The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 5

SexualHJ_05

With the headache having gone away a bit after having had a walk outside, I feel like I want to continue with my sexual healing journey, because I need something to keep my mind occupied. Today is my goal making day. It’s the last chapter of part one, and it’s called “deciding to reclaim our sexuality”. That sounds good.

This chapter asks me:

  1. to identify the reasons why I want to reclaim my sexuality.
  2. to identify and tame my fears.
  3. to create realistic goals.
  4. and to recall that I am doing the journey for myself.

So here I go. I will share my thoughts on those areas in the above order.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. What reasons do I want to reclaim my sexuality for?

Quite frankly, because my own behavior sickens me. It sickens me that I behave so much like someone who did nothing but hurt and abuse me wanted me to, and that I don’t even have an idea if I have any own wishes or behaviors separate from that. I mean fine, my stepfather taught (or rather conditioned) the way my sexuality works, I can’t change that. And yeah, my mother was never shy to remind me that a cheap whore was exactly what I was going to grow up to be, I can’t change that either. But I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of actually BEING that way, by the way I behave. I want to develop healthy attitudes towards the whole issue. I want to stop feeling involuntarily aroused by sick shit. I want to be able to be more in control of my sexual behavior. And I want to stop the sexual acting out within my family, because that’s not really me! That’s really my stepfather’s fucked up behavior still alive within me. And I hate that! I hate that he still has got that control over what I do! I want to have that control back! That’s what I want to reclaim my sexuality for.

2. What are my fears and how can I tame them?

First off, I am afraid that this whole focusing on sexual things will make my issues worse. That my PTSD symptoms will flare up and drag me down. That I will get triggered into sexual acting out. That I will do stupid things and that I will feel worse than had I just left well enough alone.

Then I’m afraid that memories may come back. Like, memories I still suppress. Maybe there’s stuff I can’t cope with. Maybe I will learn awful things about myself. My memories have the tendency to resurface when I focus on the issue and I’m afraid of what might come back to me.

I am afraid that if my mom, who’s helping me on the journey, learns about stuff, she will think I am disgusting and despicable and won’t want me for her daughter any longer. I know this one is unreasonable, but it’s really hard to shake that fear off.

And lastly (or last I can think of at the moment) I’m afraid that I’m gonna fail. That I try hard, give it my best shot, get my hopes up high, and then fall flat on my face.

And how I am taming those fears? Hm… I try to remember that the only failure lies in not trying and that the rest are mistakes to learn from. I let mom remind me that she’s okay with the ugly stuff, too. I make sure I feel safe with my family and in a good enough place for journeying before I start. I let mom remind me that she’s here to help me if things overwhelm me. I test that a bit. That’s all the taming I can think of right now.

3. What do my realistic goals look like?

The book asks me for three general goals and suggests I split each one up into three target goals which the general goal consists of. Okay.

General goal 1: Behaving sexually appropriate within the family.
– keep from making sexually suggestive gestures etc. towards my dad and brother and other family members.
– don’t undress in front of others, and don’t dress lewdly at home (or elsewhere).
– know touch and affection within the family to be non-sexual.

General goal 2: Discontinuing my use of sex for self-harming reasons.
– I understand that sex and punishment are not the same thing.
– I manage to keep myself safe even when I have the opportunity to use sex in a bad way.
– I learn to tell appropriate sex partners from inappropriate ones.

General goal 3: Becoming more comfortable with my sexuality.
– I learn to tell that (and why) sexuality itself isn’t bad or dirty or harmful.
– I learn to be more okay with my own body.
– I learn to value whatever positive aspects about sexuality might be.

Mh… I think that wasn’t too bad for starters. So let’s see, what was last… ah, yes, I remember.

4. Who do I do this journey for?

Yeah, I recall it, for me. The book says this can be hard, because we have a tendency to want to do it to please others, for example, or because we feel pressured. And I must admit that I do feel guilty for making it so hard for my family sometimes. After all, they have to deal with all my inappropriate behavior. They don’t put pressure on me, but, well, they don’t exactly love my being this way either. But I will try to do as the book says and keep in mind that I am doing in most of all for my own sake. To get rid of my stepfather’s influence. And that is true, I wish to get rid of my issues for that reason with all my heart.

