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Author Topic: Sex and self-esteem problems
Coffee_and_Chocolate
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I'm not sure if this should be posted in the Relationships forum or here... I tried explaining this in another thread, but my words and brain weren't really in sync so I took a while and just let my thoughts flow. So this post was pre-prepared? (There was also a lot of curse words in here...) (I also posted it somewhere else, but I didn't get any help there nor was it the best place to post this). It's mostly just needing someone to talk to. (Not really sure how to articulate right now, sorry.) Here's the post then:
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So I go into these chatrooms to try to find a girl my age to cam to cam with, but I’m too afraid and just argghhh… For some reason, my want to have sex or do something sexual has escalated to the point where I’ve contemplated several times going out in the middle of the night in something skimpy and having someone picking me up—but I’m not that ******* stupid, trust me. I can hardly have more than just a casual conversation in which I don’t know how the normal flow of a conversation goes with these people and I can’t go out in public. I also have anxiety to touch and new face to face social situations and I have this burning desire to have sex??? Why????

The thing is, is it’s not even in times of sexual arousal either…I just—urrgh. I’m also not even fifteen yet and…eh. I just don’t understand. I really don’t. When it’s not anxiety and panic attacks, it’s unrequieted loves and shit like this. ****. I don’t want to want to have sex, but I’m cutting it close to just trying to find ways to experience it. I’m pathetic. I don’t have any friends where I live and I haven’t even tried. Just not even concerned with personal relationships anymore except for the ones that I have—I just want someone to have sexcapades with. :/

(I guess this kind of ******* defies the bullshit stereotype of ‘all autistics are asexual’.)

—-

Thing is, is ever since I turned about twelve, I’ve been turned off more and more about the idea of relationships. There was this girl in my school that I had a huge crush on—we weren’t that great of friends so I never told her. But, when I could, I would give her tiny gifts, but cover it up by giving other friends gifts—I was always thinking of her first. I imagined that we would marry. I do that with all my crushes—imagined that we’d be with each other forever. I’m definitely a homo-romantic. I don’t think I would ever feel that love and romantic desire or want to be a chivalrous lover to boys—although I am certainly sexually attracted to them.

There were two other girls that I imagined loving and taking care of. I wanted to be with them, but I couldn’t trust them to accept me—especially since there were signs they displayed that they wouldn’t. We had a friendship, but it wasn’t strong enough. Another girl that I flirted with—another one of my friends who knew I liked girls—was uncomfortable with the fact that I did so and interpreted it to mean that I liked her. I didn’t even realize that I was making advances on her honestly until she outed me to a bunch of people about a month later and we had a talk about it… Then, I truly realized I couldn’t display my attraction—I couldn’t make a move.

At the beginning of that same year (seventh grade by the way), I became friends with some boys that I always hung out with afterwards. (I was also going through some gender identity and general identity issues as well as anxiety attacks which led to hallucinations and delusions…also more sensory issues and meltdowns than I’ve had in a while.) At the same time as having romantic and sexual attraction to this girl, I had a strong sexual attraction to this boy in the group of males I hung out with.

At the beginning of the year he made a virgin-shaming comment… I became really attracted to him. I had this urge to just grab him, make out with him and do whatever he asked me to sexually. I almost did grab him and kiss him. He was this boy a head shorter than me with a runny nose and he always had to suck up the drool running down his chin. He was gross and inappropriate. He would often harp about the girls he was attracted to—no fat girls, blah blah blah. I became one of the guys—set myself up to be a guy basically. (Most of my gender issues were due to my special interest—I became so obsessed with gender, gender identity and crossdressing that I tried to apply that to myself. I set myself up to be unattractive—I hated myself. Very rarely would I feel comfortable wearing something feminine on my body which was started to change morph… Often times, I thought I was gorgeous—like really gorgeous, but I always told myself I was ugly because I thought it was wrong for me to be self-confident.) Then, I would sometimes present myself as female—feminine to him and the other boys I hung out with. He would tell me my rack was nice and then the next day that my face was ugly. He would grope me in class and I was afraid to tell anyone. I didn’t move seats because I wanted to continue being friends with him.

He complained when he didn’t have a date to the dance. I said that we could just go stag. I told him that I was going and maybe I could be his date just once. I told him that he was my type. He told me it was weird to go with a friend. He paid our other friend to find him a girlfriend for at least five weeks…ugh. (Didn’t get one by the way.) I felt dejected. He rejected me. I almost wanted to dress up in one of my skirts and put some lip gloss on—a more form fitting top and see if he’d notice, like “Hey, look, I’m beautiful aren’t I? Like me, **** me, take me to the dance! Please!” But, I didn’t. And I still feel bad that I didn’t. I knew even today if he asked me to have sex with him, I probably would. I would be a nervous wreck, but I would. I often imagined us having sexual adventures in the sixth grade hall, in the bathrooms, when class was in session and the halls were deserted… I imagine us now in the high school he probably goes to now (if I ever visited Washington again) meeting and having sex in the janitor’s closet. He wanting me, me wanting him. I wanted and still want him and I hate that. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!

