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#132397 - 06/06/06 06:27 AM Self Abuse (Trigger)
Liam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Currently South Africa
I lost it again a few nights ago. I stopped burning myself with cigaretttes and now i moved on again to my old familiar enemy. I do not know why i do this. I know i feel alone - judged by my friends and greatly discouraged. It seems like i will never be able to drop or overcome this. For this very reason i removed all blades round the house but i found something in my roommates drawers. They were sharp. I hate myself for doing that and for even writing this. This is not the first time i've treated myself like this. I lost so much weight and i went from a 42 to a 36 in pants and yet i still hate myself, and what i do ebdorse this feeling. I feel like i am falling off the deep end and i do not know how to get myself out of this again. If i did i would not be writing this. I touched with my therapist the issue of masturbation and he feels like i need to change my views on it and see it as healthy and acceptable. That i need not punish myself for it, nor feel bad about it. I see where he is coming from yet i am so confused about it. Half of the christians i know is for it - half is against it. I did gave in two days ago - the same day i lost it. Part of it is based on the fact that i cannot come to terms with my sexual orientation as an adult. All the sexual abuse i suffered as a child were at the hands of males. I long yet hate the idea. I know many women who were abused by men still marry men so they still feel sexually attracted to men - could i possible have this attraction because of the exposure to men since the age of 5-12. Is it possible to feel like this. Should i rather not be involved with anyone at all. Is it better to continue on a road like this?

#132398 - 06/06/06 06:20 PM Re: Self Abuse (Trigger)
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Couple of things. Your therapist is probably on the right track of your guilt for masturbating. Apart from moral/religious interpretations or restrictions, it is a normal, healthy behavior. When it gets involved in rehearsals for deviant behaviors (rape, child molestation, self-mutilation) then it is not helpful. Guilt or conflict over masturbation (or addictive masturbation itself) are not helpful to the person. I suggest you continue to work with your therapist over your conflicts.

Secondly, take a look at and see if it has any bearing with what you are going through.

There are connections likely between your childhood abuse and confused, conflictual feelings you are experiencing now. A good therapist can help you sort it out and have a happier life. Whether you should be involved with anyone at this time is up to you. The more you resolve for yourself, the easier it is to have another person in your life.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#132399 - 06/07/06 04:18 AM Re: Self Abuse (Trigger)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

Just adding to what Ken has said, I hope you won't blame yourself for feeling so conflicted and confused. You are getting a lot of contrary information, and having been abused for 8 years would have absolutely destroyed any sense of sexual boundaries you had.

The most important thing I think you need to hear is that the key lies in your therapy. I hope you will stick with that. And as I said, please don't load a lot of blame on yourself. Adding to feelings of guilt you already have will just make everything more difficult.

On a personal note, I'm glad to see you posting and I hope you will continue. Talking about things has always helped me, not least of all for the constant reassurance that I'm not alone. I think you will have the same experience.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#132400 - 06/07/06 07:39 PM Re: Self Abuse (Trigger)
TrailofTears Offline

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Central Kentucky
When it comes to blaming ourselves, it can take time to "get it" emotionally. I think you may be involved in some self blame. I know that at some point as a child, I made the decision that it was my fault that I was abused, But the good news is, that I have changed my mind and finally know and feel deep inside that I am totally innocent and was never to blame. Soon after this, I stopped doing things that temporarily made me feel good, but very bad later and some of the things I was doing, I began to see were not bad at all, but rather natural.
This comes in time so just stick with your therapy and talk all you need to, we will be here!

#132401 - 06/08/06 11:02 PM Re: Self Abuse (Trigger)
Heartonfire Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 6
Loc: Montreal Canada
Dear Liam,

I support everything the men above write. You seem to be dealing with a lot of self-doubt, questioning your judgements, desires, what is ''right'' what is ''wrong''... and probably lashing yourself silly for any choices you make. Is that close to your experience? I can totally relate. Would you like to move beyond blame and self-loathing, or is it somehow familiar, and protective in nature. Does it serve you to hate yourself so? I wonder...
Can you allow yourself to see life as a great experiment? Can you try to give yourself whatever is so forbidden or ''bad'' in a way that you objectively know doesn't hurt anyone, including yourself? For example, can you allow yourself to imagine and feel that deisre to hurt yourself, breathing through it, situated in a safe space, without picking up something sharp and actually doing harm to your body? If you get overwhelmed and choose to hurt yourself again, can you notice what brought you there again?
My suggestions come from personal experience and professional advice, but may or may not work for you. I overcome a painful over-eating and starving cycles, with tonnes of shame, by eating precicisely the food I had forbid myself, (which when I consciously chose to eat, and noticed how I was using that to cover over fears, I actually didn't need to binge on. Recently, I applied this crazy wisdom to the strong sexual urges I have been having towards men and which paralyzed me with fear and so I would cut them off. When I allowed myself to feel the desire, it became increasingly violent towards other men, then my dad (who sexually coerced me and betrayed my trust as a child) and even myself as a child... I allowed myself to sit with and feel fully the deisre to do what was done to me, the surge of helplessness and that intense yet false sense of power (power over) flushed through my body. Now I feel much safer, in myself, and around men, and kids.
Courage, Liam, courage! You are not alone. We all walk with you here. If you need support, I encourage a good therapist, of your choosing, writing to this board, and a tool for emotional self-support (such as
All my love to you as you pass through these storms.

Heart on Fire


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