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#349462 - 01/01/11 01:30 AM Question re: SSA acting out
oceanic Offline

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 7
Loc: California
hey guys,

I'm in my late thirties and it's only been a few months since I revealed to my wife that I had been sexually abused for four of my preteen years and raped at 18.

since then, I've slowly revealed my lifelong fight since against SSA and acting on those feelings. dealing with these newly revealed issues has been devastating, especially for her.

I'm seeing an incredible therapist, who gives me weekly homework assignments. This week he wants me to analyze why being with a man temporarily relieves the negative feelings of worthlessness and shame that lead to seeking the encounter.

Answering that seems to depend on whether you believe sexuality is a choice or something you are born with. But in either case, CSA can influence some to fight their feelings, some to hide them, and others to embrace them. assuming my scans of multiple forums are correct smile

Anyhow, while I'm done with the assignment, I'm curious if any of you guys who are a lot further along in your recovery could share your feelings on the subject. I'm finding myself shocked by my feelings, thus my curiosity about the rest of you.

Thanks for listening,

#349474 - 01/01/11 07:44 AM Re: Question re: SSA acting out [Re: oceanic]
Overcomer Offline

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 41
Loc: Sumter, SC
Hi T,
First off, I like your screen name b/c it reminds me of LOST (RIP...).
But now onto the point. I'm actually not really that far along in my recovery, but while reading your post I had a thought that you might find helpful chewing on. Who knows, maybe it will help others too.
Like you, I struggle with SSA even though I don't feel gay or consider myself gay in anyway. I never had the SSA until two years into my abuse. I lost my fiancée and several friends when they learned of my SSA.
Anyway, my thought while reading your assignment was this:
For me, being abused by another male, could it be that I feel like since he "took away" my masculinity and I the only way I feel I can "get it back" is to engage in sexual activities with other males? Perhaps somehow I have equate homosexual activity w/ being masculine or something like that. Again, these are just my random thoughts on the matter, not sure if I'm close to right or off target completely. However, it was an interesting thought and will give me something to think about as well...

Edited by Overcomer (01/01/11 07:47 AM)
Edit Reason: Typos... Oh iPhone...

#349480 - 01/01/11 10:34 AM Re: Question re: SSA acting out [Re: Overcomer]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Welcome oceanic and Overcomer:

Here is an exercise I was introduced to by a T years ago when I was just starting recovery from sexual compulsivity and addiction. (I'm still active in a program for sex addiction-it has helped me face my csa from a position of clarity and strength and hope.)

I had struggled with SSA and acting out in anonymous sexual encounters with other males off and on for my 20s and part of my 30s. I couldn't understand this drive until I did this writing:

1) When did the fantasies first start?

2) How did they evolve over time?

3) What are the common themes?

In the most powerful fantasy,

1) Who appears/What do they look like?

2) How does this person act? How do they treat us?

3) Where is this taking place?

4) What happens? What is the nature of the activity?

For me, it was obvious I wanted to exert control, authority, and strength over other males (reverse of what was done to me).

Having power, and getting approval from another male to actually let me do this stuff was a huge hit for me-as someone who followed others' rules all my life and particularly in the csa.

Another antidote for me has been to get these needs met in honest and sustaining ways and learn healthy intimacy. The intimacy I experience today with myself, my mentors, other men in recovery, and my wife is like a whole new world that was shut down (along with my innocence) years ago.

Hope that helps, and that you can find some support to talk about this and form healthy recovery relationships for your struggles.

We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#349496 - 01/01/11 11:58 AM Re: Question re: SSA acting out [Re: oceanic]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 975
Loc: southern California
I'm a new member and I've been perusing the site for a definition of "SSA." What is SSA?

"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."

#349498 - 01/01/11 12:09 PM Re: Question re: SSA acting out [Re: WriterKeith]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
SSA=same sex attraction. Much has been written here about ssa. Joe Kort (ask the sex doc) has a columne here that deals with this issue from time to time. It's important not to assume that because you have a desire to be in sexual situations with men that it may not (and probably does not, particularly if you feel attracted to females) the same as homosexuality.

Good idea to learn more about this than to make assumptions.

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#349608 - 01/02/11 08:45 PM Re: Question re: SSA acting out [Re: Mountainous Buck]
oceanic Offline

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 7
Loc: California
@ MBuck - I tried the exercise you spoke of. Powerful tool and extremely revealing, wow.

@ Overcomer - you are very intuitive! Fellow fan and "survivor" here as well wink

Thank you all for your comments, observations, and suggestions. This site is truly a life saver in so many ways.

#352301 - 01/29/11 11:56 AM Re: Question re: SSA acting out [Re: oceanic]
Logan81 Offline

Registered: 01/28/11
Posts: 42
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Hey man, good question!

More than anything for me, I've realized I used sex as a way to feel wanted or desired. My dad's always been pretty stoic, so I never received much affirming touch from him as I was growing up. The only male touch I ever really received was through the sexual encounters with my cousin. I think that because of that, my mind has basically lumped sex, touching, and affirmation into one big bundle. In other words, whenever I'm feeling down or depressed and needing support, my mind tells me the only way I can get that is through sex.

Like you said, it was a shock when I realized that. On the other hand, I'm now able to recognize it when it comes up, and can redirect that energy in a more positive direction.


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