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Anxiety, confusion, sexuality

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This topic contains 69 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 50 minutes ago.

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  • #278981

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    You are very welcome.

    “I would rather remain safe”, you wrote. When a child is born into a dangerous home, she will do everything she can to make it safe. As the child grows up into an adult, it may very well be safer for her to leave that home than it is to stay in it, but this possibility of leaving for a safer place is available not to a child. It is  available to the adult.

    Post again anytime you’d like and I will be glad to reply.

    anita

    #296193

    afeels
    Participant

    Hello Anita

    I am feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment. I feel sorry to say this but I have taken none of the great advice you have given and instead I lost my virginity four nights ago to a man that I have only been briefly seeing.

    The reason for making that decision was that I was curious and felt extremely comfortable with this man in a way I hadn’t with any other men I dated. Our first date was incredible and I guess this overwhelmingly positive impression left a mark on me enough to want to have sex for the first time with him two weeks later.

    I told the man about my virginity whilst we were kissing, as I knew where things were heading. I told him so that he was aware to go gentle and I guess to be honest about what kind of experience he should expect. After that night, initially I guess I was excited and felt strange that I didn’t feel too much about it. Its now four nights later and I definitely feel some ways about it.

    The man I am seeing is nearly 30. I had believed that the sex was a good experience for me until looking back and realising that he actually had not really taken into consideration my comfort very much in a way I presumed he might, being older and seeming more gentle in other ways. I guess I was naive and too excited, new to the experience to realise at the time but looking back he was really rough with me. My bleeding for the past four nights only confirms this and makes the point more strong in my mind so I cannot forget that. He tried switching me in multiple positions (crazy now I think about it) and I guess was just a lot more rougher in general than I had believed he would be. Porn has really messed up our generation of young men I believe and I experienced him pulling my hair at one point as well as slapping me gently. Sadly I found this is quite common with all the men I have briefly dated- they believe that a young woman wants this without even checking or thinking to check! The point is, now that I am bleeding for the fourth night in a row, and getting quite worried at what my body is doing, I am feeling more and more regret.

    I hadn’t realised or really taken into account what a big thing it really is to have just lost my virginity and how I really want to be able to speak to him about it, to share my worries about my body and what it is doing right now (the bleeding is a concern as it doesn’t even seem to be from my hymen but more from my cervix perhaps due to the roughness of the sex) and to talk about how the experience went.  Yet I feel I cant do this as the way he has communicated with me since the next day it has became apparent that he doesn’t really do communication much outside of seeing me in person and has ignored my last text and not kept conversation going.

    Which leads me to not feeling like I can turn to him and talk to him about this quite momentous occasion for me. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised or shocked, he is after all someone I barely know, and I also understand that for him  sex isn’t what it is for me so communicating to him all my worries and all of this is going to be too much and might scare him away. But I now just feel really quite upset. I have so many mixed emotions. I definitely rushed the process and now realise why it took me so long to lose my virginity in the first place. Deep down I just wanted someone special to go through the process with and to have someone to emotionally support me through the process. I guess I was looking for love all along to feel comfortable enough to have sex, yet my counselling sessions reinforced that sex is not love and so incentivised me to figure out ‘sex’, hence the anxiety about my sexuality.

    Yet I kind of forgot through those counselling sessions who I really was, ironically when my counsellor was supposed to help me figure it out. I was always a person that wanted to have a boyfriend before having sex. I was never interested in casual sex. Looking back the rare times I felt sexual attraction came after knowing the men for a while enough to establish an emotional bond. Sex to me always came after emotional closeness. I knew this about myself.

    Yet I did the complete opposite of what I knew to be my truth deep down- most likely because I am feeling a little hopeless at the state of dating and ever finding a boyfriend right now and love. I am ready to find love but also scared that I never will.

    For some reason, Anita, though I see a few red flags with this guy (already) I still like him enough to want to keep seeing him. And I can forgive those red flags in a way I couldn’t with the previous men I was seeing very briefly. This guy feels different in some ways, but I am still upset at having rushed the process and not being able to really speak to him about everything.