But, then there’s another person I want to be with. Always wanted—on and off for years. I would kick someone’s *** for her. If she need me, I’d be right there. And…I’m angry. I want to punch and kick everyone who makes her angry—who’s hurt her. She knows this; I’ve told her. I love her. She’s my best friend and soulmate. I hope we stay best friends forever. But at the same time, I’m jealous. I don’t get jealous easily. I keep my distance. I try to control what I say, but I said stupid things the other day when she needed help, when she was down. I feel like I didn’t help her at all—like I just got irrationally angry and probably made her angrier. I want to be better at giving advice so I can actually comfort her better. I hate being jealous. I hate being jealous of her friends, of her boyfriend. Why the **** did I leave the north? I left my best friends, the closest people in my family and went through a shit year. I’m out of my mind. I want to know how people are doing up there. I want to be able to hug her when she’s down or gets angry. I feel I need to be up there. I know that sounds selfish—part of me wanting to be up there with her is because of my own sanity. To see my best friend and make sure she’s ok. I imagined us being together too. She and I will often make jokes about it—and when she does, I see a false glimmer of hope. No, I hate being in love. I just want to be a really good, really useful and comforting friend—everything I’m supposed to be.

If I want to be a good lover and friend to someone someday, I can’t be too possessive and I can’t be too much of a pushover. I can’t be too emotionally invested in one person.

I did this with a friend in seventh grade. She was poor and we’d often go out about town together. I would pay for everything, do things for her, wrack my brain over her problems. I was worried about her; I felt guilty that I was luckier, that she was going through a rough time and that I couldn’t do more. Then, we moved again after seventh grade year. And guess what? All that emotional investment dissipated. I wasn’t near her—I didn’t care much for her anymore. That felt weird to just have the emotional ties sever like that. Like I never ******* cared in the first place. I wrack my mind over someone’s well-being and all of a sudden when I leave I don’t acknowledge their existence anymore? I just want my mind to stop ******* with me.

I’ll never be in a relationship. I’ll live alone, be a hermit, go to my job and come home to my small apartment every night someday. I’m afraid. I don’t want to create friendships or relationships because I’m afraid I’ll cause my anxiety to go up again, I’ll become to possessive, emotionally invested and ruin it. Or that one day I’ll figure out that I don’t actually love them. Or that they will stop loving me. That they’ll go when I least expect it. …Maybe I’ll destroy them. I don’t want to be responsible for breaking someone’s heart. I’ll never be a good enough woman to become a mother—never will have the capacity to have a child. Never ever will that happen.

I know that this is irrational for a 14-year-old girl to fear, but I just can’t help it. I thought everything was good lately. That I was feeling good. That my anxiety and doubts were gone. No, they aren’t. They aren’t gone.

I try to tell myself that I am number one. I’m number ******* one! I am. I am. I am. I am! But now I just feel like shit. I’m pacing and fiddling with things and I want to cry.

I don’t want to make anymore friends—I don’t want intimate relationships. It will take a long ******* while—probably into my twenties before I want something like that. Even just a friendship seems like a huge step right now outside of the ones I already have. I’m not ready. I’m just not.

I just want someone to hold me right now, kiss me and tell me that they love me a lot. Maybe screw me. How can I want to be an attentive lover, not be an attentive lover and want right now to be a selfish one? How can I want to be a lover right now at all? I want to be with someone for a night. **** relationships—I want sexy times and one night stands even if I know that won’t help me.

[ 10-16-2012, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: Coffee_and_Chocolate ]

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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HI Coffee and Chocolate,

Wow, it sounds like things are really rough right now.

There's a lot here. I have a few observations, but want to know if there is somewhere specific that you would like to start?

I hear your conflict between wanting relationships and fearing them, and I hear your conflict between not wanting to be touched and desiring sex.

I can't say for sure, of course, why you're struggling so much right now, but it struck me as I was reading this that moving away from everything you knew was really tough for you. It's tough for most people to be uprooted from familiar people and surroundings, especially young people, but it's especially tough, based on what I understand from other people I've spoken with, for autistic folks to adjust to change like that. I know it may seem unrelated to this restlessness you're feeling; often people experience anxiety from things in unrelated ways. Do you think this could be part of what's going on with you?

In terms of the sexual intensity, are you interacting with yourself sexually at all, with masturbation, fantasies, reading erotic material, etc?

So again, you've mentioned many things here: Those feelings of sexual desperation, your gender identity and expression and your self-esteem and self-confidence, being a good and supportive friend to your best friend, having crushes, and more. What on this list, or other topic from your post, would you like to tackle first?

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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Hi Again Coffee And Chocolate:

I also wanted to ask you whether you have a counsellor or doctor you can talk to about the anxiety you're experiencing.

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Robin

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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Well, the easiest question to answer I suppose is: No, I am not currently seeing a doctor for anxiety. My mum is getting me a counselor again. I've actually been doing better with my anxiety, but I've been having a few short anxiety attacks lately. It's been pretty well compared to my anxiety in seventh grade: that was accompanied with not being able to speak for certain periods of time, hallucinations and delusions. Right now, I'm certainly a lot more level-headed.

I do read erotic fanfiction, I do fantasize and I masturbate regularly (quite often actually I guess).

