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#311677 - 11/25/09 01:45 AM Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 303
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Alright, I haven't posted in a while because I was doing fairly well and wanted to see if this past month or so was finally the end of the road in this process for me. Got some interesting stuff (to me anyway) I wanted to run by you guys just for some opinions or support or whatever. Anyways, this is a LONG ass post, and some stuff may be triggering, but I need to get this all out of my head.

A few months ago I had an EMDR session where I looked at all the shame and guilt I was holding onto from acting out mentally and on the internet, referring to gay porn and the like. At that point the compulsions to check such things to see if I liked it/would react had stopped, but the anger and anxiety of me not being able to forget it remained. This left me feeling damaged and unable to live a normal life, always thinking that I'd be abnormal, or something would be wrong with me.

In that session, I was filled with a MASSIVE amount of rage, where I visualized my shame/guilt taking this tarry black form that was elusive and difficult to get rid of. In the protocol I imagined everthing I had seen that had been causing me to obsess and have anxiety and anger burn on a giant screen inside my head. Then I formed it into a person type form, which I then envisioned as a burned carcass lying in a desert, and I just imagine beating it and kicking it and killing it. Then I went to this island I used to vacation at when I was a kid, which was the peaceful "safe spot" established in my first protocol. I envisioned a hurricane coming, and waves coming up and washing away the corpse of that shame and guilt, and all that just being dragged away off into the ocean. This is where it gets a little interesting. I then envisioned myself as I am now and myself as a 6 or 7 year old, a little kid. I was holding his hand, and I wanted to tell him "ok, I'm going away, now you have a chance to start over" and I imagined my current self (again, the damaged persona) just kind of disappearing and integrating that kid into myself.

So a few weeks go by, things are ok, but my anxiety returns and I find that if I don't know what I'm anxious about, my mind goes strait to ANYTHING ever having to do with my CSA, whether it was acting out, over sexualized behavior, loss of innocence, anything. At this point I realize that I have sections of my self that react differently to things. Not like a split personality, more like I mentally embodied the feelings and emotions of myself as a kid as a separate part of my own mental processes. Anyways, there was a persona I called "the hero" who was flawless, like superman. He was tireless, never upset or angry, and a constant optimist. I later realized that was my "ideal self" when I was young, and I had no friends and wanted tons so I could be happy (prob made it easier for my cousin since he was the closest 'friend' at the time). Then there was a shadow alot like the persona of all my guilt and anger that I tried to kill in the session before that. This I realized was all guilt and anger of the "hero persona" toward the "victim persona"(my current self) for having acted out and experiencing the CSA.

After some more insight, I realized that the Hero Persona was that "inner child" I had integrated wanting his needs fulfilled. He wanted to be in decent shape, and currently I am. He wanted friends, and I don't have a ton, but the ones I have are awesome. Lastly, he still wants a girlfriend, and I was really down on myself for not having one. From non CSA reasons, just a really shitty home environment with my mom and my sister during my early teenage years through high school, I'm a little afraid of women. Emotionally traumatized maybe? Either way, I realized that this was a need that I've been ignoring, for human connection (romantic/intimate) on one hand and I'm sure on the other hand a desire to fulfill a sexual need, which was something I had suppressed for a while. In my world, I can't be sexual with girls I don't know, i'm too self conscious and too shy, and also afraid I'll embarrass myself. On the other hand, once I get close, I have trust issues and I shut down and push those people away. To sum it up, if women hit on me instead of me having to go outside my comfort zone and initiate a conversation, I'd feel a lot more relaxed. The couple of times that happened, even though there was no sex, my level of interest and my passion/desire was through the roof. I like women taking the initiative, telling me what they like and how to get them off, and I like to see that I'm doing a good job of it through body language. That stuff turns me on big time. But I don't feel that confidence if I take the first steps, I only feel confident if they do it for me.

