The crap I bought into...
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08-02-2013, 12:15 PM
The crap I bought into...
I don't know if it's a matter of simply personality or
whether this is due to my Christian upbringing, but I feel like, while
growing up, I accepted so many things at face value because "Why would
someone lie?" So I accepted just about everything that was thrown my
way, whether by media or the church: Men are always and only about sex;
girls only have sex because they want a ring on their finger or some
such other stamp of social approval, never because they actually - gasp!
- enjoy it!; and the list goes on.



It seems like I was particularly vulnerable to these messages as they
pertained to gender roles. I grew up thinking I was some kind of freak
because I happened to be a girl who was very interested in sex. At the
same time, I felt special because of it. I felt like a guy trapped in a
girl's body. I felt like God's gift to men because I wanted the same
things they did, related more to them in a lot of ways. Weird shit.



I tend to believe my worth lies mostly in my sexuality, so when anything
comes along that threatens it, I panic and feel worthless. The thought
of growing old bothers me not because I'd be fast approaching death, but
because maybe no one would want to have sex with me, and if I'm not a
sexual person, I'm not a person at all. Not a woman. It's nonsense when I
try to look at it rationally, but it's how I feel.



It's almost like the uber-supression of sexuality in the church
environment I grew up in somehow made me hyper-sexual. It seems so dumb
now that I thought of myself as special just because I enjoy sex (b/c
when I think of it logically, if most of us weren't enjoying sex, our
species wouldn't have made it this far), and I feel like such a naive
little fuck in every possible way.



I've constantly felt that way, that people secretly laugh at me
for being so damn gullible, but on the other hand I don't want to become
the kind of person who doubts anything and everything (or everyone)
that comes their way. For example, I want to believe that people are
good at heart and have great potential, but too often that ends up
hurting me. I trust people before they've earned it.



I want to figure out how I can overcome all these stereotypes and things
that I bought into. Like, I want to stop looking at a man as just a sexual object, knowing
within about 5.2 seconds whether I'd do him or not. Want to stop looking
at the opposite sex as only useful to me if I've the potential to go to
bed with them. Want to stop this stupid urge I have to be
overtly-sexual in front of them. Want to stop being friendly toward them
just because, later on down the road, I might just go to bed with them.



I want to be friends with a woman and not constantly second-guess her
motives (because women only ever do things for ulterior motives, don't
you know, and so you can't ever trust them). For example, I'd set up of a
co-worker of mine with my brother and when things didn't work out
between them (there wasn't a spark on her part, I guess) she said we
should go out again. I was confused and thought she'd changed her mind
about my brother, but that wasn't the case. She just wanted to go out
for drinks with me. Me! I wanted to ask her if she was sure. It all
seemed normal enough when I thought she might be interested in dating my
brother but the thought of her just wanting to hang out with me, just because, was a revelation. I couldn't believe it.



I hate feeling like such a damn user. Sure, I'm an introvert so I have a
small circle of people I'd consider friends because I don't want to
spread my energy too thin, and also I figure I'm limiting human damage
by keeping myself to myself. I feel like a sexist, misogynistic bitch
and I don't know what to do about it.



And I wonder, am I so self-centered because at one point I thought God
made all this stuff for, you know, me? Because I'm so speshul? Or am I
just wired this way? It sometimes feels like there's no way I could
overcome all this garbage or move past it. I've had these mentalities
for over twenty years.



Can anyone relate or make any sense of this post? I hope so, because I'm
not making much sense even to myself right now. Feeling very emotional
and distraught about all of it these days.



Oh, and apologies for being gone for so long (don't know how long it's
been since I last posted) - I've had a bunch of personal junk going on.
Told my husband I wanted a divorce and now he's treating me like a
princess so I'm muy confused.

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08-02-2013, 12:28 PM
RE: The crap I bought into...
(08-02-2013 12:15 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  I don't know if it's a matter of simply personality or
whether this is due to my Christian upbringing, but I feel like, while
growing up, I accepted so many things at face value because "Why would
someone lie?" So I accepted just about everything that was thrown my
way, whether by media or the church: Men are always and only about sex;
girls only have sex because they want a ring on their finger or some
such other stamp of social approval, never because they actually - gasp!
- enjoy it!; and the list goes on.



It seems like I was particularly vulnerable to these messages as they
pertained to gender roles. I grew up thinking I was some kind of freak
because I happened to be a girl who was very interested in sex. At the
same time, I felt special because of it. I felt like a guy trapped in a
girl's body. I felt like God's gift to men because I wanted the same
things they did, related more to them in a lot of ways. Weird shit.



I tend to believe my worth lies mostly in my sexuality, so when anything
comes along that threatens it, I panic and feel worthless. The thought
of growing old bothers me not because I'd be fast approaching death, but
because maybe no one would want to have sex with me, and if I'm not a
sexual person, I'm not a person at all. Not a woman. It's nonsense when I
try to look at it rationally, but it's how I feel.



