“Intimacy”

I’m a serial poster at this point, I’m so sorry!
I do go to therapy and I’m working on things, so no problems about that.
I’ve been talking to a girl for a little while. We have hung out a few times, I usually suggest places like a cafe or doing an activity. I’m not going to promise her anything I can’t commit to, but it did make me start to think about some things.

Since I’ve only in the last year started talking about things and seeing a therapist. I’ve never been close to anyone in particular. I’ve never been affectionate or enjoyed physical touch. In the years I’ve lived with my aunt I’ve hugged her probably twice. It’s something I’ve been thinking about more lately and there’s this revulsion that rises in me. It still feels like there’s something wrong.

This is going to be a sensitive topic and maybe a bit crude sorry- the only way I’ve ever been touched intimately is by another man and I was a child. So the thought of having to show intimacy in any capacity makes me feel disgusting. Not just in a sexual way, the thought of a cuddle or holding hands, all the parts that go with it. I hate this body and being trapped in it. I feel like there’s this guilt and that I’m over reacting. That it’s probably not that bad. That any other guy would handle this differently or better than I have.

I do want to be better and do better. I don’t want to be sensitive or scared and I don’t want to show anyone that I am.
I’m going to try stay focused on work and keeping busy for now.

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I can somewhat identify with this but for different reasons.

I experienced abuse and neglect when I was younger which meant I was never touched and I grew to dislike being touched, on top of becoming very hypervigilent and flinching whenever someone does touch me. I dont like hugs. I dont like shaking hands, nothing. The only people I allow to touch me are my husband and daughter and even still, more often than not I flinch.

I think overcoming the cause of your feelings towards intimacy/touch will probably be a separate but parallel journey to learning how to intetpret those things differently. I like to think I have made huge strides towards overcoming and accepting a lot of my traumas but the flinch reflex is still very bad and I dont like to be touched.

Im glad youre taking steps in therapy, that is a good start. With any luck and some hard work, this wont be as much of a problem for you in the future.

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Hey

First off, how you feel isn’t wrong. Feelings aren’t wrong they are just our “guts” telling us how we really feel. You’re not at all abnormal in that unwanted touching during childhood often manifests in similar symptoms. So in this set of circumstances you are reacting normally…if that is any solace at all.

Whatever you choose for yourself: to put in the hard work to try to embrace intimacy as part of your life, or to accept that you don’t want it (or want it enough) and to try to be happy without it…whatever you choose is a valid choice. Even if you have to go back and forth as you change your mind.

I think communication with anyone that is a potential companion is important & there is always the possibility of finding a partner that is also asexual (if you go that route) so being alone or bending to do something you are not comfortable doing may not be the only two options.

From personal experience: This sort of dysfunction doesn’t just fix itself. To make an analogy, its like the trauma caused your emotional lightswitch to get miswired so every time the switch gets turned on: somewhere between a blown fuse and a meltdown. Time & effort can try and address it, the guidance of a professional and honesty with your partners is highly recommended.

I don’t think it’s fair to yourself the way you are positioning wellness. You are unwell for a legitimate reason and its sounds like its the result of trauma caused to you by an adult while you were a child. That sort of thing is the emotional equivalent of a spear through your psyche. The only thing you can evey kick yourself for (if anything) if not seeing a doctor about getting the psyche spear removed (& I personally made the choice to live with mine and I just whittled down the protruding edges so it doesn’t catch so easily walking through doors - so I consider this a valid choice as well).

Just like Banner in the Marvel films: he gained control when he realized he was always angry. For me: I’m often scared and/or sensitive, but I’m stronger for acknowledging it and working with it than I am working against it or pretending I don’t have the issue at all.

I don’t think it’s “fair” for you blame yourself for the problem, or your level of progress. The RNG Mountain generator gives us each a different journey. It seems like some people get the GODMODE level difficulty and other people have cheat codes and just warp to level 8. The only thing you can judge yourself on is if you are trying and how well you forgive yourself.

I feel like I keep going on forever here. I just can’t stress this enough: you may have an issue, but there isn’t anything wrong with how you are feeling. Your post is so normal to me that my eyes keep leaking. Take it as slowly as you need to. Whatever you decide is valid. Take care. Keep us posted.