Sexual needs aside, what this has brought to my attention is that perhaps when I took that "inner child" and integrated him into my persona, I integrated an entire suppressed side of myself, and that now I need to address things like anger towards my abuse that I had never felt before until now. Previously it was just regret over the abuse itself and how I had acted out after it happened.

Also, obvious things like most of the bullying I went through as a kid I already addressed before this "integration", but there's more lingering. I don't mean this to be offensive either, but it may sound that way. It is NOT my intention to demean anybody with this statement, but it occurred to me recently and I think it's holding me back a bit progress wise.

Just after when I was abused, the worst thing that you could be called at school by somebody else was "gay" or "fag" or something akin to those terms. After discovering that by definition, the stuff between me and my cousin was "gay", I took those insults very very personally, and was terrified that somehow these people knew what had happened and that I was going to be gay because of it.

those who don't know, this was the start of what has since been a lifelong obsession over my sexuality( currently 22, this all started when I was about 9 years old). I know I like women, but the fact that I can't without a shadow of a doubt prove that I'm not gay fueled what became almost a type of obsessive compulsive disorder in me the past few years. This was made ten times worse after I started watching gay porn on the internet to see if I would be into it. After finding that I was responding to it, I began watching it compulsively to check if I would get aroused or not. After I made the connection that most of what I was watching mirrored my CSA, the compulsions faded and my anxiety diminished. Now I realize that those experiences were fueled at first by a need to make sense of and control what happened to me, and were then made worse by fear. But because that happened and I watched it and responded to it sexually I can't totally convince myself I'm not gay, and the lack of absolute proof, coupled with my loneliness and seeming inability to get a girlfriend a tiny thought that I would normally not pay any attention to has grown worse.

Now, after the very last EMDR session I was doing awesome, really really well. I thought I might have finally been out of the woods. Then randomly, I was working in the mall one day and walked past an underwear store owned by Abercrombie and Fitch. Outside the store were two male models shirtless. Immediately upon seeing them, I felt like I had been hit in the stomach and all my vitality had gone right out of my body. I couldn't look at them. This was a fear reaction, which set off an obsessive reaction. I thought to myself "I have to go back and look again to make sure I didn't think they were sexually attractive to me" which is a typical OCD type pattern, and I gotta say, I'm not blind. These guys were obviously good looking guys, they were models, but I had to wonder if I was in some way attracted to them sexually. Knowing that it was typical OCD didn't help me at all though. Neither did the thought that my bosses at work, both of whom are gay, had told me to go look at a new clothes store the floor down from where these were. Although I laughed to myself after since I knew they were probably down there cause they wanted to check out the models, I was still anxious or fearful about it. That feeling persisted for several days, which is another common pattern for me. It's what used to drive me to check.

Well after going back and trying to think of all the supposedly "hot" people I knew and trying to imagine having sex with them, figuring that if I was able to get off I would get an answer, nothing happened. I just couldn't get an erection over it no matter what, and I went through every "gay" fantasy I had ever thought of before I entered therapy. Nothing did it. I took this to mean that the fight or flight anxiety response was NOT based on a sexual desire, but rather a deeper seated fear. Now, I do not socially consider myself a homophobe. I have gay friends, I have three gay co workers, and I have no issues hanging out and working with them, they're just people to me. On the other hand, I have been hit on by gay men in the past, and it makes me EXTREMELY uncomfortable. Also, when I was younger I remember that whenever I heard of somebody famous coming out, I would be disappointed almost.

The only thing I can equate that to is that as a child, learning that what happened with me and my cousin was gay and being harassed at school caused an emotional response to anything perceived as homosexual, which produced fear or anxiety. I can't even watch TV shows that deal with any kind of gay issue without feeling uncomfortable. What I'm thinking is that if I ever want to stop worrying and get on with my life, I can't be afraid of anything homosexual, and it's not good enough to say it and act on it, I really deep down have to BELIEVE and accept that there is NOTHING WRONG at all with gay people. This is what I believe on the surface, but I know my emotional response is different, and that upsets me because I know better than to discriminate against somebody just because they're different from me, yet my own instinctual ingrained reaction towards anything homosexual is fear.