To some level, being autistic contributed to my anxiety I think. I don't know how many panic attacks I've had over little items being gone, things being switched--a lot worse due to extra anxiety piled on by the things I was trying to manage: taking care of a friend who really needed help and progressively slipping grades...

The first move back at the end of fifth grade wasn't as difficult for me because I had over sixth months to choose whether or not I wanted to stay with my mother or my father. My choice was made before the question was asked. The second move, down where I live now was a bit more difficult because the decision was made in a lot less time and it didn't sink in until school started.

I've been homeschooled now for a year and a half because of a panic attack in the first week of eighth grade, so I don't have any friends where I live. Sometimes there's a conflict for liking to be alone most all the time with just a phone correspondence between my best friend and I and a person I roleplay with, but I get anxious when I start wondering: what do I do when I have to go out and meet people? When I'm an adult and don't have a choice but to be at least a little sociable? (Sorry if this exposition is too long.)
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I guess one of the more concerning things to me right now is how I can have the conflict or really wanting to be with others intimately and flinching when someone just touches me on the shoulder. When my mum or one of my friends want/wanted to cuddle, I'd have to guide their hands away from me because of sensory issues and just overall being cagey.

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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HI Coffee and Chocolate,

It makes a lot of sense that the first move would have been easier; adjusting to something is a lot easier when we have a lot of time to prepare for it.

Do you know when you're going to be seeing that counsellor? I think it would be a good idea to talk to your Mom about making sure that you get a counsellor who is not only familiar with helping with anxiety, but also with working with autistic people.

I absolutely hear you on being worried about how to be sociable when you have to be. Being sociable is something that most people have to practice in some way, and again, it can be even more so for folks who are on the autism spectrum. It sounds like, as much as you likely flinch from the idea, it would be good for you to start going out and socializing, with the help of your mother and other people in your life, and the support of a good counsellor.

This is only a guess on my part, but I think that if you were able to have more contact with people, again in a way that feels safe for you, you might feel less of this conflict between the desire for intimacy and the reality of having difficulty with physical intimacy.

You know, while it may feel awkward to have to guide people's hands away when they want to hug or cuddle, that's actually really good that you do that and that they let you do it. All of us, even though of us who are less sensitive to touch than you are, like to be touched in certain ways and don't like to be touched in other ways. There is nothing wrong with articulating that to people and showing them what does and doesn't work for you.

IN terms of desiring intimacy while having difficulty with someone just touching your shoulder: Some things are going to work better in fantasy than in real life. But also, again, there are many different ways of touching and being touched. A light touch on the shoulder may make you feel really edgy while other forms of contact do not. When you have cuddled with people, how does the cuddling feel for you once you've guided people's hands away from you?

What impact do you find the sexual outlets you do have, reading erotic fanfiction, etc, have on those other desires for sex?

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Robin

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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I don't quite know yet when I will see a counselor. I've stepped out of my bubble recently by starting to roleplay with a new friend--we also watch anime and joke about bad films together. I haven't really spoken to them in about a week though. My mum and I have also been thinking about searching for small groups or even individual people in the same position as I am. The only reason I don't like the idea of the latter is: one on one time instantly equals more pressure, especially when it seems to be based off of: "we're in the same boat kind of and are expected to relate to each other and are expected to form some sort of relationship." Compared to: "We both seem interested in a friendship and there is no set obligation to form and tend to a bond if we don't want to."
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It's normally okay afterwards cuddling with someone. Sometimes my mom misunderstands why I have difficulty with contact whereas my best friend is much more accepting that certain things make me antsy. We're pretty open about when one of us does something that makes the other person uncomfortable.
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Well, reading erotic fanfiction is mostly just fun generally and I don't expect arousal from it. Masturbating helps with the sexual frustration sometimes and can even be relaxing afterwards. Sometimes it makes it stronger though? I guess it depends on my mood.

My mom told me my feeling of needing to go out and experience sex and nearly being driven to doing something stupid to do it was because my dad isn't around and I am too afraid of social interaction. My mum also told me my body was special and to save it for someone who would appreciate it, but I had blurted out that "my body isn't really worth anything and it doesn't matter."

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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HI Coffee and Chocolate,

That's really great that you've connected with someone over your shared interest in anime. Is this in-person or online?

I think it's really important for you to find some low-stakes social interaction. You said you're being home-schooled. A lot of home-schooling folks connect with each other for learning or social opportunities. Is your Mom in touch with other home-schooling parents where you live?

I'm also concerned that your anxiety isn't being managed. As you said above, there will come a time in your life when you will have to interact with people on a regular basis. Getting help with the anxiety now will help you manage that in the future. I'd really encourage you to talk to your Mom about when you'll be able to see a counsellor, and also talking with your doctor as well.

You know, the way we respond to sex really does have a lot to do with our moods, so I'm not surprised to hear you say that you have reactions ranging from feeling relaxed to wanting to find sexual adventure with others.

How do you feel about your Mom's ideas about why this is going on for you?

Do you want to talk some more about those not-good feelings about your body?

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Robin

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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We don't really have a connection with homeschooled folks. My mom is also kind of reluctant to deal with others right now because of everything going on with her--she's in medical school and searching for a job so our schedule is kind of packed. We have things on our list that we need to take care of, but they're slowly getting done because there is a lot going on and she's also under a lot of stress.

