I’m worried I may have some kind of repressed memories, which I know isn’t unusual, but there is something off and I am unable to pinpoint why I am having these issues. I’m a twenty-one-year-old female. I distinctly remember having sexual dreams/images in my head very young. By this, I mean around the age of four or five. Typically, they’d be other characters from movies or shows that I had been watching in nonconsensual situations (the antagonist of the show would be committing the act to the protagonist. I have always associated with the victim.) I don’t know how I knew how sex worked at such a young age. Especially not something non-consensual. I don’t ever remember seeing it or having it explained to me, but I knew anatomy and where what parts went.
Starting at around age 5, other female friends and I would play hyper-sexual games involving kissing and nudity. Similar to the dreams that I had, but without the act of sex.
I have had insomnia and severe anxiety since I was about four and having been seeing therapists since then. I also have been suffering from depression since nine and self-harm from ages 10-16. I do not confess anything sexual to them as it makes me deeply unsettled and I’m very uncomfortable with this whole thing.
Sex and intimacy now deeply frighten me or, at the least, make me uncomfortable. I dislike anyone seeing my naked body or touching me. I continue to fantasize frequently, though never do the fantasies involve myself or people I know personally. My daydreams (note: not always sexual) take up a lot of my day and are overpowering at times. I do not believe I am asexual (currently I consider myself pansexual, my concern isn’t with what gender I’m attracted to. ) I constantly fluctuate between wanting a romantic and/or sexual relationship and feeling repulsed by it. It’s a lose-lose with where I am at right now.I Don’t Remember Learning About Sex, But I’ve Always Known About & Seen It with an Unsettling Perspective
You may never know if you were sexually abused. It’s possible but unless the abuser admits it, you’ll may never have confirmation. Memories are not always reliable. Studies have shown this to be true. A good book about problematic elements of memory, is The Memory Illusion by Julie Shaw. She discusses the neuroscience of memories and why they are sometimes problematic.
Abuse or no abuse, the treatment is the same. The best place to receive assistance with intimacy and sexuality is in sex therapy. Ask for a referral for a sex therapist from your PCP. You might also try searching for a sex therapist by clicking the “find help” at the top of this page. Call four to five prospects and discuss your issues over the phone. Ask how they would help you. Choose the one with whom you feel the most comfortable and meet them in person. That will likely be the best match for you.
Some people find the idea of sex therapy awkward or embarrassing. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to intimacy problems. Ultimately, sex is not an act of intimacy. It is an act of sexuality; as in “birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it.” Sex therapists are experts and can help remedy this issue. Good luck with your efforts.