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Discussion in 'Women in Reboot' started by FlyingPizza, Jun 1, 2018.
That's definitely a good thing to consider.
Okay, well it sounds like you're caught in a tight spot, and you're being flooded with all these bad memories. Can you remember what triggered them all of a sudden?
Also, feel free to tell your parents when you're comfortable. It won't be easy, but it's a step towards some important healing. This will also help out your cousins. If that kind of behavior and history goes unchecked then they could land themselves in whole heaps of trouble. It sounds like they'll need some healing too.
Of course, I don't know your family to the last member, you are the expert among us and you know what is good for you and your family at this time.
Just know that we're here to help in the thick of things. Good luck!
I'm feeling MUCH better. These few days at my friend's place have helped a lot. I've also made sure to be active. During overwhelming moments like this, I think it's important to have enough time for introspection and self-reflection, but too much can be counterproductive. You can go too deep into dark thoughts too quickly.
It's best to give yourself enough time to eat and sleep well, and exercise. Socialization is also important. These activities are basic to both physical and mental health. At least, they have helped me bounce back quicker.
I haven't done the schedule for the week yet, since I'm still at my friend's house. The most important thing this week is my appointment with the therapist on Wednesday.
Not sure what triggered them. I was probably just thinking on my appointment with the counselor and wanted to have a coherent story, so she could evaluate me effectively. I started thinking about my past. I think once the first memory resurfaced, it lead to others coming forth as well.
I'm one lucky woman. The AC broke down on Friday, but the technician couldn't make it then or during the week. I was at my friend's house for the entire weekend anyways, so it's not like I suffered. But today the technician said he could come in the afternoon. Because I can work from home, I left work during my lunch break and biked to my place. Got here just in time to open the door for the guy.
You have to appreciate the nice stuff life throws at you:
My AC broke down
I had a breakdown
My friend's boyfriend was out of town, so I could stay with her to run away from the heat and the heartache
The stars were in alignment, I'm telling you.
Since therapy is on Wednesday, I thought it would be nice to set some goals.
Goals for therapy
Improve focus and develop coping skills for fantasizing: I have a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, which sucks. I also fantasize a lot. As you'll imagine, these two factors combine to make my life that much more difficult. Since the counselor is a certified sex therapist and she has worked with sex addicts in the past, I'm hoping she can provide some pointers to improve my focus and reduce the amount of fantasizing.
Come to terms with my past: I would like to dig deeper, unearth everything so that I can develop the strength to carry this load.
Become able to talk about the abuse, my addiction and my needs: Once I'm able to carry my baggage on my own, I need to become comfortable with the idea of speaking about it to a partner despite the fear of rejection.
Those are my three goals for now.
Lastly, here's the schedule for the week. Lot's of cooking because my emergency stores are pretty much depleted. Also, the weekend is empty because I'll be at my parents'.
See you guys tomorrow!
Oh boy, it's one of those domino days isn't it? One thing happens then another and another...
Ha ha yeah. Just gotta ride with the "good times" like a wave.
Welcome to the club.
I think it's so cool that you can go to therapy and get the help you need. That's like a serious sign of change and rebirth that shows how strong someone is. Most people would say therapy is for people who need help because they can't do it in their own, but I think it's for strong people who realize what must be done.
Your schedule is looking pretty nice, it's good to see you're so focused.
Have a good day!
Wow, just been skimming through your journal and I have to say your story is one of the most interesting I've seen. It opens me up to the sorts of things that can happen to a person and the effects they can have. I'm sorry these negative feelings are coming back about David and Carlos, you seem like a really wonderful person and don't deserve such things. I haven't read most of your journal (I'm gonna try to catch up) so I don't have much context yet, but might just be PMO withdrawal messing with you?
Here's something from one of your earliest posts
I never even considered the possibility that girls would dread sex as well. I guess it makes me feel a bit better, in a way, that there's someone out there just as worried about it. Though I guess we each have our own reasons for that, but I think eventually these go away, right? I think I mostly don't worry about it but sometimes I still get feelings of insecurity haunting me. How are you feeling lately about it, if it's not too much to ask?
Day 20! And what a day, super busy at work, but luckily I managed to leave early enough to cook. I made a big batch of vegetable and pinto bean chili. I'll make lentil shepherd's pie and some bean burgers on Thursday.
If you're wondering, why so many beans? Well, beans are delicious. Beans are nutritious. Beans are cheap. Also, their taste usually improves in the fridge, not to mention they keep amazing in the freezer. Furthermore, bean consumption is one of the primary indicators of good health during old age, as well as longevity itself. If I get to eighty fully lucid and able to take long walks, like my grandma, I'm happy!
