Saturday, June 14, 2008

Letting go of a lie

I've written here several times about E. He's one of the first people I did write about. He was the person I first acted out physically with in my marriage. I got an e-mail from him yesterday with the subject line "Long time." Thankfully, it had been a long time since I had reached out to him, seeking the validation of a man who only chose to hurt me, defile me, use and abuse me. I have reached the point that I am finally ready to let go of the lie that held me captive in his disease and mine.

I don't have any desire to have any attachment to E. for any reason. I am completely ready to let him go. I realized this morning that because of him I was propelled so much farther into my addiction than I might have ever gone. Shame and a desire to correct the past (please love me, don't hurt me, see the good in me, don't use me -- that's what I was hoping I could change) kept me going back to him again and again, finding the same abusive bastard, but hoping like a naive little girl that I could fix it. When I couldn't find it in him I kept searching and searching, looking for someone, anyone to fill that emptiness inside. I can be thankful that God put the obstacles of sex addiction in my life so that I could grow and overcome all the sickness that lies inside me, so that the little girl could grow up and learn that I don't need another's acceptance to be lovable.

When I met him, E. represented the acceptance and loving kindness I had always wanted from an intelligent, successful, passionate man. Over time, he also represented my stepfather's emotionally distant, conniving, abusive self. I wanted him to want to talk with me and to enjoy our conversations, to see my worth as a human being, to feel my genuine feelings for him, to enjoy my company, and return to me love and acceptance... but instead he performed vile acts on me, played dirty mind control games with me, bruised and defiled me, and then would make up lies and say he had to be somewhere when it was time to share conversation as two intelligent professionals, involved in successful pursuits of our careers. He really only wanted to use my body and feel the "high" of controlling my mind, something he was painfully good at.

In my disease, I became just like him in some ways ... I shut myself off emotionally, used men's bodies without caring anything about them or the damage that was being done. Even if they pretended or maybe genuinely did want love and acceptance and intellectual stimulation ... I never believed them. I just thought "ahh, cut the bullshit and let's get to it, I know what you are here for." I became disrespectful of boundaries and overt in my advances to the point that it made the other person feel uncomfortable. I guess in that way I was trying to please men by becoming what I thought they wanted, so they would want me, accept me, love me ... that never ending search for a loaf of bread at Home Depot. I had come to accept they didn't want a woman who had a mind or anything interesting to say. In my mind, and many times in theirs, that was all useless ... they just wanted someone who would give them what they wanted, and in my own way, that's all I wanted too. I wanted the impossible ... make me feel loved and important, take away my emptiness and loneliness, and do it all in a few stolen moments or a couple of hours in a cheap, dirty hotel room.

E. had his own demons, but I kept believing if I gave in, if I just kept going back, I could change him, his heart would soften and he would love me and care for me, and stop coming up with new ways to hurt and defile me in unimaginable ways. But each time I came back there was something worse, until there were things so disgusting and painful that I could not even bring myself to talk about them. But I got angry when I saw his e-mail yesterday. I got angry enough to get this man out of my life for good.

So, all the secrets, all the shame that only me and him shared, I spilled it all in a note to a trusted friend, breaking all bonds of secrecy and sickness. I was sick to write about it, sick to think of how disgusted the other person would feel, I didn't care ... I wrote it all, all the ugly disgusting vile truths of what I accepted as a substitute for love, honor and respect; all the anger, all the delusion drained out. I was so ready to be done with the hold this man had on me.

I prayed to God to help E., to save him from his demons, and to lift any remaining delusion I might have that he held some secret power to my happiness. I prayed hard and I continue to pray if he comes to my mind. This is a lie I am determined to be rid of, to let go of and to feel the lightness that comes from being free of the hold of my shame and guilt.


BizyLizy said...

I had to go back and read some of your archives to get a better picture of E. While my R_ was not quite as degrading, he still has many of the manipulative, controlling qualities. A master at creating the tension of pull & push. Creating mystery and a sense of intimacy, only to withdraw in ways that are subtle, you feel as though somehow you had created the shift.

Rae, I so admire your honesty and self reflection. I found myself cheering you on, as I read this post, embracing your anger and your resolve to fight back, to see things as they are, and to honor yourself.

Anger is empowering, a signal that your boundaries, your spirit has been violated. Depression and sadness sadness can suck this power from us, making us feel like victims. Enter anger, and we have something to defend ourselves with.

Praying for your lightness, rae. It may come and go, in between moments of shadows, but I am convinced that if we never give up, we will finally reach a place of eternal sunshine.

Kellee said...

This is so powerful, Rae. Thank you so much for allowing me access to it.

You might not know it, but you have described perfectly the bonds between an addict & co-addict (esp. where sa is concerned). I know you might sometimes only think of yourself as an addict, but there is no doubt in my mind you were E.'s COSA. Interesting to see the same feelings from you that I have toward my ex sa.