I’m Feeling Convicted About the Kind of Art I’m Producing…

I create and share free digital, bisexual foot fetish art (semi realistic anime style) on a few sites and forums and have been doing so for the last two and a half years or so. I also support a few other foot artist that charge a small fee ($1 to $10) for their work. However, after reading your post, Why Am I So Drawn to Tween Boys, I felt quite a bit of guilt surface. Foolishly, I thought that because it was “just foot fetish,” it was harmless. My problem is that I still feel compelled to keep sharing and supporting this art. I don’t want to want to share it anymore because now I know that God is against it and I essentially asked Him to break me from this, but the desire still hasn’t gone anywhere.
Also, when you said, “Fuelling your own trauma for the sake of your art will make it impossible to maintain healthy relationships with others or even stand your own company,” it seemed to confirm that I’m really nowhere near suitable for a serious relationship with anyone–male or female–in my current state. I think I’m going to need more isolation in order to really begin to deal with these issues. I don’t want to have to be so reclusive, mainly because I know that, as a human being, I’m inescapably relationally dependent, but considering my condition, that seems preferable. I mean there’s nothing worse than a person who’s not at all ready to be in a relationship trying to force a relationship because they think that the other person will somehow help them to “lift the spell” and push them out of whatever state of disease/disorder they’re in. I feel like I might end up damaging the other person or further damaging myself. It makes more sense to me to learn to be able to dwell comfortably by myself right now and understand what God is doing with me instead of trying to pursue a relationship with someone else while being constantly at war within myself. I’m still not sure, though…

It’s great that your soul is responding positively to God’s conviction here. Since it is your subconscious that is pushing for the art, it’s naturally going to keep pushing for it even when your soul changes its attitude about this. To get your subconscious over the art, you need to help it resolve its distress over the traumatic things that have happened to you.

You are correct that you are not psychologically ready to participate in a functional relationship right now. When your subconscious is this agitated, it will 1) intentionally sabotage functional relationships, 2) push you to seek out dysfunctional partners, and 3) turn any relationship you start into a context for rehearsing your past trauma. Given your history and your temperament, you are very likely to encourage your partner to abuse you (especially sexually) so that your mind feel like you are re-enacting what originally happened to you. Remember that the subconscious pushes for re-enactments as a means of studying what originally happened to you so that it can identify a solution. So even though the surface behaviours are negative and often harmful, the underlying psychological motivation is positive.

Be aware that the bisexual thing is a trauma symptom. This means that your subconscious is only pushing you towards male partners for trauma based reasons. The problem here is the strategy your subconscious is using. Because it is trying to keep re-enacting your original trauma (which is what the foot art is about), and since your original assaulter was male, your mind’s true motivation for pushing you towards male romantic partners is so that they can abuse you like your original attacker did. Don’t let current social brainwashing delude you on this point, because understanding why your mind is pushing you towards specific partners can help you avoid walking into situations that are guaranteed to be unhealthy. The subconscious always has very strategic reasons for pushing you towards romantic partners, and those reasons are not always good. In all cases in which the subconscious overrides the natural sexual drive, the resulting change in preferred sexual targets is based on fear, and you can’t build a functional relationship on fear. This is not to say that straights are always picking winners, because their minds also push them in plenty of negative directions. But dramatic shifts in your sex drive (to gay, bi, ped, trans, etc.) are always indications that your subconscious is feeling deeply distressed about something. That distress needs to be respected and addressed, not ignored. If you just pursue any push your mind gives you in the romantic area without respecting what its current agendas are, you can end up severely worsening your mental stress. So we should never fluff off sex drive overrides as “natural” or “normal” or “no big deal.” These overrides require a lot of effort for the subconscious to pull off, and your subconscious doesn’t waste energy on things it doesn’t think are important. Whenever you see your mind pouring precious resources into a certain defence strategy, you need to ask why it feels that is necessary and figure out how you can help it feel less threatened.

In your case, your mind has latched onto both gender and age as important factors in your original assault experience, and now it is obsessing over those factors. Because your original attacker was male and because your mind has decided that his gender is very significant, all males are currently going to feel like threatening figures to your mind. The closer a male is to the age of your original attacker, the more threatened your mind will feel by him, and this is why you see the pedophilia spiking towards males who match your original attacker’s age. Notice that the age of male youths who trigger a pedophile reaction in you are the same age of the male who originally attacked you. This isn’t a coincidence. Those males are triggering a panic response (which surfaces as a sexual attraction) because they symbolize the kid who originally assaulted you (a kid who still terrifies your mind today).

Now since you were approximately the same age as your attacker at the time of the assault, we now have immense stress associated with that age. We also see the foot fetish appearing at that time. The oral fetish has developed due to the heavy focus on mouths during the assault. Remember that your subconscious is extremely protective over your body, so when specific body parts are targeted in negative ways, your mind always feels very upset by this and will often form an obsession with those body parts until its stress is resolved. With the oral fetish, we see your mind linking mouths to sexual arousal. But this is a negative, fearful association, not a case of you being “open minded.” Because you have such intense psychological fear linked to these two issues, you trying to participate in any kind of real life oral sex experience would have a very negative effect on your subconscious. It would essentially interpret such an experience as you being assaulted all over again, and that is only going to make you feel more traumatized, not less. I explain this to help you understand how important it is to respect what your mind’s motivations are for behaving the way that it does. When your mind is afraid of something, shoving that something in its face is usually a bad idea.

