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Archive for March, 2009

During a recent phone conversation, ML passively asked me for my sister’s email address. He has expressed his desire to “explain what happened” to her in the past. I told him then that I do not think it was the best time for said explanation and I mentioned it again during this phone conversation. This time he did not take it so well. He said that he needed to do this for his recovery and did not appreciate my interfering with his recovery. In addition, he did not need me to be the middle man in this situation. I gently said that I do not think it’s a good time to spring this on her. It was only yesterday that the discovery was made and she is finally getting back to her swing of things and it would be unfair to have her hear from him in the middle of her rigorous nursing program. He said, “It’s not about her, it’s about me. I need to do this for myself and I can’t be concerned if she’s ready to hear it or not.” This comment sent me over the edge. She did not ask to be a part of this situation. His selfish need to make amends (actually, I’m not even sure I would call this an amends) really indicates that he does not posses a morsel of empathy. It sounds like he wants to rush the process of recovery by creating his own speedy SA program. I told him to talk to his therapist and the other members of his SA group to see if they think that making amends is the best thing for his recovery at the moment. The steps are there for a reason, you can’t just skip steps 2-8! Mid lecture, I realized he had stepped away from the phone and left me talking to myself. This released the floodgates of tears and emotions…

His shortcut approach made me realize that I was also taking shortcuts in my recovery.  I’ve been numbing my feelings of anger, resentment, frustration, and guilt in hopes of coming to a place of healing. I’ve been immersing my self in 12-step recovery, therapy, self-help readings, anything to be rid of this negativity. I too want to be “cured “overnight and be rid of emotional pain. I want to be like the women that talk about the “light at the end of the tunnel”. I too want to be on my road to self-discovery. However, my “path to healing” has just been a distraction from the pain. And the fact that my husband was ready to “make amends” and move on was a major wake up call. I’m definitely not ready to move on! And even though I haven’t expressed it, I’m still harboring a lot of anger – I’m still mad as hell!!  The truth is I’m not ready to heal yet. I haven’t allowed myself to really feel the pain of my husband’s actions. I haven’t allowed myself to face the wrath of my emotions. I need to cry, I need to rage, I need to scream…anything to let them out. Until then, healing seems pretty futile. There are no shortcuts to recovery, and unfortunately, confronting the pain is a necessary part of the journey.

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Not the Doctor

What can I say except that this should be my codependent anthem!  Alanis Morissette is amazing and she hit the nail right on the head with this song.  The live version has slightly different lyrics than the album version, but the performance itself is incredible. Check it out below!
Not the Doctor
By: Alanis Morissette

I don’t want to be the filler if the void is solely yours
I don’t want to be your glass of single malt whiskey
Hidden in the bottom drawer
I don’t want to be the bandage if the wound is not mine
Lend me some fresh air
I don’t want to be adored for what I merely represent to you
I don’t want to be to be your babysitter
You’re a very big boy now
I don’t want to be your mother
I didn’t carry you in my womb for nine months
Show me the back door

(chorus)
Visiting hours are 9 to 5 and if I show up at half past six
Well I already know that you’d find some way to sneak me in and oh
Mind the empty bottle with the holes along the bottom
You see it’s too much to ask for and I’m not the doctor

I don’t want to be the sweeper of the eggshells that you walk upon
I don’t want to be your other half I believe that 1 and 1 make 2
I don’t want to be your food or the light from the fridge
on your face at midnight
Hey what are you hungry for
I don’t want to be the glue that holds your pieces together
I don’t want to be your idol
See this pedestal is high and I’m afraid of heights
I don’t want to be lived through
A vicarious occasion
Please open the window

(chorus)

I don’t want to live on someday when my motto is last week
I don’t want to be responsible for your fractured heart
and its wounded beat
I don’t want to be a substitute for the smoke you’ve been inhaling
What do you thank me
What do you thank me for


(chorus)

