I had a dream last night that I acted out with two guys. I was going to have sex with the first, but we discussed STDs and he had something I didn’t want to get. I was terrified that he was going to hurt me if I didn’t have sex with him.
I started to have sex with the second guy, after disclosing STDs and he was safe. I still feared the first guy, though. He was quiet and bummed that I wasn’t having sex with him.
I felt awful and afraid and guilty for not doing it with him. I didn’t really want to do it with either of them, though. I was afraid it had happened for real, as I was waking up.
I really do have a lot of dreams where I have sex because I’m terrified for my life.
INCH BY INCH
Last night, I went shopping with Jenn. In an arts and crafts store, I picked up two wind-up toys for my office. I’d been wanting some office toys to make my officer more interesting and less sterile.
One was a robot-looking thing that dances. It is to remind me to have fun, since I believe I have some aspects of a workaholic.
The second toy was a green caterpillar that inches forward when wound up. It is to remind me to take one step at a time, day by day, little by little, and I’ll get to where I’m going.
Later that night, I happened to glance down onto the sidewalk and I saw a real caterpillar. It was white and inching along from one side of the sidewalk to the other. I stopped and looked at it. It was the first time I’d seen one since moving to the southwest in 2005.
I thought about picking it up and putting it into the grass where it looked like it was headed, but it seemed to be doing a good job of moving little by little anyway. So we left it. I’m sure it made its way to the grass in a minute.
Later, Jenn sent me info on the symbolism of caterpillars and noted the coincidence that I bought the toy and then saw a real one, all in the same night.
I think random coincidences can happen, but I believe that symbolism and meaning can be found in the majority of incidents in life.
Here is what she wrote:
Animal totems are random animals or insects that appear to us at certain times… Caterpillars symbolize transformation. When caterpillar totem presents itself, know that a transformative change will occur. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is nothing short of magical.
Caterpillars teach all things will come to fruition in nature’s time, perfect timing of growth and harvesting as a preparation period. Notice how you are moving like a caterpillar—inching along, resting, rapidly moving, and pausing now and then.
Lessons to learn from the caterpillar are of movement and preparedness for the greater good of the transformations to come.
I believe that the symbolism described in the caterpillar echoes my steady progress in the SAA program. It was good to have that reminder from nature that I’m on the right path.
To me, nature is my Higher Power. I learn lessons from nature all the time: the mountains teach me that patience and steady growth can make me strong. The trees bend with the wind, yet remain grounded in the earth, and they remind me to be flexible where necessary. I cannot control most things in life, just like trees cannot control the wind and there’s certainly no sense in getting angry at the wind!
Symbolism and meaning can be found everywhere, as well as random coincidences. The caterpillar, to me, was not a mere coincidence, but a strong message that will stay with me. Inch by inch, day by day, I am growing and progressing. Healing and recovering.
The more I isolate and act out in chat rooms and on web cams, the more despair I feel and the more I feel like I am a bad person and unworthy of love. And the best love I can get, since I am a bad person, is in sexual activity in chat rooms and on web cams.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
I have hope right now, that I really will be able to have a loving, healthy relationship with a boyfriend or husband some day. I think ideally I would like to be with someone who is also honest with himself and maybe has been through some recovery to heal whatever wounds he had in his own childhood and young adulthood.
Originally, I wanted to heal, recover, go to SAA meetings so that I can be a better girlfriend to future boyfriends. But now, I want to heal for me, and so I can find peace and happiness.
Do addicts act selfishly? How have I been selfish? I feel like I was only looking for love in the best way I could. Is it really selfish to pursue “love,” if it’s all I know how to do?
At first, I completely missed fantasy as an acting-out behavior. When I think of the word “fantasy,” I picture Harry Potter, unicorns, elves and hobbits. So it was difficult to understand that I was fantasizing about men, and in doing that, I set myself up for disappointment when the guys didn’t match what I imagined in my head.
Now, today, I’ve been sober from this damaging behavior for a couple weeks, and I feel free and happy.
THEY LIKE ME, FOR ME?
I’ve been very free with sex and money given to others, over the past 10 years. Maybe I thought that was the way to get love? Yet it never works. The people always leave, or I feel like they don’t love me.
Somehow, my own personality is the thing that keeps people around. I have one friend—Jenn—and one family member—my aunt. I don’t give them massive amounts of money and I don’t give them sex. Yet for some reason, they like me. It’s very difficult to believe that anyone would like my personality, or want to hang around me.