Gazing at people’s body parts and objects

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

I have a problem of automatically looking at things for example shiny objects, or even at body parts of people or even myself. Although I do not have any bad intentions. I don’t understand why it happens it happens all the time. People get me wrong because of this unstoppable habit all the time.

I have a history attached to myself. I come from a very good upper middle class family. My parents are very conservative which is why I used to stay at home all the time apart from the time I spend in my school. I had only one very close friend whom I could trust and talk too. My cousin & brother had sexually abused me in my childhood.And I told my mom about it and told her that I don’t want to visit their house anymore as I’m scared but she still persuaded me to go to their house as my cousin’s mother is a very good and soul friend to my mother who she has contact with since after marriage. So she took me there and my cousin used to again try to abuse me.But something or the other used to stop him like his sister used to come or his mother used to come.After that every time when my mother wanted to go to their house I told my dad I wouldn’t go.(My dad doesn’t know anything)

Then she used to put the whole blame on me saying, ” Now I can’t even visit my parents house. I only go to their house once a year. Don’t I miss my parents?” My cousin and my mom’s parents stay together in joint family.
And my dad and brother used to back her up. I had no choice but to visit them. She said twice that girls are mainly responsible for letting other boys use them. I directly asked her if she was pointing at me but she said no and stopped me from crying consoling me.

She is a very good mother in all ways but not when this matter comes. I love her a lot she is the very good but she doesn’t understand what I was going through. It wasn’t possible for me to make other friends easily and once when I made friends with two boys I used to have dreams that they are tormenting me.

I only had one best friend whom I used to consider as my second mother but I never even told her about anything I went through.Once I was looking at her thinking her sense of dressing is horrible she took it in the wrong way. And told every one I was a bad girl. Probably cuz I had tried to steal the one she loved a lot. I have been acting as per her words and can’t stop this stupid habit of mine.

Can u please tell me what is going on with me? And how I can quit this habit? Please reply. I really need help.

A: Thank you for writing us here at PsychCentral. It is hard to tell for sure, but it seems like you need to deal with the abuse issues from the past. There are many reactions that can happen from abuse, and the fact that your mother is not dealing with it directly and blaming you makes for a very difficult situation. Your mother’s denial and blame won’t allow for the kind of support that is necessary for you to move through this. The combination of abuse and lack of emotional support is a difficult thing to cope with and it is time to find someone to help you work through this. She has also given you the wrong information saying that the main responsibility of girls is to let boys use them.

In India, where you have indicated you are living, you may want ask at the local hospital for referrals to someone to talk to. You may also use our “find help” tab above, which has an international feature.

I would look for a professional to help you sort this all through with you sooner rather than later. Until then you may want to try to repair your relationship and open up to your best friend for support.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jan 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). Gazing at people’s body parts and objects. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/01/06/gazing-at-peoples-body-parts-and-objects/