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victims of sexual abuse-can you ever feel comfortable in your own sexuality?

(20 Posts)
NotEnoughTime Thu 14-Feb-13 22:27:37

Hi the pixiefrog,

I suffered years of sexual abuse from my father and can relate 100% to what you are saying sad

It is a cliche but I have good days and bad.

It helps that Iam married to a lovely man who tries to make me feel good about myself but because I feel that Iam disgusting it is hard for me to believe him.

I dont think I will ever feel comfortable in my own skin and sexuality but I will certainly keep trying as I want to have a "normal" life and that includes a "normal" marriage if you see what I mean.

I wish you the very best and hope that you can have a happy and fulfilled life despite what has happened to you.

Big hugs to you and all other victims survivors.

chipsahoy Thu 14-Feb-13 19:14:26

I wanted to respond.
I'm in therapy dealing with abuse as a teen, but I've mostly always been aware of what happened.

It did take a long time, but I found the more open I became with the DH the easier it became. It's difficult, but perhaps you need to talk about your sexual issues in therapy? It's possible to feel better about your own body and to enjoy sex again.

I used to have sex and feel repulsed with myself after, I'd feel sick and I'd feel deep anger at my DH. But it has got better with time and with talking.

thepixiefrog Thu 14-Feb-13 06:40:19

I don't want to force the subject IYSWIM. I will start a session and just talk about what's on my mind, but she will often steer a conversation down a particular path. After the initial session when I first remembered she has never since asked me to explore memories about the abuse, which is fine. She doesn't deem me ready obviously.

It will happen when it happens I suppose. Maybe mentioning these feelings of shame about sex will start us going down that road.

Oopla Wed 13-Feb-13 22:33:45

Izzy your post made me catch my breath a little, really sound words.

Pixie- really hope it all gets easier for you, would you prefer to talk more about the abuse with your therapist?

thepixiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 22:07:52

Posted too soon!

What I was trying to get to was that since I don't have a focus or source of the abuse, it is hard to push away any negative feelings away from myself. There is no target, no perpetrator for me to give the negativity back to.

I try to leave the therapy room unburdened, (we actually talk about the abuse very rarely and focus on my toxic parents mostly) but it is my default reaction at the moment to respond to arousal, sexual desires with shame and disgust. It's hard work!

RafflesWay Wed 13-Feb-13 22:07:24

Don't want to embroider but yes, I have always felt disgust at my body and have always found sexual relationships very difficult despite being extremely happily married for over 30 yrs. I too was abused as a child both emotionally and sexually but had to keep it secret as I would never have been believed and the repercussions would have been horrendous had I spoken up. I did try a counsellor during my teens but was terrified he would have reported it to the police or my mother so even lied to the counsellor to avoid any possible repercussions. I am just so happy now that things seem to be much better nowadays and there is more help available for others. If I was 20 yrs younger I would definitely have counselling now although I know all too well how difficult it is to trust anyone with regards to sexual abuse. I even find typing it disgusting!!! So sorry pixie but do try and find more courage than I ever had and don't waste the years I have. It is a fact that to a degree I let my abuser win.

thepixiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 22:00:00

Izzy, I don't know if this is relevant or not, but I don't actually know who my abuser was. I can't visualise a face at all. I suspect it was a family friend but for all I know it could have even been my DM. All I remember is a couple of incidents, and I have a feeling or 'knowledge' that there is a lot yet to resurface and that may never happen.

Until I remember the identity of the abuser I don't feel able to process much of anything.

izzyizin Wed 13-Feb-13 21:51:07

As you move from 'victim' to 'survivor', the feelings you currently have towards your body, towards the sexual act in general, and towards your sexual desires in particular, will change as you come to certain realisations.

The body you inhabit now bears no relation to the one you lived in as a child. Every cell of that body is dead and long gone and has been replaced by the wonderful creation that is your current mortal form.

Similarly, your abuser cannot touch you now. S/he cannot harm or hurt you in any way other than that which you are prepared to allow them to cause you pain in the present day.

It should be recognised that in disclosing what happened to you and, to some extent, in re-living the abuse you suffered, your abuser may seem to be as omnipotent today as they appeared to be when you were a child.

It is necessary for you to explore this illusion as part of the healing process, albeit that such exploration may conjure up past and/or present feelings which may give rise to further hurt.