I have a few friends--one that I haven't spoken to in months (so I didn't mention her). She was originally a language exchange partner. My best friend is one I've known for years and that I've spent a lot of time with in person. We talk on the phone regularly and I visit her and her family on holidays. The other person I spoke of--we normally just roleplay,watch anime together and follow each other's blogs, but I don't know him in person.

Yeah...that's the reason why I was homeschooled in the first place--because my socialization meter was maxed out. I want to be a translator and interpreter one day and I know that I need to be in a position to feel comfortable around unfamiliar people to take on a job like that. That's why when I turned thirteen, my mum told me that whenever there was a technical problem with my computer, I had to call them. And that's reasonable: "You'll have to do this all the time as an adult," she said. But I can't even do that half the time. I get so nervous that I can't speak properly, and I can't understand their accents for the life of me.

Hm... My mum had the same issues and that's why she gives the advice and conclusions that she does. Except--her situation was a lot worse and she acted out on these things. My mum's a strong, insightful woman and I always talk to her about these things.
About my dad...eh. He hasn't been around a lot because he's in the military and now he's in a foreign country married to another woman. I don't have that great of a bond with him. Whenever I see him, he always has things to say about my weight, my body, my eating habits and other things that I do. We're slowly becoming on better terms because I actually brought up a discussion about my habits in my body and how I feel about them. So even when I see myself as perfectly okay, other people don't. My friend's family even likes to poke fun sometimes. They think it's in good humour, but I don't.

But, I'm actually happy with my body. I just want other people to like it too, I guess. Like I said before, I always thought when I had self-confidence, it was something to be guilty over. I've only recently accepted that self-confidence and feeling good about yourself is okay.

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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Yeah, self-confidence and feeling good about yourself is very okay. I think a lot of us are taught as children that we must never sound uppity or like we're better than someone else, and somehow the lines between feeling good about ourselves and putting other people down get blurred. (Secret: I used to be terribly confused by the idea that I could say I was good at something without it sounding arrogant, until someone finally told me that there was a difference between feeling positive about myself and feeling negatively about others.)

You mentioned feeling too nervous to call the tech people about your computer. What do you think could help you with that? I know that when I'm nervous about making a call, I will sometimes practice it in my head. Do you think that would work for you? Or maybe even to practice it with someone else.

It's really great to hear you say that you feel good about your body. Made me smile when I read that. You know, it really is okay to let your friend's family know that their poking fun at you doesn't feel fun *to* you.

You could just say something like "I don't feel very good about myself when you say...." or "I know you're just joking, but it doesn't make me feel very good."

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Robin

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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Yeah. Oh yeah, I agree. I can't remember how many times someone said that someone was being to cocky because they accepted a compliment. There was this one girl I really liked back in sixth grade and every time I would tell her she was beautiful, she would respond, "I know." Everyone else thought she was being arrogant and rude by making it known that she felt good about herself when someone complimented her.
The problem with me though was that I liked and accepted that people felt good about themselves. I often told the people that I liked that I thought they were pretty, but I felt it was wrong for *me* specifically to think good about myself--that somehow I didn't really deserve to think that way. And I recently accepted that I've done nothing wrong, I'm a good person and I deserve to feel good about myself.

I suppose I could practice parts of the conversation or what might go on in the conversation first. I've practiced for making a debate a lot of the time by repeating my points over and over in different ways to make sure my point would be clear. (Unfortunately, where I blog, the people get offended and misinterpret either way whether the counter argument is logical and reasonable or not.)

It's a little harder with her friend's family with a father that you can't argue with (lectures someone if they don't say hi to him first if he's there) and sisters that yell at my friend for very little things. She can barely tell someone how she feels without someone taking offense. Her family is ridiculous to her. But...it won't get resolved unless I try. It sad to say maybe they treat me with a bit of a different respect because I'm not their kid and I'm an outside judge.

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eh.

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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I decided to kind of come back and post the rest of my response since it's been bothering me again lately... Sorry, really long.

I don't remember how it came up exactly, but my mum and I started discussing me when it comes to socializing, dating and sex again. I've sort of calmed down and don't have the urge to go out and do something stupid right now, but my thoughts have still been kind of conflicting.

Like I said, I don't quite remember how the conversation started, but I think it began along the lines of my socialization and why my mum wouldn't let me join the local LGBT centre. It was too big and there wasn't a lot of supervision. Neither her or I wanted me to be in a huge place like that. At the same time, I secretly wanted to so I could explore with someone else. What bothered me kind of was her second reasoning: "The gay culture is very sexual and all of you together just...The age range is too large." I told her I wouldn't hang out with the older kids (the group was from 14 through 18 I think.) She told me that "you'll end up meeting another girl, liking her and she'll turn out to be eighteen and someone sort of predator." I don't think it helped when the other day I found statistics for domestic violence in lesbian relationships reported to be in between 17 to 45 percent and told her about it. I said I didn't necessarily know how the gay culture was sexual and she asked me about the time when I went to the local gay pride parade with one of my friends about a year and a half ago. She had a point there. I was just kind of confused and didn't know what to make of her earlier comment... She told me I needed to find a smaller group possibly. The thing about smaller groups is it's difficult to go inconspicuous if you want to...but I also see the point in that.

