Don’t have sex with clients

Dandeloion 

After so many years of having this blog, the number one search term is still a variation on how to have sex with my therapist.

 

For heaven’s sake. It is  NEVER healthy to have sex with your therapist. NEVER. It will always damage you, always have an icky taint of incest, and always be a mistake. 

 

Don’t have sex with your clients. Don’t have sex with your therapists. Period. Even if [fill in whatever excuse you want]. Don’t do it. 

 

I cannot tell you have angry I feel that this is STILL the number one way people find my blog. So let me be really, really blunt: if you are sexually intimate with your therapist you’re going to wreck your hope of becoming a normal functioning adult. Because this is a REPEAT of childhood trauma. 

 

The truth is that your therapist is off limits.  

And if you’re a therapist, your client is off limits. Seriously, off limits. 

This is not rocket science, people. 

 

 

Posted in sex addiction

Crying and sobriety

I had been sober from 7/6/06, the day I entered treatment until 1/17/11. That’s 4 years, 6 months, and 12 days. Sobriety for me then was no contact (including googling him) with my former therapist, a priest who was also a psychoanalyst. Also no masturbation, no Internet porn, no sex outside my marriage, including phone sex, cyber sex and anonymous sexual encounters of any kind. No adult bookstores. Like most sex addicts, some of these behaviors weren’t all that difficult for me to abstain from, masturbation and Internet porn; not so much.

Like most people, I had days when my sobriety was rock solid and other times when I felt like I was barely hanging on. Mostly though, recovery worked and life was good.

My husband and I have four children and in 2011 we were overjoyed to have our oldest son home from Iraq for the holidays. When his leave time was over, he slept as I drove the 2 hours to the airport. He grabbed his bag out of the back, fussed at me for getting out of the car to give him a hug and kiss. He turned and left without looking back. I had a little lump in my throat as I pulled away but … no biggie. I remember thinking how well adjusted I was that I could drop my son off to return to war and not cry. In fact, I wasn’t upset at all. 

The days came and went and everything was just fine. Normal. And then all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, I acted out and had to reset my sobriety date to 1/17/11. I was devastated, I hadn’t realized how much of my self respect was wrapped up in that sobriety date. Worse, I couldn’t stop. It didn’t make sense and it freaked me out – this was just like before, the thing that ended up with me in therapy with the priest (he was a trained psychoanalyst) and as the shame and confusion grew, so did my acting out. I called the CSAT who helped me right after treatment, and he pointed out that dropping off my son might have been triggering. I thought he was full of baloney because frankly, I wasn’t upset at all about him being back in Iraq. 

Fast forward to this holiday season, 2015. Our children have taken turns giving us grey hairs and panic attacks but this was unusually stressful. My husband’s partner is going through an ugly divorce and was staying with us. My 19 year old and her boyfriend (who spent last year in jail for aggravated assault) got pregnant. Our other son was working for us and on the verge of being fired because he couldn’t show up to work on time. Our oldest daughter was doing well, for which we were grateful but her stupid dog keeps peeing on the heating vent in the living room. Shit happens. 

And then … our oldest son had a bilateral pulmonary embolism. He was lucky. We were lucky. Very lucky. He passed out because both his pulmonary arteries were occluded by a saddle clot which detached and separated. But (here’s the lucky part) instead of dying on his front doorstep, he regained consciousness and called me … to say he’d passed out, hadn’t been drinking, and didn’t need me to come over because he was fine. Just fine. I am so, so glad I ignored him and went over. We got him to the hospital and the medication he was given worked and he lived. As all parents know, you have to keep it together when your children are hurt, and that’s true even when they’re 27 year-old grown men. So I kept it together for two days and nights in the ICU. I kept it together for the the other kids, for my husband (who knew exactly how close to death he was that night) and for my son.

Two days later, my son had been moved from the ICU to a regular medical bed and we finally went home. My husband and one of his business partners and I were all sitting in the living room and talking about how crazy the last few days had been – they’re both physicians so they got a bit into the medical technicalities of what had happened, the shape of the clots, etc. And all at once, completely unexpectedly, I wasn’t keeping it together any more. I haven’t cried that hard since I was in treatment and the stupid psychiatrist’s intake interview. It was pretty hostile.

