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#419010 - 12/13/12 11:26 AM OCD (and others)
Bradley P Offline


Registered: 11/03/10
Posts: 44
Loc: AR
I was diagnosed with OCD at a very young age (11), and it continues to plague me.

As a kid, and even into my teenage years, I had the classic symptoms (symmetry, washing hands, cleanliness, nervous tics, etc...), and then as a teenager, it moved into religious scruples.

I'm literally just now realizing my OCD has been concentrating on sexual obsessions for a long time, and I never fully realized it. I've seen many posts here (and especially in the Sexual Identity forums) that seem like others share those OCD traits.

Does anyone else have OCD? How have you found it affects you in relation to abuse issues? How does it perhaps relate back to the abuse?

What about other mental disorders/illnesses?
_________________________
"Life is for living, we all know...but I don't want to live it alone"-Chris Martin (Coldplay)

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#419300 - 12/16/12 08:27 PM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
I apologize for not having answers to your questions, Bradley. While I do suffer from the symptoms of OCD I have not been diagnosed, simply a matter of no insurance and no money. When I would trigger on a word or feeling, I would compulsively go over the memory until I passed out. It was unsuccessful, but I kept cycling.

I am curious about this, " it moved into religious scruples". Would you explain that please? If this is uncomfortable for you, I will remove it.

Thank you,
Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#428031 - 03/14/13 01:19 PM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
OCN Offline


Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Western Europe
Found out some info on OCD and HOCD today.. it didnt quite ring a bell but i did recognize some traits..

and Sam has asked exactly what i want to ask: what do you mean with 'religious scruples'?
_________________________
Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

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#429904 - 04/03/13 12:18 AM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 303
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
This is going to be a bit long winded, but I hope I can help. I don't have OCD, but I do have a generalized anxiety disorder that manifests itself with some symptoms of OCD, especially where that anxiety intersects with doubts about my sexuality from having experienced what I experienced.

From therapy, what I KNOW is that when I realized I had been molested and what happened to me over those years was "gay" in the eyes of others, I became terrified. I felt, in that instant, at ten years old, that I was ruined. I was already an awkward and not really popular kid in school (so now we throw around the "faggot" nickname) and swore to myself that NOBODY could ever find out what happened to me, because then I would be labeled as "gay" and my life would be ruined etc. etc. etc. so on. PLEASE REALIZE these were my thoughts as a ten year old boy in the mid 90's, not my current thoughts. So you can see what I have decided to view as a fear, but you should also know that I see this as a weakness since it was basically a 4 year period of vulnerability on my part. Logically speaking, I know there was no way that as a 6 year old I could have comprehended what was happening, but emotionally it is a difficult thing for me to forgive myself for.

So what we see here is a mental schema that I should be afraid of anything "gay", but also a belief that because of what happened, I must also have been "gay". Throw in some classic symptoms of boys who have had same sex abusers (Ken Singer and Joe Kort have answered a lot of questions here about this stuff) such as obsession with penises, watching gay porn, having gay fantasies - things that are "trauma through orgasm", and you can see where I might start to believe that maybe I was gay.

At the same time, I felt that that wasn't quite right, and that I was interested in women. I am not quick to approach women, but I do enjoy having sex with them, hooking up, etc. Issues there too - I have a deep seated belief (again, not logical, but an emotional reaction) that all women are secretly there to manipulate me, or will be nice to me only if they want something from me. This was NOT sexual abuse related, but a by-product of watching my parents go through the process of divorce, and also being constantly bullied and often harassed to the verge of suicide by my sister who made it her job to dominate my personality, marginalize me in the family, not allow me to speak, strip me of any sense of self worth, and in general do anything she could to destroy my self confidence.