Then, it lead up to me waiting. She said, "Sixteen, if you want to explore that's fine. But trust me, you will regret it right now." She told me I should also wait until I'm in a relationship. I understand that. I see her point because she regretted her first time. She said it was horrible and the boy she thought she loved and she thought loved her threw her away afterwards. This kind of validated my feelings of *why* I'm reluctant to wait until I'm in a relationship to do anything with someone. My friend said the same thing: "I want to wait until marriage, because I don't want to be discarded afterwards." I just...don't want my first time to have any lovey-dovey feelings and then those dissipate later. I don't want sex to have some sort of expectation placed on it--what it's supposed to be. I'm afraid if I do place an expectation on sex, then it will turn to shit. So, I don't expect it to be good, to be bad, to be mediocre, or even to be special. But that conflicts with the times I don't want to have sex for any sort of physical pleasure, but to be validated or something. My mum gave the advice of just exploring with myself so I know what I like. The problem is, I've tried a lot of things with myself. Only two things really do anything. My hands don't help, only toys. I don't like vibrators or outer stimulation. But, one time, when someone tried to grope me in class, that seemed to turn me on a lot (also came with a bit of touch anxiety, which is why I had such a knee-jerk reaction about it).

I just don't understand why I want to go out and experiment, why I'm so restless about it. It seems almost ridiculous in my head. When I told my mom that I don't value my body in a way where one has to prove themselves--to be in a relationship with me--to have sex with me, she came out with, "If you were raped by someone, would you just say 'oh! my body doesn't matter, it's fine?" I told her that wasn't what I meant (although, I do have my lows where I do actually think something *close* to these lines.) (I think this was coming from a more personal place: she'd been promiscuous as a kid, an alcoholic and if I recall: was actually sexually assaulted. She'd also been in a few abusive relationships.) And it wasn't what I meant. I (most of the time) value my body in a way where I would want to keep it safe and exercise my own decision-making on who I want to have mutual, consensual relations with without having to have a solid and serious romantic relationship first. That's what I meant. My mum is right about one thing though: I might change my mind after that first time happens.

My words were also directed more toward another comment the other day--where she told me that in between my place was the highest point. I knew she was going to say that there was no going back. And I agreed with her momentarily on the thought that it was the highest point. But it's not--at least not to me. The only time I'd regard sex as the highest point is if it were unprotected--as in if I were in a committed relationship and the safety measures could be stripped. With a man (at least a virile one) it would the highest point because that would mean that we were ready to have children (which I don't think I will ever physically bear nor do I ever think I'll be with a man). So, to sum that up, in my mind, sex isn't just a general thing. I value sex (with certain boundaries in place) below sharing assets with someone--below being in a romantic relationship. I should've explained that. I'm not quite sure why I'm even dumping all this info out here anyway. I guess I'm just bothered by all of this. I'm also trying to create clarity so there's no confusion in what we talked about.

And the thing about relationships? I don't think I would ever have them anyway--especially not in high school. I want them, but that conflicts with my want/need to having an adequate amount of time in the day to engage in more personal hobbies. I never feel there's enough time in the day. I also have this cynical thought that I'll never be able to be in a relationship--that I won't be able to handle it. Not even another physical friendship. I'm afraid if I get into a friendship or relationship, I'll suddenly figure out that hey, I don't love them that much and then end up screwing them over. I think that'd be just as painful as the latter, being them screwing me over somehow. When I get close to someone, a lot of the times the relationships are damaged and one-sided. I always stick by them, give things to them even when I don't want to or when I'm emotionally drained. And when I really don't want them around, I tend to lie. I also hate texting or phone conversations, the exception being my best friend. I don't think I'll be able to have kids either, not even adopt like I planned to do when I'm older. When I was little, I thought about being a mum, but now I doubt whether or not I'll be able to handle it. I doubt my capacity to give a child a good life. I'm afraid I won't be able to answer their question on socialization, sex, their emotions etc. I'm fourteen, but my mind just keeps running on these thoughts. So now I have this idea that I'll be a person who lives alone in one of those apartments where all the residents are creepy, and I'll be a teacher. I want to be the best English teacher. I want to teach in the Czech Republic.

I almost want to tie my fallopian tubes as soon as become an adult so children are for sure not able to be in my future--at least not from my own body. I also have this fear of passing on my own genes. The only thought I have is "sorry, but my line will die. Any sign of me will be gone. Have a good day." I just don't want to become emotionally unstable or end up harming a kid. I also don't want the child to be subjected to anyone who may potential harm them. I've witness one of my babysitters beat the shit out of her own kid when I was little. Then she sat him next to me without allowing him to put his clothes back on. The same woman who locked me in a room and threatened me for accidentally hitting her son with a baseball when we were playing, cheated on her husband with my dad while my mum was away while spewing lies about her--and she was mum's best friend at the time. Screw that, I know I'd never want to hurt any future kids I'd raise--or anyone for that matter. But I know there's a probability that I would. I just feel my level of fear and mindset for this is stupid for the point I am in my life.

