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#5107 - 09/11/02 09:18 PM the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
I am a new registrant and I am grateful that I have found this board. Reading through some of the postings has been difficult but validating.

I have been needing for some time to express some of the more difficult parts of my recovery in a safe setting where I would not be ridiculed or misunderstood.

I have 2 extremely difficult problems that I can barely focus my mind on or admit, and acceptance without shame and full conscious integration are remote.

The first is sexual disfunction. Although I've had sex successfully many times, I've also had every type of dysfunction--secondary impotence, premature ejaculation and ejaculatory incompetence--at one time or another, and in one situation or another. I'm also sexually passive: I can't initiate sex, although I can hint around about it and work the situation towards it, but I can't actually start the sexual act. I think part of the reason why this has been so difficult for me is because of the humiliations that I suffered at the hands of a couple of different women during one-night stands or brief encounters: "What's the matter? Can't get it up?" And, "Oh, no wonder. I know why..." And having no ability to feel humiliated consciously so that it eventually goes away, but instead deny and forget it.

Second, I am most aroused either in masturbational fantasies or in person by sadistic acts. I've never humiliated anyone, but humiliating them is what would most excite me, and instead I've had less arousing sex.

Does anybody have any experience or insights with these problems?

Does anybody know of any books, articles, or postings (I used the search function on this site but didn't seem to find anything) that contain first-hand accounts of people having these problems and recovering from them?

The best resources I have found to date are [Private Thoughts] and _The Sexual Healing Journey_ by Wendy Maltz, and _Human Sexual Inadequacy_ by Masters and Johnson.

I know that going to a therapist would be a good thing to do, but I'm not ready to talk about this in person yet, so if anybody could help me through this forum I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks so much,
Ryan


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#5108 - 09/11/02 11:51 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
Welcome Ryan. This is a good place to talk and begin to feel comfortable airing your pain. The good news is that you are not at all alone with your dysfunction. I have been plagued by it my whole sexual life. I was abused at 13, and my first consensual sexual encounter, at 15, ended in a humiliating lack of ability. Since then there's been some success, a fair amount actually. And as many if not more awful experiences where nothing happened. And sex, no matter what, is always an anxious experience for me. I NEVER instigate. Not even after ten years with my wife. Pathetic huh? The bad news is that I have found no magic cure for this. Though Viagra does help.

I began therapy for the first time only six months ago and it's made a great difference. I really don't think this journey can be made alone. Talking about it was not only easier than I feared, but a relief beyond my dreams. I highly reccommend it. In the meantime, hopefully you can take some solace in the knowledge that you are truly not alone. And you have friends here.

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

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#5109 - 09/11/02 11:53 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
...and check your private messages.

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

Top
#5110 - 09/12/02 02:52 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
ARW,

Thanks for your reply. It is extremely helpful to read your postings, because I have been isolated in shame with this problem for 2 years now, consciously, and for many years before that unconsciously.

I do not think you are pathetic, although I certainly understand the feeling. I think part of the problem that I have initiating is because it's difficult and unnatural for me to feel desire and do it, in general, and with sex. I am dependent on routines, rules, what's right, and in my soul I don't really fully experience desire, and if I do, I feel way too selfish and evil acting it out.

It's really hard for me to believe that being sexually abused and my abusive and strict parents really could be the cause for my sexual problems. I secretly think that I'm trying to get out of accepting that I'm the problem, that there's just something wrong with me.

Admitting this has been extremely difficult, as well, because, for me, it cuts to the core of my being a man and a human being. I just feel lesser than everybody else, not good enough. Am I as much of a man? As much of a human being? Rhetorical questions, I know, but THE SHAME!! I am reminded of Marlon Brando saying "The horror!" at the end of Apocalypse Now, only with me it's also "The shame!"

Also, I fear the contemptous look and reaction from my sexual partner the next time it happens. Now, it's "The horror!" Dread. I am so humiliated and I have such a hard time dealing with it, by feeling it consciously without denying it.

Another complexity in my own sexual history is that I once dated a woman who had vaginismus (I think that's what it's called), anyway, she froze up whenever she got close to having sex. She would really want to, but her vagina wouldn't open. She was very frustrated with this and asked me to help her open up by forcing my penis inside her. Not realizing the longterm emotional consequences for myself, I agreed to try. I tried several times and failed, and she got frustrated and criticized me. Eventually, I got it, and she supposedly has had a happier sex life since. But I can't get the dread of not being able to get it in there out of my mind, and the humiliation, again.

It is interesting because we both are able to have sex sometimes. Do you have any idea what the differences are between when you are able to and when not? I think (hope) for me they are things like guilt, anxiety, disgust and embarassment. They've happened in situations where I've felt guilty having sex. And I've felt anxious--does this person like me? will I be a good enough sexual partner? will my performance be good enough? will she like me afterward? is my penis big enough? is it hard enough? All of these anxieties are low self-esteem. Then comes my unconscious disgust: with my own body, with my own desire (especially when my sadistic tendencies are taken into consideration), with ejaculate, with vaginas, with vaginal fluid, with vaginal scent, with sexual motions, with the idea of sex. And I'm embarassed to take my clothes off. I don't like my body, it's shape, I'm never fit enough, my skin is too pale--I don't even like women whose skin is like my color.

Are you noticing any improvement from therapy, in addition to greater comfort with the subject?

Ryan


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#5111 - 09/12/02 06:14 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Hi Ryan,

Welcome to the site. Talking about this stuff here will probably help you a lot. It has sure helped me. So great to have a place like this to talk freely with other men about such problems. This seems like a good to again recommend a favorite book of mine. "Healing the Shame That Binds You" by John Bradshaw.

Sounds to me like you have really disowned your sexual identity. The sexual part of your "self". Also sounds like there is a lot of shame about sex in general, let alone about specifics like fantasies and performance. Recognizing it is the first step. Talking about it is the next step and that will help enormously. People have all kinds of various fantasies and I suspect yours are "normal" for you. And who's to say what's normal? What is normal for you may not be normal for the next person. The more you accept this part of yourself and let yourself indulge these fantasies while masturbating, the less power they will hold over you.

I think talking with a therapist about this stuff will help a lot, provided you find a therapist experienced in dealing with abuse survivors and a broad ranging, accepting, and most of all a non-judgemental attitude about sex. The more you are able to integrate your sexual nature into your life, the better you will feel.