It scared our friend, but my husband was great. He said I’d be okay and the two of them kept talking quietly until I finally calmed down. It took a long time. For the next few days, when ever anyone asked how my son was doing, I’d cry. I’d think about how lucky we were and I’d cry. I had nightmares and would wake up crying. It’s like my heart was leaking.

It’s been almost two months since all this happened and I haven’t needed to act out. I think that it’s because I felt my feelings this time. Before, when I felt that bone-deep fear it was automatically sublimated into feeling sexual. I never even knew I was afraid. This time was different.

Unfortunately, I can’t really take credit for this dramatic change in how I dealt with fear. Maybe I’m mentally healthier now than I was then. Probably the fact that I was alone in the car years ago, but not alone this time. And I’m sure the immediacy and rawness of a real fear as opposed to an anticipated fear is pertinent. The truth is that if I’d been able to cry after dropping him off at the airport, I would have. I think that I feel as much as I’m able to feel at any given time. That inner addict that tried to protect me as a child won’t allow me to feel more than she believes I’m able to handle.

I wish I knew how exactly I was able to do now what I couldn’t do before so that I could share it with all of you. What I do know is that feeling safe and actually being safe is a key part of being able to feel your feelings. I feel safe in my home, I feel safe and protected with my husband, and

So the moral of the story is that when I couldn’t cry – I had to act out and when I couldn’t not cry – I didn’t need to act out. And for this I’m grateful. Because there’s still a baby coming, a boyfriend to integrate into the family, laundry, bills, and the damn dog still hits that heating vent every other visit. 

Posted in sex addiction

That (other) time I cried really hard

  1. 091.jpg*I was writing a about crying really hard when my son was ill and veered off on a tangent about the other time I’d cried that hard, which was supposed to be a line or two, but the words wouldn’t stop coming so I posted that separately and came back to my original topic today, and, of course, promptly veered off on another tangent.

Side note: I believe now that that psychiatrist [the one who did my intake interview at the treatment facility I went to in 2006] was mean, borderline abusive to me. He was a southern man and I think the idea of a female sex addicted mother was repulsive to him. I was suicidal but didn’t look or act like people do when they’re suicidal. I tried to explain something that happened when I was 9 or 10 with my father and the doctor said that it sounded like I was trying to avoid responsibility for my actions. 

Here’s the first tangent I took while I was trying to explain, which I posted earlier. 

But back at the treatment center, I hadn’t spoken to my dad about that phone call ever. So I only had my memories to go on and the doctor believed that my telling of the story was an example of an addict refusing to take responsibility for her actions. He thought I was trying to blame my mother for my bad behavior. When I reiterated that I was only 8 years old, he was nonplussed. Then he segued into questions about my family now. Did I have children. Had they ever seen me or my husband naked, did we sleep together or bathe together, which he said would show evidence, according to the psychiatrist, that my husband and I had covertly abused our children because when they were little they would come into the bathroom when we were undressed. 

First of all, that’s bullshit. For covert abuse to occur, there must be an undercurrent of sexual energy that just didn’t exist in our home. I tried to explain that, but the psychiatrist would have none of it. He wrapped up the interview and I was given permission to leave the room. I walked with tears streaming down my face to the dining area and got a glass of water, but it wasn’t lunch time yet. The woman there was SO kind to me – she said that I would get better and that God loved me. She looked at me like I was a worthwhile human being, not a living breathing piece of garbage, which was how I felt the psychiatrist looked at me. She gave me Kleenex.

I sat down at a picnic table in the courtyard and just sat while my eyes ran. No sobs, just tears. It was weird. Then this guy comes rushing up, angry because I’m alone and I’m not supposed to be alone. That broke me. I looked at this man and said, “I had permission. I wasn’t sure where to go but I thought that sitting in the pavilion wouldn’t be a bad place to sit. I wasn’t hiding, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I had permission. I broke down then. It seemed to click for the therapist who’d been chastising me and he sat next to me while I cried. I tried to stop but couldn’t. I kept apologizing but he said that it was okay, he was just going to sit with me.

We got a new psychiatrist a few days later as the result of a routine job change and the female psychiatrist took better care of me while I was there.

