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Firstly, hello to all!

I find myself here because I don't know where else to turn.

I separated from at the beginning of the year and I am really wanting to start dating again and hopefully meet a new partner. I am 37 years old and I had been with my husband for 12 years and we have 2 beautiful children. I am however very wary about entering into a new relationships as I have many issues concerning sex that I simply don't know how to overcome.

My husband was my first proper relationship. I had numerous one night stands as a teenager and in my early 20's. I used to target boys/men who were already in a relationship as I knew then that I wouldn't have to suffer their rejection. they weren't free to be with me and they were using me for sex. it took me many years to understand why I went for those who were taken. My self confidence was almost zero and I honestly didn't believe than any boy/man would be interested in me. The short lived sex gave me a short term feeling of being wanted and I honestly believed that was all I would ever have.

I became depressed and started self harming at the age of 15 after being sexually attacked at gun point by two masked men. which explains somewhat my lack of self esteem. I thought i was fat and ugly, when in reality I was very pretty and slim! I went regularly to see the school nurse who counselled me through some very bad years. I became very dependant on her and our friendship carried on out of school hours. She essentially groomed me and I didn't feel i could carry on living without her and her support. The day after I turned 18 she kissed me. The following day I took an overdose. Not to kill myself but to show her that it wasn't what I wanted. She didn't listen to my scream!

I believed that if I said no, then I would loose her and If i lost her I wouldnt be able to cope with life and go on living, so I admitted myself into a psychiatric hospital as a last ditch attempt to show her I wasn't coping with the changes.

This weakness in me only made her hold on me firmer and I ended up being in a 'relationship' with this woman for several years despite being hetrosexual. We would have sex together and I would feel physically sick. she knew I hated touching her (and a lot more) but I had to do it. I just wanted to hug and cuddle. The kissing was ok but anything more than that was completely repulsive to me. The one night stands with taken men continued, No man would now be interested in me with my depressive state and my 'relationship' with a married woman who was 25 years older than me.

Eventually as I grew older and I became stronger I managed to pull myself away from this woman and eventually i met husband. He was also in a relationship when we met and I had no idea that he really did like me or that I would fall in love with him. We ended up being together and eventually we married.

My husband was the first man I had every made love to, but i could never fully relax, never loose myself in the moment. I had grown to see sex as predominantly a dirty act. if my husband was pleasing me then I couldnt switch off, my head was always going 'he is only doing that because he feels he has to', 'he must be hating doing that' 'i bet he feels sick', 101 different things. this meant that i could never orgasm and from the off I used to fake it to get it over with, no matter how nice it might have felt. when i was 'pleasing him' i felt that i was being used, that i was only there to give sexual pleasure. I never felt comfortable. The actual act of sex was fine because it was just f***ing, but there were times while actually having penetration that it did feel beautiful and i felt connected.

After a couple of years we tried experimenting in the bedroom and got into BDSM and my husband seemed to find his calling. he got his pleasure from whipping me, hurting me, tying me up, calling me very derogatory names. This went on for a few months and then I had to stop it because it was fuelling every dark thought that i had and every insecurity that i was worthless. This was essentially the end of our marriage, even though this happened 10 years ago!

My husband said at the time that he could never go back to a 'normal' sex life again and he meant it. after that we averaged sex 3 times a year and the last year and a half of our marriage was completely celibate. He denies that this is the reason, and has offered numerous excuses over the years. With each objection I worked really hard to remove it and then he would give a new reason that we weren't intimate, and so it went on.

so here I am now, 37 years old. I havent suffered from depression for nearly 20 years. I am attractive, intelligent, educated and articulate. I have a good job and an amazing family but I am still completely haunted by feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and fear of not being wanted by a future partner.

'baggage' is unavoidable the older one gets, however I feel that I have more baggage and more issues than most (a lot more than I have written here). I dont know how to shed my hang-ups or even how to be honest and open with any one about how I feel. I think I have only had about 3 orgasms in my life during sex but i have must of faked hundreds!

I met a man about a month ago. we spent some time together and we got on really well and there was a definite spark. we ended up in bed. I tried to turn it into mad passionate sex, rather than following the slow and gentle approach that he was taking because I felt scared and and true to form I faked an orgasm. Afterwards I felt cheap and used. I had absolutely no reason to. He was a really nice man and we got on well and I was the one who turned it into something cheap. I pushed him away and something that could have potentially developed has now been resigned to the dustbin.

All the above essentially consolidates into the fact that I cant turn having sex into making love. I cant switch my head off during sex. I cant believe that any person would want to be doing certain acts through choice (and I really know that one is crazy). I just cant make the whole thing'beautiful' and I so desperately want to.

If any one can offer me any words of wisdom, or advice I would be so thankful. I dont know how to move on from here. I do not want to spend the rest of my life alone or having cold and meaningless sex with strangers. I want to love, but I know I will never be able to do that until I can move forward, I just dont know how.
 

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Katheryn thanks for sharing your story, it takes a lot of courage to do that and I also think that by being able to admit your weaknesses and “baggage”, that you are in a much stronger place to overcome it.

You clearly are dealing with a lot of under the surface issues. Being sexually assaulted is a traumatizing thing to happen to anyone. You can’t expect to walk away from that and not have it affect you long term. I really think your best bet is to get professional therapy to begin working through some of that trauma. You will not be able to start “acting” right, you need to do the painful and difficult work of sorting through the emotions relating to that event piece by piece. It will take time, and it will be very hard at times, but a professional can walk you through the process and I think as you go through it you will find major relief in the entire experience.

