Underneath a Sex/Love Addict’s Bed

Yesterday, I moved apartments. A friend advised me, “You should probably move your bed before the movers get there; make sure there isn’t anything embarrassing.” That turned out to be sage advice, indeed. Along with the solo socks and hair bands, here’s what I found when I moved my bed:
-a hot pink mini vibrator (score!)
-a condom wrapper
-fishnet stalkings
-five-inch Frederick’s of Hollywood fuck-me heels
-a push-up bra insert
-Pia Mellody’s Facing Love Addiction (I knew I had that book somewhere)

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Someone to Watch Over Me

I’ve always loved this song. When I was a kid, I would hear “Someone to Watch Over Me,” and think this is what romance was all about — seeking out my one perfect soulmate, who would take care of me and protect me always.

Now I listen to this song and think, what a fucked up message. I mean, what kind of emotionally healthy grown-up thinks of him or herself as “a little lamb who’s lost in the wood?” Aside from children, the eldery, and people with extreme disabilities; who really needs to be watched over? Were the Gershwins secretly into D/s play?

I used to think that I needed to be watched over, but you know what… whenever I would find someone who actually wanted to “watch over me,” it just annoyed the shit out of me. It might be a romantic notion (at least it was in my screwball head) to think of someone controlling your orgasms, your meals, your study habits, or what have you; but in reality it’s extremely irritating — especially when these so-called “dominants” are less intelligent or less accomplished than the people they are attempting to dominate. In my experience with BDSM, this is the case with most D/s couples. Sorry if I’m offending anyone here, this is only based on my experiences.

I know the Gershwins weren’t into D/s (well, I can’t know for sure, but I highly doubt it). They were just a product of their time. “Someone to Watch Over Me,” was written in 1926. Women had only been able to vote for six years, and the thought that they needed someone to “watch over” them was probably a pretty popular notion.

I still love this song. But when I hear it now, I don’t think of romantic love. I think of my Higher Power, and how he/she is watching over me. I have to wonder if this was somewhat intentional. A lost lamb longing for it’s shepherd is a pretty standard christian image (yes, I realize George and Ira Gershwin were Jewish, but still). The line, “looking everywhere, haven’t found him yet,” makes me think of when I was active in my love addiction. I was constantly looking for “him,” someone to fill this void and make me complete. I never found him though, because it’s impossible to fill a God-sized hole with a man. For the first time, I feel like I finally do have “someone to watch over me.”

I had to start this post with Ella, but I think I might love the Amy Winehouse version even more.

Gratitude List 10/22/11

When I first started working with my sponsor, everyday I would email her a list of five things I was grateful for. I’ve kind of been slacking with this lately. Today, however, I’m feeling so grateful I’m going to write my list here.

1. Awesome friends. My friend Marie spent over nine hours at my place helping me pack/keeping me company today. She went through three boxes of disorganized papers that she organized, filed, and helped me weed through. Now it’s one box of organized files. I could have never done this on my own. I get sooo overwhelmed by paperwork and just end up drowning in it. I told her, more that once, that if she had a dick, I would owe her at least 10 blow-jobs. Of course I was joking, but it’s still a little sad that I only know how to express gratitude sexually. Tomorrow, another girl, who I really don’t know all that well, is coming over to help me. I mentioned that I was moving and she offered to help. In the old days, my response would have been, “thanks, but I’ve got it covered,” even when I desperately needed help. I hope that wasn’t what she expected me to say.

2. A whole new wardrobe. Like an idiot, I used to buy clothes that were too small for me, thinking, “I’ll fit into this eventually.” With my history, the smarter bet if I wanted to fit into something in the future, would be to buy clothes two or three sizes too big. Today, while cleaning out my linen closet, I found a whole stash of these “skinny clothes” that I had stashed there a couple years back, and guess what? Most of them now fit or are very close to fitting. Those that were still too small I put in the garage sale pile.

3. A new, less-expensive apartment in a hipper neighborhood that is free of bad memories.

4. Hope. If you read my blog this morning, my day stated with some self-loathing. Luckily that feeling passed fairly quickly. When I was active in my addiction it was all self-loathing all the time. I now have hope for my future. Things are so much better than they were, and I know they will continue to get even better.

5. Recovery partners. Even though I ditched the meeting I had planned to go to this morning, I did contact a couple of my recovery partners. Their encouragement managed to pull me out of the funk I was in this morning.

One Thing I Won’t Be Bringing to My New Apartment

Most days, I feel that I am pretty much over HC, my “qualifier.” Today is not one of those days.