If I can stop being afraid of homosexuality, then that obsessional anxiety has nothing to feed on and i can just return to my life as normal. In the past when I've tried to do this, if only briefly, I've felt tremendous relief and I stopped questioning my orientation and did better with my sex life and women then I ever did before, because I was confident and secure in my identity. This fear is robbing me of that security and confidence.


My final thoughts are like this. After taking in that "inner child" version of myself, I'm finding that there are things I just didn't deal with as a child that have now surfaced in my adult body. When that inner child is no long a separate mental container becomes the whole current part of me, then this will be finished. But I think I need to address that anger towards the CSA (first time since i was maybe 14 that I ever had a fantasy scenario of me acting out on younger kids as the "abuser" instead of the victime, definitely a huge flashing warning light to me) and obviously the fear of homosexuality. If you've read all the way down to hear, I would like you to imagine me shaking your hand and thanking you. Sorry for the novel, but I had to get my thoughts down somewhere. I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

-Andy


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#311699 - 11/25/09 08:16 AM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: AndyS87]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Andy,

Congratulations on getting this sorted, out of your head and down on (cyber) paper. There are so many things I would like to comment on, or have a discussion about. I think I need to digest it a bit and re-read before trying to say anything intelligent. I can't thank you enough for putting the energy and thought into putting this all together for a third party to read and the courage to post it.

I'll be back to this topic.

sono

_________________________
the family
the perp

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#311703 - 11/25/09 08:56 AM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: AndyS87]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Quote:
What I'm thinking is that if I ever want to stop worrying and get on with my life, I can't be afraid of anything homosexual, and it's not good enough to say it and act on it, I really deep down have to BELIEVE and accept that there is NOTHING WRONG at all with gay people. This is what I believe on the surface, but I know my emotional response is different, and that upsets me because I know better than to discriminate against somebody just because they're different from me, yet my own instinctual ingrained reaction towards anything homosexual is fear.


andy you constantly amaze me with your insight, your depth of understanding, and the courage you have to put out there what's inside your head and heart.

what strikes me as important to recognize here is that this inquiry is not arising from a shame impulse. you are not trying to make excuses but merely stating things as being the case.

i think in this sense you are in a much better position to maintain the integration that have around your sexuality. even though it seems to be teeter tottering like a ship on a shifting ocean, it shows that your brain is functioning as it should.

andy at the age of 22 your brain is still growing. it's only natural that you would be carrying forward the thoughts and feelings that were presented at a very early time when your brain was so easily imprinted with the subconscious fear around your sexuality. i can tell you have no homophobia, neither outward nor inward. you talk about your bosses being gay as if it's the most natural thing in the world, and that it does not bother you one bit. why can't the same be said of you [not that you're gay, but rather that you sometimes have those types of attractions?] i mean what would be so terrible about that? of course, the answer is 'nothing'.

but still the mind keeps carrying forward old feelings of fear, and the brain keeps reinforcing the old circuitry, and as long as there is investment in the drama of the two dissonant states, the dance continues.

Quote:
To sum it up, if women hit on me instead of me having to go outside my comfort zone and initiate a conversation, I'd feel a lot more relaxed. ...... But I don't feel that confidence if I take the first steps, I only feel confident if they do it for me.


there's a lot to unpack there, almost as if you need their approval and validation signaling that it's safe to approach, otherwise you remain inhibited. i understand that. perhaps it's part of a lingering avoidant strategy that helps pad the comfort zone. i don't know.

what i do know is that whether a person has boobs and a vagina, or a penis, is not the the primary concern for me. my ability to engage [not just sexually, but on any level] rests upon the initial signals they send off indicating whether or not my advance will be accepted or rejected.

two of my favorite topics! sick

those wirings got obstructed for me, so there is a consistent effort on my part to resist the tendency to freeze or flee in those situations, because my own very early abandonment and rejection fears kick in so automatically when i find my self in situations which test my sense of confidence and present trust building opportunities.

