Nobody Loves You

“Nobody loves you,” “No one wants you,” “You are worthless,” “You don’t matter to anyone,” “You don’t deserve love, protection, happiness, success or anything else that’s good,” “You are shit!” This is what my addiction says to me. This voice formed long ago, probably before my conscious memory. It could have been formed by something as uneventful as belong left to cry a little too long as an infant. Who knows how it originally formed.

In my later childhood this voice was fortified by abandonment, death, and abuse. It lodged deep in my subconscious, then grew with each subsequent trauma. Every unfortunate event in my life gave it more fuel. I deserved it when my boyfriend hit me. Had it coming when I was raped. I believed this voice so much that I sought out further evidence to prove it right. Choose men that would beat me. Asked them for it. Choose men who were unavailable and would therefore eventually abandon me. Became addicted to those men.

This voice is somewhat quelled by the sexual act. In those short moments I know that I am intensely wanted, desired, valued, maybe even loved. I am validated by the focus and the attention. Then it’s over, and all I want is to feel that validation again, and again, and again.

Nowadays I know that this voice is a liar. I am loved, valued, and worthy of all good things. My friends love me, my family members love me, my sponsor and my fellows love me, and most importantly, I am loved by myself and my Higher Power.

That voice is quieter now, but it’s still there. And sometimes it kicks up a fuss that is difficult to ignore.

My Drugs


I’ve been getting a lot of new readers, so I thought I would create a handy reference for those who don’t know where to begin.

This is a list of many of the men I have written about on this blog. Since I don’t want to get sued I’m such a nice person, I’ve given them all pseudonyms.

HC is a married man I was seeing right before I came into program. You can read about him here and here.

Joe Turner is some shady idiot.

Ethan is a sociopath I was hooked on for a long time.

Peter was my first (and probably worst) boyfriend.

Jonathan is a liar and a cheater.

Mr. Fat Cock, Fat Wallet has the distinction of actually being a nice guy… well, as nice as one can be while regularly cheating on his wife.

Creepy Daddy is, well, just that.

Jane was a little girl who I was in love with even though she was mean to me.

Leigh is the worst casual encounter I have had the displeasure of encountering.

Carson is the last guy I acted out with. I actually wrote about him while I was seeing him. You can read about him here, here, and here.

Anthony is the closest I’ve ever coming to being in love. I wrote about him here, here, and here.

Of course not all of my posts are about men. Most of them are about my recovery and what I’ve found out about myself along the way. But I know the acting out stories are usually the ones that are the most “fun” to read. If you are new to my blog, I invite you to click around and find out more about me.

My Old Man is a Bad Man…

I heard this song the other day and all I could think about was Anthony. Part of me still wants him to come and save me, rescue me from myself. And part of me knows no one can rescue me but me, particularly not someone who is even crazier and fucked up than I am (a difficult feat, indeed).

I went about three days without talking to him, then he texted me. Instead of just ignoring him I wrote back and told him to stop contacting me then ended up talking to him for 45 minutes. Nothing quite says, “I can’t talk to you anymore,” like talking to someone for 45 minutes. No mixed messages there.

From there it was off to the races. The last two days I have been spinning out of control with him. Today we got in a big fight fueled by our mutual insanities. The grand finale of which was him deleting me from his Facebook contacts and telling me he would file a restraining order if I ever contacted him again, which is bullshit because I haven’t done anything to warrant a restraining order. Also, this was after I told him to never contact me again, so it was a moot point. He was just trying to one-up me in the game of who can say “I never want to talk to you again” the loudest.

Regardless, I understood his message loud and clear. He’s done. At least for now.

Hopefully the next time he comes around, I will be healthy enough to resist. He isn’t my one true love. I know he can’t be. But sometimes, like now, it feels like he is.

A Subtle Addiction

Not so subtle

My sex and love addiction can be bold and blatant, like a belligerent drunk getting kicked out of a bar. More often than not, though, it’s subtle, like a functioning alcoholic who drinks all night and still manages to show up every morning for work and do his job.

It sneaks in.