The highlight of the day was this text message I got from the therapist's office:
So, it's happening. Tomorrow I'll finally meet the counselor and get the help I need. Is it strange that I'm so excited about it? Anyhow, I'm excited about it.
If I understood her correctly, tomorrow will be a preliminary consultation. Basically, she'll ask a bunch of questions, but I doubt she'll dig too deep.
So, that's that, peeps. I'll leave you with the soundtrack of Ori and the Blind Forest, a game that is close to my heart because it made me cry like a little girl while making sweet love to my ears and eyes.
Sometimes, getting therapy is necessary. When you need help, you need it. Period. Sometimes life is too rough for a single human to handle it.
Thank you for your kindness. The memories being due to withdrawal is a possibility, but I don't think that the case. If I'm counting right, it's been 125 days since I started this journey. I would say that my desire to watch porn disappeared after the first month. I fantasize a lot, which is my primary concern. I also have the urge to masturbate, but it's generally easy to resist now.
I think the whole thing was due to my upcoming appointment with the counselor.
Oh, I would say most of us absolutely dread the time we have sex for the first time with a guy, at the very least. We tend to focus on our imperfections. A girl can become fixated on the size of her breasts, her stretch marks, her body hair... The list goes on and on. Meanwhile, the guy is fixated on the size of his penis and whether he can perform or not.
I don't have hard data to back this up, but I think porn exacerbated these tendencies. People generally say I'm cute, so at least I know I'm somewhat attractive. But when I compare myself to porn stars... Yup, any confidence I have in my body flies out the window. I guess it's the same with guys. When a male porn star has a chiseled body, an eight inch penis and lasts for half an hour, that can be a huge blow to a guy's confidence. Never mind that most people consider lasting longer than 10 minutes is "too much" and the average vagina is smaller than the average penis.
As for how I am feeling, I'm definitely more confident now. I know if I tried to have sex tomorrow, it would only hurt a little. In my fantasies I see myself as a giver rather than a receiver, so there's some confidence there.
What an insightful and awesome post. Good to know that you are excited about your therapy. I've been reading your journal and it's so inspirational.
You've had an awesome day it sounds like! Shepherd's Pie is really good, and I'll have to give bean burgers a try. It sounds like you'll definitely be set for Thursday.
If beans keep you nice, healthy and intact at that age I'd better get started!
That's so nice to see. You're opening up, really something impressive! Not many people can do that.
I still need to learn that myself. Someday.
I'd like to politely and respectfully disagree. Now I'm not sure how valid my opinion is, but if I had sex I think my biggest problems would be if she's enjoying it, if I'm hurting her, if there's enough foreplay beforehand, if she suggested it because she legitimately wants it or because she thinks it'll make me happy, just stuff like that. I have been told that ultimately women do not care about penis sizes, or at least they aren't on high priority. Of course, I've been wrong before, some guys might also feel as I do or there are a lot of women whose relationship is really decided by if she thinks the size is perfect. Maybe it'll change when me and my future SO become really close, so I might not be the best to ask.
You've come a long way since when you first starting out, and the changes make me feel happy for you. I hope you really find what you're looking for.
My goodness you sound like your in your 30s so mature. You will be an awesome husband and father good thing you're starting early to fix your mistakes that is so amazing!
Heck, that's a really good point. Well, unlike Solomon up there, I in fact am concerned about my penis size and whether my penis is "nice" lol... though before, my biggest concern was things like insecurity about being a virgin and having sex with someone who's done it a million times before and a pro.. eventually I've overcome those feelings and embraced them but I definitely agree that P makes a hugely negative impact on everyone's self esteem and perception of things. It's high time we all remind ourselves that that stuff is not real...
Congrats on your consultation coming up soon, hoping you get everything you need!
Also, that music is so relaxing, wow! And... wow, I never knew there was so much to know about beans
Today was my first appointment with the sex therapist! We covered a lot of material, but only superficially. She asked a lot of questions about my past and about my porn usage. So, we identified some key areas we need to work on, in the following order:
Reduce the amount of fantasizing to a more natural/manageable level
Deal with my past and the trauma
Work on how to remain porn-free for life
It might surprise you guys that I am not dealing with the addiction and the trauma right away. This is because I have been porn free for a while (I don't crave it anymore) and the childhood abuse is not truly disrupting my daily life. My main problem right now is the fantasizing. It has certainly gotten better, but I think I do fantasize more than the average woman.