I struggled a lot with many of the issues you mentioned at the end of your last post. It took some time (and practice, which started out awkwardly but got pretty fun!) and effort but I think I developed a very healthy attitude toward sex. Your feelings and anxieties about sex are very common among survivors and a normal response to sexual abuse. I assure you that this is the root cause of your sexual problems and that there is nothing "wrong" with you or who you are.

You have already undertaken one of the most difficult tasks of getting help; sharing it with others. You are reaching out for help and that's great! Keep talking to us here, find a good therapist, work on accepting yourself and the beautiful gift of sexuality and you will do just fine. I really believe that.

Roy


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#5112 - 09/12/02 06:17 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
FYI: The statistical average length of the American penis is 5 3/4 inches. Does that help?


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#5113 - 09/12/02 12:56 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Ryan
I thought I was reading a post about my sex life, it was so uncanny.

I was abused by males, but I still have deep problems, even after 28 years of marriage to a sexy lady. Slowly I'm convincing her to initiate sex, but she feels a bit wary incase it triggers feelings of my abuse.
But I was also trained by my abusers to initiate sex with them. A good beating and rape by a gang of older boys made me do exactly what they wanted.

So sex has all kinds of mixed feelings for me still. I consider myself well recovered in a lot of ways, but this is the last big hurdle for me.
When we do have sex I use positions where we have very little body contact and I rarely kiss.
Like so many others I'm haunted by memories of my abuse when having sex, I turned them into fantasies to escape them. Always the same kind of thing with me in the "humiliated role" - giving another man oral sex.
They took over and I acted out.

The "cure" if you could call it that, for me was drastic. I just cut sex out of my life as much as I could.
The fantasies have faded a lot, although they still occur. But they no longer work as well now. Certainly not when having sex with my wife, I feel it's a betrayal, and before I can stop fantasising I'm as limp as a wet rag.
In fact I'm pleased to announce that I had a fantasy about the pretty young girl who works behind the bar where I drink. That's progress as far as I'm concerned. ;\)
( but is that fantasy any better or worse ? after all fantasy is just thinking about what you might never have. I suppose the difference is I did have my old fantasy, and it was the worst thing ever )

Our sex life is improving slowly, I am learning to kiss and touch more and discovering it's alright to do so. Although I still have great problems asking my wife to try something, change position, or if she likes what I'm doing.
that goes back to the abuse again, the main perp liked me to talk and say things about the sex. It's still in my mind, I can hear myself suggesting different positions to get it in further, asking him what he wanted me to do. Something a 12 yo boy shouldn't know.
Something a 49 yo man can't forget.

And Roy, you guys over there manage with 5 3/4 inches - wow !! \:D ;\)
But hey, if it fits it's ok.

Lloydy

_________________________
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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#5114 - 09/12/02 01:25 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
As I wrote that last part, somehow I knew Lloydy would have something to say about it! :rolleyes: Maybe if the colonists had been something other than British, the number would be higher. :p :p :p


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#5115 - 09/12/02 05:49 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
"ouch"

Lloydy \:o

_________________________
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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#5116 - 09/12/02 06:39 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
and I would highly recommend the Bradshaw. Highly.

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

Top
#5117 - 09/13/02 10:24 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
ryan, check your private messages.

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

Top
#5118 - 09/13/02 11:45 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
Thank you all for responding. It is very helpful for me--this initial cyber-shame-breakout. Seeing that you all are out there.

Roy--
Thanks for the book rec, Bradshaw, Healing the Shame That Binds You. I've just ordered it from Amazon. I've read some of Homecoming and like it.

It is true that sex in general is a shameful, disgusting, painful subject for me. I have become what Mike Lew describes in _Victims No Longer_ as "asexual". Sexual references, people around me with active sex lives, sexual scenes in movies, sexual lyrics in books all evoke an emotional reaction that seems to be part pain, part disgust, part shame, part fear, and part guilt, but really just feels uncomfortable and I avoid whatever it is.

I think the dysfunctions and the fantasies are the most difficult part, but the rest is all a big problem. Part of my shame (the other part coming from the abuse itself), I think, comes from the fact that my parents were very strict, never spoke about sex or permitted discussion about anything even remotely sexual, nor music nor movies (or at least they condemned them very strongly). The only thing my mother ever said to me about sex was when she came into my room late one night to admonish me, "Don't!" And my father elegantly instructed me, "Don't you go fucking around with no sluts!" Some sexual education. So I was on my own and with unconscious feelings from forgotten or uncomprehended earlier abuse.

Also, I was sort of the family emotional punching bag, so I was already ashamed of everything about myself and completely emotionally repressed. Embarassed to display myself through actions or feelings in any way. To this day, I can't do art, sing, write, or even speak my thoughts, and expressing my feelings has finally gotten to the point where I can give my grandmother a hug.

Looking back on my voluntary sexual life, I realized that sex was never not shameful, anxiety-ridden, secretive for me. I really never had a normal desire to do it. Either an overwhelming, crazy desire to do it right now and hard, or no real desire. I think my main interest in having sex was to avoid the shame of being a virgin, to keep up with the other guys in school, and jealousy of the people who were having it. These drove me to have sex, but the bad feelings were always mixed in there, too, pulling me in the opposite direction, making it confusing, intimidating and difficult for me.

I have been struggling to accept that my sadistic fantasies are natural to me, ie, they are the natural result of the experiences that I had. However, I do not want sex to be an expression of anger for the rest of my life. I'd like to enjoy some of the sweetness and pleasure of intimacy and desire (these are all just words right now). So I'm in this twilight zone, surreal stage of emotional recovery where I'm accepting who I am and experimenting with it, with the hope of eventually changing. Nonsexually, I am also sometimes amused to see what I'm doing as I allow myself to express my anger more, and all the ways that I act like my father. Again, I don't want to be this way, but I am, and the only way to change is to fully accept it and that means really living and acting that way within safe limitations. Bizarre stuff, though.

I often wonder whether my sadism comes from being humiliated continually by my father's anger and rejection, or from being sexually abused. I can't remember my feelings from during the abuse, so I'm missing one of the keys to the answer. But it seems to me that I experience I similar fury during erotic arousal that I experience when I am angrily defending myself, either against a fantasy rejection from somebody while daydreaming, or while overreacting to what people say to me. It's a killing fury, devastating. This type of fury I only remember from my father. Although it seems odd at first to think of feelings from non-sexual settings having an impact on my sexual feelings, why not? I'm angry all the rest of time, why not sexually, as well?

