T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 27994
posted 03-26-2006 04:14 PM
Well some of you may remember my earlier topic about how I masturbate and sometimes look at various degrees of erotica/pornography and how I am trying to bring myself to fully accept that I do. If you do, you may also remember that much of my fear and worry was based on disappointing my parents and that they would not accept what I do or who I am sexually. For this reason, I think that I would feel SO much better if I could get this off my chest, and even more if I could know that they accept it. For these reasons, I think that I will never be able to fully accept this until I can get it out in the open and face my parents about it.
My problem, though, is this: is this really a good idea and how on earth would I go about doing it? I'm not sure how much I should go into and how I should say this. One idea I had was to say it in an e-mail since I can't bring myself to talk about it in person, and, in order to ease my fear of punishment and disapproval, ask that it be kept private and that they be nonjudgemental. Anyways, can anyone help me in going about this and how to break it to them while preventing myself from backing down or feeling bad about it myself?
Member # 22661
posted 03-26-2006 05:26 PM
I recommend that you spend some time trying to truly see things from your parents' point of view and what I mean by that is not immediately assuming that they would punish you or see you any differently. Keep in mind that many people who masturbate keep it private not because it's some horrible thing to be hidden but because they don't feel that it's anyone's business and talking about it can become extremely awkward for both parties for that very reason. From what you know about them try to figure out what the more important issue would be for them. Would it be "My son is touching his penis."(which many people would immediately assume since you are a teenage boy) or "My son is struggling with his sexuality and his relationships in the future could be affected." (which given your history may not surprise them either.)
If you feel that they would most likely disapprove or punish you for masturbating I'm not sure how letting them know could possibly make you feel any better about it. For this reason I don't recommend this as your first option. It may be beneficial later on after you've tried something else. However if you feel confident right now that you can trust them enough and that they would be supportive, be sure to let them know that you are having some doubts and internal conflict. This whole issue seems (to me anyway) like it's in essence less about masturbation itself, and more about how you feel about it and how you deal with sexual feelings in general. What I think is most important is that you try to resolve this any way you can and find reassurance, if not from your parents, then from somewhere; someone who you would be comfortable with and who you know will definately not judge you. This probably isn't how you want to feel for the rest of your life considering what it implies for any future relationships you may have. Counseling can do wonders. Being a former Catholic, I sought counseling for a similar dilemma of the "Do you want to go to heaven or do you want to be right?" variety. Talking to someone who can see your situation objectively can help you put things into perspective in ways that just aren't possible when the atmosphere is charged on both sides and all parties have an emotional stake in the issue. [ 03-26-2006, 05:29 PM: Message edited by: lizenny ]
Member # 27994
posted 03-26-2006 09:30 PM
Wow, you read me like a book. You're right, this isn't so much an issue of the acts themselves so much as how I feel about them and how I deal with them, and this is certainly NOT how I want to feel for the rest of my life or even how I want to feel for the time being. The problem is, I have no real idea how my parents would react. I have suspicions both that they would not accept masturbation and that they would. As far as the porn goes, I'm pretty sure that they would not accept it. Even so, knowing them, I am sure that even if they did not accept what I was doing, they would still accept me as a person. They might punish me, but I would always be thier son. I feel similarly about the rest of those close to me, including my best friend, who I've also considered talking to but decided not to.
I really don't know what their issues with these things would be, to be quite honest. I simply feel that it would make me feel better to talk to them about it so that I could know for myself that I can both talk about and defend my sexual practices. Not only that, I could be free of the tension and anxiety stemming from my uncertainty about their stances on these issues, and if they accepted these things, I could have the reassurance of knowing that I can do these things without shame and without worry that those close to me will be disappointed. As far as the counseling idea, I've considered it myself, but the problem always is that in order to get into anything of that sort, I would have to overcome my anxiety and talk to my parents about this to some extent. Not only that, but counseling costs money (which our family is currently trying to save), and I don't know if I would have any easier of a time talking to a neutral party than those who I trust most, who, as the title implies, should be the first people who I would talk to (of course, that has also proven itself false since this is the first place I've been able to open up about this).
Member # 1207
posted 03-26-2006 09:53 PM
I really don't have much to add ...
But i was wondering, are you in school right now? Sometimes you can get free counseling through your school. ... Something to look into, if you're interested in counseling.
Member # 27994
posted 03-26-2006 10:30 PM
Yes, I currently am in school, so I suppose school-based counseling would be something I could possibly look into. One thing I want to ask about is this: how far does a counselor's privacy/secrecy extend? I know they have to tell about things like suicide, but I am not entirely sure how much there is that they are obligated to tell about.
Anyways, on another note, I finally summoned up enough courage to send my mother an e-mail about this. I emphasized that I need her to be supportive, nonjudgemental, and private. Knowing my mom and the good relationship we have, I have no doubt that she will respect my wishes. In this e-mail, I basically only said that I was struggling with my sexuality and that I have been having dilemmas about it for a while. I did not go into the actual details, and I don't think that I'm comfortable and confident enough to do so quite yet. I suppose only time will tell how things turn out from here on out.
Member # 1207
posted 03-26-2006 10:37 PM
Counselors will generally only 'tell on you' if they have reason to believe that you could harm yourself or others. But this is a perfectly valid question to ask any counselor you see. And another thing ... If a counselor does decide that have to break your privacy agreement, they will (generally, not always) tell you in advance. Of course, there's really nothing you can do about it once it gets to that state, but nothing should ever be a surprise, in that regard.
I hope your email is well received. Good luck to you. [ 03-26-2006, 10:38 PM: Message edited by: LilBlueSmurf ]
Member # 27994
posted 03-28-2006 08:42 PM
Well, two days later and she still hasn't made any recognisable response to the e-mail. I think she just hasn't checked her e-mail in a while.
Anyways, in the meantime, I think it would make me feel better if I knew all of the arguments for and against masturbation and erotica/porn(not necessarily together!) so that I could address how I feel about them myself and clarify my thoughts. Could someone maybe help me with this? Although, I honestly don't know if this would help much. To be honest, I think I'm just finding myself painfully divided and indecisive about these matters. One minute I feel completely innocent in doing these things and the next I feel riddled with guilt. No matter how I try to stop these things when I feel guilty, I end up reconsidering if they are really so wrong and/or failing to quit for good. When I feel that I'm doing nothing wrong by doing these things, sooner or later I end up feeling guilty about them for one reason or another. More so than anything else, this is my problem.