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There is nobody here to share my sorrow

There is nobody here to cut the ball and chain of my responsibilities, my chores

To allow me to run and play like a carefree child, to think of happy things and make daisy chains in the sun

When will someone hear my cry?

You walk away and leave me alone to deal with my internal sadness, you desert me

Who is here to soothe my pain, to love me and tell me it will be all right?

Only God, but Dad said God does not exist

So I am alone

I get tired of fighting for acceptance, to be heard, to be understood and to be unconditionally loved

But most of all I get tired of fighting to be considered, to be thought of and cared for

You cannot look at me, you stare away or down at the ground

You no longer care what happens, you are not interested in my words unless they are happy ones

I am an adult yes, but I am still a lonely child

It’s deja vu, its history repeating itself.

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I learned very young to deny my reality, to wish and minimise it away because I didn’t know how to deal with what was put in front of me, the pain was too great for a child to bear on her own.

“Mum – is dad drunk again?  No dear, he’s just sick today.  But mum, he’s swaying all over the place, he smells like beer, he’s angry again?  No he’s sick, don’t worry about it, just get to bloody sleep!”

Oh OK then, it’s not how I see it, I must be wrong, I’m all right, there is no problem, I’m safe.

Move forward twenty years.  “Mum, I don’t understand why my boyfriend never has any money.  I pay for everything, he works but I never see a cent of it?  Well dear, he’s probably got a lot of expenses, things must be hard for him, don’t let those things get you down.”

You can see from the above now ingrained minimising and denying my reality is.  I learned to do it from a very young age so come adulthood, I was faced with situations that were harmful to me but minimised and denied what was in front of me through habit.  I continued to protect myself from my reality as I had learned so well to do as a child.

I continue to be skeptical of sexaholism being apparent in my family of origin.  My father, my grandfather and my great-grandfather had affairs during their marriage and my mum’s father had sexual abuse issues with women and children – so what right?  Affairs are normal aren’t they?  Men think of only one thing don’t they?  That’s what my mum told me.  It was just bad luck I picked a sexaholic as a partner wasn’t it?  When dad whispers to my recovering partner he has three women on the go at once and feels like he’s struck gold why do I still not see that he is a sexaholic?  I feel so naive.  Family history and past events are slapping me right in the face but I refuse to accept that evidence.

I think for me to believe it I need for him to admit he is a sexaholic.  I need to hear the whole kit and caboodle.  I need to hear it from the horse’s mouth, I need to hear him say he has a problem and he needs help.  Trouble is, he thinks multiple partners are “gold” so I doubt I’ll be receiving any admissions from him in the near future.

I”ve discussed him attending a 12 Step Program for sexaholics before but he gets so anxious at any suggestion of it.  You see, he too has spent years denying and minimising his reality but with the added factor of alcohol helping to numb his pain.

On writing this post I’ve had a light bulb moment.  In securing my father’s admittance to his sexaholism it’s quite possible I’m looking for someone to blame for me attracting a sexaholic partner later in life and I’m needing my father to validate my reality as I see it.

 I can see I still have a lot of work to do on trusting myself.

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As an adult child of an alcoholic I often feel so alone in this world.  Nobody understands me, nobody gets me, nobody will feel the pain and sadness I feel inside.

Imagine a car stalled in the middle of a major highway and all the other cars whizzing by, not noticing it’s there.  It wants some help, so badly wants to get out of the way of the onslaught of others but it cannot do it alone and it’s driver is not strong enough to push it to safety.  Somehow that car needs to get a message to it’s driver to have courage, to take another step forward, to do things differently and to hold out her hand.

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As an adult, I’ve held onto a dream that I wanted to have a career that was dog related.

If I could turn back time I’d probably study to become a veterinarian.

I’ve come to the age where I’m realising that I only have one life and I should get into doing the things I really want to do before I hit the casket!

I’ve started a pottery course and am creating some dog and cat bowls by hand and designing and painting various graphics on them etc. I’m into my second term of classes and I’ve come to realise that my work seems rather child like, especially the graphics.

