Thursday, March 30, 2017

Some Pho & Some Horses

Finally! It was warm this week. I don't know what crawled up Mother Nature's rear end last week, but she was a cranky witch and it barely climbed out of the 40s. I was not a happy turtle. Let's hope this is really the start of spring. Of course, today it's back in the 50s, but this weekend it'll be nice again. Maybe.

I've decided to take a break from the heaviness of my series After Disclosure (Compartmentalization, & It's Not Personal) and share some pictures I took while picking up some pho last week. Isn't pho the best? I love it! This police officer just trotted by as I was walking out with my bag full of food. You can see said bag o' food in the reflection if you look real close:

He was kind enough to stop and wait for some kids to snap pictures with their parents before he joined his partner and went into a nearby neighborhood. 

I've seen them exercise the horses in our neighborhood several times before because we have woods and a small farm adjacent to us, but this is the first time I've seen them go through a strip mall. I thought it was a great way for the police to not just make their presence known, but also do a meet and greet with the public while training and exercising the horses. 

Because lemme tell ya, it wasn't just the kids that were excited to see them, it was the adults too, present company included. Lots of grown-ups stopped them and asked to take their picture, and some of them reached out to shake their hands and thank them for their service. One of them was in his military uniform. That was cool to see. It gave me the warm and fuzzies inside. One service member thanking another. Selfless.

Have you seen mounted police in your neighborhood? What have you seen lately that's given you the warm and fuzzies?


On a side note, I checked out my seller's rankings on Amazon last weekend and look where I was!

Steps Along My Shore: My Personal Tale & Tips When Discovering You're Married to a Sex Addict Kindle Edition by Elsie Amata (Author)

See all 2 formats and editions

Product details
  • File Size: 538 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Publication Date: June 8, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01GT52Z4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
  • X-Ray:
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Not bad for someone who doesn't advertise, huh? Sure, I know it'll change by tomorrow, but hey, it's still awesome to see at this very moment. I'm still not sure how people hear about my book, but I'm not complaining. I make enough to pay half my Netflix bill each month, and more importantly, I think I'm actually helping people. I might really be making a difference in people's lives. That gives me even more warm fuzzies! Woot! Woot!

And still another side note: I'll be at work this morning, but only for a few hours, so I'll be by later this afternoon to see everyone. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It’s Not Personal

I’m continuing with my series, After Disclosure. My previous post was on Compartmentalization. If anyone would like to suggest a topic, please feel free to post it in the comment section or send me an email and rest assured, you will remain anonymous.

This week I’m going to try to tackle a topic that was very hard for me to wrap my head around: It’s Not Personal.

Sex addiction isn’t about the sex. That’s what they tell you when you go in and meet a C-SAT (Certified-Sex Addiction Counselor) for the first time. It’s an intimacy disorder. Um, what? It’s got the word sex in the name, how can it not be about sex? Was this doctor we were seeing off his rocker? Was he really certified in this crap? Then, to top it off, my husband was telling me it wasn’t personal: the porn, the online affairs, the chat rooms, even the two encounters he had with women in person…none of it meant a thing to him.

How was this even remotely possible? Because I had been stuck in such a state of hypervigilance for so long (I don’t recommend this for anyone because you can’t un-see what you find), I knew that some of those online affairs had lasted for a year or more. How was that not personal? Yet, he insisted he had no feelings for any of the women he’d been involved with. Of course my immediate reply was B.S. You can’t talk to anyone for that long, in that way, and not feel something.

Still, he continued to insist he felt nothing. That the women were merely objects to him. It wasn’t until I sat down with him one day and we went over what I dubbed, “The List.” It had all the women’s names and information on an Excel spreadsheet. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly in a healthy place after disclosure. I mean, who would be, right? I had Relational Trauma. I had PTSD from this mess. 

Each cell on the list contained what transpired between the woman and Devin. When a question popped into my head, out came The List and the interrogation between us began. And Devin put up with it because he was doing anything to try to repair our broken marriage.

During one such discussion, I asked him about a woman he’d exchanged emails with for a few months. The emails were pages long. I felt he must’ve invested hours thinking of her while he composed them. When I asked about her, he couldn’t remember her name at all. We were at a point after disclosure where there was no reason for him to hold back anything. I already knew the worst of everything, so I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t be forthcoming about a person’s name. Then, I gave him her email address. Light bulb moment. That’s how he remembered her. Her email address. Just another email in his inbox. And he didn’t spend a ton of time on the emails. They’d been cut and pasted from somewhere.

Now it was my light bulb moment. He really didn’t put any emotional investment into these women. They were a means to an end. A way for him continue to numb his emotions the way I numbed mine with drugs before I got sober. It started to make a bit of sense that this disease truly was an intimacy disorder despite the name it had been given.

It allowed me to start to see the things he’d done in our marriage in a new light. Yes, the pain was still there, but it helped me gain a better perspective on his disease. The escalation of his addiction had caused him to do some damaging things, but now it was time to learn how to heal from that betrayal.

Have you ever had a profound light bulb moment?

