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I Feel like a Terrible Person

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  • #365658
    Elise
    Participant

    So I need some advice because I’m really struggling…

    When I was around the 16-19 range I was very sexual and read quite a bit of smut and that sort of stuff. I was really into “forceful” stuff because I don’t know, I guess I liked the thought of being helpless? (I’m not sure but that’s a whole other thing). But at some point I happened upon stories like this involving really underage parties (I guess I should just say children but that makes me feel disgusting). I ended up reading it and then I read that kind of stuff a few more times over that time period, which I don’t really know why but it’s almost like my mind “turned off”. I know I only read it because I wanted to feel small and helpless and not because I’m attracted to kids (not at all) or anything like that, but I still feel so disgusted that I ever read that kind of stuff.
    I actually forgot about it for a while, but lately I’ve been remembering and I just feel so guilty and like a gross person. I’m a proper adult now and don’t read that sort of stuff anymore, but I still feel so ashamed that I ever did. I almost feel like the whole thing scarred me a bit.
    I already suffer from OCD obsessive/intrusive thoughts and lately I can’t stop feeling guilty about it, I feel like I don’t deserve to talk to my family and if they know what I did they would hate me. I actually spoke to my partner about everything and she said that I’m a good person and it was just sexual exploration and I should forgive myself but I don’t know, I just feel like I can’t.

    #365744
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elise:

    Good to read that you are no longer reading such stuff. Unlike your partner who told you that “it was just sexual exploration”, I think differently. If you want to, we can look at (in the next few posts) what was behind your interest in what you read at the time:

    “”I only read it because I wanted to feel small and helpless”- as a child, did you feel small and helpless, and/ or were you expected to be strong, to take care of others’ feelings, to hide your own needs and your own weakness?

    anita

     

    #365746
    Elise
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for the response! I’d like to ask, in what way do you view it differently?

    I mean, as a child there we instanced were I felt small and helpless or not in control. But I figured it was normal to feel like that at times. I had a fairly good child, minus a few incidents.

    Elise

    #365747
    Elise
    Participant

    *childhood

    Sorry about the typo!

    #365750
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elise:

    I don’t view your past motivation and reaction to reading on that topic as normal sexual exploration, is what I mean. I think what motivated you to read about that topic may have been a non-sexual emotional experience in childhood that has something to do with feeling strong and weak. Therefore I suggested to explore that (non-sexual) childhood experience.

    If you want to do that, tell me more about the instances when you “felt small and helpless or not in control”.

    anita

    #365752
    Elise
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Ah okay, I understand! I agree I don’t think it’s a normal sexual exploration experience, and that’s part of why I feel so guilty.

    The instances that I felt like that…I think the first would have to be that my mom and grandparents used to have a lot of arguments and animosity towards eachother when I was young (8-11?). I was close to my grandma and so sometimes my mom would act suspicious of me “telling her things” or make me feel bad.

    Another instance is when at 13-14 I told my mom I was struggling with intrusive thoughts and she kind of didn’t take her seriously and blamed it on my “online friends” (I didn’t have many friends at that time and mainly chatted with other kids online).

    And a big one is when I was 15 and came out to my parents, and their reaction was very bad. A few days later I “took it back” so I didn’t have to deal with how they were treating me.

    All of these made me feel very out of control and frustrated.

    Elise

    #365754
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elise:

    An honest understanding of your non-sexual motivation will help you to no longer “feel like a terrible person” (the title of your thread), so it is definitely worth a try.

    You shared that when you were about 8-11, you witnessed “a lot of arguments and animosity” between your mother and your grandparents. You were close to your grandmother and your mother suspected, or accused you of siding with your grandmother, of “telling her things”.

    I need more about the “arguments and animosity”- what were (examples of) the words, the tone of voice, the body language, the acts that constituted that animosity?