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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HI Coffee And Chocolate,

I saw your post, and I'm sorry it took me so long to come back and respond.

There's a lot here, and if there's anything specific you'd like to talk through more, we can definitely do that.

A couple of things that I'd like to address:

In terms of the LGBT Center being too big and not supervised well enough, do you think you could see if they have any special subgroups, that might be more okay for your Mom? Do they have any special interest clubs, say, for people interested in books, movies, or something else like that? If you don't know, you could call them and ask. I do think it's very important for you to have some socialization, and you do seem interested in being with LGBT youth.


I also want to address what your mom said about the gay culture: The gay culture isn't inherently sexual. I can see why your Mom would come to that conclusion, since there is a subset of gay culture that is overtly sexual. I'm not sure what you saw at the Pride parade that made you agree with your Mom that there's a lot of sexuality going on, but I can assure you that for all the people being sexual at the parade, there were people there just eager to enjoy themselves. I've been to a few parades myself, and a lot of people go with their families.

You know, it's like any group. There's always going to be a part of that group that is more visible, and people outside of the group are going to form their ideas about the group based on those more visible people. More often than not, the ideas they develop aren't going to be terribly accurate or complete. Does this make sense? Think, for example, of what people assume about teenagers, or about autistic people. Probably not terribly accurate and all-encompassing, right?

It sounds like you and your Mom have some different ideas about what sex means, and the significance it holds in both of your lives. This is okay. Neither of you is "wrong". It's also okay for you to establish your own independent beliefs about sex and sexuality, and they're not invalid because of your age. They are likely to change over time, because they do for nearly everyone to some extent or other, no matter how old anyone is.

Also, when I said above that it's okay to tell your friend's father that you don't like the way he refers to your body, I wasn't actually saying you should argue with him. I was more thinking that it's okay for you to say something, so that you've registered a complaint, as it were, about the comments. It might not feel like it's worth it to argue, and it's not always nice to argue with people whose house you're staying in anyway. [Smile] And, of course, you could opt not to say anything at all. Just wanted to let you know that you could. [Smile]

Did you and your Mom come up with other options for you to have more chances to socialize?

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Robin

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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Oh, no,I didn't mean arguing with him (wrong wording, sorry),I wouldn't ever argue with him...He's just not the guy who likes back talk at all? He's kind of intimidating and I've never stood up to him once I'd gained a sense of humility (something I most definitely didn't have as a little kid.)

I did find one group smaller in the area, but it's for kids between 16 and 18 and because of our schedule, I wouldn't be able to get there. I'm thinking I should just search for a general club.

Now my mum's got me socializing with the neighbors though. I tend to do well with adults more if they've been around enough. Yesterday I went to the neighbor across from us to play with the cats. The neighbors down below have a lot of the same interests (They are in their early twenties) as I do and the supposedly really want me to hang out with them? My mum's been trying to set up times for either piano lessons down their or just a general meetup. I'm just so agitated, so I told her no, that this was something I needed to do and plan myself. I want a relationship that I can properly initiate, even if it starts out a bit awkward. She sees it as a bigger deal/is much more excited about this than me and it's all sorts of distressing. And I tried to explain to her that no matter how many times she explains that they like me and wonder when I'm coming down, it won't make me go down their sooner. Actually, it makes me feel less willing. Feeling obligated to form a friendship with someone on the basis that they enjoy having me around is not really I want or need. The sooner I feel obligated, the harder it will be to cut off contact or be honest about needing alone time. In fact, I wish I didn't feel obligation to my friends at all--walking on eggshells to appease them in some way that makes it feel completely onesided.
My best friend--I actually WANT to be friends with her, I LOVE being friends with her, I can be HONEST with her and she won't drive me insane. I'm willing to help her, to lend her a shoulder and she's willing to do that for me. It's my healthiest friendship and one of my only consistent friendships. She taught me what a best friend was, what a healthy friendship was because I failed my first "best friend". Problem is, is right now, I'm starting to get jealous and I never get jealous. She's dating someone and I really like her. I've been attracted to her for four years. And I can't physically be there with her. It was my choice to move and I feel like I abandoned her sometimes. But at the same time, I'm scared to be back their in that town, visiting old things. She's much more social than me and she needs lots of social activity. I don't want to be stuck in the middle of that at all. Especially since, yeah, I'm jealous of all of her friends. Her other friends can get physically closer to her. I try and she flinches or gets a bit hesitant. I bring up the suggestion of cuddling (which she does with her other friends) and she get's nervous about it. The only person I like giving contact to physically and they won't reciprocate. That's frustrating. And I don't understand why she's so weird about it? Maybe because she knows I like her, that I'm gay. I told her after all. Maybe because our relationship sometimes pushes the bounds of what could be considered platonic. It leaves me just feeling a bit bitter afterwards knowing that she's joking when she flirts with me and I'm being completely serious.

