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  1. #11
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Perhaps because you were a sexual object to someone in the past, you have trouble differentiating between the nakedness necessary to the sexual acts that were forced upon you and nonsexual nakedness.

    My advice would be to practice experiencing nonsexual nakedness via massage, brazilian waxing, being in a swimsuit, etc to regain a sense of comfort and empowerment in your own skin.

    I have an uneasiness with showing skin too, and the aforementioned actions have helped me (although, I clearly am not that afraid ).

  2. #12
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    LL, I hear things like home birth and midwifery are very mainstream in Germany. I suspect you will be able to find someone who can provide personal, comfortable care to you there.

    Whewwwww....that is wonderful news!!!!! Perhaps that'd be a good way to go. I know doctors make an awful lot more house calls here than in the States.

  3. #13
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    MBTological analysis:

    Fe is failing you in this particular situation--hyperawareness of others, in a distressing way.

    Could you declothe yourself literally, and then clothe yourself with a forcefield of Fi? You know, meadows, puppies, blissful awareness of self and "accidental" ignorance of others? Sometimes faking comfortable-at-home-ness with a situation that puts you in distress will lower your stress levels. That's why they recommend smiling at people that intimidate you, giving off an air of confidence when public speaking or teaching a class that makes you nervous, etc.

    Also, while you know yourself best, positive psychologists will tell you that suppression (not repression, but suppression) is healthy, because our Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Cortex axis (HPA axis) cannot differentiate between imagined fear and genuine threat. If you're thinking about it, it's bets to distract yourself and occupy your mind.
    Thinking about it before you can actually do anything to mitigate your response is only going to trigger the release of cortisol. So you'll have a week's worth of cortisol-drugged organs and feel very wound up, rather than a singular instance of cortisol-drugged body. Over time that adaptive response (cortisol tells us to get the eff out) becomes maladaptive. Regular cortisol release will decrease your resilience and use up some of your finite resources, which should be used for more productive things!

    You can easily replenish your resilience by "undoing effects" like petting a kitten or smiling at someone or laughing or writing down 3 good things that happened during the day. (They don't need to be significant. "Awesome! There was a prize in my cereal box!" Check one.)

    I just wrote my psychoneuroimmunology exam a few hours ago. It seems I'm rewriting it again.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  4. #14
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    Perhaps because you were a sexual object to someone in the past, you have trouble differentiating between the nakedness necessary to the sexual acts that were forced upon you and nonsexual nakedness.

    My advice would be to practice experiencing nonsexual nakedness via massage, brazilian waxing, being in a swimsuit, etc to regain a sense of comfort and empowerment in your own skin.

    I have an uneasiness with showing skin too, and the aforementioned actions have helped me (although, I clearly am not that afraid ).
    OMG YES Disregard, so true. You know how I got over being PAINFULLY SHY about showing my body even to members of my own family (even us women)? Ironically, I started going to the sauna. The first time I was so nervous that my heart was in my throat. Nowadays, about 6 years later, I don't care!!!!!!!! YAYZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!! Also having a loving man who thinks I'm beautiful also helps!!!

  5. #15
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    MBTological analysis:

    Fe is failing you in this particular situation--hyperawareness of others, in a distressing way.

    Could you declothe yourself literally, and then clothe yourself with a forcefield of Fi? You know, meadows, puppies, blissful awareness of self and "accidental" ignorance of others? Sometimes faking comfortable-at-home-ness with a situation that puts you in distress will lower your stress levels. That's why they recommend smiling at people that intimidate you, giving off an air of confidence when public speaking, etc.
    Yup yup. Go somewhere else in your mind. After a while of doing that, you don't even mind anymore.

    BY THE WAY, Domino, I hope you start loving yourself because you are such a beautiful woman!!! I mean, I know what you mean....it's how you feel, not how you look. But still, had to say that.

    I wish I looked like you!

  6. #16
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I just joined a gym and I'm working on not being totally uptight about being nakey in the locker room. Yesterday I had an extended daydream in the shower about finally being brave enough to walk naked from the shower to where I accidentally left my towel. In the daydream a mother walks by with a couple of kids and scolds me for scandalizing her offspring with my nakeyness. I burst into tears dramatically and tell her being naked was an assignment from my therapist to treat my crippling negative body image. She lives with overwhelming guilt for the rest of her life.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  7. #17
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I just joined a gym and I'm working on not being totally uptight about being nakey in the locker room. Yesterday I had an extended daydream in the shower about finally being brave enough to walk naked from the shower to where I accidentally left my towel. In the daydream a mother walks by with a couple of kids and scolds me for scandalizing her offspring with my nakeyness. I burst into tears dramatically and tell her being naked was an assignment from my therapist to treat my crippling negative body image. She lives with overwhelming guilt for the rest of her life.
    AWESOME!!!!! You are great, Ivy.

