Saturday, July 24, 2004

Parallel Lives

There's something I am thinking, but I don't think I'll be able to think it all the way through, unless I write.

In his book, "My Life," former President Clinton writes about how living "parallel lives" has affected him. As a child, he was the son of an abusive stepfather, even saw a bullet being shot at him and his mother.  His stepfather drank too much and was not nice to him or his mother when he did. Still, the young boy Clinton, continued to go to school with a smile on his face, hiding this private torture, which is far more extensive than I’ve described it here, from his friends and community.  He felt less of a person because of that part of his life, so he didn’t choose to make it a part of his “public” life.  As time passed on, the world came to know about the parallel life he lived as an adult, as a womanizer and adulterer, most admittedly with Monica Lewinsky. But it wasn’t until the world came to know his secret that he admitted to himself, through intense counseling sessions, that he had chosen to live these parallel lives as an escape mechanism. It was the tool he learned to use.

As I heard him read his book via audiobook, and heard what he had to say, I knew that what afflicted such an amazing politician and charismatic person was the same thing that afflicts me.  I know that I am working toward “fixing” those problems … but I feel far from overcoming them. As a child I was sexually abused, my father drank, we were poor, I wore yard sale clothes, I hid all of this from the kids at school, and became an academic achiever, later going to college, hiding there behind hot checks and credit problems. I carried that into my adult life where I developed my addiction to the Internet and to sex first in 1995. Somehow after I got married, I was able to live what seems like in hindsight a fairly normal life, but I’m supposing that I somehow lived a parallel life at that time too. I’ve certainly held on to BV all these years and think I always will. Or maybe I’m afraid that by getting better, I’ll have to admit to myself that I have to let him go. He has been my promise of true love all these years … an untouchable one, but there and a very real feeling inside me.  Someone to excite me, and to love me and hold me close, if only in his heart, when I needed to be held. At times, I’ve felt he was my survival tool.  Him, this man I’ve never met, never touched, but loved in a way that is very real. And now again, my addictions have returned, covering the feelings of anger, hurt, frustration, isolation, loneliness. I’m not dealing with those things – why should I, I can live another life?

Even one of the members of the Internet addiction support group I belong to online asked that question … is it possible that you’ve always kept a secret life and you think that you have to continue to do that?

And as I look at everything I have just written I see parts of it that I can tell to some people, but realize that there is nothing that I will ever feel comfortable telling to all people. I am afraid of rejection, afraid I will be left with nothing and no one, in shame and complete disgrace.

As I go through counseling and read what I have read on co-dependence and self-esteem issues. I know that the first person who has to accept that this is who I am, is me. For my life to come together, I have to be willing to see all of that, and know it is me, and find a way to love the person that is hidden underneath all that.  It sounds like a far away dream … like, “Oh yeah, right! As if I’ll ever reconcile all this in a lifetime.” Yet, it feels obtainable too.

Sort of a weird aspect to all this is that as I feel myself beginning to feel, I feel less and less inclined to write here, in this blog of “Rae’s Confessions.” In my “real” life,  I am not Rae, and I have nothing to confess. In my “secret” life, I am willing to tell the world about the men whom I have met through the Internet and just what I have done with them. I’m not willing to share with that same audience the person who is healing and becoming stronger, even if not as quickly as she’d like. She’ll come back and write notes to her past lovers, but never one to herself, her whole self.

I wonder if Rae and I will ever meet?


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A note

If I were writing a note to E. today -- which I am not, because I have to not do that -- it would say:

Dear E.,

I am longing for you today, for a conversation with you, to know how you are doing, for a taste of the sweet nectar that you provide (and not the kind you're thinking about either).  That nectar of feeling connected, of being understood, of being wanted. I don't know why today. I don't know why any day. I keep thinking I'll stop looking for the e-mail, stop hoping for the call. But every day, the longing is still there. I don't know if it's about you or about me ... all I know is it's too real and that as we've said a million times, I've only added to the problem that I set out to fix. I feel sick and lost and unable to pull myself together. I know you don't feel the same. You are most likely glad to be rid of me. I doubt that you've given up your Internet addiction. I'm guessing that you are chatting every day. I hope not as much as me, or not as much as before. But I know from personal experience how hard it is to break free. I haven't broken free either. The only problem is, I left part of my heart with you.  You asked me not to give it, but then took it, and now I can't get it back. I think I'd rather hate you than this. But I don't ... and that leaves me here ... in pergatory. I should have known better. But I didn't. That's the story of life, right?


