Sent: Monday, January 10, 2000 11:50 AM
Subject: E-Mail Advice
Hi Dr Irene,
My life seems to be heading into
destructive paths and I have no control over it. Yes you do. You just have to recognize that fact. When I was young I was sexually abused and
still now I feel ashamed of it. I am getting help for this now. Good!
The life I lead now is very dependent on men and sex, as
I find my contact is through this and it relieves my stress and anger. Sex and "love," i.e., infatuation, to be more
accurate, are your addictions. You use them to medicate your pain and
blot out your feelings. Think: doesn't your fix accomplish about the
same thing for the alcoholic? I find I cannot stay still for long,
and am feeling down too. I am on anti-depressants for my depression. Good. That will help.
My big problem is that I met a man who I thought was my
love of my life, and I still do. He said lots of nice words to me at the
beginning about commitment, love and "You are my soul mate". I
believed this from the beginning, as he seemed to show that he cared for
me. So I became obsessive towards him following his footsteps. Mistake! Never, ever, ever (did I say that enough?) let
another person become more important to you than you are! But, this is
about self-caring, and you don't know how to do that yet.
He seemed the perfect man who knew where he was going,
and was very positive. The sex was irrelevant for me. My emotions seemed
to fall for this man.
Then after a month he changed and became very controlling.
We would go out, and he would be accusing me of seeing other men. The
truth was - I was. I didn't admit to it and starting lying. The person your lying affects most is yourself. It
affects your self-esteem and integrity, though I don't think your
partner is any bargain. I became very passive towards him,
letting him do what he wanted and come over when he could come over. He
"talked" to me on the internet as he said, "I express
myself better here than in person".
We parted several times and got back together again. He
said he couldn't help it and to just accept him. I
am confused. I will assume you mean he asked you to accept him with his
anger. So I did. I said nothing, but I could feel my pressure, boredom,
anger and trying to portray a image that was not there. Good! Feel these feelings! They are real. Listen to
them. What is the pressure, boredom, and anger telling you? What is
bothering you? Sit on it a while. Let your feelings talk to you.
I still think of him and still love him, but now I don't
express how I feel towards him anymore - he does not want to hear it.
So, I'm trying to move on and it is hard. Shannon
It's hard, yes, but moving on is the
best thing you could possibly do for yourself. What you describe is not
love. Take a look at the difference between love
and infatuation (obsession, addiction to a person). Also see recovery from love addiction, as well as the
rest of the Codependent Pages. A relationship
is not just on one partner's terms. But, you are not ready for a
relationship with anybody yet.
First, you have to love yourself, and
you can't do that without dealing with your love and sex addiction. Do
this in your therapy - addiction is related to childhood sexual abuse -
and in self-help groups. Do this by not having sex. Do this by not
dating. Cold turkey. You need to walk the straight and narrow
because, as you see, the other path doesn't work.
While you are abstaining from
everything you are addicted to, pay attention to the feelings that come
up in you - but don't act out on them. Process
them. See what you are trying to tell yourself. Get in touch with
the woman inside. That's your best friend. Learn to love yourself first.
Only then you are prepared to love another - and accept their love in
Good luck to you, -Dr. Irene