According to the therapist, a woman my age might have about 3-4 fantasies per day, one mid-morning, one mid-afternoon and two at night, for example. Last time I tried to count, I had like 7 in less than four hours (and then I stopped counting). What's truly dangerous about these fantasies is that they're disruptive. When they occur at work (which they oftentimes do) they disrupt my focus.
The goal is not to eliminate fantasizing. After all, sexual thoughts are part of a healthy sexual life. Sex starts in the head, and it's difficult if not outright impossible to have a satisfying sex life if there's no fantasizing at all. Therefore, the goal is not to eliminate fantasizing, but to reduce it.
She gave me some homework. I have to find specific times of the day that won't interfere with my daily life when I welcome "positive" fantasizing: That is, me with a loving partner or a simple image/concept like "Mmm... penises," and then I go back to cutting sausages or whatever it is that I'm doing. The idea here is to have 3-4 times a day I can fantasize like a normal, sexual human being without it being a disruptive force.
She was very clear that, given my history of abuse and how early I discovered porn, I should avoid porn for the rest of my life; there's no way I can incorporate it into my life again because it would be too easy to go down that rabbit hole once more. I agree with her in that regard.
However, she did say we could consider masturbation down the road. Her reasoning is that there is a correlation between mental stimuli and physical stimuli; it's hard to have one without the other. Once we get my fantasizing under control, we can consider reintroducing masturbation. That way, I'll have a sexual release if I'm without a partner or if my partner's libido isn't as high as mine. I'm not against the idea. My primary goal with regards to masturbation is to never use it as a substitute for a true relationship. Using it as a complement is a possibility I'm willing to evaluate, at least.
Once we've gotten some strategies for dealing with fantasizing and I see some progress there, we'll start treating the trauma.
So, all is good for now.
Worrying that your partner is enjoying her, if you're hurting her, if there's enough foreplay, etc., counts as performance
So I don't think we disagree, there's just been a misunderstanding.
Thank you! Same to you.
Most women really don't care about penis size. 80% of women in relationships are happy with the size of their partner's penis, whereas only 53% of guys are happy with the size of their tool. So, most of us really don't care much, if at all.
Quite frankly, big penises make me nervous, but given my history, that is understandable. Average is good, thank you. And no, I'm not talking about the average we see in porn.
The therapy sounds super duper interesting. Must feel great finally having knowledge and advice about all these things that have been a pain in your side for so long. I wonder if the fantasizing stuff also applies to men? Hmm, I don't know, I don't think fantasizing is a thing men tend to do, but what do I know, I watched P for like a solid decade. I'm really happy about this progress you're seeing and are about to see with further sessions
These statistics certainly are interesting to know. Gotta say then I can pride myself on being frightfully average
I literally just realized this before I read what you said. Whoopsies!
The therapy you're getting sounds super positive. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far.
Morning started well. Woke up early and killed it at the gym. Got home just in time to stretch and get my lunch ready. Just as I was about to leave, I felt like crying.
Lately I have been feeling some resentment towards my parents. Given their circumstances, I think it's surprising how loved they made us feel and how much they were willing to sacrifice for my brothers and I. Both my parents come from broken homes. My paternal grandparents were absent, my maternal grandfather was alcoholic and physically abusive towards my grandmother, who was also manipulative and generally toxic; she ended up abandoning my mother and aunts once my grandfather died.
It's a freaking miracle my parents managed to create a family and keep it together, even after having to leave the country and being apart for several years.
Still, I'm starting to feel resentful. To us Latin Americans, family comes first. It's no wonder, then, they thought I would be safe around family. I'm not resentful because of that. But I do resent them for two separate issues.
Back when I was twelve or thirteen, I hit my rebellious phase. I think it was made worse by the fact I was also developing more complicated feelings towards the abuse itself: I felt used, objectified, only valuable as a toy. I didn't know how to cope with it all. My relationship with my mother was strained simply because she had to deal with me all the time. One morning, as I was getting ready for school, my mom asked me something and I snapped at her. Next thing I knew, I was on my back getting a beating from my irate mother. No blood, no broken bones, but it was a pretty mean beating anyways. Too many blows, too much force put into them.
She told me to get in the car. I did. I tried not to cry on the way to school so my eyes wouldn't be red, but other kids noticed anyways.
I think that night it was only mom and I in the house for some reason. I remember she was at the table eating, so I served myself dinner and went to sit down right next to her. No response. What's worse was that when I said "Buen provecho" (Bon appétit)... she said nothing. No response. She stonewalled me.
I remember thinking she hated me then. I desperately wanted her to talk to me. I wanted to reach out and touch her. In the end, I didn't. I guess I was scared she swat my hand again.