Thanks for the tip about the statistical avg. Does anybody know how these measurements are done? I can get different lengths from the front or back, lying or standing, that sort of thing.

Lloydy--

Yeah, I'd like to get to the point where I can be sexually aroused by the sight of a sexy lady, have the desire and confidence to just naturally initiate, caress, slide my penis inside her, and have sex until climax without anxiety, guilt or the need for additional arousal from sadistic fantasies running in parallel in my mind. Is just the sight and sensation of sex ever arousing enough, without overcharged fantasies, to make it all work. I also feel very guilty when I'm fantasizing about something else or something harmful when I'm with somebody and I have lost erections during sex, much to my embarassment, possibly partially because of this. And I would consider it a milestone if I could have a healthy sexual fantasy about anybody, so good job.

I strongly recommend _Private Thoughts: Exploring the power of women's sexual fantasies_ by Wendy Maltz, as well as the relevant section in _The Sexual Healing Journey_ by Wendy Maltz. Some of the chapter titles, to give you a taste, are "Where sexual fantasies come from", "Deep discoveries," "Guided Explorations," and "Healing and Changing Unwanted Fantasies." The other resource that I've found for this problem is "For Your Own Good" by Alice Miller, the section on Jurgen Bartsch and the brief but inspiring account that she gives of a successful therapy case at the beginning of that section.

I hope it's not annoying to you guys that I'm pouring my soul out with all these long messages. I guess I'm feeling insecure because my posts seems to be unusually long.

Thanks for all your support,
Ryan


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#5119 - 09/13/02 12:17 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
I think the dysfunctions and the fantasies are the most difficult part, but the rest is all a big problem. Part of my shame (the other part coming from the abuse itself), I think, comes from the fact that my parents were very strict, never spoke about sex or permitted discussion about anything even remotely sexual, nor music nor movies (or at least they condemned them very strongly).
Ryan, I think possibly this applies to a lot of us, especially those of us of a certain age who grew up in very repressed times. I came from a similar family, no mention of sex at all. Your fathers advice is twice as much as I got !!
And in the early sixties we got no sex education in school, well none that was on the curriculum anyway.
So without someone explaining the right way to go about it, and just as importantly having good role models to learn the social side of the mating game, is it any wonder we're so screwed up ? The only lessons we got were entirely the wrong ones, and it's a hell of a job to learn at 49yo what I should have learnt as a teenager.

What I certainly learnt was that sex was an unemotional thing with the sole aim of ejaculation. I was "taught" by one of my abusers to kiss and caress him, but it was what he wanted and done for physical sensation only, not emotional reasons. And no amount of hard work has shifted that memory and vision entirely, all I can do is work around it, and it's coming slowly.

Fantasies are so hard to overcome, and I know some people might argue - why bother ?
But when they are all consuming, all day, every day, you want them gone.
At my worst about 5 or 6 years ago I could work myself into an adreniline rush through fantasy, I was high. Now, after the very hard task of becoming virtually asexual for a couple of years I have them controlled. They no longer dominate me, and even in moments of weakness when I call upon them while masturbating I find them less and less effective.
But my sex life with my wife is returning, slowly, and satisfyingly.

Maybe there are other less drastic options, I don't know. But I adopted an attitude of wanting the fantasies gone so much that I was prepared to try anything.
The loss of the constant turmoil has made it worthwhile for me.

Lloydy
PS. you write as much as you want here Ryan, these pages have no bottom on them ;\)

_________________________
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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#5120 - 09/13/02 01:07 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
I had an opposite, but equally damaging upbringing. My mother was way too open in discussing sex and her sex life with us. It made me feel ashamed and uncomfortable, and mixed up my sexual yearnings with love for her. a mess. It's true what you guys are saying that your parents' attitudes have a huge effect on your sexual confidence - regardless of the SA. Add abuse and you've got a serious shindig of sexual guilt and dysfunction. I can't break it yet. As good as I'm feeling some days now, I can sense I'm years away from a breal in the clouds with that problem. Day by day.
Maybe in the future they'll have a way of removing the "screwed-up parents" memory chip. Until then...

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

Top
#5121 - 09/13/02 03:26 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Hi Ryan,

As a social worker with 6 years experience providing counseling to individuals and couples, many with sexual abuse issues, I think you are an excellent candidate for psychotherapy. You have a firm grasp of the fundamentals and a high degree of insight into your own psyche. Now you need to find someone to guide you through the process of self-discovery, for which you lack the necessary perspective. "You can't see the forest for the trees", that sort of thing. Your biggest obstacle may well lie in the fact that you are intelligent and probably over analyze everything. This has been an effective defense for you but it may be time to let that go, start experiencing your feelings, and let someone else do the thinking.

As you will learn in the Bradshaw book, a lot of the deep toxic shame we live with is directly and unconsciously connected to feelings themselves. In your case, as with many SA survivors, just having sexual desire triggers an "internalized shame spiral" so that it appears to the conscious mind that sex in general is disgusting, painful, something to be afraid of. What's really going on is an automatic shameful response to your own natural sexual arousal, which gets disowned and externalized, therefore not felt or experienced. This all happens in a split second so is never brought to your awareness. Getting in touch with both the true nature of the shame you live with and your sexual feelings will go a long way in healing the damage.

You are already way ahead in the game by realizing that in order to change something you must first accept its existence within yourself. That can be very hard to do, easier said than done, but you seem to be there so that is good news, even though its uncomfortable. I'm talking about your sadistic fantasies here. That also may be the way you dealt with the shame you feel about being abused sexually, and emotionally abandoned by your parents. The shame becomes intolerable to your internal survival so it gets projected onto your sex partner. It takes an enormous amount of strength to have those fantasies going on in your head while you are having sex and not act them out. So believe the fact that you are up to the challenges and opportunities for growth that lie ahead. You also mentioned being amused by the ways in which you act like your father. If you can laugh at yourself and your various pathologies, you will ultimately be fine. Living consciously with a sense of humor is a good recipe for mental health. \:\)

I can totally relate to what you said about being the emotional punching bag for your whole family. Toxic shame has been a major driving force in my life, destroying my self-esteem, causing me to loathe myself. Still cannot express myself fully or honestly with most of my family. I have buried and disconnected from any artistic talents, this in a family of artists. Strangely, I am gifted with writing abilities, but only write about factual things, never my internal thoughts or feelings. That would lead to exposure of my inner world which is still an unfathomable vulnerability.