It's almost like the uber-supression of sexuality in the church
environment I grew up in somehow made me hyper-sexual. It seems so dumb
now that I thought of myself as special just because I enjoy sex (b/c
when I think of it logically, if most of us weren't enjoying sex, our
species wouldn't have made it this far), and I feel like such a naive
little fuck in every possible way.



I've constantly felt that way, that people secretly laugh at me
for being so damn gullible, but on the other hand I don't want to become
the kind of person who doubts anything and everything (or everyone)
that comes their way. For example, I want to believe that people are
good at heart and have great potential, but too often that ends up
hurting me. I trust people before they've earned it.



I want to figure out how I can overcome all these stereotypes and things
that I bought into. Like, I want to stop looking at a man as just a sexual object, knowing
within about 5.2 seconds whether I'd do him or not. Want to stop looking
at the opposite sex as only useful to me if I've the potential to go to
bed with them. Want to stop this stupid urge I have to be
overtly-sexual in front of them. Want to stop being friendly toward them
just because, later on down the road, I might just go to bed with them.



I want to be friends with a woman and not constantly second-guess her
motives (because women only ever do things for ulterior motives, don't
you know, and so you can't ever trust them). For example, I'd set up of a
co-worker of mine with my brother and when things didn't work out
between them (there wasn't a spark on her part, I guess) she said we
should go out again. I was confused and thought she'd changed her mind
about my brother, but that wasn't the case. She just wanted to go out
for drinks with me. Me! I wanted to ask her if she was sure. It all
seemed normal enough when I thought she might be interested in dating my
brother but the thought of her just wanting to hang out with me, just because, was a revelation. I couldn't believe it.



I hate feeling like such a damn user. Sure, I'm an introvert so I have a
small circle of people I'd consider friends because I don't want to
spread my energy too thin, and also I figure I'm limiting human damage
by keeping myself to myself. I feel like a sexist, misogynistic bitch
and I don't know what to do about it.



And I wonder, am I so self-centered because at one point I thought God
made all this stuff for, you know, me? Because I'm so speshul? Or am I
just wired this way? It sometimes feels like there's no way I could
overcome all this garbage or move past it. I've had these mentalities
for over twenty years.



Can anyone relate or make any sense of this post? I hope so, because I'm
not making much sense even to myself right now. Feeling very emotional
and distraught about all of it these days.



Oh, and apologies for being gone for so long (don't know how long it's
been since I last posted) - I've had a bunch of personal junk going on.
Told my husband I wanted a divorce and now he's treating me like a
princess so I'm muy confused.


Welcome back - you last posted on January 4.

You sound like you could benefit from some therapy. Not because there is something wrong with you, but because you feel that there is something wrong with your feelings and behaviors.

Therapy/counselling can be beneficial, but a lot depends on finding the right therapist/counselor.

Of course, you can get a lot of free, amateur therapy right here. Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-02-2013, 12:29 PM
RE: The crap I bought into...
What was your experience of of sex as a child? Not what you were told about it, but what was your actual experience?
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08-02-2013, 12:48 PM
RE: The crap I bought into...
(08-02-2013 12:29 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  What was your experience of of sex as a child? Not what you were told about it, but what was your actual experience?
Experience? Not sure what you're asking. Like, what were my sexual experiences as a teenager? As in, specific examples? Or are you asking if the stereotypes I'd heard were reinforced by the behavior I saw in the teenagers around me?

Chas,
I just feel like if I'd had a better head on my shoulders, a standard of having to be proven something before I bought into it, I'd be a better person today. Like, when I first heard of or was told that guys only care about one thing, I'd have said "prove it" or at least withheld judgment until I got to know some guys better. My husband is seeing a counselor presently for our marital issues and I'm welcome to go and discuss my own issues, if I'd like, so that's a thought.

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08-02-2013, 01:02 PM
RE: The crap I bought into...
I don't care about details or even specific examples for the most part. What I'm asking is what your general experience of sex was as a child. Not necessarily the act of having sex, although that's important. But also how the topic was treated by people around you, were you exposed to sex or to other people acting in a sexual manner, etc. Specifically, during your formative years and if you don't have memories (or have memory "holes") from those years, that's very important to note.
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08-02-2013, 01:22 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2013 01:51 PM by Escape Artist.)
RE: The crap I bought into...
(08-02-2013 01:02 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  I don't care about details or even specific examples for the most part. What I'm asking is what your general experience of sex was as a child. Not necessarily the act of having sex, although that's important. But also how the topic was treated by people around you, were you exposed to sex or to other people acting in a sexual manner, etc. Specifically, during your formative years and if you don't have memories (or have memory "holes") from those years, that's very important to note.
Gotcha.

