People say that we are not defined by our past. This is somewhat true. We cannot deny that our past plays a significant role in how we function and interact as adults. Our thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs were developed by our environment and interactions with others throughout our upbringing. When the environment and interactions are toxic there is a risk for harmful impacts to the mind, body, and soul/spirit (MBS). Promiscuity is one of those “behaviors” that may result from our experiences in childhood.
Promiscuous = characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, especially having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis.
I recently realized I have issues with anxiety so I went to see a therapist. While in session, we came to an aha moment that caused me to go deep inside to find answers. When I was in the first or second grade I was molested on two occasions by my mother’s boyfriend’s nephew, he may have been in his late teens; I thought he was an adult. He played hide and seek with my brothers and I, following only me into the room closet where he touched and caressed my private areas. Hide and seek was his suggestion of course. He went for it again by asking me to come into his room, pulling his genitals out and making me touch. I didn’t tell any one. I detached myself from the experience like it never happened. But it effected me subconsciously by influencing my sexual activity in my late teens and early twenties.
Child sexual abuse causes victims to experience…
- Withdrawn behavior
- reenactment of the abuse
- avoidance of circumstances that remind one of the event
- being hypersexulized or sexually reactive
- Problems in academics and social interactions in school
- Low self esteem; self worth
I thought being promiscuous was a choice. I couldn’t explain my sexual feelings, urges, and actions. How could I when there is a stigma to being sexually free, especially for women. I convinced myself that I liked sex and that I had a “man” sex drive in which I had the freedom to act on it if i wanted to. This was my coping mechanism and explanation to prevent the gossip and slander. Relationships were and still are a struggle because of my construed beliefs of sex and intimacy. In addition to the abuse, no father figure and the constant seeking for my worth in partners was an abuse of my sexual energy. It was bringing me down.
**Studies show 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 5 men are sexually abused before 18 years old**
Those who can relate understand the severity that sexual abuse, or any abuse, may have on our psyche, whether it be how we feel about ourselves, or the intimate partners we choose. Sexual abuse can lead to PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an anxiety disorder caused by a traumatic or stressful event. If sexual abuse occurs and it is not treated, it can lead to a lifetime of depression and ANXIETY! Now that I, (and my therapist), have somewhat mapped my anxiety back to childhood traumas, I can accept it, learn from it, let it go, and move on!
Our past does not define who we are but it can surely have an impact on our present. Promiscuity is one unfortunate effect. Truthfully, the events in our past were created to teach us lessons, to mold us, and to get us closer to finding our life purpose. If we believe that everything we encounter, EVERYTHING, is a message from the universe (or God), we can interpret and analyze, and use the outcome to find more about ourselves for the better.
If you are a sexual abuse survivor or know someone who is, chime in the comments and lets share and heal each other! Talking about abuse with others who can relate is a therapy within itself, hence group therapy.
Grounding for Balance//Stress
Perry, Bruce D., Ph.D , MD. “Effects of Traumatic Events on Children.”www.childtrauma.org. 2003. Web. 1 May 2016.
Photo Credit: Liora K Photography