Later, after I was home and discussing this with my CSAT, he pointed out that I’d been traumatized by this interview, and that I’d done really, really well because I continued to live, especially considering that my former therapist, the priest (he is a psychoanalyst) had been abusing me for years right up to the week I entered treatment. You see there were train tracks very near this treatment facility, and the trains went through on a regular schedule. My back up plan was to just hop the fence and sit on the tracks a few minutes before one of the trains was due.

Looking back, I think almost all of the problems I had during that interview and at other times in treatment was because I had undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. I really wish I could go back and explain this to everyone who treated me so they could apologize for causing me unnecessary pain, but I doubt they’d remember me. I feel sad about that because I am grateful for their help, despite their mistakes. But treatment isn’t set up scientifically. There’s no mechanism in place to objectively check and see how graduates do down the road. 

I was a mess when I got to treatment and they gave me a relatively safe place to heal. None of the counselors deliberately abused me – even the psychiatrist. Nobody used me sexually. And I believe that even when therapists make mistakes, as long as they’re honest mistakes, it’s not the end of the world. My former psychoanalyst, the priest, used me for lots of different things, for money, for titillation, for power, and for sex. He made me much, much sicker. My combination of Asperger’s Syndrome and a history of childhood sexual abuse left me unusually vulnerable to his grooming and seduction. 

Most of my adult life, I’ve felt like there’s something intrinsically wrong with me. I have too much of The Creep in me. I felt that I’d lost my mother’s respect because I was willing to bad mouth my dad behind his back but not tell him to his face that I hated him. I believed that I was not a person of integrity. But none of that is true. I have integrity. I am a decent person. I have been a good wife and a good mother. Not every minute of every day, but overall, when I am not in an abusive relationship, I thrive.

Posted in sex addiction

Side Note

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*I was writing a post about crying really hard when my son was ill and veered off on a tangent about another time I’d cried that hard, which was supposed to be a line or two, but the words wouldn’t stop coming. So I decided to make the side note it’s own post.

Side note: I believe now that that psychiatrist – the one who did my intake interview at the treatment facility I went to in 2006 – was way off base. He was a southern man and I think the idea of a female sex addicted mother was repulsive to him. I was suicidal but didn’t look or act like people do when they’re suicidal. I tried to explain something that happened when I was 9 or 10 with my father and the doctor said that it sounded like I was trying to avoid responsibility for my actions.

Here’s what I was trying to explain. My parents were divorced when I was 8 and it was an ugly divorce. We lived with my mother and visited my father after he got out of the “loony bin” (my mother’s words). My mom said that my sister and I came back different after we spent the weekend with our dad. We were bad, spoiled, rude, basically he turned us into brats. I tried so hard to be good when we got back home, but it never worked, I always did something wrong. At my house, my dad was called “The Creep,” as in “If The Creep really loved you, he’d pay his part of the dentist’s bill.” Whenever I was bad, and I can tell you that I really did try to be a good girl, my mom would say that I had too much of The Creep in me. I heard that a lot and like children do, I internalized the shit out of it. For most of my life, I was convinced that one day I’d go crazy because I had too much of The Creep in me. But back then, there was a day when my mother was ranting and raving about The Creep and my sister and I chimed in that we hated him too. We hated him too. It makes my stomach queasy to write this now, but back then I felt powerful and validated and (probably) loved by my mom.

So when she said that I was a hypocrite for saying this behind my dad’s back, that if I really felt that way I’d tell him to his face, I agreed with her. I remember my mom standing in the living room, smoking a cigarette, wearing cut off denim shorts and a t-shirt being really angry at how two-faced I was. Eventually my mom said that if I really felt that way, I should tell him so. She dialed the phone, told my dad that “The girls have something to say to you,” and handed the phone to me. I couldn’t say a word. My sister, who was 6 took the phone and said loud and clear that she hated my dad and never wanted to see him again. She handed the phone back to me and walked over to mom, who was very proud.

When I put the phone to my ear, my dad was crying. I still couldn’t talk. My mother turned away in disgust when the tears started down my face and my sister went with her. I remember my dad asking if I felt the same way my sister felt, and through my tears I said, Yes.”

My dad remembers it differently. He said that my sister went first and that although it took me awhile I said I hated him and never wanted to see him again too.

