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#72274 - 02/26/04 04:21 PM Painful catch 22 (likely triggers)
Spidey Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/04/03
Posts: 14
Loc: NYC
Please bear with me - this is a fairly long post.

I'm in the middle of a difficult situation right now. I was abused by two older men at the age of thirteen, just before puberty, over a two week period. I remembered the abuse about three years ago and my memory kind of fell apart for a while. I could remember things I hadn't been able to before, but couldn't remember last week, or last month, for instance. In the midst of that, and prior to remembering, I was masturbating to porn online - specifically porn centered on oral sex. It start with pictures of men and women, then moved back and forth between that and pictures of men and men.
Its taken me a long time to walk to where I am now, but I now know that I am attracted to both men and women (I guess if someone wanted to box me, they'd call me bi).

Thing is, I got married three months before remembering the abuse. And, because of that, and many other things that happened, my wife has taken a tremendous amount of emotional damage and is not in good shape. I have no doubt though, that she literally saved my life - before I met her I was slipping into an emotional ice age that would have lasted maybe a year more before I just upped and gave up and stepped off a high building somewhere. Because of her, I felt safe enough to remember what had happened to me.
The compulsive feelings that are so understated called 'acting out' have been to online porn, though one of the things I remembered is that a couple of years after the abuse incident, I ran into one of the perps again and it happened again because I didn't remember the previous incident, so I didn't know to stay away. At about that same time, I started performing oral sex on strangers in public restrooms. I remember the dazed sensation that was a precursor to them, and that persisted while I was doing it.
So, after a great deal of trouble with it, and a lot of back and forth, I have come to realize, and accept, that I feel sexual attraction to men. Which poses a number of problems:
1) Have big issues with intimacy with men because of the abuse, my father, and where I grew up. Trust is non-existent, and without that, its kind of hard to establish any kind of intimacy.
2) - the big catch 22: I have only one memory of a healthy expression of my desires and feelings toward men, and it was the unknowing fumbles of a friend when I was 12. I have a strong desire to explore this area, but there are two major problems that look like they're on a collision course. The first one is that though my wife knows I am bi (though she sometimes attributes it to the abuse) because I told her, she, and our relationship, could not handle me having a sexual liaison with a man (pretty much anyone outside of her). We have discussed it, and she has point blank told me - she has PTSD herself and everything that has happened to us, and to me, has hit pretty much every raw nerve she has. The second part of it is that my desire to explore this area of my sexuality is very strong, and it sometimes gets hijacked by the compulsive impulses stemming from the abuse - I have not yet cheated on my wife and I don't want to, but the feelings are very powerful and I have come very close on too many occasions to count. It also feels natural to want to explore this in a healthy way, but what I fear is that one day, the compulsion will win over, and I'm running out of arguments and ways of stopping it because its what I want.
But if the compulsion is the force directing those desires, then I know that it will not be in a healthy way - it would most likely be a stranger about whom I have no prior knowledge, and who could have any one of a host of health issues to be concerned about. But the compulsion is not concerned about safe sex. This is besides the emotional ramifications of having fought that compulsion for so long so that I would not cheat on my wife, and ultimately, having lost.

Right now I feel like I'm watching a terrible accident in the making, and I'm really not clear on what to do.

Thanks for listening.

#72275 - 02/26/04 07:12 PM Re: Painful catch 22 (likely triggers)
Brayton Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I agree that, to say the least, you are in a difficult situation.

Are you in a position to obtain some professional help?

I know that without that it would be very difficult for me to control my obsessive behavior even though it is less intense and less dangerous as that you have engaged in and are in danger of engaging in.

Though it is difficult, I suggest that you focus really hard on fidelity to the relationship to you wife.

When my partner and I got together we made only one promise to one another and that is that if one of us wants to have s-x with someone else that we tell the other partner.

That would undoubtedly result in our parting but it is something that reflects a desire and commitment to respect each other and ourselves.

It is a contract not unlike the contract I have with my therapist to call her if I ever feel on the verge of taking my life.

That may sound like a dramatic comparison to make but I believe the two things, taking one's life and engaging in dangerous acting out are very similar.

Keep posting. It really does help to talk about it. You might try posting on the Male Survivor board. More guys seem to read and post there and I have seen things written there not unlike what you have written.

They will have a lot of ideas about dealing with your situation that you can choose from as well as general, 24 hour support that you can draw on.

There are also professionals here at MS that will be able to respond to you and give you that kind of support to a degree.


Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

#72276 - 02/27/04 07:12 AM Re: Painful catch 22 (likely triggers)
Spidey Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/04/03
Posts: 14
Loc: NYC
Thanks for taking the time out.

If I didn't take fidelity as seriously as I do though, then likely the compulsion would have won all ready. I've fought as hard as I have to not allow it to rule more because of my own sense of right and wrong, and knowing what it would do to my wife, than for any fear for my own safety. The prospect of my wife catching something from me because I lost is far more frightening than anything that I could contemplate happening to me.

The good thing is I'm starting therapy the end of next month.

And yes, it is good to talk. I was talking for a while, but then fell silent again. Gave the poison time to gather again, so to speak.


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