November 10, 2009

I’m reading more in the book, Facing Love Addiction, by Pia Mellody. I’m amazed at how the book accurately describes behavior I’ve been doing.

I alternate between the Love Addict and the Love Avoidant (sexual, social and emotional anorexia). I’m starting to take a closer look at how my parents fit into the picture and how they might have shaped my life and thoughts.

I think I learned how to be a Love Addict through my mom, and a Love Avoidant through my dad. At the same time, my interactions with my mom are probably what make me avoid love and relationships now, and interactions with my dad are what make me addicted to love.

The key to breaking this cycle is realizing that I can love myself, and doing so. Focus on my spiritual and emotional growth.

A big key for me is taking responsibility for myself, instead of constantly blaming others and being a victim. I was a victim in childhood, but not anymore. I can reclaim my life. My self-esteem will naturally grow, from here.

I feel like I’ve never had a model for healthy relationships, growing up, but I hope I can learn, through applying what I read in this book.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

The reason why my adult relationships are not working well is because of my unresolved pain from childhood. So I need to work through that pain first.

I am an addict.

I need to recognize this.

I accept it.

I’ve been in half-denial for a while. Fighting against the idea of being an out-of-control addict.

I’ve been watching comedy and movies to help cope with the pain. I don’t think it’s an addiction, though. I can’t deal with pain 100% of the time. Sometimes it’s good to take a break—like a study break in college.

GETTING CLOSER TO THE REALITY OF ADAM

It is painful that Adam has sex with me but loves someone else—his girlfriend in [another state]. I created excuses that it was ok. I was afraid that I wouldn’t get sex at all, if not from Adrian… and that is true, because there isn’t anyone else who I’d have sex with.

But that is a good thing. Sex should be fun, loving and healthy.

I finally admit that although sex with Adam was fun, his lack of love was hurting me inside. To heal, it is better to go ahead and not have sex at all right now, rather than have sex with him.

FEELINGS OF WITHDRAWAL

I feel this heavy withdrawal stage. It’s just like withdrawal from any drug, I suppose. My “drug” was relationships that were harmful to me.

I remember the scene in The Last Samurai movie where Tom Cruise‘s character went through alcohol withdrawal. It was painful but it passed. This, too, will pass in time for me.

Hope is what pulls me through. That, and inspirational movies like Lord of the Rings. SAA and SLAA helps pull me together, too.

It’s probably not yet safe to say I’m “out of the jungle,” yet. However, I may have already gone through a large chunk of the withdrawal process. My emotions were pretty bad, about a week ago. It felt like withdrawal.

I feel better now… eating healthier and not suicidal.

LISTS AND CATEGORIES TO MAKE SENSE OF THINGS

I’ve been given advice to not get too caught-up on labels and categories. Still, I feel the need to write them down here.

It appears that I may be dealing with the following:

I feel that the best way for me is to work on each one, a little bit, here and there, instead of doing them in any order, with the exception of sex addiction. Sex with strangers was something that needed to be stopped asap.

IS MY CURRENT CIRCLE OF FRIENDS HEALTHY FOR ME?

I still have a difficult time telling if my friends and relationships are healthy for me.

  • Kevin shows signs of a Love Avoidant. He has told me before that he once self-diagnosed himself as a sex addict.
  • Adam shows signs of a sex addict and has issues with abandonment, which probably implies codependency, also.
  • Jenn definitely is guarded and doesn’t trust easily and has issues with sex and love.

Jenn and Adam are both attracted to me sexually. Many people that I meet show sexual attraction to me, but perhaps that is also a reflection of my own charged sexual energy—of which I have a vast amount!

I am currently avoiding Kevin—we seem to do the “dance” of the Love addict and Love avoidant. I don’t want to do that anymore.

TIME TO MATURE

I wonder how our relationships would change or grow, as I continue to mature emotionally.

Because, you know, I am immature.

I am ashamed to be so immature. I act like a child because I never learned to act like an adult, especially in relationships and friendships.

That is changing, now.

I’m close to 30 years old. I want to mature—for myself and for others in the future who I will wish to help.

I’ve held onto a deep resentment and hatred towards my parents—they are the ones who taught me these horrible, bad behaviors. Interestingly, the more I put together the puzzle of my life, the more I understand and I am less angry as I understand the cycle of addiction.

I’m sure my own parents were addicts to something.
Mom: possible love addict and codependent? (bipolar, too?)
Dad: possible love avoidant, workaholic and some degree of sex addict, too?

I remember that my mom held a great anger and resentment towards my dad. I also remember stories of him not being faithful—aka: cheating on the marriage and having affairs with other women.

If they really were the Love Addict and Love Avoidant couple, then that means they were playing that tango for nearly 30 years together. That is way too long. I refuse to end up in a disaster like they did.

I get to define my own life and my own reality. 🙂

SIDE NOTES

At meetings, I keep forgetting to say: “I’m uncomfortable with touching, so I would be grateful if we could just stand next to each other at the end, instead of holding hands.”

[Explanation: At the end of SAA meetings, everyone gathers in a circle, holding hands, and saying words together. I didn’t like the physical contact of holding the guys’ hands, but I was very afraid of speaking up about it and looked upon as “weird” or “strange” for making such a request when it was a tradition in the Anon groups.]

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