So let's try and distill this a bit: Fear of being or appearing "gay", believing my abuse was a moment of personal weakness that can't be allowed to happen again, massive mistrust bordering on hatred for women despite a sexual attraction to them, and acting out to some degree with homosexual fantasies as a result of my abuse. That right there was the powder keg, and when the fuse finally lit if blew up big time and I spend thousands of dollars and a couple of years of EMDR trying to get through it.

To sum up the OCD part of it, any time I was anxious about something, I would question my sexuality. 5 or so years ago, it was more legitimate because that was when I began processing all of this, and I truly didn't know. As EMDR continued and I began to reprocess my abuse, I noticed nearly all of the homosexual fantasizing stopped and I stopped watching gay porn. Three weeks after my "final" therapy session, I nearly found myself in a threesome with two other girls after not having had sex for about 4 years prior. I did not feel confused, I felt ecstatic, and then immediately terrible the next morning when I vanished out of there (remember those women issues? Yeah...).

Fast forward to now. I am in the middle of a big change in my job and that's causing me a lot of stress. I'm about to move in a few weeks (more stress), and then on top of that, I go get some drinks with my Dad. A week later he tells me one of the hostesses thought I was "super hot" and wanted to find me. Instead of jumping on the opportunity, I freaked out. I didn't know what I should do. Look her up online? Message her directly? Is it weird she gave her number to my own FATHER to give to me? This turned into "What's wrong, why am I not able to just do this?!" AND THAT then turned into "Maybe it's because you're gay" and BOOM. The seed of doubt is sown, but now I know where it comes from and why. I see this part of me as weak and ineffectual, and it makes me feel like less of a man. This makes me feel "gay", and then I begin to doubt everything. Thoughts like "Am I really attracted to girls?" "I'm not aware of any men that I'm attracted to, but could that still mean I'm gay"? And the classic trigger warning unaswerable question of "What if I am and I just don't know yet?"

Well, now no matter what you tell yourself, you ask "really" "am I sure" etc. etc. You answer questions with more questions that don't make you closer to an answer, and you OBSESS over that answer. Sound familiar?

At any rate, I wish you luck, and I will try and find an old HOCD forum that at times has decent information for you.

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#429905 - 04/03/13 01:19 AM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: AndyS87]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: AndyS87


So let's try and distill this a bit: Fear of being or appearing "gay", believing my abuse was a moment of personal weakness that can't be allowed to happen again, massive mistrust bordering on hatred for women despite a sexual attraction to them, and acting out to some degree with homosexual fantasies as a result of my abuse.


Andy:

As far as OCD goes, my kid's Mom has it, which has been the reason for me doing some research. I think the connection here might be how shame creates a cognitive distortion. There is some reason why shame makes us stop thinking clearly and start trusting the unclear thinking. That' one thing that can sustain OCD behavior.

Your obsession over gayness reminds me of the years I spent having close friendships with gay men, going to gay bars and doing nothing by way of sex. I just wasn't interested, but I did want to hang out with them.

The reason for this may have something more to do with male culture in general than actually being gay or not. When shame is operative, I stop listening to the thoughts that are truly mine. I work on appeasing the thinking that comes from another source, wherever it may be.

Looking back, I realize that these relationships felt safer than the ones with my brother and father. My brother had been molested when we were young but he never told me. Only recently I realized that this incident created a great confusion in our bond, as he acted out his abuse in subtle yet harmful ways on me. My father was a sex addict who convinced my Mom that they have an open relationship for 35 years. The shame he carried was always well managed, but nonetheless a source of anxiety for me.

When I did have these long standing close platonic relationships with gay men, people would assume that about my sexuality. I would fantasize about men but it just didn't really float my boat in reality. That's why I think the fantasy is really more of distortion of a reality that my conscious mind just hadn't worked out yet. That reality has more to do with genuine affection love, and the pain that keeps us from having it. After years of trying, I now feel more in touch with the simple pain that had urged me to act out or simply live confused for so long.