We ended up talking about that episode about a week later, only after I wrote her a letter; writing has always been easier for me. She apologized profusely about it and we both went to therapy. I thought that was done and dealt with, but it resurfaced recently for some reason.
Then there was another episode. This occurred when I was 13. I think the abuse had stopped by then. We got internet connection and I really got into falconry, which is a strange interest for a girl, but I thought it was awesome. I started chatting with people in that circle. I became friends with one of them. Can't remember his name, but I think he was 24? Anyhow, after a few chat sessions, he had pretty much gained my trust. One day, he started asking questions that had nothing to do with falconry: If I had ever had sex before, if I shaved down there. I can't remember how it happened exactly, but he turned on his camera. After a bit, he started masturbating as I watched.
He asked how I felt. I told him I felt weird. He asked me to describe it. I did.
I had discovered porn before, but it was mainly written smut and anime pictures. It was the first time I saw the real thing. I was aroused and had the feeling it was wrong, but he was a friend and I didn't question him.
We ended the chat. It turns out the software I was using saves all conversations in a .txt file. My parents found it and read it. There was no corporal punishment now. They just sat me down and lectured me on how some tools could be used for good or for evil: a brush could be used to paint a beautiful portrait or it could be used to poke someone's eye out. They grounded me, removed internet access for a few months.
But at no point did they realize a sexual predator had taken advantage of me. An adult abused me, but I was blamed for it.
I wonder if I never told them about my cousins abusing me because I thought I would be blamed for it, too. It's a possibility. Had it been a violent rape, there would be no question who was at fault. But if I told them Carlos and David had touched me in a bad way for six years, would they ask "Why didn't you tell us sooner"? Would I have been punished for it, too?
I wonder if I thought that, even if subconsciously.
I'm thinking on this because one of the questions the therapist asked me yesterday was if I thought there would be positive outcomes for myself if I told my parents. The more I think of it, the more I realize there would be no positive outcomes for ANYONE. I could sit them down and tell them:
"Hey, mom, dad, I love you two very much. Also, I want you to know that Carlos and David abused me from ages 6 to 12 approximately, and you two totally failed to protect me during that time. Also, mom, I'm still pretty much resentful about that beating, it was totally undeserved and you know it. Last but not least, that perv that masturbated on webcam as I watched was a sexual predator that took advantage of me; he abused me, and yet you blamed me for it. So, that's it... Oh, I forgot to add I have become a porn addict due to your obvious lack of stricter supervision and I can't make love normally because of the trauma. See ya next week!"
Even if I laid everything in a gentle way, what would be the positive outcome for myself? An apology? What am I going to do with that? Once a wound has been opened, an apology won't stitch it up to make it disappear with magic and rainbows.
So no, I don't think I'll be telling my parents.
I'll cut the post here. Sorry for it being so long. I left my phone at work, so I'll have to go sleep right now if I hope to wake up on time for gym without an alarm.
I know exactly how you feel about telling your parents. My mom always seems to cry when she talks about how my Dad had the problem. It's like "hey, I want to talk to someone about this but I don't want to make them cry".
How wonderful of a problem we're in, huh? Either we keep it to ourselves and fight the battle alone and keeping our loved ones in the bliss of not knowing, or tell and get support at the cost of their self esteem.
Oh well, you'll know what to do when the time comes. You've done a good job of doing that in this journal.
All the best.
You and I, we've talked at great length together. You know I am so awesomely proud of you.
As a PA/SA, we all have things in our background we are not proud of. For example, just as you were subjected to the things that you were that brought you to where you are today, we too were subjected to those things. Those were the stakes that were driven into the ground upon which our foundations were built. I'm not making excuses for it. I am explaining it is how it is what it is.
If you follow some of the most profound things that I have told people, and to be fair, I have tremendous difficulty with this myself, you must forgive these people who have wronged you in your life. But you don't forgive them because they deserve it. You forgive them because you deserve it. I know I need to forgive those who have wronged me. I'm just having difficulty making that transition for some. We can say we forgive someone. But deep down in our heart, we still hold a lot of anger. We hold a great deal of resentment. And resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Let's figure out a way to get beyond this resentment, because it is genuinely holding you back the same way it holds me back.
