Ruined by Porn
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I am a 34 year old female living with my 39 year old boyfriend. When I was 13, and living on the steetsas a runaway, I became involved with the ponographic industry,doing pictures,and movies. I was molested by my mother before that,and had been raped twice out on the road. I have since then got to a point where the memories of these events were not ruling my life. I am careful about who I let get close to me,and what kind of movies I watch,and so on.
It isn't easy to get away from things that remind me of what I did.But I try.I don't watch much TV,because it seems that all I see on it is gloryfying porn,or demeaning women in one way or another.I spend most of my time outside,fishing,hiking,looking at nature.It is in the woods where nothing can get me.I feel safer in the forest than even at this computer,where I receive pornographic SPAM in e-mail.
I didn't mention all of this past to my boyfriend.I never mentioned it to anyone,for it isn't something I am proud of.But I did ask if he was into that kind of "entertainment".He said he wasn't.So things progressed and we moved in together.Then I found his stack of magazines,all were of teen-agers.And I looked through the computer and saw where he had been on porn sites.I caught him watching a porn movie while I slept(so he thought).So I told him about my past.
And then it hit me...It was like my payback.Who knows how many women caught their man looking at my pictures or watching my movies instead of paying attention to them?How many lives had I inadvertantly wrecked?I tried to kill myself...
The man I live with,I love so much,I won't get into all the things we have in common,there are so many.But he has a problem dealing with his own past as a sniper for the military.He says I am about the only person he ever met that he would NOT want to trade lives with.And that I am the only person he has ever loved.
When I confronted him with my past,and told him I was leaving him,
he did break down and cry.He did burn all of the magazines,and allowed me to monitor the computer(for my peace of mind),and put password protection on the satellite to restrict access to so-called "Mature" movies that come on HBO,Cinemax,etc.and only I know the password.He lets me know if he gets up in the night,so I don't wake up,find him not in bed,and get scared he is in the living room messing up. He has promised never to engage in any porn-type activity ever again.And he hasn't.It has been 6 weeks since this all went down.We have grown closer than before.He has even asked me to marry him.I would like that very much.
But in the back of my mind,it burns.As I wake,the first thing that pops in my head is,"Why did he look at that stuff?","Aren't I enough?",and as I lie down to sleep,I think about things like"Does he really mean it when he says he wont do it anymore?"It eats me up.I want to trust him fully,we even go to a councelor together once a week.But I just can't seem to get past this,particuraly in moments of semi-consiousness(awakening,falling asleep).The ordeal has caused me to begin having terrible nightmares of my past.I don't sleep more than 2 hours at a time anymore.I am on anti-depressant medication.
How can I let this go and trust again?I am in so much pain.I dealt with a lot of pain in my life,but this time I am helpless it seems to change how this affected me.I know he is sorry,and I know he feels our relationship is the most important thing in his life,he won't mess it up.But I know if I don't find a way to let this go and trust again,ultimatly he will be too hurt by me feeling this way to stay with me.He has never said that to me,but I know how I would feel to not be trusted by the person I love the most.Especially if I was truely sorry for betraying him and was doing everything in the world to win back that trust.
Sad in Idaho.
Dear Sad in Idaho,
You had a terrible, unhappy and traumatic life for a long time, but now you are past that part of your life, and yet you are still letting it have power over your ability to be happy. The more you let your past rule your present, the more power you give the past and the more unhappy you will make yourself and the man you love.
It's time to get over it. I know that's easy to say, and hard to do. But if you want to save yourself and not ruin the rest of your life, that's what you have to do.
Forgiving yourself is the key to self-esteem and happiness. As long as you blame yourself and keep beating yourself up for what happened in the past, you will not be able to enjoy the present. The past is yesterday's news. You can't do anything about it except let it go. Start by forgiving yourself for everything you did in the past. Next forgive your mother and all the others who made you miserable. Then forgive your boyfriend and give him a chance.
I get so many letters from women whose husbands and boyfriends won't stop watching pornography on the Internet. You should be happy that your boyfriend is willing to give up whatever it takes to keep you happy.