Also, we’re different people and I apologize for making anything about me, but I feel better about talking about my struggles to avoid trying to be preachy and giving direct advice - I think I failed on that 2nd one here btw. I apologize

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From: ManekiNeko

hey whois! I’m so proud of you for opening yourself up and sharing some of your life with us and with others. You deserve to go and have fun and enjoy spending time with this girl, there doesn’t have to be any added pressure. As long as she understands where you stand then that’s okay. It can be hard if one person has expectations up on the other. But by the sounds of it you haven’t promised anything too much.

I can imagine that losing control of your own body at such a young age really does play deeply into how you feel about physical touch. It’s not surprising that you’re finding it hard and having triggering throughs about it. I am glad that you do have your therapist to guide you through this, but one thing I’d like to really drive home is that you are NEVER at fault. Who’s to say how anybody else would have handled the situation. I know that you mentioned your brother did his best to help and get you both out of that situation. You didn’t have the adults in your life protecting you at the time. How can a child be responsible for processing and dealing with so much trauma and loss without an adult looking out for them until your aunt came along.
I do hope that you feel safe reclaiming your body as your own. Whether to echo Phil that means you choose not to engage in anyway romantically, or whether that means it’s a step by step process. You deserve to feel safe and respected no matter what you choose.

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From: Mamadien

Whois, please post every time you need to my friend and don’t be sorry. I’ve seen you giving the love and support to others here and you are just as deserving. I hate what your abuser did to you and I’m so very glad you are in therapy and doing the hard work of regaining yourself. I will tell you that I know others who have had your experience of abuse as a child and they tell of feeling similarly about intimacy now. You are not alone in what you feel and it’s totally understandable. Again, I’m glad you are in therapy. You are doing the hard work. Your determination to do better and be better is wonderful but I want you to know that we all love you just as you are. You are valuable, worthy, loved and appreciated here. Thank you for sharing your story here my friend.

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From: twixremix

hi whois,

so happy you’re here, it’s totally okay to be a “serial poster” because we get to know how things are going for you <3

that is really cool that you’ve been hanging with a girl that you seem to enjoy the company of! i’m happy to hear you’ve found value in your therapy appointments and it seems like it’s been paying off. have you talked to your therapist about your relationship with intimacy and physical touch? what you’re feeling is a very common obstacle many who have experienced sexual abuse go through. it’s a process that you can’t just flip a switch on and say “i’m ready for all types of contact.” i know your therapist can help guide you better but just know many of us in this lil’ HS community understand you, have gone through what you’re feeling, and want the absolute best for you. you know what you want to feel and i know that you’ll get there one day with enough work and perseverance. sending you love and best wishes, my friend. hope this week ahead is easy on you.

love,
twix

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hey Friend, Thank you so much for your post and you can post here as often as you like, this place is here for you and anyone else who needs to open up whenever and however they like. May I say firstly that I am so grateful that you are in therapy and that you are working on this and will continue to work on this because this is something that was so traumatic it is clearly having too much of an affect on you life now and not only should it never have happened in the first place its not fair that you should still be dealing with it and I am so very very sorry that it did and you are. I am happy that you have met this girl however and hopefully in time with patience and continued therapy things will begin to change and things will start to get easier and physical contact albeit something very simple may even become and pleasant option for you. I want that for you, I would like that for you both. You deserve that friend, you are a beautiful human being with a massive heart. You deserve to live the same life as every one else. I hope that comes in time. much Love Lisa xx

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Oh my friend,

I want you to know that it is perfectly fine to post every day if that’s what you need. HeartSupport is made for those kinds of things. I also want to let you know that you aren’t alone in feeling the way that you do. Speaking from personal experience, there will come a time when it won’t come to mind as often as it had before. Yes, I still have moments when I think back on when it happened to me…but, I also have moments of sunshine that continues to fill the gaps that were once filled with darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Let the light break through & fill your days. There is joy & freedom in the sunshine.

Take it one day at a time. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace. You deserve it so heckin’ much!
You are valid. You are strong. You are enough. You are wonderful. You matter.

-StarFox :yellow_heart:

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From: Rohini_868

Oh Whois, there is SO much I want to say to you, friend!

