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#514598 - 08/13/17 10:46 PM Do fetishes go away with treatment?
MeditativeCycler Offline


Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 41
(Like I everything I put out here, this will likely be really rambly, incoherent, and be interrupted by a dark memory.)

When I was a teenager, I was shy and awkward and this was further compounded by about three paraphilias that were deeply connected to the abuse from my grandfather. They didn't make any sense to me at the time (I was still blocking the majority of memories) they were just this weird, freaky thing about me. I was always terrified someone would find out these secrets.

Eventually I recovered the related memories and it clicked, making me say "Ohhh THAT'S why I get turned on by _____"

In the past couple of years, I had started indulging a benign fetishe just for some variety. It's a pretty common and simple one, but I'm too ashamed to even write the details here.

Then my life went to shit and ripped a bunch of old scars off.

I started poking at old wounds.

(TW: CSA, CP)


From the beginning of the recovery process I had this one memory, very fuzzy, of sitting on the floor and looking up at my grandpa. He had his camera out to take a picture of me. I remember being very sad, and really not wanting to have my picture taken. But I couldn't ever figure out what he had taken a picture of. I didn't think I was naked, and this was 35mm in the 80s, so it would have been stupid for him to take a child porn picture that someone else would develop and print. Ages ago, I had given up trying to figure out what happened that day and figured it didn't matter what the picture was of.

I was thinking about that memory again a few days ago. Probing it, trying to figure it out, and then a random thought occurred to me, "Was there a dress?" BAM, that was it. That's why I couldn't ever figure it out because I thought he had taken an obviously abusive photo and I was searching with the wrong terms. I almost vomited as this incredibly strong mental image of looking at myself in the mirror, wearing a girl's blue gingham dress and tights with his hands on my shoulder. He was taking pictures to humiliate me dressed as a girl.

Then he said, "You're a girl. Girls are for penetrating." (He said that a lot, or some variation on it.) he then turned me over and sodomized me.


Which brings me to the modern day. Son-of-a-bitch, THAT'S where this fetish came from? I want to scream and hide. What was once a thing to try and experiment with so that I wasn't such a straight-laced, stick in the mud person about sex, has suddenly been completely tainted and I never want to think about it again.

What happens to these fetishes that we can trace back to specific moments in our childhoods? Do we reach a peace with them and find them useful, or do they just go away?

Right now, I want them to go away forever.


*EDIT GRAMMAR*


Edited by MeditativeCycler (08/14/17 08:06 PM)

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#514614 - 08/14/17 09:45 AM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: MeditativeCycler]
Chris4TheMill Offline


Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 629
Loc: NY / NJ Area
Your grandpa sounds like a very sick man. You are not a girl. He had no right to do that to you or mess with your head like that.

In answer to your question, over many years and with a lot of work (especially journaling), all of my fetishes & paraphilias, (of which there were many) have faded into the background. The "worst" ones are mostly gone, although a few might pop up when I am very stressed and the limbic brain still tries to go automatically into the old fantasy patterns. But at this point, I have enough tools at my disposal and enough desire, to shut the down before they get too far

Still have an issue though with jealousy of other guys and using a particular male archetype as an "avatar." By brain still seems to go into that way too automatically without me being fully aware of what is going on. But am working on that.

I have never found any of these fetish fantasies to be useful. They have all been crippling to one degree or another. Just because something arouses us doesn't automatically make it good.

I am not shamed by them anymore though because I understand where they came from and why. But in short, the answer is yes, you can get to a point where they fade into the background and some can go away entirely.

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#514622 - 08/14/17 01:36 PM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: MeditativeCycler]
Jay1946 Offline


Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 249
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
I also have a fetish that I was very ashamed of. I couldn't figure out where it came from, because it was so contrary to my personality. Then, I recalled a memory of childhood sexual abuse and with the help of an excellent therapist that specializes in Trauma,I was able to link the fetish with the childhood sexual abuse.

My therapist explained that the fetish served a useful purpose at some point in my life, in helping my inner self sooth the trauma of the csa. But, I don't need it anymore.

I wish I could say that knowing where it comes from has reduced its appeal. Unfortunately it has not. Nevertheless I've learned to use some tools to channel the temptations to indulge to more positive activities.
_________________________
Jay

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#514628 - 08/14/17 08:04 PM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: Chris4TheMill]
MeditativeCycler Offline


Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By Chris4TheMill
Your grandpa sounds like a very sick man. You are not a girl. He had no right to do that to you or mess with your head like that.


I cried when I read that; thank you for saying that. It seems obvious that he's a sick person, but I really have a hard time getting his words out of my head that I'm the sick one. It's a comfort to hear, strange as it is, that what he did wasn't right.

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#514632 - 08/14/17 10:08 PM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: MeditativeCycler]
Chris4TheMill Offline


Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 629
Loc: NY / NJ Area
MeditativeCycler,

I decided to be direct and just say it. I'm glad it helped and didn't create more anguish for you.

I am sorry for what he did to you. You are a man. He does not have the authority - nor does anyone else - to redefine you or tell you otherwise. When we are very young, our identities are still forming. That is why we struggle so much with what others say to us or do to us because we deeply internalize it. But what they do is a reflection on them and not us. We have to fight to claim that as truth and to take back our real personhood.

