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Troubling past with online sexual activity

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi, this is my first post here and I'm not sure if this is the right place to add the topic but I am in need of some advice.

Growing up, I have always been involved in internet activity, from the age of around 11 onwards. I am now 18 and have been for over three months. During my first couple of years of being heavily involved with the Internet, I was persuaded by someone (most likely older than I was at the time) to begin erotically role playing with him. Since that point, for around 5 years I would often do similar things with other people, sometimes not role playing and instead sexting. Following from this, I began watching porn videos and watching quite explicit content which has now come to haunt me.
At the time, it seemed fine, as I was encouraged it wouldn't be bad by some people. But now that I am an adult, and haven't engaged in watching such videos and erotic role playing or sexting for other six months, I am burdened by bad images and am constantly panicking that I have done something wrong. Normally, I would not be too affected by this but my younger brother, who is currently 16, is being hurt by similar thoughts and is depressed.
Having already been diagnosed with anxiety, I too am now falling into a depression at a key time in my life (just before my final A level exams and university), it is affecting me very negatively.
What I would like to ask is if there is anything I could do to put my mind to rest, either through counselling or speaking to my GP? I feel like an awful person and a criminal sometimes, even though I've had multiple reassurances that it is not as a big of a problem as I am making it out to seem.
Thank you for reading this!

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    independent_independent_ Community Champion Posts: 8,678 Legendary Poster
    Hi there, welcome to The Mix community! Yes, you're absolutely in the right place to start a topic. You've been very brave in opening up on here, this is a place where you won't be judged so it is a safe place too!

    I don't have much advice for you, but I would definitely echo the reassurances you've had in the past - don't feel bad, this sort of thing happens to a lot of people, so you're definitely not alone. That's probably not much help to you, but I would definitely encourage you to speak to a GP, they might be able to refer you out to a counsellor or other support service.

    Also, I was wondering if you've heard of the group chats on The Mix? They are a place to get and give support within a group environment. It can be just another way of getting the support you need at this time.

    Hope you're okay.
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Groselu! Welcome to the boards.

    I recognise some of the things you are feeling. They happened to me after I'd gone through a similar situation (abuse, though not with online role playing) to what you've described. I feel like they're a natural response (though I don't think it's healthy or positive!) and I'd describe it as self-victim blaming, if that makes sense. I'll try and explain further.

    The person who persuaded you to role play erotically online manipulated you. It's a technique called grooming, and even though you engaged with the action you couldn't fully consent because you were a) underage and b) manipulated. I say you were manipulated because you mention 'persuaded' and 'encouraged' by other people.

    This is a horrible thing to have happened to you and is entirely the fault of the person who manipulated you into online erotic role-playing. They manipulated this behaviour into you, which then occurred with other people. That doesn't make you a bad person.

    What often happens when people manipulate us is that we lose confidence in ourselves, and the sly manipulations often cause us to look inwardly for the problem when actually it's an external problem. I feel you're currently looking inwardly towards yourself as the problem, when actually you've been on the receiving end of someone's manipulative abuse through no fault of your own.

    I am not a therapist so cannot tell you about all the types of treatment there are, but can give you some idea of the treatments I've experienced. I've done foye types of therapy: talking therapy, Emdr, behavioural cbt and trauma focused cbt.

    Talking therapy is great to let out things that have happened to you, Emdr is a great tool for processing traumatic events and flashbacks, and cbt is really good for modifying behaviour. I did trauma focused cbt following my experience with abuse and manipulation and it has been really useful for me for getting to the crux of the problem. Behavioural cbt also helped me with anxiety.

    Do you have an IAPT service in your area? They are an NHS service that provides access to psychological treatments and are a place you could approach for help with this.

    In the meantime, could you tell us a little about the rationale you have for thinking that you are a criminal or bad person because of your previous experience?
  • Options
    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you so much for the support! I'm glad to have found somewhere where I can talk with others about these types of issues. Going forward I will be in contact with my GP and see if I can get something sorted. I've briefly heard about the group chats but thank you for informing me of them, I will look into them at some point. Thanks again for your help.
    Hi there, welcome to The Mix community! Yes, you're absolutely in the right place to start a topic. You've been very brave in opening up on here, this is a place where you won't be judged so it is a safe place too!