Measure your dick with a tape measure, not a ruler, when you are standing up, along the top from the base to the tip of the head. Make sure you have a raging hard on, since every millimeter counts! \:D

All my best,
Roy


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#5122 - 09/13/02 06:51 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
Lloydy--

I think my parents' condemnation of sex, combined with my previous abuse experience, make the whole subject unthinkably and unfeelably shameful to me.

What's more, the emotional nothingness, or worse, unconscious hate, resentment, and anger that was/is what my parents, sister, and I feel towards each other under a guise of normality make healthy emotional connections impossible for me. So, not feeling love, and not having felt loved, it didn't seem strange to me that sex unconsciously seemed like a gross, emotionless, exciting, impersonal physical act.

Now, years later, I'm trying to figure out what feelings are appropriate to sex, what sexual arousal really feels like, what love is, something like what I would be if I were healthy. Words, words, words. But the problem is much bigger than sex and requires much more courage to face: I don't love anything, nobody that I know really loves me, this never happened. Me and all my family, relationships and friendships have been emotionally unhealthy people who don't feel love, who are leaning emotionally, desperately and resentfully on others out of a repressed and denied need to be loved. It is only now that I can admit that I want to be loved and that everything that excites me to do are things that I believe will impress people (including having sexual experiences). And that's as far as I've got on the emotional thing: looking for other people who are working on their emotions, too. Really doing everything out of a repressed need to be loved means that I don't do things because I want them, because I desire them. I think the path to healthy self-esteem and healthy desires lies through this "I need or needed to be love(d)" thicket. But I can't see ahead.

I also have removed all sex from my life over the past year, other than in therapy, and when my desires--in inevitable but humiliating moments of weakness--make me throw myself on the sword. I had to move out of NYC into the countryside because I couldn't take the pain and swirling of all the sexual feelings I would have just walking down the street and looking at the people around me there. Yeah, I want different fantasies and different feelings. I want to fantasize arousedly about making love with a beautiful woman. Not about beating, raping, humiliating, emotionally torturing, torturing, hurting somebody. All of this is horrifying to my extremely moral conscious mind and I WANT HEALTHY SEXUAL DESIRES!

Lloydy, you're not responding to my book recommendation Private Thoughts....

ARW--

My mother recently got a new boyfriend and they have been having sex. This has been very disgusting to me, even though I like her new boyfriend better as a person than my father (mixed feelings there). And my mother's way of telling me about it was immature, bragging. I was embarassed.

I think the way of removing the screwed up parents chip is through years long acceptance in a self-aware way, that every single feeling, thought, act is determined/influenced by my parents. Not in a general way, but on a one-by-one basis. I look at my grandmother and I think, "What the hell are you doing?" That's what my father used to yell at me. I say, "What's going on, Grandma?" But I'm smiling, because I know that my father's fury is within me.

Roy --

I am overintellectual because my feelings are too painful and because I got pride from my parents for being smart and validation in other ways for it and that seemed to be goodness and happiness to me for a long time. I am trying to break out of my shame, I have ordered the book you recommended. Given that these postings are my first 48 hours of interacting with other people about this subject, I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now. I will go to a therapist when I feel ready. Right now I don't feel ready.

Why? I ask myself. I am very afraid to expose any part of myself. I have very few interactions with people (I read a lot). I have always been a loner. This is a difficult pattern/feeling for me to let go, because it is self-protective and the world seems so harmful, or uncontrollable and potentially harmful to me. Ever since I was born, I was resented and hated by my parents, the family misfit. I've always been alone emotionally and rejected. And I think I'm stuck in the unconscious emotional trap of viewing the whole world with the dread with which I felt my parent's hollering when I was a baby/infant/child/adolescent/adult. I don't know what it's like not to be this way. And these first steps breaking out with my innermost parts and shames are very hard. So, don't push me too hard about going to a therapist. Also, I've tried several therapists and had bad experiences. I've found reading Alice Miller, The Courage to Heal, Victims No Longer, etc, much more emotionally validating than talking with any of the people I know or have met. And now I've found this board, which I'm obviously thriving on. If you know an EXTREMELY sensitive therapist in the northeastern US, I'm taking suggestions.

You seem similar to me in that you are articulate but reserved--your writing is excellent. You also analyse and advise more than you share your own experiences. Sometimes reading your posts, I feel both heartened and admonished. The hurt child who wants to be loved inside of me feels a little bit of rejection, too. If you are like me in this respect, you will feel a similar reaction to the second sentence in this paragraph. I am a loving, intelligent person inside a hurt, lonely core, inside an intellectual, contemptuous, angry shell. Are you like this?

Thanks for the dick-measuring guidelines. I'm embarassed about being embarassed about my dick size. But I am insecure about it. The toxic shame that binds me.

Thanks all. Thank goodness these pages have no bottom!

Ryan


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#5123 - 09/13/02 08:32 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Ryan
I'll check out the Wendy Maltz book, they have a good selection at the place I help out at, or I'll get it through Amazon. I'll take help from anywhere, thanks.

Roy's raised some good stuff there, especially about therapy, and the tendancy for us to over intelectualize our situation.
But I believe that if we are in a situation where we are intelectualizing it we are ready to respond to therapy. The thing I say to everyone is do your homework and find one that knows SA and all it's quirks. I was lucky in that respect and I found myself in a situation where I could relate anything to him and he led me to my own answers. And I agree with Roy, you're thinking hard about it so you're probably ready.
Trying to do it yourself just leads to going around in circles, the answers we give ourselves are just slight variations of the answers that didn't work before. We need leading away from our circular thought, and a good therapist will do that.

