Tips for Parents With a Child Who Is Sexually Confused

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Sexuality is one of the most important and defining aspects of our lives. The human experience of sexuality not only involves the aim of procreation, but has several other functions as well. Sexuality can strengthen and deepen a relationship; can serve as a method to relieve tension; is widely seen as a way of self-expression; and not to minimize it, it is usually a joyful activity.

Humans have a far more complex sexuality than any other species. This kind of complexity broadens the opportunities to have more fun and derive more pleasure from sexual activities, but it is also a source of problems associated with desires, wishes and actions associated with sex.

Adolescence is often portrayed as a critical period of life when youth must take a dangerous passage between childhood and adulthood, especially as it relates to sexuality. Research focuses on the turmoil and instability of teens. The behavior of youth is usually considered risky and tumultuous, rather than creative or inquisitive. Adolescents are depicted as troubled and in need of intervention. Gay and straight youth occupy different positions on the line of instability and risk.

Emotional crisis and turmoil is not as common for straight adolescents who usually end up in a “proper” adulthood, while gay youth are a subculture, and have difficult relations with adults and heterosexual peers. Gay youth are a population at risk, according to scientific opinion. They are more likely to develop mental health problems, commit suicide, have problems with substance abuse, and under-achieve in school. There should be more emphasis on the risk-identified specific problems of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Questioning) youth. LGBTQ youth are no different from their heterosexual peers in the sense that they need to form their own identities, but they have a sub cultural need for information and community as well.

Here are some tips for parents, who have a child with sexual confusion, or an LGBTQ identity:

1. Your kid is yours, regardless of his or her sexual orientation.

2. Accepting the teen, providing love, caring and support is the best way to prevent negative outcomes.

3. Don’t unintentionally encourage your child to lie (encourage honesty).

4. Adolescence is the time of experimenting. Do not take that away.

5. Sexual orientation is not a choice. It cannot be changed by any “therapy.”

6. The aim of sexually confused or LGBTQ youth is the same as their heterosexual peers: they want to grow up into a happy adult. You can help them more than anyone else can.

7. Youth who belong to a sexual minority, can be very useful and honored members of the community.

8. Regardless of their sexual orientation, you should teach and encourage safe sex to your children.

9. Apart from safe sex, you should set an example of people who can have a long-term, happy and fulfilling relationship. Yes, non-heterosexuals can have such relationships as well.

Monitor the activities of your child. Encourage age-appropriate behavior, and discourage inappropriate or dangerous behaviors. Read more and become informed. The internet is a great source for information on Sexually Confused Teens or Teens with Gender Identity issues.

This article is taken from the book “Sexual Identity? From Confusion to Clarity,” by Dr. Richard L. Travis.

This book is part of a series of books called “Dr. T’s Living Well Series,” by Dr. Richard L. Travis.

The series contains books for Parents on ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Obesity, Anger, Drug and Alcohol Problems, Low Self-Esteem, and Trauma and Loss. There are also books on Addictions in Physicians, Nurses, Pilots and Pharmacists. There are also books on Sexual Identity, Gay Relationships and Guided Imagery.

It’s interesting to note that vr porn of all orientations is becoming more and more accessible. VRLaid (one of the most popular vr porn tubes out there) reported that vr gay porn is one of the most searched categories on their platform.

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Common Myths About Child Sexual Abuse and Incest

The first response the majority of people form when hearing of sexual child abuse or incest is denial: “I do not have to be concerned about that in my community.” “That would never happen in my family.”

The unbelievable reality is that a person who sexually abuses children may seem very average and ordinary to the world. He/she may be a leader in the church, in the community or in business, a sports coach, scout leader, or celebrity. Sex offenders do not fit a classic stereotype and are not necessarily uneducated, unemployed, impoverished or an alcoholic.

The majority of people find sexual abuse and incest even more difficult to believe or accept when the sex offender is someone they like, admire, love, and/or marry. Tragically, the unwillingness to accept the facts concerning sex offenders leaves children vulnerable to becoming victims and increases the likelihood they will be abused.

Myth: Rape/incest runs in the family–it is in the genes.

