Psych Central

Was I molested?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dear Therapist –I am a 27-year-old man who does not know if I was molested at 14/15/16 years old…?

I excelled in sports to the highest degree and subsequently spend MANY hours in the gym and showering afterwards where all the males could see each other in our birthday clothes. I had my first ejaculation experience in the gym showers via self-masturbation. My father was totally absent in my life and home was not a fun place to spend time. My mother suffers from chronic depression but sought help and is doing great.

Anyway I stopped all sports activities at 16 and started working in restaurants 7 days a week even though there was no need. (My father is a nuclear physicist so money was no issue). I did not enjoy any school activities and never went to school. I passed though, even went to university to study law, but like all things in life I left after a while.
I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder and anxiety/depression.

Getting back to the gym showers. I frequently masturbated in the showers and other men would become aroused and we would masturbate together. I even met some of these married men afterwards in some parking lot and we would fondle each other until climax. I am not gay. I would throw up if a man kisses me. I definitely do not want to be in a loving relationship with a man. I love my wife very much and we have a great sex life.
I am wondering if these gym experiences can be seen as molestation and why I sometimes go on the Internet to view naked teenage boys and subsequently get aroused?

I am a very health conscious, good hearted person and do want to get tools to handle my situation and WANT TO PREVENT MYSELF FROM MAYBE ONEDAY FONDLING A TEENAGE BOY. I WOULD NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF.
Kind Regards

A: I am sorry you are upset by these feelings and memories. While there is no easy way to sort through the myriad of feelings you are having, with my response I would like to offer some suggestions.

First, the very fact that you do not feel okay about how you are feeling, and that you are seeking help for it bodes very well for you. The dissatisfaction and looking for help are indicators that it is time for a shift to take place. It is often that our discomfort sets the path for our healing. I believe this is likely in your case.

The fact that you can feel arousal with other men and your wife, and that this is distressing to you, is enough to consider beginning therapy to explore the origin of the distress. The fact that you are concerned about acting out with a teenage boy suggests that working on this now in therapy is important. You want to deal with these feelings sooner rather than later. Sexuality doesn’t always fit into categories and labels that are a definitive identity. What you can bring to therapy is the contradictions in your behaviors and feelings, and your concerns about boundaries. In this fashion you and a trusted therapist will be able to sort through the dynamics of your past, and ways to manage yourself. The find help tab at the top of the page can point you in the direction of a therapist in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Oct 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). Was I molested?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/10/13/was-i-molested/

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