Don't ruin this relationship. Find something else to occupy your mind. Study a musical instrument and play it in your mind at night. Read a great book in bed and keep reading it until you fall asleep.
Develop a personal mantra, a phrase your repeat over and over again when your fears begin to take over your mind. For instance, tell yourself, "I love (insert your boyfriend's name). (Insert name) loves me. I am lovable. I deserve to be loved." Say it like a chant and fill your mind with the positive phrases whenever the negative ones pop up.
Your boyfriend is bending over backward to show you that he cares. Now it's your turn to show him that his feelings are reciprocated.
Men Who Never Grow Up
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I have been involved in 2 relationships this year. Both of the guys turned
out to be Peter Pan types -- young, fun, lots of energy, but... flakey.
I've never been attracted to this type before, but now I'm afraid it's a
trend. Is there an easy way to spot a Peter Pan guy before one gets in too
I'm not even a kid; I'm divorced, 48 years old, and I would think I would
know better. Any advice?
Dear Peter Pan Lover,
When you get involved in these relationships with Peter Pan types over and over again, there's a reason. You're getting something out of the relationship and that's why you do it.
Perhaps you get to feel superior. Perhaps you get to feel motherly. Or perhaps you get entertained. Or maybe you enjoy the excitement of not knowing what he's going to do next. Or maybe you get to be the responsible one while he's the flake. Or maybe he makes you feel young. Or maybe you love that he's an energetic lover. The first step to getting out of the Peter Pan cycle is to figure out what you're getting out of it and find another way to get that - or give it up.
Of course you can recognize a Peter Pan before you get involved. He's the guy who can't be depended on to do what he says he'll do or to show up when he says he will - always with some excuse that's even more far-fetched than the last one.
He's the guy who has no long-term relationships with anyone except his own ego. He loves to look at himself in the mirror, and his universe revolves totally around himself. He has no pets or plants because he can't nurture them and be responsible enough to take care of them. He's totally selfish and self-involved. His financial life is in an uproar. He can't hold down a job.
He's always excited about some new project, but rarely follows through. Don't allow yourself to become the new project for a Peter Pan type. They have such short attention spans that he'll be in and out of your life in a snap.
Stop being motherly and find someone you can depend on. Peter Pans are good for entertainment, but not for long-term relationships. They will always disappoint you in the end.
Too Tame in the Bedroom
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I am a thirty eight year old male (divorced) and had been dating a lady for
three years. It was been the most satisfying sexual relationship I
have ever had. However, we broke it off because of family situations and
circumstances that told us that we could never have a lifetime
Well, now I have the one I want to take home to mother. However, my
sexual memories from the previous relationship seem to dominate my
thoughts. In your opinion, can these thought be damaging to the point of
disrupting my current relationship?
The lady I am seeing now is "perfect" in every way, but she is extremely
"tame" in the bedroom.
Is my situation unusual?
Any suggestions? I don't want to blow it in another relationship.
Dear About to Blow It,
Your last lady you dated for three years was sexually exciting to you and the present one isn't. Now you think you can make a lifelong relationship with the one who isn't exciting and forget forever about the one who really turned you on.
Well, you're dreaming if you think that'll work. Sure, thinking about your ex is damaging to your current relationship. Comparing one relationship to another is always the road to disaster. However, if you want excitement in the bedroom and all you're getting is tame, you are doomed to be unsatisfied.
This is a problem that many men have. They can't find a woman who will satisfy them sexually and also make their mother happy. I'd suggest that you're old enough to marry whomever you want, and your mother doesn't have to be happy with the woman you sleep with, only you do.
It's not unusual for a man to marry a woman who's tame in the bedroom and spend years unhappy about it, wondering why she won't be different in bed. The sad truth is that a woman who is extremely tame in bed will probably stay that way, and your unhappiness will increase along with your sexual dissatisfaction.
You're better off finding someone who makes you happy, in bed and out, and then tell your mother that she's the woman you've chosen and let mom come to terms with the idea.