I guarantee if you stick with it you will find yourself having breakthroughs in your personal relationships (whether they are romantic in nature or not).
 

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I met a man about a month ago. we spent some time together and we got on really well and there was a definite spark. we ended up in bed. I tried to turn it into mad passionate sex, rather than following the slow and gentle approach that he was taking because I felt scared and and true to form I faked an orgasm. Afterwards I felt cheap and used. I had absolutely no reason to. He was a really nice man and we got on well and I was the one who turned it into something cheap. I pushed him away and something that could have potentially developed has now been resigned to the dustbin.

All the above essentially consolidates into the fact that I cant turn having sex into making love. I cant switch my head off during sex. I cant believe that any person would want to be doing certain acts through choice (and I really know that one is crazy). I just cant make the whole thing'beautiful' and I so desperately want to.



Until you stop this you will keep having the same problem. You're trying too hard. So stop. You can't just "make" yourself fall in love or be in love or have some great love affair after knowing some guy in 30 days. You felt cheap because it's a projection of your own feelings about yourself. (Also, you probably didn't feel good knowing you'd only known this guy a month before hopping into bed with him). Wait. What's the rush?

"Making love" doesn't happen w/ every partner. You've only known this guy a month. So you barely know him. I firmly believe there is sex and then there is making love. Making love isn't some every day thing until you are with a partner you are truly in love with and love. It seems you are forcing something, trying to force something just to convince yourself you can "feel" it. It doesn't work that way. Take time getting to know people. You thinking "I can't believe someone would want to do something through choice" probably plays a huge part in why you feel you have to force things. Knock it off. Get into therapy. Believe in yourself. Take time getting to know someone before knocking boots. A month is no time at all.



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Thank you for your replies. I think deep down I do know that I should maybe seek some kind of therapy however this would be a last resort for me, but maybe I am now at a point where I need a last resort!

I dont feel that I am trying too hard to fall in love, I feel I am trying too hard not too! Not allowing myself to get close or intimate for fear of rejection. I have only ever allowed one man into my life and whilst I crave closeness and affection and want so desperately to be able to love someone, I honestly don't feel that I know how.

I found myself on a website only a few days ago where I offered myself to all and sundry for sex. I ended up scaring myself half to death with the realisation of what I had done, the danger I had put myself in and the depths to which I would sink to have an hour of....well an hour of what? feeling close to some one? being used like a cheap *****? thinking that maybe for that hour some one found me attractive when i know at the same time i would feel completely humiliated and disgusted. Or maybe it was the amount of responses that I got from this website in only a few hours....so many men wanting me, telling me how beautiful/sexy/gorgeous/hot I was....is that the only way I can boost my ego? Just writing this is making the tears flow. I have never actually sat down and thought all this through as I have today by writing these two posts. The realisation that I am actually quite a mess and not the rounded, intelligent, confident person I portray to every one around me. I am sort of answering my own questions....I guess this is the nature of therapy???
 

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Thank you for your replies. I think deep down I do know that I should maybe seek some kind of therapy however this would be a last resort for me, but maybe I am now at a point where I need a last resort!
You have endured a great deal in your life. You need to talk to a professional.

It isn't a last resort. It is your first resort.

You don't need to feel ashamed about asking for help. I wish you the best, you sound like a good person who has a good understanding of your issues. It think getting therapy will help you a great deal.
 

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What a story. You have gone through a lot but you seem on the right path by being self aware and seeking healing. A lot of people who have gone through not only assault but then a betrayal by their support person would have many more issues.

It must be hard to consider therapy with what happened to you, but if you find the right peron who will listen and encourage you to get healthy and feel good about yourself, I think you will be able to find a healthy relationship. I'd almost use picking a therapist as practice for finding a good relationship. Not all of them are good enough so be choosy and find what you deserve.

You sound like a great person who should have a good relationship. Good luck!
 

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Katheryn.

It takes a lot of courage to tell your story.

I would encourage you to seek therapy. At least give it a go and see what it uncovers. As you mentioned it is a last resort. You can always stop going if you find that it's not working for you. :)
 

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Thank you again for your posts and your kindness. Opening up on here has been a really hard thing to do but just this alone has already been highly beneficial.
In all honesty, the thought of seeling any sort of councellor or therapist is incredible scarey and makes me feel very wary and something I have never wanted to do. If I can find a way through this without, then I would take that option, but I think that today, I have faced the possibiity that it may well have to be a very real option.
 

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Thank you again for your posts and your kindness. Opening up on here has been a really hard thing to do but just this alone has already been highly beneficial.
In all honesty, the thought of seeling any sort of councellor or therapist is incredible scarey and makes me feel very wary and something I have never wanted to do. If I can find a way through this without, then I would take that option, but I think that today, I have faced the possibiity that it may well have to be a very real option.
It's a normal feeling, it's a very logical physical response. Counselling will represent you facing your fears and the events that have impacted you. Your body will naturally want to prevent that, it tries very hard to protect you from any pain. Which is why certain actions that seem destructive have come naturally to you, it's a defense mechanicsm, a survival instinct.

However, it's something that needs to be done if you want to really move beyond your situation and into a new life. You have to deal with some short term discomfort and fear, and once that initial shock is over, you're going to see real change in your life.
 
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