After doing a bit of work in my 12 Step Program I have learnt a little about trying to get in touch with my inner child. Some activities that were suggested in order to accomplish this were doing child like things such as playing with play doh, running under a sprinkler etc etc.

Last week I had a look at the various forms of pottery that my classmates were creating then looked at my child like work and felt a bit embarrassed because I wasn’t making platters or vases (adult like items) but dog and cat bowls with puppy dogs and pussy cats and mice and cheese and painting them in wonderful bright colours that appeal to my eye.

When I was in my teens I used to write letters to my friends and draw and colour in cartoons on them and I thought I was really creative in the work that I did.

Somewhere in adulthood I lost my creativity so perhaps I am unconsciously connecting with my inner child and creating work at a child like level but then again I simply may not have any adult artistic abilities at all!

I’ve been told that a good book to learn about getting in touch with your inner child is John Bradshaw‘s Homecoming – Reclaiming & Championing Your Inner Child which you will be able to purchase from Amazon.

I attest I do revert back to child like behaviours at times, especially when under stress, such as isolating, fantasizing (now love addiction), self harm and my social skills can become less than desirable at times too. I am known to get very jealous of friends who have other friendships aside from me and  I often prefer to be the centre of attention and can end up sabotaging my friendships by being cold because I have formed a grudge against someone about one thing or another.

Through my 12 Step Programs I am learning to be more open and honest in my communication with others as well as looking at my unsavory weaknesses, where they originate from and how to correct them.

If I didn’t have my 12 Step Programs (online and face to face) and a sponsor I think my life would still be up the creek without a paddle!

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Have you ever heard anyone say they don’t know who they are anymore?

Losing your identity is losing sight of what you like doing, what you think  or what makes you happy for example.

At this time in my life I don’t know who I am or what I like (to an extent) and I don’t know if I ever knew these things.

In a recent 12 Step meeting  a member shared that their favourite colour used to be red because that was their mother’s favourite colour but now they had decided they liked the colour blue and that choice was theirs to own.

It was then that I realised what it meant to really not know who I was.

Going way back to when I was 5 years old, my grandmother asked me what my favourite colour was. I instinctively said it was “purple”. My grandmother happily replied  that purple was my mum’s favourite colour too and I remember feeling pleased with myself because my grandmother was happy with my reply.

For years thereafter I used to say purple was my favourite colour but I don’t think I ever thought very deeply about it until some 32 years later when I found myself staring at a purple jacket in a shop thinking how ugly that colour actually looked and subsequently hearing that member’s share in the 12 Step meeting.

I had been bought up to believe that what I wanted was irrelevant and my thoughts and opinions were of no importance.  I had to do what I was told regardless of whether I liked it or not. Often if I verbalised a different need or opinion I was publicly humiliated and punished by my father.

As an adult, if anyone asks me what I want to do, I instinctively turn it around by saying “whatever you want”  because I am uncomfortable with the focus on me and feel guilty choosing what to do incase the other person is not happy with my choice.

I recall another share where a member relayed that they had got to such a point in their life where they believed they were too useless to change a light globe.

While I can change a light globe, I do recall being shown as an adult the correct way to open and close curtains and being forced to change a dessert spoon for a soup spoon because I had served the wrong spoon with soup.

It is probable that because I was regularly criticised as a child by my parents, as an adult I relied on other people to tell me what I should or should not be doing and got myself into another codependent situation because it was all that I knew.

Now my journey begins in learning to believe it’s perfectly OK to choose green as my favourite colour and change my mind if I want to without feeling guilty about it along with learning to figure out how to trust that my thoughts and opinions are valuable without seeking approval from others.

Apparently it all starts with “self love”.

As they say, easy does it, one day at a time!

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As I suffer from generalised anxiety disorder and various OCD symptoms such as the need to have things orderly, clean and perfect, I was wondering whether love and sex addiction is classed a form of OCD.

Some experts believe that sexual addiction is literally an addiction, directly analogous to alcohol and drug addictions. Other experts believe that sexual addiction is actually a form of obsessive compulsive disorder and refer to it as sexual compulsivity.