“You went more than three years without talking to Anthony, you can be friends with him now,” it says. Then, “It’s okay to talk to him every single day. You’re JUST friends.” “Phone sex isn’t real sex. It’s fine,” it whispers in my ear.

So now I have this thing going on with someone I thought I had completely exorcised from my system a few years back. We’re not fucking, and that’s how I justify staying in contact with the guy. But it’s just as bad, if not worse. I talk to him every day, and sometimes for hours on end.

I sometimes think that if Anthony were 15 years younger and just a little bit less… weird, he would be my soulmate. We would probably be married by now and have three kids. I told this to a friend in program recently and she said, “So if he were a COMPLETELY different person he would be your soulmate?”

Um, well, when you put it that way…

The thing is, I don’t even believe in soulmates. But my addiction does. It tells me that it doesn’t matter that insert name here is married, or that he is a sociopathic liar, or that he is 21 freaking years older than me and he’s a swinger. He (whomever “he” happens to be at the moment) is the ONE!

This is bullshit.

I care about Anthony probably more than I have ever cared about any man I have been romantically linked to. That’s why it’s so fucked up that I am using him for a high. The last time we talked Anthony (who knows I’m in a program for sex/love addiction) said something like, “I guess I’m flattered by all the attention you give me and how fixated you can get.”

“Don’t be, because it’s bullshit,” I replied. “You could be anyone. I have given this level of attention to men that I hated. Obsession is nothing to be flattered by. It’s all about me and has nothing to do with you.

“Once I stop contacting you, then you should be flattered. Because that will mean that I authentically care about you enough to stop using you.”

But it’s not that easy. I do authentically care enough about Anthony to stop using him. I genuinely care about him so much. But true affection isn’t enough to override addiction, obsession, and compulsion. No matter how much I care about anyone, I am still powerless over all this shit. I can’t stop on will power alone.

It’s now been just over 24 hours since I last had contact with Anthony. And to anyone who thinks love addiction isn’t a real thing, well fuck you, because I’m currently going through a physical withdrawal. I’m shaky, I have a headache, and I feel like I’m going to throw up.

Maybe some day in the very distant future I will be healthy enough to have an appropriate friendship with Anthony. I hope so, but I can’t think about that right now. I need to concentrate on filling the space in my life he took up with my higher power, and getting through one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, Author: Landii

The Psychic

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know all about the obsession I had with HC. This fixation was the catalyst that drove me to join SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous), but it was by no means the first time I’d became hung-up on a lover. Also, my obsession with HC was kind of obsession-lite, compared to the ones that had come before it.

A few years prior, I’d been involved in a Dom/sub relationship with Anthony, a man 21 years my senior. Although, we were never monogamous (at the time Anthony described himself as “poly”), it was a fairly significant relationship… for me, at least. We dated for about six-months, and it was more than just a sex. Anthony was there when I needed a friend, something I wasn’t used to from the men I usually slept with. After I got in a car accident on the freeway and totaled my car, he showed up on the scene to make sure I was ok. He told me later that he’d been on a date when I texted him and left early. Anthony helped me when I needed help, and got involved in all areas of my life — even meeting some of my friends. Maybe he did all of this because he was really into me, maybe it was because he liked the drama, or maybe it was a combination of both.

Anthony also had a high tolerance for crazy. I brought the crazy harder than I had ever brought it before, or since. I set up fake accounts on the dating site we were on and pretended to be other people in order to extract information from him. Then I would confront him with the information I’d found. I would insult the other women he was dating. I would throw tantrums. Now, I realize what I was doing — testing how much I could get away with, how much he really cared; and at the same time subconsciously pushing him away, acting out the pattern that started with my father leaving me (through his death) in my childhood. For whatever reason, Anthony was willing to put up with a lot so my craziness progressed to full-on bat-shit insanity. Eventually he reached his limit and suggested we take a break.

Around this time I’d gotten it into my head that I wanted to visit a psychic. I was feeling kind of lost. I didn’t have a full time job and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I was even debating going back to grad school. I wanted someone to guide me and tell me what I was supposed to be doing with my life. What I really needed was to turn the reigns over to my Higher Power and let him guide me, but I hadn’t realized that yet.

