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#390253 - 03/22/12 10:01 PM panic/anxiety
Bradley P Offline

Registered: 11/03/10
Posts: 68
Loc: AR
So, I've been a little absent lately and I'm sorry for that. I've been struggling with some pretty high anxiety of late. I'll tell you all where it started. I suppose I should put a trigger warning, although I don't think it's necessary.


A little over a month ago, I was online (facebook). Right when I was about to sign out, this guy I've met at one of my band's shows started messaging me. Cool. It was all good, music stuff, movie stuff. Then he started like, well, doing little things like putting extra smiley faces and mildly (very mildly) flirting. I went to his page, and yes, he is gay. Very attractive guy. At first, I kinda liked the attention, but with every keystroke (not a thing "dirty" or even hinting that way) I felt huge, surges of anxiety. Why did I feel this? Did I feel "danger"? I'm feeling panicky right now as I type this. It's a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, like I'm falling. I don't understand it. Anyways, the convo wasn't bad at all and I am still not sure where this surge of anxiety came from.

That same night, I had a panic attack, tears, uncontrollable crying, etc...and I called my dad and got with him to talk. When I told him, he gave me this really bad, blank stare and said basically nothing. day doesn't understand what triggering is, Check!

A couple of nights later, I texted my ex-gf on valentine's day, just a nice, sweet text, and I got nothing in return. Ouch.

As a result, I've been struggling a little with some porn, of both gay and straight varieties, and once it was at my office desk at school. The only other time has been the last couple of days I've had surges of compulsion to try and "find" some porn, but I'm too scared to go anywhere like a video store (I've technically never been to an adult store), and the last couple of times I've lost interest. I'm now struggling mega with feelings of guilt, and I'm a creepy pervert. Why the frick did I look at my office??!! Well, I've worried about it before for months because if you sit me anywhere day by day in front of a computer, sooner or later, I'm gonna struggle. That's why I just decided to get rid of the one I had at's just not worth it.

Anyways, I can't stop beating myself up...I mean it's like near puking tears, stomach is constantly in knots. I need some help dealing with this guys...

sorry to sound so needy haha, in fact I don't even know what I'm asking for...just needed to share.

Thanks for listening

"Life is for living, we all know...but I don't want to live it alone"-Chris Martin (Coldplay)

#390255 - 03/22/12 10:12 PM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: Bradley P]
Castle Offline

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 758
Your asking people to hear you, I did, Thank you for sharing.


#390256 - 03/22/12 10:15 PM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: Castle]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3855
It is always better to get it out, venting helped me, you know we are here for you--and we heard you.

#390257 - 03/22/12 10:18 PM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: Bradley P]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1598
Loc: California
Hi Bradley,

Thank you for sharing, and welcome back. This is actually the first time I've seen one of your posts, and glad I did!

I can relate to your feelings of panic and confusion. As survivors of childhood sexual abuse, we tend to get intimacy / love / sex / being abused confused. Because of our experiences, we're wired to respond (like pavlov's dog) to certain stimulus. In your case, it sounds like your primed to respond with anxiety when someone starts to flirt with you. And you're uncertain what to do with it, and so to alleviate anxiety, you go to porn.

Most of us "use" something to alleviate the anxiety that lives in us. Don't beat yourself up, dude. It's NORMAL for us.

The key is to learn the mechanism behind it, and to deal with the underlying cause of the anxiety.

For me, it has been a lot of meditation, therapy, talking to others in support groups and listening to others who have the same issues I do. As a result, I'm finally getting at the core of my issues, and I'm finding quite a lot of flexibility and freedom in how I choose to respond behaviorally to these stimulating events.

Cured? No. But aware and awake and responding deliberately to these events with honesty, directness, and compassion. And what I"m finding as a result is that I have opportunities to discover who I am, who I want to be, and to honor the person I'm becoming in the process.

Glad you're back here, and hope you choose to stick around.


#390284 - 03/23/12 03:20 AM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: Magellan]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3866
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Bradley,
so familiar with those temptations. It is great that you've come to share your problems with us. Just keep doing that.
Please stop beating yourself, there is no need to make things even harder. Try to be more supportive/loving to yourself for change.
Make some plan and stick with it if that is possible if not come again after fall - that is my stance in dealing with my compulsiveness and porn addiction (gay and straight).
My plan looks in short like this:
1. daily positive affirmation
2. regular exercise
3. regular reading and education (here is some recovery plan from porn addiction for you, I also need to go trough:
4. trying to stay in reality at any cost - that is key for avoiding porn or some other compulsive high drive behavior,
5. I'm learning everyday to be compassionate to myself and to gain some self esteem that is most important thing that we all need.
Please don't be harsh to yourself there is solution for every problem and certainly there is reason why you acted out. Give yourself some brake and full bunch of hugs wink .
Stay in touch with us!

My story

#390287 - 03/23/12 03:43 AM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: peroperic2009]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4286
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Hey Bradley,

***Anyways, I can't stop beating myself up...I mean it's like near puking tears, stomach is constantly in knots. I need some help dealing with this guys...

sorry to sound so needy haha, in fact I don't even know what I'm asking for...just needed to share.

Thanks for listening***

I get where you're coming from. the feelings... self-punishment... of course you're needy - that's why ALL OF US are here!

I just wanna add my support to what Magellan and Pero said.

My T is alswys reminding me to find positive and healthy practises to use as "calming" tactics.

I have a hard time doing the exercise thing because so much of my history of abuse happened in sports, athletic and locker-room related contexts. too much of a trigger. So i have to find other means...

I've nearly totally eliminated the porn use since starting to be active here on the MS forums. It gives me a connection with other men that i was unsuccessfully and unhelpfully and unheathily trying to fill with the visual images that just deepended the feelings of shame and depression and worthlessness.

Another thing i do is read and write a LOT. and much of my writing ends up here - sharing with the membership.

Some use music - playing or listening - or other constructive and positive hobbies or interests. even walking a dog or taking a walk ...

as for you needing to share - VERY positve sign!!! goes totally against the grain of the secrecy that we all have been bound by for so long. LET IT OUT!

And the "thanks for listening"... no thanks needed! that's what i live for these days! glad it helps you too, cuz it sure does help me!


How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#390363 - 03/23/12 04:05 PM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: traveler]
Bradley P Offline

Registered: 11/03/10
Posts: 68
Loc: AR
Thanks guys, SOOO much. I'm feeling a little bit better. I appreciate all your kind words more than you know.

"Life is for living, we all know...but I don't want to live it alone"-Chris Martin (Coldplay)

#390430 - 03/23/12 11:37 PM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: Bradley P]
atlanticcoast Offline

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 12
Great to hear that Bradley P

#390593 - 03/25/12 12:36 AM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: Bradley P]
Publius Offline

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 444
Loc: OH
Regardless of whether or not you are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual that sort of experience can be a scary one. Sometimes for guys like us being flirted with feels way to close to the grooming process or things said to us throughout our abuse experience. As someone said before affection/intimacy/sex/abuse get all mixed up together in a very bad way for many of us. Nevertheless, those feelings of guilt, shame, and compulsion are not unusual at all when it comes to survivors. But the good news is we hear you, and we are here to tell you it can get better for you. I encourage you to do everything in your power to recover whether it involves therapy, group work, or posting on this site : )

"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

#390621 - 03/25/12 02:33 AM Re: panic/anxiety [Re: Publius]
Jim1104 Offline

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 410
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Hang in there bud. Sorry you have had such a bad time. I don't blame you for getting anxious.



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