Then, there are the downstairs neighbors again...I actually went down there to watch their dog (he's so cute). I kind of feel awkward in someone's home, because I have this kind of thing in other people's homes that's like "don't move anything, touch anything, break anything. You want these people to trust you with their home and that you won't steal anything." Although, I'd never steal, it still scares me that I will. I am pretty clumsy too. But, once one of the owners came back (I was pretty tired by this time), I had my stuff ready. I talked to them for a few minutes, and he seemed alright with talking. When I said I had to go (I think my goodbye was really awkward, just the wording) because I was tired, he told me later, but I couldn't read his expression at all. I gather he might've been looking at something else, but I wasn't sure. And that made me panic, not knowing exactly where we stood when I gave my goodbyes. I felt even worse because I unintentionally mimic voices and I'm from California and he has a strong southern accent. I feel like a jerk, because he probably noticed the shift in my voice. That didn't register to me until I got upstairs. I was going to go to bed, but I phoned my friend and just ranted to her about it. Maybe it's because I felt under pressure to socialize with them, that this happened. I didn't feel secure, nor did I feel like I had control over the situation.

So yeah, I do have a social outlet, but it's going to take a while. Not to mention, I'm conflicted on whether or not I even want to be friends with them. :/

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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HI There Coffee and Chocolate,

I totally hear you on needing to have some control of pacing your interactions with people.

I'll be back to respond more later, but I just wanted you to know I hadn't forgotten about you. [Smile]

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Robin

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Alright. I want to thank you, especially in dealing with my ranting.

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eh.

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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My first appointment with the therapist is next week. Just my mum this time though. Then I'll get into the swing of things. It seems so trivial now that I think about it.

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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What seems trivial?

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Robin

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Everything. Some days everything seems fine and other days I feel like I'm going to explode. But now, I wonder why I'm so frustrated about everything? And lately, life hasn't seemed so appealing although I don't even have a lot of problems. There are times where I think: "If I just kill myself now, I won't hurt anyone later. I won't fail later." Then I make the mental list of items of which I can use to kill myself. Then, I think--I have the best friend anyone could ever ask for and a good mother. Not to mention my dad. I can't leave. Because they need me.

But then the next day, everything just seems so insignificant. I don't have urge to kill myself, but part of me wouldn't mind if I just died now. I remember about three weeks ago when I sliced my arms and legs to hell to the point where I couldn't walk without it hurting. I had to waddle around the house and puss was oozing and my mom kept me from going to my friend's house (we went for three days after everything was healed). Then, I started up my sides in secret and when my mom and I were in a restroom at a restaurant on the way back from my friend's house, she saw them. She said she'd put me in a hospital if she caught me at it again. Every time she says she thinks I'm depressed, I roll my eyes, because it just doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I thought: "That's dumb. Putting me in a psych ward over something like that." And I think I've mostly quelled down any feelings of fear I have over hospitalization. I was indifferent. I was almost admitted when my mom took me to the doctor to see if my cuts were infected. The doctor wanted me in the psych ward for a few days. We talked about meds, but I said "no" as usual. No. I'm so anti-medicine, it's not even funny. Unless I'm not able to get out of bed in the morning or leave the house due to debilitating depression or anxiety, I refuse. Even then, I'd probably be resistant. So we got tea and things like that to calm me down during the day, and I bought a bunch of books to binge on with Christmas money that Dad sent. And he said he'd show empathy more. We both have that problem: a lack of empathy. I feel like him sometimes. I always say the wrong things and deny affection and come off offensive. When I'm excited, I often sound angry. When, I'm calm, I sound tired, irritated or indifferent. I tried role-playing with someone online the other day and I came off offensive--said something in-character that came off as if *I* myself really meant it. I crumbled into despair and self-loathing and told myself I was "done with making friends" although I hardly ever tried before.

What's funny is that right now, I feel I exaggerate how I feel or that others treat my feelings as too big of a deal, but back when I was in debilitating pain and anxiety and having hallucinations, I barely said anything about it. The only times it really came to light was when I'd have a mental breakdown in front of someone.
Now, I think I'm just...bitter. Or something. Not quite--how I feel in general, I can't identify.

I think to myself: "Being a hermit is the best thing for me. I want to be known as the polite, quiet person who sews the neighbour's clothes or makes them organic medicine, but doesn't let anyone stay for tea. I'll fall asleep in the comfort of books and discard relationships. Sex--maybe. Love--never. I'll be beautiful and self-possessed, and many men and women alike will want me but won't be able to have me. Or maybe I'll be a performer and put on a show. Tap dancing and singing the blues, that's what I'll do. I'll be the light in everyone's hearts for a few hours and then I'll retreat back to invisibility afterwards. IF I do have a relationship with someone, I'll meet them in a café and we'll have a quiet relationship. They'll never live with me. It'll be comfortable and loving, but we won't be necessarily 'in love'."

I'm rambling. Just purging out thoughts. But some days, I'm anxious and bitter; others, indifferent; and other days, dreamy and kind of sad.

I guess it really seems unimportant though because I do have happy evenings--a lot of happy evenings. Especially if I can indulge my new obsessive interest, the eighties' cartoon Jem. the songs are wonderful. Better than my last obsessive interest. It's really anxiety-inducing, pushing everything aside even a proper night's sleep to look up transgender documentaries and make theories about gender expression and analyze absolutely everything in a gendered context...

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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Hey Coffee and Chocolate,

I can hear how much you're struggling, and it's really important you communicate this confusion to your new therapist. All of it..the ups and downs, the worries, everything. Maybe, if you feel comfortable, show the therapist what you've written here.

