Just need some reassurance

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Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

You know what? You need what you need. Everyone's route to self-acceptance with this is not the same, and you are hardly the first person to take one like this, friend. It's all good.

I also like the sound of this therapist. :)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I love her!!! She’s so great! She makes me laugh so hard even when I’m at my wits end. I have a question. So I’m going to start birth control again because my periods are bad and because I don’t wanna use a condom with a guy if I ever do go that route. How do I like ensure he’s std free without asking for papers because I don’t wanna be that person
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I just talked with mo in the chat and they (sorry I don’t know your pronouns mo so I’m just gonna use they them to be safe I don’t wanna completely misgender you) said that SIX MONTHS using condoms that’s a long time. I don’t wanna see this person again probably unless the sex is good and we wanna keep meeting for more but I don’t think I’m gonna like it much. STDs are stupid. I want them to think I’m hot. If I’m on birth control and won’t make them use a condom they will want me more…
Sam W
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Sky,

If you're already getting the feeling that you wouldn't enjoy this sexual experience much, then that's a big sign to just call it quits on that interaction before it even begins. That's doubly true if it's with a guy since, as we've talked about before, that kind of sex would likely be super invalidating to all the work you've done accepting your identity.

The idea that sex without a condom (or other barrier method) is somehow "cooler" is pretty pervasive, but Heather does an excellent job of breaking down why that idea is pretty flawed here (especially in point two): Love the Glove: 10 Reasons to Use Condoms You Might Not Have Heard Yet. I'd actually recommend bringing up those feelings of being willing to do something that increases the risks associated with sex on the off chance it will make you more attractive to your therapist. There's a lot to unpack there, and it sounds like she's good at tackling these topics with you.

(As an aside, it's better to avoid framing like "STIs are stupid." When we're thinking about destigmatizing STIs, which helps encourage people to get tested and communicate their status to partners rather tan avoid it, it helps to think of them as one potential consequence of having close contact with another person)
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I read that and realize how dumb I sound. If anyone is gonna like me then they are gonna have to like me enough to use a condom. Thank you.

Heather you are a fantastic writer
Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

Oof, I actually feel like some of that piece needs some updating (will have to hop on that shortly), but cheers for the compliment.

I don't think it sounds <those terms are actually ableist and not-great, so let's say foolish and leave it there?>. I think it sounds pretty indicative of your headspace with a lot of this, that's all.

Mind, we're an organization and service that's about sexual and relationship <health so we're never going to be like, "Well, sure, here's the totally nihilistic, self-hating, and also, while you're at it, super-risky when it comes to physical infection way to do this!" It's literally our job to do the opposite of that and to help users, as best we can, to do the opposite of that. :)

But by all means, there's nothing not-hot about someone taking the reins of their own self-worth and caring about their health and well-being and other people's. However, there is some weird and damaging cultural scripting that says the opposite, and surprise, surprise, it's generally particularly aimed and women, girls and gender-diverse people, gay men and other queer people, BIPOC people, migrant people...you get the picture. Worth thinking about, to be sure. Also very much NOT a great idea to enable or enact, and people who do? Well, it's often a good way to spot who we should NOT be being sexual with, either because they're not safe for us, and/or they're not safe for themselves.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I almost quit therapy tonight. She asked if it’s because we’re getting too close to the truth LOL I was like there’s no need to attack me hahahah. It’s just a lot harder then I thought. All the boundaries and rules for myself and having someone who actually cares for me it’s all hard. She genuinely cares and I know that she does, I feel that she does it’s just hard to accept. It’s really hard. Is it supposed to be this hard?
Elise
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Elise »

Hi sky, sounds like your last therapy session was a more challenging one for you, and that is totally okay! Sometimes, it will be hard, particularly as you learn these new skills and being in a new situation like this can be challenging. When we learn new things, they often start off harder as we learn, but it is when we can keep trying with a support person who cares about us like a therapist, that we keep practicing and learning and then the new skills and experiences become easier and more normalised. Oftentimes too, learning something isn't linear, we'll have days where things click really easily, and days that are particularly challenging, but that is really normal.

