An Itchy Brain Day

I seem to be trudging a strange stream-of-consciousness path today. In this post I meander from being done with religion to the existential question, “What am I? Predator or prey? Or both?”
Truly, Patrick Carnes had it right when he said sex addiction was like having athlete’s foot of the brain.

On itchy brain days, it?s good to walk. I?m going to upload and go for a walk.


I love the Friendly Atheist’s blog. He has just the right combination of humorous posts in amongst the thought provoking ones. Many of his posts are questions so even though I subscribe to the feed, I visit the site nearly every day to read the comments. I often compose these lengthy comments only to delete them later in embarrassment. What if some atheist drops in here and finds out I’m an addict in recovery? In the company of atheists, I’m embarrassed to be in a 12-step program.

How lame is that? Recovery saved my life, I should be proud to be known as a member of a 12-step group.

And how arrogant can I be? Like my comments are so erudite they’ll compel the reader to click thereby exposing me… as what? A sex addict? A 12-stepper?

Before I sink to far into a dangerous and self-indulgent funk, let me return to my original thought, which was that this morning I very much enjoyed reading the comments people posted in response to this question:

When did you know you were done with religion?
(For what it’s worth, that may not necessarily be the same moment you became an atheist.)

I was done with religion when I realized that trying to make what is true fit what I want to be true requires a willing suspension of disbelief.

It was a willing suspension of disbelief that helped me ignore all the danger signs with Father M. the the therapist. All the Internet searches I did looking for one, just one positive reference to an intimate relationship with a therapist; that should have been a clue.

Last week I told my present therapist that I couldn’t imagine bantering with him trying to guess what fetish he has. What joyful, titillating conversations those used to be! I used to stop and buy coffee for me and Father M. He likes sugar in his coffee. I don’t. I like mine with milk. I should have known that something was wrong when I started putting sugar in my coffee too. It was the Runaway Bride Syndrome. I don’t like f-ing sugar in my coffee.

I’ve been toying with the idea of bringing coffee to my current therapist just to see what he’d do, but I’m afraid to. What if I got in trouble? He’d be in an awkward position. Should he accept the coffee or not? We’ve talked about it enough times he?s well aware of what a charged gesture this would be on my part. Maybe he’d be mad at me. Besides it would be kind of a mean thing to do.

And worst of all, what if he liked it. What if everything that happened to me really was my own fucking fault.

When I showed up at treatment I was scrupulously honest about being a sexual predator who’d ruined a good priest/therapist/man. Except he wasn’t actually ruined just then. He told me that he was closing his practice, but he lied. He continued to see patients until my husband called his superior and told.

So I don’t bring coffee to my current therapist. But I think about doing it every time. Last week when we talked about it (again) he (again) explained how he maintains boundaries with patients. I know he’s doing this to help me feel safe.

But I felt safe with Father M. And Father M. explained all those same boundaries, in pretty much the same terms. “If I have a patient who triggers my arousal template, I refer them to someone else for therapy.” “Would it be helpful for you to hear directly that you and I will never have a sexual relationship?” That was early on though. Before I’d had a chance to exert my corrupting influence.

I hate that this happened to me. I hate not knowing who I am – an excellent seductress or a pitiable victim? My current therapist thinks I’m a victim and my therapist in treatment thought that putting myself in the role of a perpetrator gave me a sense of power and control. I don’t know what I think. I feel like a… bad person.

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t f-ing know. And I hate not knowing what I am.

What really sucks is how much space in my mind all this shit takes up. Patrick Carnes said it: “Athelete’s foot of the brain.”

Perhaps I should take a walk and say a few affirmations since I’ve definitely worked myself into a funk.



  1. I swear, parentheses are the best things since sliced bread. And semicolons; I am quite fond of those too.


  2. Followed you link from FA.

    I have great sympathy for your plight as I have (though not diagnosed (more out of fear (for my career(and family)))) long thought that I might be sexually addicted. I very nearly destroyed my marriage and the “other woman’s” marriage as well. It took a long time and a lot of work and I still have to fight day to day not to think out side the expected norms or marriage. Hell, you know what I mean, the addiction mind set, drinking doesn’t stop the thoughts, drugs are out of the question and most people think sexual addiction isn’t a real thing, they think its a cop out so you have to be very careful who you talk to about it(therapists included)

    I wish you the best.

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