“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” ~Tori Amos
Thank you for writing us. I admire you for being able to bring these thoughts forward.
Whenever there are recurring or persistent thoughts we want to pay attention to them. It is as if our psyche wants us to notice there is something going on that needs our attention and keeps nudging us to deal with it. Both the recurrence and your discomfort are informative. Something needs to change in order to help.
Without jumping to conclusions about sexual abuse or trauma, I think it would be safe to say that there is a theme represented in your thoughts that is powerful enough to impact having a healthy sexual relationship. This is where you would begin talking with your therapist. Let him or her know that you are having these difficult thoughts, and your belief that they are having an impact on developing a healthy sexual relationship. This is something you know to be true, and you can go at your own pace with this process. Let the relationship you have with your therapist continue to be a safe place for you to sort out these thoughts and images. If talking about this is too difficult you may want to show your therapist the list you have and let the discussion evolve from there.
Healing takes courage and commitment. It is clear to me you have both.
Wishing you patience and peace,
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on May 9, 2010.