I wanted to go to a legit psychic, someone who had a real gift and would give me the answers I needed. I went online and tried to find reviews of psychics in my area.  I found a lot of information on a psychic named Lillian. She had positive reviews on City Search, and yellowpages.com (this was before Yelp was big). She also had a website rife with grammar and spelling errors (everything on her website is “copy write of Lillian the Psychic,” for example). But, I figured, I was going to her  for psychic guidance, not editing services so it didn’t matter. She also had a lot of bullshit on there like “Voted #1 Psychic in the State” and “Licensed, bonded, and certified,” without saying whom it was voting, licensing, bonding and certifying her. By the way, did I ever tell you that I was voted “Number #1 Blogger on WordPress”? It’s true.* This stuff should have given me pause, but Lillian had a coupon on her site. I’m a sucker for a bargain so I dragged my friend Marie over and we each got a reading.

My reading didn’t exactly blow me away, at first. She said a lot of vague things that she could probably tell just by talking with me for a few minutes — that I’m creative, intuitive, good with people, etc. She said a few other things I’ve forgotten. The only specific thing she told me was that I would die at 86, and it’s not like that one can be proven anytime soon.  Then she said I had just ended a relationship, but would eventually get back together with that person, because that person was my “one, true soulmate”. Now, that caught my attention. Almost as an aside, she mentioned that she could help me speed things along, if I wanted.

Marie went next and I remember her reading being more specific than mine.  Lillian said that Marie would have a fatty tumor removed in a year and a half. Marie was about to start a new job, and Lillian told her that her soulmate would be someone she would meet not at this new job, but at the job she would get after this one. Marie, who is a healthy skeptic wasn’t impressed by her reading. She had mainly gone along to keep me company. I, on the other hand, was totally buzzed by the thought that I would soon be getting back with Anthony.

A few days later, I took my friend Allison to see Lillian. Allison and I had a lot in common when it came to sex and love issues. At the time Allison was obsessing over some dude and whether or not she should move for school, which would put her closer to this guy. I don’t remember exactly what Lillian told Allison, but she was convinced Lillian was legit.

That  one vote of confidence was all I needed. So I told Lillian I wanted to “speed things along” with Anthony. The way it worked is that she would get this special candle, imprint Anthony’s and my names and our dates of birth on it, and meditate every night on it until we were together. Then she gave me a candle and anointed it with special oil. She said that I was to light the candle every night, meditate, and visualize Anthony and I being together. Then at the end of each visualization session, I should leave a message on her voice mail to let her know I’d done it. Lillian said she would do all of this for free, because she believed in true love, but she needed money to buy this special candle, which cost $200. She said that Anthony and I would be back together in a few weeks.

Of course, I gave her the money. I mean, $200 for “happily ever after” is nothing.  To start, I went back to her office the next day, where she turned off the lights, lit some candles and incense, had me lay back and close my eyes, and anointed my forehead with oil. She stood over me and prayed, or something… maybe went through my purse, who knows. Right when I closed my eyes I had a moment of What the fuck are you doing, girl? You need to get out of here fast! (bitch was right about me being intuitive), but I dismissed this warning voice, and let this woman do her thing.

I should probably mention that Lillian’s office was decorated with a lot of Catholic imagery — statues of the Virgin Mary, saint candles, crucifixes, etc. She sprinkled her psychic bullshit with a lot of religious talk. She spoke about her church and acted the part of the pious Catholic. While I am not a pious Catholic, I do come from a Catholic background. Believing Lillian to be a devoted follower of the church I had grown up in, I trusted her.

Every night I would light my candle, and sit and meditate, visualizing Anthony and me together. I honestly think if it wasn’t for this nightly exercise, I probably would have been okay. I would have been obsessed with Anthony for a month or so, then I would have met some other dude and gotten over it. Wash, rinse, repeat. Not saying that would have been right, but it would have been okay. Telling a love addict to participate in a nightly ritual visualizing her and her ex back together is a recipe for some bad, bad shit.

