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  #1  
Old Jun 25, '12, 2:01 pm
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WoundedIcon WoundedIcon is offline
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Default Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

Hey, guys, how does one practice chastity while avoiding the pitfalls of sexual repression? As someone who only converted a year ago I'm new to this whole "no masturbation and lust thing", and before that I thought those things were perfectly natural. The problem is that I've managed to basically throw every part of my mind out of whack by repressing this stuff. Not masturbating is easy enough, but my mind really trips up on the particulars of thinking about sex. I'm a lonely person and I used to be very "romantic" (read "erotic [not necessarily kinky] fantasies comforted me by subbing in for my emotional needs") but now I don't know what to do because I constantly -- as John Paul II spoke of -- "hold [my] heart in continual suspicion" and it's like trying not to think of pink elephants 24/7. Now that I've repressed my old coping mechanism that made me feel warm and fuzzy when I was lonely, I've also managed to repress and disorder my sensual and emotional aspects as well. I've disordered -- in Thomistic terms -- my whole sensitive appetite. Sometimes I even feel as though anything earthy is bad. Pleasure, affection, sex, negative and positive and tender emotions, art, clothes, jewelry, man toys... ack. I basically used to be very sensual, kind of like a gay guy in some respects, and when I converted I freaked and went 180. It also doesn't help that I'm mentally ill and in some sense pathologically afraid of God. Tons of guilt and scruples, and everything is just piling up and rebounding and exacerbating each other.
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  #2  
Old Jun 25, '12, 3:00 pm
RSD RSD is offline
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

Cultivate as many normal, healthy relationships with people who do not arouse you as you can. For instance, join meals on wheels and visit home bound people. Think about what you can do for them. Essentially all forms of unchastity cause us to treat other people, or in some cases our own bodies, as objects for desire. Treating other people as kindly as we can, trying to serve them, helps to put us I right relationships with people.
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Old Jun 25, '12, 3:28 pm
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Allegra Allegra is offline
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

How long have you been going through this? Maybe you just need some time to balance out. Try to remember that fleeting throughts are not sinful. It's actively seeking things that arouse you that is the problem. I think another poster had it right to focus on cultivating real relationships with other people. If you really think you have a problem such as an addiction, then you should seek out a counselor that can help you.
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Old Jun 25, '12, 3:38 pm
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RosalieM RosalieM is offline
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

I'd suggest avoiding sexually suggestive stuff, which can be difficult in this society, but not impossible to a large extent.
For instance, if something suggestive happens on t.v., don't look, mute the sound. If it continues, stop watching that program.
Expell sex thoughts from your mind as quickly as you can when they appear. Physical exercise on a regular basis helps. Daily showering (doesn't have to be cold helps. Speak to a confessor priest for suggestions. Check the rating of a movie before you see it. Avoid excesses in food or drink. But do have fun. There's plenty enjoyable and worthwhile things in life that don't include sex. Try to go to mass more than the obligatory once a week. Three times a week helps a single person immensely. Receiving the eucharist more often than once a week will strengthen you. Read some writings by the saints, along with some scripture.
It gets easier with time, if this is something you'll be doing for life in a single vocation, -- or until marriage. May our Lord bless you and keep you.
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Old Jun 25, '12, 3:48 pm
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Kontrak Kontrak is offline
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

I really don't know what I can say to help but I'll try to share. Well, first congratulations for remaining chaste. Thank God. It's a gift He has given not a curse. Ask Him to help you see it that way.

My feeling when reading your post was that maybe you are thinking about it too much, in a way it also sounds like you are trying to justify your actions by reflecting on it, well, uhh nostalgically. You are still being strongly tempted. I know. I look back and I am starting to realize just how much time I spent worrying about it and reflecting on it. Lust enslaved me like the strongest drug.

But I'm at the point where I am just ashamed and repulsed by what it had done to my life and I don't keep thinking about it like a toy I can no longer play with but poison that ruined my relationship with God and he has, with His grace, with the Rosary, with Mary's prayers, returned me to Him again this time with a lot of remorse but a good kind. I don't know, It's a bit hard to explain.

We all get tempted! It's normal. Don't let it make you anxious and trip you up. Catch yourself, put on the armor of God and pray. He's not trying to trick you. Maybe you feel empty and hurt. Ask Him to fill that void in your heart because HE is what we are really searching for even if we don't realize it. He always knows what's best for us. He loves you!

I hope what I said was helpful. I'll say a prayer for you.
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  #6  
Old Jun 25, '12, 3:50 pm
Lady Love Lady Love is offline
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

I suggest relaxing. Change takes time and when God is making the changes in you He is usually gentle. Our job is to keep from being extreme. God wants to free us of slavery not turn us into robots. He wants us to be able to enjoy all that He has made for us without being enslaved. A good practice is to indulge in something sensual like a cupcake and only eat half of it or take one day a week and sleep in. Overcome your fears of sensuality with discipline.

Indulge with discipline. I'm not saying indulge in masturbation or sex but some simple pleasures so that you do not become rigid. Rigidity is just as much a sin as over-indulgence.
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Old Jun 25, '12, 5:13 pm
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RosalieM RosalieM is offline
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

....and p.s. - If you fall, get up and start all over again. Trust in your confessor and practice frequent confession even with venial sins and faults (for the grace of this great sacrament).
In time you'll be all the stronger for your efforts. Although it's not easy going against mainstream society, know that It's a joy being chaste, and not a depravation.
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Old Jun 25, '12, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

No advice, just ((( hugs ))). You seem lonely and sad. Prayers for you.
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Old Jun 25, '12, 6:11 pm
Paul Infirdigno Paul Infirdigno is offline
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Default Re: Need some help here, wound up practicing chastity all wrong

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

I have power over man's deepest fears.- My Daily Bread [Christ section]

My prayers go out to you. Relax, love God, trust in Him, and be of good cheer. Ask Jesus for help, remember, He is not just your God, He is your closest friend. Also, seek comfort in the Virgin Mary, the sweetest mother of them all.
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