    Im not sure if I am looking for advice, more so guidance or just to have someone to talk to about this. I hope you are doing well since we last spoke- how time flies.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  afeels.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  afeels.
    #296199

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    I am fine, thank you and glad to read from you anytime you post. I read your recent post but I want to read it more attentively, when I am better focused, which will be tomorrow morning, in about 12 hours from now. I will reply to you then. I hope you will soon be less overwhelmed and have more peace.

    anita

    #296201

    afeels
    Participant

    Thanks Anita

    #296237

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    I just read your posts in your two threads, and it occurred to me that the first thing to attend to is that four day bleeding of yours- go get checked by a qualified nurse/ doctor for it, if you haven’t so far, will you?

    Clearly the man was not gentle enough, the evidence for that is in the four day bleeding!

    Regarding what I learned from this morning reading-

    Here is the key item that became clear to me today: “as a kid I didn’t explore much or play”. You played early on, one time was “when I was 5 I was caught by my mother kissing two children and she beat me heavily for this”- you played with two children and were beaten heavily for .. playing.

    Regarding your mother, your “only memories of her that I have when a young child was that she was angry, or blank”- you couldn’t play around an angry, blank mother. A child needs to feel that her mother is okay before she allows herself to play.

    For too long you have been “stuck overthinking. Constantly”, almost constantly. You bypassed playing, experiencing life and got stuck in overthinking, ruminating,  obsessing, examining your emotions under a microscope, so to speak, trying to figure yourself out as if you were a specimen to be examined scientifically, in a laboratory of sorts.

    But it didn’t work and will not work. You still need to play, currently. Not to figure yourself out intellectually, but to give yourself the opportunity to play, an opportunity that was cut short too quickly when you were a child.

    “being in full time employment with people older than me, who already seem to have their lives figured  out” doesn’t give you the opportunity to play. You wrote it yourself: “I need to explore. And both my job and my living conditions don’t offer that opportunity”.

    Because you were beaten harshly as a young girl when you played and because your mother was not okay and so, you couldn’t feel safe enough to venture away from her and play, you get scared when you find yourself starting to play, feeling that excitement of playing: “my first experience of strong attraction (17) was so powerful it frightened me. I was initially enjoying the moment with the guy, flirting etc. But then came fear and I put a stop to feeling. Instead of exploring further I felt frozen”-

    – you start playing, you feel the excitement, the excitement scares you,  overwhelms you, get too much to endure and you freeze, detach… play is over.

    “with men I am dating I will feel attraction and then the attraction goes away in an instant… feel desire and attraction but once we are alone the desire is gone”- overwhelmed by the excitement, by the desire, you get scared, freeze and the playing ends, just like it did when you were 5.

    You wrote that you need guidance- well, see a doctor regarding the bleeding, then figure out an opportunity for you to play, really play. Not to think more- can’t get anywhere good doing more thinking because it is not intellectual figuring out that you need.

    You need to play, not to think. Let me know what .. you think about this and we can continue to communicate and perhaps I can guide you a bit, which is what you suggested that you need here, correct?

    anita

    #296467

    afeels
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Hmm Interesting response.

    Regarding the four day bleeding- just as I was about to go to the DR’s when I realised that my cycle was most likely started a little earlier due to the hormonal changes that come from sex. Luckily that is fine and it is just my menstrual cycle now, although initially I had bleeding from virginity loss

    Regarding playing, yeah you’re right this is time to ‘play’ however anxiety is holding me back to what’s safe and secure. I can see it in ways I interact with this guy not wanting to expose my joy too much or any vulnerability it feels to dangerous.

    I guess I have to get over it somehow.

    My HOCD disappeared for a while when seeing this new man, but its made a comeback, I hate it so much. It is constantly taunting me. Maybe as a way to stop my ‘playing’? Im unsure.

