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Shame, Fear and Obsessions – What do I do?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Eliana 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #157832

    FearandShame
    Participant

    People are so kind here. I hope what I post is ok to say. I’m so sorry for the length of this. I know most people don’t want to read long paragraphs. I know I don’t.. Maybe you can skip around a bit and get a sense of what i’m saying. I just thought I should include some background. My brain is really tired and I’m just laying it all out there. First off i’m a 21 year old gay male raised in the deep south but living in the NW.

    I constantly look up psych forums trying to find answers.. trying to see if people have thoughts or experiences like me.. I do it anytime I feel anxious about something. I’ve googled so many things. I believe i’m dealing with Pure O – OCD… but I haven’t been able to afford to get help/diagnoses yet.

    After graduating college and moving to a new state with only one friend and leaving so many people I loved behind…my anxiety and depression increased and so did my intrusive thoughts. At one point I googled “why am I having unwanted thoughts” and articles on OCD popped up. I read through them and felt an odd feeling in my stomach. Like some sort of connection.. but then I started to get really deep.. and read more about purely obsessional OCD. Then things got worse for me. I started freaking out that maybe I had POCD and started ruminating and going over my past and remembered things.. I started to freak out about my sexuality and started getting feelings that maybe I was in love with my friend because we were laughing and having a good time even though I knew I wasn’t and didn’t want to be in love with them. Although i’m gay I worried that I was suppressing being straight. I started to freak out about getting worse mental illnesses and that my intrusive thoughts would increase and that anything I did would become a compulsion. Even things that are supposed to help.

    I get groinal responses to tons of things… things that I don’t want to feel attracted to. It truly scares me and makes me think i’m a bad person. What’s worse is that I do tend to actually like things that are taboo… I watch porn (been cutting back recently given how upset i’ve been) and like many people the more I watched the more intense it got and the more enjoyment i’ve got out of more intense things. I’ve seen some odd stuff… I’ve had incestuous thoughts that i’ve enjoyed… about my older brother.. my father..my cousins.. my uncles.. etc. My father is an alcoholic and isn’t in my life and my ex-step father was mentally abusive (a few times physically abusive though perhaps I provoked him.. I just got fed up with him and talked back a lot when I got older) from age 8-17. My mother was extremely emotionally unavailable as she has mental/physical illnesses and laid in bed most of the day. They also popped a lot of pills and my mom eventually started doing meth a year before I moved away to live with my grandparents at age 17.

    When I was around 7 I was introduced to pornography by my older brother who was 13. We masturbated together and I actually really enjoyed it… In a way it felt like a bonding experience since we weren’t extremely close and he grew up living with my grandparents.. but later on growing up I just experienced a sense of what I guess is hyper-sexuality? When I found out I was gay (around 12 or 13) and started to really hit puberty, I would have phone sex with tons of people every night. One after another…. I would sext a lot and have multiple boyfriends. I lost my virginity when I turned 15. These are things that I definitely view as … problematic… and that I need to have a therapist to talk it through with.. to understand why these things happened… but it really makes me sad to view myself this way… as a terrible, good for nothing slut (even though I enjoy being called a slut in a sexual way…Like role play) I guess I have issues which is something I can recognize… I thought maybe I’m a sex addict.. but I often reject sex from people and would rather just masturbate (usually once a day) …

    When I was a young teenager (maybe 13 or even 14?) I did things that i’m not proud of at all… I was twice inappropriate towards people that were younger than me. Nothing EXTREME… I would consider it somewhat minor versus many stories that I’ve read… but still.. not <span id=”IL_AD4″ class=”IL_AD”>appropriate</span> at all. I don’t want to condone it of course.. I don’t know what was going through my mind… i was just extremely sexual and curious. I just know I should have known better.. I was old enough to know it was wrong. :( A few years later (late middle school / high school) I remembered the events and felt extremely bad. I thought I was damned to hell (Not a believer anymore.. though I still fear hell)… I eventually felt somewhat better and for the most part forgot… but then after college when I started having more intrusive thoughts and groinal responses to these terrible things I started ruminating a lot and going over my past and then I remembered these events… and it tore me up inside. Sometimes I even get a groinal response to the memory and then I feel really scared. I feel evil but I have no intention to be that way at all. I’m a gay male that wants to be happy and “normal” in some way…. even though normal is subjective and most people would consider being gay abnormal… I mean normal in the sense that I don’t like screwed up things and that I can be a happy productive individual that brings light and joy to my own life and to people around me…