Hump Day

You know it's a bad day when you wake up with the Wheel of Fortune commercial running through your head. "I'm a wheel watcher, you're a wheel watcher, be a wheel watcher." What the hell is that about?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Breakthroughs and struggles

It's been a long time since I posted anything here. I'd like to say that it's because life is normal and I don't feel the need to "flush" feelings all the time. Life is a lot more normal than it has been in the past, but it still has its struggles.
I had a good (but grueling) session with NP last night and really walked through some core problems at the root of what has caused me to reach this point of addiciton and victimization. Or, I should say, we talked about some of my underlying problems, but are still trying to figure out how the hell I got to here. I worked my ass off, put myself through college, became successful in my career, and then all of a sudden, here I am. Or maybe ... gradually here I am. I'm not sure.
E. is pretty much out of the picture. I got an e-mail from him last Friday asking how he could return the book. I wrote back that he could keep it ... and that's the end. Nothing more. I think there was more emotional attachment there than I'll ever let myself believe. I miss him every day and watch for another letter. Somehow, some way some time I have to just let go.  I don't know if it's emotional attachment or just habit -- like a drunk letting go of whiskey. But, I've got a vodka that I've been sipping on with J. We talk daily (during the week) online. On Sunday, I went to G.'s house ... why? I have no idea. We shared oral favors and talked about sexual escapades and feelings about Internet addiction ... but why ... just because it was there, and I had said I'd think about it, which then caused me an "obligation" to do it. I went to the grocery store afterward and bought two bags of M&Ms, Lucky Charms and Oreos. Thank God I didn't eat all that. I have no idea what causes any of this. But I'm going to get to the bottom of it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Way It Feels

So, it's Wednesday morning. I eliminated my Yahoo account yesterday and I feel a bit lost today. Thank goodness I have a bunch of meetings scheduled for today. But still, I had a bit of time between meeting and I came to a public computer area and am checking every e-mail I have in hopes of finding a message from someone I know. Not just someone, either J. or E.
J. wrote me a long letter yesterday saying he was pissed at me for not giving him a chance to say goodbye. And in a bizarre twist S. called me three times yesterday. I never answered once. I'm not going to answer. I wrote J. back and I'm sure he's going to read it as I'm still saying goodbye. I guess I should say I don't care. But I do. I think he probably doesn't know what to think. I haven't heard from him yet. But he often doesn't sign on until about this time anyway.
This morning, I told my husband I had a rough day yesterday and that I was online too much and he got mad and said we should just get rid of the Internet at home. I ended up writing him a note and trying to explain that I have to learn to be responsible for me and for my decisions. That him taking the Internet out won't do the trick.
The problem is that I'm not feeling that committment to focus my attention elsewhere. I did spend a lot of time last night at Barnes and Noble and bought a few new books that relate to my issue. I'm going to try to devote my time to reading, exercise and doing projects that need to be done at home. One of the things I have to do is come up with a list of projects that have to be done at home. But I HAVE to spend some time and attention with my work and I don't see that happening much.
I called NP yesterday and set up another appointment with her for tomorrow night. I just felt like I probably need to see her again this week. I need to get some feedback from her, hear from her about what happens in this "in between" stage.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I did it

Well, it's done. I'm pulling my insides out, but I've eliminated my Yahoo account. I'm not going back. No matter what. I am going to lose my job and my life if I don't get this under control. I don't feel strong at all, but I've got to do this. My life is simply out of control!


I simply cannot walk away from the computer today. I stayed at home to work on some writing. I got up at 5 a.m. I have been at the computer pretty much since then.

