Completely Devoid of Libido and Intimacy, Feel Crazy-possible trigger warnings?

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truus

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Hi,

I have childhood amnesia to about age 12. From age 12 I have vivid memories of abuse. The abuser admitted the abuse before I cut off all contact, and my mom confirmed it started before age 12, but I have no ability to recall what happened, just severe body reactions. I have been going to a sexual assault support group for the last 2 months, and I went to another group for 2 years in the past.

I feel like in support groups, the one thing no one ever relates to me about is sex. In the groups I've gone to, many of the women are there for rape or DV that occurred in adulthood, and not for CSA. Many of them remember a time when sex was good. Many of them still have sex or want to have sex again and have a healthy libido.

I have never had penetrative sex in my accessible memory. I can't speak for before age 12, and I suspect that I was raped as a child in those years, and that the trauma was so severe I dissociated and that's why I can't remember my life. I don't know though.

But I feel pathetic. I've been married for 7 years and my husband is so sweet and supportive, but we've never had sex. I can't imagine how hard it is for him, but I have 0 interest in sex. I feel like I'm asexual. I feel like something is wrong with me. I've had doctors do tests and hormonally everything is normal. I have vulvodynia/vaginismus and lichen sclerosus though, and these cause me constant pain and make penetrative sex impossible even if I had libido.

I guess the point of me sharing all this is...am I the only one? I feel crazy.  :'( I frequently look at my future and I don't see how I'll ever be able to have sex and I fear that a sexless marriage for the rest of our lives would drive my husband to divorce me eventually. How can anyone ask that of another person who is perfectly healthy sexually?

Do any of you have no interest in sex? Do you remember ever enjoying sex?

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Kizzie

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You do have some physical issues and a history of trauma and these two things alone are a wholly reasonable and rational explanation for your lack of libido IMO. However, if you have zero interest in sex versus feeling anxious or afraid, it may mean you are asexual, it's not as uncommon as you might think.  Also, if you take an SSRI they are notorious for lowering libido.

There are some treatments for low libido - testosterone (patches/cremes)  is one I know of you could ask your GP about.



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woodsgnome

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All I can adequately note is that you are not alone, truus. While I can get extremely close in the usual ways, going 'all the way' has always felt painful to the point of my screaming in agony, fear, extreme shame, and pitiful self-resignation to something that was apparently taken from me.

I also dissociate with regard to this close contact. It affects me in aspects as diverse as not being able to encounter sexual descriptions or references in reading, for instance. I have retained some memory pointing to how this came about. My first (but highly charged and indelible) memory of infancy is of distress being perpetrated by the m. These actions were reinforced by similar and regular abuse from her until I was 9 years old. By then it was perhaps too late to fully heal. I've tried sex therapy to no avail.

This has been upsetting just to write, as it cuts close to the core of my being; but think it's important to stress you are not alone and especially are not a flawed person because of this, however it came about.

.



   

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Dee

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I experienced CSA that was also severe.  While I have had sex ,I have done it out of duty and obligation.  I absolutely had no interest in it and never enjoyed it.  I just hoped it would be over as fast as possible every time.  Now I am divorced and I still have zero interest.  I don't think there is anything wrong with you.  I like to think of these things as normal reactions to an abnormal events.

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brightlight

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I'm so sorry you have been through this and the physical problems the trauma has left you with. I have some similar problems to you physically. I've never heard of lichen sclerosus and I'm sorry you have to go through this as well.  Pain for me had got better for a period in my life and then came back a few years ago although still horrible, it's not been as bad. There are relaxation techniques you can try though a specialist physiotherapist or sexual counselor even to try and alleviate some of the pain and discomfort. Also warm salt baths help with relaxation of the muscles and salt helps with itching whilst bathing.

I'm not comfortable talking about sex or relationships at the moment. I've had problems in the past with connecting to people and the physical issues gave me constant flashbacks where I was living in a constant limbo. I too felt like the only one and that there was something inherently wrong with me. Your not alone with this. Things can get better. I have a libido which is further frustrating with physical pain and feeling overwhelmed with the world.

 :grouphug:

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truus

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Thank you everyone. It means a lot to me to know that at least a few people out there understand and I'm not going crazy. I haven't tried any physical therapy/sex therapy because I'm afraid it might traumatize me even more. I've heard stories about what the therapy entails and the idea of ever increasing sizes of therapeutic devices just makes me want to run away and hide forever. I also used to have to use some treatments for the lichen sclerosus, and seems to have put me in remission for now. The vulvodynia and pain was so bad that having a period was traumatic for me every single month. The severe pain coupled with my own trauma, I hated my body and life for that. I finally got a Mirena and it has helped significantly with that. I do still have nightmares sometimes about when the Mirena will stop being effective.