these issues present themselves in the realm of the sexual dialectic, but really, they are old fears stemming from the abuse, infiltrating all realms of the self image which confuse the deeper issues that need to be addressed: those patterns of attachment and avoidance that established [or failed to establish] in the earliest primary relationships.

i spent a lot of years fighting that fight, but now i no longer allow such cultural arguments around gender and 'who puts what where, why, how and with whom' to leak into my sexual self image. for an older guy past the prime of life, it makes sense to have arrived at that position. but for a young man such as yourself just beginning to build the foundation for launching a life you are wise to make certain you have resolved these questions to the extent that they are resolvable. from my experience, many question don't get answered, they simply yield more questions.

thanks again for writing and sharing your struggle,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#311719 - 11/25/09 10:34 AM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: Sans Logos]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 303
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Thanks Ron. Rejection definitely factors in for me. When I feel like there's no pressure, sexual or otherwise, I generally do fine. But as soon as it's something where I have to get somebody to be into me enough to go home with me, different story. The girls I've been with, some of them in the past have said "call me sometime" or "we should get together tomorrow". I have, and it's like right away I get shot down. Certainly hasn't helped the fear of rejection thing. Then with the girls I've had crushes on, I find that no matter how hard I try, the more I'm around them the further I go into the "friend zone", because I just can't tell them how I feel. It SUCKS.


Re my sexuality/same sex attraction- When I came here I was the most confused I had ever been over it, but two therapists I've worked with have shown me whats going on with it. One the one hand, feeling anxiety over what my sexuality is allows me to conveniently hide behind a fear instantly whenever I feel anxious. That is to say, it hides what's really bothering me. In therapy, it can also function as something that side tracks me from uncovering deeper, more painful issues, and that's been evidenced in my behavior towards therapy anytime I tried to talk about my Mom or my sister. There was an automatic shift.

Generally speaking, I don't have OCD, but I have an anxiety disorder for sure, and there are LOTS of things that can trigger obsessional thought patterns for me. Getting sick, getting poison ivy, taking tests, public speaking, competitions of any kind, etc. I will stress out over these for DAYS before they happen. But they are terminal issues, and once they're over the anxiety fades. This is NOT the case with wondering what my sexuality is, and if you've ever heard of HOCD, it's more or less the same thing, I've just now eliminated some compulsive reaction checking and the impulse to make lists to organize thoughts.

I realize that labeling is kind if pointless because we can be everywhere, but no matter how hard I tried to say to myself "self, you're gay" it never fit, it only caused me more stress and anxiety. I would try to say "you can only be attracted to men right now, not women" but obviously that didn't work. This also used to increase my stress. Bottom line, I don't think I'm gay, and I've thought about it a LOT. I just don't get feelings like that towards other guys. Even my best friends who I've known since elementary school and who I love like my own family, it's just not sexual, no matter how hard I've tried to convince myself that it is. It doesn't happen.


I had an article a while back that detailed this a little bit better, listed on Jim Hopper's website I'm linking it here, but I think it's a PDF, so you may have to download it to read it (http://www.jimhopper.com/pdfs/Lisak_(1994)_Male_Survivor_Interviews.pdf) . Sections where it talked about these guys who had been molested having an extreme aversion to anything homosexual, or if they picked up "gay vibes" from somebody they had to know if that person was so they could react. It's kind of an irrational fear in me. You couldn't drag me into a gay bar kicking in screaming if you put Hallie Berry on one end and had 5 NFL linebackers try to drag me in the door, it's just way too far out of my comfort zone. As an exposure exercise to lessen my anxiety, at some point I will try go to one with somebody I'm comfortable with.

