T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 58169
posted 03-06-2011 07:01 PM
I'm in therapy and I am afraid to say something to my therapist about past sexual experiences. I realize that it wasn't sexual abuse and it's stupid really. But for some reason it's in my mind still.
When I was 8/9 years old, my cousin (who is only 1 year older than me) used to have sexual play with me. He told me it's what older people do - it happened frequently. he would tell me to put my mouth on his penis and he would have me lay down and get on top of me. I never said anything until one day he put his penis in my vagina and it hurt. I was scared. After that day I told my mom everything. She responded saying, "but your bathing suit was on right?" I said, "no mom! I didn't have anything on" She said, "but you mean he just leaned up against you?" I said, "no mom!! he hurt me. he put his penis in the hole!" She said, "but you had your panties on?" I said, "NOOOO MOM!!!" through my tears. I don't remember all that happened after that. But I never told my mom about any other sexual experience. When I was 15 a guy tried to have sex with me - I kept saying no ... I ended up leaving his house. When I was 17, my friends husband who was 26 flirted with me all of the time and then one night he gave me a massage and undid my bra and while he was massaging me he went down to my boobs - I froze. I told my friend what her husband did. She believed me at first and said that it would be okay. But it wasn't. I overdosed - she told my mom - and then she never talked to me again. When I was 18, the youth pastor at church kissed me on the forehead and slapped me on the butt and said inappropriate things to me - he would say that if I was older and he was younger, he would want to marry me - he told me that he loved me -- etc. When I was 19, I drank alcohol - my boyfriend wanted me to have sex - I said no at first but he kept telling me it was "okay" so I just layed there - I lost my virginity that night. The condom broke - the next morning he took me to the clinic to take the morning after pill so I wouldn't get pregnant. I drank and did drugs for 6 months after that because I hated myself. Now, I'm 30 and have been married for 8 years but our sex life sucks. I hate sex. I wish it didn't exist. I force myself to have sex with my husband because I'm afraid that he will obviously cheat on me if I don't give him sex. I never do oral sex because I think about when I was 9. I made him turn his head on our wedding night when I got undressed. I hate being naked. I hate my body. I hate everything about sex. I feel like my history sounds stupid and I should get over it. So many people out there are raped every minute and REALLY abused - I feel like my issues are so stupid, yet they are so real to me and have an impact on my life. Part of me wants to tell my therapist but part of me is petrified of her response. What do you think? Am I just being stupid?
Member # 3
posted 03-07-2011 09:22 AM
Just so that you're aware, some of what you are describing is sexual abuse: for instance, what you're describing with the boyfriend was not consensual sex. It was you being coerced into sex.
You're also describing some sexual harassment, such as with the youth pastor. What happened in your childhood sounds very much like it was traumatic for you, even at the time. While certainly, some childhood sexual experimentation is common and isn't automatically traumatic, it really depends on the context, and it clearly sounds like it was traumatic for you when you were a child in that situation. And now you're describing that you have sex you don't want to with your spouse, sex you only have because you feel that will make him stay monogamous. You've clearly had a LOT of very negative/frightening/traumatic experiences around sexuality and your body, and of course they're going to be issues. Any good therapist would take them seriously and expect them to be issues for you. I don't think any of this sounds stupid or small, and I would not expect a therapist to think so, either. Do you feel like this therapist might not do well with sexual issues? or are your fears in telling her not about that, but instead about your own feelings about these issues and experiences?
Member # 58169
posted 03-07-2011 11:47 AM
I feel like the boyfriend sex was consensual - I remember him saying "I want you" ... "but I want you" - and I remember just going numb emotionally but I did say okay so I guess that makes it okay. After that I day, I continued to have sex with him everyday - I was always drunk/high though so that I could be "numb".
My counselor -- well, I just don't know. I feel like if I say, "Do you work with patients with sexual issues... that will be a dead give away". But I have told her a little bit about how I don't like to have sex with my husband. And I mentioned a few things -- she seems open to talking about it. But she did comment that most of her clients that she counsels are more about communication issues. So I guess I took that and thought, well maybe she wouldn't want to talk about sex stuff. I don't know.
Member # 3
posted 03-07-2011 12:11 PM
I'd strongly disagree that going numb emotionally and then saying yes after you have declined makes it okay. You've made clear here you said no and were pressured to say yes, rather than having your no accepted the very first time. That right there means what happened was not consensual. As well, someone intoxicated also cannot give full consent, something the law also recognizes.
You know, I don't know why you can't ask what her experience is with sexual issues. Even if that clues her in that you have some issues with sex, that would not oblige you to disclose them to her or discuss them with her. Good therapists should have good boundaries, and that includes understanding no patient is obligated to disclose anything they do not want to with you. Perhaps what you can ask, knowing that, is what her experience is with patients who have experienced sexual trauma, including, but not limited to, sexual abuse and harassment?