I took almost an hour and a half writing a letter to BV, catching him up on all that was happening in my life, including what has happened with E. He was incredibly helpful. Although he truly is just someone I met on the Internet nine years ago, I love him dearly and the history and friendship we share is very real. I know he is someone I can trust. He really wrote me back a nice note and gave me encouragement.

I didn't tell him about the internet addiction, because he only really knows about E. and not even that I met him on the Internet. I know I could tell him the whole thing.. but I'm just not ready. I've told my husband I think that's enough.

Now, I just have to tell myself, you're going to lose your job if you don't get yourself focused.

After I wrote to BV, I spend forever talking to J. On a good note, I did tell him I was struggling and that I may need to say goodbye. I made it clear that saying goodbye was in no way a reflection on him, but it was about me. I feel stronger having done that. I think that if I try, I can say goodbye this week and maybe start focusing on some other things.

I think there's a big part of me that is anxious and worried about E. That's probably the hardest part I'm going through. Despite it all, I care about him, but more than that, I know how hard it is to go through what he's going through and I wish (in my codependent status) that we could be there for each other.

I see one of my former employees this evening. That should be good. But I still haven't done a damn thing to meet these deadlines. I'm going to go do as much as I possibly can right now.

Monday, July 12, 2004


Instead of feeling free... I somehow feel stuck in this land of worry over E. and how he's doing. I've got to get busy, to deal with my own problems. I hate feeling so f'ing helpless and hopeless. I haven't eaten lunch and I haven't started on what I need to start on.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

A breakthrough like no other


Although I very much enjoyed today. one of your comments hit home especially after reading some of the stories below. You stated that you broke one of your rules in going to someones home. That also has been one of my rules. A hard rule. However when I read belows: " When our minds are occupied with too much wreckage of the past, too many problems and complexities and out of control passions then there is little room left in it for reasoning. This is why addicts make poor decisions a lot
of the time. Addicts blind themselves with their addiction and out of balance life." It made me realize that I am out of control just as you felt you were a week or two ago. We both need to break this pattern before both our lives and the lives of many others are in ruin..

I have been thinking about just how much I have and have to loose and that I know that what I am doing is not going to cure anything. and actually adds to my problems. For this reason you will hopefully not see me online for a while. I am going to take your approach and try to break free and concentrate on my much neglacted work of running two business. If I am successful it may be a few days to a week until I e-mail you. I trust that you will understand what and why I am doing this since it is the same reason that you needed to break this cycle of internet chat and incessant thoughts of sex.

Wish me the best in staying clear of the internet.


My response:


I'm both sorry and glad that you are feeling the absolute rock bottom feelings I was feeling a short time back. Sorry because I know how horrible and sickening those feelings are, and glad because it's the place you needed to come ... for you and for me. We have been enablers for each others addictions/obsessions.

There's a lot more to write, but I think it's best, if I let you be. You have to come to your own peace and find your own way. Just like I have to.

If you need a friend, someone who understands, and you think I can be that friend without causing you more harm, then call me. I will listen. I am not encouraging you to do that and I don't expect you to. I am simply letting you know I am willing to listen if you just feel that you need to express your feelings out loud. I am telling you clearly now, though, that I will never, ever hurt you or me the way we have hurt each other and ourselves thus far. I know you know what that means.

And one parting piece of advice if you're open to it. When I made my decision two weeks ago and before that two months ago to walk away, I felt this obligation to say "goodbye" to those I had chatted with. It was the wrong thing to do. Breaking free means breaking free, and I know that if you put your mind to it you can do it.

Best of luck, my friend. Stay strong.