Well, sex was very hush-hush as a young child. If anything even remotely sexual came on TV, my mom would give my dad a look and the channel would be changed. And this was in the 90's when there was (if I'm recalling correctly) much less sexual content on major networks (we didn't have cable) than there is today.

Aside from the occasional swat on the behind, I didn't see much affection (whether sexual or non-sexual) pass between my parents. They didn't kiss in front of us or even really hug that I can remember.

My mom "educated" me about sex when I was in third grade, but aside from "sperm meets egg" I wasn't told much more than that. I didn't even know how the sperm "got in there" to tell the truth. She just said that sex was something pleasurable that husbands and wives liked to do to show that they loved each other, but she stressed that it was only for husbands and wives.

I wasn't even told about masturbation, so when I discovered that later on my own, there was lots of shame involved - I truly thought I might've been the first person to come across this and I felt ashamed because God had meant for me to only have that pleasure from my future husband, etc. and there I was providing pleasure to myself.

There is an incident of some significance during my earlier years and I don't even know how old I was. It would fall under the category of "holes" in my memory or blank places. I had a female cousin who grew up in a home that was much more sexualized than mine (at least, my mom's sister and her husband were not shy about watching sexually-charged programs on TV) and so my mom always sort of talked bad about them. Anyway, she was very emotionally-clingy and always wanted my brother and I to stay the night. One time when we stayed over there, she and I went into a kind of linen closet or something and I vaguely remember us getting completely naked and possibly touching each other.

I was so ashamed and plagued with guilt over it that I later went down and confessed to a pastor, though I did not go into specifics, and I felt that God had washed me clean afterwards. That's where the hole comes in. I barely remember it now.

Anyway, that's all that honestly comes to mind in regards to younger years (before I hit puberty).

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08-02-2013, 02:03 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2013 03:22 PM by kim.)
RE: The crap I bought into...
Sexual exploration in early childhood is natural but playing doctor doesn't fit in with god's plan so ... yea, shame. No wonder the holes in your memory. The same with masturbation.

One responds naturally to natural things. When these natural experiences didn't seem to fit into what you were told (or not told) was god's plan, you felt guilt and shame... because that is the only way you knew to process it in a way that made sense.

I would say seeking a psychologist on your own, apart from your husband, would be a better way to handle your own feelings about sex and your sexuality. If you want to see someone about your marriage, that's a different subject completely and I think keeping them separate would be of more help to you.

I'm very moved by your honesty. You are a sexual being, but that is not all that you are; human beings are complex. As well, you are not alone in having been trapped into this confused view of human behavior. Many people have these narrow views of themselves and through therapy they do manage reconstruct more fulfilling lives. Therapy can help you to move past these confused feelings.


You might find some positive companion literature on the subject... atheist Darrel Ray writes quite a bit about sexuality in relation to a theist upbringing.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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08-02-2013, 02:35 PM
RE: The crap I bought into...
There's a reason why you have those blank spots in your childhood memories and I suspect they're dissociative defenses. The reason I say that is because you mentioned that you feel your worth is only measurable in your sexual value. That's very common with people who have been sexually abused in early childhood, as are the memory holes.

I would recommend, along with Chas and Kim, that you seek therapy. I'd also recommend reading Thou Shalt Not Be Aware, by Alice Miller. In fact, you can go to her website: http://www.alice-miller.com/index_en.php
and just start there. Nathaniel Branden is also a very good therapeutic resource. To get a basic understanding of the impact child abuse has on our adult lives, you can watch this short but very informative series on youtube, called The Bomb in the Brain:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB3F2CF45EEB95C80

In the end, there's nothing at all wrong or immoral about being sexually promiscuous but it's very important, with everything really, that we know why we do the things we do. Without this self knowledge, we tend to simply float through life making one bad decision after the other... such as multiple failed relationships which is something that seems to be quite familiar to you a the moment.

I hope that helps and I want to say I really respect your ability to speak honestly and candidly about your childhood. Most people think they can but in reality, they're really just reciting the "truths" they've been told.
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08-02-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: The crap I bought into...
Thanks so much, guys. I've heard Daryl Ray talk on The Atheist Experience and liked him so I'll be sure to check that out, and also I'll look at the youtube series, too.

I appreciate y'alls appreciation of my honesty. That means a lot of me. I try as much as possible to be very open especially in regards to something like this. I don't think it does any good to bring up a problem or seek help about it if you're not willing to be absolutely honest.

And yeah, multiple failed relationships is definitely a repeating pattern for me, especially in regards to those with my fellow females. I've had many, many failed relationships with friends.

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08-02-2013, 03:37 PM
RE: The crap I bought into...
I wanted to say too that part of the inclination to be so open about stuff is precisely because everything was so hush-hush in my childhood. Things just weren't talked about. It's a relief to talk about it, to anyone. And my writing is one way that I've been able to be honest with myself about things and see some reasons behind why I do things I do, so that's a help as well.

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