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tinytherese

Chastity and Counseling

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tinytherese

I’m having a hard time with counseling. Over the years, I've been in therapy regarding depression that resulted from a family member who touched me inappropriately and made creepy comments. I'm no longer in danger from him though. Anyway, over the years I've grown into the habit of fantasizing about sexual abuse and sexual harassment. This includes looking up Fanfiction about it. On top of that, I've been masturbating since I discovered it by accident as a toddler. I've been told that lots of people who've experienced sexual abuse find sexual abuse arousing after what they've been through and that my body is simply having a biological reaction. I can't stop myself from thinking about it though. I also found it arousing before I experienced what I did. I wasn't consumed by it then though.

I've talked about this with multiple therapists and they either don't have much advice on how to help, don't see the problem with these behaviors, or both. A lot of people in our world don't understand why indulging in sexual thoughts and masturbating are wrong. There are even Christian denominations and Christian individuals who don't understand this. Years ago, my mom and I somehow got to talking about masturbation and she expressed how she just saw it as a healthy form of release. From what I know of my dad, he probably thinks the same thing. 

I tried multiple times to explain to one therapist I used to see that there’s a difference between sexual thoughts randomly popping in your head and willingly thinking sexual thoughts. She never understood this and thought that I was suffering from unnecessary guilt. So I ultimately stopped seeing her. I know that random dirty thoughts popping into my head aren’t my fault and that I’m not sinning by having them since I didn’t come up with them on purpose. I do know however that indulging in those thoughts that enter my head is a sin though. I know that my culpability is diminished, but my brain can't help but mistakenly interpret that as, “So I have permission to masturbate and fantasize then.” I don't myself up about my chastity struggles or look down upon myself for what I do. I go to confession and pray that I stop doing these sins.

The same therapist suggested that I ignore these thoughts, but I’m not strong enough to do this. She suggested that when these thoughts come up to visualize myself driving a bus and have these thoughts try to hitch a ride, but to drive past them. I’ve tried this multiple times only to have these thoughts fight even harder to get me to indulge in them. I get so overwhelmed by the temptations that I just give in to get them so I'll be left alone at least for a while.

I asked for help from my archdiocese finding a Catholic therapist and they weren't helpful. They just told me to go to the Psychology Today website and look up those that are Christian. Like I said before though, some Christian denominations or individuals don't see a problem with my behavior. I've looked up the Catholic Therapists website and they don't have anyone in my state, so I'd have to pay full price out of pocket every week, which is expensive. I don't even have a job and I live with my parents. I’m currently registered in this Catholic program called Reclaim to help with sexual addictions. I've only found it to be temporarily helpful though. I'm not saying that I'm giving up on the program though. I have to be patient. So what should I do?

 

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Lilllabettt
3 hours ago, tinytherese said:

I’m having a hard time with counseling. Over the years, I've been in therapy regarding depression that resulted from a family member who touched me inappropriately and made creepy comments. I'm no longer in danger from him though. Anyway, over the years I've grown into the habit of fantasizing about sexual abuse and sexual harassment. This includes looking up Fanfiction about it. On top of that, I've been masturbating since I discovered it by accident as a toddler. I've been told that lots of people who've experienced sexual abuse find sexual abuse arousing after what they've been through and that my body is simply having a biological reaction. I can't stop myself from thinking about it though. I also found it arousing before I experienced what I did. I wasn't consumed by it then though.

I've talked about this with multiple therapists and they either don't have much advice on how to help, don't see the problem with these behaviors, or both. A lot of people in our world don't understand why indulging in sexual thoughts and masturbating are wrong. There are even Christian denominations and Christian individuals who don't understand this. Years ago, my mom and I somehow got to talking about masturbation and she expressed how she just saw it as a healthy form of release. From what I know of my dad, he probably thinks the same thing. 

I tried multiple times to explain to one therapist I used to see that there’s a difference between sexual thoughts randomly popping in your head and willingly thinking sexual thoughts. She never understood this and thought that I was suffering from unnecessary guilt. So I ultimately stopped seeing her. I know that random dirty thoughts popping into my head aren’t my fault and that I’m not sinning by having them since I didn’t come up with them on purpose. I do know however that indulging in those thoughts that enter my head is a sin though. I know that my culpability is diminished, but my brain can't help but mistakenly interpret that as, “So I have permission to masturbate and fantasize then.” I don't myself up about my chastity struggles or look down upon myself for what I do. I go to confession and pray that I stop doing these sins.

