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Woman Abused as Child Needs Help to Overcome Her Hang-Ups

DEAR ABBY: I am a 46-year-old woman with PTSD due to a history of physical abuse, mental abuse and incest that I experienced as a child. I'm proud to say that it has not been repeated with my four children.

My childhood history has made me want sex only if I am in control or if I am role-playing rape. It has caused a big problem with my fiance. I want this scenario all the time, and unfortunately it's unhealthy. I'm not sure how to go about healthy sex with him. He is 10 years older than I am and not interested in "different" sex practices.

I love him very much and don't want to mess up this relationship because of my sex issues. Can you advise me how to handle this? -- ROLE-PLAYING IN ST. PAUL

DEAR ROLE-PLAYING: If you haven't discussed the reason for your sexual issues with your fiance, you need to explain the reason for them. From your letter, I am guessing that you never had counseling to help you resolve the abuse to which you were subjected. If that's correct, I am advising you to contact RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network; rainn.org) or a local rape crisis organization and ask for some help now. The counselors are specially trained to help victims of various kinds of abuse, and the place to start resolving your issues would be there.

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