But back at the treatment center, I hadn’t spoken to my dad about that phone call ever. So I only had my memories to go on and the doctor believed that my telling of the story was an example of an addict refusing to take responsibility for her actions. He thought I was trying to blame my mother. When I reiterated that I was only 8 years old, he was nonplussed. Then he segued into questions about my family now. Did I have children. Had they ever seen me or my husband naked, did we sleep together or bathe together.

Because I answered yes to his questions this was evidence, according to the psychiatrist, that my husband and I had covertly abused our children because when they were little they would come into the bathroom when we were undressed. That was just not true. For covert abuse to occur, there must be an undercurrent of sexual energy that just didn’t exist in our home. I tried to explain that, but the psychiatrist would have none of it. He wrapped up the interview and I was given permission to leave the room. I walked with tears streaming down my face to the dining area and got a glass of water, but it wasn’t lunch time yet. The woman there was SO kind to me – she said that I would get better and that God loved me. She looked at me like I was a worthwhile human being, not a living breathing piece of garbage, which was how I felt the psychiatrist looked at me. She gave me Kleenex.

I sat down at a picnic table in the courtyard and just sat while my eyes ran. No sobs, just tears. It was weird. Then this guy comes rushing up, angry because I’m alone and I’m not supposed to be alone. That broke me. I looked at this man and said, “I had permission. I wasn’t sure where to go but I thought that sitting in the pavilion wouldn’t be a bad place to sit. I wasn’t hiding, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I had permission. I broke down then. It seemed to click for the therapist who’d been chastising me and he sat next to me while I cried. I tried to stop but couldn’t. I kept apologizing but he said that it was okay, he was just going to sit with me.

We got a new psychiatrist a few days later. The other one had moved to another job or something. Nobody thought there was anything wrong with my interview.

Later, after I was home and discussing this with my CSAT, he pointed out that I’d been traumatized by this interview, and that I’d done really, really well because I continued to live. You see there were train tracks very near this treatment facility, and my back up plan was to just hop the fence and sit on the tracks a few minutes before the train was due.

Looking back, I think almost all of the problems I had during that interview and at other times in treatment was because I had undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. I really wish I could go back and explain this to everyone who treated me so they could apologize for causing me unnecessary pain, but I doubt they’d remember me. I doubt they’d want to hear from me.

I feel sad about that because I am grateful for their help, despite their mistakes. And I wish that there was more checking in with clients after graduation. Therapists often don’t seem to want to know if their therapy was effective, or if there were things they could have done better or differently. I was a mess when I got to treatment and they gave me a safe place to heal away from the therapist who’d been abusing me. But they agreed with my self diagnosis, which I now know was completely wrong. At that time, I presented myself as a sex addict who had ruined a good man’s career because she had lured him into a sexual relationship. In fact, it wasn’t until my husband came to family week and pointed out that had he done what this priest did, he’d lose his medical license and go to jail. After my husband painted a more accurate picture, in fact that I was abused by my therapist, that my therapy went much better. It so happened that the head of the program was there at that time, and his reaction was that of COURSE my therapist abused me. The staff all looked at me differently after that, or at least it seemed that way to me.

All that aside, I did get better there. None of the counselors deliberately abused me – even the psychiatrist. Nobody used me sexually. My former psychoanalyst, the priest, used me for lots of different things, for money, for titillation, for power, and for sex. He made me much, much sicker. My combination of Asperger’s Syndrome and a history of childhood sexual abuse left me unusually vulnerable to his grooming and seduction.

Most of my adult life, I’ve felt like there’s something intrinsically wrong with me and that eventually I’d go crazy. I have too much of The Creep in me. I felt that I’d lost my mother’s respect because I was willing to bad mouth my dad behind his back but not tell him to his face that I hated him. I believed that I was not a person of integrity. But none of that is true. I have integrity. I am a decent person. I have been a good wife and a good mother. Not every minute of every day, but overall, when I am not in an abusive relationship, I thrive.

 

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Posted in residential treatment, therapy

It’s been awhile

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One of the reasons I started this blog is that I couldn’t find any other blogs written by sex addicts that didn’t just stop after awhile. I’d find someone I felt I could really connect with or learn from and then I’d notice their last post was months or even years old. I hated that. Did they relapse? Did they stop working the program? Why would anyone do that? Did they die? And what, if anything, did that say about me and my chances for recovery?

