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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » asexual? or inability to "face facts"?

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Author Topic: asexual? or inability to "face facts"?
Max229
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I am a survivor of ongoing sexual abuse that ended nearly twenty years ago. when i first revealed that i had been abused, i also came out as a lesbian. at the time, i was a teenager, and i was sure that i liked girls exclusively. i went through years of trying to have relationships with other women, but after the second date, it was expected to have some sort of sexual contact with the person. I did have a few sexual experiences with women, but most of them ended in my having some sort of flashback. sometimes the flashbacks were triggered by something totally non-sexual. a lot of my partners would tell me things like "i am not your abuser, so you dont have to react to me as if i am" sometimes it was said mean, sometimes it was said in the context of trying to help, but still coming out bad. i do know that what they were saying was wrong , and that i couldn't help how my body reacted, so i would often leave the relationship). So, many of my potential shots at having a partner have been sabotaged by unreal expectations and the lack of finding anyone patient enough to see me through my fears. to make matters worse, i was raped by a woman as well. After that, i had a real hard time trusting people. After a while, i gave up trying to find satisfying relationships. I joke around that it's been so long since I've had sex that i am a virgin again, but in a way it's kinda true.on the one hand, being in my mid thirties, its very hard to find anyone who has not had sexual experience.in this way, i feel like i am a virgin. there are expectations around having sex that i just cannot live up to. on the other hand I feel like i have "started over"and I ENJOY not being sexually active with anybody except with just myself. I feel very happy to be with just myself. i don't really find the thought of sex with other people appealing (although I masturbate frequently and with much pleasure). I do on occasion crave being close to someone, however, lately I'm happy just going along in my routine of being single. I'm in a new school now, and i spend a lot of time studying,or being in class, or commuting (3 hours roundtrip to school, ug!). At the end of the day, I really don't have the energy for doing much. I have noticed that i've been seeing my friends less and less,which used to bug me, but now i feel neutral about. i only have a few good friends to begin with, and it is someties hard to find a schedule that allows us to be free at the same time so we can get together. At school I have a few friends that I am chummy with inside of class, and if i see them around campus i'll wave hello, but most of the people in my classes are much younger than me, so i dont really seek out "hanging out" opportunities outside of class (i am an adult returning to college after ten years away from school). I feel like i am shutting down socially and alienating myself from social situations sometimes, yet at the same time i am quite happy being by myself. am i weird? i have always been shy, but i have found myself lately having a great difficulty looking people in the eyes, and that kinda bothers me. my question is, am i in a rut? have i given up too easily? Am i i choosing the easy way out by avoiding relationships or am i asexual? how can you tell if you are asexual or if you have just given up on trying to be social because it's more comfortable to be alone?

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."-Dr. Seuss

Posts: 5 | From: Boston, MA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
breath
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I read this and just want to send my acceptance, best wishes to you. It takes a lot of courage to survive abuse and to do through the frustrations/difficult time of not finding na suitable partner. i do think that from what you have written, you have positive self esteem and taking care of yourself. hugs!
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Pumpkin_Pie
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Hi Maxx,

I'm sorry that you've had such a hard time connecting with people and that you suffered that abuse so many years ago.

I'm hearing that this experience really traumatised you, I'm wondering did you ever seek counselling or therapy for it, or did you ever speak to a therapist about your issues around sexual relationships/relationships in general?

