Anyone else have this experience?

  • It's been 1 year and 2 months since I last logged-in here. I was doing well and then hit a roadblock.

    I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of childhood sexual abuse by my father and other men that he sold me to. I have an intense fear of receiving unwanted attention from men. I had lost about 30 lbs last year, and even though I still felt "unattractive" and safe at 237 lbs, I started to get noticed and it triggered me to a point where I had to stop losing weight. I have been working on my fears in the past year and I think I am ready to start again, but the fear is still there.

    I have let go of a lot of stuff from my past and the weight- my armor against men- is one of the remaining challenges. My goal in transforming my body is to get rid of this constant reminder of the past. Every time I get dressed or see myself in a mirror, I am reminded of why I am carrying this weight. It has served me well over the years, but I am shifting my focus to the future. Still, it's scary.

    I am not writing to seek sympathy or pity. I am just wondering if there is anyone else out there who has dealt with fear of losing weight related to fear of male attention. And, if so, are there any tips or strategies you can share?

    I am starting today. I have told myself that it is safe for me to get fit, that I am ready. I know I can do it- I have the knowledge, skills, etc. But the fear is there, which is why I made the leap in posting this.
  • First and foremost, I'm sorry you were subjected to such a disgusting display of human behaviour. You are very brave for wanting to confront your fear and work through it. I admire you for that because I know people that can't do it!

    I haven't experienced what you have, but I know that trusting men, for you, may take a lifetime. You may never trust them completely. I certainly don't trust men that I don't know well. The only advice I can think to give you is that you may have to limit speaking to men only when you're with other women, or you could join a church or other club where you will be more likely to be/feel safe. Also, don't be afraid to say no to a guy and ignore them. They'll get over it

    Sorry if my advice is not what you are looking for. I wish you well on your journey and don't be too hard on yourself if you feel it gets too much for you again. Slow and steady wins the race
  • I am so sorry that happened to you. I am like you in the sense that I feel safer when I am heavier. Period. I have struggled with this for years. My close friend was snatched up off the street while riding her bicycle as a child & raped by a stranger. She is actually the first person who put it into words for me.

    I do not have any real coping skills, but I will pass along some advice I heard here. Small does not mean frail. A small, even 120 pound, woman in good physical shape would be better off than a bigger but out of shape person. If you strive for fitness as well as weight loss, I think you could also maintain a sense of safety. A fit person can run and fight someone off if they had to in ways a less fit person couldn't.

    Someone else pointed that out before (I forget who) & it has stuck with me. I am going to get strong as well as small.
  • Darlin' I hope you are going through therapy. It is the one way that you can come to terms with this and return your body image back to normal. You can commisserate with other ladies here about it, but unless you get someone to help you, I doubt that getting "tips" is going to help you come to terms with being attractive. I will pray for you about this, but please get someone to help you that is professional.
  • I'm so sorry for what you suffered! There's nothing worse that could happen to anyone.

    I just want to say that I think staying heavy to try to avoid male attention is not at all uncommon. I don't know exactly where it stems from in me, but I know that occasionally when men pay me attention I feel like: OMG -- how much weight do I have to gain before you'll leave me alone? And I've discussed this with other women with weight problems who feel the same way.

    It's not a conscious attempt, and I actually do my best to look nice most of the time. Still, on some level, the weight is there not only to create a buffer between me and the world but also to hide from men.

    Strategy-wise, I've been thinking of self-hypnosis. There seem to be a lot of good resources available for free online.

    I wish you all the best -- know that you deserve it!
  • You are an incredibly strong person, and brave for sharing your story. Like you, my past has left me incredibly wary of male attention. The one time I was "thinner"...I regained the weight because I was so angry about "becoming visible" that I just gave up. I didn't want to become visible in that way, I just wanted/want to have good health.
    I don't have any easy answers, but I will say that we deserve health and happiness! I hope returning to 3FC is helpful to you, the women here have really helped shed light on things for me...and I feel positive about my new direction. I wish you peace, and best of luck on this journey!