After a couple of weeks of this practice, Lillian told me she wanted to hold another session with me. It would be free, of course (bitch knew how to work the long con). Again, when I closed my eyes, that warning voice came back. Get out of here, right now! Again, I dismissed it as paranoia. After this “prayer session” Lillian told me that things were going well. In fact, Anthony had had a dream about me the other night. Her meditations were working, and I was on his mind. There was a problem, though. For whatever reason, there was some dark energy that was blocking us. At this time, it had been more than a month since I had last seen Anthony. I’d heard that Anthony was now seeing one woman exclusively. I was sick with jealousy and desperate to remove this block Lillian spoke of. She said in order to do it, she need to purchase these two specially charged crystals that cost $1,500 each, for a grand total of $3,000. I told her there was no way I could afford $3,000. She said that it was the only way we could ever be together and she would try to work something out.

A few days later, Lillian called me and said that she had gotten the price down from her supplier. The price was still more than I could afford. Then she said that she believed in this relationship so much, that she would dip into her own money to help me buy the crystals. I’m ashamed to say that I wrote Lillian a check for $1,500 to buy the two crystals. This was more than my rent money.

We went through the whole process again — the nightly meditations, checking in with her, one-on-one sessions, etc. for maybe another week or two. Can you guess what happened next? Lillian said that the block was stronger than she had initially thought, and she needed another outrageous sum of money to buy some more shit to remove the block. I was so sick with my addiction to Anthony that I briefly considered trying to raise the funds, but I also started looking into her claims. I went to a Wiccan shop and talked to the woman that worked there. The woman told me that I had been the victim of a common scam. According to her, the city was full of these fake psychics shops. Many of these “psychics” would come to her shop, she claimed, to get their auras cleansed after conning people out of thousands of dollars. I also did some research online. If you’re interested, google “psychic gypsy scams.” I found account, after account that told my story with Lillian, almost verbatim.

Lillian is still in business. Her shop is on a main street, and I have to drive by it often. Every time I do, I fantasize about throwing a brick through her big picture window, something I would never actually do. I googled Lillian’s real name — I give everyone I mention on this blog pseudonyms — which I’m sure is a fake name (wrap your head around that one), and the name of her business. She now has a Facebook page and tons of positive reviews on google, yahoo, and other sites. On Yelp, she has 1 star and all bad reviews, but when you google her, six other links come up before her Yelp listing. I really wish that I could give out Lillian’s real info on here to warn people about her, but that’s not the way this blog works. If you do want to visit a psychic, the best advice I can give you is to stay away from shops and small houses you drive advertising psychic, palm, or tarot readings — businesses that only do readings. A safer bet is to visit a new age or metaphysical bookshop. Most of those places will have a few readers on staff. I guess they could be scam artists too, but from what I’ve heard the storefront psychics are almost exclusively fraudsters.

I debated about telling this story for awhile. I consider myself a shrewd, logical person. The fact that I was conned out of a huge (to me, at least) sum of money due to my love addiction is something I’m extremely ashamed of. But telling these stories is healing for me, and I know there are a lot of other women and men out there who can relate. I still stumble in my recovery, but now I have a relationship with my Higher Power. I used to spend my time obsessing over and trying to change things that were beyond my control. Now I accept the things I cannot change, pray for the courage to change the things I can, and know that God will take care of the rest.

* Voted by members of the Imperfect household: Imperfect and Charlie the Cat.**

**Charlie abstained.

Image via Flickr, by user “Gunshots”

Straddling the Line

I try to stay fairly positive on this blog. One of the reasons I started it was to give hope to other sex and love addicts still suffering in their addictions. I have been having a hard time the last couple of months, though. I slipped up a bunch in December. Since then I have been more or less sticking to my bottom-lines. There is a big difference between following the letter of the law and the spirit of the law and I’ve only been doing the former, finding sneaky ways to act out without breaking my bottom lines.

I met Carson at the end of December. In The Downward Spiral, I mentioned that I was going to meet someone off of Craigslist. I did meet him. Like me, he’s the typical person you’ll meet on Craigslist: damaged. We have a lot in common, actually. Carson is attractive, and talented; but going through a hard time. He recently lost his job, he’s broke, he just got a DUI, and he’s extremely depressed. If it wasn’t for SLAA, I would have had sex with Carson that night. Instead I just listened to his sad story.

After our initial meeting, we had some flirty texts and phone conversations until I felt guilty about leading him on and told him I was in SLAA. I also told him I couldn’t have sex outside of a committed relationship. Carson, who really is a good guy, understood and we started a platonic (ish) friendship. Which would be fine, except that Carson is an unavailable male and unavailable men are my drug of choice. I’ve been using Carson.

I keep trying to see how far I can push things with him. Then I get mad when he respects the boundaries I had previously put forth. I keep twisting his words around, using them to play out this sick narrative I’ve had in my head since childhood: I’m the girl that nobody wants. In my head, Carson (who has completely valid, healthy reasons for not wanting a relationship) doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me, because no one ever would want to be in a relationship with me.

The thing that is surprising to me about this “friendship” is that there is the same exact dynamic going on that was present in all of my previous love addicted relationships. I would choose men who were clearly unavailable for a longterm relationship, start a casual sexual relationship with them and then get hurt when they didn’t want a longterm relationship with me. I thought taking sex out of the equation would magically change all of this, but apparently that’s not how it works.

Friday I was working near Carson’s apartment (I work in different locations everyday) so I stopped by for a drink after work. I was more than sufficiently buzzed after two beers (they were strong), but had a third. Carson also appeared to be buzzed after two beers, but kept drinking…. and drinking, and drinking. I had previously suspected that Carson might have a drinking problem, but Friday confirmed it.

His intoxication was not attractive. I wanted to leave, but I needed to sober up before I could drive. At one point I was laying across Carson’s couch, and he came up behind me and swatted my ass. This spanking was the closest I’ve come to sexual activity in eight months and it really turned me on. At the same time, I was repulsed by how drunk he was. When I stood up, I let him push me up against the wall and spank me a few more times. But I pushed his hands away when they tried to go down my pants and up my shirt.

If he had been less intoxicated, I know I would have let Carson fuck me, but instead I found him gross and out of control. When, barely able to stand up, he slurred, “Let’s go get a bottle of wine,” I knew it was time to leave.

I’ve been straddling the line between acting out and recovery since December. I am not having sex with anyone, but I’m also not doing step work. There has been no forward motion in my recovery, or my life.

There is another inappropriate relationship I’m engaged in as well. I reestablished a friendship with my ex-Dom Anthony. I have started to write about Anthony at least half a dozen times on here, but there is so much complicated backstory I don’t even know where to begin.

Yesterday I was talking to my sponsor and she said that I am making Anthony my higher power. She’s right. She also said that both Carson and Anthony need to go on my bottom lines list. She’s also right about that, but I don’t want to deal with adding more qualifiers to my no contact list. One is hard enough already. I told her I wasn’t willing to cut off contact with Anthony and Carson at this point, but I would pray for willingness.

I’m also struggling with food. I don’t want to do anything right now but eat, or act out. At some point I know I am probably going to end up in Overeaters Anonymous, but I feel like I have to get my SLAA issues under control before I add another 12-step program to the mix.

For today, I’m praying for willingness — willingness to stop stuffing my face; willingness to stop doing whatever it is I’m doing with Carson; willingness to stop my dependency on Anthony; willingness to start Step 4; willingness to get out of bed; willingness to clean my apartment; willingness to find a better job; willingness to become a healthy person.

Leigh and The Fun House

A few years back, I had just ended a relationship, of sorts, with Anthony. I was still obsessively hung up on him and hoping we would reconcile so I wasn’t ready to start dating again. I was, however, quite ready to start having sex again. I turned to my old friend/foe craigslist.

At the time, I was very into the dominant daddy/submissive little girl roleplay dynamic so I searched for “daddy” under m4w in casual encounters. I had plenty of choices. I don’t remember what the text of Leigh’s ad said, but I do remember he posted a charming picture of his penis.

I met Leigh the next day for coffee. He was a few years younger than me and a recent college grad from a fancy private school. Leigh was very good looking and seemed normal enough. He told me where he lived and I knew the apartment building. It was a nice place. He also brought his adorable puppy with him, a black lab. All of this made me feel safe.