Really though, like with the bosses and stuff Ron, I don't worry about them because I know they have no sexual interest in me. If another man expresses sexual interest in me or hits on me, I politely refuse outwardly but inwardly feel like I'm being personally attacked. One of my friends neighbors in his mid 40's makes a habit of trying to get me to go out with him and is VERY touchy feely, and when that happens no matter how much I tell him I'm not interested, he won't leave me alone, and I have to leave the house. But anybody who I know is gay, if I think they might hit on me or be attracted to me, I avoid them, because the alternative makes me extremely uncomfortable. In contrast, when my Uncle's neighbors wife hits on me, it's also uncomfortable, because she's married to a bad ass biker marine DI who would crush me with his pinky, but just from talking to me she gets me sprung, pardon my French.

After all the god's honest soul searching and deep looking and probing I've done though, and no matter how much I tried to integrate it into my personality, homosexuality just didn't fit for me. As a defining sexual factor, I'm usually not in to people with penises sexually. Doesn't mean it could NEVER happen, after all it's pretty common for straight people to have a few gay crushes in their lifetime and vice versa. I know that. I also know that it's the person that matters more than their genitals, but I don't desire to be sexual with men, I desire female companionship in that regard.

Obviously sexual abuse by a male when I was young mixed up a lot of those wires and impulses, and if I had not been in therapy then I don't know what would have happened. I happened to act out with gay porn and mental fantasies about my cousin doing whatever he did to me, or me acting it out on somebody else. After starting therapy, it's gone. If I try and recreate it, nothing happens, it just leads me to see the needs of the "inner child". Control over what happened, anger towards it, etc. Basically my obsessional fear of homosexuality that was triggered by all of this leads me to question every little piece of my behavior and say "what if this means I'm turning gay?". I know you can't spontaneously wake up gay one morning after having never been gay, just like you can't be Asian one day and suddenly wake up and be Jamaican. But the fear has warped into an insecurity, and the insecurity is a big part of what's undermining my self confidence.

Bottom line is that I know I like women sexually, but I fear what happened in my past to the degree that it has left uncertainty. I DID react at one point, therefore, how can I deserve to be happy with women? It makes me feel like the CSA and the acting out make me a liar for saying that I'm heterosexual, whereas myself as a heterosexual sees what happened with the abuse and the acting out as an extreme betrayal of myself to the point where it's almost unforgivable, and as a result I'm punishing myself for all this. This last paragraph was completely spontaneous, and I just got a lot from it. But yeah, I think that's what I have to do.

1. Get rid of the fear.
2. Let go of the anger and regret.
3.Forgive myself.

Some of that I did as an adult in my own body, but now I realize that that "inner child" part of me has to let go of it too, otherwise I've just shifted it to a different part of my personality.


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#311732 - 11/25/09 11:57 AM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: AndyS87]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Andy,

You rock for your clarity of thought and continued consideration!

Would it be too much to ask about the situation with your mother and sister which you referenced in your initial post? There is a strong resonance there for me, in terms of my own family's women.

Thanks for sharing all of this.

S



Edited by sono (11/25/09 12:12 PM)
Edit Reason: added stuff
_________________________
the family
the perp

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#311736 - 11/25/09 12:51 PM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: sono]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 303
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Sure. Basically, there weren't too many problems before my parents split up. My sister and I fought all the time, but we're twins so being the same age we used to but heads all the time. The only bad thing about that was that she would harass me, I would ignore her, and she would keep picking on me until I lost my patience and then I would shove her or hit her. Despite the fact that she was doing that to me for several minutes before hand, I always got in trouble, because I was the boy and I wasn't allowed to hit girls. But even when I tried to get her to leave me alone the way my parents told me I should, they never did anything and it never worked, so I learned that if I stood up for myself I would either be ignored or at worst I would be punished. This proved true with other kids period, because I was usually bigger and stronger than them, and that was all the way until high school.