Thursday, March 16, 2017



I recently found a new site (more info on it when I’ve had time to settle in on it), and it got me thinking…I know, how scary is that? Me thinking. There were so many questions I had about sex addiction after Devin’s disclosure, but I didn’t know who to ask, or even what I needed to know.

I decided that I’m going to do a series of posts called After Disclosure. If anyone would like to suggest a topic, please feel free to post it in the comment section or send me an email and rest assured, you will remain anonymous.

My first topic in the series is compartmentalization. Big word. And it should be because it plays a big part in the addiction. Sometimes, compartmentalization can be a good thing. Like keeping work separate from home. But when it's done to live a secret life...well, not so much.

The definition from The Meadows, a treatment center in Arizona, defines it as:

“When someone has a sexual addiction they "compartmentalize" their feelings and behaviors which means that they categorize the feelings, behaviors and thoughts and try to keep them separate. They may get up in the morning and have breakfast with you and the kids, get ready for work and then have every intention to "be good" and not "act out" that day. The second that you leave... the addict takes over and convinces the person that looking at porn just this one time won't hurt anyone and the addictive cycle begins. Two hours later the addict runs off to work and tries to be the good employee he/she wanted to be. The only way they can tolerate their behavior is to tell themselves that they are still a good spouse, or employee and simultaneously they feel self-hate and shame.”

Then the cycle begins yet again.
For me, it was difficult to wrap my head around the fact that my husband could kiss me goodbye, and then spend hours looking at porn, chatting with women online, or when his addiction really escalated, meet up with someone, and then come home to me as if nothing were amiss.

It was only in hindsight, and with months of recovery under my belt, that I was able to see that that wasn’t quite true. There were red flags. Nothing that screamed, “Hey, Elsie, I’m having online affairs!” Rather, warning signs that our marriage was in deep trouble.

That compartmentalization changed him. He was no longer the happy, go-lucky guy I married just a few short years before. He was distant, angry, and isolated himself from everyone. A dark cloud had settled over our home. I just didn’t know the storm coming was sex addiction.

The only way I was able to finally understand compartmentalization was by comparing his addiction to my own. Otherwise, I was constantly taking his addiction personally. Who could blame me? It was personal. It was hard not to compare myself to the other women, but every time I did, I came away hurt and with less self-esteem than when I started, and when your self-worth is on the floor, you don’t have much further to sink.

So when I began to use my own addiction to empathize with his addiction, it helped me make a bit more sense of everything. It gave me something to grasp on to, even if it was tiny, and it reminded me that he didn’t wake up thinking, “How can I hurt Elsie today?” Because I never woke up thinking, “How can I break my dad’s heart today?”

I never intended to hurt people while I was active in my drug addiction, yet I did just that. I lied. I manipulated. I blame-shifted. I also recovered and made amends to those I hurt along the way. I felt I should give Devin the same chance.

He had to learn that while he had been compartmentalizing for all those years, what he’d really been doing was lying to himself. If he could accept that and make the changes he needed to make, than I could walk beside him while he recovered and I’m so grateful that he did.

Compartmentalization still showed herself a few times after disclosure. She’s a sneaky little thing and was difficult to break free of, but with time and a good recovery, eventually she finally went away.

Do you compartmentalize anything in a healthy way? Like work and home?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Space of My Own - An IWSG Post

from Google

March really is going to roar like a lion this week. We’re expecting some crazy weather. Hopefully it will go out like a lamb. Heck, I can’t complain too much though. February was like a fluffy bunny the last couple weeks. My electric bill is going be shockingly low because of how often I was able to keep the windows open and the ceiling fans running. Sweet!

No insecurities this month. I’ve been setting up a spare bedroom to be my recovery room/writing room since one of our kids moved out. It’s perfect timing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss having my child around, but they didn’t go very far and the bed is still there so the happy couple can spend a night when they want. But it’s nice to have a space dedicated to me and my healing and my writing.

And believe it or not, I’ve had time to write. I don’t know how because I’m super busy at work and I’m still getting hammered with migraines, but somehow I’m writing. I think it’s having the private place to do it. I often toyed with the idea of going to Panera or a coffee shop (and I don’t even drink coffee) to write, but never did it because it was too loud…and well, I’m too lazy to get out of sweatpants. I mean c’mon, I have to dress up for work, isn’t that enough?

But now, now I just walk to the other side of the house and it’s amazingly quiet over there. No wonder each child battled one another to get that room. It rocks! And now it’s mine. As each week passes, I find things to inspire me to write or work on my recovery: plaques, wall hangings, photos, etc. I’m really having a blast decorating it.

Question of the month:

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

I haven’t been writing long enough to pull out an old story. What about you? Do you have a special place to write or work on any projects you enjoy?

Scheduling Note: I’m working today so I’ll be by to visit either this afternoon or tomorrow. Happy IWSGing!

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It's a chance to talk about our fears and doubts, or inspire others by sharing our success and happiness.  We’ve got a great bunch of people in this group and we’d love to have you join in on the fun too.  A big thank you to it's creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh.
Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our fantastic co-hosts: Tamara Narayan, Patsy Collins, M.J. Fifield, and Nicohle Christopherson.

And a thank you to: for their kind shout out to my blog. Muchly appreciated.