Let me start off by saying i'm a young adult and feel smothered in this college atmosphere of being free and dating and having sex. I don't vibe with any of it. I don't feel free, I don't want to date, and I don't want to have sex. Yes, I want to discover myself but more in the introverted sense; I want to repair my broken self as much as I can before I do anything else. I chose that to be my priority right out of high school because it had become impossible for me to function daily with how emotionally crippled I had become.
But, it's been years since then and I feel like i'm hitting the bar of when i'm supposed to have it all together. I'm supposed to want to have sex, to want to be in a functioning adult relationship, right? But I don't want any of that. My libido works just fine and everything, masturbation is alright; I just don't want anybody to actually touch me or look at me. The idea is repulsive; it makes me feel dirty, disgusting, embarrassed, and utterly shameful. Even typing it feels disgusting.
I've been trying to fix the root cause of this problem by correcting my thoughts, actions, habits, and it's a really slow, taxing process. Especially since i'm doing it mostly alone. I feel like i'd be ok with how slow this process is if there wasn't such a sense of urgency about sex, like you gotta have it and you gotta have it now! You gotta lose your virginity! You gotta talk about sex at social gatherings! You gotta talk about who you're dating! You gotta talk about fucking!
I get so self-conscious about what I lack, since I feel like i'm constantly trying to fake being a functioning person, which probably makes me ascribe more importance to sex than it actually has.
I just.. I don't want to care about sex right now. My priorities are elsewhere and I want to feel ok about that! But I feel so fucking guilty. And I feel like an idiot for feeling like a grade-schooler that doesn't want to be made fun of, but I do want to fit in with peers. I feel like if I do ever end up in a better mental state, I'm going to look back and think about how I wasted my early twenties having anxiety attacks when someone hugs me too long.
I just want to feel ok that I chose this for myself- to fix myself before I throw myself into something that I don't yet have the tools to handle. I don't want to feel rushed, but I do. I know people don't really give a shit about others' sex lives but I usually hear that from people who have "normal" sex lives, who already feel well adjusted in a sexual routine, and who didn't have a sexually traumatic childhood.
Now, about emotional intimacy: I crave it and yet I hate it. I know i'm only craving it so much because I still, deep deep down, want someone to save me; to make this job of fixing myself easier. But realistically, I know it wouldn't work like that so I don't intentionally seek it out.
I pushed away the one person willing to walk in on the garbage fire that is me, because I realized I was idealizing him and it was beginning to get harmful for our relationship. He was a beautiful person, but I projected this romanticized idea of a savior onto him (which no human being could ever fulfill). I knew I wouldn't be able treat him as well as he should be and I wasn't willing to open up at all because I didn't understand myself at all yet. It hurt that I hurt him by leaving him in such an unresolved state, but I was too scared of what he would think of me if I talked to him about my past. I wasn't ready to be like "by the way, I hate when you touch me or look into my eyes!" because he wouldn't believe that it was all me, and I definitely was not ready to talk to him about why. And I knew I couldn't ask him to conform to all these rules about me- no touching, no eye contact, no telling me he thought I was beautiful, no asking to see my family, no asking about my past. I couldn't ask that of him because I knew he could do better than me. He deserved to have someone who was a functioning person, ready to take on life with him. I shouldn't have assumed it all without asking, but I couldn't even bear to bring up the topic.
I wanted to be everything to him but I couldn't be anything at all. I couldn't bear the weight of being emotionally responsible for him. I know that may sound dumb but, I feel that's what relationships are. You both are open enough to handle each other's well-beings and share in downs as well as ups; I wasn't ready to dump all my shit on him, nor did I have the tools to take my part in handling his emotional well being in a healthy way. My abuser was a narcissist and I had to be his willing emotional slave, soothe his ego so he wouldn't blow up, let him touch me so he wouldn't be mad, tell him he was the good guy and it was me who was being bad, all so he wouldn't hurt me. That's still very firmly ingrained into me. Because of that, i'm still too afraid of condemnation by someone who'd be in charge of my well-being to open myself up to emotional intimacy.
My defense mechanism (avoidance & deflection) has become part of my personality, so I'm trying to de-tangle it from what's left of me. I want to be better already, I feel like an idiot. I want to be normal, I so badly wish this wasn't an issue, I so badly wish I could be who I would've grown up to be if I wasn't ruined.
By the way I'm not discounting the importance sex can have, I think it's cool concept, sure! and part of me is actually glad that people talk about it so much more now; it makes sex less of a taboo subject, which actually helps bring to light the severity of sexual crimes.
I just don't think sex is important for me right now, and probably not for a long while, but is it ok to make a decision like that for myself out of fear?
How do you guys feel about sex? How did you approach sex both in your first experience with it apart from your abuse, and in the long-run? And how do you deal with emotional intimacy? Are your brick walls still up? And if not, how did you even begin to start in taking them down? How do you approach the menacing two headed dragon that is sexual and non-sexual intimacy?
If you read all that (or even just bits) thanks a lot, really! And thank you if you decide to share anything with me! Even if you're also just sharing your confusion and frustration and can't offer an answer, I appreciate it a ton.
Whenever I feel terribly alone, I think of this subreddit. Thank you for being here to listen, and if you've ever regretted posting or talking about what's happened to you and how it's affected your life, take solace in the fact you've helped someone feel less alone in this world.