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Therapy uncovering things
March 23, 2000
9:03 am
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Tavy
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Hi, I've been lurking here for a few weeks and the advise here always seems to be good.

I've been in therpy for about a month. Last year I was raped, and I didn't tell anyone or let anybody know, until I met my present boyfriend. He's really caring and open. After my rape, I was very promiscuous. My friends and family thought I just had a bigger than normal libido, and I made myself forget the bad things that had happened, but after I bottled them up, they just kept leaking out.

I've had anxiety problems since I was in high school, but neve anything overwhelming. I just do yoga and acupuncture every few months. After the rape, my anxiety increased.

Anyways, since I've been in therapy, my sex drive has gone way way down. I used to have sex at least twice a day, now I don't feel like having sex at all. I feel awful. I used to love making love and now, the thought of it repulses me, and it's hurting my relationship because my boyfriend thinks I don't find him attractive any more.

I don't know if I should go into detail, but yesterday we tried to have sex. For me, it's an expression of my love for him, because he's been there with a shoulder for me to cry on and arms to hold me. But it just hurt and then I was crying and he was shocke because one minute I was ok, the next minute I was having a panic attack. I don't know what to do. I want to be a sexual person again, but I feel like that part of me has just disappeared.

I'm starting to feel really depressed about it. I dread going to therap because I hate talking about it. I feel like crying all the time now. Why is it that after I was raped, i was able to hold things together really well, but now that I'm seeing a therapist, I'm falling apart at the seams?

March 23, 2000
11:43 am
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Frieda
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Because then you were pretending, and this is real. Even though it doesn't feel like it, you're closer to whole and functioning now. Hang in there! Remember it's a process, and it won't always feel like this.

March 23, 2000
11:59 am
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kay
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I feel for you Tavy. I can relate to you.

I've known my fiance for years, since before I was sexually abused and our sex life was great. Even after the abuse it was fine for two years. It seems that I was in denial, I had even forgot about it at one point and I thought I was OK so I ended up telling him about what happened to me. I let my secret out and sex became a terrible thing for me and it just got worse and worse. There was a point in our relationship where we didn't have sex for four months because it was too emotional for me and I was having a lot of flashbacks, or in the middle of sex I would have to push him off and I would break down crying. He thought it was his fault.

So what have I done to get better? Actually I don't know, I think for me it was time that was the healing factor, and a lot of understanding and support from my boyfriend(who is now my fiance). I went to a therapist for about two years, I started because of the lack of sex for 4 months and I wanted to get things back to normal, but I honestly don't think he directly helped me to have sex again. What he did for me was helping me to overcome my fear of my emotions and to confront what I was really feeling. I learned to be open with myself and to avoid denial.

What I think you are going through is part of the healing process. You have gone through a great deal and then denied it for a year, hiding it, keeping it bottled up, a year of painfulness eatingyou up inside. And now the healing will begin when you face your feelings and learn to accept what happened. You cannot change the past, nor can you hide it. It will take lots of time. And you must be open with your boyfriend, and don't force youself to have sex. I have tried that and it only made it worse the next time because I became scared of my boyfriends touch.

He will understand in his own way but never to the depth of your feelings, but when he is there for you let him love you. But first love yourself. You could hold things together before because YOU WERE IN DENIAL! Now you cannot hold back the strong emotions, don't be afraid to let them out otherwise you won't get through this.

Ihave been dealing with my problem for over 6 years now and it still keeps resurfacing everyonce in a while, but every time that rollercoaster reaches is peak I get better and better at dealing with it and I have learned to anticipate the cycles, but I still have lots of healing to do.

Keep posting here, you can be honest with us and more importantly with youself. Getting you feelings out will help. Let me know how you are doing. Kay

March 25, 2000
5:54 pm
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Tavy
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Hi Kay, thanks so much for openingup and telling me about your experiences. It's so confusing and hard when you think that you're alone in your problems.

I talked to my therapist, who I see about 2 times a week, and she said that sometimes when you experience rape you won't express your fears and insecureties until you're in a relationship where you feel comfortable. It sounds so backwards, though. Why should I take it out on the one person who accepts me completely for who I am?

I'm worried, now, but I feel better to hear from someone who's been through it and has come out ok on the other side.

March 27, 2000
12:43 pm
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kay
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I know it is very hard. I think we take it out on the one we love because we have a fear of rejection, we wonder why we are accepted, I have recently come to terms with this. We trust and share expecting that our partner won't understand because it was so terrible. Often I was disgusted with myself and couldn't believe how much my fiance loves me, how could he possibly love me when such a terrible thing happened, why does he still want me? But no matter how depressed I got he was always there to help me out. And then I kept wondering ... any time now he can change his mind, decide he has had enough of my insecurities, but he didn't. Sometimes I still find myself provoking arguments just because I want to give him a reason to leave me, maybe if I get him angry he will get up and go and will be free of me and my problem.... again, he stays at my side, and each time the depression sessions get farther apart.

He is stronger than I, and he knows how fragile I am. It is hard to be trusting because he could easily hurt me with all he knows so for a long time I pulled into myself. He helped me get together again. I still have a lot of trouble with intimacy, but time is healing and it will be for you too if you let it. Kay.

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