Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sharing some space in the blogosphere

I recently discovered Eli blogging over at Eli's Addict and really admire the level of honesty he uses in writing not only about his addictive self, but also about the complexities of being the spouse of a sexual abuse survivor. I encourage readers here to sneak a peek.

I also want to send out some blog love to Mary over at A Room of Mama's Own who is struggling to keep her head above water as she works her recovery program, keeps her readers informed about everything from autism to addiction, and actively participates in the blogging community at The Second Road, where life intersects with recovery. The story of Mary's relationship with her husband Mark, who among other things is a sex addict, has been a great inspiration to me and I'm so thankful to share a little space here on my blog to recognize her as a true hero.

I also want to thank Willow at Making My Peace, Margaux at Love in the Time of Addiction, and the speed demon herself at Vicarious Rising for all the wonderful support they have shown me over some very lonely months. Each of these women is one their own journey and again, I'm grateful to share some space here in the blogosphere with them.

I identify with my fellow codependent sex addict and bluegrass fan Being Made New, who is struggling with that question that comes to all of us who leave our addictions behind and then are faced with the question, "Is this all there is?"

Scribbling Mum asked me in a comment recently: Do you have issues/a pattern with "scanning" a room/restaurant for men when you are out in public? Like an automatic thing? Looking in cars, etc.? Does it bother your husband? Have you worked on this issue?

The answer Mum is I don't think that women struggle as much as men with this issue -- though I can really only speak for myself and say that overall scanning the room is not something I have a lot of trouble with. However, I do find myself looking at men and "reading" the likelihood of whether they are a fellow sex addict. I can usually spot my fellow addicts pretty quickly and now and then get triggered. What I do have trouble with is "eye sex" while sitting in the car at a stop light. I'll stop and look into the car beside me and just continue to stare at the male driver until I get his attention then give him a smile that has just a hint of "You are certainly sexy." Because I get such a "kick" out of it, I've had to go so far as putting it on my bottom line behaviors. I never do it with my husband in the car ... as for this addict at least, everything that is addictive is done in hiding.

Gentle Path has a great commentary on how to create a sex addict in her "About Me" section. I encourage you to take a look.

And, last but not least, I really liked Ken's approach to Step Six, which his has posted on his blog My Sex Drug. Ken is doing some great service and recovery work and I'm particularly thankful for his creation of the online recovery community Sex Addict Support.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The devil inside

As the brittle wisps of the willow turn golden again, I am reminded there is hope for a better day. RMB

NOTE: This is an exercise in expressing some very angry and frustrating thoughts. The language and content may be offensive and triggering, particularly to fellow sex addicts. It is not to be taken literally or as a serious threat to myself or others. It is an attempt to rid myself of an anxiety that is plaguing me with unbearable frustration. Some people run, some people box, some people drink. I write.

I am filled with an animal-like rage ... an anger that seems to have no definition, no specific target, just a breathtaking power that leaves me screaming inside. As it screams it leaves behind dark, dark whispers of what a horrible person I am.

I am furious that I am trapped inside a mind that no matter how hard I try I neither escape nor understand.

I am enraged that every single day takes more effort than moving a mountain and that even the slighest variation in "plan" can cause each step to go all the slower, if there's even a step at all.

All I can think right now is that I would like to chop off a rock hard cock and slice it to bits, stomp on it and stuff it down some man's throat, then kick him in a sewage pond like the piece of shit he is.

With enraged anger, I want to bite off the horny tool of some asshole and rip still another off at the core using my bare hands, watching the blood drain right out of him.

I would like to slap the shit out of you -- whoever you are and scream and scream until all this anger is released. To kick you in the balls, to spit on you, to claw at you and scream "I hate your fucking guts!"

Then I'd like to turn to that high-talking buxom blonde you want to fuck and rip her hair out by the handfulls. To slap her the way I've slapped you and tell her to get a fucking grip. To punch her and tell her to stop acting like a twit, to kick her and tell her to stop pretending she is stupid and naive, to hold her beautiful body in front your dickless self and scream, "What are you going to fuck her with now!" To force her head between your bleeding legs and ask her if she likes to suck cock now!

I HATE you and I don't even know who you are!

You are everyone and you are no one. I find you in pieces in every man and every beautiful woman I see. I hate your power to decide who is good enough to fuck and I hate your body is the one that is always a lure for the hard dick radar. I hate your very existence.

And through it all ... I can't wait for all this anger to end, so that I can either live or die. I hate living with this anger inside. It scares me and causes me to feel bad about myself. The more I stuff it, the more it kills me ... but I'm afraid of expressing it for fear it will turn out just like this, that it will be out of control, that I will be crazy and never able to stop.

How does one person carry so much anger? How did it even get inside me? I didn't invite it! I feel its tension in my back, in my body, between my ears -- screaming in pain. It only takes a second for it to build, but it seems to be taking a lifetime for it to dissipate.

