acting out and I am working on finding appropriate (for me) sexual partnering and finding the rightful place for my sexual energy. It is being restored even after being misdirected. I am working on the shame of what was done to me and the shame of how I reacted and I am moving on to stop blaming myself for how I coped. It doesn't mean that I don't have to deal with the losses from how I coped (and there are many) but I don't want to keep blaming myself for handling a situation that no 13 year old boy should be handling on his own. I was just very good about keeping up appearances that all was okay, that I didn't need anyone or anything, etc, but if anyone was really paying attention to me, they would have seen how desperately I needed attention and help.

Edit: maybe it is not even the same sex part that is the most regretful part of it. Maybe it's that every sexual encounter after the CSA was rooted in the CSA. I feel like I'm really breaking the chain right now and need to separate the past from the present and this is part of that. I want to go forward not living the same life that I've lived up to this point.
It sounds like you know this, but I'm going to second your understanding that that 13 y/o you had no way of sorting out what happened to him. Please respect yourself and be very compassionate toward yourself, both the 13 y/o you, and you in the present. You have nothing to be ashamed of. The abuser should carry that burden.
 

MACH123

Registrant
Thank you so much I'm that boy still. It's more involved but I went through this period of waiting for girls/women to save me from what I was doing which they did eventually.

I wanted to be abused and went around looking for it everywhere but I didn't know how to do it. I was so desperate for that attention which of course was really wanting someone to save me.

It had started for me when I was real young I was thinking about it this morning, how the therapist thinks my mother sexualized me somehow. I know I have repressed memories of how it started. I can see it in the way I make love today.

So yes, looking back I don't regret it I'm just sorry that nobody could save me. I doubt anyone could have btw? I mean, what could they have done with me? Lock me up? That would have done what? Do you think the kids do that kind of sex in juvenile detention?

I even went so far as to seek out the local known pedophile. He went to prison eventually. I was really sad because,

He never called me back.
 
Stopping our acting out behavior really is essential as we pursue our healing journey for the simple reason it is almost impossible to relieve ourselves of shame until we stop doing the things that generate shame. I refer to addictions as "shame induction mechanisms." On some level we need to feel the shame... it is one of the residues of trauma along with terror, rage and grief. My same sex acting out behavior stopped thirty years ago but I shifted my attention to pornography and used that to keep shame alive. I stopped using porn about a year ago and stopped using alcohol about six months before that... all intended to release the past trauma. That process continues but it is slow going. Terror still haunts at times but I know I'd never be able to heal from this trauma if I continued to generate shame through acting out in any way. All the best on your journey Ed.
 

MACH123

Registrant
Stopping our acting out behavior really is essential as we pursue our healing journey for the simple reason it is almost impossible to relieve ourselves of shame until we stop doing the things that generate shame. I refer to addictions as "shame induction mechanisms." On some level we need to feel the shame... it is one of the residues of trauma along with terror, rage and grief. My same sex acting out behavior stopped thirty years ago but I shifted my attention to pornography and used that to keep shame alive. I stopped using porn about a year ago and stopped using alcohol about six months before that... all intended to release the past trauma. That process continues but it is slow going. Terror still haunts at times but I know I'd never be able to heal from this trauma if I continued to generate shame through acting out in any way. All the best on your journey Ed.
Well done, well said.
 
MACH123 -

Mistaking abuse as attention because it is the only attention received - that's some hard truth right there. Letting go of the denial around that is painful. I was abused and sought out more of it and no one intervened. Yes, I kept it hidden but I had two parents at home who didn't care enough to ask me why I wasn't dating or why I didn't have any close friends or why I was disappearing for hours at a time. I learned the art of showing up just enough to mask what I compulsively started reenacting - the craving of attention. It put me in all sorts of dangerous spots with harms done. And no one knew. And I kept it all in and in a certain sense, thrived on the danger.

I'm reading more and listening more about PTSD and having "thrills" or "danger" associated with my shame-based, secretive, compulsive sexual acting out and then leading to more dangerous situations was a way of keeping the PTSD alive. I was so lost and so dead in certain ways that when the abuse happened, it was so scary and lonely and confusing and had the physical pleasure element to it that it changed everything and it lit me up in ways that I was supposed to be lit up but not by this person and not in this way and not in secret and not by an adult and not without consent and not without peers and/or family to discuss things with.

I didn't tell a soul because I didn't have anyone to tell who would really care about what happened to me. I had a father who wouldn't have cared and a mother who would have cared that someone might find out and that it might bring shame on the family or make her look bad or give her just one more thing to deal with. So I hid it, tried to manage it, sought it, denied it and hated myself for it all at the same time.

PTSD and shame and guilt and isolation - what a fucking combination.
 