If it helps to hear some firsthand experience: when I started therapy, I initially found many of the concepts that are now part of my daily thinking really hard to wrap my head around and accept. Still, many years later, occasionally things are hard, but there are parts of my life that I can manage so much better now and can see the benefit of it all, and find therapy one of the best things I have chosen to do for myself. I hope that perspective helps as you are starting out on your therapy journey :)
Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

Hey sky: just thinking about you, wanted to take a second to check in and see how you're holding up. <3
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

Hey Heather! I’m doing okay. I started hearing voices again so I had to have my meds adjusted again and took a few days for myself from work but I’m okay. I put dating aside and am going hard on therapy every week and taking my meds the way I’m supposed too. I was actively suicidal for about a month straight and these past few days I haven’t been and it feels like im floating it’s a beautiful feeling to not hate yourself like that. Im doing my best and my therapist has been incredible with me, I hit rock bottom and the only way to go is up :)
Mo
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Mo »

So sorry to hear that you've been having a difficult time, but I'm glad you have the support of your therapist and that you've been able to take this time to make some adjustments and focus on yourself. It really is great to hear that you're getting on well with this therapist.
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

Is it normal for therapy to be like really hard and triggering?
Elise
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Elise »

Hi sky, sorry to hear you're having a bit of a hard time at the moment. Yes, sometimes therapy can be challenging and hard, and sometimes yes, triggers are trigger as we discover and find ways to heal from the experiences that cause them, and explore the reasons behind them. From what you said earlier, it seems like your therapist is a very supportive person. Do you tell them in your sessions whenever you're feeling triggered? This can help them navigate how the session continues (pace etc.) and what happens in next sessions so that at the end of the session you are as grounded and in as safe a mindset as possible, and remind you to focus on some self care and soothing afterwards.

Also, if you feel you need more coping tools/self soothing activities for yourself post-session, that is something you could ask them to work on with you, if you would like to. I hope that this helps!
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I’m talking to a bunch of people again because I think I wanna have sex and I wanna be wanted and I know I’m just gonna hate myself after but I just want to feel wanted I want someone in my life I’m tired of being single
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I’m talking to a guy and I like him but I’m so confused because I love all women like I’m so attracted to women and I like him but like he has a penis and that’s like gross to me and I don’t wanna touch it or anything but I don’t wanna date girls because I don’t wanna deal with all of that I already have an issue with my own emotions let alone hers and I don’t know. He’s so sweet and I’m totally into him and I have the right to explore my sexuality but like I love women
Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

Hey there, Sky.

I'm just catching up on the rest of your posts here, and now these two new ones.

For one, I think it's pretty clear you're obviously not in a great place for sex or dating with anyone right now. (I can relate. Me either. But I get it, it sucks to be lonely, and it's real to want to be wanted.). I think it's also pretty telling, if you look at the situation you're presenting yourself with, that you're pretty divorced from what you actually want, and this is a clear pattern for you -- that when you're in a bad way, you have a harder time remembering and staying in touch with what you actually want, and tend to instead start to be drawn to what you might accept in moments of desperation. Do you know what I mean?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

Hey, Sky. I'm seeing the posts that are in moderation, but I'm going to leave them there while going ahead and giving you a response here.

I'm seeing the see-saw that I know is very familiar to us both by now. I'm sorry that you're on it again because I know that it's got to feel so disorienting, and it also sounds like the feelings that set you on it -- what I'm seeing as feelings of pretty intense loneliness, more than anything else, if I have it right, and the desire to feel validated -- have to feel pretty intensely awful. This time of year, whether or not you celebrate anything, I feel like those kinds of feelings and desires can get really magnified, too.

