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RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I was molested by a man at 18, 2 yrs ago. Before the

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I was molested by a man at 18, 2 yrs ago. Before the incident I have always been strongly attracted to women, and never once thought I was gay, this much I know deep down. However, ever since the incident I catch myself questioning my sexual orientation. I've read and been told this is a common side affect but it drives me insane. Ive also read that your sexual orientation is rather innate which reassures me but still i question myself.My mind continuously tries to trick me in believing that being with a man is something I could handle, which freaks me out. I was wondering if this incident has changed me. I deeply fear it may have and do not know what to do.
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this overwhelming situation in your life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please tell me more about your PTSD and "situational anxiety", and if there was one or more sexual abuse-molestation episodes?

Customer: Ya it drives me crazy I don't know what to think
Customer: Sorry I'm doing this from my phone
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Did you receive psychological treatment for this sexual abuse episode, the PTSD and anxiety disorder?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, no problem

Customer: But any way it was only one time and I am currently seeing a counselor and she believes I was drugged
Customer: I am currently on medication
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then you have just recently started with counseling, nothing before during the past 2 years, right?

Customer: Ya I started 3.5 weeks ago
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What you are describing does show it was a traumatic, very conflicting experience for you, which triggered or deepened an anxiety disorder.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Many times people suffering of homosexual abuse do report finding themselves very conflicted around their sexual orientation-preferences, and this is a core effect from the sexual abuse.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You feel even more overwhelmed because of having been trying to repress-avoid these conflicts for this long, which uses to worsen symptoms and the conflicts - distortions they create.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do suggest integral psychotherapy more than counseling for this type of problem. it should be intensive and consistent, pointing at core issues, from the abuse episode, to your sense of self-worthiness, eradicating obsessive ideation, specially about the distorted feelings around sexual preference.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Sexual orientation depends on both, genetics and learning -experiences. Each person is unique and reacts in unique ways to different stressors, challenges and traumas, and depending on how good resilience, coping skills, assertiveness and support system the person happens to have, the consequences from such episodes coudl be more or less damaging.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

In all cases, specially when serious conflicts or mental health problems like OCD - anxiety disorders develop, consistent psychotherapy should become the first approach to work on your rehabilitation process.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please do not torment yourself with these obsessions, address and confront them as such, as result from this anxiety disorder-trauma, trusting that with adequate psychotherapeutic support you would be able to get back your power, tranquility and enjoyment in life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is not an easy thing to do, but a long and tough process, requiring patience, consistency, willingness and hard work, where your support system -namely caring family and close friends- should play an active role helping you to recover from it.

Customer: It is getting better but I have had suicidal thoughts stemming from the idea that I could be gay. Which in of itself probably tells me I'm not. But idk...
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This shows how overwhelming this situation has become and how severely it has impacted you and progressed for the past two years. Once you commit to adequate and consistent psychotherapy and work on yourself, you would be able to rehabilitate from it, but need to truly stick to it, understanding it is a process, and not blaming or pushing yourself because of the ideation - feelings you get, but confronting them as symptoms from this disorder-trauma.

Customer: I understand. Seeing that u have most likely dealt with this situation before do you think it is possible that my orientation could've switched or is it more like a "false" fear.
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Most times this common issue appears as a symptom-consequence from the abusive-traumatic episode, leading to OCD -obsessive compulsive disorder- around sexual preferences. if the person gets necessary and competent therapeutic and personal support, rehabilitation is possible, thus hope for you to get back your normal life. When a person does not work on rehabilitating from this disorder-s, could end acting out the obsessive fears, whether there were or not previous homosexual tendencies. This is why I can tell you, that if before this isolated episode you were confident of and enjoyed your heterosexual sexual preference, then you could relax and feel hopeful that with adequate support you would be able to rehabilitate from it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thus what you call "false fear" matches what we understand as an obsessive idea, where the person recognizes the ideation as dysfunctional, conflicting and overwhelming, irrational and destructive, understanding how it could be totally unreasonable, but at the same time feels like trapped in the obsessive vicious circle. Working on both, reducing-eradicating anxiety and on the self0image-sense of self-worthiness and sexual preference areas, you should be able to rehabilitate from it. Anxiety is the fuel of the distorted belief, thus if you reduce or eradicate anxiety while improving your self-esteem-concept-confidence, you should be able to get back your tranquility and mental health.

Customer: Ok thank you that last bit helped me very much thank you
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're welcome. Please work on becoming truly and unconditionally patient, gentle, understanding and supportive with yourself, specially when facing painful or challenging situations, that way you would be able to affectively cope and get stronger and wiser from those experiences too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for your trust. Take good care and consistent action working on your rehabilitation and empowering process.

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