This is what I had planned for today: wake up at 7, do a bit of packing, go to a 10am meeting, come back home and spend the rest of the day packing with my friend.

Here’s what I have done so far: woke up at 9, decided I didn’t actually feel like going to a meeting after all, went on craigslist to see if HC had been placing anymore ads, saw that he had, got livid, checked the Facebook profiles of his wife and all of his family members, saw that there was no mention of a divorce, got livid again, fantasized about contacting his wife, fantasized about being his wife, cried over the fact that no one loves me, and then decided to write it all down here.

At this point, I feel like I have a better chance of becoming a supreme court justice than I have of ever becoming someone’s wife. HC’s wife is beautiful, skinny, has a successful career in the music industry, has two cute little boys, lives in a nice house, is married to a gorgeous, talented guy. Sure, her husband cheats on her every chance he gets with both women and men. But honestly, if I could have all that she has and the only downside was a husband who has meaningless sex with strangers, I would take it.

My sponsor told me I should pray for his wife, and my response was, “sure, I’ll pray for her to divorce him.” I don’t know why I care so much. Whether they divorce or not will have no effect on my life. I’m never going back to him. But still, it pisses me off that he gets to have this great life with his family, and gets to have sex with whomever he pleases. And it pisses me off that he lied to me time and time again.

But it’s not about him. Who cares what he did or what he does. That phase of my life is over. I’m moving to a new place, and want to leave all this HC baggage behind.

The rest of the day will be better. My friend will be here soon, boxes will be packed, stuff will be moved, my higher power will take care of and protect me. My life is moving forward. I am growing, blossoming, and getting healthier everyday.

An Animal Attempting to Become a Spiritual Being

Today, I wanted hump pretty much every man who crossed my path. There was my new landlord who answered the door shirtless (not even a pretty sight) when I went to drop off some stuff at my new place; the tall, thuggish looking dude at Rite Aid who I swear grabbed his crotch when he looked at me; the tall meathead guy who pulled up next to me at the grocery store in a freaking Trans Am (do they even still make those?) and got out wearing way too short shorts; the swarthy parking lot attendant, who actually was pretty hot… for a parking lot attendant. I mean, seriously? What the hell is wrong with me? I don’t actually want to fuck any of these highly inappropriate people. Is this what happens when I go nearly 5 months without sex?

I know this has to do with stress. I’m juggling several high-pressure situations right now. And this is how I deal. I’m an animal. All I can think about is indulging my basest instincts and losing myself in the release of sexual oblivion.

My sponsor finally cleared me to move on to Step 4, but have to keep reminding myself to follow Step 3, which is made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of my higher power. I wish I could just make this decision once and be done with it, but I have to keep making it several times a day, or at least reminding myself that I already made it.

I want to be a spiritual being. I want to be lead by a power greater than myself, but apparently it doesn’t come naturally to me. I have to constantly remind myself who is in charge. It’s not me, not my cunt, not my animal instincts, not the bottomless pit of neediness I’ve had inside since childhood. It’s God. My life and my will are now in the care of God. And thank God for that.

The Worst One Here

Most days, there is this voice that shows up in my head. It’s not a very nice voice. It tells me a lot of things, but mostly it tells me I suck. Not just that I suck, but that I suck harder than anyone has ever sucked before.

I went to a meeting today. It was a good meeting, but I had a hard time paying attention because I was distracted by the voice.

“You don’t belong here,” it said. “Most of the women here are obsessing over exes. Ex-boyfriends or husbands that actually loved them. People that they were actually in a relationship with. You’re obsessing over guys you used to have sex with. None of them ever loved you or even liked you. No one has ever wanted to be in a relationship with you and why would they?”

“The men here are obsessing over women far more beautiful and successful than you. No one would ever get obsessed with you or even be attracted to you. The men that you used to be involved with were only interested in you because they were sex addicts themselves and they would have slept with anyone. Everyone in this room has a better job and a much better life than you. You are, by far, the worst one here.”

I’m not positive where this voice came from, but I have some theories. I remember at a very young age my mom, who died in my early teens, would say to me, “You’re so selfish! You just think the world revolves around you, don’t you?” I was probably four or five. I know my mom who worked full-time in a demanding job was overwhelmed by the stresses of working, paying the bills, and motherhood. She also had some serious health issues around that time and was also dealing with depression. If she knew that this statement is what would stick in my head twenty-something years later, louder and clearer than anything else she ever said, I’m sure she never would have said it.