I guess that’s a good beginning. And I feel like I did okay with today’s tasks. The previous part of the journey was harder.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next up will be part two of the journey, which is called “Moving Forward – Making Changes”. I’m a little nervous reading that and hope it doesn’t move too fast. But then, I suppose I can move as fast as I want, right? So I stay optimistic. After all, having a look won’t hurt and I’ll just see how I like the making changes part.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Missed the past episodes of the journey? Here they are:

A project for 2013
The Sexual Healing Journey Begins, Chapter 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 3
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 4

 

Book source:
MALTZ, Wendy (2012): The Sexual Healing Journey. A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse; Third Edition; Harper Collins. New York.

 

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. simplybluey
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 17:25:18

    I hope you won’t mind but I have borrowed your trigger sign? If you would rather I didn’t use it please let me know and I will remove it…thank you 🙂

    • Lola
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 18:10:31

      Thank you for letting me know! 🙂 It’s fine, you’re welcome to use it. If it’s appropriate for your intended use, can you reference with a little link to my site, maybe? 🙂 (I feel all awkward requesting that. Self-confidence sure isn’t my strong side.)

  2. prideinmadness
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 18:02:30

    Great goals! it may be hard to do but you know what you want!

    • Lola
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 18:15:54

      Hehe, I think I’m okay with figuring out what I want. The hard part is getting there. I have no clue, really – no clue whatsoever – on how to do that part. But I hope that maybe the book will be able to tell me, somehow. 🙂

      • prideinmadness
        Jan 13, 2013 @ 16:36:31

        Ya, hopefully it’s in the later chapters. Need to identity and process first before you figure out what to do about it.

        • Lola
          Jan 14, 2013 @ 06:23:06

          That’s true. It’s probably too complicated and long a process that depends on too many factors to have a good understanding of it beforehand anyway.

  3. Kyle Stanly
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 19:21:32

    I’ve a question… a bit more on the frank and callous side of questioning this time around, but…

    – How does your Dad and brothers react to your sexual advances? Not even your brothers have given in to them? However, you stated in another post that one of your brother’s friends gave in, what happened after that? Did you inform your brother about it, and did those two stop being friends after, or was it all swept under the rug? Also, you speak a lot about your mom, but never your dad and brothers, are you guys particularly close?

    – You used to dress lewdly around the house, most likely to give out more sexual advances, right? I’m still confused as to how this would be fair for the others who give in to their hormones to accept you and then be hated later for it. What if someone devised a test like that towards you? I understand you have been through a lot, but I’m just saying the tests are rather unfair.

    – What is the difference between an ‘appropriate’ sexual partner and an ‘inappropriate’ one?

    • Lola
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 19:27:01

      Those are tricky questions. I’ll have to come back to those in a seperate post, but that will only be tomorrow.

  4. Stefanie Neumann
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 20:24:05

    At the moment I don’t have many words and so I am sending you a heartfelt smile. 🙂

  5. lostservice22
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 22:17:41

    I just wanted to let you know that it is okay that you have no clue how you are going ‘get there’ in regards to what you want to change. you are walking a path right now that will help you with that. To be honest I still don’t know exactly how I have come to the place where I am able to treat my sexuality in a healthy manner or the big one, I was able to forgive my abuser. I can’t say I did this and that and this to get here but I found a way and so many small things made a difference on that journey. I hope that this book and work you are doing will be a big step for you in your healing. even if it doesn’t get all ‘fixed’ right away you are on the right path because you are trying.

    • Lola
      Jan 12, 2013 @ 10:43:50

      You know, that’s really encouraging to hear! Thank you! It’s really calming my worries a bit that it’s not only me who does not know how to get to improvement, but that even afterwards it can be hard to tell how you got there. That gives me hope that maybe it doesn’t matter so much that I don’t have a clue yet. Thank you. 🙂

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