Rebecca

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Max229
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the short answer is yes and no. the long answer...i have had close to 10 years of meaningless therapy where nobody really listened or helped, and in fact made matters worse by either trying to make my family into monsters OR by turning the blame onto me . i used to hear the term "socially retarded" quite often...or "well you mustve done SOMETHING to provoke it" (i was bullied unmercifully in jr high to the point where i had to move out of town and switch schools) one therapist believed that my dad and brother abused me, i used to say no way, but she used to insist that she "just knew" it was true (this was way before i was ACTUALLY abused by a cousin...i was never abused by my dad or brother and they wouldve protected me had they known what was actually going on)...another used to try to get me to say that the abuse at home and school was all my mothers fault. he would pressure me to say it to her face until i cried, even though she has been the one that i have relied on to get me through everything and has been the best source of love, acceptance and comfort that anyone could ever ask for . and this was the head of adolescent psychiatry at one of the most well known psychiatric facilities in the country that was pulling this freudian crap with me(if that hospital was good enough for ray charles and james taylor, it was good enough for me right? WRONG!) and now,i'm in a new stage of my life where my parents are getting old, and drifting apart (my dad has mental health issues as well which has caused damage to our relationships that is very hard to undo)and more and more i am facing facts that one day i will be without my mom and then where will i be? ALONE because i think i may have lost the art of connecting with people and i think i have grown too comfortable with just hanging around the house. so yeah, in my experience, therapists have always steered me wrong, therefore i guess i'm reluctant to seek help from therapy. i've been doing ok on my own dealing with everything that is a bother in my life. i read voraciously everything that i can get my hands on about my issues. i'm adept at creating coping strategies. i guess i could try therapy, i'm just so leery of it. i just want to find someone that i can talk to that is halfway sane themselves and will listen to me and take me seriously. I know that this site is more for younger people, but it is nice to finally feel like i am among people that are going through all the same things as me. I guess what i was trying to get across in my previous post was that i was having doubts about what was considered "normal", like is withdrawing myself from social situations and relationships a cause for alarm? i've been thinking really hard about it, and i guess what makes it a problem is if it is bothering me and/or if it is affecting my daily life to the point that it causes problems. i think that the answer is yes, it's bothering me a bit, both in the fact that i am doing it, and in the fact that i just feel so numb about it.

i guess i should give therapy at least a try...it's like seeing an anchovy for the first time...you don't know how it'll be and your initial reaction is "ewwwww no way!"but you don't know how it really is until you try it...and who knows, maybe you'll like it (and i DO like anchovies on my pizza!)

so i guess i've answered my own question

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."-Dr. Seuss

Posts: 5 | From: Boston, MA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
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Max, I am so sorry to hear that your experiences with therapy have been so crappy so far. It sounds like you already know that what these therapists said and did was incredibly unprofessional, and not at all okay. Unfortunately, a good therapist can be much harder to find than they should be, and it can take some trial and error before you find someone you really click with. On the upside, therapy with someone who knows what they are doing is usually a very beneficial experiences, so I do encourage you to give it another shot.

Where have you been finding your therapists so far? If you've only gone through psychiatric hospitals, it may have been that you simply ended up with therapists who were not specially trained to deal with childhood sexual abuse. My suggestion would be that you get in contact with a local crisis counseling center, where counselor will have specific training in this area. RAINN.org has a search tool that helps you locate counseling centers in your area, or we could take a look around for you if you'd like.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Max229
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oh yeah, RAINN! forgot about them.

my therapists have all been arranged through either school or the hospital, I don't think any of them had a clue. Then again, that was so long ago and people are wayyy more educated about things like ADHD, PTSD, gay issues etc.

thanks for the input!

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."-Dr. Seuss

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September
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You're welcome!

If there's anything else we can do for you, just let us know. We'd also be happy to keep talking to you here while you look for a new counselor.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Robin Hood
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I think that you are not wierd and your not going out does not reflect a serious problem in how you are running your life. There is a great disconnect in our society both caused by a great many people opting for single life and because there is a serious lack of knowledge in relational skills. So both ability and desire is not currently ubiquitous.
I also think that people are, on a very basic level, happier when they are with someone (even when there is a lot of arguing going on).
IN "The colonization of Psychic Space" a woman who is considered (It seems to me she was known) to be a feminist spokesperson says that we are dependent on each other as humans. It is much more complex than some people like to argue.
So, in my opinion, we ought to be together with others.
Communication is the most important pillar of a relationship. Find someone you can have a two conversation with and will really let you be you some of the time.
Also, I wanted to say that I have hardly ever read someone's writing where the writer was able to stay very real and not repeat themselves with such a combination of both since I can remember. You have a gift in this area, in my opinion, very rare.

Posts: 1 | From: Olympia, WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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