“Focus on the Hurt, and Let the SSA Take Care of Itself”
My name is John; I pursued therapy with Dr. Nicolosi because my sexual life needed special attention and I wanted the best I could find. I am now 40 years old and was in reparative therapy for just over two years.
There was shame around my homosexual behaviors and I wanted a place to go where I felt safe to confide with some expert who could help me. I am Catholic and I wanted to pursue a healthy sexuality that I believe God wants me to have.
In the course of therapy I discovered how my sexual issues traced back to growing up in a dysfunctional household and especially, to problems I had with my father. I had never seen or discovered the connection before in therapy. I just couldn’t connect with my father. I experienced traumatic intimidation from my father including physical abuse, bullying and abandonment.
Nicolosi and I spent much time on one traumatic memory of my father threatening and pursuing me with a belt. I ran into my room, and he aggressively shook the door like he was going to break it down and I was so scared, I was crying and looking for a way to escape. I wanted to jump out the window. My life felt like it was crumbling. I didn’t know who this man was, but in the back of my mind I knew he had the belt and he had used it before so I was sure he would use it again. I was also traumatized that my mother didn’t protect me from him more. I don’t even remember if he actually came in the room. All I remember is the absolute terror of him threatening to break down the door and come in.
We used a method called EMDR and that sort of cut through quickly to a lot of these deep problems that I couldn’t get a hold of consciously and I really have grown to trust that method. I have a peaceful feeling with that method and it got me places that I needed to go to and to face.
Today I’m more hopeful and more independent. I have more of the skills that I need to help myself grow and address any kinds of feelings that come up that need to be addressed. I have a better perspective on my sexual attractions to other men. I have a greater perspective of what’s going on in me, especially the shame moments that go back to my childhood experience. I know those traumatic moments are opportunities for healing, and that’s very hopeful.
As a result, I think that my same-sex attraction have diminished to where they are probably 80%. better. I’m just more of a whole person. Facing this SSA part of my life has really helped me with a missing piece of what I want to be my whole and complete life. Today I feel like I’ve fallen in love with a wonderful young woman. My heart is drawn to this woman and I see a future and I feel confident that it will be a successful relationship and marriage. We are really lovers, we are affectionate toward each other, we communicate well, and we’re honest with each other. We have a lot of interests and activities in common. We hike, swim, we practice yoga together, we enjoy cooking and dining out. I couldn’t be happier. IT’S NOT TO SAY THAT THERE WILL NOT BE CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY, BUT I AM LEARNING TO EMBRACE THEM MORE NOW. I HAVE A NEW CONFIDENCE, AND THIS APPLIES TO ALL AREAS OF MY LIFE.
She’s artistic, she does sculpture and I go there to her studio while she works and I do my studying. We’re planning a trip next fall to Russia. She inspired me to start taking scuba lessons with her!
A big challenge was to disclose my SSA issues to her. But I had support from Nicolosi and a network of guy friends I had developed AND AM CONTINUING TO DEVELOP THOSE RELATIONSHIPS IN A HEALTHY WAY. I was afraid that she would probably think I was too weird and reject me. But it went surprisingly well. She was receptive, compassionate and thoughtful, and processed what I was saying very attentively.
Nicolosi was very direct with me, very down-to-earth. He will challenge you when you need challenging but also be very empathetic. But he has a wealth of experience, he’s trustworthy. He has been a good mentor.
There were times when there were things I didn’t want to reveal or disclose in therapy, like body-image issues and sexual activities. Occasionally there were issues between us where I thought he did not understand me. These misunderstandings were blessings in disguise because it was an opportunity for me to assert myself, tell him that I thought I had been misunderstood, and experience his acceptance of my disagreement with him. Those were “double-loop” situations where we clarified our misunderstandings. This was something I could never do with my dad. In addition, I did a lot of grief work about my past, especially about my mother and my father.
I would advise anyone struggling with SSA to give therapy a try. It doesn’t hurt to try out three sessions and at the beginning, don’t really worry too much about focusing on SSA, BUT FOCUS ON THE HURT AND THE SSA WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF IN SOME WAY. You will be more healthy. Focus on improving your overall health. Again, just work on places where you need healing and the rest with take care of itself. I was NOT attached to results, and improvement happened in regard to SSA in an awesome way I could not have imagined. Things are not perfect but I have confidence for the future and a groundedness. . I am continuing to heal and learn at a more deep level. I’m more in touch with my true authentic self and deepest desires. I have come a long way and am excited about the future.
Therapy takes time, just be patient and give yourself time to process all the information. I am spiritual and so I needed to take all that we were doing in therapy to God and bring spirituality and psychology together to arrive at a more healthy place in my life.
The therapy helped me feel more confident around men, to connect more and deal with my tendency to be intimidated, and there is a lot of hope in that. I’m back to playing more sports now and I’m moving more outward to people in general. I’ll greet people more readily and I just have a more generous heart.
I think I’m more compassionate as a result of this therapy. There is a lot of struggle but there are a lot of blessings that come from therapy. You can be more connected to yourself and you’re a better person because of it.