Anyways, basically after my parents split shit just hit the fan. My sister and I dealt with those emotions differently. I stuffed mine deep away and convinced myself they weren't there and that it was for the best. Maybe not coincidentally, this is when I started acting out particularly badly from the CSA. I know that teenage boys often play games like in that movie "Waiting" where they try and get other people to look at their junk when they're not expecting it and then they make fun of the kid who looked, my friends were really no exception. Maybe that's why I didn't think much of it at the time, but I started acting out in the sense that I would expose myself to friends or anybody I was close with, including almost doing that to the kids I babysat for. That was a wakeup call. I was alone, my Mom was sick with a neurological disorder and was devastated from my Dad leaving as well, and I suddenly had to step up and take care of everything and FORCE myself to grow up, I was 13, almost 14 when this all happened and I had no idea what to do. Everything was so out of control in my life, but I just forcibly lowered my head and pushed forward. After talking to that same neighbor who's kids I was babysitting for, she asked me if something was bothering me. I told her about what I had thought of because I was so wracked by guilt, and surpisingly, the first things she said was "I was about to say something, because (oldest son) had said you were acting strange, and if you hadn't said anything, I might not have trusted you, but the fact that you said it on your own means you have a conscience and that I CAN trust you, and we all forgive you". I started to cry, and then she looked at me and said "Were you sexually abused?" I just nodded, she asked me if my parents knew, I told her yes because I thought they did (turns out they 'forgot' or 'thought I was talking about something else') and that was the end of that. I still felt guilty about all that. So that's to give you an idea of where I was at the time. Lonely, very few friends, no control over my life, wanting desperately to be able to just fit in, and tried way too hard as a result, making everybody think I was some spaz and not wanting to talk to me.

My sister on the other hand was Ms. Popularity. She dealt with my parents splitting my partying and hiding in her social standing at school with her friends. She would constantly berate me and tell me how I was worthless, a loser, would never have any friends, would never be married, if I was married I would beat and abuse my wife, tell me she was ashamed and embarrassed of me, etc. She's apologized sincerely so many times now for all of that, but that just shut me down and really hit the core of me. And if I ever tried to trust her with anything, she would immediately spill the beans, and then accuse me of not being trustworthy and not being able to keep a secret. So already from when I was little, I had learned that basically girls would never like me and would only be mean to me. Once I entered high school, that was enforced by everything my sister said to me. Of course, nearly all her friends ignored me, or they pitied me, which was awful too because who wants people to be nice to you only because they pity you?


With the Mom, I basically was expected to all of a sudden become the man of the house and know how to do everything my Dad used to do, which was nothing because he hadn't shown me how to do it. I'm closer with him now than I've ever been, but at that point in my life he was just distant. He was right down the street, but we only saw him every other weekend and on tuesdays and thursdays. Anyway, The drugs she was on for her neurological disorder made her crazy. She'd be nice one second, and then the next she'd be screaming at me for not knowing how to fix something. Despite that, she'd always come crying to me with her problem out of therapy, and I, at 14, had to listen to the problems of a woman in her mid forties dealing with a divorce that I had NO idea how to deal with. On top of that, she'd come crying to me constantly about how awful my sister was to her and how she couldn't discipline her, but whenever my sister got crazy, my mom couldn't handle it and just shut down and didn't even try. I, on the other hand, was threatened with having everything I enjoyed and turned to for an outlet taken away if I even raised my voice towards her. As we got into college she started getting along with my sister again, and then all of a sudden it was preferential treatment like I had never seen before. My Mom and my sister would share secrets, talk about things, and schmooze about stuff that my mom would have tried to ground me or kick me out of the house for. She would get mad at me and yell at me if I tried to talk to her about the same thing she had been talking to my sister to. The reasoning? It wasn't any of my business and I didn't need to know what they were talking about. My mother also has a masters degree in psychology and works as a therapist, and as such has been an EXCELLENT manipulator. I've tried to talk to her in the past about how I've felt with my sister and her, and no matter what it get's twisted and pinned on me to make it look like my fault, and then I feel guilty for bringing it up. Yet when my sister does this, my Mom does nothing, except whine to me about it afterwards. If that wasn't enough, she's also a micro manager, and even know at 22 she does things like call me and ask where I am and what I'm doing because she didn't hear from me. For instance, I told her the other night I would be working with friends on a school project and wouldn't be home until after 11 that night. At 12:02 she called me and said "it's past midnight and you're not home, you said you'd be back at eleven". I told her not to worry and to go to bed, and that I told her I wasn't going to be back until SOMETIME AFTER 11. She apologized the next day, but how ridiculous is that?


