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Regarding Sex

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leavingorbit posted 8/4/2020 08:20 AM

Yes, thank you, hikingout. I get what youíre saying and I agree. Thank you for posting, gmc. I think I get what youíre saying although Iím not sure how itís applicable in the framework of abuse/trauma. Context is important. I think things are getting a bit off track so Iíll go ahead and restate my original questions:

how many people here experienced a disconnect like that? BSes or WSes?

Sex wasnít about connection for me. It was destructive. Does anyone else have that experience? Was it absent for you? What was your relationship to sex? Or your spouseís? If you had maladaptive views regarding sexuality, howíd you tackle the healing process?

[This message edited by leavingorbit at 8:35 AM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

gmc94 posted 8/4/2020 10:42 AM

In my youth, I had very similar attitudes about sex - maybe identical - esp as to the disconnect. There are instances of CSA in my past with both adults and older minors. I have viewed them as mild - relatively speaking (tho typing the word "minor" causes me to wonder if that is something I should explore). I learned pretty young that sex equals attention, which was in very short supply from FOO.

What I learned is boys like you for sex. You could get positive attention for sex.
This may sound so callous, but doesn't EVERY girl learn that? Maybe it's more generational, by my DD absolutely has this attitude, tho she has a ton of mental health issues and that could very well be chicken/egg stuff. I think the sexualization of women is worse today than it was when I was her age... it's as if the feminist movement moved women to owning their sexuality (a good thing), but a corresponding cultural change did not happen for men, eg, it's not like feminism had an impact on rape culture (I think of recent studies where men will basically admit to rape, so long as it's linguistically couched in less charged language, like "non consensual sex" is ok, but "rape" is not... would we use the term "lack of awareness" for them?).

I do stand by the "lack of awareness" points as to non A-related issues. I was very much aware that something was "off" WRT my relationship with sex (which was, until my mid/late 20s, basically two speeds: absolute monogamy [even w/ men who treated me super poorly] or absolute promiscuity). I think most humans are very much aware when something is "off" emotionally or sexually. We are also just super super good at AVOIDING those feelings (and I am absolutely NOT an exception).

In retrospect, I suspect becoming a parent is what prompted some thinking shifts, including the disconnect from sex. I could not face the damage of disconnected sexuality for myself (eg didn't love myself) but I was able to do so for my child. So by the time I met my WH, I was SUPER protective of the sexual messages I was sending my kid- even as a toddler. I dated my WH for nearly a year before I allowed him to even meet my kid, as I didn't want to be "that" mom whose child saw a string of "uncles" coming through their home. Yet I wouldn't call that a "lack of self awareness" in that I was AWARE that things were off.... I just didn't have the tools to face it or to translate that into love for self vs love for my child. KWIM?

hikingout posted 8/4/2020 15:12 PM

Itís a good point - girls do learn that. But what they do with that information may be different based on being sexually abused. I think it comes down to whether you believe that is what you are worth to men (or I guess it could be to women if you are a lesbian) I donít know what women who havenít been sexually abused do with that info. But I think because of the abuse it made me mix that together with my self worth.

So, I would lead with sex. I would be overly sexual. When my husband and I got together I would be the cool wife anout things - strip coins, porn, even the swinging early on. I used it to feel superior, unreplaceable. And the reality is I am still rewarded with more loving behavior the morning after sex. So itís more about confusing that for your worth. But I didnít state it that way.

I still donít know if itís active avoidance or not on our normal run of the mill blind spots. I think people like to believe they are happy. I felt like a well adjusted adult. I knew there were skills like being less conflict avoidant that were not in my wheel house but I didnít see the long term effects. There are certain things that truly sneak up on us. We are all human out there trying to survive one day at a time, blind spots are things you are not aware of but they also can be things that you are aware of you just donít understand the way it will pile up and harm you.

[This message edited by hikingout at 3:13 PM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

leavingorbit posted 8/6/2020 08:55 AM

Thank you, gmc, for sharing. Iím sorry for the abuse you have experienced and continue to experience. I agree with hikingout that everyone has different experiences with trauma, itís not black and white. Yes, I wonder too about that thinking on ďminorĒ abuse and also how ďall girlsĒ are socialized that way. I thought those ways for a long time until my IC pointed out that I was normalizing and minimizing the abuse I had experienced. YMMV.

Maybe thatís another question to tag onto my original questions: when did everyone connect with their sexual abuse history and how? Maybe your ďoh shit momentĒ or an end to the numbing/disconnect? Iíll add this to my original post, if thatís allowed, to make stuff easier.

LifeDestroyer posted 8/6/2020 09:25 AM

I thought my CSA was "minor" up until a few months ago. I've had 25+ years (I really can't remember how old I was when it started and ended) of telling myself that it wasn't that big of a deal. I just brushed it off my shoulders. It wasn't until my current IC and the people here telling me that what happened to me as a child was a big deal. I do have trouble with telling myself that. I'll think about what my uncle did to me and will say to myself "it really wasn't that bad he could have done so much more stuff to me." Then I'll argue with myself because the other part of me knows that isn't right.


Girls are absolutely taught that if you're hot enough or have big breasts or are easy, then you'll get more guys. Just look at all of the TikTok videos. All the popular most viewed ones on Instagram are of those with young girls who are wearing very little and have big breasts/ass dancing around. There are then even younger girls doing the dances. I have a feeling that I will see some of my new first graders doing those TikTok dances on the playground.

My mom was one of those moms who would say "if you have it then flaunt it." She would tell me to wear that short skirt because the boys will like it. She would tell me about all of her sexual adventures when she was in her 20s. She was also the mom who didn't believe me when I told her what her BIL did to me.

hikingout posted 8/6/2020 09:26 AM

I don't think I had a lightening strike moment. It took some time to relate some of my adult behaviors to the sexual abuse. I had long ago related some of my behaviors in my youth to it. That's why I thought it was put away. I forgave myself long ago for acting out the ways I did because I could see that my precociousness was a result that SA.

But, when the counselor asked me after months of therapy and I was surprised to realize I had forgotten about most of it and hadn't thought about it in years - this was an epiphany that made me look harder at it. It took several months to be able to articulate the ways that it shaped my adult self. Especially the way that I compounded the shame, and mixed it in with my self worth.

leavingorbit posted 8/12/2020 03:21 AM

Thank you, LD, for sharing your experiences. Iím so sorry for the abuse you experienced. Iím grossed out by the tiktok stuff and Iím glad to hear youíre pushing back against that thinking. I think I do much better now with it then I did but it still feels pretty disgusting.

Hikingout, yeah! I know the hyper sexuality was because of SA but somehow I still get in these shame loops about it. My IC asked me, how else were you supposed to act? I know sheís right but sometimes I still struggle to accept it I guess.

MyAndI posted 9/16/2020 19:41 PM

Sex with OW is where I went to hide.

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