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Old Dec 13, '05, 7:53 am
heartaflame heartaflame is offline
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Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Mastrubation/sexual abuse

Hello, I have a question. I was sexually abused as a child and ever since I was a small child I have had a mastrubating problem as a result. It is embarassing beyond words can say. I know that God's grace is there to help me resist, but sometimes I find myself doing it even before I realize it. Does the Church have pity on people in this situation? Is it still a mortal sin even if I stop when I find myself doing it?
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Old Dec 13, '05, 8:30 am
vluvski vluvski is offline
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Default Re: Mastrubation/sexual abuse

It sounds as though masturbation is a habitual, compulsive behavior for you, if not an addiction. It is probably somewhat involuntary.

The Catechism clearly states that this type of behavior can reduce your culpability (the level of blame you deserve), sometimes to a minimum.

If you stop as soon as you realize what you're doing, rather than finish to climax, you may not have any culpability in the matter. A person who suffers with serious temptations to lust have not sinned unless they continue to entertain these thoughts as soon as they realize what has entered their mind. Your situation sounds very similar.

I would certainly recommend speaking with a priest about this. You might also consider attending a 12 step group like Al Anon to help you put this behavior behind you.

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Old Dec 13, '05, 11:40 pm
Ruthie Ruthie is offline
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Default Re: Mastrubation/sexual abuse

God bless you; I'll pray for you.

I'm with vluvski.

Go back to the list of threads in this forum, and read the one way up at the top, List of Catholic Websites for Battling Impurity; there's lots of help there.

Maybe it will help you to think of it as a disordered appetite. That's what it is, after all, but I find it easier to resist mine (gluttony) when I keep the question down to "Am I, or am I not, giving in to my disordered appetite?" For me, it takes a lot of the confusing emotion out of the battle.

At a retreat I went on recently, Father said that the only way to get rid of an ingrained bad habit is to have a changed heart. So that's what I pray for.

"Create in me, O God, a pure heart, and grant a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:12;. I don't remember which Bible version this is.)

In the meantime, strive for progress, not perfection. If you fail, get up and keep going, because it will also be a matter of "two steps forward, one step back."
Tiber Swim Team, class of 2006
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"Your every act should be done with love." -1 Cor 16:14
"Love is not a wimp emotion." - Fr. John Corapi
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Old Dec 14, '05, 5:00 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Mastrubation/sexual abuse

It is possible in situations such as you describe that this habit is a kind of tic, an involuntary action, and would respond well to behavioral modification therapy. Also as such it, it would not necessarily be subjectively sinful. You should seek out a Catholic therapist who understands first why such behavior is objectively sinful, although any competent therapist should recognize that any such nervous habit that embarrasses and discomfits you requires treatment. needless to say such counselling should include attention to its root cause, and assist you in healing. We are all praying for you.
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
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Old Dec 14, '05, 5:57 am
heartaflame heartaflame is offline
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Red face Re: Mastrubation/sexual abuse

God Bless you, and thank you for your advice. It is something that I am just now beginning to recognize, and now I want to heal. It is a terrible thing, and what hurts most is the thought of offending the God who loves me so much. I don't mind the humiliation of confession as much as I mind offending God and the thought of being damned. God bless you and thank you so very much.
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Old Dec 16, '05, 5:46 pm
Ella Ella is offline
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Default Re: Mastrubation/sexual abuse

Have you been to counseling about the sexual abuse that happened to you? It is, IMHO, vital, as is a consideration of medication for obsessive/compuslive behavior, which this is.
I too suffered from this problem, for years and years; it was a misery, resulting from sexual abuse as a child.
Counseling CAN help you, and by all means pray. I believe St. Therese of Liseaux intervenes for me with this and other compulsive/harmful behavior.
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