The same therapist suggested that I ignore these thoughts, but I’m not strong enough to do this. She suggested that when these thoughts come up to visualize myself driving a bus and have these thoughts try to hitch a ride, but to drive past them. I’ve tried this multiple times only to have these thoughts fight even harder to get me to indulge in them. I get so overwhelmed by the temptations that I just give in to get them so I'll be left alone at least for a while.

I asked for help from my archdiocese finding a Catholic therapist and they weren't helpful. They just told me to go to the Psychology Today website and look up those that are Christian. Like I said before though, some Christian denominations or individuals don't see a problem with my behavior. I've looked up the Catholic Therapists website and they don't have anyone in my state, so I'd have to pay full price out of pocket every week, which is expensive. I don't even have a job and I live with my parents. I’m currently registered in this Catholic program called Reclaim to help with sexual addictions. I've only found it to be temporarily helpful though. I'm not saying that I'm giving up on the program though. I have to be patient. So what should I do?

 

Have you tried cbt? Cognitive behavioral therapy?

Any therapist should be willing to support your goals even if they dont necessarily share them. Really Turdy when they dont. Maybe you could interview therapists and ask if they're willing to support you with this right off the bat? If not cross them off and move on? 

Last question: you contacted the diocese but did you contact catholic charities? They typically know people that will work on a sliding scale.

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linate

st paul says it's better to marry than to burn with passion. sounds like he was talking about lustful tendencies. so, his suggestion would be to find a spouse. 

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Lilllabettt
2 hours ago, linate said:

st paul says it's better to marry than to burn with passion. sounds like he was talking about lustful tendencies. so, his suggestion would be to find a spouse. 

1. Easier said then done 2. Marriage doesn't heal trauma from sexual assault/harassment.

Actually the more I think about it ... pretty sure marrying someone with the expectation that the relationship will resolve sexual trauma is a super bad idea.

Edited by Lilllabettt

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truthfinder
1 hour ago, Lilllabettt said:

1. Easier said then done 2. Marriage doesn't heal trauma from sexual assault/harassment.

Actually the more I think about it ... pretty sure marrying someone with the expectation that the relationship will resolve sexual trauma is a super bad idea.

Thank you for writing exactly what I was thinking.

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PhuturePriest
12 hours ago, Lilllabettt said:

1. Easier said then done 2. Marriage doesn't heal trauma from sexual assault/harassment.

Actually the more I think about it ... pretty sure marrying someone with the expectation that the relationship will resolve sexual trauma is a super bad idea.

Also, one's spouse is not an outlet for sexual addiction, and it doesn't even work, as is evidenced by the many people who still struggle with pornography after marriage.

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Lilllabettt
11 hours ago, truthfinder said:

Thank you for writing exactly what I was thinking.

:mindmeld:

 

33 minutes ago, PhuturePriest said:

Also, one's spouse is not an outlet for sexual addiction, and it doesn't even work, as is evidenced by the many people who still struggle with pornography after marriage.

I've seen that it can actually make things worse. 

This is not the first time St Paul has left himself open to misinterpretation.  That guy!!!!

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Anomaly

If you want, I can get you in touch with a Catholic psychologist I know in Omaha and see if yiu can network from there to find someone local.   Like Lillabettt said, a good therapist should support you as your goal is not unreasonable or unhealthy, just difficult.  

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Lilllabettt
2 minutes ago, Anomaly said:

If you want, I can get you in touch with a Catholic psychologist I know in Omaha and see if yiu can network from there to find someone local.   Like Lillabettt said, a good therapist should support you as your goal is not unreasonable or unhealthy, just difficult.  

Mad props.

Phatmass tribe help this girl.

Also... some therapists do Skype appointments? Not sure if insurance would reimburse tho.

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Norseman82
6 hours ago, Lilllabettt said:

This is not the first time St Paul has left himself open to misinterpretation.  That guy!!!!

May I ask what your interpretation is?

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Lilllabettt
3 hours ago, Norseman82 said:

May I ask what your interpretation is?

The options are not mutually exclusive, marriage or burning in hell

>>>insert image of taco (so tasty) (so tasty) girl saying "why not both???<<<<

Marriage is not a magic wand making sex issues go away.

