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sexual abuse and gender identity and/or sexual orientation

 
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Do you think that sexual abuse effects your sexual orientation or gender identity?
yes
71%
 71%  [ 5 ]
no
28%
 28%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 7

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Ryan
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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:10 am    Post subject: sexual abuse and gender identity and/or sexual orientation Reply with quote

i know that i could never be with a man. so ya i am a lesbian. the abuse started when i was so young, so it prob dos effect my orientation. on gender identity i dont know. i feel that i am neither male or female (i am geneticaly female). but i dont know if that is just a defense mechanism. if i am neither male nor female than its safe right. but i have always felt like this.
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LoneWing
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Joined: 04 Oct 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ryan,

Whatever your orientation, it's a good question, so thanks for bringing it up.

When we are abused, certain aspects of our development are denied us, because we felt little or no safety to grow and explore. Trying to avoid labels and extreme language will grant your mind and emotions more freedom to grow.

It's okay to not know, not label, and just let yourself be who you are. Extreme words like "always" and "never" may tend to hinder growth, becoming comfortable mental rules that keep us from exploring ourselves, possibly helping to arrest development.

If our mind is in avoidance mode, i.e., avoiding contact with men (or women), because that contact brings on triggers, adrenals engaged, then I wouldn't call that an orientation, per se. I would call it avoidance behavior, a completely normal response, but one to be explored, when one is ready.

In no way am I saying that it is not possible that you are a lesbian, nor do I judge anyone's orientation in a negative light. I'm just suggesting that if you are not sure, or are making a choice based on fear, that you need not lock yourself into non-exploration and / or non-growth. There is no given age at which one must decide what orientation one is. Be as honest as possible with yourself, and with whomever you choose to be. It's okay to be with a woman, or a man, and tell her or him, "I'm not sure." You have the right to be your authentic self. It's the best gift you can give to anyone.

I wouldn't suggest testing being with a man unless you felt completely safe, and had help with knowing what to do if and when triggered. Avoidance behavior is a self-protective mechanism, but we don't want it to limit our choices for the remainder of our lives.

A counselor told me that healing is not linear. It's like a mass that you go into and remove harmful pieces and work on them. The more you can tolerate going into the mass, chipping away at it, the smaller and less potent it becomes.

Be gentle with yourself.

LW
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Rosie
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Joined: 30 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Ryan.

I'm not going to say a whole lot on this issue because from what I know most of the time it leads to disagreements and arguing and hurt feelings. But I am bisexual and i'm with a girl right now. So i kind of understand this. I thought it wasbecuase my brother abused me but i later found out, it's just me. It's how i am. some of it, yes is becuase of him but most of it is becuase i just like everyone. it can effect us. some people "turn" gay or bi becuase of it but i mostly think that this is a part of our personalities.

at least that's how i look at it.
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ivonne
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Joined: 09 Jun 2004
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Location: the netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI Ryan,

I lived as a lesbian for many years before I ever found a man I could trust. Now I call myself bisexual. But honestly, I don't know who I would have been if I hadn't been abused. That's not for me to know and I've come to terms with not knowing. However I turned out is how I turned out and I'm pretty happy with myself these days.

warmly,
Ivonne
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we see them as we are.
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