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#68414 - 11/19/03 04:11 PM Re: Advice from those in the know
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>But I've said so many times "it wasn't me" - and I meant it.
But I also felt like I was making excuses.
Such confusion.

Believe it or not those of us who have been through trauma of our own, sexual or otherwise can relate - my abuse was all about anger, and rage and control and verbal and psychological torment.. and I do some really really weird things when I am under stress.. and I can totally relate to the feeling of.. well its like you are "possessed" when you start the acting out stuff. The only thing is that I dont act out sexually as I was not abused sexually, but I have been known to start freaking out and screaming and yelling... and I start to look and act like a stark raving lunatic psycho girlfriend with no dignity!

And when I look back on my darker days and my most embarassing acting out, I too can say "it wasn't me" becuase I know when I'm in a healthier place and space I dont have any inclination to act that way. For the most part when I'm not reacting to somethign I'm a pretty sane, normal, healthy and fun person.

>>>one other thing that I don't think has been mentioned often is the strange, semi-subconcious feeling ( if there is such a thing ) that I wanted to get caught.
the 'theory' being that if I was caught then someone would ask "why" - I would say "I was abused" - help would be given, and we'd all happily ever after.
The reality of getting caught acting out would have been very different I imagine.

I would too. I doubt there are many people out there who would be able to "understand". There certainly are few who could understand me.

>>>It's not something we want to do, after all who wants sex with someone they don't know, with all the risks of disease, in some shit stained toilet ?
It doesn't make sense.

You know what? That statement is music to my ears. Why? I've been trying to come to terms with my fiance's past - what does his sexual past say about him, who he is, what he values.. and if I look at his past and make inferences from that they are pretty awful. And combine that with my own pretty destroyed self esteem about my "deservedness" to be loved.. well I was ripe for some serious psychological self-torture.. that I have been engaging in since I met my fiance.

And this whole journey of understanding about how sexual abuse can affect sexual behaviour has been ONE TOUGH ROAD I tell you. However, from that I am able to believe more than ever that my fiance's track record of promiscuous casual sex was NOT what he was all about.. because I dont want to be with someone who can treat sex so casually. But I have since learned that sexual acting out is not about sex at all.. but an expression that someone is in SERIOUS pain.

>>>It's NOTHING to do with seeking sex or anything else outside of our relationships, it's an unstoppable force given to us by our abusers.
My wife said to me "It wasn't you, they led you there by the hand"

>>>Why do I still feel as though I'm making excuses though ? My guess is the guilt.
We feel guilt over the childhood abuse, because our abusers told us that we were enjoying it, we wanted to do it, and our erections played tricks on us.

Also dont forget that sex is just such a "loaded" issue - it can encompass and be used to represent all kinds of things such as power, love, respect (or lack thereof), commitment, fidelity, betrayal, it can be a way to bond people and it can be a way to really really hurt someone. It also has huge moral and cultural issues tied up within it and for those of us who come from more "British" cultural backgrounds (i.e. UK, USA, English Canada) I think there's always an element of "puritan" and "catholic" (depending on your religious persuasion) guilt wrapped up in sex in general. (I have come to this conclusion after having lived in French and English Canada... I can safely say there's a HUGE difference in the way sex, sexual behaviour, sexual responsibility and even sexual abuse is viewed between the french and english cultures in my own country.)

>>>>I'm learning to become a Counsellor, and tonight in my class we were discussing the concept of "Unconditional Positive Regard" that a counsellor has to have for a client, and I have a perfect example - it's what my wife showed me about 4 years ago, and I've learned to return.
Although we might call it "love"

This sounds great.

My partner and I are participating in group therapy sessions put on by a "men's healing" program in our city. We have learned about a model for trauma survivors' behaviour called "the wobble".

If I can get a digital copy of it I'll pass it on. Maybe I'll just type it out for you and email it if you were interested.

What the wobble is is a model to help explain the sometimes unexplainable emotion and behaviour swings that a survivor of abuse and trauma displays when under extreme anxiety-producing situations (and for many survivors just being alive and conscious is an extreme anxiety producing situation).