So there's that whole situation for you. Can you see why I'm a little intimidated by women and have difficulty approaching them? The two closest to me spent the better part of my formative emotional years twisting me around, manipulating me, and walking on me like a doormat. Things are better now, and I try to forgive and forget, but getting past stuff like that, can it actually ever be done? My sister and I talked it out and settled things and we're getting along better now than we ever have and talk to each other a lot more often. My mother I'm afraid of even approaching the subject.


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#311766 - 11/25/09 05:49 PM . [Re: AndyS87]
bardo213 Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 811
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Edited by bardo213 (06/21/13 09:43 PM)

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#311768 - 11/25/09 06:11 PM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: AndyS87]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: AndyS87
...I have gay friends, I have three gay co workers,...What I'm thinking is that if I ever want to stop worrying and get on with my life, I can't be afraid of anything homosexual, and it's not good enough to say it and act on it, I really deep down have to BELIEVE and accept that there is NOTHING WRONG at all with gay people.....


You wrote a lot obviously, this part though stood out to me. What on earth does gay mean anyway? I'm asking hypothetically of course - it doesn't define me, doesn't define any man or woman I know and/or associate with. I will say I've met too many gay people for where there was something wrong with them. But this is being too generic for defining a group of people. Focus should be you.

I didn't read where you spoke of falling in love with another person - man or woman doesn't matter. I also do not believe that porn develops one's identity as its only purpose is to get off an avoid face2face contact.

Have you tried just nurturing a healthy relationship with people you meet - no matter how anyone is defining sexuality - and see what develops from within you? I firmly believe one's identity, while evolving through the course of life, can emerge when the emotional attachment is present. I'm not talking physical attraction - this is deeper and from inside.

_________________________
Jeff

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#311813 - 11/26/09 01:14 AM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: westchesterguy]
Emmig Offline


Registered: 10/26/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Los Angeles



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#311815 - 11/26/09 01:38 AM Re: Weird kind of thought pattern after therapy [Re: westchesterguy]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 303
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Thanks Lynch, I know exactly what you mean.

Westchester, in this thread, I've used the word "gay" to define individuals/actions/etc. that are homosexual, meaning they are geared sexually towards members of the same gender. It doesn't have to specifically box in or define a person, but sexual identity is a key component of personal identity, at least thats what I believe.

I identify as heterosexual, but my very first sexual experiences, beginning around age 6, were of a homosexual nature, which bread considerable confusion for me especially after entering puberty. Noticing girls and wanting to be liked by them and have a girlfriend, while simultaneously being destroyed by one in my homelife and dealing with an over-sexualization of just about any emotion on the face of planet.

When I say "nothing wrong with them" I'm stating simply that there is nothing wrong with being gay, which many people in this country believe. It's just a different side of nature, that's all. Whatever mental issues or other issues those people may have I bet you could find in lots of other people.

Regarding porn, you're right in that it's purpose it to get off inside a certain comfort zone to avoid physical contact. But, I think that people also watch porn to let certain fantasies of theirs play out, and in that sense, porn can be a base indicator of a desire. As far as sexual identity goes, it's been determined that watching sex of any kind can be arousing. That said, there are studies out there suggesting that heterosexual men respond with much greater arousal to heterosexual or lesbian porn and little arousal to gay porn. Likewise, gay men seemed to have little arousal concerning pornography with women but were more aroused by watching pornography based or centered around men. It's not a developer of identity, but rather an indicator or identifier of a possible identity at a base, mechanical sexual nature. At the end of the day, yes, it's possible to fall in love with whats on the inside regardless of the person. But if that person is a male, I'm not likely to want pursue a sexual or romantic relationship. If that person is female, there is a MUCH greater likelihood that I will want to pursue a relationship. That's just how it is, plain and simple.