     

    #296469

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    Anxiety (and OCD is all about anxiety) rains on our parade of play and joy every time.

    anita

    #313605

    afeels
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    I decided to come back and write about my experiences a few months after from when I left this post. I don’t journal (maybe I should) but wanted to sort of sort through some of my recent experiences. I hope you’re doing well. I recently read a reply that you wrote to someone regarding your top psychotherapy and factors which made it a good quality psychotherapy. I have since stopped seeing my therapist (unsure if I disclosed this) and can see now that it was a good decision to have made particularly as my therapist was mostly quiet and this lack of positive affirmation when talking about my past/trauma is not at all validating! And makes it even harder to expose my self. So thank you for providing that little nudge.

    Regarding the man I lost my virginity to… its so funny and also not funny but the intensity of feelings I had for him and still somehow have for him (I dreamt about him last night) has left me even MORE confused. Anyone I date now cannot compare to him, I think I am still somewhat grieving what could have been. The man ended up being inconsistent in terms of what he said and his actions and because of that I got scared and pulled out with dating before he did. Though I kept coming back to him and he kept returning too. We are both emotional messes I think but I am quite sad because I was becoming infatuated with him and he also seemed to me a beautiful soul and from the get go one of the only men who I felt safe around. I remember the sheer excitement when meeting him and how he made me FEEL again. I remember thinking he was so handsome and just so happy to be in his company but also so at ease in a way I hadn’t experienced before when dating. However I could see he was not without his problems and at times he was slightly critical of me out of the blue, as well he would message me inconsistently. And yet I still long to be with him and get excited when he would text me after weeks of no contact. (Stupid I know). It is what is is, and eventually I asked that he doesn’t text me again because clearly we want different things. He insisted he wasn’t this way just because he just wants sex from me, and had other problems. The past me would have enquired about these other problems- made his problem mine, but I now know that despite any problem someone has, if they want to be with you, if they are excited about you, if they like you, they will find a way to communicate these issues and not pull them out of the box like a hattrick. Am I making sense? I felt as though he was trying to reel me in with this talk of ‘other problems’ so I would forget the ill treatment from him- which he did acknowledge towards the end. But still.

    And yet, I cant help but still long for him. I have gone on to have some more sexual experiences, I enjoyed one very much and the other two not as much as they felt devoid of real passion. I wonder if I am someone that just requires an emotional connection to feel sexually aroused? Im unsure. I’ve decided to take a little bit of a break from dating until I get myself together again and where it can feel like fun again. At times my HOCD can be bad, but some day’s I wont have it at all! In addition I am able to notice when it gets worse, I am usually having a stressful time.

    I have also just quit my job. I had two interviews for really big companies within 2.3 weeks of ending my job. These interviews were really exciting for me because they were really great roles for really great organisations and I somewhat couldn’t believe that I had the opportunity to interview with them. I didn’t get the jobs in the end and am still applying/ preparing for a new interview, but the knowledge that I do have the opportunity to work somewhere new, with a far better salary and that these companies were interested in my potential, made me feel validated in the fact I quit.

    Regarding friendships. This one is my most trickiest dilemmas- I’m unsure if you remember my other post here, but since psychotherapy I have had huge issues with friendships. I have left 2 years of psychotherapy feeling misunderstood and disliked from everyone in my social circle. Prior to therapy I was very good at leaving my emotional issues out of my friendships- maybe to a fault in that I never felt I was able to open up about my problems to anyone and always hiding in a way. Now I have done a 180 and somewhat cant stop focussing on my problems, how self conscious I feel, insecure, basically negative. I admit that it must be draining on everyone around me. I am more teary and needy I admit BUT I also express more when boundaries have been crossed whereas before I was way more conflict avoidant.