The family thig has made me think about the relationship I have with my in-laws, and how much better that is that that I have with my own parents.
My late mother in law was a quiet woman of remarkable strength and understanding despite her total lack of conventiional education. Shejust had wisdom. And although I'm not religious I often walk through the graveyard and stop for a chat.
My father in law is an Irish navvy, and is the only person I have spoken to in his sort of position, and that's a poor 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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#5124 - 09/14/02 01:48 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Dear Ryan,

Doesn't that completely suck? To be struggling with a boatload of shame and embarrassment and then feel ashamed and embarrassed about feeling ashamed and embarrassed! Stop the insanity! If its any consolation, I think every guy in the world feels insecure about their dick size if its anything short of 8 inches which is, as we discussed above, 2.25 inches longer than, dare I say, "normal". Who wouldn't want an extra inch?

Instead of viewing what I said to you about getting into therapy as "pushing" try to see it as "encouragement". Of course you will go when you are ready, to do so prematurely would be ineffective. Especially since you have had some negative experiences with therapists. There sure are some clinkers out there. It is so important to find one with whom you have a good connection. A referral helps a lot, which is difficult if you are not open with a lot of people. Maybe someone here can make a recommendation. Some people do better in therapy than others and those with a high level of insight into their internal processes tend to be more successful with it. I think this is actually more important than intelligence, which also helps but can get in the way, too.

I appreciate the feedback you offered near the end of your last post. I am definitely more reserved in a setting like this than I am in real life, where I am decidedly animated and expresseive. I am strongly inclined to be open and straightforward, occasionally too much so. And I definitely analyze and advise more than I share feelings and vulnerabilities. An old and automatic defense mechanism. This is something I dislike about myself, something I am trying to change. I have had some very negative experiences in my life when I have asked for help or made myself vulnerable by sharing what is frightening and close to my heart. It seems like people have gotten scared and freaked out, running away, making me feel like a pariah, or offer benign platitudes making me think: "why did I open my big fat mouth?". That said, I will make a more concerted effort to share my feelings here. I have found more love and acceptance here in the last month or so than almost anywhere, ever. The only other place I feel this free is in my recovery program run by Kaiser, my health insurer. Everyone here has been really great. As with all sexual abuse/assault survivors, trust is a major big fucking deal, so it takes time. Thanks for the nudge. \:\)

I am curious about what I said that evoked a feeling within you of being rejected or admonished in some way. Neither of those was a conscious intention on my part. I may be answering my own question, in that yes I do find myself having a similar reaction to the second sentence, indicating the aching need for love and approval we all seem to have so pervasively. I am like you in many respects, the loving person inside the hurt person inside the angry person. A difference might be that I am just a little further down the path of discovery than you, as Lloydy is further down the path than I. I am learning to not take things so personally, that I am not responsible for other people's feelings, that I always have choices, and to feel my feelings. The beautiful part of this recovery process is how we all reach out to one another, like a chain of men being pulled along by the guy in front and pulling along the next guy in line. Sometimes we change places and there is no one upsmanship. Just a bunch of guys with different pieces of the puzzle helping each other out.

As for sharing, for starters I am feeling pretty lonely tonight if I stop and think about it. I had a productive day painting at my mom's house, but here I am on a Friday night, 40 years old, single, unemployed, and alone. I'm glad you guys are out there.

Roy


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#5125 - 09/14/02 04:32 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
Roy,

Yes, it does suck. These emotional downward knots are frustrating to me because they make therapy take even longer than just recognizing, accepting and feeling your feelings, and then letting them let go of you. Instead, you first have to do that for the feelings, such as shame, guilt, disgust that are making the other feelings unacceptable to you. Then, do the same thing all over again for the underlying feelings. For example, I was and am terrified of my father. The thought of him makes me anxious, even though he's been dead for 5 years. My Mom's new boyfriend makes me anxious because he evokes this unconscious fear of my father. But the problem is further complicated by the fact that I am ashamed of being afraid of him, and that I was ever afraid of him, even as an infant or small child. I feel like a sissy, wuss, pussy, girl, wimp, faggot (sexism and homophobia not intended here) for being afraid and so was only able to admit it recently and am still struggling to accept and feel it. So when I see my Mom's boyfriend, it's hard for me to even know what I'm feeling on a moment-to-moment basis. Discomfort, anxiety, unpredictable and uncontrollable reactions. I think that these feelings that block the underlying feelings are what Freud called resistance, the cause of repression. It seems that they are all negative self-referential feelings, such as those I listed above.

You are right about pushing vs encouragement. I am like what Alice Miller describes in For Your Own Good: recommendations, friendly help, anything said to me about me or told to me to do I resist and resent and get angry. This is probably because of the way my parents ordered me around, criticized, punished and ridiculed me for 20 years. This is also why I like this forum so much, because I share with other people about myself and they share with me about themselves and I can express myself and I learn from watching them without hating them. I understand that you're not being pushy, but let's not talk about me going to a therapist anymore unless I bring it up, because I am so sensitive to this. Although, anybody with any referrals in NY/Boston areas, I'll take the contact info.

Roy, you rock! You didn't get mad at me about that second sentence. I was dreading that you would. My need to be loved causes me to constantly dread anger. I know the defense mechanism you are talking about: analyse, advise, help others rather than feeling the patheticness of my own plight and rather than asking for help for myself. I, too, am unable to ask for help. I have gotten to a first milestone on this: when my grandmother asks me what I want for dinner, I am beginning to be able to actually request meals that I like. That took a year. I have discovered this need for independence, this need to be able to do everything myself, in other people, and long lamented it in myself. I wish I could walk out the door right now and drive to a therapist's office and say, "Help me." I can't. Why? Like you, I've had some bad things happen when I've asked for help. My last girlfriend kicked me out when I started to fall into depression/face my feelings and the things that happened to me. I asked her if I could just stay for a few weeks to get something sorted out. But she really couldn't take it, for her own understandable emotional reasons, and she wanted me to leave immediately. Yes, I felt like an unwanted, rejected, hurt, freak. A friend that I went to for business advice manipulated me and tried to take everything he could from me, including my girlfriend and some friends. But I think the problem is much deeper than that. I think I angrily resolved in some deep, unconscious way to need nothing from my parents (which practically meant as little as possible, because I was dependent on them for everything I got) at a very young age. Similar to not crying. I think that my parents hurt me enough and I just protected myself against it by feeling nothing and proudly, scaredly needing nothing. Why did they hurt me? I think my needs and desires were too much for them. They probably punished me for crying when I was an infant. They were themselves money-anxious and emotionally wounded so lacking energy, so buying me things and doing things with or for me were probably threatening to them, so they punished me when I asked. It was almost a family joke that if I asked for something I certainly wasn't going to get that.