As for having the conversation with them? You don't necessarily need to do that. What would it buy you anyway? Deep down inside of them, they know what their contribution was. Only they can reconcile that within them, and you're not going to make that happen. After "Sex Camp", my brother felt the need to apologize and free his conscious for something he betrayed me of almost 40 years ago. I had long forgotten about what he did to me. I don't mean to say "I forgot", but I no longer harbored any ill will toward him over it anymore. Nonetheless, unbeknownst to me, that betrayal was also part of the catalyst that led to my ultimate downfall and collapse of everything that was important to me in life. Honestly, if there was a time that it just wasn't worth living anymore, it would be now. But considering how I'm not one who believes for a moment that suicide is an option because I don't believe our life is our own to take, that isn't an option for me at all. I know people don't understand it, but if God took my life tomorrow, I'd be OK with that, because I submit to his will. I have to believe in it because mankind sure as hell didn't do anything short of letting me down at so many levels.
Some things are just better left unsaid. They know. Let them figure it out on their own or die without figuring it out. I do believe they, like those who betrayed me, did the best that they could or knew how to do. Most people don't maliciously try to fuck things up just because they can fuck things up. But know that I love you and you can always dump your dirt on me. Do that, and leave your family and friends out of it. They already have enough dirt they couldn't possibly wash their way out of. And that's on them. The best forgiveness you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself and them. I hope we can help each other find our way to forgiveness.
Sorry for disappearing like that. I was at my parents' and needed up not having enough time to log in and say how I was doing. We celebrated my brother's birthday on Sunday. Both my brother and I are vegan, much to my mother's disapproval. She has opened up to the idea now that she understands that just because we don't eat animal products we won't disappear from family reunions. In fact, she wanted to make my brother a vegan meal and asked for help. We ended up making some lentil cakes that tasted pretty good, a salad, some rice and sauteed mushrooms, onions and bell peppers. It was a much simpler fare than what I did for my birthday (I cooked 6 different dishes for about 10 people... never again), but it was delicious and my brother loved it.
We did end up making too much cake, though. My mom made a "tres leches" (It tasted more like coconut than anything else) and I made a passionfruit "cheesecake" (It tasted both like passionfruit and cheesecake, but texture wasn't quite right. More trials needed.) I think I still haven't come down from the sugar high.
Tomorrow is my second appointment with the sex therapist. Last week, she asked me to think of 3 - 4 times a day to welcome positive fantasies. I have to be specific to location and to time.
That's a bit difficult, but here's what I have in mind:
10:00 AM, work, downstairs
3:00 PM, work, downstairs
6:30 PM, home, on the couch
8:30 PM, home, on my bed
I'm at work from 9 to 6, so finding somewhere I can be "at peace" for a bit will be difficult. I think what I can do is get up and go downstairs, where it's quieter, but not entirely private. I used to go there to stretch a bit, so there's no reason I can't re-purpose that a bit. I can run downstairs, fantasize for a bit, then run up the stairs. I get to fantasize, burn some energy and get my heart rate up after sitting down for so long.
The other two periods would occur at home. I never use the couch, so I can sit down and fantasize for a bit. Afterwards, I can fantasize on my bed, before posting on NoFap.
I think this schedule could work, but we'll see. I'm not entirely sure what she'll ask me to do next.
Thank you. Yes, I guess it's good to have people who you love so much you wouldn't want to hurt them in such a way. In my case, it's not silence that hurts, it's breaking the silence that might be too much. I prefer to bear the silence, at least for now. Having this outlet and a therapist helps. One way I might find a partner, and I will tell him, too.
Thank you. That is precisely what I needed to hear. I love my parents, I don't want to hurt them. I think they did the best they could given the circumstances. After all, they were a product of their own upbringing, of their own broken families, I know that. As parents, they screwed up big time, more than once, for many years. Still, I can't bring myself to hate them. I still remember me being sick and my mother crying next to me because I was reacting badly to the medicine. I remember my dad getting home and picking me up in his arms like I was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to him. Their screw-ups don't negate everything they did. It doesn't make me hate them.
But I feel angry and sad, for sure. Maybe this will subside after a while. I want it to. I don't want to feel this way. I want to let it go.
Having children sure is complicated. Even when you want to be the best parent in the world, there are so many things that can hurt the little one it's terrifying. And all you need to do is blink and the damage is done.
Yeah, as healthy and relieving as it is, there is a right time and place for it. It'll be a fight we'll have to do ourselves, but hey, all the more stronger, right?
Again, I find it so cool you can go to a therapist for help. A person you can just unconditionally open up to in the hope of changing your life for the better. That's a trust I wish I could give to people without being judged or made fun of for it.
I want to be able to do that, too! I've wanted to break this PMO addiction so I can confidently tell my date when we've become close. I just hope she'll see me as strong for overcoming this part of me and not mad or freaked out. But one day you and I will be able to find someone to tell and then we'll know if they're worth our time.
All the best. Keep going on your steak.