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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse - Part 2

Well, here I visit this topic again...with much trepidation. Part of the effect of my sexual abuse is that I look at pornography on the Internet. After, I spoke with my therapist about it I kept thinking that he thought that I was horrible, that he thought that I was wrong or bad, etc. However, I realized that I was projecting my own feeling and thoughts onto him. Because I knew this we didn't get stuck on him.

Pornography...what a sensitive subject for me to delve into. I finally really talked about it with my therapist. I look at it least once a day or I may skip a couple of days. It is usually the BDSM type with the male being the aggressor and the female being the victim. Yes, on rare occasions I am sexual aroused.

I felt quite ashamed, but less now. I realized that what I look at is like a mirror or validation that people really do the things that were done to me, only what I look at is between consenting adults. At times, I am appalled and angry at having my experience validated as I don't want to look at how severe my abuse was. The other thing is that when the female is the aggressor, I like seeing the male being hurt as it help to fulfill my fantasies.

My therapist helped me to realize that this was a natural response to the severity of my sexual abuse. I keep saying, "people really do this to themselves and other." Somehow, it makes me feel better and breaks down my wall of denial.

I realize and my therapist confirmed that this is only a problem if it becomes an addiction. Some signs of addictions in general:
  1. Do you sense that your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors are causing problems in your life?
  2. Have sexual thoughts interfered with your ability to function at work or at school?
  3. Do you worry that your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors are more powerful than you are?
  4. Do you sometimes think that you are the only person who has certain sexual thoughts or engages in certain sexual behaviors?
  5. Do you fail to meet commitments or fail to carry out responsibilities because of your involvement with pornography?
  6. Do you struggle to control or completely stop your thinking about or viewing pornography?
  7. Do you view pornography in order to escape, deny, or numb your feelings?
  8. Do you think about sex more than you would like to?
  9. Do you spend more money than you can afford to spend on pornography?
  10. Does it seem as though there is another person or force inside of you that drives you to pornography?
  11. Do you have two standards of fidelity -- one for yourself and one for your spouse or partner?
  12. Do you feel empty or shameful after viewing or masturbating using pornography?
  13. Have you ever promised yourself that you would never again view pornography?
  14. Do you use pornography to deal with, deny, or avoid problems in your life?
  15. Do you risk legal problems in order to view pornography?
  16. Do you anxiously anticipate or fear trips out of town because of what you think you might do sexually while you're away?
  17. When you have child care responsibilities, do you put a higher priority on masturbating or being sexual than you do on the welfare of the child(ren) in your care?
  18. Do your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors interfere with your spiritual or religious life? Do your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors cause you to believe that you don't deserve to have a religious or spiritual life?
  19. Have you lost a job or risked losing a job because of your involvement with pornography?
  20. Do you scan printed material (novels, newspapers, magazines) or change channels on the television set just to find something that will stimulate you sexually?
  21. Do you regularly view pornography or engage in fantasies involving self-abuse or other kinds of physical abuse?
  22. Do you dig through other people's garbage to find pornography?
  23. Would you rather masturbate than be sexual with a partner?
  24. Do you drive around unfamiliar neighborhoods (cruise) hoping to find places where pornography is available?
  25. Do you look at pornography or masturbate while driving?
  26. Have you replaced a collection of pornographic material after destroying one collection and vowing never to purchase pornography again?
  27. Has an important relationship in your life ended because of your inability to stop looking at pornography?
Remember this is a long list, but if you identify with many of the above you maybe addicted to pornography or on the way to sex addiction.


Anonymous said...

It's very brave of you to share this part of your life with us. But you have nothing to be ashamed of-- it sounds like looking at porn is a coping method! I admire you so much because you are candid and real. Keep it up, CC.

Wishing you well,

Sharon Rose said...

I agree with NOS. It is very brave of you to share this. And, it is honorable to recognize that you are able to face the truth about how pornography effects you after being abused.

The post is an excellent one. I wish there was less taboo in keeping this subject real so that more people could heal from their past instead of being shamed into hiding it.

Just Be Real said...

Thank you for sharing and being so transparent.

Clueless said...

NOS, it is strange to me that porn is a good thing. Thank you for the encouragement. I hope that it helps others.

Pastor Sharon, agreed. And, especially in church. And the topic of masturbation.

JBR. Thank you. This was difficult to write.

eeabee said...

Oh thank you for talking about this. It's been very hard for me to talk about it with my therapist--I've only managed little hints but this makes me think I could say more. I do relate, and while I don't think there's anything wrong with looking at erotica in general, I do feel shame about some of the things that draw me, so I don't know if the looking at things that feel shameful is the problem or the just the shame.

I do appreciate you sharing about this--there's such the stereotype of men being the ones with porn and I think it feels extra shameful for women, which isn't really so good.

Clueless said...

eeabee, I'm really glad this was helpful to you. I agree with you about the shame stuff. I hope that you read Part 1.

Clueless said...

eeabee, this is the link to the other post, http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/2011/06/effects-of-childhood-sexual-abuse.html

Patricia Singleton said...

Thank you for bringing this topic out into the light of day. Sexual abuse affects us in so many ways. This is just one possibility. Thank you for sharing your courage.

Clueless said...

Patricia, that you for the encouragement and kind words. This has been one of the more difficult topic for me to address. Take care of yourself.

Tyler said...

Your courage to share this to us is truly admirable.

Porn addiction is deemed to be among the cheapest types of addiction and one of the most difficult addictions to treat. This is mainly because of the reason that the chemical released in the brain when individual watches porn is comparable to what is being released when one does cocaine.

Many will be inspired by your bravery and discuss and share similar matters openly. We truly wish you well.

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