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Numb

One of the manifestations of sex addiction is emotional detachment. For sex addicts, sex is not for the purposes of connecting to another individual.  Sex is void of any emotional attachment and a way of numbing their feelings.  I may not be a sex addict like my husband, but I too desire to numb my feelings. Whether I immerse myself in the problems of others or keep busy with various activities, I too am trying to avoid one-on-one interactions with my emotions.  The reality is just too damn painful.  I never felt heartache like I felt at the wake of my discovery. I sobbed uncontrollably for days. I couldn’t eat or sleep.  I just wanted to end the misery right then and there.  I wanted to die.  Fortunately, I was able to pull through this dark hour and come out on the other side.  The only problem is that I left my emotions behind.

After those initial days of hell, I’ve been living my life in a constant state of numbness.  I keep busy and continue to avoid my feelings.  I don’t want to feel any more pain.  ML was the only person I trusted completely in this world, and he let me down.  It doesn’t matter whether we get through this chapter or not, he will never be the same person to me.  He will be just like the rest of my loved ones – able to hurt me. I will never feel safe handing my heart to him again, or any other man for that matter.  The problem with emotional numbness is that even though you don’t feel pain, you also can not fully experience joy.  Though I’m trying to keep my spirits up in light of all the drama, things have changed within me. I’m not the same loving and open person I use to be. I can’t just throw my head back in reckless abandon, like I once could. I’m doing everything I can to protect myself from further harm.  Hopefully, I will overcome the emotional numbness in time and allow myself to feel again. Until then, my heart is stored behind a glass wall – where she is lonely, but safe. 

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Last week in therapy, I expressed to Dr. X my frustrations with the relationships in my life.  As I sit alone in my darkest hour, I’ve been preoccupied with taking moral inventory.  My relationship with my parents is non-existent.  My relationship with my sibling is as codependent as it gets. The relationship with my husband is more like that of a friend than the ultimate love of my life. The relationships with my friends are superficial.  After all these discouraging discoveries, I was left feeling depressed.  I wanted to immediately withdraw from these toxic relationships. Luckily, Dr. X was able to bring me back to earth with a nugget of advice: If you are changing the rules of the game, you must first let the other players know. 


If I choose to withdraw from these individuals, I need to let them know I am removing myself from the relationship and provide an explanation.  Not only will this open the doors for further communication and the possibility of having my needs met, but can also prevent my actions from being misinterpreted as passive-aggression. An example of this is the current battle with my girlfriend, Mary.  Mary and I have been playing this little passive aggressive game for the last six months. Most recently, she bailed out on the Britney Spears concert for no apparent reason.  To get back at her,  I planned on not attending her house warming party this upcoming weekend.  I know it sounds silly, but it’s been a bitter battle that is getting more hurtful with each incident. After a lot of soul searching, I’ve decided to reach out to Mary.  I want to tell her that I miss her. That somewhere along the line something changed between us, and I don’t know what happened. I want to know if there is anything I did to offend or upset her.  If this is the case, then I want make amends and start over. Instead of changing the rules of “our game”, I want to create new ones we can both agree upon. At the very least, I will be opening the lines for further communication. Even though there is always the possibility of rejection, the possible rewards outweigh any negative outcome.

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I’ve been struggling with the direction of this blog for quite some time now. So far, it has been a safe place to voice my opinions and concerns regarding my husband’s sex addiction.  It has also been a place to voice the anger and resentment I feel towards the other “crazies” in  my life. However, I’m starting to feel like the blog is becoming a big ol‘ pity party for one.  Even though my husband has made some terrible choices, I am not free from blame. I don’t want to present myself as a “victim”, because victim I am not. I am actively choosing to stay in a relationship with a sex addict.  I have nothing holding me back (no children, mortgage, debt, etc..) except that I love this man with all my heart.  So what does that say about me?