I feel similar to woodsgnome, I feel robbed of this aspect of my life sometimes. I feel like I'm in a glass house watching the whole world love sex and think it's this amazing awesome thing, and I just don't get it. It's like when everyone is in on an inside joke, and I'm the only one who doesn't get the joke, you know?

All I can do is keep focusing on my recovery in every other way besides sex and hope that maybe, someday, the sex will follow the rest of my healing.

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Blueberry

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Hello truus,

I say to myself that I'm not interested in sex but actually on some level, it terrifies me. The CSA done to me seems not that bad but it was very early on in life and seems to have put me off. That combined with not being allowed to defend and protect myself from FOO in other ways later on.   

I've never allowed anybody to get intimate with me. I notice while writing that it is sad and it makes me sad. At least nobody asks me dumb things anymore e.g. "Why don't you have a boyfriend?". That kind of question came until I was in my late 20's. Even allowing a man who I liked to hold my hand - my whole arm went numb. I couldn't tell him either. Long time ago now.

When I realised in my 30's I'd never heal fast enough to be able to have children, I felt robbed then. It's not that I desperately wanted children, but I realised the after-effects of cptsd from childhood meant that having children wouldn't even be an option.

Sometimes when I'm triggered, I sort of recreate what was done to me (to myself - nobody else involved) and that's the extent of sexual activity. I suppose libido gets in there. Tbh there are lots of words about sex, anatomy etc that I should know but I always forget what they mean or don't bother to find out. Whole topic is kind of a blank.

So I'd say even though the symptoms may differ somewhat, you're not alone. I too try to keep going healing on what can heal and hoping that other things may follow.

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Kizzie

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I feel like I'm in a glass house watching the whole world love sex and think it's this amazing awesome thing, and I just don't get it. It's like when everyone is in on an inside joke, and I'm the only one who doesn't get the joke, you know?

 :yes:   It's much like the myth that all parents are loving and childhood is such a fun time.

Thanks for starting this thread Truus   :thumbup:  It's not something that has come up much here at OOTS so its reassuring to know there are many of us who are not interested in sex and to be able to talk about it openly. 

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brightlight

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I agree, thank you for bringing this to the forum. I have really low self esteem due to my physical problems now and I suffer from depression because of this and felt the way you do about sex previously. Everything was painful and I could never imagine enjoying it. Physical side of things can get better and it sounds like you have a supportive husband. A sex therapist should understand how you feel about the therapy and will take everything at your pace, it should be respectful and only do what you feel comfortable with.

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truus

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When I realised in my 30's I'd never heal fast enough to be able to have children, I felt robbed then. It's not that I desperately wanted children, but I realised the after-effects of cptsd from childhood meant that having children wouldn't even be an option.

Sometimes when I'm triggered, I sort of recreate what was done to me (to myself - nobody else involved) and that's the extent of sexual activity. I suppose libido gets in there. Tbh there are lots of words about sex, anatomy etc that I should know but I always forget what they mean or don't bother to find out. Whole topic is kind of a blank.

Gosh I relate to this so much. I knew from very early on that I never wanted kids, but it wasn't until I got older that I realized *why* I didn't want kids, that it was largely due to my CPTSD. It was the physical pain and the fear of pain and trauma, that I didn't want to hurt my kids if I had them, fear of being just like my abuser, fear that "if you've been abused you will abuse in turn" as they say, that even if I could get up the courage to go through pregnancy and childbirth, I couldn't power through the pain of sex anyway. When I realized that my trauma had robbed me of my own childhood as well as the desire to have a family, I definitely felt robbed.

For a long time my thoughts during any kind of intimacy were of the trauma and my worst fears. I think that when we are exposed so young, the only version of sex we know is the abuse and unhealthy sex. How can we fantasize about anything other than abuse? How can we control our body's reactions when we were conditioned and never knew another way of responding? I rarely fantasize about those things anymore, but I also rarely think about sex aside from worrying that I'll never have it. It helped me to read the book "Beginning to Heal" and to start reading "The Courage to Heal" because they explained how we shouldn't feel guilty about these kinds of coping mechanisms and the way our body responds. It didn't solve my problems, but I don't feel guilty about what I think about if I do think about sex anymore.