Friday, December 07, 2007

Relationship issues

Few people believe that I have a very hard time building close relationships. I had the fortune this afternoon of meeting with a fellow female sex addict in recovery for coffee. I had made the effort to reach out to some recovery women in the greater region for support and since this woman lived nearby we agreed to meet. In the course of our discussion we both lamented how difficult it is for us to build close friendships with women.

I recognize this as a sense of insecurity in myself. I tend to prefer to isolate and in relationships with women to compare and contrast or simply judge. There is a part of me, the authentic part that truly wants to feel a sense of belonging and safety and happiness with other people -- there was actually a point in my life when I enjoyed and thrived on being around others. I see close women friends who tell each other everything and love to be in one another's presence and I either am amazed or think they are putting on a show.

As a result of living in the disease of sex and love addiction, I have built up fear and isolation and insecurity that blocks me from my desire to interact with other people. I feel "less than" or extremely uncomfortable. Tomorrow night I have to go to my husband's Christmas party for work. I am ready to come unglued. I don't want to go. It seems I can no longer have that "chit chat" conversation that makes people enjoy themselves at these events. I feel highly insecure. But I won't tell him that ... and I'll go and I'll smile and I'll hide in the bathroom when I'm at the point of insanity and then we'll go and I'll be testy and cranky.

It is those same feelings of fear and isolation and insecurity that cause me to want to act out in my disease. Go figure, I don't want to see or talk to people who genuinely care for me, or understand me or even people who are just doing the harmless act of celebrating the holidays ... but I want to talk and interact with men who I can manipulate, control and hurt myself more with. Feeling insecure this afternoon about this meeting with this woman and being fearful that I'll always lack the skills to make genuine and meaningful friendships, I began to think about a man I acted out with recently who lives nearby, whose car I started looking for on the road. I thought how it was really only right that I contact him and see how he was doing, it wasn't fair that I just dumped him. That's the cunning thought pattern of my addiction. Luckily, I was able to set aside those vulnerable feelings and make a healthy phone call.

So what to do about this fear of relationships and insecurity and judgment in friendships? I do have to accept that this is where I am today. I can be thankful that I had the chance to practice reaching out. I can pray for the willingness to turn those fears and insecurities that lead me to isolation over to God. And I can continue to work my program -- which goes one step at a time through the process of recovery. I tend to want to solve all problems in one fell swoop. But I have to take these issues one day at a time and recognize that there is a time and a purpose for all things.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I find it difficult to make close friendships with women too. For years I felt more comfortable around men. I found it hard to trust women, and have only started developing close friendships with them since spending time in women's groups online.

Recovering Wino said...

It's amazing how much that changes as you progress in recovery...seriously

woman.anonymous7 said...

I have the same fears. I love women, but I'm generally afraid of people, chit chat, etc.

bella said...

I used to loathe having to be with other women. It made me uncomfortable and I never felt I was part of the "club".
Now women are my life raft and anchor and yet still, I hate chit-chat.
It is hard to make those awkward beginning steps, to reach out and connect even when you feel like you don't know how.
One step at a time, as you are doing so beautifully.