I think the things you said about me were right, I'll have to study them more thoroughly. The split-second shame that kills my feeling of sexual arousal without my ever being aware of it, is dead on, and I have been looking for validation of that for a long time. I really thing the problem is my understandable over-sensitivity to people talking about me, making suggestions to me, or trying to help me. I'm liking the sharing thing right now.

Although I am ashamed to talk so much about my own need to feel loved, I think that I am beginning to get a glimpse of what you are talking about with not taking things so personally, not being responsible for other people's feelings, feeling my own feelings. The always having choices thing is new and I'll have to give that some thought. I don't think I have that many choices, which is why I refrain from commitments. But I think it's because I unconsciously need to be loved and understood and I unconsciously dread the rejection of any disagreement or anger that makes interactions so difficult for me and that causes me to lose me temper so often. When I'm aware of this need to be loved and am able to consciously feel the dread of being hurt, and also to consciously feel the hurt, then it's all not so dreadful and I don't get as angry, ie, I don't take things so personally. This is all new in the past few days, so I obviously wasn't doing it with some of these posts. This also enables me to feel my feelings more, because I'm not unconsciously repressing the ones that I know will be disapproved of because of my unconscious need for love.

Anyway, I feel like a girl for all this needing-to-be-loved stuff!

I feel pathetic, sad, and lonely being unemployed and alone. Especially on Friday and Saturday nights when I jealously imagine everybody else going out with all their friends while I stay home.

Ryan


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#5126 - 09/16/02 12:03 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Ryan:

Welcome to the board. I'm fairly new here but have already found it a good place to be, as I'm sure you are too.

ARW:

My problem was also with my mother being way too open with me sexually: in about any sense of the word "open" you can imagine. \:\(

All:

My sexual fantasies have involved rape, tho not so more recently. I have sexual addictiveness or obsessive compulsive behavior, fantasy & masturbation, always with attractive women.

Yet I have trouble having an orgasm when making love with my wonderful wife. Talk about sexual dysfunction.

Getting to know more of the truth, getting to know myself, is helping me to learn to give & receive true love & intimacy, especially with my wife. I believe the rest will come (ok call it a pun if you want to!) with time.

My therapy, especially confronting my mother therapeutically, is really helping. Long way to go, but its progress not perfection.

Peace

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#5127 - 09/16/02 04:04 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Quote:
If you know an EXTREMELY sensitive therapist in the northeastern US, I'm taking suggestions.
Quote:
Although, anybody with any referrals in NY/Boston areas, I'll take the contact info.
BOSTON

Mike Lew (yes, that Mike Lew)
Agency/Practice Name = The Next Step Counseling & Training
Address = P.O. Box 1146
City = Jamaica Plain
State = MA
Zip = 02130
Country = United States
email = nextstep@jamaicaplain.com
Web Site Address = http://www.abbington.com/smallwonder/
Business Phone = 617-277-7172
Fax Number = 617-525-9176
Degree = M.Ed.
School = Cambridge College
Year Graduated = 1982
Major = Counseling Psychology
Licensed in State = State
Type of License = Not required in Mass.
Certified in State = State
Licensed in Country = United States
Professional Membership = American Counseling Association
Member Since = 1981
Professional Membership = AGLBIC
Member Since = 1998
Professional Experience = c.25
Survivor Experience = c.20

Bio = I am a therapist/counselor in private practice at The Next Step Counselling & Training in Brookline, MA. My particluar focus is working with male survivors in recovery from sexual chilad abuse and other boyhood trauma, and those who care about them. I do individual, couple and group counseling, clinical supervision, trainings for professionals, and recovery workshops for male survivors and for male and female survivors together. I am the author of Victims No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and other Sexual Child Abuse (1990, New York:HarperCollins), and Leaping upon the Mountains (1999 Berkeley, CA:North Atlantic Books and Boston:Small Wonder Books).

Notes = The Next Step currently offers general male survivor groups and a group for male survivors with issues of sexual addictions or compulsivity. We are about to start a group for male and female partners of male and female survivors. For further information about upcoming events, email us or visit our web site at http://www.abbington.com/smallwonder/index.html

I offer therapy groups for male survivors only. = Yes
I offer a sliding scale fee for survivors in need. = Yes

*** I attended Mike's "Leaping Upon the Mountain Retreat in July, 2000. His sensitivity and compassion are a Beacon in the Darkness.
--------------------------------------------------

David Lisak
David Lisak, PhD is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston and director of the Men's Sexual Trauma Research Project. He conducts and supervises research on the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence, in particular, the long term effects of childhood abuse in adult men. His research has been published in journals in psychology, trauma and violence, he is the editor of the journal, Psychology of Men and Masculinity, and he maintains a private practice specializing in the treatment of traumatized men.

*** David was a facilitator this weekend at the NOMSV retreat. I only had the opportunity to speak to him for about a half hour. Previously, I spoke to him on the phone about the retreat for the same amount of time. The phone conversation was easy and comfortable.

This man emanates warmth and peace and power. Just seeing him there (before I knew it was him) was reassuring and calming. David made me feel that if anything bad happened, he could and would take care of it.
--------------------------------------------------

Mikele Rauch
Mikele Rauch, MA is a licensed marriage family therapist in Boston. Over the last eighteen years, she has run groups specifically with male survivors of sexual abuse and the AIDS community in California and in Boston. Currently she works with the homeless community in Cambridge and is in private practice. She has recently finished a book of fiction about shame and restoration. When she is not writing, Mikele plays her fiddle, a hammer dulcimer, and a small talking drum.

*** Mikele was another of the 11 facilitators at this weekends retreat. She is open and caring. It was a pleasure to talk to her and be in her presence. By the way, her name is prounced Me-Kel.