What he did was evil, plain and simple. My guess is that there are contradictory emotions regarding him; many of us have that with our family abusers. But my hope for you is that over time in your recovery you will be able to sort out the good from the bad and evict his worst behavior from your mind so that he just becomes like faded background noise. He probably doesn't even deserve to be that, but if you can get there, at least you will start feeling some freedom. And hope.

Best regards,

Chris

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#514706 - 08/16/17 09:38 PM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: MeditativeCycler]
MeditativeCycler Offline


Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By Chris4TheMill
I am sorry for what he did to you. You are a man. He does not have the authority - nor does anyone else - to redefine you or tell you otherwise. When we are very young, our identities are still forming. That is why we struggle so much with what others say to us or do to us because we deeply internalize it. But what they do is a reflection on them and not us. We have to fight to claim that as truth and to take back our real personhood.

What he did was evil, plain and simple.


I've read this post about ten times now. It helps to hear that so much.

It's very weird to hear that perspective, honestly. I've talked about my issues with my (adopted) Brother. He was never abused, so he's a wonderful listener but sometimes it's hard to talk to him. There's a lot of "Sorry that happened" and I never want to get into details because I can see the pain in his eyes trying to comprehend what happened to me. So I tell him with mostly inferences and short on details. That's not a criticism of him: he's a wonderful person and I'm grateful to be able to talk to him.

Sometimes I just want to hear, "That was wrong." My bio-sister goes the total opposite extreme. She was abused by my grandpa as well, and she has nothing but extreme anger at everything. She gets angry at me for not being *more* angry. I just can't do it though. It's too destructive.


Originally Posted By Chris4TheMill
My guess is that there is contradictory emotions regarding him; many of us have that with our family abusers. But my hope for you is that over time in your recovery you will be able to sort out the good from the bad and evict his worst behavior from your mind so that he just becomes like faded background noise.


It didn't used to be contradictory... I stopped hating him and just let him go. I actually felt bad for him because he had an entire childhood of daily beatings -- I only had a few bad weeks. Maybe I was just being premature in forgiving.

Just this last week, I recovered a new memory that was totally different from the others. One where he told me if was "a good boy" he wouldn't leave me tied up overnight. (I talked about this in another thread...). The memory is really messing with me. Even though it is the least traumatic memory, it's actually the most difficult memory to deal with because it is the most complex. The others are just "Well that was painful and awful." But this one I can barely face because I wanted to please him so badly, not just check out. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about this. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with this memory.

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#514721 - 08/17/17 06:36 AM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: MeditativeCycler]
Dan99 Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 191
Loc: Washington DC
Wow, so brave of you to start tackling this tough stuff. Good for you, man. You might want to check out this link that JohnnyC posted, too:

http://www.discussion.malesurvivor.org/b...4696#Post514696
_________________________
Work like you don't need the money;
dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you've never been hurt;
and live life every day as if it were your last.

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#514737 - 08/17/17 10:44 AM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: MeditativeCycler]
JohnnyC Offline


Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 23
Loc: Ohio
I was getting ready to post the link to the PT article but saw Dan99 above just did it smile

We were inappropriately sexualized, branded perhaps, by the people who did this to us. I don't think we can erase it. It's a part of us, just like that scar on my knee from when I feel off a trampoline.

What makes SA so awful is that we are also physical animals who are curious and who respond involuntarily to our surroundings.

It would be crazy to say that our abuse would not effect the way we think about sex and how we respond to the chemicals we have in our brains and body for procreation.

It's so crucial for us to not feel shame about the fetishes that resulted from our abuse. There is no such thing as normal.

Understand the fetishes, think about them, wonder about them, perhaps even find a way to embrace them (harmlessly, of course) with a partner or by yourself.

It ain't easy, and I'm struggling with it myself, but don't be ashamed of your scars.

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#514738 - 08/17/17 10:54 AM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: JohnnyC]
MeditativeCycler Offline


Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By JohnnyC

It's so crucial for us to not feel shame about the fetishes that resulted from our abuse. There is no such thing as normal.


Thank you for the kind words.

The tricky bit, for me, is that ALL of my fetishes are about being shamed; I *want* to be humiliated. That's what I was taught. Now I can't figure out I'd making it my own thing would be good, or just counterproductive in the long run.

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#514831 - 08/19/17 09:35 PM Re: Do fetishes go away with treatment? [Re: MeditativeCycler]
Jay1946 Offline


Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 249
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Originally Posted By MeditativeCycler
Now I can't figure out I'd making it my own thing would be good, or just counterproductive in the long run.


I know what you mean because I've struggled with the same question. The psychology today article that JohnnyC referenced is excellent in explaining a lot of the issues we are dealing with.

Like other posters have advised, ban all shame!. Embrace who you are and love yourself for what you are, scars and all. While I accept my fetishes, I have come to the realization that engaging in them, while lustfully pleasurable, doesn't add anything positive to my life, and, that I no longer need them.
_________________________
Jay

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