Fact: Rape is not in the genes in the family of someone who rapes. Rape is perpetrated by someone who is acting out rage. Physical and sexual child abuse are the majority factor in creating the level of rage that compels anyone to commit rape, domestic violence or murder. We have known for a long time that the one commonality among rapists is physical and/or sexual child abuse. Serial killer, Ted Bundy is a classic example of this phenomenon. Since 80% of sexual child abuse survivors are sexually abused by family members there are usually several generations within a rapist’s family–sometimes both maternal and paternal. Current statistics reveal 70% of children are physically abused once a week. It is believed the number of children who are physically abused has decreased in the past 15 years. However, the current rapists in society would have grown up in the era when physical abuse was more prominent, therefore, we can assume there is a high percentage of people, who are potential rapists when we consider date rape and rape in domestic violence, which is seldom reported or if it is reported, is seldom prosecuted. Therefore, society has no way to access the number of rapes committed per capita.

Myth: Children lie or fantasize about sexual activities with adults.

Fact: Using developmental terms, young children cannot make up explicit sexual information. They must be exposed to it to speak about it. Sometimes a parent will coach a child to report sexual abuse falsely. The key indicators of the falseness in such a report are the child’s inability to describe explicit details, the inability to illustrate the act, or gross inconsistencies within the account.

Myth: Most victims of sexual abuse are teenaged girls.

Fact: While more girls than boys are sexually abused, many are abused before their first birthday.

Myth: Boys can’t be sexually abused.

Fact: Masculine gender socialization instills in boys the belief they are to be strong; they should learn to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children and are as vulnerable as girls. They cannot really fight back against the sex offender. A sex offender generally has greater size, strength, knowledge, or a position of authority, using such resources as money or other bribes, or outright threats–whatever advantage the sex offender can take to get what they want.

Myth: Sexual abuse of a child is usually an isolated, one-time incident.

Fact: Child sexual abuse and incest occurrences develop gradually, over time; often, repeat occurrences are generally the rule rather than the exception.

Myth: Children will naturally outgrow the effects of sexual abuse or incest.

Fact: Sexual abuse or incest affects every aspect of human development. The damage is profound, extensive and pervasive. It is deeper than the physical and emotional level–it is a soul injury that requires multifaceted, multidimensional, therapeutic processing conducted by a professional who specializes in sexual abuse and incest trauma recovery.

Myth: Non-violent sexual behavior between a child and an adult is not emotionally damaging to the child.

Fact: Although child sexual abuse often involves subtle rather than extreme force, all survivors experience confusion, shame, guilt, anger, as well as a lowered sense of self-esteem; these are classic aftereffects, although they may not initially reveal obvious signs.

Myth: Child molesters are all, ‘Dirty old men.’

Fact: In a recent study of convicted child sex offenders, 80% committed their first offense before age 30.

Myth: Children provoke sexual abuse by their seductive behavior.

Fact: Seductive behavior may be the result, but is never the cause of sexual abuse. Amy Fisher, the Long Island teenager who shot her sex offender’s wife in the face and whom the media dubbed, Lolita having an affair with a married man, is a perfect example of this myth. During her trial for attempting to kill Joey Buttafuoco’s wife, Amy Fisher revealed that she had been sexually abused before her abuse by Buttafuoco. Her behavior that many considered seductive and promiscuous was, in fact, a result of prior abuse. However, regardless of the victim’s behavior or reason for such behavior, the responsibility for appropriate behavior always lays with the adult, not the child. A sixteen-year-old girl is no match for the cunning and streetwise tactics of a man twice her age, therefore, the ability to affect adult consent is unreasonable to expect.

Myth: If children wanted to avoid sexual advances of adults, or persons in positions of greater power, they could say, stop or no.

Fact: Children generally do not question the behavior of adults. In addition, bribes, threats, flattery, trickery and use of authority coerce them into cooperation and compliance.

Myth: When a child is sexually abused, it is immediately apparent.

Fact: In cases of incest against children, as much as the sex offender might be hurting the victim, the child loves him or her and needs her family. Therefore, she convinces herself that she is somehow causing him or her to behave this way, and she remains silent. In her confusion of loyalty to her sex offender, she protects him or her by holding the secret. Thus, she carries the shame and guilt. In cases regarding sexual abuse and incest, the victim often believes that she has cooperated with the sex offender in some way and places inappropriate blame on herself. Therefore, although with tremendous suffering, she hides her pain through denial, dissociation, numbing, zoning out, hyperactivity, as well as other distracting behaviors. However, the aware parent would recognize these behaviors as a sign that something is wrong.

