Obsessions After Sexual Abuse

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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This area of the boards is expressly for support and help for those who are currently in or have survived abuse or assault. It is also for those seeking information or discussion about abuse or assault. Please make every effort in this space to be supportive and sensitive. Posts in this area may or do describe abuse or assault explicitly.

This area of the boards is also not an area where those who are themselves abusing anyone or who have abused or assaulted someone may post about doing that or seek support. We are not qualified to provide that kind of help, and that also would make a space like this feel profoundly unsafe for those who are being or who have been abused. If you have both been abused and are abusing, we can only discuss harm done to you: we cannot discuss you yourself doing harm to others. If you are someone engaging in abuse who would like help, you can start by seeking out a mental healthcare provider.
Cal
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Obsessions After Sexual Abuse

Unread post by Cal »

Hello, first time posting!

So I'm a very anxious person with repetitive, obsessive thought processes. I am a young college student and also autistic. Recently I realized that a lot of my anxiety is probably rooted in the way my "best friend" treated me in middle school. He would beat me up every day, and sometimes touch my thighs and chest against my consent, along with other psychological abuse. Only a few months ago did I have moment of realization that this was NOT a normal thing to go through, and that I have a lot of triggers and physical reactions related to what he would do.

Now for the past few months, ever since the revelation, I find myself obsessing over sexual things...

Example 1: Kinkshaming. I have become very obsessed with making sure I fantasize in a 100% "pure," "moral," and "ethical" way, and obsessed with searching out and internally mocking others that have the same sexual tastes as me when they do it in a slightly ""less moral"" or "more weird" way. This hatred Im spewing out is concerning me, I don't think its healthy or cool to do. But I'm struggling to stop.

Example 2: Talking a lot about sex. I have become obsessed with proving to my friends that I am "normal" in my sex life. I keep bringing up sexual topics and sexual happenings with my friends every day (they usually find it funny and aren't bothered, but I just wish I could stop talking about it).

Example 3: Trying to figure myself out when I don't really want to. I have never been able to masturbate or receive sexual pleasure from a partner in my whole life, yet I never felt insecure about it before. This website was helpful in making me accept myself the way I am! For a long time, I considered myself asexual. But nowadays, I spend a lot of time googling things about vaginas (because that's what I have), about how to masturbate, and attempting to masturbate (which is not pleasurable at all to me ever). I feel dejected for not being able to do it.

These obsessions are starting to really trouble me. It uses a lot of energy and time, and I have been getting headaches recently, and other physical symptoms. I also sometimes get panic attacks when I remember my "best friend" from middle school, when I think hard about the "morality" of my sexual tastes, and when I try to explore masturbation.

The problem is that I know this is unhealthy for me, yet something inside of me is preventing me from letting it go. I don't want to think about sex at all right now. I want to go back to how I was before my realization. But the thoughts wont stop in my mind.

I want to know if anyone else has experienced the same thing, or what I should do to feel better...

Summary: I am an anxious college age person suddenly obsessing over sexual "normalcy" due to unpacking my long-ago sexual abuse.

Thank you to anyone who reads this! Also I really love this website!! Its helped me for years but I never posted before!!
Sam W
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Re: Obsessions After Sexual Abuse

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Cal,

I'm so glad the site has been helpful for you over the years!

Realizing that something from your past was abusive or traumatic can be so incredibly rough, and I'm so sorry that your friend chose to hurt you in those ways. Since both the past abuse and these new thought patterns are causing you distress, have you been able to speak with a mental healthcare provider about what's been going on?

When you're thinking about those obsessive thoughts or those compulsions to do things you don't really want to do, how easy (or hard) would you say it is to distract yourself from them or redirect your thoughts or actions onto something else?
Cal
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Location: Wisconsin

Re: Obsessions After Sexual Abuse

Unread post by Cal »

Hi Sam,

I spoke a few times with a therapist, but so far it feels unproductive to me. It feels like she is uncomfortable with the subject of things related to sex, so shes just been trying to talk to me about other life problems, even though I specifically told her I want help on this specific issue. I will keep going though. But its hard since its very cold out and I don't have a car. Thanks for asking!

As for how hard it is to not think about these things... it is possible to distract myself if I do something that requires 100% focus, like if I watch a movie or cook food. But whenever I lose focus on something like homework, or if Im bored in class, or can't sleep, I end up falling back into these thoughts. I'm not sure what types of things would help me keep focus. Little things can also trigger these thoughts.
Mo
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Re: Obsessions After Sexual Abuse

Unread post by Mo »

It sounds really frustrating that your therapist isn't wanting to talk to you specifically about sexual issues when that's the specific thing you wanted to see her for! These persistent thoughts sound very distracting and distressing, and I do think having professional guidance will be the best way to make them more manageable, but that's tough when your therapist doesn't seem willing to address them.

I don't know if you're able to look into other providers, but that's something you may want to investigate; if you're able to look into other options, I think finding someone who you can verify is comfortable talking about sexual topics, as well as someone who specializes in dealing with obsessive or compulsive behaviors, may be a better fit for you. I get that a lack of transportation can make this more difficult, for sure; perhaps there are practitioners who'd be able to do remote sessions?
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