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Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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I am a female who is over 40 and has never had a romantic or

Customer Question

I am a female who is over 40 and has never had a romantic or sexual relationship with anyone. I have always assumed I am straight, and I have fancied a few men in my time, but not enormous numbers of them. However, I am also very drawn to women, and have, on numerous ocassions, had very strong feelings about certain females in my life. At the moment I seem to be obsessed by my very good friend. I think about her all the time, wondering what she is doing, and wanting to be in contact all the time. When I see her and she tells me what she has been up to, I feel very jealous about her having a good time with others and feel very left out. I actually get a physical ache in my chest. I am beginning to wonder whether I am, in fact, in love with her. She is straight, has a long term partner and kids. I do fantasize about her having sex, but usually this is her having sex with her partner. I am so confused and rather depressed. What can I do to help myself?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Sarah replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

There is a theory that all of us have within us a child self, an adult self and a parent self, each of which steps forward and is strong at various times in our life. The child is often self indulgent in life, perhaps even selfish. The parent is the law-giver, the one with all the 'right' advice, the 'proper way of doing things'. The adult is able to make decisions bed on all relevant information, everyone's feelings, in an adult way. Sometimes when clients have experienced emotional occurrences as a child, the child remains hurt and sad, and remains dominant over time, the influence of the child staying very strong, even in later years. As the child self is strong, a sexual relationship can sometimes seem out of reach, as children are intended to be non-sexual beings. I am wondering if your lack of a sexual relationship is less about your sexual orientation and more about your ability to step forward as the adult rather than the child. Your strong feelings for a female friend could be your mind trying to understand why you have not had a relationship with men, but your fantasies of your friend in a sexual way with her partner suggests that your subconscious mind knows that you have no role in that partnership.

It is possible to explore these theories with a therapist and if you feel they might be relevant, you might want to seek a hypnotherapist to help you to do this. If you feel that the child in you needs to find something that was a missing as a child, or to heal some kind of hurt, or to complete some unfinished business, then find a hypnotherapist who offers Inner Child Healing.

It is possible that the feelings of hurt in your chest are a recurrence of hurt from the past - would that make any sense? Would you be able to think of an occurrence when you have felt that feeling before? It could be something from a very long time ago. If so, it might be worth looking into a therapy call EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) which allows you to let go of memories and emotions from the past that are holding you back. This might not be relevant to you at all and if so, it is not necessary for you to worry about it.

I hope this information is helpful - please feel free to ask further questions if you wish, or to give more info. Bets Wishes, Sarah
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you Sarah. I do not hink of myself as a sexual being, or sexy in any way. I have issues with my body image, and self esteem and cannot imagine anybody finding me attractive in that way. I do feel that my inner child is strong, and I often have feelings that I think of as very childish. But I cannot think of any emotional occurrences that might have brought this out. How woudl hypnotherapy work exactly? I am seeing a therpist at the moment, and have been off and on for some time. I am suffering from depression due to a succession of stresses in my life over the last few years. I am also on anti-depressants. However, I have not been able to bring this subject up at any of our sessions. I feel it is too embarassing to admit that I am a virgin at my age. I am ashamed. And also to talk about sexuality. That is whay I decided to go down the line of online advice. If nothing alse to get it "out there". She is a hypnotherapist as well as a cousellor etc, so it night be a way to go.

I do feel that this is a subject that has to be explored. I am really scared of losing my friend, but do feel that I obsess about her somewhat, and fear that my behaviour might "show its ugly head" and creep mher out and scare her away
Expert:  Sarah replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,

Thanks for your reply. I'm really pleased that you have a therapist to help you with this, but you can only reach your destiny if you explore all of the issues, as you know. it is really important that you have a therapist who you can be honest with, so have a think about how you can allow yourself to disclose this info with your current therapist or whether you need to change therapist (that may be easier said than done). A good therapist would want you to disclose your inner thoughts and your feelings, especially if they are negative, we are used to tears and embarrassment, so try and bite the bullet. try to imagine telling your therapist, imagine the worlds you would use to tell her and rehearse it in your mind many times before your session. This should reduce at least some of the emotions as your brain will already have released some of it. Have a look for EFT on the internet and try this for yourself. It's a type of tapping on your body to release emotions and let them go - you can find videos of how to do it and it's really easy.

Ask your therapist about hypnotherapy, it's a form of deep relaxation where the therapist is able to talk to your subconscious mind, to encourage your subconscious mind to be in harmony with your conscious mind, so that you feel whole, as one, rather than perhaps having a 'voice on your shoulder.'. If you can try and explain about your inner child being very strong, then the therapist should be able to write you a script that will help your subconscious mind to allow your child to stand back and your adult to step forward. If your inner child needs healing, this should be done first. Ask about the Inner Child Healing - it's a script that encourages you to make peace with the little girl that was when you were little - so your brain can accept you as a whole person and take away the concerns from the past. Hypnotherapy is very relaxing and most people enjoy it. Give it a go and see how you get on.

I understand that you don't want to lose your friendship with your friend - if you feel you may say something inappropriate, try and see her when other people are around to keep the atmosphere light, at least until you have worked some of this through in your session. you could also remind yourself when these thoughts come that your friend is happily married and you know you have no intention of changing that. imagine the thoughts in a huge balloon above your head, and pop the balloon with a huge pin, allowing the cold water inside the balloon to splash over you - this is an example of thought stopping technique. your brain will soon get the message that those thoughts are inappropriate and unwanted and they will go away if you keep practicing. Your therapist won't be embarrassed by whatever you tell her - it's her job, she will be used to it. She will more likely feel good about the fact that you could open up to her - she certainly shouldn't be judging you. Anyway, life is supposed to start at 40 so you have nothing to lose!!! seriously, take it easy and practice some of this stuff I have explained. take care of yourself, you deserve it, Sarah

Edited by Sarah on 7/24/2010 at 10:19 PM EST
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
Sarah and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. I have e-mailed her asking for a session as soon as possible, and I feel I really must talk to her about these issues.
Expert:  Sarah replied 4 years ago.
Well done, have a think about what you want to say, perhaps write a list to remind you, or if you think it might be too difficult to talk, consider writing a letter that your therapist can rad and then you can discuss. Also have a think about role models from when you were a child - did you have a female role model who was appropriately feminine and sexy? if not, you could have a look around the people you know and the people in the limelight (tv, magazines) who you think are nicely dressed, appropriately feminine. Sometimes its hard to do something if we don't have someone to follow and copy. Hypnotherapy can also help with confidence, self-esteem and body image, it's all done in the imagination. I am sure if you can bring yourself to talk to your therapist, she will be pleased to help you with all of these things and they will all start to compliment each other. well done for making the appointment, hope it goes well, Best Wishes, Sarah

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Sarah
Sarah
Chartered Psychologist / Hypnotherapist
143 Satisfied Customers
Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.