I want to let anyone who reads this blog that I’m still here. Lots of things have happened but I’m still a happily married, functionally sober adult woman in her 50s. I weigh more and am developing that chin waddle my grandmother had when she was my age. My hair is a lot grader, or would be if I didn’t dye it. I have the occasional alcoholic beverage, usually a dark beer. I don’t smoke.

My life is good. I hope yours is good too.

 

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Posted in gratitude, long term sobriety

Aspergers

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The psychologist I am seeing thinks I have Aspergers Syndrome. There’s this book that Liane Holliday Willey has written; evidently women with Aspergers are more susceptible to sexual abuse.

After years of trying to figure out what part of my former therapists misconduct was my fault ….

I can’t really think more than this because it makes me cry too much. On a funny note, my husband has been making me laugh saying that I have ass burgers. Ass burgers! Isn’t that hilarious?

Posted in non 12-step recovery, sex addiction, therapy

Just for today

Sky

Just for today is something you hear a lot in recovery. For a person who knows that life is unmanageable while they’re drinking, drugging, gambling, acting out sexually, it’s a no-brainer to know how to make things better: just stop. Unfortunately, just stopping feels impossible when you are an addict.

“Normal” people do those things in moderation, when it’s appropriate. If they over indulge or do something they later regret (a threesome, for example) they decide not to do that again. And then they don’t do it again.

Addicts do those things when they need to, which is all about regulating the inner emotional landscape in order to cope with the stress of daily life.

To help ourselves keep from freaking out at having to live a life without our drug of choice we remember that we don’t have to live this way forever; it’s just for today. That keeps the panic level low enough that we can think rationally. Tomorrow I may make a different decision, but just for today I am a sexually sober sex addict.

That being said; I was diagnosed as a sex addict by a therapist who abused me. While I was under his care, I acted out sexually in ways that I had not ever done before, I became less and less functional in my daily life, and more and more mentally ill. I nearly killed myself. In a last ditch effort to find some way to continue living, I went to inpatient treatment for my sex addiction. I presented myself there exactly as I saw myself, as a sexual predator who had ruined a good priest’s career.

Rosenhan experiment 

And that’s how I my treatment was structured, until a national expert in the field of sex addiction sat down with my husband and I during family week and listened to the story. He was horrified at the level of abuse I had suffered, which was something my husband had been saying as well. Having a fresh set of eyes made it possible for me to be seen differently.

The good news was that I got better even though I was mis-diagnosed. It was a safe place. None of the therapists were abusing me, and all of them genuinely cared and wanted to help me get better. Parts of my therapy probably would have been gentler if I’d been treated more like a victim, but I don’t regret going there. That treatment facility and those counselors saved my life. The not so good news is the intensive outpatient program I went to after that was not as safe and not nearly as nurturing. But I had sufficient mental health by then to be able to make the decision to leave, even though they told me that I was making a mistake. To tell the truth, I’m beginning to feel more and more angry about some of the things that happened to me in that outpatient program. As I’ve been trying to work through my thoughts and feelings about some of the traumatic events that happened there, I’m struck by just how much I want to go back and tell them how they hurt me. It would be healing for me to accept an apology. But it would also be instructive for them to hear where they made mistakes.

So here I am, 7 years later having been diagnosed as a sex addict by a priest, who was a therapist, who stole money from me, and who helped me get sicker, and who abused me sexually.

I don’t think I’m a sex addict. I think I have Complex PTSD. At times I drink unhealthily. At times I act out sexually. At times I check out mentally and get lost in pornography. What in the hell do I do with this self-knowledge? What does it mean for my participation in recovery?

On the other hand – I do think I’m a sex addict.

Labels that fit can be so helpful but they’re also limiting. And when they’re wrong they can be damaging. Actually when they’re right they can be damaging as well.

It’s a conundrum.

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Posted in life in general, my journaling, residential treatment, therapy

My spiritual awakening to atheism

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Have I mentioned recently that I’m grateful to be an atheist? Life is so much more precious now, since this is the only one I’ve got; no do-overs in heaven. I don’t have to waste any of it rationalizing the unbelievable.

One of my more elaborate rationalizations was regarding the whole issue of transubstantiation (that’s the belief that the bread and wine of communion actually changes into the actual flesh and actual blood of Christ at the moment the priest blesses them) by believing that there was an atom of Jesus in every wafer and every cup that would become activated by the priest’s blessing.

