Hi, I have been having dreams of being sexually abused as a teenager during nights. My therapist neither confirmed nor denied they were repressed memories. Now, I no longer can afford a therapist and cannot seek my parents help regarding the same. My parents have been fighting with me over a year because they came to know that I had sex with my partner. When I tried addressing how I felt comfortable for the first time with a male, and tell them about my traumatic experiences of being sexually harassed and how even a glance felt invasive…they dismissed me. They told me I was making excuses for having sex (I’m from a very conservative Hindu family). This line of argument made me hesitate to tell them regarding my dreams and now it has become almost impossible to talk to them. I fight constantly fight with my parents, especially mother because I don’t feel consensual sex is a wrong thing. On top of all this, I’m having trouble in my relationship. My partner suffers from depression and me saying no to sex is affecting us badly. I find sex to be a chore. My body responds but my find is never silent. I’m indifferent to sex. I don’t feel attracted to my partner anymore. I thought of breaking up with him but have been staying on because I’m afraid he will resort to self-harm to cope with the pain or do something more terrible. He is a great guy and has been supportive when it comes to my pain and troubles. But we were brought up in different cultures and sometimes he just doesn’t get it. I’m also losing focus on my studies and work, and sleep all the time. I overeat, put on 10kg in the past few months and feel tired all the time. (From India)
A: Thank you for your email. As you note in your profile, you are a second-year master student. I would highly recommend, because of the number and complexity of problems, that you use your resources at the university for counseling. Your university will have a staff of therapists that are used to dealing with these type of issue, and you can typically get this kind of counseling free or for no cost. There is a lot to sort through, and ongoing counseling will help.