    So I am in this place whereby I do not know if the issue is me or my friends, Im unsure. Last weekend I visited some old friends from University- including one of my friends who I mentioned having previously felt feelings for. We had resolved our friendship and I thought that we were really good friends. However when I saw him last weekend with my other friends, he suddenly behaved very angrily towards me. He felt I guess uncomfortable because one of our mutual friends ‘Sally’ seemed to be angry at him and the group did seem to be divided somewhat in passive aggressive digs. I was getting a little sick of the dynamic, especially as one girl, Sally, seemed to be putting him down quite a bit and is also used to going unchallenged by the boys (they usually kind of worship her and it makes all of us girls annoyed). Out of all the girls I would say that I am the one who got on with her most, although I was the only girl there today other than Sally. I suggested we go for a walk and find ice cream and my friend Jay agreed. Eventually the whole group decided to come with us and as we were making our way towards a shop with ice cream me and him were joking around regarding his height (its a common joke we regularly make). Anyway I was just being my silly self and jesting saying that I cant believe he is the height he claims and that he gotta prove it- silly joke I know. However he suddenly took a step back, looked at me with disgust and asked if I was broken in an aggressive manner. I was so shocked that initially I just asked what he said, he said ‘nothing’ and insisted I carry on walking with him but I decided to not do so and walk and join everyone else. Just before this when he could sense that I was going to react to what he had told me, he said something along the lines of ‘oh no don’t be pissed off at me too and join them’. I then ended up crying when joining everyone so as the comment was so out of the blue, I admit I was feeling extremely hormonal and the whole day I felt a little on edge anyway due to the slight passive aggressiveness between the group that I was with, that I lost it.

    Anyway Sally ended up comforting me, and eventually the group re-joined. When they did so I explained to another member (Ben) and especially Jay angrily and whilst still crying that I find their comments and jokes towards me hurtful and that with Jay especially I will never be able to forget those words and that he has the habit of being hurtful. Jay then also cried, he has just broken up with his girlfriend, and Sally went to comfort him. After this he ended up apologising to me and re-joining the group. It was just a terrible day, but for a few hours we seemed to get over it and seemed to enjoy a meal at the restaurant. However, when me and Jay were due to get a train together, with Ben but not Sally, it was clear that he was somewhat angry at me- and started condescendingly correcting me on what I said. In addition to this, he also made me feel uncomfortable on the train ride back and rather than argue with him I decided to literally ‘grin and bear it’ taking his put downs with humour and when he revealed to me he was annoyed that he cried in front of the group and has never done that before, as though it’s my fault that he couldn’t deal with his issues with Sally and decided to attack me!

    Anyways all this to say Anita, I just don’t want part of the dynamic anymore. As well Jay’s behaviour has not only hurt me considerably, but it has me doubting the clarity for which I see things. I thought we got on well and that we were good friends, but the way Jay acted towards me on that day with such contempt just confused me. I did say I felt he was emotionally abusive as it seemed he was trying to make me feel on edge just because he felt anxious. However what has me feeling worse about the situation is that I was completely blind sighted by his anger towards me, I felt he later went on to again make me feel on edge/ uneasy and I had seen him the prior week and he hadn’t at all been that way, in fact we hung out for six hours together and got along just fine. That day he made me feel like a freak somewhat and I don’t understand. As well I am so angry that the origin of the issue seemed to be his inability for Sally and him to resolve their disputes. And I am annoyed at the power that Sally seems to have over the boys in that way. I tried to draw it to her attention that he lashed out on me because he was feeling on edge with her later over messages, but she feigns cluelessness, acting as though she has no idea why he believes her to be angry. HELLO YOURE ALWAYS PUTTING HIM DOWN AT EVERY TURN.  I am getting sick of her having this power over the group’s dynamic and its just annoying to be honest.  I just feel betrayed to be honest and don’t feel like talking much to any of the group anymore because I feel it has become toxic and that day I became Jay’s emotional punchbag.

    In addition to all of this, Jay’s reaction to me, as well as recent issues with my dating life has shown to me the extent to which I seem to be drawn towards men who do not treat me well. My issues with my father make me sensitive to any sort of emotionally abusive treatment from men, and Jay’s behaviour for me crossed that line. When expressing this to Sally, she didn’t agree with this and I was annoyed but whatever, as a survivor of domestic violence I just have to accept that people won’t be able to see things that I can.  I just feel as though I cannot continue with Jay anymore as before and the group will probably see me as hypersensitive. As well as I approach my mid twenties my friendships are dwindling and I am aware that I cant keep cutting off friendships as am now feeling lonely. Its just hard to know when to draw the line but I just believe that the group has become quite toxic (so many other factors are also at play that I cant go into due to amount of time it’ll take)

    Anyway I am not sure what I am expecting from writing to you, but I guess I would like to know from you, do you think I should continue my friendship with Jay and this circle or not?