Since there were no red flags (and since he was hot) I agreed to meet Leigh at his place the following evening. His place was nice, and he also had a cat. I usually have pretty good instincts that tell me when I’m in danger, but the fact that Leigh was an animal lover with two pets (he also claimed to be a vegetarian) perhaps gave me a false sense of security. Wrong or not, when I picture a serial killer, I don’t see a vegetarian with pets.

We had a couple of glasses of wine and then started making out on his couch. He took off my clothes, put a blindfold on me and then led me to his bedroom, where we proceeded to have sex. At some point he also tied my hands behind my back. I met him knowing we were going to engage in D/s play, so the blindfold and the restraints, while maybe not a good idea, were inline with what we had discussed before hooking up.

The sex was good. Maybe a little too good. I asked if he was wearing a condom. He assured me he was. It didn’t feel like it, though. I began to get a little paranoid that this guy who I’d just met was fucking me without a condom. I asked him again and he got mad at me, said I wasn’t being a good sub.

Eventually he untied my hands and flipped me on my back. Bad sub that I was, I took the opportunity to remove the blindfold. Surprise, surprise. Not only was this stranger who I had just met on craigslist inside of me without a condom, he was also holding a video camera.

My immediate impulse was to knock the camera out of his hands, which I did. Then I demanded that he erase what he had filmed. This asshole had the nerve to get pissed at me, claiming I had broken his camera (I hadn’t). He then attempted some smoke and mirrors bullshit while he fiddled around with the camera, claiming to delete the video, which I still don’t think he actually did. He also was pissed that I had “ruined” his film. He apparently was planning the big reveal for a more dramatic moment. Sadly, this wasn’t the first time I’d had a throw down with a sex partner over a camera. You can read about the first time here.

At this point, I was in a situation that any sexually adventurous young woman could have gotten into. I had met Leigh in public, felt safe with him, and agreed to go to his apartment the next day. I had even let a friend know where I was and texted the address to her before I went. I’d been responsible enough and there were no warning signs that this guy was a creep. Here’s what separates a “normal” sexually adventurous young woman from me, a sex and love addict with unhealthy boundaries: I didn’t get the hell out of there. I stayed and continued fucking him (but made him put on a condom).

He was pretty rough, which I was into, but he was also into slapping me in the face, which I wasn’t into. He slapped me so hard that the next day little purple spots, broken blood vessels, decorated my eyelids.

When the sex was over, things started to get really weird. I was in his bathroom, sitting on the toilet, peeing, when all of the sudden he bursts in and just stands there, like an idiot. “Um, do you mind? I’m trying to pee.” He continued to stand there with a huge grin on his face. “What the fuck are you doing? Get out!” I screamed. No reaction. “Please leave!” I told him. Leigh leaned over and kissed me full, on the lips, then finally left. What a weirdo.

When I got out of the bathroom, I found Leigh standing over my purse, with my cell phone is his hands. He was going through my text messages. “Wow, you really have a lot of Daddies, you little slut!”

“What the fuck is wrong with you? Give me my phone back!”

Leigh went into grade school mode, holding the phone above my head, just out of my reach, laughing hysterically as he continued going through my texts. This was a grown man, a college graduate with his own apartment.

I was not in the mood for this childish bullshit. I went to find my shoes, so I could leave. But I couldn’t find them. This motherfucker had hidden my shoes. I used to do this same brilliant move to extend playtime with my cousins when I was five and it was time for them to go home. “Where did you put my shoes?” I asked, exhausted.

“Why would I put your shoes anywhere?” Um, because you’re a psycho, I thought.

We got into an argument with me searching his place, demanding that he give my shoes back, and him insisting that he hadn’t hidden them. The conclusion of this was him reaching under one of his couch cushions, and thrusting my shoes at me with a, “Here! They’re just where you left them!… under the couch cushion.”

At last, it was time to leave Leigh’s fun house. He walked me to my car and kissed me good night. He told me he’d had a nice time and wanted to see me again, acting like we’d just gone to dinner and a movie. I would have been sick enough to see him again, if he had ever called me. But he never did.