When Fantasy Becomes Reality

Several months back, I wrote about my friend Ben. Only I didn’t call him Ben at the time, I gave him the highly inappropriate nickname of Mr. FCFW. For those of you who don’t feel like clicking the link, here is the quick backstory: Ben is a seemingly confident, well-off, older, charming man I had a brief fling with, despite knowing he was married. After the fling we developed a friendship.

When I wrote that post back in November, I was still pretty new in my recovery. Ben was someone I talked to a lot, even though I realized it was inappropriate. I now know that I was doing with him was called “intrigue,” which basically means I was trying to keep him interested, just in case. After I wrote about him, I ended up talking to him less and less. I never consciously decided to pull away from him, but as I got healthier and healthier the schism naturally occurred.

I hadn’t talked to him in months, so it was odd to see a text message from him last week when I was getting ready for work. Odder still, was the content of the message, “I need help.” The first thing I thought was that someone had stolen his cell phone, and was texting everyone in his address book in some attempt to scam money. That far-fetched scenario sounded more probable to me, than confident, self-assured, has-everything-going-for-him Ben actually needing my help with anything.

“What’s going on?” I texted back.

“My wife found out everything. I’m out of control. I need help. What do I do?”

Let me pause this story in order to briefly tell another one.

When I first started in recovery I fantasized about this very thing happening for months. Only I wasn’t fantasizing about Ben, I was fantasizing about HC, another married man who I was completely, devastatingly, irrationally fixated on. HC is the reason I started coming to 12-step meetings. He was pretty much all I talked about in meetings for the first few months, and almost all I wrote about when I first started this blog. I was OBSESSED.

The fantasy was that HC’s wife would find out he had been cheating on her throughout the entire course of their marriage. He’d realize he had a problem with sex addiction. He’d contact me for help. I’d tell him about the program I’m in. We’d started going to meetings together, and then when we were both fully recovered, he’d realize he was in love with me and we’d live happily ever after. Totally healthy little fantasy. Also, totally probable, right?

I feel awful for this, but when Ben sent me that text, my thoughts weren’t, “I feel so terrible for Ben and his family,” they were “ohmygodohmygod it’s finally happening!!!” The addict in me didn’t even care that it was happening to the wrong person, I was just so excited it was happening. I hate admitting this, but I got a major buzz off of the drama. Ben’s life was falling apart, and I was getting a contact high.

My addict wanted to jump in, and save the day. Fix all of Ben’s problems for him. Make his drama my drama. But I took a step back and realized that this reaction I was having was nothing but addiction. Is there such thing as a drama addict? Yes, and you’re reading one’s blog.

Once I had gotten ahold of myself we talked on the phone. My addict wanted to tell him to start coming to SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) meetings with me; wanted to tell him that I would take him to a meeting, but instead I told him to look up  another S-program, Sex Addicts Anonymous. There is some crossover in my area between these two programs, and I’ve heard that SAA is almost 100 percent men, and many of them are married and trying to save their marriage. The program I attend is both men and women, most of whom are single. I also told him to call a marriage counselor. My addict wanted to look up the meeting schedule and send it to him, as well as look up a list of therapy referrals. But my authentic self stepped in and said, “Come on Imperfect, he can google just as well as you can. Back off!”

So I pointed Ben in the right direction, but kept my distance. My addict wanted to call him later that day to see how he was doing, but my authentic self told her to chill. Ben called me the next day to tell me he attended his first meeting and we talked about it. He sent me a text yesterday and told me he was in therapy and had started reading Patrick Carnes’ book on sexual addiction, Out of the Shadows.  His life is in a lot of turmoil, but I trust that if he continues on this path, he’ll be okay. I don’t need to rescue Ben, just like I don’t need anyone to rescue me. That’s the beauty of surrendering to a Higher Power. I know it will all be okay.

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Cheaters

I used to love this shit show when I was around 19 or 20. At first, I found Cheaters hysterical. Eventually, either due to maturity or the show becoming more and more appalling, I stopped watching.

The other day I was on YouTube and came across this “best of” clip.

The clip features a woman (the cheater, I’m assuming) standing on the roof of a building and threatening to jump, a hooded man caught in the middle of a punishment session from a transexual mistress (I hope he’s the type of sub that gets off on humiliation), a woman who goes into labor and gives birth while she is in the middle of confronting her cheating husband (now, that’s timing!), the host, Joey Greco, getting attacked by what looks like a firecracker, and finally the host getting stabbed on a boat (a motherfucking boat!). Wait. Why did I stop watching this show again? Oh yeah, cause it’s disgusting… highly entertaining, but disgusting. To be honest, I was surprised that this show is still on the air. I haven’t heard or seen anything about it in years, but according to IMDB it’s in its twelfth season.

Scanning the show’s official YouTube channel, it’s obvious that the bread and butter of Cheaters is the confrontations:

Yet, what I always found most interesting was what happened after the confrontations. So many of the couples would end up staying together after this show. While I can maybe understand forgiving someone who cheated on me, I don’t think I would ever be able to forgive someone for following me with a camera and humiliating me on a nationally syndicated television show. In my opinion, a lot of these people have to be sex and/or love addicts. If this show is real (there is evidence that it is not) it’s exploiting a lot of vulnerable people.

On the show’s website, the welcome message states, “This show is both dedicated to the faithful and presented to the false-hearted to encourage their renewal of temperance and virtue.” Bullshit! This statement should really read, “This show is both dedicated and presented to the mindless masses who find entertainment in other people’s personal tragedies, and whose viewership fills the coffers of our false-hearted production team.” Aside from a link to live “counseling” where one can pay a professional $4.99 a minute to chat online, the site lists no resources for sexual or romance compulsion, or for people struggling to break free from painful relationships. There are also links to spying resources and dating sites…. ’cause that’s the healthy way to deal when you suspect someone is cheating on you — you drive yourself crazy spying on your mate, then when you can’t take it anymore you find someone new to obsess over.