Myth: When the sexual abuse victim is male, male homosexuals are the sex offenders.

Fact: Heterosexual men, who do not find sex with other men satisfactory, perpetrate most child sexual abuse. Many child molesters, even though they are heterosexual, abuse both boys and girls.

Myth: Boys abused by males are or will become homosexual.

Fact: Whether victimized by males or females, boys or girls, premature sexual experiences are damaging in many ways, including confusion about their sexual identity and orientation.

Myth: When a boy and a woman take part in sexual behavior and it is the boy’s idea, he is not being abused.

Fact: Child abuse is an act of power by which an adult uses a child. Abuse is abuse; a woman engaging in sexual behavior with a male child is still sexually abusive, even if she thinks he initiated the contact.

Myth: If the sex offender is female, the boy or adolescent is fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity.

Fact: Premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, sister, babysitter or other female causes confusion, at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances. Whether male or female, to be used as a sexual object is always abusive and damaging.

Myth: If the child experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, he or she has been a willing participant or enjoyed it.

Fact: Children can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. A sex offender can maintain secrecy by labeling the child’s sexual response as an indication of his or her willingness to participate. You liked it, you wanted it. The survivor is then manipulated with their own guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical, visual or auditory stimulation is likely to occur in a sexual situation. It does not mean the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant.

Myth: Males who were sexually abused as boys all grow up to sexually abuse children.

Fact: Only some sexually abused boys become sex offenders.

Myth: Boys are less traumatized as victims of sexual abuse than girls.

Fact: Studies show that long-term effects are equally damaging for either sex. Ironically, males may be more damaged by society’s refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization, and by their own resultant belief that they must ‘tough it out’ in silence.

Myth: If a child is sexually active with his or her peers, then it is not sexual abuse.

Fact: The act is abusive if the child is induced into sexual activity with anyone who is in a position of greater power, whether that power is derived through the sex offender’s age, size, status, or relationship. A child who cannot refuse, or who believes she or he cannot refuse, is a child who has been violated.

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Integrating Fear and Love – A Sexual Abuse Thriver Story Underneath the Iceberg

Revelations keep coming about the more commonly occurring sexual abuse of children than anyone wants to know. This issues continues to surface as an in your face world-wide social problem. Those who are shocked and appalled and those who continue looking for ways to invalidate the courageous, who lived this experience, appear to be making judgments, laws and social decisions without truly understanding this lived experience. Many like me, who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, go quietly about their lives attracted to other wounded souls whom they can share love and care for when they haven’t learned to do it for themselves. This ability to love and give to others is a disconnected wisdom of the spirit that lives inside but until integrated doesn’t help the carrier. It also keeps us silent because of fear of rejection by others whom are so easily able to voice their opinions about something they have no experience other than what they have learned from books and research. Research while helpful isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of the thoughts and feelings that lie beneath needing an island of safety before they can come up and be expressed. Research gives us ideas about a certain group but not the individual lived experiences. So this article is not about generalizing to all. It is my story, my struggle to find my voice and give it words of expression to what I keep discovering that lies beneath my lifes’ iceberg.

I believe I came into this world with a spirit of Love. I loved life. I loved people. I loved my family. I feared my family. We had good times and bad times. They confused me. They hurt me. They did what they knew. I did whatever I could do for them. From what I have been told I was the center of the world of my mother, grandmother, great grandmother and grandfather. In conversations later in life my step dad told me he thought I was spoiled and he needed to get me into line. My parents were divorced before I was born. I had episodes of childhood visits with my dad who is now deceased. About a year or so later my mom married my stepdad. In my memory it was the December after my 2nd birthday during a drive in movie while my mom had a baby shower for my sister that the molesting began. My mind flashes to bits and pieces of that memory that have not left me. I remember being confused at first but my stepdad’s face appeared so happy I thought I must have done something good. I was so excited when I went home I attempted to tell my mother but she was too busy. The abuse went on until I left home at 17 years old. I don’t remember how often it happened. I don’t think that matters. I remember the first time there was penetration and I started bleeding. I went to tell him and he told me to go tell my mother. She proceeded to tell me that this was what happens when girls grow up. It didn’t make sense to me because in my mind it had more to do with what my stepdad had done to me than growing up. But her face was happy and it seemed to mean something to her so I accepted what she said and denied my own valid experience.

