Sex Addictions/sex addiction?

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Question
Hello Leigh,
i am 26 years old and my story begins when i was a small girl,and our housemaid abused me sexually.My parents found out and she was fired.
When i was 16 i guess,i was abused sexually by a group of men,i dont know exactly how many they were.i dont remember much details,only that i got beaten up by them ,i lost my conscience and i was found naked and full of blood by one of my cousins.
I went to the university ,got a boyfriend but i was still atracted by girls as well(perhaps connected with the childhood event?..)
On top of it,i got also hormonal imbalance,with mixed feelings.sometimes,most of the times,it was difficult for me to get horny with men,only with girls.
Due to some financial problems,i had to leave the studies,and because of that i got a very serious depression,with couple of months only in the house without eating almost nothing.my weight dropped severily.But having my family arround me it helped me much and it got better.
i found a job far away from home as au-pair,and for the first 1 year all went perfect,the family was making me feel home.i had no failure,no desire for sex at all.
Second year i changed the family and now was not good at all,i was a stranger there.i got sad,lonely most f times,and i started getting the ideeas/feelings that i am useless as a woman/person.All kind of feelings of frustration and hating myself.
I started going out and just felt the urge of being sexually used by men.Most of the times i did not enjoyed it,sometimes once the sex started ,i started to enjoy the moments.Once we were done,back home i started to be sad,questioning myself why am i doing this to myself and so on.I was trying to avoid it,but once i was lonely again,i just did it again and again.
Luckily,I met someone who loves me and understands me,we got married and we have a child.I am way more balanced now and feeling much better.I do not do stupid things no more.Being loved and giving love to my husband and son gives me a peacefull feeling.
My question is,was this a sex addiction?Sometimes I try to understand why i was doing those things.I know past is past and it should stay there but i try to understand myself as a woman.I hope to hear from you.Best wishes.

Answer
I don't know if that would be sex addiction. Since in the past most of your male experiences have been bad and forceful. Some part of you seeks that. Even though you know it's wrong and not what you want, your body is conditioned to that. If it happened over and over many times them it may be addiction. There are certain criteria one must meet for an addiction diagnosis to be determined. What you have told me does not really fall into those categories. I think you were seeking all that you knew how to seek at that time. Now that you have and are experiencing what true sex and love is about you have reconditioned your body to seeking only that. I'm so glad you have had a chance to find what true sex is like and what a joy men can bring to you. Not all men are bad like the ones who assaulted you when you were young. I do think it is important that if you have not had therapy that you do seek therapy for your past issues. Even though they are in the past they still have ways of popping into our current lives. i think it would be very beneficial for you to speak with a therapist who deals in childhood sexual trauma. It would help you a lot. It sounds like you have a wonderful supportive husband who will support you through this therapy when issues may arise. But I don't think it is sex addiction. You were conditioned from a very early age to be used as a sex toy by your maid and then the men. That is what you told yourself in some way that love was like. That is all you knew. But you had the opportunity and are still having the opportunity to discover what real love is about. But consider talking with someone about your past.  Hope this helps.

Sex Addictions

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Leigh, BS, QMHP, QMRP

Expertise

I can answer questions about what it is like to be a sex addict, what out-patient therapy entails and about self-help groups. I can help you find resources in your area if you feel you need help. I can tell you what I have done to change my behavior and how I no longer act out. I can answer questions of how to help someone you suspect my have this addiction. I can offer advice for those who are or have been involved with a sex addict. I can inform you of traits, behaviors and symptoms of sex addiction. I am not someone who is looking at sex addiction from the outside and offering answers on what I think it may be like for an addict I am a real person who is living the life of a sex addict, in remission, who can tell you exactly what it is like. I am not like others who base their answers on what they read about in a journal, book or presume to know what it is like. I know from living the life of a sex addict what it is like, how to change, how to get help, and what your partner can do to help you and help themselves. Let it be known that I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist or medical doctor. I am a sex addict who can offer my personal experience of living being a sex addict. If you need to talk to a sex addict, then you can talk openly with me. You can always make your question private by checking the appropriate box before sending your question. I will not judge you. I am a social worker who has worked with people with mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction and sex addiction issues.

Experience

I am a recovering sex addict. I have been diagnosed professionally most recently by the professionals at PCS in Scottsdale AZ in 2008. Previously, by out-patient therapists. I have been an addict for over 18 years. I have been clean for over 2 years. Each program and each person defines clean or sober for themselves. I have participated in intensive out-patient therapy, on-going individual therapy, medication medicinal treatment and self-help groups. I do not represent PCS, my therapists or my 12-step groups. What I give as a response is based on my experience as a sex addict, and someone who has and is engaged in multiple modes of treatment for sex addiction.

Organizations
CHADD NAMI

Publications
bp Forsyth Families

Education/Credentials
BS in Sociology BS in Criminal Justice 3 years towards Masters in Professional Counseling

Past/Present Clients
I work as a Social Worker. My clients have diagnoses relating to substance abuse and mental health. All of my current clients are involved in the criminal justice system.

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