There are more listed in the Boston Area. Go here. http://nomsv.org/resource/resource%20directory.htm
--------------------------------------------------

ALBANY, NEW YORK
John Crowe
John F. Crowe, MS, CRC, BCSA
NOMSV Member = Yes
Agency/Practice Name = John F. Crowe, MS, CRC, BCSA
Address = 560 Delaware Avenue
City = Albany
State = NY
Zip = 12209
Country = United States
email = jcrowe@nycap.rr.com
Business Phone = 518.439.0160
Pager Number = 518.424.2724
Degree = MS
School = State University of NY at Albany
Year Graduated = 1979
Major = Rehabilitation Counseling
Licensed in Country = United States
Type of License = Certified Rehabilitation Counselor
License Expires = September 2005
Professional Membership = NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Member Since = 1999
Professional Membership = NALGAP
Member Since = 1997
Professional Experience = 21
Survivor Experience = 13

Bio = John F. Crowe is a therapist in private practice who has more than 21 years of experience working in the fields of addiction, grief counseling, assisting people living with chronic illness and in assisting trauma survivors in their journey of recovery. He specializes in providing services to male survivors of sexual assault, rape and incest. John is a popular workshop facilitator and was invited to present on male survivor issues at the statewide conference for the New York State Office of Mental Health in 2000.

Notes = Board Certified in treating sexual abuse by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.

I offer therapy groups for male survivors only. = Yes
I offer a sliding scale fee for survivors in need. = Yes
Accept Terms = Yes

John F. Crowe, MS, CRC, BCSA is a certified rehabilitation counselor with more than 22 years of experience providing therapeutic services to individuals who have experienced trauma in their lives. He began his career working with people living with physical challenges and with people with histories of psychiatric hospitalization. John has worked in educational and employment settings where the focus was on mainstreaming adolescents and adults into the competitive workforce. It was when he became a certified alcoholism counselor and began working in the addictions field that John shifted the focus of his work to people who have experienced trauma. His particular specialization is working with male survivors of trauma including: sexual abuse, incest, rape, sexual assault, and being raised in physically/emotionally abusive environments. John is presently in private clinical practice in Albany, New York and was recently invited to present on male survivor issues at the annual conference of the New York State Office of Mental Health.

***Another of the facilitators this weekend. A gentle, powerful man. I would hire him in a minute if he were local for me.

All of the facilitators this weekend were incredible. All. Incredible. They came from all over this country, unpaid, and gave their time, their energy, their wisdom, their strength, and their tears to 34 wounded souls who left in a better state than when they arrived.

And you have three of them within the area you specified, as well as Mike Lew.
--------------------------------------------------

New York City

Richard Gartner

NOMSV Member = Yes
Name = Richard B. Gartner
Address = 27 West 72nd Street #708
City = New York
State = NY
Zip = 10023-3498
Country = United States
email = rgartner@psychoanalysis.net
Business Phone = 212 580 3187
Fax Number = 718 499 3231
Degree = PhD
School = Columbia University
Year Graduated = 1972
Major = Clinical Psychology
Degree = BA
School = Haverford College
Year Graduated = 1967
Major = Psychology
Licensed in State = NY
Type of License = Psychologist
License Expires = 6/30/03
Certified in State = State
Licensed in Country = United States
Professional Membership = American Psychological Association
Member Since = 1974
Professional Membership = National Register of Health Providers in Psychology
Member Since = 1975
Professional Experience = 32
Survivor Experience = 22+

Bio = Director, Sexual Abuse Program and Center for the Study of Psychological Trauma, William Alanson White Institute, New York City; Member of NOMSV Board of Directors since 1997; Program Chair, NOMSV 2001 Conferennce in New York City

Notes = Author, Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men (Guilford, 1999); Editor, Memories of Sexual Betrayal: Truth, Fantasy, Repression, and Dissociation (Aronson, 1997); Author, seven articles about male sexual victimization in juried professional journals since 1996

I offer therapy groups for male survivors only. = Yes
I offer a sliding scale fee for survivors in need. = Yes

*** I have no personal knowledge, but he is well know and respected in this field. I have heard, from someone who knows him, of his passion and dedication to Male Survivors. Richard is the current President of NOMSV.
--------------------------------------------------

If New Jersey is an option (Lambertville - directly across the state line from New Hope, PA), then I can highly recommend my therapist, Ken Singer. His information can be found at the dirctory link I provided above. He is a past President of NOMSV and a current Board member. He wrote the following, which you should read. http://nomsv.org/resource/consumer.html

May I offer you some advice?

Donald

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#5128 - 09/16/02 11:16 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
Don, thanks very much for the therapist listings. I appreciate so much knowing that you've had firsthand contact with these people, because that removes a lot of the hurdles in my mind. I've actually already contacted Mike Lew and he said he has a place available, but he is in Australia for September giving a retreat and other stuff there. I must say, gratefully, that this posting is a tremendous help to me. It's what I wanted, and what some others have given me in private messages, just the contact information and something to make me trust that I won't be laughed at when I get to the therapist's office.

Well, Don, I'm not good at taking advice, as I've posted. The most effective thing to do with me is to entice me. Instead of saying, "You should go to a therapist," say, sharing from your own experience, "I was initially very reluctant, if not hostile, to the idea of going to a therapist. I was unconsciously afraid of being treated by the therapist in the same way that my father had treated me, with ridicule and contempt, and I knew that I couldn't handle it. This problem was exacerbated by my first few experiences with therapits, both formal and informal, in which I had to defend myself from their bad ideas/theories and their well-meaning but ignorant manipulation. Eventually, I got myself to go and the benefits were the following..." This is something I've never found a good explanation of. In Mike Lew's book he talks about all the misperceptions of individual therapy that prevent people from goin, but he doesn't discuss at length and persuasively the benefits of talking to a therapist. And there are lots of articles on picking a therapist and on therapeutic schools of thought.

I think what I need is to accept my own hostility to the notion of anybody ever again looking at me and seeing inside of me. This is part of what I hated so much about being a kid, is that my parents seemed to be able to see inside my soul to determine whether I was being bad or not. They eyes and their vision were unescapable. And they hurt me a lot by punishing me. Ironically, my parents are stupid and obtuse, as I can now see as an adult, and never had any understanding at all, or only a very minimal understanding of what was going on inside of me, but when I was a baby, I assumed they knew what they were doing, that they could see me clearly, that they were right, I was wrong, and that's why I needed to be and justly got, punished. Now, as an adult, I'm hostile to everybody who tries to get near me or understand me (see what I said to poor Roy up above). I hate this about myself, but I'm more bristly than a barbed-wire fence. Talk about transferrence. What should I do? Accept that I'll hate myself while I try to prove to myself that I'm better than the therapist and while I'm angry and sarcastic with them? That I'm smarter than the therapist, that I know more about therapy than he/she does, that I could do it all myself, that I will make a better therapist than them when I'm done with all this, that they can only see what I let them? You can see that with all this ugliness inside of me, of which I am ashamed to the point of flight from society, I am hesitant to show it others and am trying to fix it myself.

