Brian brought up a good point in his last post and acknowledged "hijacking" the post. So as not to continue the hijack, I'm posting in a new thread.

Brian wrote:
I think that because of some prevailing attitudes in “Survivor Culture” many survivors can’t tell the difference between a normal healthy sex drive and acting out. And I don’t think SA is the reason for that. I think it’s the way SA is viewed by survivors them selves and survivor related professionals.
This struck home with me. I'm working with a 17 year old boy who was abused by his older brother. What brought out his disclosure was a temporary performance problem with his girlfriend. He panicked and thought he might be gay (sure, no big deal for some of you, but this kid is straight and anything that MIGHT be a sign of being gay is panic city. And I will help him have a healthier, more tolerant attitude after we make some progress in therapy.)

Anyway, this led to his telling his mother and she was terrific in support and unconditional belief. Another "proof" of his orientation confusion is frequent erections. He believes that if he gets slightly aroused for no reason, or if there are males around, it is another possible sign.

So, after ascertaining that he has the same kind of erection in the presence of girls, that he has never had same sex fantasies, that ALL guys have occasional equipment failures, that the range of sexual interest is almost never 100% straight or 100% gay, etc, he is breathing a sigh of relief.

I think the issue of normal thoughts, feelings and behaviors is especially important for teens. It is also important for adult survivors. I'm wondering what beliefs readers here have had as teens. Which were influenced by the abuse and which were part of normal adolescent/adult misinformation or beliefs?

As I read the post again before sending (something I recommend to all), I realize that Brian is talking about the differences between normal behaviors and acting out. Actually both topics are pretty interesting.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse