I Used to Think…

I’ve really got a lot going for me… compared to the other women with profiles on collarme. I’m really attractive… compared to the other women posting for casual sex on craigslist. Whether it was true or not, I’m not sure. I do know that on the fetish sites and casual sex sites, I got a lot of attention and dated a lot of “quality” (by superficial standards) men. I was involved with doctors, lawyers, high-powered executives, professionals in the entertainment industry, and men that were way better-looking than me. When I would post profiles on “vanilla” sites or sites that didn’t have a fetish focus, I got much less attention. The same went for meeting men in the real world; without the help of an internet profile.

I wonder what it will be like dating again, as an average looking (or maybe even below-average looking, depending on who is doing the looking) woman, when I only have my own (not so impressive) merits to stand on? Just the fact that I am contemplating this question tells me that I am no where near ready to start dating again.

***

After I wrote the paragraphs above, I went to a meeting and the speaker talked about his identity. It was a compelling and powerful share. He talked about how hard it was for him to discover his own identity apart from his addictions and the labels that he and society has put on himself. It made me think about what I had just written and about how I look at myself and other people. When I strip away everything I labeled myself with in the past, who am I if I’m not a submissive, a kinkster, a slut, a good girl? I’m a sex and love addict, I’m a woman, I’m a writer, I’m my profession. But who am I, really? If I strip away the addictions, the obsessions, the past mistakes, the tragic childhood, my career, my looks; what’s left? Who is Imperfect at the core?

My first year in college, I lived in the dorms. The first night when everyone moved in, we had a floor meeting. We did this icebreaker exercise where you have to introduce yourself by sharing one thing about yourself that people couldn’t tell by looking at you. I hate shit like this. My mind was blank. All I could think to say was, “I’m Imperfect, and I have a boyfriend.” LAME! How was it that I couldn’t think of one fucking thing to share about myself other than “I have a boyfriend?” I had no way of identifying myself in the past without the guy I was with, the guy I wanted to be with, or my sexual proclivities.

For the speaker at my meeting today, he realized that the only way he could honestly identify himself was with his higher power. At his core, he is a child of God. I know I’m a child of God too, and that we all are. But my spiritual practice isn’t there, yet. Knowing it and feeling it are two different things. The spiritual aspect of this twelve-step program is something I’ve struggled with. I believe in God, but I’ve never quite truly felt connected to God. Right now, in my recovery, I think this is where my focus needs to be.

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4 comments on “I Used to Think…

  1. lexiconlover says:

    I can identify with this whole post. The furthest memory I have of Lexicon and of me having a solid identity, of not being a people pleaser in my home or neighbor hood or being able to say something about myself that I knew to be true was that I like the color red. And that would be at about age 5. In kindergarten I loved taking this big fat paint brush at an aisel and dipping it into the paint and just swishing it across the page. I liked the other colors too, but red was my favorite.

    It saddens me that like you, by the time I got to college, the meet and greet ice-breaker was much the same, save for the fact that I had no boyfriend at the time because he dumped me when I began to self-mutilate. Not for attention, but to feel alive. I cut places my clothing covered, but he was too understandably freaked out.

    When I strip away all the labels that identify me: mother, good girl, submissive, sex+love addict, eating disordered, alcoholic, epileptic, and let’s not forget to add friend-less. Lord knows I tend to isolate; because I walk around rejecting myself before anyone has a chance to….I always lacked confidence, self-esteem, still do.

    As far as the connection to a Higher Power (whom I choose to call God) it is shaky at best. This needs to change. It’s like I can visualize that I want to get from point A where I am now, to point B in a place of connection with God, but the getting there is the biggest mystery and ever elusive to me as anything I have ever encountered.

    Sometimes I think the atheists do better in program than those from religious backgrounds. I know that the God of my understanding, from my childhood will need to be tweaked and replaced in order for me to get sobriety, for that God was a wrathful punishing “send me to hell, wating to crack my ass if I slip up God.” I need to pull out that wiring and replace my Higher Power with a God that is caring, loving, forgiving who is there to listen to me, help me and encourage me or… I will not make it.

    Sounds like the meeting you went to was kickass.

    • Imperfect says:

      Luckily the God of my understanding isn’t a vengeful God. I grew up in a fairly liberal city. The gay and lesbian group at my church would hold bake sales after mass sometimes. The priests and nuns I knew would tell stories about getting arrested at the various protests they had attended. The last time I went to confession, at age 16, the priest said my penance was to “not be so hard on yourself.” To be fair, I was a major nerd and the biggest sin I had to confess was that I hadn’t been studying hard enough. Basically, I got a pretty soft-core Catholic upbringing where the focus was on social justice, not fire and brimstone.

      I didn’t get the fear of hell, but I did get a ton of guilt. No matter how bad I have it, someone else always has it worse. I feel guilty for almost everything — every action, every inaction, every thought, every lack of thought. It’s not that the God I grew up with is waiting to send me to hell, it’s that he expects me to suffer through life, one trial after another, and to constantly sacrifice myself, and to serve others.

      I want a happy, healthy life so this vision of God has to go.

      • lexiconlover says:

        Now that I think of it, I’m fairly certain it was the wedding of Catholicism and “The Exorcist” – (1973) William Peter Blatty; I snuck watching it at 8 yrs old; which fucked me up and lead me to fire/brimstone thinking, and was also the inception of my chronic life-long battle w/ insomnia. I’ll have to post on that one day.

        But the guilt….I’m pretty sure it was the Catholic Church.

  2. I can totally relate to not being in touch with your Higher Power. It’s the one thing I have struggled with in the SLAA program. I’ve tried to find the connection but I’ve been unable to. I really do think I believe in God, I grew up Catholic (don’t practice it now), and went to church every week and I know there has to be something greater out there that created this universe. I just can’t seem to find my connection to him or it. You’re doing great, keep up the good work!

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