  8. #18
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    LL, I know! It's like this major freak out that I can't rationalize away. "Be a big girl". "There's nothing to worry about." "Nobody's judging you." "You're getting worked up over a minor annoyance." Even the receptionist at the doctors' office who scheduled the appt. was like "Oh MAN, I know, I put that test off as long as I can. I hate it" (and then she told me a funny story about tricking her college-bound son into a compulsory prostate exam).

    It's the naked thing. I still can't believe I'm having so much trouble with that.
    I had muy big problems with the nakedness bit until I was actually naked in front of someone who cared about me. Honestly, until I had sex for the first time I was not okay with being naked, semi-nude, or showing skin of any kind, even when I was in good shape. I always thought I was too big, or muscular, had the inherent feeling of not being appealing to anyone physically, or being judged (by men and women!) by those who saw me, any part of me.

    So perhaps, finding a female OBGYN or midwife to do the exam and developing a rapport with her over the course of more than one session could help? (If that is feasible time and money wise for the exams you need.) Or (as disregard suggests) find a regular, laid-back situation in which to disrobe - I found out that my gym's locker room is a good example - most women being so self-conscious, when really no one cares. The sauna, swimming with friends at the river, or start alone and work up to it?

    P.S.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    LL, I know! It's like this major freak out that I can't rationalize away. "Be a big girl". "There's nothing to worry about." "Nobody's judging you." "You're getting worked up over a minor annoyance." Even the receptionist at the doctors' office who scheduled the appt. was like "Oh MAN, I know, I put that test off as long as I can. I hate it" (and then she told me a funny story about tricking her college-bound son into a compulsory prostate exam).

    It's not just an "Oh, man..." moment for me though. I don't mind the discomfort (even though once I was literally climbing up the table in pain). It's the naked thing. I still can't believe I'm having so much trouble with that.
    FWIW, I can relate very much - and I'm a guy.

  10. #20
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    No. Not with a man, I haven't. I have a history that reads really badly. I have girlfriends (even my twin sister) that I try to emulate, like my ENTJ best friend who isn't afraid of anything of a physical nature, or my ESFP best friend who's merely just "Dude, I hate this..." and is also not intimidated. Even my twin shrugs it off and I've taken a lot of cues and patterned myself after her generally fearless Ne nature, but in crunch time, I still feel tears coming on and the same panic I used to feel. I remember a really nice female doctor of mine years ago having to PRY my legs apart. She was very patient.

    I suspect that I'm not alone. I found myself truly surprised to be dealing with this mess again. I thought I'd moved past it.
    So a few real practical suggestions (Your story makes me hurt for you which puts me in Te ass kicking/problem solving mode as I want to take care of you):

    1) Have your sister go in with you and hold your hand, fuck what the drs think, she loves you and can help comfort you. Maybe practice having her sit with you and doing some meditation-some calming series of thoughts to step you into a more relaxed state? Then repeat during the visit?

    2) Ask for a mild sedative-explain you have a history of abuse and that you feel extreme anxiety. They should be able to give you valium or something similar to take before the visit.

    3) See a Nurse Practitioner or midwife over an MD. Even a DO will be better than an MD. See a family practitioner or General Practitioner over a OB/Gyn. The very best care I have received was from Nurse practitioners. If I ever have another baby it will be with a midwife-not an OB/Gyn. If you can find the midwife or NP, explain your fear before the visit. They will be far more understanding than an MD.

    4) Do you need pap smears every year? Take a look at this-you may be able to skip several years between exams depending upon your sexual history, age, and history of clear exams.

    As for your fear:

    You are not any other person but you so dont feel you have to be like other people. It's okay to be afraid even if other people are not. You are individual and having a difficult history carries many burdens. Whatever you feel is perfectly okay and I wish I could hug you and hold your hand because I sense how much this stresses you out. I dont know what your body looks like but your soul is very beautiful. That's what is most important.

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