Marriage is (among other things)  a vow that you agree you are willing to practice celibacy for periods of time (due to illness work whatever, of your spouse).  And that you are willing to practice it permanently if your spouse is incapacitated. I tell this to secular kids who are sleeping around or really have no concept of a "dry spell" and it blows their mind.

Edited by Lilllabettt

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tinytherese
On November 28, 2018 at 3:20 PM, Lilllabettt said:

Have you tried cbt? Cognitive behavioral therapy?

Any therapist should be willing to support your goals even if they dont necessarily share them. Really Turdy when they dont. Maybe you could interview therapists and ask if they're willing to support you with this right off the bat? If not cross them off and move on? 

Last question: you contacted the diocese but did you contact catholic charities? They typically know people that will work on a sliding scale.

This may just because of how it’s been implemented over the years for me, but I haven’t found CBT to be effective in regards to helping me with my depression, so I doubt that it would help with my sexual addictions or sexual abuse recovery. I could be wrong though. A lot of what I've seen in CBT workbooks addressing depression and anxiety doesn't apply to my situation.  I wish that I could get a therapist who's flexible about treating me who doesn't come off as possibly judging me. 

I've had multiple experiences where therapists insist that I do something in particular that I'm uncomfortable with or who want to discuss something that I don't think accurately applies to me and then they claim that I'm being upcooperative.

For example, I've had multiple therapists who told me to stand up to my dad when he's being emotionally abusive. I respond that I've done that multiple times over the years. When I do, he responds back in an emotionally abusive way. He has to have the last word in. He'll say things that are passive aggressive or condescending. He may deny what he said or did, acting like I'm delusional. This just makes me more upset than I already was. 

The therapists say that I should call him out on this too. I answer that I've done this multiple times as well, but he reacts the same way again. Like I said, he has to have the last word in. I get even more upset by him. My therapists have told me to still not back down, hoping that he'll eventually wear down. My experiences say otherwise and my anger with him increases. Things get really ugly. It's a viscious cycle that doesn't get my dad or I anywhere.

They also say that even if he doesn't wear down, that I'm missing the point. I'll feel better this way or at least he'll get the message that I don't approve of his behavior. I tell them that when this happens though, I don't feel better. I feel angry and my anger increases the more I stand up to him. The man doesn't understand or doesn't want to understand that what he does is wrong or why. I've tried exlaining this to multiple therapists, but they don't get it. 

I'm embarassed by the amount of therapists I've had for over 10 years. I'm afraid of being judged because of that. "What's wrong with her?" 

Sometimes you do the suggestions that others found solved their problems and they just don’t work for you. Then you’re accused of judging it without giving it a chance because you expected it to not work. There are times when that happens, but what if you keep trying to give it a chance and do it again and again without positive results? I’ve heard it said that the definition of insanity doing something over and over again expecting different results?

Catholic Charities is the only resource that my diocese has for addressing counseling and as I mentioned weren’t helpful. Interviewing therapists from the start these issues may helpful.

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Lilllabettt
8 hours ago, tinytherese said:

This may just because of how it’s been implemented over the years for me, but I haven’t found CBT to be effective in regards to helping me with my depression, so I doubt that it would help with my sexual addictions or sexual abuse recovery. I could be wrong though. A lot of what I've seen in CBT workbooks addressing depression and anxiety doesn't apply to my situation.  I wish that I could get a therapist who's flexible about treating me who doesn't come off as possibly judging me. 

I've had multiple experiences where therapists insist that I do something in particular that I'm uncomfortable with or who want to discuss something that I don't think accurately applies to me and then they claim that I'm being upcooperative.

For example, I've had multiple therapists who told me to stand up to my dad when he's being emotionally abusive. I respond that I've done that multiple times over the years. When I do, he responds back in an emotionally abusive way. He has to have the last word in. He'll say things that are passive aggressive or condescending. He may deny what he said or did, acting like I'm delusional. This just makes me more upset than I already was. 

The therapists say that I should call him out on this too. I answer that I've done this multiple times as well, but he reacts the same way again. Like I said, he has to have the last word in. I get even more upset by him. My therapists have told me to still not back down, hoping that he'll eventually wear down. My experiences say otherwise and my anger with him increases. Things get really ugly. It's a viscious cycle that doesn't get my dad or I anywhere.

