The following is what I have learned from a great book that I recommend: Richard Gartner PhD, 'Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life After Boyhood Sexual Abuse' (2005). The author is a psychologist. I have started therapy, group therapy and the like, but nothing has helped as much as spirituality.
I always wondered about my compulsions. At page 187-188, Gartner lists various symptoms, and this is what I have had for many years (the list has others):
- Low Self-Esteem
- Social Isolation
- Difficulty finding a relationship
- Inability to maintain meaningful relationships
- Compulsive behaviour ... such as seeking anonymous sexual partners, ... incessant trips to massage parlours.
- Emotional numbness and constriction
- Outburts of rage
- Former drug abuse
At page 159 Gartner notes, "yet for many people, beleif systems, especially religious ones, are precious and life sustaining. They keep them centered, ethical, and able to overcome whatever obstacles they encounter... some people find an alternative religion or a more liberal sect within their own religion with which they can feel comfortable identifying... it's important to decide what you believe - to be aware of a coherent psychological, philosophical, ethical, religious, scientific, or mystic formulation that helps you navigate the world".
BUT, this passage hit the hardest also at page 159: "Without a belief system, you're a candle in the wind. Without purpose or reason, you'll be either passive or impulsive. Either way, you may leave yourself open to re-victimisation".
I have started attending Church (catholic). It is amazing to have a belief system. It really has helped a lot.
Thanks, just wanted to let that out