    In my head I keep thinking “What if you don’t have OCD?” “What if this is all real”… “What if you want attention?” “Did you just feel <span id=”IL_AD5″ class=”IL_AD”>excitement </span>thinking about wanting attention?”… I also 100% would agree with anyone saying it’s important to be diagnosed.. I get really sad and minor to bad anxiety when I get intrusive thoughts about things I DON’T want to have. Like thoughts about my sister, children, animals, about my friends or about suicide. I may be sad… and things are tough.. but i’m extremely afraid of dying.. despite this I get thoughts like “you want to kill yourself” and that scares me…

    I don’t know what to do. Can someone help me? I just feel like I don’t deserve to live… and it’s hard because I want to live and be happy. I need some sense of understanding. Right now I’m uninsured and don’t know what to do about going to see a doctor. I consider myself to be really sympathetic and empathetic. I’m very sensitive. I’ve cried watching coffee commercials because it depicted a family that loved each other and most Disney movies make me cry. I know that I feel sadness and guilt over my past… which is good in the sense that I don’t want to do anything bad like that. (though guilt isn’t very good for my mental health) I just don’t know what to do. I fear that maybe one day I’ll want to do bad stuff. Like when I’m in my 40’s.

    I should also point out that I have attachment problems and I constantly feel like I need somebody to love me and be there for me and take care of me. I feel like a loser because of that but it’s true. I put out easily on dates and I’m constantly afraid that people won’t like me. Most of my relationships don’t last… I’ve only had one real physical relationship that lasted 6 months. The rest tend to be hookups and either I find faults in them really easily or they find faults in my really easily.

    to end… for the last few years I’ve had an odd sensation that I might have been abused when I was younger. Maybe it’s something my mother said to me.. she and my ex-stepdad once asked my sister and I questions about my dad possibly touching us (she hated him and wanted us to stop going to his house though).. and also once asked me if I wanted to know the truth about my dad (I told her no) but I have no real memories of ever being abused… but that feeling is still there. I guess I fear I’m making it up for an excuse. I don’t know.

    I really appreciate any replies. I must admit I’m scared of posting this. It’s my screwed up life and thoughts that I’m broadcasting..

    #157920

    anita
    Participant

    Dear fearandShame:

    Regarding the possibility of having been sexually abused by your father, that “odd sensation that I might have been abused when I was younger”- no doubt you were abused, but not necessarily sexually abused. It is the strong sexual sensations and experiences of puberty that often flow backward into the past. it is enough to be emotionally abused/ severely neglected as a child to cause the problems you have described in your thread.

    Regarding the thoughts, the OCD thoughts: thoughts have no power in themselves. They don’t make things happen. If thoughts in themselves had power, the world would be far more messy than it already is.

    Regarding feelings- what we feel does not make us good or bad people. Our feelings are automatic mental events, we don’t choose them. If there is no choice- there is no good/bad. A feeling is not a reason to be proud or ashamed. That includes bodily sensations, including the groinal responses you mentioned.

    Back to thoughts: we can think anything, and so you do think anything and everything that is possible to think. The actual behavior considered in the thinking can be dangerous (to ourselves or others) and therefore scary, but the thinking of it in itself is powerless and therefore, not dangerous.

    If you realize the latter, you stop being scared of the thinking itself.

    It is probably, like you already figured out, not a good idea for you (or anyone, I feel) to watch porn, especially the unusual kinds. I have other thoughts but will need to be away from the computer for a while. Would like to read your thoughts and feelings about my input to you so far.

    anita

     

    #157922

    FearandShame
    Participant

    I truly appreciate getting a reply! I think my biggest problems is my fears of being a monster coming true, and then my thinking goes straight to the events from when I was younger. The bad things that I did and can’t seem to get over. I feel gross and like I don’t deserve to be happy. Every time I see a story or any indication about sexual abuse I put myself in that situation and I hate myself. It’s hard being out with friends because I feel so evil and that I don’t belong with them. It’s an action rather than a thought…. and that’s what really makes it hard to deal with OCD. OCD is about fears and it feels like my fears came true – only a long time ago.

     

    #157926

    Alexandria
    Participant

    Hi! Just so you know I think mental images and such are very common in abused victims. I too have endured intrafamiliar sexual abuse. I too, get obsessive thoughts that are very intrusive and I feel like a monster too. But as a victim you cannot blame yourself or like Anita said label it as good or bad. I am very sorry you feel this way because some days/nights I too feel like a complete monster and I am guilt ridden because of my abuse. I sometimes think it is my fault for what happened to me or I think well they didn’t know any better. Just know that I somewhat understand how you feel and I appreciate this post so much because now I know I am not the only one. I’m not sure what kind of abuse you went through but what made me feel better is looking up the facts about victims and such and it made me feel a lot better. I too, am considering therapy because I do not want this in the back of my mind anymore. I want strong healthy relationships with men, and I’ve realized that with most of my relationships that it is hard for me to trust, be intimate and so on with my boyfriends because of what happened when I was a very little girl and my innocence was taken.