Visitor-
We have a similar trajectory and understanding. I stopped drugs/booze 5 years ago and 95% of porn usage. But that 5% that stayed alive was like a methadone drip and it kept me from growing. And now I've let go of it and anything associated with it - for good - but I made a deal with myself. If I'm really letting go for good, I've got to deal with anything that will take me toward the idea of using porn (or anything shameful) and really learn how to deal with it. My same sex acting out ended years ago but the porn stayed for a while. I've heard it said that unlike alcohol/drugs which stops on a dime for many, addiction to sex "burns off". I think that is accurate. I'm really focused on getting out from under the shame and that requires really understanding what was going on when the abuse occurred and feeling some feelings from then and letting go and grieving and accepting and moving on - this is simplifying it. In a just a couple of months of making these decisions and committing to a different way of living my life, I've noticed changes for the better. That doesn't mean my life is easier. It's actually the opposite in some ways. But I'm wasting much less energy on appearances and making sure everyone else is okay. What a labor that has been!
 

Ferguson

Registrant
Visitor-
We have a similar trajectory and understanding. I stopped drugs/booze 5 years ago and 95% of porn usage. But that 5% that stayed alive was like a methadone drip and it kept me from growing. And now I've let go of it and anything associated with it - for good - but I made a deal with myself. If I'm really letting go for good, I've got to deal with anything that will take me toward the idea of using porn (or anything shameful) and really learn how to deal with it. My same sex acting out ended years ago but the porn stayed for a while. I've heard it said that unlike alcohol/drugs which stops on a dime for many, addiction to sex "burns off". I think that is accurate. I'm really focused on getting out from under the shame and that requires really understanding what was going on when the abuse occurred and feeling some feelings from then and letting go and grieving and accepting and moving on - this is simplifying it. In a just a couple of months of making these decisions and committing to a different way of living my life, I've noticed changes for the better. That doesn't mean my life is easier. It's actually the opposite in some ways. But I'm wasting much less energy on appearances and making sure everyone else is okay. What a labor that has been!
A lot of identification with your post before this one, as well as this one. Where were those who could see my obvious disconnect, endless TV, AWOL with no questions over night, but generally the Nice Boy who could be presented to guests? I've had help with the actual incidents and work through emotions but not so much the background. The 12 step has been an amazing help with SSA but unless we finding out "what was going on when the abuse occurred and feeling some feelings from then and letting go and grieving and accepting and moving on" we will have a build up of those feelings and something will blow! "Doing" steps 4 & 8 - must be seen as an ongoing process as each time I get more insight about what really went on I can take responsibility for my choices and let go of responsibilities that were never mine: "making sure everyone else was okay"! (4 & 8 are inventories of events/choices/key moments). I've enjoyed the 12 step meeting until recently when I saw that it is not the place for in-depth thought about controversial issues that I can't avoid. (Tradition10 - no opinion on outside issues) Now that I've seen that the 12 step has become helpful again. The big questions like: How can I build up connections with those I isolated myself from in childhood: those I idealised, loved (from a distance) and hated? Maybe I can take the odd headline to the 12 step but it doesn't seem to be the place for this kind of work.

Very grateful for a few threads that are courageously touching on this here.
 
EdfromNYC, what does "burns off" mean exactly, if you don't mind me asking?
so the difference between a substance addiction and a behavioral addiction is that the substance I can stop immediately, in one day, in one moment. What was the behavioral addiction, for example food or sex, there can be a lot of little behaviors associated with it that "burn off" over time. For instance, maybe I'm acting out with people and I can stop acting out with strangers but I still might use for porn. And then it might take a while for the porn to stop. It can be the same with food. I may have to stop eating cakes while still eating a lot of bread and then eventually reducing my bread intake. The addictions sort of burn off rather than stop. Does that make sense? And that's only my experience
 

OnceInnocent

Registrant
I regret them bc each was rooted in the same sex CSA that I suffered. I was a 13 year old, lost, alone and adrift and needing attention and an older male gave it to me through sexual touch. It screwed me up big time. It was too big of a secret for a 13 year old to process and it was confusing bc I thought I must have been looking for that but I wasn't. I was looking for emotional connection, a need to be seen and valued and so my 13 year old brain took that abuse and made it fit what I was looking for - connection and a need to be valued. And each time I acted out sexually with men, I was seeking to make that (false) connection. But it was never enough bc it wasn't really meeting the need. It was temporarily masking it, medicating it.

And now I'm dealing with those unmet needs and I can bc I've put down the sexual acting out and I am working on finding appropriate (for me) sexual partnering and finding the rightful place for my sexual energy. It is being restored even after being misdirected. I am working on the shame of what was done to me and the shame of how I reacted and I am moving on to stop blaming myself for how I coped. It doesn't mean that I don't have to deal with the losses from how I coped (and there are many) but I don't want to keep blaming myself for handling a situation that no 13 year old boy should be handling on his own. I was just very good about keeping up appearances that all was okay, that I didn't need anyone or anything, etc, but if anyone was really paying attention to me, they would have seen how desperately I needed attention and help.