A July 6 post

Below is a note I wrote for the blog on July 6, which never got posted. I'm posting it now after a two-hour "session" at E.'s house. I told myself before I ever got into this "game" that I'd never go into another woman's home to have relations with her husband. I guess doing so today goes along with the whole idea of addiction, you just go further and further ... hoping to get a new high, hoping it will take you to the next level.
As a side note, E.'s house is absolutely incredible. An amazing place. And I think what else could u possibly want? He's a successful businessman, has a gorgeous home, a wife who clearly knows how to keep things in order (even if she doesn't know how to keep him satisfied), two great kids, a nice dog, some apparently amazingly fun friends, yet it's still not enough. His are not my problems to fix ... although we keep drawing one another into each other's needs. I yelled at him this morning because I had a shitty birthday last night and was looking forward to spending some time with him today, knowing his wife would be away and when he started hemming and hawing about the time we would get together, I told him "I was not in the mood to be disappointed today." He gave in, and gave me two hours of his time ... probably the most "in person" time he's ever given me in the six months we've been seeing each other.

Here's the note I wrote last Tuesday:
It occurs to me that one of the reasons I am "backsliding" so to speak, is because I am not working on the things I have discussed with NP. I am not reading properly and am not working hard enough on focusing on the things that need to be fixed. Instead I am letting my mind lead me, not reading what others (who had a clear mind at the time) have deduced about issues such as self-esteem and co-dependency. In fact, I'm too busy diagnosing everyone else as co-dependent so I don't have to be alone.

Woke up with a cold this morning, courtesy of E. How's that for bringing home your sins? I'm lucky it's just that.

As for the cold, both my husband and I became extremely sick after this. I just can't believe how unreal this is at times.

Just in case you're wondering

For anyone who might be a regular reader ... and who kindly checks back to see my current stage of psychosis ... I'm still around. I've just been very busy at work, and not much in the writing mode. I'm doing OK though ... not good, but OK. Even in the midst of one of my busiest weeks at work in a long time, and now trying to catch up, I still find myself drawn to the computer and still meeting J. and E. whenever I could. Again, I think my "healing" has stalled. I want

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Repost of a letter to E.

First, and foremost, let me say thank you for a very nice "treat" this afternoon. It was truly a nice diversion from the day and incredibly good to see you.

Second, let me say that you must surely think that I am absolutely inarticulate. When we are together face to face, it never seems like I can string two sentences together, much less provide the answers to your questions. I'm sorry about that. It's not that I'm not articulate or that I don't have a million thoughts running through my head. It truly is almost like you have a spell over me. When you are near, I just want to touch you and kiss you and say everything that needs to be said without the words that just don't come out until we chat again or I send an e-mail. It's hard to explain or even understand for me. I think I also often feel rushed, (although today felt nicely unrushed, thank you.) which causes me some difficulty in saying what's on my mind.

Then thirdly, I wanted to say that today as I was driving to your office, I was literally cursing you, so mad at you for convincing me to come there -- yelling at you in my head, "This has nothing to do with me, it's all about you and your control and your pleasure! I know you're a better person than to do this to me -- knowing that I'm weak and that I can be used." Then I started yelling at myself, "Why are you allowing this to happen? You can't blame him. You are the one who doesn't have the inner strength to say no." Yet, the moment you drove up and I heard your voice and felt your hug, I was so glad I was there, so glad I had said yes, so aware of why I say yes again and again. There was nothing but amazing feelings inside me. And as we went inside and kissed, then embraced, and you began to have your way with me and I began to have my way with you ... it was just all completely right. Not love, not usery, not control, none of them, but all three. I hope some of that makes sense to you.

There are times that I don't trust you any further than I can throw an elephant, and times I trust you so completely I could never imagine even a reason for distrust. One is a sign of strength, the other of weakness, and often I feel them in the exact same heart, simultaneously. And in it all, as my emotions rage ... you hold me at arm's distance, but within arm's reach, ready to act at your own whim. Knowing that you know you are in control brings me both furious anger, and a strange sense of pleasure, that I can submit and make you happy, or say the wrong word and be cut off until you decide I am worthy, never able to simply tell myself "You're worthy of any goddamn thing you want." I hate the game, but come back again and again to play.

What is it that makes it so?

