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Question
Posted by: How the hell do I handle this? | 2009/12/07

Pictures in my head

So, since CS is away, I hope that the panel and sexologist can help please. About a month ago, a little boy of 10 molested/ tried to rape my 7-year old daughter in our home. You can read the sob story on Cyber shrinks'  page.

Anyway, I seem to have a problem now. Every time my husband and I try to make love, this picture of my little girl being molested pops into my head. I go rigid, I go dry, and if I manage to see the deed through, I don' t orgasm.

How do I stop these pictures? How do I get my orgasms and ability to make love back? Apart from being in a sh!t mood all the time, I am also very frustrated. I don' t even orgasm when I masturbate! Please, please help me!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSexologist

Oh my word, it sounds like you are dealing with a lot at present! I have several suggestions.

(1) I would suggest that if you have the resources (i.e. private counsellors, availability of rape crisis or childline counsellors), go to a few sessions to help yourself adjust to your indirect traumatisation.

(2) You didn't mention whether you have been prescribed any medication to assist you (I also couldn't find your posting at a glance on the CS forum) - if you have begun taking medication, this could be impacting negatively on your body's ability to respond sexually. If this is the case, speak to your referring physician to see what else you can take to have the pharmaceutical support with minimal adverse effects on your sexual function.

(3) The sexual response requires the mind and body to be in sync in order to work optimally - thus when your mind wanders to anything your response fades; and when you think of the distressing images you experience, the response switches off completely (this is the reversal of arousal - drying up; and the consequent inability to experience intense pleasure leading to orgasm). Whilst these images may pop into your mind, try to remind yourself that this is not happening (to her) now, and you are allowed to still enjoy sexual intimacy with your husband. Try to ignore the images (don't try to get rid of them, that won't work) and refocus on your physical sensations. Possibly let your husband know that you have stepped down in arousal and need a little help to get back into the swing of things. You could also try to do things to enhance your arousal like using lubricant/fantasy, give your husband feedback about what you are feeling and what he can do more / less of.

Try to be patient with yourself - another thing that will maintain your current difficulties is if you get frustrated and try harder to respond sexually (this in effect takes you out of the sexual response loop because you're 'willing' it to happen rather than feeling the sensations). If you find the images persist for much longer, I recommend you get some professional support (e.g. clinical psychologist, trauma counsellor).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: How the hell do I handle this? | 2009/12/08

The post numbers are currently 3276 and 3283 - about 5 pages back, headings " In utter shock" .

I wanted to say thank you for the support.Heave knows, I need it now. I have to stay strong for my daughter &  all I can do is carry on each day.

I did tell my husband about the pictures and he is very supportive and empathic. No, I am not on medication, but I think I should go see someone. Thank you again to all.

Reply to How the hell do I handle this?
Posted by: Concerned father | 2009/12/07

Something like this is every parent' s concern + I can imagine that it must be a nightmare for you. We have an 18yo. daughter with downs syndrome + my worst fear is that something like that could happen to her because then I will not be responsible for my actions. I get so angry when I hear of these things, + yes I' m sure it does affect your sex life. Good luck, hope everything works out for U guys.

Reply to Concerned father
Posted by: How the hell do I handle this? | 2009/12/07

Asking, no offense taken, please go read my posts on Cybershrink' s page if you are really interested in finding out what happened.

Reply to How the hell do I handle this?
Posted by: Asking | 2009/12/07

Now before you get defensive, I sympathise with you, but how does that happen in your house while you are there supervising the kids ? I presume when this happened your daughter screamed and ran to you ?

Reply to Asking
Posted by: Asking | 2009/12/07

Now before you get defensive, I sympathise with you, but how does that happen in your house while you are there supervising the kids ? I presume when this happened your daughter screamed and ran to you ?

Reply to Asking
Posted by: Woman | 2009/12/07

I am so sorry this happened to your family! The only thing I can suggest is to talk to a professional, they are equipped with knowledge to help you through this terrible time. Remember that this will pass, you will all get over it, and you will be okay in the end. Keep strong!

Reply to Woman
Posted by: How the hell do I handle this? | 2009/12/07

Yes, we took it further. We had a meeting with the DA and they said that because the kids are still so young, they will not make good witnesses in court, so they got a court order for the boy to go to therapy to be " sexually reeducated" . My daughter is in therapy and I think you are right, I should undergo counseling as well. I am angry that because parents did not teach their child right from wrong, my daughter has to suffer the loss of her innocence - she has become very sexualised because of this.. I feel helpless and powerless &  I so wish that this never happened to her. :(

Reply to How the hell do I handle this?
Posted by: Bee | 2009/12/07

This is a very desturbing thing that happened to your daughter and being agood mom it has shaken you so deeply in many ways.
You should go for counselling with her, to bring you comfort and speak about it and I think only once you know she is 100% again, will you be able to go back to being a sexual being. You are probably associating sex with the alarming abuse she has suffered. What happened to the boy, did you tell his parents and take it further?

Reply to Bee
Posted by: Sexologist | 2009/12/07

Oh my word, it sounds like you are dealing with a lot at present! I have several suggestions.

(1) I would suggest that if you have the resources (i.e. private counsellors, availability of rape crisis or childline counsellors), go to a few sessions to help yourself adjust to your indirect traumatisation.

(2) You didn't mention whether you have been prescribed any medication to assist you (I also couldn't find your posting at a glance on the CS forum) - if you have begun taking medication, this could be impacting negatively on your body's ability to respond sexually. If this is the case, speak to your referring physician to see what else you can take to have the pharmaceutical support with minimal adverse effects on your sexual function.

(3) The sexual response requires the mind and body to be in sync in order to work optimally - thus when your mind wanders to anything your response fades; and when you think of the distressing images you experience, the response switches off completely (this is the reversal of arousal - drying up; and the consequent inability to experience intense pleasure leading to orgasm). Whilst these images may pop into your mind, try to remind yourself that this is not happening (to her) now, and you are allowed to still enjoy sexual intimacy with your husband. Try to ignore the images (don't try to get rid of them, that won't work) and refocus on your physical sensations. Possibly let your husband know that you have stepped down in arousal and need a little help to get back into the swing of things. You could also try to do things to enhance your arousal like using lubricant/fantasy, give your husband feedback about what you are feeling and what he can do more / less of.

Try to be patient with yourself - another thing that will maintain your current difficulties is if you get frustrated and try harder to respond sexually (this in effect takes you out of the sexual response loop because you're 'willing' it to happen rather than feeling the sensations). If you find the images persist for much longer, I recommend you get some professional support (e.g. clinical psychologist, trauma counsellor).

Reply to Sexologist

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