    I don't have much advice for you, but I would definitely echo the reassurances you've had in the past - don't feel bad, this sort of thing happens to a lot of people, so you're definitely not alone. That's probably not much help to you, but I would definitely encourage you to speak to a GP, they might be able to refer you out to a counsellor or other support service.

    Also, I was wondering if you've heard of the group chats on The Mix? They are a place to get and give support within a group environment. It can be just another way of getting the support you need at this time.

    Hope you're okay.
  • Options
    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you for the reply, I am thankful to get a response so soon. The events that took place happened (and started) a long time ago so it's difficult for me to recall exactly what happened each time. I still feel that the events are partly my own fault, only because I don't have many memories of specific conversations taking place.
    Luckily I do have IAPT services available close to me so I will definitely look into that to see if I can get some help. I have previously had counselling withs CAMHS and 4YP but this was a long time ago and for different anxiety related issues.
    I mainly feel particularly guilty for engaging in those kind of roleplays as a minor and for looking up disturbing pornography themes at that age also. Some of the images and videos I have seen over the years are affecting me now, even though they didn't at the time. Even though you are suggesting I have been manipulated I find it difficult to believe for the purpose that a lot of the activity I initiated on my own accord, seemingly. They feel like years I can never get back and that I deserve to be in jail because of the events that happened.
    I'm sorry to hear about your own problems surrounding the topic and hope you are doing well as well.
    Thank you for speaking with me.
    Purple_roo wrote: »
    Hi Groselu! Welcome to the boards.

    I recognise some of the things you are feeling. They happened to me after I'd gone through a similar situation (abuse, though not with online role playing) to what you've described. I feel like they're a natural response (though I don't think it's healthy or positive!) and I'd describe it as self-victim blaming, if that makes sense. I'll try and explain further.

    The person who persuaded you to role play erotically online manipulated you. It's a technique called grooming, and even though you engaged with the action you couldn't fully consent because you were a) underage and b) manipulated. I say you were manipulated because you mention 'persuaded' and 'encouraged' by other people.

    This is a horrible thing to have happened to you and is entirely the fault of the person who manipulated you into online erotic role-playing. They manipulated this behaviour into you, which then occurred with other people. That doesn't make you a bad person.

    What often happens when people manipulate us is that we lose confidence in ourselves, and the sly manipulations often cause us to look inwardly for the problem when actually it's an external problem. I feel you're currently looking inwardly towards yourself as the problem, when actually you've been on the receiving end of someone's manipulative abuse through no fault of your own.

    I am not a therapist so cannot tell you about all the types of treatment there are, but can give you some idea of the treatments I've experienced. I've done foye types of therapy: talking therapy, Emdr, behavioural cbt and trauma focused cbt.

    Talking therapy is great to let out things that have happened to you, Emdr is a great tool for processing traumatic events and flashbacks, and cbt is really good for modifying behaviour. I did trauma focused cbt following my experience with abuse and manipulation and it has been really useful for me for getting to the crux of the problem. Behavioural cbt also helped me with anxiety.

    Do you have an IAPT service in your area? They are an NHS service that provides access to psychological treatments and are a place you could approach for help with this.

    In the meantime, could you tell us a little about the rationale you have for thinking that you are a criminal or bad person because of your previous experience?
  • Options
    independent_independent_ Community Champion Posts: 8,678 Legendary Poster
    Groselu wrote: »
    Thank you so much for the support! I'm glad to have found somewhere where I can talk with others about these types of issues. Going forward I will be in contact with my GP and see if I can get something sorted. I've briefly heard about the group chats but thank you for informing me of them, I will look into them at some point. Thanks again for your help.

    It's no problem at all! That's what this place is for after all!
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You were a child who was groomed and sexually abused by older people. You were the victim; you shouldn't feel guilty.
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