I remember an angry poet who once fucked me with wild abandon before I was married. I spent months being incredibly aroused as he screamed out words he called poems on a stage shared by other "performance" or slam poets, before one drunken night the opportunity arose for the anger to be expressed between us in full sexual force. Sometimes I wish I could take the rage that he had in his words and use it to just push all this anger out of me. Of course, the relief would only last a little while. It would all come flooding back when he didn't call the next day.

I'm not done but I don't know what else to say. I'm furious and there seems to be no relief.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Practicing honesty

Wow, the miracles just keep coming. I just shared with my sponsor with complete honesty about some uncomfortable feelings I am facing. Dishonesty is an isidious tool of my addiction that has permeated every corner of my life. To have the opportunity and the willingness to practice transparency and honesty feels really amazing.

I've been feeling triggered lately and the triggers just keep coming. I know I am in an emotional/spiritual place where I have historically been prone to act out. The difference in today and the days and years of the past is I shared my feelings with someone. Previously, I would have fought the triggers with all my might, considering myself bad for having them, until eventually I would give in to acting out. Then I would have "failed to mention" my slip, felt shame around it, and yet secretly "empowered" that I could "get away with it." All of this would cut me off from my source of healing, my Higher Power and my true self. I am incredibly grateful today to have been given -- and trust me it was a gift, not something of my own making -- the willingness to share so openly with my sponsor.

Just a bit about where I am: Last week it seemed that one small trigger turned into another and then another and another. I shared those triggers with my sponsor, as well as my therapist, as they came up, and sought their source to the best of my ability. In usual form, my husband was the scapegoat, getting most of the blame for why I was feeling triggered. He wasn't paying enough attention to me, he was spending too much time at work, I was feeling lonely. This is that old tried and true strategy of putting the blame on him for my problems. As a result, I've been really needy with him and spent much of yesterday acting like a child who needed attention. Trying to manipulate him to be more romantic on Valentine's Day in all sorts of ways that would make me sick if I saw someone else doing them. This morning he got up and went to work and indicated he'd have to go back this afternoon. It just feels like we have no "us" time and I've put myself in a situation where he is too much of my source of entertainment, companionship, etc. By doing this, I know that I am in a state of depletion. Also, I'm doing a lot for him and feeling as if I'm not getting the same in return.

I think even deeper than all this with him is I am continuing to struggle with perfectionism. I am making these to do lists each day with full intention of getting through a lot of stuff. Some days I do, and some days I don't. I allowed myself the room when I said I would make the lists each day that I didn't have to accomplish everything, that they were just a guide for doing the next right thing. Still, I can feel that I am beating myself up for not being perfect.

For comic relief, I'll share one way perfectionism recently caused insanity in my life. In order to make my life more manageable and to have a focus for doing the next right thing, I make to do lists each day. On Friday and if I'm not mistaken maybe even on Thursday of this week ... I spent so much time and energy trying to figure out what was the "right" thing to do first, that I ended up feeling deflated at the end of the day because I had accomplished so little. What I needed to do was just do something, but I was too worried that I wasn't doing the perfect thing. Egads.

I'm grateful I have the slogans and a set of 6th Step Affirmations of SLAA to get me through one day at a time. And I'm grateful I have a sponsor and a fellowship that I can get honest with, so that my feelings and my triggers are "right-sized" and I'm far less apt to act out, and more apt to continue to grow in all my relationships.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thank you to the women on the other side

I wrote this to a fellow blogger this morning and wanted to share it here. It's not something I haven't said before, but it bears repeating.

The wives of my fellow sex addicts who blog about their feelings, experiences and struggles have saved my life and helped me heal in so many ways. You all have helped me to see the pain that my husband has never been able to express, and more than that to recognize that when I act out with a married man, I'm doing far more damage than this senseless act could ever be worth. Margaux at Love in the Time of Addiction, Mary at A Room of Mama's Own, Woman Anonymous7 and so many others are doing healing work. I'm just sorry it takes so much pain to be the healer.

I hope in some small way that by saying things that perhaps their loved ones cannot say right now, that I have been a healer too.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The opportunity was there

The opportunity was there this afternoon to spend some time online, reading ads written to entice an afternoon lover, or maybe responding to someone 'looking to chat.' I even opened the site and found myself looking for jobs -- of the employment variety. I admit I browsed a bit in the casual encounters section, but felt a sickness in my stomach almost immediately. It wasn't shame or even judgment. It just didn't feel good. It's amazing really. A miracle.

"Don't give up before the miracle happens," is the program slogan. I didn't give up. And today there is no desire to seek that "high" I could have had. I am humbly grateful and admittedly a little lost. As I've slowly let go, surrendered this vice, in pursuit of a life that is real, I've found that there are a few disconnects. Addicts live off that rush that is bigger than life, or wallow in that misery that is lower than the belly of a snake. Life in the middle is hard to accept -- which is the reason I even found some temptation in the "opportunity" to play in the old playground today.

I want to see a movie ... I'm enjoying listening to music ... I'm doing some work. I'm living my life on life's terms. Thanks be to God.