I know. Right. Stop laughing! Seriously! I can hear you!

Okay. It is pretty funny that creating a rationalization I could believe in for communion was my biggest impediment to becoming Catholic before I converted.

Oddly enough, masturbation didn’t worry me at all. Of course, why would it? i had no idea that this was a significant coping or self-soothing mechanism for me. I knew I’d have to stop, but I honestly didn’t think it’d be a big deal at all. Masturbation’s a mortal sin in Catholicism, which worked really well for me because I usually felt like shit after I masturbated. Separate yourself from God, feel lonely and ashamed. Made sense to me. You have to confess mortal sins before you can take communion. Again, makes sense. It’s the Church’s way of helping you reconnect with God. Besides, I had nothing to worry about since my sex life was going along just fine.

I did a thorough and fearless moral inventory in preparation for my first confession. Guess what I forgot! Yepper, I completely forgot porn and masturbation. Now that was embarrassing, because I had to schedule a second confession. See, I wanted to be sure I’d done my part right so the magic would work.

After I converted I was shocked to (re)discover that I couldn’t stop masturbating. In fact, I couldn’t stop thinking about sex. And orgasms became completely unattainable. It was confusing and embarrassing. Obviously this was all in my head, so I asked my parish priest for help and he referred me to a “really great” therapist. Why didn’t I go to the person who helped me 10 years earlier? Because I didn’t want to be cured of my Catholicism.

That’s how I ended up seeing a monk for psychotherapy. After a year and a half of the talking cure with him, I’d attempted suicide once and had plans to do a better job the next time. I wasn’t sleeping, smoked 2 packs a day (I wasn’t a cigarette a year smoker before). And my sexual acting out had jumped into behaviors that I hid from my husband, things that I consider adultery.

I see now that I felt like … like I was evil. This has been a theme for me. Somehow I had been contaminated and I desperately wanted to be saved, to be made whole, to become pure and good. It’s not uncommon for people who were sexually abused as children to feel as if they have been tainted. You can wash and wash but you’re never really clean. That foul core is always there. I wanted to be clean. Saved. I wanted God to magically wash me clean and make me whole.

Alas, there is no magic. But change is possible. new mental pathways can be forged. “Training scars” can be recognized and dealt with. I am trying to change myself so my feelings and my reality are congruent. I want to feel clean and good, which is what I hope I really am. But its hard to make the heart accept what the mind knows (or hopes). With this new therapist, all I can focus on is making sure I tell him exactly how bad a person I am. When he doesn’t judge me as bad, I feel I’m not being honest.

It’s sad. I don’t want to be seen as a bad person but I can’t accept being seen as good one. I hate that I can’t just accept myself as good enough. When that happens, sobriety is a happy byproduct.

So while it is funny, it’s also sad that a person could waste so much time and energy just trying to find a way to justify his or her own existence.

GP

Posted in atheism, my journaling, sex addiction, therapy

Hello World

no group here

 

I’ve been seeing a new therapist closer to where I live. It’s nice not having to block out a half day to go to therapy. I can get to his office in about 10 minutes, which is really convenient.

I have mixed feelings though about being back in therapy. Yes, it’s true that therapy is often a step in the right direction along the gentle path toward self-actualization. But the road is anything but easy. Yesterday was a tough session. And today I’ve been this weepy, sad person that I don’t want to be.

Part of what I want from therapy is verification that I am NOT a seductive, career-ruining, predator. I want to move past an academic acceptance. I want to be free of the guilt and shame that I have about having a sexual relationship with my former therapist. His rationalization that we hadn’t really had a sexual relationship because “it was only phone sex” is something I’ve NEVER believed. I saw that as the rationalization when he said it to me, and I still believe with all my heart that although we did not actually have intercourse or actually touch each others bodies, we did have a sexual relationship. I know it. And that sexual relationship was . . . dare I say . . . NOT therapeutic.

I want to feel that sure about whether I did something wrong during our sessions. How do I do that? How do I convince myself that I did not behave inappropriately? What I’ve been doing is telling this new therapist about how I acted in sessions and asking his opinion. So far I’ve asked two therapists if bringing coffee to a therapist is flirtatious, seductive, or bad. So far, the consensus is that it’s probably not a bad thing. Probably. That’s where I get stuck, but the truth is that it doesn’t matter how many times I ask, I never REALLY believe I was blameless. How does that get fixed? It’s like a kind of psychic phantom limb pain.

