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#48378 - 07/01/03 01:21 AM feeling arousal about my perpetrator
jwh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 98
Loc: dallas, tx
This is something I have been dealing with lately and thought I would share what I have learned (very painfully, through many years) and what I have yet to learn.

Prior to my recovery, especially as an adolescent, for years I would only let this arousal out when I was drunk, then I would fantasize about faceless men using me and I would ejaculate and then, my god, the SHAME!!! I just wanted to die then. What was most confusing for me was that I was attracted to girls primarily but I would have these degrading homosexual fantasies that often were more arousing, at the beginning, than anything else. I walked around for so many years trying to identify as heterosexual, then bisexual, then at one point last year even decided I would "come out of the closet," identify with being gay, in the hope that this would solve my problems. It didn't, not at all. I just felt trapped, then, isolated from everyone, including myself.

With much work in group, and coming to understand that the arousal was a natural response to being touched etc., I am no longer struggling so much with the sexual identity issues. See, I would get into this near manic state thinking that solving the problem of my sexual orientation was the most important thing in my life and that if I would just get THAT pinned down, then I would be "okay." What I came to realize, after acting out repeatedly, was that obsessing in this way hid me from the the terror, shame, desperation, grief over abandonment, and despair that followed ejaculation. It didn't keep hiding me, though--those other feelings would come, primarily in the form of panic attacks.

So, I have come a a long way. Still, though, just two days ago I really tapped into feelings about my perpetrator and there was the arousal, overpowering as always. I have even realized that every male I have felt attracted to has reminded me of my perpetrator! My therapist encouraged me to not fantasize about my perpetrator because this would increase the trauma bond between my perpetrator and me in my own mind, thus increasing my sense of being helpless, trapped, and of the whole thing being my fault. I have found that she was right about this, and I have stopped acting out that way.

The arousal still scares me, though, feels like something that has the potential to undermine my self-esteem and leave me scattered in ruins, terrified and helpless once again. I fear being overpowered, used and abandoned and believing it is all my fault.

Interesting--all of those feelings in that last sentence are exactly what I felt being abused.

Jeff

_________________________
"I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand... Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?"--Ian Curtis, Joy Division

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#48379 - 07/01/03 01:37 PM Re: feeling arousal about my perpetrator
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
WhyMe
Oh boy, does that ring true ?
That's about the best de>
_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#48380 - 07/02/03 02:19 AM Re: feeling arousal about my perpetrator
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Quote:
See, I would get into this near manic state thinking that solving the problem of my sexual orientation was the most important thing in my life and that if I would just get THAT pinned down, then I would be "okay."
...sigh...

I don't really know what to say, but this small phrase has pinned down my thoughts. It's only lately that I've started to realize that I need to mend my whole spirit before I'll ever begin to feel okay. Your sexuality is only one bit of who you are. I don't know where I'm going with this, so I will simply end it here,
Mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#48381 - 07/02/03 09:53 AM Re: feeling arousal about my perpetrator
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2258
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
Instead of going 100 mph/kph slow down 10 mph. If that is too fast, go 5 mph. If you have to, don't move. Just sit there and rest. Then gradually build up your speed. But never put it in reverse!
WhyMe,

I've heard in 12 Step meetings, "Don't just do something, stand there!"

Sometimes we need to take our bearings before moving on.

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#48382 - 07/05/03 10:38 PM Re: feeling arousal about my perpetrator
jwh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 98
Loc: dallas, tx
You guys are great, as usual. WhyMe, your story was particularly helpful to me, as my perpetrator used to hide my clothes and not give them back until I had done things for him, risky things like walking across his house to get him a drink when his mother might walk in the door.

For the last two days I have been going to Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings. I have finally accepted that I cannot stop acting out on my own. But I don't know that SAA is definitely the right group for me--I think Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous might be better. Because, from as early as 5 years old, I dissociated for hours fantasizing about girls "rescuing" me or me "rescuing" them. I would always imagine them crying and me comforting them. Then I actually got into a relationship, at 17, where I was doing this and getting a "fix" from it. So much for my first marriage--our relationship was doomed from the start because it was based in this "fixing."

I have always had a terrible problem with being alone and believed that I HAD to have a relationship in order to survive. But once in the relationship I would be emotionally unavailable except when I got a chance to be the "comforter," and I would never feel sated by attention I got, so I would act out with porn. I got very ritualistic about it and usually got lesbian porn, feeling like I was having sex with both of the women on the screen. Sometimes I would get gay porn, though, and that was terribly confusing. All these feelings of shame and isolation would come up.

I feel better now understanding that all of the porn I was using was a way to escape back into that fantasy, dissociative world in which all my love and sex needs would be met entirely on my terms. Meanwhile, my real relationship, my marriage (which I actually broke off, even divorcing my wife, when I first uncovered my sexual abuse and wanted to act out with a female abuse survivor whom I worked with), suffered. God, I have been so out of control with the love and sex thing!

It's a very hard thing for me, as a survivor, to accept that no other human being is going to fulfill my needs. Because my parents never met my basic needs for love, care, boundaries and protection, and then my abuser pretended to meet these needs in order to abuse and betray me in the worst way, I feel like on the one hand I can't trust anyone and would feel safer with just porn and at the same time I feel like I desperately need a partner who will be there for me ALL the time, love me totally how I want to be loved, have sex with me ANY time I want to.

Crazy, it's crazy. It is how I have lived my life up until now. Thank God my wife does not feed into my dependency needs. She loves me and makes love with me but does not do it just on my terms. And she is very forgiving--she actually remarried me, which still amazes me a little. Not that I'm not worth marrying, but I have so many issues. . . She has issues too, though, and I think we're good together. For a long time I thought I needed to run away from the marriage in order to seek out someone else, the fantasy savior, who would meet all of my sex and love needs. But I know this is not reality. I have accepted this. I have to work on me.

Jeff

_________________________
"I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand... Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?"--Ian Curtis, Joy Division

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