Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not So Anonymous

Anonymiss from Bing

“Can I read what you just wrote?” my daughter asked.

“Sure,” I responded.

I handed her my laptop.  She read a page from my work-in-progress and said, “I love this part.”  Then she looked confused and asked, “Who is Elsie Amata?”

My heart sank.  I had forgotten about the header at the top of the page.  When I first became serious about writing my book, I decided I’d publish it under my pseudonym.  I created the name but never had the courage to make it public.  That was until a few months after I started my other blog.  Then, I added it to my profile.  My mistake was not removing it from rough draft of my novel.

So, when my daughter read my work-in-progress, she also saw the pseudonym I created for myself on the Internet.  I never thought it would be this blatant of a mistake that’d get me exposed.  Instead of telling a complete lie to my daughter, I told her a partial truth.  I let her know that I was planning on releasing the book under an alias.  We bantered back and forth about how silly that was and she told me she wanted me to publish it under my real name.  I agreed it was a great idea and I’d think about it. 

Then, I deleted my alias from my novel and did an Internet search.  As it turns out, I’m pretty easy to find.  The question is, will she look?  Knowing her the way that I do, I’d say the answer is no.  If I had made a big deal about the name, she would have looked.  Since I didn’t, she moved on from it.

It made me think about what life would be like if the kids knew about Devin’s sex addiction.  They know about my coke addiction twenty years ago.  They know I attend a twelve-step program and they’re proud of me for it.  But, how would they feel about Devin’s addiction?  It’s not quite the same.

Two years ago, we were in a position where we thought we had to disclose to them.  I was being stalked by one of his affair partners and she was threatening to contact the kids.  Back then, it seemed like a good idea to tell the kids.  In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t.  Devin is still working on himself right now.  He has too much healing to do before he is able to share his addiction with them.

I think, in all honesty, they know something is going on with him.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that mom and dad both started going to meetings at the same time.  Mom actually calls her meetings, “meetings,” dad calls his meetings,  “the boy’s club.”  They pick up on the twelve-step lingo we use from time to time. 

I understand Devin’s position completely.  He feels the children will lose respect for him as a dad.  A role he has a hard time with as step-dad on some days.  I also understand it’s his addiction to share, not mine.  When he’s ready to disclose it to the kids, I’ll be there for him.

Let’s just hope I don’t accidently give it away first…being anonymous ain’t that easy.


ETA:  I woke up with a migraine.  I'm heading back to bed.  I'll be back later to comment and visit blogs.  xoxo

Friday, October 11, 2013

What's The Difference?

from Bing
Many moons ago, a fellow blogger asked me what the difference was between sex addiction and cheating.  She asked for my personal thoughts on the subject. I copied her question into my blogging ideas file then promptly forgot all about it.  That is until today.  A year and a half later.  Better late than never, right?

The best person to define sex addiction is Patrick Carnes, PhD.  Carnes is the guy who helped get sex addiction recognized in our country.  He helped create the Gentle Path and pioneered the founding of the Certified Sex Addiction Therapy program.  His definition is:

“Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior that interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one's work environment.
Sexual addiction has also been called hypersexuality, sexual dependency and sexual compulsivity. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that completely dominates the addict's life. Sexual addicts make sex a priority over family, friends, and work. Sex becomes the governing principle of an addict's life. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy behavior.

No single behavior pattern defines sexual addiction. These behaviors can take control of addicts' lives and become unmanageable.  Common behaviors include, but are not limited to compulsive masturbation, compulsive heterosexual and homosexual relationships, pornography, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls, and anonymous sexual encounters. Even the healthiest forms of human sexual expression can turn into self-defeating behaviors.”

What are my personal thoughts on the subject?

Sex addiction sucks.

No, no.  That’s not what she was asking.  The question was, what’s the difference between Devin having multiple affairs and say, my next-door neighbor, Larry, having multiple affairs.  Sorry, Larry.

In Larry’s case, he consciously chose to have those affairs.  He could have stopped himself but did it anyway.  Larry felt no compulsive needs driving him.  He only felt complete selfishness.

With Devin the uncontrollable dependency was there.  He was isolated inside his bubble.  The only way to break free of his bubble was to burst it, temporarily, by acting out.  When the pornography no longer satiated his hunger, he turned to online affairs.  After a few months, the rush of those wore off too.  After two intimate affairs, he realized he had a problem he could no longer handle alone but was powerless to stop.  He was still compulsively masturbating and viewing porn.

The difference, at least to me, is choice.  Larry chose to cheat.  Devin’s addiction caused him to cheat.  This is also how I’ve been able to move past the affairs.  I know they were never personal.

For some great resources, be sure and visit Dr. Carnes’ website.