Edit: maybe it is not even the same sex part that is the most regretful part of it. Maybe it's that every sexual encounter after the CSA was rooted in the CSA. I feel like I'm really breaking the chain right now and need to separate the past from the present and this is part of that. I want to go forward not living the same life that I've lived up to this point.
wow. this is particularly poignant today. thank you!
 

Bradley P

Registrant
so the difference between a substance addiction and a behavioral addiction is that the substance I can stop immediately, in one day, in one moment. What was the behavioral addiction, for example food or sex, there can be a lot of little behaviors associated with it that "burn off" over time. For instance, maybe I'm acting out with people and I can stop acting out with strangers but I still might use for porn. And then it might take a while for the porn to stop. It can be the same with food. I may have to stop eating cakes while still eating a lot of bread and then eventually reducing my bread intake. The addictions sort of burn off rather than stop. Does that make sense? And that's only my experience
Yes, thanks!
 
so the difference between a substance addiction and a behavioral addiction is that the substance I can stop immediately, in one day, in one moment. What was the behavioral addiction, for example food or sex, there can be a lot of little behaviors associated with it that "burn off" over time. For instance, maybe I'm acting out with people and I can stop acting out with strangers but I still might use for porn. And then it might take a while for the porn to stop. It can be the same with food. I may have to stop eating cakes while still eating a lot of bread and then eventually reducing my bread intake. The addictions sort of burn off rather than stop. Does that make sense? And that's only my experience
As an 11 year participant at Overeaters Anonymous meetings Ed, this description works well for me. Food is an especially powerful mood changer since we'll always need to eat our next meal. I'm also exquisitely aware that food played a significant part of my experience of trauma from a very early age. That it would continue to challenge me makes perfect sense. I'll always need to eat, but hopefully those behaviors that are problematic will "burn off" over time. It is another place where learning how to care for myself is at play. Do I care enough for myself that I feed myself well and take care of my health? A work in progress...
 

SomebodyHelpMe

Registrant
It sounds like you know this, but I'm going to second your understanding that that 13 y/o you had no way of sorting out what happened to him. Please respect yourself and be very compassionate toward yourself, both the 13 y/o you, and you in the present. You have nothing to be ashamed of. The abuser should carry that burden.
What do you mean when you say be compassionate with yourself?
 
What do you mean when you say be compassionate with yourself?
I'll chime in until Jeff comments. Survivors of CSA inevitably carry shame in one form or another... why did he pick me? It felt good sometimes so I must really have wanted it. I began looking for contact with men so I must have really been gay all along... Take your pick, though the list is much longer than that. Because we feel shame we generally don't feel taking care of ourselves is important. It is difficult to register simple facts like a seven year isn't old enough to do anything but what he is forced to do and that what happened really was exploitation by someone older and bigger. To get to that place we need to begin cutting ourselves some slack. That can mean finally looking at the child we were and finding compassion for that small boy, for the horror he survived. Out of self compassion we can stop focusing on the negatives about ourselves and can begin mobilizing ourselves to take better care of ourselves. We can recognize that using pornography isn't a great way to spend our time. Sexual acting out in ways we've done in the past isn't a great way to spend our time. Both of those behaviors have the potential to perpetuate our shame because often we feel bad about ourselves AFTER we've done them. Self-compassion makes self-care possible and self-care supports us in our healing journey. We won't heal if we continue to believe we're worthless. My two cents. We'll see what Jeff has to share on the topic.
 

SomebodyHelpMe

Registrant
I'll chime in until Jeff comments. Survivors of CSA inevitably carry shame in one form or another... why did he pick me? It felt good sometimes so I must really have wanted it. I began looking for contact with men so I must have really been gay all along... Take your pick, though the list is much longer than that. Because we feel shame we generally don't feel taking care of ourselves is important. It is difficult to register simple facts like a seven year isn't old enough to do anything but what he is forced to do and that what happened really was exploitation by someone older and bigger. To get to that place we need to begin cutting ourselves some slack. That can mean finally looking at the child we were and finding compassion for that small boy, for the horror he survived. Out of self compassion we can stop focusing on the negatives about ourselves and can begin mobilizing ourselves to take better care of ourselves. We can recognize that using pornography isn't a great way to spend our time. Sexual acting out in ways we've done in the past isn't a great way to spend our time. Both of those behaviors have the potential to perpetuate our shame because often we feel bad about ourselves AFTER we've done them. Self-compassion makes self-care possible and self-care supports us in our healing journey. We won't heal if we continue to believe we're worthless. My two cents. We'll see what Jeff has to share on the topic.
Thank you so much
 
Top