First up, post multiple times every dayif you need too! We are here to support you through this journey!

You said:

I feel like there’s this guilt and that I’m over reacting. That it’s probably not that bad. That any other guy would handle this differently or better than I have.

This guilt? It’s misplaced, friend. You did not choose or ask to be hurt the way you were. You did not deserve to be treated that way. You know who should feel guitly? The actual person who hurt you. They were in the wrong. There is co comparison with how ‘another guy’ would handle it. You are not over reacting. You experienced something so heartbreaking and it has made associations in your brain. Those took time to form, and they will take some time and some effort to address, with a properly qualified therapist.

I so wish I could protect and save the child you from being hurt, but what I can do is support the heck out of adult you, and let you know that you are loved and respected, and that we are all here for you. You may have to work out what you are comfortable doing with your friend, and set boundaries to ensure that you feel comfortable and safe, and they also are aware of what you need (eg no surprise hugs or suddenly holding your hand, etc). Keep being awesome,and looking forward to more serial posts so we can show some more support to ya!! :slight_smile:

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Hello @Whois,

Thank you for sharing and trusting us with this experience. I can’t imagine how much that experience would hurt and affect you, and I’m so sorry that you went through that – nobody deserves to go through what you have gone through.

Feeling responsible for the effects of what someone else has done to you is such a burden to bear, and it isn’t your responsibility to handle that burden. Someone else made horrible decisions and hurt you through their actions. That’s on them, not on you.

Your interest in physical touch (or lack thereof) is completely your decision to make. While I know that it’s hard to do, I hope that you remember that this discomfort is the result of someone else’s actions, and you are not to blame for those. Please set any boundaries that you need to around physical touch – that’s a personal decision that is only yours to make, and any decision that you make is okay.

You are loved and cared for, and I have faith in you.

<3 Tuna

PS: I’m glad that you reached out here. There’s absolutely no need to apologize for posting regularly – we want to be here for you any time that you want to share with us.

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Firstly thank you everyone. Seriously you’re all so kind and incredible for taking the time to read through all that and you’re all so caring. I cannot thank you all enough.

You are right that it’s really important. I’ve been working on it a lot. For a long time I was just angry and held everything in because I just lived for the fact that nobody could make anything better. There wasn’t the right people to tell because they’d already let me down and nobody could fix it. My therapist suggested writing a letter to my mother and I started. Finding it hard to find the right words and finding it hard to allow myself to let it all out and not filter it all. I know she will never get it, but she was one of those people who let me down.

That was a hard thing to come to terms with too. Feeling bitter towards people who just have the family that love them, that have never experienced that kind of hurt. It’s not fair to feel that way towards them, but I guess it was this pain and self loathing throwing itself out towards others.
Thank you so much for your response. I really appreciated it

I haven’t delved into that too much yet. I have told them how parts about feeling uncomfortable in my skin and feeling a bit like it’ll never be fully my own.

I do hope it comes to feel a bit more comfortable. Even with just my aunt. She’s a touch person. She likes to run your back as she walks past or give hugs, so it’s been hard for her too. She tries to show her love that way and my brother and I would recoil or move to avoid.

I also wish there were people like you around when I was young haha. It would have saved a hell of a lot of this shit, but I do appreciate all the support. So much. I come back to it when I’m feeling lost and hurt.

I do want to keep trying to remember that. Like I know I didn’t have a say in anything and that I couldn’t consent to the things that happened. I think because of how my mother reacted and her words it just really drilled in that I had done something wrong. I know she won’t always have a hold on my feelings and thoughts.

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I don’t think you’re overreacting, I think you have an injury. physical intimacy is a very delicate matter. here I would like to ask, do you happen to be “alone” with yourself? what do you feel then ? have you tried to awaken your sexuality at the expense of toys? I can offer you to try some of the womanizers, they are easy to use and do not need to be penetrated. I hope your intimate life will get better, but in any case, don’t dwell on it. All people are different.

I thank you for your reply, but I don’t really feel it’s applicable to me. I’m not really talking overly about the sexual side of things nor comfortable talking too much about it and I’m also a male. But I think you had the right spirit when you sent that. Thanks again