I went to a sex addiction recovery meeting today and heard a woman recount a lifetime of powerlessness over her sexual behavior. To protect her anonymity, though her story is very similar to many female sex addicts, I won't go into many details except to say that from a young age her desire to have men seek after her and lust her was immense and uncontrollable. She always thought that if she tried a little harder, she could stop. If she got more therapy, or worked harder at being a "good person," she could stop. But she couldn't stop. She found herself time and time again back in the arms or lure of someone else, someone where she could get that connection of feeling 'loved.'
As she continued to talk the inevitable was revealed ... her father had sexually abused her as a child ... thus, much like mine and maybe others here, her mind as it relates to sexual relations and intimacy was completely damaged. She saw sex as a way to feel special and loved. I certainly could relate to that.
She spoke of having an affair several years ago with a married man and becoming pregnant with a child she later gave up for adoption, sharing the pain of that experience. This was apparently the the nerve that needed to be triggered in me. Some of you who have been around for awhile know that last year I also became pregnant with R's child and lost the baby before I knew I was carrying it. I have known that I stuffed so many feelings over that miscarriage and the pregnancy itself ... but I didn't realize how strong the emotions of grief and shame were that needed to come out until today. I couldn't wait to get out of the room. I sat there on the verge of spilling over. As soon as the closing prayer was done, I knew I was about to break. I started to sob before I got out of the church and cried and cried in my car before calling a friend and leaving a message sharing my feelings.
I can only think how lucky I have been ... I have acted out in unbelievable ways, reckless ways over the years without my husband finding out ... and getting pregnant was the one where I really could have been "caught." Yet, God gave me another chance ... And how did I use that chance? I continued to have an affair with the same man, until I left him to come to this new city to be with my husband and give a diligent effort to work on our marriage ... and what? I need comfort and I come >this< close to jumping into yet another affair that would totally rob me of my serenity, my self-worth, my ability to think. Granted, I learned some lessons from that ... but I really have to remind myself that this is a disease. I don't get to play around with it. I can resent my stepfather for abusing me, I can resent my husband for not expressing love the way I want him too ... but at the end of the day, I have a disease of addiction and compulsion and I am the only person responsible for working my program, getting honest, and realizing every single day ... this is serious business.
By the way ... guess what's on my phone when I get in the car crying my eyes out? A text message from R. -- who I haven't heard from in ages. I didn't respond and just for today, I won't.
5 months ago