The American Psychiatric Association has proposed that out-of-control sexual appetites be included as a diagnosis in the next edition of the psychiatrists’ bible, the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” to be published in 2013.

I located a very helpful article outlining the difference between sexual thoughts and compulsions being an addiction or an obsessive compulsive disorder. It is of course only one person’s view on the subject.

Here’s an extract of the article which summarises the outcome:

It cannot be overemphasized that the sexual obsessions in OCD are the opposite of the usual sexual daydream or fantasy. Normal sexual fantasies are enjoyable and generally harmless. They may consist of wishes or memories of past sexual experiences. However, the sexual ideation in OCD is unpleasant and distressing. The individual with OCD does not want the thought to become real. The idea of acting out the obsession fills the OCD victim with dread. Sexual obsessions in OCD rarely produce sexual arousal because anxiety and arousal cannot occupy the same space. As a result, OCD usually decreases sex drive. OCD sexual obsessions result in guilt, shame, and interfere with ocial functioning or work. Source:

Love Addiction

While I am unable to speak for the sex addict, to my knowledge and experience, love addicts (who can also act out sexually) do not have decreased sexual desire when in the midst of their fantasy or addiction nor do their experiences feel unpleasant or distressing.

I am lead to believe that love addiction stems from unmet childhood needs.  For example, codependent mum is too busy with alcoholic dad to worry about children therefore children use fantasy as a way to meet their unmet needs and as escapism from a difficult family environment.

There are various types of love addicts, here’s a link to help you figure out which one you might be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_addiction

Healing from Sex/Love Addiction

Start by getting a good counsellor who is familiar with sex and love addiction and get involved in a 12 Step Program such as SLAA (Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous), SAnon (for love addicts and partners of sex addicts) or SA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) – for the sex addict). You will find the links to these Programs on my home page.  All three Programs have online support forums if you are unable to attend a face to face meeting.

Try reading as much material as you can about your addiction/s. Facing Love Addiction by Pia Mellody is a book that is highly regarded in the industry as are books on sex and love addiction by Patrick Carnes. Literature by both authors can be purchased from Amazon.com.

I tried for years to figure out what my problem was and I even sought help from the psychiatric industry for my thoughts, only to be medicated with antipsychotics for them and diagnosed with bipolar disorder (I believe my experience is very common).

It took me until I was 38 to realise that my fantasies were not a normal part of life. They used to (and still can) cause me the deepest depression and despair to the point where I wanted to self harm.

Early this year I accompanied my partner to a face to face SLAA meeting where I heard members speak about their experiences with sex and love addiction. Their stories hit me hard but also gave me great relief. They were talking about my life, I was one of them!  Finally I had found an answer to my problem. I was not alone.  My recovery journey began.

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I’m tired of being a codependent, I’m tired of the same old games/scenarios. They get us nowhere, it pushes us back further into an abyss.

Last night I picked up the book “Facing Love Addiction” by Pia Mellody which my counsellor recommended to me. I was absolutely gobsmacked at the games two codependents play with each other (unknowingly).

Pia writes that couples in healthy relationships are prone to silence and simply being happy in each other’s company where no words are necessary but unhealthy/codependent relationships are susceptible to games such as “bombing” each other to create intense intimacy because codependents cannot cope with silence or unsettling/tense environments.

For example, right now I know my partner is in an irritable mood. There is now silence between us. I feel like storming in to his study and yelling at him to help me around the house with chores. A small part of me wants to do it to control an outcome, to make him see he has to put an effort into working at chores as a team but the larger part of me wants to simply lash out, scream and cry that things are not fair that I have to carry the burden of running the household while he recovers from his addictive cycle.

I have things to recover from too, I have my 12 Step Programs to attend, my hobbies to focus on and my life and wellbeing to look after.

By yelling and screaming to be heard, am I bombing him to bring intensity back into the relationship? To force communication? My Program tells me to wait until the time is right to approach him and speak about how I feel openly and honestly and without blame. The outcome will be more successful if I take a calm approach to it.

It’s a tiring process, a process today that I don’t feel like practising. Instead I prefer to stick my head under the covers and weep and sleep the day through.

Does anyone reading this relate?

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