I want this blog to be more than a daily “woe is me” rant. Sex addiction will forever be a part of my life, and I am in the process of accepting that. However,  it does not define me as an individual.  I don’t want to place myself in a little codependent/ SA partner box. There’s more to me than these circumstances.  I want this blog to be about rediscovering myself.  Will it deal with addiction? Of course!  Addiction is an active part of my life at the moment and there is no denying the effects it’s had on me.  However, I don’t claim to be a guru on the topic of sex addiction or recovery, nor do I desire to become one.  I do hope I can provide insight based on my experiences  for other going through similar situations.  Besides my and ML’s recoveries, I want to address the other areas in my life  –  whether that be my political, social, or spiritual views.   Life is a continuous journey and this addiction is only one of the many obstacles I will face in my lifetime.  Through this blog, I wish to continue sharing my experiences and learning from the mistakes  I make along the way. 

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I received a call from my youngest sister, Zoe*, informing me that my mother had packed her bags and left the house. An argument erupted between my mother and stepfather regarding the puppy they gifted my little brother Jay* for his birthday.   Apparently, the dog pooped in the car and this sent my mother on a manic rage.  After a heated debate, she packed her bags and left the house. Being the oldest of the children, I have been down this road before. Her episodes of rage and depression are legendary.  Usually, I’m there to calm her down and bring her back to earth, but I barely have enough energy to cope with my own problems these days.  So my sisters had to take on the daunting task of trying to figure out what was going on with mom.  They tried calling her with no response. I also tried calling, no response. 

The next day I called my sister Lori* to hear of any updates on Mom’s whereabouts. Apparently, mom decided to come home after all.  How wonderful….not!! After a millisecond of relief, anger started sinking in.  This was typical Mom – always the center of attention, always dramatic. What really upset me was her utter disregard for the feeling of my siblings, especially my little brother.  When asked how he was feeling after the incident, he responded  with, ” I’m OK. I wasn’t scared. I can take care of myself.”  He’s 11 years old and he’s already learned to depend only on himself because all the adults in his life are f*cked up! This breaks my heart! I too felt the same when I was his age.  I didn’t want to be a burden for anyone, especially my mother. Here lies the root of my codependency issues.  I try to overcompensate in the areas in which she lacks. I’m trying to avoid being a surrogate “mommy” to my siblings going forward, but at what cost? The kids are in desperate need of love, guidance, and support. I’m the only one with the patience for the task.  I can’t just sit back and watch them be continually victimized by my mother’s insanity. Their hearts are whittling away!  Maybe next time she’ll stop and think before crying wolf…

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Clean House

My apartment has greatly suffered the consequences of our separation. ML and I had a fantastic arrangement: I would cook and do laundry, he would clean the house. He was great at it too! Unfortunately since our separation, I cannot for the life of me keep this place in tip-top shape. From the outside in, it looks clean and organized. But I know, it’s not “ML Clean”. It doesn’t even feel like home anymore. Without ML, it’s just a place to rest my head at night. There’s no feeling of warmth and belonging. It feels more like a storage facility than a home. My entire life is “messy” at the moment and my apartment is an extension of that reality. My goal for today is to drag myself out of bed, and try to tackle the apartment, one room at a time. I don’t have to clean everything in one day. I’ll do what I can today and hopefully, try again tomorrow. Eventually, this place will be back to normal, and so will my life.  Besides the messy apartment and “messy” life,  there is much to be grateful for as well.  Here’s my list for the week:

Personal Days: I took a much needed “mental health” day and did absolutely nothing! It was fantastic.

Daffodil Days: My office had a daffodil fundraiser for the American Cancer Society last month and this week our beautiful daffodils arrived. They were sunny enough to brighten up my day. Below is a picture of the beauties!

Couples in Recovery: This has been a wonderful addition to our individual SA/S-Anon meetings. It has been an excellent tool in rebuilding our relationship.

Program People: A young lady in my S-Anon group reached out to me this week via telephone. It was such a wonderful conversation. I was afraid our conversation would be awkward, but we talked for over an hour! I am most grateful for her phone call this week.

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