Another thing I need to accept is that even though I was only sexually abused once, and I got out of it before he penetrated me or I did anything to him, that this is enough. That I am not a weakling, sissy who just can't/couldn't take it. I'm embarassed to even admit that this is how little happened to me and that it caused me this many problems. I know that minimizing the effects and the rest of exactly what I'm doing is common. And I'm feeling it. The shame. I'm afraid nobody will take me seriously anymore. And I feel compelled that my father was physically and verbally abusive and my mother either neglectful or abusive herself, in order to justify the extent of my own problems to myself and to any other I might hypothetically wish to be understood by. Maybe there's just something wrong with me. Maybe my father was right, I'm a sissy, faggot, wimp, nerd, geek who just can't hack it.

Anyway, there's some shame for you. And I haven't even got the Healing the Shame book yet.

Ryan


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#5129 - 09/16/02 07:45 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
ryan, your lasrt para. really spoke to me. I went to shrinks for years and sneered knowingly to myself while divulging nothing. And, of course, getting nothing out of it. What a bunch of horseshit, I thought. And now I realize that attitude sprung from the shame of very judgemental paresnts and not feeling like what little SA I could recall was enough to justify "a problem".
Boy was i wrong. And had I cared enough about myself earlier I may have spared the total breakdown that eventually, and thankfully, drove me into constructive therapy.
What I'm sure you know is that you hesitate to go because your self-loathing inner critic doesn't want to be kicked out on his ass. He's still got you by allowing you to feel "superior" reading the books and doing it on your own. But you're not on your own. You are inhabited by a demon who is wily and manipulative and does not want you to get help, to love yourself, to humble yourself before another, to take control of your life and tell this demon to fuck off.
Now's a good time...
lol,
-Al

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

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#5130 - 09/17/02 02:39 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
Yeah, needing to feel superior, be independent, and despising and hating myself are really big emotional problems for me. I should say that again. And again. And again.

I have a massive superiority-inferiority complex. I simultaneously feel inferior to everybody, inadequate, and jealous, underneath the ground other people walk on; and superior, contemptuous, floating godlike in the sky above everybody else. Neither is true. I think maybe they represent my childhood image of me and my father, respectively. Or maybe the inferiority is how I felt in relation to my parents and the superiority is an emotional defense against the inferiority. Anyway, I'm an arrogant hurt little boy.

Ryan


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#5131 - 09/17/02 02:46 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
But back to one of the original serious problems for which I am working through the most shame: sexual problems, sexual dysfunction, I'm not a man, whatever you want to call it.

Having sexual problems certainly makes me feel like I'm not much of a man. It also makes me dread trying to get into another relationship, or even meet women. All I can see is the look in their eyes when I explain to them to I do or, hopefully, did, have sexual problems. I see them seeing me as less of a man, or worse pitying and despising me. This is, of course, how I see myself. But I am so ashamed of this. I am so ashamed of this. I am so ashamed of this. I cannot integrate into my conscious self-awareness as an acceptable aspect of myself. Sometimes, as a dodge, I try to think, well I have other attributes to offer--sensitivity, intelligence, whatever, and I suspect that my money-making/success drive has been intensified by the hope of having enough to offer to compensate for my otherwise inadeqaute manliness.

I think a big part of the problem is that the shame grips me so tightly that I can't even face the problem. As I'm working through this, I'm beginning to be able to imagine having sex again without anxiety. It is remote, but it occurred to me and I actually instantly had a slightly arousing image. Some small progress. The shame that binds.

Ryan


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#5132 - 09/28/02 08:42 AM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
This could be embarrassing if it wasn't so funny! \:o

In the "Dark Fantasies" thread I was saying I'd not seen this topic in this forum before, how glad I was this kind of thing had come up, that I needed to start dealing with it again.

Well, I (re)discovered this thread and saw I had posted here on September 15th! I didn't even remember doing it! Well, maybe I wasn't ready to deal with this stuff any further till now. Maybe I can blame it on fibrofog!

Ryan:

"Having sexual problems certainly makes me feel like I'm not much of a man."

That I can relate to. In fact, my own acting out is a counterproductive but very driven attempt at regaining (or gaining, or finding) my manhood after years of abuse by (mostly) women & by men. It's a misguided effort to "do it right," to correct my past screwed up "sex life."

"I think a big part of the problem is that the shame grips me so tightly that I can't even face the problem."

I'm 45, I've had sexual fantasies and compulsions since I was 10 or less, and I only started facing the problem last year.

But as I do I believe that, for me, the obsessive compulsive sexual fantasies (I have OCD) are a normal reaction--to abnormal (very) actions, sexual abuse. It was a way for me to escape & cope as I grew up.

But now, for me, I no longer consider these reactions healthy. After all, I'm not being abused anymore, tho I'm needing therapy to convince my "inner child" of this. Also, I'm now an adult (at least chronologically) and very happily married; and my compulsions and fantasies have been interfering with my life, marriage & work, sapping time & energy better spent for me.

However (refer if you want to my post in "Dark Fantasies") I found spending too much time trying to deal with this is just another unhealthy compulsion that can be counterproductive to what I'm trying to do.

Still, a forum like this is a good place, I think, to deal with this crap as it relates to those surviving sexual trauma, which is after all the root of my problem.

There are of course several good online forums for sexual compulsives/addicts etc, and I've used a few. There are also some good books, tho again I find the best are those dealing with this problem from a survivors perspective. Mike Lew ("Leaping Upon the Mountains") is good here.

Well, enuf (too much?) said. I could tell you that you are a man, but I know from experience that's something you've got to discover and feel and believe and live for yourself. But I do believe you have it in you!

Take care Ryan, and all

Wuame

PS And clearly you are making progress.

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#5133 - 09/29/02 01:15 PM Re: the hardest things: sadistic fantasies/arousal, sexual dysfunction
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Hey Ryan if you ever want to talk send me a private message, or email me, mickeyjk@teacher.com

you are not alone

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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