Fast forward to about age 13. My mom found my stepdad in my bed one morning and all hell broke loose. I heard her saying things like ‘you told me you’d never have another women’ him saying it was because I wore shorty nightgowns, my siblings coming out of their rooms hysterical and me frozen in fear about ‘what had I done wrong.’ Later my mother confirmed it was my fault and told me I didn’t respect her but I needed to respect my stepdad. The situation left me feeling totally responsible. My step dad told me if my mother asked to tell her it had only been going on for a little while because she didn’t want to have sex with him. She never did ask. (I’m not sure it occurred to me that they had sex. I think I had grown up believing it was between us even though I knew it was going on with my other stepsister. I didn’t learn until years later that he had molested my youngest step sister too.) I did ask myself how long it had been going on. I realized it had been going on all my childhood. The positive thing that came out of the situation was I now had permission to say no. It never occurred to me to say no. (My stepsisters both told him no when they were teenagers and he stopped.)

Oh, I take that back. There was an incident when I was about 5 or 6 where my Nannie found me and a couple of my girl friends acting like we were boys and had a penis. She was so angry and then she went and told my mom. Their faces were very angry. It really scared me and confused me, because my step dad pointed his penis at me and put it between my legs. I was just acting out my experience. Neither saw my behavior as a red flags. I also remember a time he had me in the play house and I heard my Nannie calling me. He covered my mouth and told me to be quite. It wasn’t so much I wanted to get away from him but my Nannie was everything to me and I wanted to go to her. I remember realizing that she didn’t know what we were doing and he didn’t want her to know. I just didn’t know what to do with that information. I assumed everyone knew.

Other things happened during my childhood like physical abuse, emotional detachment, and multiple losses and moves. My iceberg is composed of so many issues that it is difficult to know what contributed to what. I survived the physical and sexual abuse. I have no physical scars of either. Most of my injuries were to my developing self trying to integrated and make sense of the confusing messages and experiences within a family that appeared to the world like leave it to beaver. We were involved in church, scouting, school activities and had friends. I think that is why I see life as both and rather than either or. We had it all. I also think that the confusing and unanswered questions not only contributed to my self-blame but also to my shame.

I remember after we got involved in church and I learned my sins could be washed away I was so happy. I admitted I had sinned (I didn’t tell what I thought my sins were but that I had sinned) and accepted Jesus into my heart. I felt a freedom and a burden lifted after I was baptized. However, the shame came back. Sometimes I would baptize myself while taking a bath and imagining the dirty feelings going down the drain. I just couldn’t seem

To let go of my feelings that I wasn’t okay. God couldn’t forgive me. He could forgive others. I know now it was me who was not forgiving me. In my distorted thinking I connected being of service to others was my lifetime penance. I think that belief came from never feeling like what I did was good enough for my family. I couldn’t make my parents stop yelling and fighting and I couldn’t make them not beat my siblings. I couldn’t make my mother be a mother. Before I turned 18 the belief in my failings was running my life and I could accept any mistreatment as validation of God’s judgment upon me and my ‘lot in life to bear.’

Throughout the years I have confronted my parents and we have come to terms with each other. My humanness needed them and in not getting my legitimate needs met from them I lived in a great deal of fear of abandonment and rejection. This fear organized my beliefs and motivated me from a place of fear. My spirit of Love could not abandon them and on some level understood them as lost children in adult bodies. Now I am learning to give that spirit of Love to myself. I’m learning to nurture myself and provide myself with the self-care I deserve. I realize that it was not God that didn’t forgive me; it was I who wasn’t forgiving myself. I think it was easier to accept and take the blame and have an illusion of power and control than to accept my overwhelming feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, shame and grief. The emotions were too much to bear so they had to go somewhere. Children not only easily accept the blame for adult failings they resist any attempt to tell them otherwise. I see it every day in my private practice.

It is a challenging journey from fear that keeps you locked in self unforgiveness to accepting and validating your innocence and returning to the Love of your spirit.