I also have some issues with being scared of intimacy with women. I pretty much had that covered for most of my life, until my kid's mom left me and I realized I hadn't been true to my sexual self, like probably never. That's when I started to connect the dots: In 8th grade I had a girl friend for several months and never kissed her until we had broken up. My first real steady girlfriend was someone who was not part of my social circle. She was someone I met while experimenting with drugs. She was a good person, but my choice of going out with her was clearly a way of avoiding having sexuality in a central part of my social life.

Basically, I didn't want the covertly (not explicitly) incestuous relationship with my mother to be revealed. Unknowingly, my mother was working out her difficulties with me, instead of my Dad. Shame had me by the...all those years...and I've had trouble letting it go. All this time.

What I have found is that when I feel it enough that it doesn't control me, I calm down. Not an easy thing to do, but sharing it here helps. Staying with it until it is acknowledged helps.

Hope this pulls together a few ideas for you in a constructive way.

Focused
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#429914 - 04/03/13 07:39 AM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 303
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Thanks for your response Focused! Writing this stuff down helps me a ton. I am able to get this off my chest and really think my way through it and realize what's real and what's an obsessive thought. Unfortunately, things have been bad enough for me lately that I've had to return to taking Xanax to calm myself down enough to think.

Shame is definitely huge, and I think that perhaps I still feel a lot of it centered around this issue. What kills me is that here I am in my mid twenties with some friends starting to get married and others going out on weekends and finding all these different girls to bring home, and here I am clueless! The stress from this is what kicked off my tailspin this time. As if having to deal with the sexual abuse wasn't painful enough, now I am punishing myself here with lack of sexual intimacy. There are still a lot of negative feelings there. For instance "I'm damaged goods", or "I have too much baggage" "She'll think I'm crazy" "I don't deserve to be happy" etc.

For me, going back to my childhood, my abuser was my cousin who was only three years older than me. My abuse was not violent, but it was coercive. He'd come over on holidays and would pester me at night to let him come sleep in my bunk bed. Then he'd keep me awake asking if he could go down on me, or me on him. Eventually I'd relent, even though I'd be thinking to myself "This isn't right, something is definitely not right here". It got to the point where I just thought it was normal.

In his words "Well, we're family, and we love each other, and sex is something people who love each other can do if they want to". At the time he was one of my only close friends, and so a part of me figured if I wanted to keep having him as a friend, I had to keep going along with things. He mb'd in front of me a couple of times, which was a very powerful memory for me. He'd constantly talk about being manly, and how he was becoming a man because he was able to do that. That memory to me is a clear catalyst to most of the gay fantasies and obsessions I ended up having. When I first began to MB myself a few years later a few months before I turned twelve, I would often try to mimic what he had done, standing in the same spot in my room and everything. I'd look in a mirror to pretend I was looking at him. He was at the time more athletic and seemed to me to be very well endowed. I was pudgier and in my perception not as well endowed, and those things became obsession for me. How could I be more like my cousin?

I told my parents what was going on when I was about ten after he tried to sodomize me. I was uncomfortable with it, so I told him I wanted to stop and he said "ok, well you try doing it to me". I did, but I couldn't get an erection (this became another powerful fantasy as I grew older, wondering what it would have been like if we had been able to do that to each other).

A few months later in health class, we were learning about AIDS and we went over how different people can get it and I immediately became afraid that I had AIDS and was going to die, so I told my parents. Next time I saw my cousin I told him as well. That effectively ended that relationship. I felt like I had lost a friend and the closest thing I had to a brother. Not surprisingly, other friends I had after that I assumed I had to try and be sexual with. I met my best friend that year (we are still friends now, sixteen years late) and remembered when I propositioned him that he said "Uhhhhm, no, I don't want to do any of that kind of stuff. You don't really do that stuff with friends". Came as a shock to me, but that was that. I'd say that at this point now, that kid knows more about what I've gone through than anybody else besides my therapist. Even after I stopped trying to act out though, I was an outcast, and I would have sexual fantasies that I know realize where about me sexualizing acceptance into a group, or me having fantasies about kids who bullied me, because when I did that I was in control and THEY were the victims.