***************

I’ve been trying to start a 12-step group in my town with very little success. I have a box of stuff, I have a meeting place, but no people. Periodically men will contact the hotline, but they don’t want to talk to a female. That’s understandable, but I’m tired of trying to get a group going.

***************

I’m just sad. I feel like someone dear to me has died. I feel sorry for this little girl who was me, for this woman who was me. I wonder if this is healthy – poor me, poor me, pour me, and all that jazz.

But the scary thing for me is that I’m beginning to feel a bit angry. Resentful. That’s a scary vortex to look into. Recovery slogans aside, I believe I need to walk through these feelings. And I’m going to try hard to do it soberly because otherwise, I don’t think it’ll work.

The new therapist said that it would set me free. I don’t know if I buy that. I’m not feeling so free right now. I’m feeling sad, vulnerable, and wounded.

GP

 

Posted in i had sex with my therapist, life in general, my journaling, sexual addiction, therapy

Sleepless

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Something must have clicked somewhere in my brain because I couldn’t sleep most of the night yet I haven’t been acting out. Weird.

Here’s something interesting from http://simonsobo.com/the-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-dsm-iv

Mr. K., a lawyer for a large corporation, was overwhelmingly depressed at home and work. The apparent cause was a difficult supervisor at his job. Almost daily his supervisor would criticize some aspect of his work and Mr. K. would be immobilized for the rest of the day. Sometimes he would stare at the wall in a daze… “my father always called me a complainer…you don’t have to love your job; you just have to get it done… I’m a loser … all those years in law school and for nothing…” Placed on Prozac Mr. K. was quickly fixed. His supervisor would enter his office, make his usual derogatory remarks and nothing would happen. Mr. K. could again get his work done in fine form. There were other benefits. His overweight wife lost 35 pounds. For the first time in years, Mr. K. put down the TV remote control. They began having good conversations, the kind of talks they used to have when their relationship was fresh and engaging. Everything became new. Mr. K. realized that for years he had been going out on Sundays because he was irritated by the tumult of his children at home. On Prozac, he found himself playing with his children and having a great time. After ten months on the medication we decided to see how he would do without it. Within a few weeks we were back to square one. His supervisor’s remarks were again devastating him and he was a grouch at home. He made a quick recovery once he was placed back on the medication. After 16 months on Prozac Mr. K. found a new job. He loved it. He came off the Prozac. He did just fine.

There were only a few peculiarities that he commented on when he got off the medication. Although overall he had worked far more effectively on Prozac, for the first time in his life he found himself ignoring deadlines. Once or twice, that had caused difficulties. He bought a Mercedes on the medication. He had always wanted a Mercedes, but off of the medication he considered it a budget buster and foolish.

This case is noteworthy not only because his judgment was altered by the meds, but because, at ten months, when we first tried stopping the meds, he would have seemingly illustrated the statistics often replicated in studies, of patients who have a recurrence without their meds, thus providing one more piece of evidence, seeming to confirm the biological basis of his illness. But, at 16 months, with the apparent cause of his depression eliminated (his critical supervisor), he did just fine without an SSRI. This doesn’t diminish the almost miraculous effectiveness of his original meds, or even that Prozac may very well have helped him gain the initiative to find a new job. However, it does highlight the kind of questions that clinicians should ask themselves about the particulars involved in a specific patient’s illness, as opposed to exclusively focusing on the operative factors in a specific diagnosed illness. This perspective is in contrast to the clinical practice guideline issues by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which flatly states that where there has been a prior episode(s) of major depression “maintenance of antidepressant medication treatment should be for at least one year” 32 Statistically this assertion may have a basis but surely there are circumstances when this “rule” should not guide us.

My doctor tells me that I’ll probably be on antidepressants for the rest of my life. That kind of sucks, but it also kind of doesn’t because I like having a brain that works. I wish I’d gotten them years ago.

It’s time to get up and start the day. Man, do I hate not sleeping. I feel fine now, but later I’m going to be cranky.

Posted in life in general
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