Sexual abuse isn’t just about sex it is a journey to integrate fear back to Love. Sexual abuse isn’t just about the sexual acts but what happens in the aftermath of revelation. How really sensitive can others be if they don’t understand the dynamics of this issue and that experiences are individual, not general? Each person’s thoughts, feelings and experiences need to be honored and acknowledged as well as their ongoing integration. I experienced sexual abuse and it is not who I am; it is what has happened to me. Now I am giving those experiences a voice to be added to the choir.

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The Why & the Way to Review Your Sexual Self

Most women who have had any kind of psychological therapy are comfortable in principle to review their personal history as regards their mother and father issues, siblings, relationships, work. How often in private session or workshops have people re-examined memories around these critical, life forming elements.

Those involved in motivational and self-help courses and programs review their thoughts around self-esteem, fear, confidence, doubt, money, success and failure. Again there is a willingness to recapitulate their life experiences around these issues because they allow an emotional release and an opening to renewal.

But asking women to recapitulate their sexual history is another thing entirely. They tend to clam up and become generally quite defensive about whatever position they are in, especially mid-life and older women.

The big secret here is that the recapitulation and healing around these issues offers a way into an awareness and experience of sacred energy of being which is both spiritual and erotic, sacred and sensuous. The words confuse those who don’t know but the experience and way of being is real to those who have done the journey. And it is actually never more relevant than at mid-life and onwards.

Indeed it is perhaps the key to the new kind of aging that the baby boomer generation would like to achieve, in theory at least. The role models we currently have for older people, and older women in particular, are asexual at worst and confused at best. The envisioned sexuality is a crinkled necking or Viagra or vibrator enhanced genital release.

There is a more soulful sexuality, a spiritual eroticism that can endure. But it requires some learning and practices. Upfront and before anything else, it requires a conscious recapitulation and healing of one’s sexual wounds – some personal and some the shadow of wrong thoughts that have come down the centuries and still linger in our subconscious minds and permeate our thinking and feeling.

Here are a few questions to help you assess yourself sexually speaking. See how you answer them. You might be very surprised.

1 Are you perfectly comfortable with your genitals? Do you deeply honour and accept your genitalia, without echoes of shame or any embarrassment whatsoever?

A Only a little
B No, not at all
C Yes I am; I deeply honour and accept my most intimate, feminine perfection, especially my genitalia. I can be fully open and surrendered and confident.

2 Do you understand the concept of energy orgasm and energy flows, as distinct from genital focus? Do you understand the concept of being sexually alive, without necessarily having a partner to be “sexually active” with.

A A little, sort of
B No I do not
C I fully understand the metaphysical dimensions of body imbued with soul

3 Can you imagine that sexuality and spiritually are aspects of the same thing, that the very energy of sex is itself universal energy?

A No I can’t
B Maybe a little
C Yes, I can honestly say that I have experienced my sexuality as holy, embodied spirit, inherently divine – and fun.

4 Have you in any way within your heart and mind, given up on sex because you have “done” or “are doing” menopause? Do you feel less sexual?? Do you feel less confident about the sexuality that you do feel?

A Well yes a little
B Yes a lot
C Not at all; I feel more sexual in a holistic, mature & ecstatic way. I experience/d menopause as a positive experience of soul, a physical and spiritual gateway to the third phase of my life.

5 Are you afraid of aging? Does the thought of being an older woman arouse vague, uncomfortable ambivalent feelings within you?. Do your mirror reflections tease you with sagging flesh that was once unequivocally firm and ghost images of old women you wish you weren’t becoming?

A Yes a little
B Yes a lot
C Not at all; I have a clear vision of aging and I perfectly and joyously accept every facet of my sagging flesh

6 Are you confused about how you shoulda view yourself sexually, now that you are an “older woman”? Do you feel its inappropriate to be sexual now in terms of your previous experience and knowledge?

A Yes a little
B Yes a lot
C Not at all; I have a clear expansive sense of joyous sexual awareness.

RESULTS

Anything less than sincere affirmations of all the number 3 choices, means you still have thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs around the stuff of sexuality to clear; its only a matter of degree..

If most of your answers were no 1, you have a vague idea of a world inside of you that you do not know yet. There are important wisdoms that will only increase your joy in being alive, whether you are in relationship or not.

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