    I just wanted to comment because your post made me feel so much better and I hope my post made you feel better as well. I didn’t want to go into a lot of detail, but I want you to know you are not alone! Reach out and go seek professional help. I feel like this is the only way we will be able to heal these parts of ourselves because fighting alone is DAMN hard.

    Bless you <3

    #157966

    FearandShame
    Participant

    Alexandria,

    thank you for your kind reply! I appreciate it.

    its very hard… and the abuse I endured growing up was mental abuse from my step father. My mother was very passive about the abuse and I didn’t have an emotionally available parent. I was very depressed growing up.

    I’m not sure if you were able to read all of my post.. but I mentioned that while I’m not sure if I was a complete victim of sexual abuse, I committed acts around the age of 12,13 or 14 (I can’t remember) that I find very shameful. I was coercive and handsy with two people that were younger. Reading your story makes me sad because I feel like I’m the same type of person that took away your innocence… i feel like a monster that deserves nothing but the worst.

    I’m afraid that I might have a treatable type of cancer… but I feel like I deserve to not get treatment and to let it do what it does because of the things I did as a younger teenager.  I know I was young… but I connect the actions to my sense of self so much that I can’t see any good that I bring to the world.

     

    Im sorry for you pain. I’m sorry for the things I’ve done 🙁

    #157990

    Mark
    Participant

    Hi FearandShame,

    There’s nothing you can do about the past. That’s good that you realize the things you did were wrong. Every time you get a memory or an unwanted thought, try to simply ignore it and see what happens. You start to learn about yourself this way, just sort of gently detaching from the thoughts, just watching the words go by in your head. As Charlotte Joko Beck once said, thoughts are just words, mental blips. Study the emotional reactions. Thought-emotion, emotion-thought. I then like to respond with the emotional reaction of the person I’d like to be, the response I’d respect if it was another person, instead of falling into it and letting it overwhelm you.

    If you find a particular memory or thought emerging again and again, perhaps there is something in that memory that could be explored more. Or perhaps not. Perhaps you will find there is nothing to do but move on. But maybe you can try to do something to help or make up for any harm that you caused. I think you will find by helping others and trying to do good, you will start to grow into the person you want to become.

    Realize a lot of these unwanted thoughts that you have are not your fault. What was the result of the mental abuse, and what are your own natural mental formations? Who knows? Perhaps instead of over-analyzing that, instead realize that you can always start to change, to grow. I like to create a list of things I want to change about myself, choose one, and then create a list of steps that will move me toward that goal. And then I like to go and do that first step, and then I reflect on my progress, perhaps celebrate with a cold beer. And learning also helps. “The best thing for being sad is to learn,” T.H. White once wrote. Learning a new language like Japanese can really help move past unwanted thoughts because your mind is focused and new neurons form, and I think old neurons that house these messed up thoughts (or however it works) start to be replaced by new knowledge.

    Try to create possibility, and focus on the hope of those possibilities. Become the person you want to be instead of always looking back at the person you were. You are only 21! I am so jealous. I actually am remembering being 21 and going through something similar as you. I think the best advice is perseverance. The most you are able to respect yourself for the way you endure, the more you will start to grow.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Mark.
    #157996

    Alexandria
    Participant

    Also just realize there is some parts of you that probably developed to defend the parts of you that was “taken away” or not shown correctly in your unemotional detached household. And they merely need to be redirected like, said above. You are not what happened to you, nor what you have done. Everyday we have a chance to change our perspectives, selves and our future! I really hope you find what you seek! You are not undeservant of of treatment for your cancer or anything else you choose to proceed with. Maybe look at it as a rebirth!

    #158000

    FearandShame
    Participant

    A rebirth sounds nice.

    I agree that learning is beautiful and could help.

    i don’t want to view myself as this terrible person. I admit that part of my obsession is that I’ll one day become a paedophile or something… that I’ll actually enjoy that. It TERRIFIES ME.