They also say that even if he doesn't wear down, that I'm missing the point. I'll feel better this way or at least he'll get the message that I don't approve of his behavior. I tell them that when this happens though, I don't feel better. I feel angry and my anger increases the more I stand up to him. The man doesn't understand or doesn't want to understand that what he does is wrong or why. I've tried exlaining this to multiple therapists, but they don't get it. 

I'm embarassed by the amount of therapists I've had for over 10 years. I'm afraid of being judged because of that. "What's wrong with her?" 

Sometimes you do the suggestions that others found solved their problems and they just don’t work for you. Then you’re accused of judging it without giving it a chance because you expected it to not work. There are times when that happens, but what if you keep trying to give it a chance and do it again and again without positive results? I’ve heard it said that the definition of insanity doing something over and over again expecting different results?

Catholic Charities is the only resource that my diocese has for addressing counseling and as I mentioned weren’t helpful. Interviewing therapists from the start these issues may helpful.

Ah, so you did try catholic charities.  Dont be embarrassed by the # of therapists. The only thing worse than no therapist is a bad one. By bad I mean one who isn't helping you. If I remember right, you're on the spectrum? So some "go to" approaches might be ineffective for you. Maybe it might be worth exploring what's out there in terms of therapy for people on the spectrum - if there are counselors specializing with that. You might be a difficult case, but so what? 

I'm not a therapist but I disagree with the approach you describe them taking with your dad. Google "detaching with love". Maybe ask therapists you interview if they are familiar with that approach? 

 

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Sponsa-Christi
On 11/28/2018 at 10:52 PM, Lilllabettt said:

1. Easier said then done 2. Marriage doesn't heal trauma from sexual assault/harassment.

Actually the more I think about it ... pretty sure marrying someone with the expectation that the relationship will resolve sexual trauma is a super bad idea.

Yeah, this sounds like a marriage nullity case waiting to happen... 

@tinytherese This is kind of a long shot, and I don't know how easy it would be for you to find this information, but is there any way you could get in touch with whatever psychologist works with the nearest seminary? Psychologists who are asked to work with seminarians are not only familiar with and respectful of the Catholic faith, but would also be used to dealing with the interplay between psychological issues and chastity.  

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tinytherese
10 hours ago, Lilllabettt said:

Ah, so you did try catholic charities.  Dont be embarrassed by the # of therapists. The only thing worse than no therapist is a bad one. By bad I mean one who isn't helping you. If I remember right, you're on the spectrum? So some "go to" approaches might be ineffective for you. Maybe it might be worth exploring what's out there in terms of therapy for people on the spectrum - if there are counselors specializing with that. You might be a difficult case, but so what? 

I'm not a therapist but I disagree with the approach you describe them taking with your dad. Google "detaching with love". Maybe ask therapists you interview if they are familiar with that approach? 

 

That approach might work. Yes, I'm on the spectrum. I have so many issues and have been looking around for a therapist that covers them all. I might have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack. I've got an appointment with the psychiatrist that I've been seeing for almost 9 years on monday morning. I'm going to briefly bring up certain debilitating behaviors that I'm concerned about  that have been especially troubling lately. She has to see another patient every 15 minutes or so, so she might have me schedule a follow up appointment where we have more time to discuss my concerns in depth or send me to someone like a psychologist for yet another evaluation. 

Especially lately, I've been struggling with over-thinking tasks to a point where I get overwhelmed by the work involved. I'm not able to stop thinking about ideas that sound interesting, realizations that I have that I don’t want to forget and become obsessed with thinking about them, and stuff that I hear about and want to look up later that I don’t want to forget from my head that distract me from doing other stuff that I should be doing like my homework, sleeping, or concentrating during Church. Thankfully, I started seeking accodomations at school.


I get overwhelmed by all the stuff that I write down to look up later that I keep putting off doing. I often get distracted being online, especially on YouTube. I know that I need to pull away, but I just can’t. I’ve tried setting an alarm for how much fun I’m having online, but I either ignore it because I’m too disappointed thinking, “That’s it? That didn’t seem like the amount of time that I agreed to do this for. A few more minutes.” A few more minutes pass. “Those minutes are over now too? Is time speeding up?” A few more minutes pass and the cycle just repeats itself. I can’t stop thinking about what I’m doing. 


I’ve tried doing something like my homework or trying to get to sleep, but I just can’t concentrate or fall asleep. I feel stressed about this. I’ve tried to follow sleep hygiene, but it either doesn’t work for me or it’s too hard for me to follow. I know that taking a nap screws up my sleep schedule, but how do I stay awake? I try going to bed at a decent hour, but my brain just won’t let me stop obsessing over things. This results in not much sleep for me. Then my alarm goes off to wake me up at a decent hour and I’m still tired, so I stay in bed. Is it any wonder that my sleep is thrown off?