Sunday morning thoughts and actions

I just did something amazing, and really not for the reason it feels amazing. I uninstalled Yahoo Messenger from my home computer. It was so quick, so easy. Just like that ... it's gone. And suddenly after doing it, I'm thinking ... Wow, it's gone. I uninstalled it because my computer keeps getting viruses and I know that they are coming through Mssgr. I had tried various ways of cleaning those, but it hadn't worked, so I guessed that the program itself was corrupt (imagine that). So, I uninstalled it with the idea, that I'd just immediately reinstall. But you know what ... I don't think I will. There's a siren calling to me saying, "do it, do it, what are you going to do if you can't chat at home? You won't be able to talk to J. It won't help you at work where you really probably need to uninstall. What if you have messages waiting there?" That is the call that is the loudest. I want to write that I'm not going to re-install it. I want to believe that I can turn off those voices. I want to say, You can do anything you damn well please. But I don't know that I'll live up to a promise to stay away. I haven't proven myself effective there. That doesn't mean I can't go on to prove that I am strong, but the withdrawal will start again. I'm impossible to live with as it is. My husband is ready to throw me out the window I'm so grumpy and bitchy.

I originally sat down here to say I feel my "recovery" moving in a different direction. In many ways, I think I have nipped the desire to talk to dozens of different men all the time, and the desire to look for new chat partners in the bud. It's not that there aren't temptations now and then, but I seem in control of them. I still don't feel in complete control of my mind though. I want to talk to J. or E. a lot of the time, and sort of "wait" for a message from them, or initiate messages with them. I know they are there and I want to talk to them. It's still an uncontrolled mind. Interestingly, I've even given up on M. (and just spent the past three minutes writing an e-mail to him in my head, asking "why and how did you give it up?")

But another part of the way my mindset is shifting is that I feel myself really falling into a relationship with J. That begins to focus on a whole different part of me. Not the addiction, but the problems in my marriage that would make me willing and interested to take this beyond casual sex to a relationship that matters with a person that matters. E. has always kept me at arm's length, thus there's never been an opportunity for what could possibly be called a relationship. (I'm posting a letter I wrote to him after an encounter this week in a separate post.) With him, it's that I've hated what he brings out in me and loved what he has stirred in me, and the co-dependency is not allowing me to simply leave him. With J. he holds me so close to him, I never want to let go.

Well, my husband just walked in and sort of broke my thoughts. So, I guess I'll end here.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Gaining ground

The little frustration and anger I felt yesterday regarding E. seems so insignificant in light of the unbelievable feelings I have today after spending two hours with J. Yes, there was some sex involved, but it was only a small part of all we shared. And I'm finally beginning to realize that I can matter to someone, not just because I give them a blow job, but because they feel good being with me, all of me. With J. today the conversation was so open and honest in a million different directions. The kisses were heartfelt, the sex passionate and erotic. I realize there is some "unhealthiness" in having this kind of extramarital relationship, but this kind of relationship makes me realize how worthless a relationship with a true user like E. is.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Why do I keep doing this to myself and think I'll get any different result? It's so freaking ridiculous. I make a plan to meet E. after work and he cancels, then won't answer his cell after telling me to call. It's the usual BS behavior. But somehow I allow myself to get excited and anticipate and wonder how it will work. If we truly will just be able to talk, knowing that that's not what I want to happen.

Thursday morning

I hate stupid computer viruses that you have to fight alll the time. It's impossible to keep up with them. Every day I keep getting the same viurses over and over and God knows what they are doing to my machine.

Anyway, it's Thursday. E. is returning today. So, it should be interesting to see how that works. Of course, he's surely going to be busy with work, so I doubt that we'll talk.But still it is so weird how much I have missed talking to him and how much I am anticipating talking to him again. I even have to go out near his office today at the end of the day and I'm dressing withthethoughts that I might get to see him in mind.

It's amazing how I anticipate nothing related to workd in the way that I anticpate going online and talking to some of these peopel. I think M. is totally out of the picture, by the way. He never comes online any more. I hope he's found something else to do with his time that is more fruitful.

I had an awesome conversation with my friend NW last night. She called late, but it was good, because my husband went to bed and then I felt free to talk with her about everything. I revealed some stuff to her for the first time, and it's funny because if I think about it, she's probably the first person who taught me that it's OK to talk about about some of those things.