Personal, non-poly related advice.
Well, the inevitable has happened: I'm finally growing up. And part of that means dealing with past trauma, residual pain and lingering family dysfunction. I am a mom and somehow, this makes my "recovery" more important than I think it would be if it were just me on my own. I don't like to think of where I would be without the responsibility and love that comes with being a mom.
Please bear with me.
The biggest issue I have...the one that all others spring forth from and then orbit around incessantly: sex
1) I was molested by different people throughout my early childhood. I was highly sexualized and my earliest experience of masturbation are at the age of 4.
2) Sex is adulthood has been...dangerous, emotionally and physically harmful and an addiction in the truest sense of the world. I have lost myself completely. I have no idea "who" I am. I have no idea how to interact with men in a non-sexual way. I am at a loss in relationships and completely insecure and anxious outside of the bedroom. I can't imagine what I have to offer besides my body and no idea what anyone would want to do with me besides fuck me. I have slept with anywhere from 35-45 men. It is hard to say for sure....There are a lot of question marks and nameless faces on the list.
Question: besides therapy, where can I go? What can I do? Has anyone here recovered from childhood molestation and ongoing sexual dysfunction and moved on to have any success in relationships or even in life? I cannot afford therapy right now....but I hunger for emotional health.
Also...I have no relationship with my estranged father. He is unaware of the baggage I have and the resentment I carry towards him. I feel like a lot of my behavior stems from our disconnect and have written him several letters that I was too afraid to send. Does anyone have any experience with opening lines of communication with a parent after such problems? Any advice?
Please...I need some insight or support or advice. Struggling and drowning here.
Question : Was your father part of the people that molested you, or no ? That part is unclear for me.
If he is not, and your issues surround feeling abandoned ;
I would send him a letter, telling him of your childhood and what happened to you. Do not be accusatory in the first letter. He needs to first know what happened to you.
Let him respond, ..but give him time. He will need time to process. Make this letter simply about telling him what happened. Also make it clear that you need a response. That you, as his daughter, need to hear his thoughts.
If,..he doesn`t respond, or responds in a way that shows he dumps any responsibility elsewhere, then it may be time to ( with the aid of a therapist) to explain your anger, and how it all has affected you.
Edit to add : If he is one of the molesters,..I have no advice that doesn`t involve illegal acitivites. Sorry. :(
No, he wasn't. Sorry I didn't clarify that. He and my mother divorced when I was 2 and he wasn't around much at all.
Thank you for your response
If you can't afford therapy, you might find Al-Anon helpful. It isn't only for families of alcoholics but for anyone who has suffered from a loved one's abusive or compulsive behavior. I have a few friends who really get a lot out of going to the meetings, and one friend in particular whose family was not alcoholic but very abusive; they are groups of people who come together to share their stories and support each other. You don't have to speak at the meetings if you don't want to, and they are anonymous.
There is also an organization called Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, but I don't know anything about it.
Another option would be some sort of counseling that might be available through a church or community-based organization near you, which would probably be low-cost or maybe even free.
And yes, people can heal emotionally from this and have happiness and satisfaction in life. Remember, you survived, you're strong and can make it through to the other side, now you just need some self-compassion and support.
My bf badly needed therapy but couldn't afford it. We ended up finding a sliding-scale operation that used student psychologists. He paid what he could afford and went when he was able (some weeks he couldn't scrape up even the small-ish fee, so he just skipped and that was ok), and... it actually *really* helped him! Maybe there's something like that in your area? A support group, as mentioned above, also sounds like a great idea.
I second trying to find a community based organization for counseling, depending on your area and if there are schools that offer counseling degrees, there will most likely be a free/no/low cost clinic that will offer short term counseling. If you'd like to PM me with your general area, I can see if I can give you some ideas.
Often there are often many sexual abuse survivor group counseling sessions available that are also usually low/no cost/sliding scale. These can help as you can hear others' stories, see patterns, talk about personal experiences among those who understand with a leader who can offer suggestions and resources.
Otherwise, there are a variety of books on the market that may be a good start as to identifying issues you have as a result of the abuse as a child. A couple of titles I grabbed from recommendations off of a professional listserv I'm on that are highly recomended:
Wendy Maltz - "The Sexual Healing Journey" and "Incest and sexuality: A guide to understanding and healing"
Staci Haines -- "The Survivors Guide to Sex"
Both of these can be a start to seeing the issues that can come up with early childhood molestation and how that can affect your sexual life as an adult.
Hope this helps...
beyond pointing to therapy, is the need to take a leap of faith.
Not all males want or need sex as the basis for sustaining a relationship with a women. I'm probably giving too much information about myself but while sex is the ultimate in a bonding experience it is not what holds me with a women. Deep within my spirit is the need to protect her and not possess her.
Its the free spirit in her eyes, the vulnerability in her expression that holds my interest. It getting the hugs and kisses, for the little nice things of daily life, and way she opens up about her dreams and fears that keeps me coming back.
So maybe its time to take a break from sex, and just start talking, sharing, and listening. You may have nothing in common at first but expressing ones dreams and fears often opens up the situation.
Now you're probably thinking "No Way, he'll think I'm crazy" ......... Now here's the big secret no nobody seems to remember......... We're all crazy on some level..... And to get past that take a leap of faith.
You'll never change your past, you'll never forget it either, but there is still a bright future to look forward too.
Give it a try, Its better than being stuck emotionally where you are at.
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