Just so you know, we're right here, as always, around.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

Yeah I’m on the see saw again I’m just so confused
Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

Do you want to talk about it?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I’m 24 I feel like it’s time to get some sexual stuff under my belt. I don’t wanna have sex so we can do foreplay but like I feel guilty sending pics so I’m gonna feel guilty doing that also he says that he can jack off while eating me out because I told him I don’t wanna touch him and I’m scared it’s gonna somehow get into me and I’ll get pregnant because I have unlogical anxiety I wanna do this but I don’t wanna do this
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

{Some of the original post has been edited for your privacy. - H}

Things have progressed a lot and there’s been exchanges of videos and such and I like it which is confusing but I don’t want to act on it. I’m horny but my brain is telling me no, my heart is telling me I’m bi but only like platonic relationships w men not sexual but sexual with girls. The religion thing doesn’t help either…. I shouldn’t be doing any of this. The religious guilt is so hard core I hate it so much. I’ve gotten distant from my faith because I feel I’m not good emo fun for Gods love and this isn’t me trying to shove religion down your throat, I’m just talking what’s on my mind.

Also, he never messages first and he tells [things that] make me uncomfortable? I do the same thing so it shouldn’t make me uncomfortable. It just feels like taboo?? Like I’m easy and less then a person. I was raised thinking a woman needs to give her husband sex but she should never want it. It’s hard. Plus the holidays seeing my family with their significant others and families makes me feel even more lonely it’s hard and I’m so confused. I know I shouldn’t be doing this but I just want to feel wanted and needed and sexy when I send pics and talk with him sexually I feel hot and I have borderline personality disorder so my version of myself is very not accurate. I don’t see myself at all so when I feel things like hot or sexy it’s something I hold onto.

I talked to my therapist about it and she definitely said without saying it that she doesn’t think I should do it lol.

Sorry for the word vomit I just needed to get it out. If you wanna leave this one in moderation that’d be cool since it’s just embarrassing
Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

Hey Sky, sorry it took me a bit to get here today, it's been a tough one and it didn't help that my dog picked today to chew a wart off his foot and make my bed look like the elevator door scene in The Shining. Good times.

So, I have some thoughts, and I want to start with the most basic of them.

What if you ONLY do any of this that does feel right for you, and make you feel good? For instance, if I am getting this right, it sounds to me like setting aside that maybe this particular person (and maybe because he's a guy, but maybe all the more so because he's not a great person?) isn't the best fit on earth, maybe you *are* getting things from a virtual relationship with someone, or at least, have found a relatively safe way to explore some of these feelings and curiosities without having to do things that aren't very safe, that you don't feel ready for, or that you aren't in the headspace to be able to even figure out how to do safely, like sorting out what's right for you, or if a person is decent, etc.

You keep talking about what you don't want to do, and each time I read that, I think, "Okay, so don't do that." Can I ask why maybe it isn't as simple as that? Why you don't only do what you want and say no to anything else and leave it at that?

If you want to talk about this, I can't speak for what your sexual conflicts are with your religion. Are we talking about your beliefs here, or are we talking about a religion you were raised with, but isn't actually something you claim as your own for yourself?

Lastly, there is no age for people to "do sexual stuff." Seriously, I promise. And thank goodness, because doing it from that motivation usually tends to make for pretty lousy experiences for everyone, and since the whole point is pleasure, that doesn't really make sense, you know?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

So, maybe I’m taking this wrong but it sounds like you want me to do it?

I was raised in a religious aspect and I took it and have been following it because I feel a love from who I believe in that unlike anything I’ve ever experienced but the guilt of being gay overrides that. The guilt of wanting sexual things overrides that.

I hope your dogo is okay and your day got a little better
Heather
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by Heather »

Troublepants is somehow made at me about it, but he's doing fine, thanks for saying so. :)

I'm not sure what "it" is, but either way, I don't have wants for you when it comes for your sex life other than for you to hopefully make choices that are mutually safe and healthy and in your best interest. So, what do you think about what's before you right now as far as opportunities go? Is any of this -- and again, "this" can be just what you have been doing so far or less than that -- something that feels right for you and leaves you feeling good in all the ways? That feels like it's in your best interest, and feels safe for you?

(FYI, I'm heading out for the day, but will check in tomorrow.)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
sky
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Re: Just need some reassurance

Unread post by sky »

I’m not even attracted to him. I just wanna do some things so I’m using him to do them since he wants to do them. He’s mentioned you know whating in me and I’m like absolutely not I don’t wanna be a mom lol. I want too I said I wanted too but I can’t do that it’s too big of a risk
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