I get consumed with thinking about the tasks that I have to do the next day. I’ve heard the suggestion that when this happens, write them down. I did that and it still doesn’t stop me from obsessing from it. Writing my other obsessive thoughts doesn’t help either. They also say that if you can’t sleep after 30 minutes or so to get up and do something else, then come back. I’ve tried this too, but I get consumed by doing what I’m occupying myself within the meantime that I can’t pull away. I also have to be careful so I don’t wake anyone else in the house up. My dad’s a very light sleeper despite him refusing to admit it. I’m ranting about ranting. I’m obsessively thinking about obsessively thinking. I did a sleep study and nothing unusual was found. All the different sleeping pills and their increased dosages didn't help much.

To complicate matters, I'm nervous about contacting or visiting my doctor's office because the practice has been pressuring me into having another pap smear. I was bullied into having two in the past by a different doctor that used to work there and they both hurt to a point where I got teary eyed. I'm afraid that if I go through it again that I'm going to experience that pain again. They may not even be able to do it. I'm nervous about having intercourse in the future because of this and the abuse I went through. 

Over a year ago at my last physical, I was pressured into scheduling a pap smear. I asked if there was even a point in doing it since I hadn't even had my first kiss yet and I still haven't. I'm not against doing it, but I've only dated one guy so far and it was a long distance relationship that didn't last long, so we couldn't kiss. The abuse I went through in the past didn't involve bodily fluids and we were both fully clothed. No cervical problems run in my family either.  

I was given a vague answer at my doctor's office that I didn't understand. I set up the appointment for it to pacify them and eventually cancelled it. I wasn't told that it was strongly recommended to have the pap smear. They said it was time. There was no implication that I could refuse. I'm still nervous calling them to ask the practice if there's even a point to doing it. I don't want another vague or technical response that I don’t understand.

At 21, I saw a doctor regarding my depression while I was waiting to get in to see my psychiatrist. At this appointment, I was told that I needed to set up an appointment for my first pap smear. I was specifically told by the doctor, nurse, or whoever else working at my doctor's practice that Iowa law requires that women have a pap smear at 21 regardless of a lack of sexual history. (Years later, I was informed that this law doesn't exist by other people.) I told my doctor about the abuse from my family member, so she was aware of it. 

On top of that, for the past 2 or 3 years in a row at my physical, my breast exams have either hurt or felt bizarre. They've felt tender, but not frequently over the years. I'm still anticipating being nervous about sex for this reason too as well as breastfeeding. 


Mom once confronted me, asking why I'm still have to take antidepressants. I asked my psychiatrist, who said that I need to go a year without having any symptoms of depression for that to happen. Mom has told me how frustrated she is that I still have depression after all these years. Why am I still sick? She also doesn't normally give me sympathy when I describe other health problems I've had over the years. She says that sometimes there's just no explanation for why we're not feeling well. Apparently, I'm supposed to not even ask medical professionals for help and just s uck it up whatever I'm going through.

When I had a part-time job and had to leave work early because I was feeling so sick, mom was upset with me. I told her that I’d see my doctor the next day. She claimed that my doctor wouldn't know what to do. Yet I saw her and she did help me with it. What's her deal? She's fine with my brother and I seeing our doctors when we've had bad colds or injuries, but not for anything else. 

My family just isn't emotionally supportive. Mom also berates me for not having friends. I find it hard to emotionally connect with people apart from those online. I'm weird in that I don't like the taste if alcohol and I'm not interested in trying coffee. I really don't like the smell. Plus, so many people get addicted to it and I don't another addiction, especially not with the insomnia that already have. Since I'm on the autism spectrum, I struggle with understanding how to be appropriately social. I've also had so many friends mistreat and or abandon me that I'm reluctant to trust people anyway.

I don't have friends apart from the ones from college years ago that are on Facebook living in various places throughout the world. None of the groups on MeetUp or MeetMe look appealing or even apply to me. I've tried getting involved in young adult ministry and various martial arts classes, but I don't like how they're run. For example, I don't want to be the only woman or there are hardly any women there. I feel somewhat uncomfortable at the young adult group. 

 

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