Still, it is difficult for me to look back at all of that and forgive myself for it, and that's what my anxiety likes to feed off of.

Thanks for letting me get this stuff out of my head and off my chest, and thank you for sharing with me!

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#429915 - 04/03/13 07:51 AM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Andy, this is wonderful sharing, I hope this helps you to find peace and recovery relief. I hope that you open a new topic and allow other survivors to see this struggle as well as offer their experiences on your share.

This is a topic I have personally benefited from, thank you.

Sam
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MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#429941 - 04/03/13 10:08 AM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1600
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Bradley P
Does anyone else have OCD? How have you found it affects you in relation to abuse issues? How does it perhaps relate back to the abuse? What about other mental disorders/illnesses?


I have OCD which began to manifest shortly after my abuse. I am also bi-polar. My chief chief obsession was, as Andy stated, a fear of being gay. I imagined people could tell just by looking at me, or could read my mind. (Again, please understand this was the mind of a 13 year old in 1970. I know that being gay is nothing to fear.) I went through elaborate rituals to try to ward off those fears. Even when I had sex a with a girl at 16, though I felt some relief, the fears weren't gone. It wasn't till I went through a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Google it) at age 40, that I found relief.

Jude
_________________________
Seems I've got to have a change of scene
Every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Joe Cocker

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#430112 - 04/04/13 06:29 PM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 303
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Thanks Sam! I used to post here very frequently around 2008-2010 when I was in therapy the most. I come back every now and then when things get crazy and I start to feel beaten down because it's a good place to vent to other people who more or less understand what's going on with me.

Jude, if you don't mind me asking, how does CBT work? I had a friend who also had HOCD and did CBT, and he also found it extremely helpful. My only experience was with EMDR, but that is more of a trauma therapy I think.

Bradley P, I am so sorry I forgot to mention this before, but have you checked out the neurotic planet forum about HOCD? I have to warn you, as most posters on there have some form of OCD, there are a lot of people who are over there triggering each other accidentally, but I did find a lot of good information and some support over there. They have forums for all different kinds of things, but for HOCD, there is a sexual obsession and compulsions forum where that is one of the main topics. Their web address is www.neuroticplanet.com.

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#430353 - 04/06/13 02:32 PM Re: OCD (and others) [Re: Bradley P]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY
Hey guys.

It's funny because normally I don't think of myself as OCD, although I can be very compulsive in my thinking.

As I try to process memories of living with my brother and my Mom, two people with whom I never had good physical boundaries, I start to get more in touch with the related stress that I habitually avoid. And then something happens that I see could be considered OCD.

It's kind of scary, but also kind of revealing. This morning one of my arms was shaking uncontrollably. I had the overwhelming urge to scratch it all over and make the unbearable feeling go away. The more I tried to resist the more intense the feelings became.

A couple of things crossed my mind. I've been getting more in touch with the memory of my brother's abuse which I think had a profound effect on my sense of self. At an early age, my brother was one person who I found some refuge in, when my Mom couldn't get good boundaries established and maintained in my direction. Although my brother can be aggressive, I would cling to him in moments of need. When he had his abuse at around 10, I think my whole system went a little haywire.

The other thing that crossed my mind was how my Mom sometimes scratches herself a lot. It seems normal but the more I think about it, I think she may have been numbing something in her. The general off-balance relationship she has with her body is something I kind of paid a price for over the years.

The shaking was scary because I couldn't breathe through it as I normally do. I noticed my pulse racing and my chest tightening. I finally decided to run cold water over it and then put lotion all over my arm. This somehow managed to create enough peace in me that I could do other things with a clear head.

It was a learning moment, I think, but I also know there must be more that I'm waiting to learn.

For what it's worth...

Focused
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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