Hello everybody, it's been a while... I just thought I'd come back here and share some of my progress real quick.

I am not facing PTSD anymore, I don't feel like I am smile

I haven't had further therapy or seen a T, but the small amount of sessions I got were really good and helped me for the rest of my life. It was psychoanalysis, btw... what a great thing: it helps you get in touch with yourself.

In terms of SSA struggles, I've made some great progress. I stopped avoiding stuff in my head and decided to be brave and push the envelope. I stopped caring about an internal set of rules and let my mind wander as far as I could, in order to know what is it that I really feel about it, what is what really makes me feel uncomfortable about it. It took a lot of courage and my body was feeling weird at first because I'm not used to that. While the journey through my head was a bit dark at first, I learned so many things about myself and it's helped me tremendously.

First, and sans the traumatic side, I think that I find most sexual situations to be arousing, not matter the direction. My mind not only focuses on the implications of certain behaviors but on the sensations, so I try not to label things. It's as simple as this: the thought or picture of someone experiencing pleasure is arousing... and more so because I think I have some sort of repressed physical sensation. Sexual Orientation, however, takes a lot more than 'what is arousing' or 'what gets you off' in my opinion. If I think of men, there is a physical component only... there are thoughts related with masculinity (or the lack thereof due to irrational thoughts derived by the abuse), the hole of healthy male bonding becomes evident, there is a huge need of reassurance from them, and also the need for validation as an equal (I think this is quite the hackneyed situation among most survivors, including me, of course).

To me, the SSA (in my case) is twofold: a physical sensation inquisitive-based thing (i.e being inquisitive on what certain things would feel like and so on - sans trauma) and a part purely based on seeking recognition and validation. The trigger is that even though I just turned 25 and I'm already a university prof, I still look extremely young and like a kid (I probably look 16 or so). Therefore any person showing a sexual interest on me is kind of triggering, because I don't feel like they're taking me into account as a male body but like a boy body. I am unable to know what they really think of me whether a man or a boy (and if I do, I don't believe I'm being considered a man). Also, people showing physical attraction to me is something that doesn't run smoothly... I tend to overanalyze and defend myself while I just close my body. It seems like I first need to feel like I own a male body like every other men, and that I'm not certainly a kid... I just don't know how to do that.

Moreover, my personality is that of being private and introverted. Intimacy for me does not mean sex right away but having someone with whom I can share the rather bizarre and unconventional vistas of my inner world.

On the other hand, I'm working on tackling assumptions that are particularly destructive and don't lead to anything. I have the strong assumption that people that have sex continuously have no problems in life... that I am left behind and I often wonder why they're able to do that and I'm not that comfortable with it. Sometimes it feels as if they flaunt the fact that they're comfortable with themselves and can go to an intimate level with somebody else without feeling bad. This hits me hard because I seem to have an internal list of 'what I should be doing at this point of my life' -romantic relationship with sexual component included, where there's really no such list. I *could* have sex right now with a random, but what would it mean to me? thereby accomplishing what?

I know other people who haven't been through this that have not had sex because it means something to them, because they care about the person they want to share their bodies with... but it's hard to see that. I would most likely feel like an object, I'd feel pushed by peer pressure and I'd develop a worse idea of what I already think sex is, detaching the physical sensation from the actual feeling and caring about another person. This is why I have decided to work on other stuff rather than just jump to something that does not go with my values. When it comes to sex (and writing this stuff considering myself to be straight or mostly straight because I do think of a grayscale instead of a black and white sexuality spectrum) it has to mean something to me. I've started to think I want to do some experiments in this area as well, but that is difficult because of what I just said.

I don't want to sound pretentious with what I'm going to say, but I think I do deserve to find a good person that I can share with without feeling like I can't be myself. Hopefully an open minded, generous woman that doesn't freak out and reject me if I tell her that I can have fantasies about guys for X or Y reasons... (It would be very hurtful to be rejected for one of these things), maybe someone that can see beyond that and value all my efforts and all I have done to handle the CSA struggle and my life in general, that can see me as a man and that I can truly feel it, someone who understands my need for solitude and personal space and innovation.

Not that being single is bad right now, and I'm not defining my life around the existence of a significant other. I don't know if I'm being avoidant here as usual, but I think single is the correct stage right now, also because I'm putting a lot of energy on moving out of this country which I hate and that doesn't really have opportunities for me. Sometimes I feel like I'm alone with a really heavy load: moving out of the country by myself on a scholarship that pays only enough for rent and food, and doing all this at the same time, without being able to talk with peeople out there.

This whole rambling may sound a tad individualistic to say the least, as I use a lot of "I" and "my" feelings without getting a lot of people involved, but I think that I work better this way. I forgot about myself for such a long time and it simply had to stop.

The advantage: I love what I do. I love teaching and helping people reach their goals in the realm of academia... when I do that, I smile all the time. It seems like I was born for this and I'm completely sure this is what I want to do in life. Also, I have all the energy and determination to go out and do research and science, and then who knows.
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Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. ~Josh Billings.
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