Straight or Gay?
I was sexually abused when I was young, and ever since then, I have had thoughts running at the back of my mind saying that I am gay. But I feel, in my heart and mind, that I am straight. I feel incredibly vulnerable to temptations and urges when I'm depressed or when I'm alone. Although I've found out that being busy and being with people keep me from thinking of such things, I'm still trying to find ways to deal with it and to break through my mental crisis. I guess I'm not as strong in my beliefs because I don't know what to do. I'm still waiting for the day to come when I can prove to myself that I'm straight, but something keeps me from reaching that goal. Can you help?
Thanks for writing to me, although I'm not sure how well I can assist you by E-mail. It seems as if you are presenting two concerns. First of all, you're concerned about whether you are gay or straight. Let's make clear, up front, that there isn't anything wrong with being gay. Obviously, you're very worried about this possibility, and you feel guilty over your own feelings about it. Certainly, the abusive background you've suffered would be enough to raise questions in anyone, for there are all kinds emotions surrounding such incidents, such as fear, humiliation, mixed pleasure and pain, and misplaced guilt. The one who abused you should have been the one to suffer. Unfortunately, you are the victim here, and not at fault over what happened to you. As to whether you are gay, there's probably an easy test: Do you like girls? Do they turn you on? Do you find pleasure in their company beyond friendship? Conversely, are you turned on by men, finding more pleasure in their company than in women? From what you tell me, you don't seem to have much experience in pursuing those possibilities, as yet, but I'm referring to which direction your sexual feelings seem to go. The second part of your question seems more to relate to your concerns about sexual feelings, period, without relationship to being gay or straight. For instance, you don't clarify whether your temptations and urges are related to men or to women? It's not unusual for people to have occasional sexual fantasies about the same sex, just as with the opposite sex. Temptations and urges toward either sex aren't particularly harmful unless (a) they keep you "safe" from having to actually build close relationships, or (b) they are carried out physically in some harmful way toward another person. I consider our sexual natures to be natural aspects of being human beings. Therefore, sex is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by. Find a hypnotherapist who is also a counselor, especially one used to working with releasing the source of problems, and with healing past issues such as abuse. If you can find someone who is quite comfortable with working with gays and straights, all the better. A person like that can provide a safe environment for you to pursue your questions and get help to free yourself from the past abuse (which is very important to do, by the way.)