    Was that animosity done by your mother against your grandmother, or was it mutual, done by both?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #365756
    Elise
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    My grandparents have often treated my mom unfairly compared to her siblings and did really crappy things, but of course as child I didn’t realize this or have any understanding really.

    Now that I’m older I can recognize that in these fights my mom was in the right, but the way that I felt during those times still hurts. Like when my parents refused to go to a show my class was putting on in elementary school because I’d already invited my grandparents and they didn’t want any drama to start there. Or when they weren’t talking because my grandparents had treated my little brother poorly, and so my grandma secretly came to my school (I was 9 at the time) and told me to email her and eat lunch with her sometimes and not tell my mom. Of course my mom eventually found out and was so upset she told she didn’t “like me right now”.

    I’ve been sitting with myself a lot lately and I think I’m starting to recognize why I read those sort of things a few times, why I felt the need to feel “small and helpless”, and I’m understanding it was just fiction, but it’s still hard for me to forgive myself.

    Elise

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Elise.
    #365759
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elise:

    Did you feel like a bad, guilty girl for .. sort of betraying your mother, for meeting your grandmother behind your mother’s back?

    anita

    #365761
    Elise
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I mean I felt guilty when I was a child but not now, I’m an adult and I can recognize I did nothing wrong

    #365762
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elise:

    The guilt you felt as a child is probably not gone just because you rationally recognize as an adult that you did nothing wrong back then.

    You wrote in your original post: “I was really into ‘forceful’ stuff”-

    – do you mean that at the time, you enjoyed reading about “small and helpless” people, basically,  being punished/ being forced to endure sexual acts performed upon them by people older and stronger than them?

    anita

     

    #365763
    Elise
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Yes, I suppose that is what I mean. For some reason I liked the idea of myself being “forced”, even though in real life I would never want that to happen.

    elise

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Elise.
    #365765
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elise:

    You read the stuff you feel guilty about when you were 16- 19. When you were 13 or 14 you told your mother that you suffered from intrusive thoughts, later to be diagnosed (?) with OCD. This to me means that you suffered from significant anxiety (anxiety is what fuels OCD) way before you read what you read.

    From what you shared about your parents: reads like your father was overall not supportive of you, and your mother was particularly harsh with you, insensitive to you, accusing you… Reads like she was focused on how her parents mistreated her, but mistreated her own daughter. Maybe not in the same ways her parents mistreated her, but in her own ways.

    Like any child, you felt small and helpless  in comparison to your big and powerful mother, and feeling guilty.. you felt that you deserved to be punished.

    How did your mother’s parents punish her, and how did your mother punish  you?

    anita

    #365777
    Elise
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Yes, I’ve been suffering from a great amount of anxiety since I was about 11, when all the intrusive thoughts started.

    i don’t really know if I felt like I deserved to be punished…I don’t really know how I felt.

    My mom’s dad was sometimes violent or kind of crazy towards my mom and her siblings. But for me, my parents spanked me and whatnot when I was young but as I got older it was just words.

    elise

    #365778
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elise:

    “I don’t know how I felt”- when children feel very scared, or otherwise very distressed, they get overwhelmed, the intensity of the feelings is too much, so they disconnect/disassociate. But the feelings are not gone, and they seep out or erupt in sometimes strange ways.

    When a parent is angry at a young child, the child always feels guilty/ deserving of the parent’s anger, and if the parent gets repeatedly angry at a child (be it by spanking, using angry words, having an angry facial expression, and so forth), the child gets angry at herself, and at times angry at her angry parent (and then feeling extra guilty for feeling angry at her parent).

    Back to disassociation, every child disassociates, some more than others. After years of disassociation, we don’t remember how we felt back then, we don’t remember a lot of what happened when we felt scared.. we don’t want to remember. But even if we forget the feelings, the feelings don’t forget us, they are always with us, until we reconnect to them, or re-associate.

    Are you receiving any treatment for your OCD, medications or therapy?

    (I will soon be away from the computer for the next 12 hours or so).

    anita

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