Outside of any exercise or 'homework' you are given by your therapist, you are best advised to leave any negative feelings a session has invoked in the therapy room and it could be that simple visualisation of you leaving the room/building 'cleansed' or 'divested' of the burden you've carried for so many years will enable you to further separate the past from the present and see that any feelings of 'disgust and shame' you are harbouring should rightly be owned by your abuser.

With the aid of a counsellor who is trained in the devastating effects sexual abuse can have on the young psyche, or a counsellor who is particuarly empathetic to your struggle to become 'whole' and 'you' again, with all that being an adult married woman implies, you will get through this, pixie.

And I venture to suggest that in a relatively short space of time you will find yourself using your personal experience of childhood sexual abuse as a positive force for good.

thepixiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 21:43:40

Ratbagcatbag, I know exactly what you mean. It sounds like you have lovely things coming in your life and I'm sorry for what you have been through.

Oopla, I actually started therapy for social phobia! At the end of the first session my therapist said she was suprised that I wasn't much more messed up than I was. I had flash backs about 6 months into the therapy, once I started to reconnect with my feelings. As an adult I've always been cerebral rather than emotional.

AF, thank you, I'm very glad to have delurked too!

AnyFucker Wed 13-Feb-13 21:34:22

I have seen some of your replies elsewhere on MN, and you have a lot to offer

Even under these sad circumstances, I am glad you have come out of Lurkdom smile

Oopla Wed 13-Feb-13 21:33:37

Pixiefrog- Can I ask if its not too painful how it came about that you remembered? Was it in therapy or had that started since?

ratbagcatbag Wed 13-Feb-13 21:33:27

I do understand that, and spent many years wishing I felt "normal", it was tough at times, but it just kind of eased off, I felt like I claimed my life ( as it wasn't mine in te early days) and that helped. I'm sorry, I'm quite clumsy at explaining what I mean. sad

thepixiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 21:31:15

Thank you for replying.

I'm nor a very patient person so I suppose that doesn't help with 'taking it as it comes', but I feel better knowing it may go away or lessen at least.

It's exactly how I used to feel as a child, it was literally years since I felt anything like shame with regards to sex. I feel like something has been stolen.

Thanks again for your replies, it means a lot.x

ratbagcatbag Wed 13-Feb-13 21:29:17

Fwiw I'm comfortable in me now, don't feel disgust and shame like I used too either. It is hard work and sometimes stuff on tv can be a trigger, but generally l can handle everything. Like flipping said there comes a point where it doesn't define you anymore.

AnyFucker Wed 13-Feb-13 21:25:07

I haven't had your experiences, but wanted to add a message of support, until more knowledgeable posters come along x

flippingflup Wed 13-Feb-13 21:22:27

Sure you will get some wiser responses soon, but don't want to leave you unanswered! For me, not entirely yet, but I think it is certainly possible. I think it takes a lot of time and hard work to get to the point where it no longer defines you as a person and you feel comfortable with yourself. The shame and disgust is NOT yours, although it feels like it is. Well done for doing therapy xx

ratbagcatbag Wed 13-Feb-13 21:21:35

I was abused for eight to ten years, I felt like you described in the years after it finished and I struggled to come to terms with it. Took me about three years of being with now DH to be comfortable, certain words don't help, but DH knows this, ten years in, I don't give it much thought, it hardly comes up and my sex life is fab (well 34 weeks pregnant ATM) generally. Hope that helps a bit.

waitingtobeamummy Wed 13-Feb-13 21:17:14

I feel shame and guilt if I masterbate. I used to have major issues about where/how dh touched me but they seen to have settled down although sometimes something will remind me and it freaks me out. Other times I have a bit of a flashback.
But on the whole I am a lot better than I was. I think you need to give yourself time to grieve. And take each emotion as it comes. Don't feel that next time/ tommorow whatever you'll definatly feel like...... Etc. Just take it as it comes. And remember, you were not to blame. You are not disgusting. They are. Have you gone for counselling or anything? I didn't in the end but I do feel I am dealing with it ok now.
Take care. X

thepixiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 21:08:35

Anyone? :-(

thepixiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 20:58:13

Hi

Have only really started posting this week, but have lurked for years (have only just learned to deal with feeling shy about it).

I was sexually abused as a child, but only 'remembered' last Feb. Since then my feelings about my body and desires has gone from happy, open and comfortable, to disgust and shame.

Any other victims of abuse who have felt like this out there? Will I feel like this forever?

I'm in therapy but I just cannot see me getting over this feeling of distaste or repugnance when it comes to my own body and sexuality. It's really testing my marriage.

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