I’ll admit that I’m a fan of overly dramatic reality television. The Real Housewives franchise is one of my guiltiest pleasures. But I cannot get behind Cheaters. It’s bad for the soul. The one moment of entertainment I might experience watching the it isn’t worth the awfulness.  Not only does Cheaters exploit vulnerable people, but it does so by pretending to help them.

Fantasy, Obsession, Spying… Getting Through the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I don’t think of HC, the man I was (somedays still might be) obsessed with, too much these days. I mean, I do — he pops into my head all of the time, but instead of indulging these thoughts I try to pop him right out. Sometimes the old fantasy creeps in though. All he has to do is get a divorce, and get treatment for his sex addiction and compulsive lying. That’s all. Then we can reunite and live happily ever after. There must be a reason we were so drawn to each other, and a reason why I still think of him after all this time. Thankfully, when I have these thoughts now days another voice pops into my head. Whether it’s my higher power, or my higher self; it simply says, the man you are meant to be with is so much better than HC.

The last time I spied on HC, I found him on Craigslist posting ads in the casual encounters section. He said he was single and could host in a nice house. He posted this ad several times in one weekend. Although this information didn’t bode well for his sex addiction, it got my addict somewhat excited. Maybe, it’s true then? Maybe he lives apart from his wife, just like he always used to claim. Then I googled his wife and found her on another website where she is currently planning their 10-year vow renewal ceremony, which will take place in the Bahamas in the Summer of 2013. Hmm… probably not divorced then? Looks like she had just gone away for the weekend.

I have several bottom-lines, which are activities I abstain from in order to be considered “sober” in my recovery program. The ones I thought would be the hardest to give up — unavailable men, compulsively meeting new guys to date or hook-up with, and even contacting HC — have been not exactly easy, but relatively easy compared to giving up online spying. Online spying is so easy. I can do it alone, just me and my computer, and no one has to ever find out about it. It also gets me high. My heart races, I get a huge rush, I sometimes even get light headed. There is also a huge crash after the initial high, which feels like absolute shit.

I have managed to stay away from the spying for more than a month now, but with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day coming up; I’m feeling a huge desire to look up HC. I know his wife will be tweeting and posting on Facebook about their holiday plans, and that there will probably be pictures. I feel like if I can get through to 2012 without spying on him and his family, it will be all downhill from there.  Please keep me in your thoughts for the next month or so. I need all the help I can get.

A Fat Cock and a Fat Wallet

While I was active in my addiction, I met most of the men I “dated” on a BDSM personals site. For years, I had a sweet, innocent, good-little-submissive-girl profile. I don’t remember what it said exactly. “Looking for daddy, blah, blah, don’t have much experience, something, something, educated, professional, good girl, blah, blah, lady on the streets freak in the sheets, yada, yada, loving, caring daddy dom, etc. etc.” This profile underwent many changes over the years, but the gist of it was always that I was a sweet girl who didn’t have much experience in the lifestyle (lies!), that I was looking for something monogamous and wouldn’t date anyone who was attached to someone else (more lies), and I wanted to find a good, normal guy (unintentional lies) that just happened to be a kinkster.

In the year leading up to my recovery, my interest the kink lifestyle began to wane. Wane, but not disappear. I still occasionally met people off of the BDSM site. Though, most of the time I was now spending on the site was looking for ridicule-worthy profiles to laugh at and email my sub friends. One day I decided to to create a second profile that reflected what I was really looking for. The text of this profile was as follows: “Not going to lie, I’m on here looking for a dude with a fat cock and a fat wallet. Please do not email me unless you have both.” Of course, I got tons of well-deserved hate mail; but to my crazy brain, it was all highly entertaining.

Looking back, I realize how delusional I was at the time. I had nothing going on in my life but pursuing and obsessing over unavailable men, yet I would haughtily laugh at other people’s emails and profiles. Like I was such a prize? Sure, no one wants a socially inept, unemployed “dom” who lives in his mommy’s basement; but no one wants some smart-ass, underemployed, clingy, obsessive “sub” with major abandonment issues, either. And if they do, it’s for a good time, not for a long time.

Even though my inappropriate second profile didn’t deserve anything other than derision and hate mail, I actually met someone not awful from it. Mr. FCFW was everything his name implied. He was also married. Unlike HC, he never lied about it (not to me, at least; I’m sure there was plenty of lying to his wife). We slept together a few times, and then became platonic friends. He was supposed to be my “sugar daddy,” but I’ve never gotten more than a few beers out of him.

I still talk to Mr. FCFW frequently. In fact, he’s really the only heterosexual male I interact with on a one-on-one basis. I have some mixed feelings about this friendship. Sometimes our conversations get a little flirty (almost always initiated by me). Sometimes I even slip into calling him “Daddy.” And then there is the fact that he has a wife and a family that know nothing about me. That being said, he is a good man. He never has anything but glowing things to say about his wife and his kids. He is very supportive of my recovery from sex/love addiction. I know that he respects me enough to never do anything sexual with me again.

I don’t know if this friendship will stand the test of time. At some point in the future of my recovery I (or my sponsor) might decide that it’s too inappropriate. He might get tired of my neediness (we may just be friends, but I am a neeeedy friend), or we might just outgrow each other. For today, though, I’m glad that Mr. FCFW is one of my friends.