Regarding just nurturing relationship, I have great relationships with plenty of people. I would say I'm definitely attached to my friends emotionally. They're my boys, those guys have been my friends since we were like 9 years old. But no matter how I tried to analyze it and examine it, that feeling of friendship does NOT yield a kind of physical love or attraction that makes me want to get married one weekend in Las Vegas and spend the rest of my life with one of them. With women, because of a lot of what I explained before, I tend to push them away. The ones who have been intimate with me emotionally I either forced out of my life or just didn't allow to get close enough to see the real me. I wasn't ready.

But, I also firmly believe that while there certainly is attraction that comes from the inside, there is also a physical role to be considered. I think it's foolish to completely disregard physical attraction as part of what makes up relationships of romantic and sexual nature. If that were true, nobody would care what good looking people do. But there are more studies floating around out there that show people who are considered attractive are generally wealthier, successful in their careers, paid higher salaries, and have higher standards of living. Go figure right? Although the same thing can be said for taller individuals. Basically, I'm probably not going to end up with a girl who's drop dead gorgeous but has no personality. On the same hand, as douchey as this sounds, a girl could have the best personality in the world and if I didn't think she was physically attractive I wouldn't be able to date her, I just wouldn't be attracted. It's a two part thing for me.


Emmig, on some things concerning sexuality issues, the gay/straight conundrum or whatever. To me, that was an issue of sexualizing a desire for friendship (when I was younger) and later on when I began recognizing that I was molested and feeling at odds with that, checking out gay porn that closely mirrored what went down with my cousin. Some people in my situation might act out by having sex with other men. It's based off a need to control or make sense of what happened. Once I realized that and talked about it with my therapist it went away, I stopped going to check it. It's not a fight with sexuality, and it seems that people seem to have misunderstood me.

I'm NOT fighting my sexuality. I'm fighting an irrational fear based on a negative connotation of a different sexuality than my own. Because of where I grew up and because of the first events that comprised a sexual foundation for me, I came to view homosexuality as something negative and to be feared, like the boogey man. It's not real for me, but that doesn't mean the thought of it doesn't scare me, and that fear has kept me away from sex. How could I enjoy sex with a girl if the entire time I was thinking "how can I be sure if I'm really into this?" or "well this is pretty awesome, but what if I'm secretly gay?" I will tell you that the worry that thoughts like that can produce can effectively kill a sexual moment VERY quickly. In the long run though, it is an IRRATIONAL fear, not based in reality.

Re attraction, I don't think identifying people as good looking has anything to do with sexual orientation. Just because you're not gay doesn't mean you're going to say Brad Pitt is butt ugly. Obviously he's not, he's a good looking guy. This doesn't make you attracted to him just because you can admit that. Doesn't make women lesbians for thinking that Hallie Berry is smoking hot either, it's a function of your eyesight working. Where the irrational fear warps it all is when you see a good looking person of the same sex, and suddenly that irrational fear whispers "hey, what if you're attracted to that guy?" Key part of that question thought? WHAT IF. I know when people are good looking. The shirtless models outside the underwear store? You'd have to be blind or something to say they weren't good looking. Where did it get me? The irrational fear that because I could acknowledge the fact that they were good looking, it meant that I was somehow attracted to them sexually.

Maybe I should sum that up just to clarify. My need to address this "homophobia" is to quiet an irrational fear. I am not sexually attracted to men, although I do accept that there is a possibility of it occurring, as it's well within any spectrum of sexuality. However, on average for me, I am not attracted sexually to men. BUT, when I see a good looking male, I worry that somehow, I might be attracted to him because of an IRRATIONAL FEAR. It's a "what if" question, not an "I am" statement.



Edited by AndyS87 (11/26/09 02:05 AM)

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