I just read JBR's blog entry about the deep emotional pain she is experiencing. Like me, she lived through the pain of childhood sexual abuse. I really identified with her statement, "I just feel no one understands the ferocity of my emotional pain." Adding to this truth for me, I am not even sure I understand the ferocity of my pain. I'm not always sure if I am experiencing my feelings or if they are swallowed up in a chocolate brownie or in codependent conversations with others. If someone were to ask me to sort out my feelings into tiny piles, I'm not sure I could even find them all, much less identify them.
Right now, at this very minute and for what has felt like several months, I have felt very disconnected from myself. In psychological terms this is known as disassociation. The problem is -- I'm not sure how to reassociate.
Recently I was talking with someone else who is in recovery from sexual addiction and he was sharing about the decisions he and his current girlfriend are making about their physical intimacy based on the Christian values to which they both subscribe. Again, I feel so disassociated from any sense of moral values.
I know that I have feelings. A personal incident over the weekend left me feeling extreme nauseau-inducing anxiety. I stood in the middle of an office and cried like a child. I have felt fear, shame, guilt, anger, regret, love and gratitude in the past few days. So, I know there are feelings that exist within me and I even experience them at times. But most of the time I feel a sense of numbness and wonder where the feelings that are making me feel uncomfortable are hiding. Is God protecting me from them?
Lately I have these long, lingering feelings and cravings to be held and comforted. I can lay in bed at night and simply ache for someone's body to spoon up against mine, to feel the skin of another person against mine. I'm not talking sex here -- I'm talking physical comfort. Are those cravings suppressing the real feelings that I'm having? I don't know. They feel as real as anything else and I have no idea if they are healthy or not.
They physical feelings seem to be seeking to calm the emotions that I don't even know how to express. I loved Practical Addict's post from this weekend about emotional sobriety. It seems to capture a bit of what I am trying to say here ... that I may be outwardly avoiding the actions of acting out, but inside I feel like a jumbled mess. I also found myself in the final paragraph of Enigma's post today as she described the need to find herself in the midst of all this recovering. It sometimes feels as if I've lost all sense of myself, my hopes, my dreams, my values somewhere between living in my addiction and trying to recover from it. I stopped seeing my therapist for seven weeks because I wanted some time to think for myself. In that seven weeks all I accomplished was another dance back into the malady and melody of my addiction.
I read this post at Being Made New and could really connect to his feelings of being a part of rather than a part from the people around him. Yet, those feelings seldom come across my path. I always feel as if I'm sitting somewhere just outside the circle.
I'm praying for reconciliation tonight. I know it won't come tonight. But I have faith that it will come. One day at a time.
1 week ago