Based on what you've described here, I think you've been struggling for far too long without real help and support. I can understand why your Mom felt that pulling you out of school because of your anxiety was a good move, but I'm concerned for you that it doesn't seem as if any other things were done to help you with your anxiety or with the difficulties you have expressed in socializing and communicating with others. You have the right to ask for and expect to receive that help.

When is your appointment with the therapist?

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Robin

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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My mom asks me every day how I feel. She'll often badger me if I'm in one of my calmer moods (which as I stated before, I often come off curt or tired, so it's difficult to tell the difference between my sad/tired moods and me being calm). Part of me gets irritated when she talks to me though, as our moods are often polar opposites. I'm more subdued and less prone to conversation during the day than I am at night and visa-versa for her.

I used to have a therapist in seventh grade, but I often forgot in a sense to discuss the more serious things. I did discuss my emotions in terms of any panic attacks I had after school, but more often than not I'd discuss the particular thing bothering me without attributing the actual emotions to it. Almost got put on medicine at that point too. Again--I flat out refused. It freaks me out because I fear side-effects and develop tolerance to medicine quite quickly. That's why pain-killers, sleeping tablets, melatonin and migraine tablets haven't worked very well for a while--after a couple to a few weeks, they wouldn't work anymore and it would take a while before I could take them effectively again.

My mom is going to the therapist today--just a parent/therapist appointment this time. I'm not sure when I'll be going yet.

I've actually refused many activities and outlets offered in socialization (larger groups, too many people, structures that had too many components). It's not that I want to socialize a lot so much as want to be able to communicate. I'd prefer not to be in a group of people or go out with a lot of friends. One person would be fine though. I talk to adults much easier, especially the neighbours across the hall (they're moving though).

One milestone I have made in communicating I think, is that I finally effectively made the point to my mom that if I'm continuously refusing physical contact, not to stay in my space and invade my privacy until I do give a hug. I normally give her a hug and a kiss per day and allow her to give me a hug and a kiss per day. She thought it selfish that I didn't give more. I told her it didn't matter, that if I was running down the hall away from her outstretched arms and shutting doors on her, it was probably best she didn't try to force 'affection' on me. I don't see forced physical contact as affection in the least. She told me she could very well put me in 'therapy' again for that--what they did when I was younger was pin me down or forcefully restrain me to get me used to contact. I'm not a toddler anymore--I won't tolerate that. Especially saying things like: "I could use forced contact on you again. We did that when you were little" or "You're selfish when you do that" or "Well, you need to get over it!" or "No one's going to stay in a relationship with you if you're so frigid."

The social milestone was me saying, "Mentioning forced contact and trying to pressure me into physical contact isn't going to make me give affection to you." I don't play forced contact because love and trust is what it's not. And that's what hugs and kisses and being able to put your hands on places where I normally feel uncomfortable (shoulders, neck, face, waist) should be about. She's always been the one whom I've been most reluctant or hesitant to give physical contact. I always flinched if her hand was anywhere near me, even if I consciously knew she was reaching for something else. My dad, not so much, because he never really hugged me much of his own volition, but allowed me to hug him--only once or twice a day though because he wasn't very keen on physical contact either.

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eh.

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Robin Lee
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Yay you for making that point with your Mom that forced contact is not afection. I also agree that you're not a little kid anymore and get to decide what amount of physical contact you want. You're cognitively able to make compromises, such as saying that one hug per day works for you.

In terms of any future relationships you have, every couple finds themselves negotiating, to one extent or another, how much physical contact they have. While you might want less physical contact than many people, there's nothing unusual or unhealthy about needing to negotiate physical contact and needing someone to respect your boundaries. That's pretty healthy, actually.

I totally hear your frustration with medications and while trying them would be undesirable to you.

In terms of the therapy you had in 7th grade, it was the therapist's responsibility to help you go deeper, not yours, so, the fact that you didn't says more about the therapist than it does about you. Does that make sense?

I also totally hear you on not liking large groups. Psst, I'm the same way. It sounds to me like the trick here for you is for professionals to help you gain the skills to cope with large groups, while you still feel empowered to make decisions about when you engage in those situations and when you don't. Earlier in this thread you talked about how you will need to be able to cope and manage in the future.


Lookingback through your thread, I wanted to check in with you about how you're doing with the struggles you were having around expressing your sexuality.

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Robin

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Coffee_and_Chocolate
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I guess it does--although I thought she was a great therapist. I do recall her telling me once or twice to stop researching all these things (habit. I still research too much).

Yeah [Smile]

Right now, my thoughts about my sexuality have "toned down" in some areas. I've been thinking more about safety measures and ways to work around my communication deficits more than reckless behaviors such as going out on the street. That's one of the reasons I tried to mutilate myself--I thought it would make me stop thinking about sex so much (which it did actually), but consequently I constantly thought about cuts and blood speckles.

I decided to explore more in the arena of sex toys for now. I started a vent diary and the strange need and frustration over sex hasn't been here in the past couple of weeks. It was hard being around my friend for those three days though, wanting to kiss her and things like that. Some part of me is afraid I may someday step over that boundary line.

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eh.

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