And yes, sexual acting out was one of the behavioural traits that is mentioned in this model (so is coldness and insensitivity so go figure!)


#68415 - 11/20/03 07:52 AM Re: Advice from those in the know
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
April and everybody sharing here - Dave, Don and others have shared good honest advice - yes, acting out can stop. I have 26 years without acting out (yeah, Dave, the up in your head stuff is tough and I can't say 26 years there). I am married for 33 years to a great woman who, I know, was devestated when, after 6 years, she discovered my other mate. We talked it out, I went to therapists, groups, read books, more therapists...I love my wife soooo much. It can be done!!

I believe in sayings, one of which is "if you don't talk it out you'll act it out". Sexual abuse is such a secret thing. Who can you tell? If you can't face it, talk it out...well, you act it out! Make sense? It does to me!!

Talk! Support! Hang in there!!!


If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

#68416 - 11/21/03 01:29 AM Re: Advice from those in the know
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
One thing just struck me reading PAS' post where she mentions her 'promiscuous' boyfriend.

I was wondering if I would have gone down the promiscuous with other women route if I'd have had the opportunities?
I've always worked in very male environments, and also locally where there was nearly always someone from my wife's huge family working as well. I work with three relatives of hers now
To commit adultery I'd have to leave the country !

Cottaging however is different, the secrecy is total, the 'hit' is instant - we don't exchange pleasantaries or chat each other up :rolleyes:
We just 'know' it's going to happen.

I wonder how much our acting out, and survival techniques ARE influenced by what actually happened to us, and how we live our lives after ?

A bit of both I would say ?


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#68417 - 11/21/03 08:10 PM Re: Advice from those in the know
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Originally posted by Lloydy:
One thing just struck me reading PAS' post where she mentions her 'promiscuous' boyfriend.

I was wondering if I would have gone down the promiscuous with other women route if I'd have had the opportunities?

I wonder how much our acting out, and survival techniques ARE influenced by what actually happened to us, and how we live our lives after ?

A bit of both I would say ?

Probably a bit of both.

With respect to my fiance's past - for the record he never cheated when he was with me or with anyone. In fact, he went "cold turkey" on sex a few years before we met because he realized he was getting himself in trouble. He didnt know why, but he just knew that it was hurting him. I dont think I'd ever have put up with him cheating with other women when he was with me. His past was more a flurry of serial monogamy, one night stands, casual sex, etc. To some that may sound like "normal" male behaviour even for the non-SA, however, I konw my fiance's background, I know how he was raised, and one night stands, casual sex, and all of that stuff is NOT what he is about. (I have a hunch that all people who engage in that kind of casual sex behaviour have either something to prove or something that they are covering up.. but that is another post for another time..)

Where the links are to the sexual abuse in my fiance's story is that the biggest trauma in his molestation was that it generated a deep seated fear that he was gay. He will be the first to admit that he used sex with women to cover up this fear. His logic was - after all a man abused him, when he was abused he became aroused, and so therefore he believed he was gay. He held this inside him and told NOBODY for over 10 years. Instead, he became an alcoholic, a pothead, and had a lot of sex with women - he just thought that with enough sex with women he'd be "cured" or at least others would not think he was gay!

There was also the whole aspect of "making him feel like crap" aspect that I recall Lloydy talking about. I recall the discussion was something like "I feel like crap so why shouldnt I do things that made me feel like crap". And when I have asked my fiance about his questionable past, instead of giving me the expected male bravado about "wanting it and loving it" he said simply: "I disrespected myself by doing all that stuff. Sexually, I felt like I was crap, so why wouldn't I go ahead and do things that proved it by having sex with people who cheated, with people I didnt even like, with people I didnt even respect?"

Although as a society we really condone and even encourage men to go out and "sleep with as many women as they want" I dont think that this promiscuous behaviour does ANYONE any favours.

From what I am learning about my fiance now, I realize his promiscuous behaviour broke a lot of hearts, most importantly, his own.

Anyhow, all of this is to say that I dont know how I'd have been able to handle all of this if it was still happening during our relationship. Its hard enough coming to terms with the stuff he did before we met, but at least that was in the past before we even met.

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