    I do know.. that even if I did have urges… I have the mentality now that terrible things can really affect people. They affected me… and I would never want someone to go through hell. To feel so unhappy with life. My sister told me that she felt so unloved growing up that when she was anywhere from 10-12 she “let” our high school cousin do sexual stuff. She cried her eyes out to me when we got to college and it broke my heart. At the time I didn’t connect it to myself but now that I have these memories and emotions on my mind ALL day long I’ve connected my actions as a teenager to her memories and I feel a lot of shame and disappointment in myself. I love my sister and she tells me that she loves me. If I told her my past I feel like she would be so sad 🙁

     

    but I also believe that many of my decisions as a teenager is a result of living in a dysfunctional home and having experienced sexual contact as such a young age. At the beginning ages of puberty I did things that I shouldn’t have. Things that I didn’t realize would haunt me..  and I know I’m not the only one. So many people have stories like mine. It helps to know that this place is a place of understanding and care. You all really have me kind and helpful advice. Alexandria, even though you were hurt you still looked at me with kindness and sympathy and I can’t thank you enough for that and for your advice. Mark and Anita you both gave me encouragment and advice that I’ll read over and over until I fully understand it.

     

     

    #158028

    anita
    Participant

    Dear FearandShame:

    There is a thread on this website that started a few years ago, before I came along. It is called “Letting go of childhood mistakes”, the title is, I think (you can look for it going back in pages, last entry was weeks or a month or two ago). Later in the thread, a good number of young people posted with struggles similar to yours about their sexual behaviors at a younger age, as children/ minors.  Much of what I replied there to different individuals applies to you too. I hope you find it and that it will be helpful to you.

    Maybe you even posted there and maybe I already replied to you, I don’t remember: did we communicate there before?

    anita

     

    #158076

    FearandShame
    Participant

    Anita,

    when I first started panicking about my life and my thoughts and past actions I went to that very specific thread. It relieves anxiety in some ways but I still have a lingering sadness. That’s why I posted my own personal thread because I wanted to share my story and see how people thought. Part of me is looking for reassurance here… I really just wanted to see if there was a different way to look at it. While I know my actions as a younger teenager were wrong..  I wanted to see if people believed that it didn’t make me a bad person. I appreciate so much of what you guys have said 🙂 I think it will take a LOT of hard work… and hopefully I can save money up to have at least one therapy session, but I believe that I can train myself to look at the situation in a different way. Teenagers do stupid things.. especially misguided ones that are unhappy and curious. It doesn’t have to be who I am… and I don’t have to let it control my life.. though it might sit on my chest a little bit. Like when I hear about victims or anything… One of the people I had contact with actually messaged me on Facebook calling me buddy and asking if I remembered them. (We actually were friends when I was growing up. Playing video games and jumping on trampolines, etc) so I don’t think (will never say 100% because that would be insensitive perhaps) that he’s effected in a bad way. Nobody deserves to be hurt like that. I’m glad I have that in my brain which helps reassure me that I’m not a careless monster.

     

    i can thank you enough.

    #158080

    FearandShame
    Participant

    I should also add that I’m easily able to sympathize with the many people who posted about their sexual mistakes. I know the reason it’s harder for me is because I live with myself and will do so until I die. That’s why it’s hard for any of us to forgive outselves.

    #158082

    anita
    Participant

    Dear FearandShame:

    Good that you are familiar with that thread and that you posted there, as I understand. You can go back there anytime and re-read, take in the input that you agree with and which has helped you before. It is also a good idea that you started your own thread. I hope the members who replied to you will return and that new members will reply. This is a sensitive topic that many people avoid. (But then, most threads do not have many respondents, no matter the topic).

    anita

    #160384

    Lucy
    Participant

    Dear  Fearandshame

     

    I believe as children and young teenagers when we make mistakes, no matter how severe,  especially when we have no valuable guidance, we are testing boundaries and we learn. We could never fully understand the gravity of our actions until we are adults and it’s too late, and a wave of panic and guilt eats us up alive.

    the way you feel means you never want to make these mistakes again and you won’t. Feel the pain because the pain is what sets you apart from people who lack empathy or sympathy.

    #160414

    Eliana
    Participant

    Hi FearandShame,

    I too suffer from intrusive and very painful emotions. I am on Citalopram which is an SSRI antidepressant for intrusive thoughts, and it has helped immensely. I am also on Topamax for emotion Regulation, and in intensive therapy for PTSD for severe neglect, constant abandonment, rejection and verbal abuse I had as a child. You can find a clinic that is subsidized, it goes according to your income. I am on Medicare and am on Social security Disability. I go to a subsidized clinic where I see a Psychiatrist, therapist and case manager, and I have never had to pay anything, as I am below the poverty level. There is hope and help.

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