    #313633

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    Welcome back to your thread, glad you chose to post again.

    I read some of your recent post but clearly I am not focused enough, being tired. I will need to thoroughly read your recent post tomorrow morning as well as re-read some of our past communication. I will be back, read and reply to you in about 16 hours from now.

    anita

    #313787

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    I spent close to two  hours slowly reading through our previous communication.

    Regarding your most recent post, two things:

    1. I think it is better that your interactions with people outside a professional situation take place in a 1-on-1 setting, not in a group setting. It is less complicated that way and you  personally need a less complicated setting.

    2. “do you think I should continue my friendship with Jay..?”-

    -I don’t know what put downs he communicated to you, you didn’t give detail. But you did share that you made a joke, an ongoing joke thing, about his height- that is a put down. A person should not joke and otherwise criticize people for their height- a matter one doesn’t choose. The two of you, if you continue a 1-to-1 friendship, need to agree to not put each other down in any way.

    Also, If Jay is the same as JJ you shared about earlier, he  needs to not flirt with you when he has no  intention of having a romantic relationship with you. The two of you need to be very clear on the matter.

    Regarding our previous communication, my current understanding of your state of mind, heart and life:

    “I had a very rough childhood, abusive, neglectful. I grew up in an environment so chaotic… I grew up in fear. As a kid I didn’t explore much or play… As a child I was beaten harshly when I was caught kissing two children. I was so young- 5 years old… the only memories of her (your mother) that I have when a  young child was that she was angry, or blank.. she still is short tempered”-

    – At this time, in your mid twenties, you are still living with your mother. You are well adjusted to living with her, as well adjusted as a person  can be. An adult forgets how she felt so many years ago when she was a young child, living with an angry or blank mother,  how strongly she feared losing her mother and how intensely she desired her mother.

    It is a desire as intense as the desire for  oxygen when feeling a shortage of air and fearing death. This desire is as strong as the desire to survive.

    It is not a sexual desire, it is not a friendly desire, it is the basic desire to survive, that which a fawn feels in the woods, when finding herself lost, without her mother. Your mother was there, but the threat was always there, that she will be gone.

    I wrote to you on this thread: “The child, overwhelmed by.. fear.. feels too much, more than she can endure, so  she automatically.. disassociates, gets numb, feels the minimum possible. Not only hurt, fear and anger get minimized but also joy,  hope, curiosity, the desire to explore.. All forms of excitement get minimized”.

    And indeed you disassociated: “I can barely feel anything unless I am in a completely relaxed state.. I am a very fearful person… Prior it (hocd) it was my health that I was obsessed with… her (former therapist) simple answer (to hocd) is to go  out there and experiment. Except its not that easy when I am  incredibly anxious… Everything feels muddled and hazy and so to just simply ‘experiment’ whilst in the midst of this anxiety it just was not helpful advice for me”.

    In the center of your troubles is that early fear of losing your mother and the life-or-death-desire for her. Homosexual OCD (hocd) is not the issue. It is a place your thinking brain goes to when you feel the fear more acutely. A fearful brain is indeed, as you put it, “stuck overthinking. Constantly”.

    And just as when you were a child you “didn’t explore much or play” because you were fearful, you still can’t explore much or play- because you are still fearful.

    Again, hocd is only a place your brain goes to so to distract itself from the fear. The fear is too unbearable. As I type this to you I am very well  aware of my own fear, and my own early desire for my mother. We forget those things, we don’t remember how raw and intense these felt prior to  disassociation.

    But we still feel that fear, and underneath there is that desire for  her, to finally know that she will stay with us and love us, take us into her arms, close to her chest, and in that warmth of her chest, to finally feel safe, relaxed; to finally not be afraid anymore.

    (We are waiting for that to  happen and <i>after that happens</i>- then we can go explore away from her).

    Let me know  of your thoughts and feelings anytime you want to do so, if you do.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 37 minutes ago by  anita.
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