Dear McKoy: I was sexually molested when I was ten years old, and I’ve never informed anyone about it. One Saturday when my mother was at work. I was in my room and my father came in and asked if I have ever seen a penis before. I told him no and he pulled down his pants and show it to me. He then took my hand, place it on his penis, and told me to rub it. I was really scared but I did because I didn’t want to make him angry. He then fondled and fingered me then tried to penetrate and stop when he saw that I was in too much pain. On occasions after that when we are alone, he would make me play with his penis and give him oral. He did some really nasty things to me too, and I always felt awful about it – not because I thought it was my fault, but because I enjoyed some of it!
I am now 25-years-old and some of the abuse my father inflicted on me is still fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday. Sometimes I wonder if I am a sick person to actually enjoy him abusing me? Even now, when I masturbate, I think about it. I don’t want to, yet it keeps popping into my head. What can I do?
Dear Deanne: First, it’s not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to find part of the abuse enjoyable. Nerve endings don’t know what is or isn’t abuse, therefore it’s possible your father’s touch felt good at times. The impact of sexual abuse occurs when trust and boundaries are violated, not because the abuser physically assaulted you. So your pleasure memories persist, although you realize what he did was wrong.
You must see a therapist in order to gain a better understanding of how your abuse affects your adult sexuality. This will help you gain clarity about what feels appropriate and healthy for you, as well as, to gain insight into how others integrate adult sexuality into their life.
You must decide what makes you comfortable, let go of any guilt, and make conscious choices about how you want to feel pleasure.