Now passives are often the victims in cases of child-to-child sexual assault. This is because their “freeze and placate” instincts make them easier to abuse in the critical moment. You are correct in assuming that what you did in your early teens was a case of desperation. When traumatized minds become overwhelmed with stress, passives will suddenly act like aggressives, and aggressives will suddenly act like passives. The two temperaments will temporarily swap roles and try out the other side’s method of dealing with stress just to see if it helps. These kinds of role reversals are usually very brief, which is why your experience was an isolated event, not something you started doing routinely. Your mind’s temperament is a fixed thing, and passives do not find the aggressive style of dealing with stress to be helpful. While they will try the aggressive style of “lashing out” in a moment of true desperation, they usually conclude it is not helpful and they revert back to their preferred style of dealing with stress. The same is true for aggressives who suddenly try the passive approach of grovelling/pacifying/placating. Such an approach just doesn’t help aggressives the way it helps passives because they aren’t designed for it.

So why did you suddenly flip into aggressive behaviours at the age that you did? It’s likely something happened at this point in your life which caused your internal stress load to suddenly spike extra high. When your mind then saw an opportunity to try an aggressive approach, it went for it. But it didn’t like the results, so it dropped that strategy. Your core temperament really saved your hide here. If you’d been an aggressive, you could have easily become addicted to what you did and been unable to stop doing it. I point this out because this is a good opportunity for you to develop some compassion for how it is for aggressive minds (gaining compassion for our fellow human beings is always a plus). Aggressives are wired with an intense need to reduce their stress by lashing out. This core wiring easily drives them into all kinds of trouble (legally and otherwise), yet as you can now understand, they often feel they do not have any hope of controlling their internal compulsions in the critical moment. The boy who originally messed with you was likely an aggressive, likely being sexually abused in his own life, and probably feeling a desperate need to re-enact what had been done to him in an effort to understand it. It doesn’t make what he did to you any less horrible, but it does help you logically understand what he was thinking, and that is helpful to your mind.

Now your own victim is going to remember what you did, and they are going to have their own severe psychological fallout from it. I don’t know where you’re at with God on this subject, but you need to make sure you have a correct view of Divine judgment, or demons are going to have a field day lording this over you. When we do heinous things to other people, God always makes a way for us to move forward instead of getting stuck in perpetual shame and self-loathing.

Speaking of self-loathing, it’s important that you identify what the specific root cause is for you in this area. Self-loathing usually originates from the soul, not the subconscious. Your soul cares about you being a moral person, but it also needs to feel you have worth. If your soul starts feeling like you’re some worthless dirtbag, it becomes depressed and scared. The fear is what gets converted into self-hate. Specifically identifying what it is you are afraid of is going to be critical here. Try making a list of statements beginning with “I hate myself because…”. Then go back through those statements and see if you can identify what the underlying fear is. For example, you might write:

“I hate myself because I’m always thinking about sick things.”

Okay, well, so what? Why is this threatening to your soul? Rewrite the statement like this:

“Because I’m always thinking about sick things, I’m afraid that…”

What exactly is it that you’re afraid of? That God will chuck you into Hell? That other people won’t accept you? That your soul will never be able to feel comfortable while it’s stuck inside of your body? Your soul cares about the big picture, so when you’re dealing with soul fears, be open to your soul linking a specific issue to a much broader concept.

Moving Forward

At this point, you need to step up your efforts to help your subconscious recover from the traumatic beliefs it has formed due to what happened to you as a child. In my post Practical Steps for Correcting Traumatic Beliefs, I walk you through the self-analysis you need to do to get started with this process. While God is certainly able to instantly fix your trauma, miracle cures are not what He prefers to use in most cases. It is far more beneficial to your soul in the long-term to work through the healing process step by step. Traumatic experiences like this are supposed to permanently change you (see Is Total Recovery Possible?). The goal is not to simply revert back to who you were before this happened to you. The goal is to allow these negative experiences to push you on to new levels of maturity.

Becoming traumatized is like having someone chuck a grenade at a house that you built for yourself. When your nice house is blown to bits, you feel angry, discouraged, and sad. You poured so much creative energy into that house that you are certain you’ll never be able to rebuild it exactly as it was. As you realize how futile it is to hope you could ever perfectly replicate what was destroyed, you become more depressed. And yet from God’s perspective, the destruction of this first project clears the way for a new, better one to be built. To God, the first house wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good enough to be your permanent home, either. He wants something much better for you, so when He arranges for the original house to be destroyed, He isn’t doing it to prevent you from ever feeling joy in life. His motivation is quite the opposite: He wants to increase your capacity for joy by introducing you to a much better structure that He has already designed for you. Now it’s just a matter of you and Him working together to make that new design a reality.

Healing from trauma is supposed to be a multistep, time consuming process. God has intentionally designed it like this because there are many positive lessons and insights that He wants to teach us from our traumatic experiences. We are too limited to absorb all of that information at once, so God spaces out the lessons for us. The recovery process always unfolds a bit differently for each person, but it is a beautiful process which ends up radically changing them on a core level. As horrible as trauma is to experience, if we persevere with God’s personalised recovery program, we will reap major benefits–benefits that are so fantastic, they eventually cause us to sincerely say, “It was worth it. If I could start over again, I wouldn’t change what happened to me because I see now that those experiences helped me to become the person I am today.”

This post was written in response to a-little-lost-here.