She did say it though. Maybe she said it several times, maybe she only said it once and immediately regretted it. I don’t know, but it still plays in my head like a loop, “You just think the world revolves around you, don’t you?” Don’t you know that your needs don’t matter? You’re a burden and need to stop bothering me.

My mom also said kind, encouraging things to me. She told me I was smart and that I was beautiful, but those memories are foggy. “You’re so selfish! You just think the world revolves around you, don’t you?” is as clear as if she said it an hour ago.

After my mom died (my dad had died a couple of years earlier), I went to live with my Aunt Buffy. She was verbally abusive and made it clear that my presence was a major burden for her. Almost everyday she reminded me that she wished I would just go away. I tried hard to be the perfect kid and win her over, but she could find fault in anything. One time she went into a verbal tirade and ripped me to shreds because I had closed the refrigerator door “wrong.” I had gently bumped it shut with my hip instead of closing it with my hand like a “normal” person. I’m sure the voice was already in place when I moved in with her, but she reinforced it and made it louder and stronger.

I know there is another voice in my head too. It’s faint, but sometimes it comes through over the more dominant, “you suck” voice. “Good job,” it says. “I love you no matter what.” “You are doing so great. I’m proud of you.” The relationship I have with my sponsor is reinforcing this positive, nurturing voice. I know the positive voice in the real thing. It’s my higher power, my higher self, God, whatever you want to call it. The “you suck” voice is just bad memories from childhood that got lodged into my psyche.

I’m now tasked with turning my will and my life over the the care of my Higher Power, who says, “I love you no matter what.” I need to let my Higher Power run the show, but the thing inside me that tells me, “you are the worst ever,” doesn’t want to give up the reins just yet.

Shame

I’m a good girl. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what most people think when they look at me. I got good grades in school, never got in trouble as a kid, have never been much of a party girl, haven’t ever used a drug besides pot. I even have a stereotypical “good girl” job. Even when I was acting out sexually, I still tried to cultivate and maintain an “oh, I’ve never done this before” image with the guys I was screwing. I did a lot of things good girls don’t do. I had sex with men I’d known less than an hour, I had sex with people I knew were married, I had sex with people I met on craigslist causal encounters, I occasionally had sex with more than one person in a night, I met most of the people I “dated” off of BDSM sites, I let people degrade and humiliate me sexually, and the list goes on and on. Very few people in my life knew/know about what I was doing behind closed doors.

While I’m not exactly proud of my sex addiction, I have to be honest… it was pretty fun. Since I’ve been in recovery, I’ve often fantasized about just being a sex addict. My, or more precisely, my addict’s ideal life would look a little something like this: happily married to a devoted, handsome, well-off man, with beautiful kids, in a beautiful house, with everyone thinking I am the perfect wife and mother; all while having lover after lover on the side. But this fantasy in no way resembles the actual life I was living in addiction. You know why? Because I’m also a love addict and there is nothing fun about love addiction.

I didn’t fall for every guy I was involved with, or even most, but when I did fall it was in a bad way. And it was always with the most inappropriate, unavailable, or shitty guy I could find. I don’t know how to just like a romantic interest in a normal way, I only knew how to like someone like a crazed, obsessed stalker.

This is what fills me with the most shame, the love addiction. Sex addition almost feels edgy and cool (two words that don’t usually describe me), but love addiction feels terribly pathetic. The things I did as a love addict — continuing to see someone after I knew they had lied to me about everything, sitting in my apartment on a Friday night waiting for a guy who shows up four hours late, begging someone to take me back after he’s rejected me, paying a psychic thousands of dollars to reunite me with a lost love, staying with someone I’m scared of — fill me with the most self-loathing.

A few nights ago I had a minor break down. I was so angry at myself for wasting months obsessing over one person, who probably barely remembers I exist; one person who lied to me time and time again. I called my sponsor and she reminded me that this is a disease.

“You wouldn’t be angry at someone for having cancer, would you?” she asked. She said I can be angry at the disease, I can be angry at God, but I can’t be angry at myself, because it’s not my fault that I have this illness. I know that she’s right, but sometimes it’s hard to believe.

At the same time I am grateful for the love addiction. My sex addiction was progressing, but I don’t think I was anywhere near a bottom. If I was only a sex addict, who knows what my bottom could have been? Thank God I stopped acting out before I contracted an STD or hooked up with someone seriously disturbed. My bottom could have been death. As unglamorous as love addiction is, it’s the reason I am in recovery today and for that I am grateful.