Guess What?

As you can see, I reset my sobriety date. Again. Goddamnit. That damn sobriety date was like a badge of success. Now it’s a badge of failure. And yeah, I know we only have 24 hours, blah, blah. But that was a lot easier to accept when I measured my sobriety in years.

I really wish I could let go of the whole idea that I’m a sex addict. I want to say that it’s not like I have affairs or anything. And that’s true I don’t. Except to say that honestly I have to go into this whole long explanation about how I’m good as long as I’m not being abused. It’s true, but it sounds way too rationalistic to even bother with.

I remember trying to tell the doctor who did my intake at Gentle Path (what a jerk) about an incident with my father. I was probably 10 years old. Not being molested much yet. We’d do this thing at dinner where my step-father (who worked in the same office as my real father, they’d been best friends before the divorce, yada, yada, yada) would complain about my father. Or my mother would complain that my real father hadn’t paid his part of the dentist’s bill. “If he loves you so much, why won’t he care about your teeth?” Our name for my real dad was “The Creep,” as in “The Creep still hasn’t paid his half of the dental bill.”

One of my constant terrors as a child was that I’d call my father “The Creep” to his face. I called him by my stepfather’s name once and he was so hurt. Or angry. I don’t know. There was a real heavy silence for a long time in the car.

Anyway, this one time, we’d been sitting around the table talking about how much we hated “The Creep.” My sister and I were joined in wholeheartedly and after a while, probably 30 minutes or so, my mother said that if we really felt this way, we should tell him. She dialed the phone and said, “The girls have something to say to you,” and passed the phone to my sister. She was two years younger, but was much braver. She told my father that she hated him and never wanted to see him again.

It only took a few minutes for her to say that, and then it was my turn. But I was a coward. My dad was crying when I got on the phone with him and then I started to cry too. My mother was disgusted and left the room, saying that if I could say it behind his back, I should be able to say it to his face. She went outside to smoke a cigarette. I guess my sister followed her. All I remember is being all alone with the phone. Finally my Dad asked if I wanted to tell him what my sister had said. I said yes. He probably said something like “I love you,” but I don’t remember. All I remember is feeling like a cowardly piece of shit. Cowardly for talking behind his back. Cowardly for not telling him I hated him. Cowardly for being brave like my sister.

No shit. So here’s me, sitting in residential treatment for being a sexual predator (since I’d seduced my therapist) and addictive sexual behaviors (variations of  compulsive or self-medicative masturbation and porn use) telling this story to Mr. Southern Gentleman Alcoholic M.D. I sincerely wanted to get better, so I was telling him the unvarnished truth. But I guess what he heard was me blaming my mother for forcing me to make that phone call.

He spent some time making sure that I understood that it was not my mother’s fault that I told my father I hated him. Still, some part of me inside wails that I never said it. I never said it. I never said it. I just agreed that I wanted to say what my sister had said. I never said it. By the time I was finished with that interview, I was a complete wreck. I was a poster child for heavy medication and a straight jacket.

Then I got in trouble for going to the eating area by myself. I thought I’d never stop crying enough to explain to the program director that the doctor TOLD me to go there. I was following directions, not isolating or sneaking, or whatever.

The woman in the cafeteria there was so nice. She gave me a glass of ice water and said that whatever had happened to me that God loved me and that I’d get better.

Eventually I stopped crying enough to be able to explain to the program director, and he seemed to believe me. He sat with me until I was calmer, which took an embarrassingly long time. Like nearly an hour. He was nice, and didn’t seem disgusted.

When my mother came when I was in PEP, she backed all the therapists off. Only one confronted her, and she backed down immediately. So while it’s absolutely true that my mother didn’t force me to say I hated my father, grown therapists weren’t much of a match for her.

Goddamnit. Where the hell did this come from? I was going to write about how I’ve been having trouble reaching out to women in recovery. I’ve gotten a few phone numbers and I can’t make myself call. I can be give help to other women, but to ask for it . . . no way. Too hard. I was going to do a nice little segue into the dilemma of deciding whether it’s really all that bad to read erotica and masturbate, which would have made a nice little rationalization for reading my very last undeleted stash. All this verbal spewage in lieu of making the long drive to see my (good) therapist because we got a bunch of snow and the roads are bad.

This was going to be a funny post that somehow played on the “Recovery for Dummies” theme.

This is the kind of stuff nobody, even me, wants to hear at a meeting because it’s “in the problem” not “in the solution.” It’s depressing and whiney and belongs in the therapist’s office.

Ugh. I thought I was over all this shit. I thought it was thoroughly processed and taken care of.

I forgot the “Guess What?” part. Guess what? Wikihow can tell you how to stop a masturbation addiction. I read the whole thing. Guess what part jumped out to me?

Do not aim NEVER to masturbate again – aim to have it as part of your life, but a small part which, while it is comforting, does not interfere with relationships with others.

See? Permission! hehe (I’m joking!)



  1. I’ve been having a hard time sharing in meetings the last few weeks because I feel like this is all I have to offer. I’m so stuck on the problems in my mind right now; trying to run away from the compulsive sexual fantasies and thoughts. I feel overwhelmed by the weight of them sometimes. Although I’m sober at the moment, I’m in fairly miserable withdrawal. Every healthy thought feels like a battle on some days. But I know what it feels like when I’m sober and healthy and I really really really want to get there again.

    • I wish I had some words of wisdom that would help make it better. All I can say is don’t give up. It’s definitely more of a trudge somedays than others.

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