Monday, October 28, 2013

Life Force (Part Two)

Lynn, a short woman, age twenty-five and lesbian, is four months into her recovery. She has been coming to treatment weekly because she acts out through affairs. In the beginning of treatment, she committed to a month-long celibacy contract with self and others. Lynn discovered that the idea of being sexual without the high felt foreign. Lynn never had sex while being emotionally present, the mere thought of it created anxiety and fear. In her feelings of inadequacy, she decided to extend the contract for a few weeks.

Note. This has been typed before but in keeping with my will to finish the book, in order, I'll reuse it.

"So how did your sexual encounter go with your partner this week?" I ask.
"It didn't," Lynn says, looking down and refusing to make eye contact.
"What happened?"
"Well, we started having foreplay, and then I just froze. I didn't know what to do, how to act. I felt so stupid."

Lynn sits on the edge of her king-sized bed, looking more childlike than adult. Alice, her partner of four years, has just stormed out of their bedroom, snapped on the lights in the living room, and zapped on the television to a deafening decibel level. Lynn's heart sinks. "This is not going to work," she thinks as tears start to flow.

Determined not to give up. she tentatively approaches Alice. "Honey," she says, sitting gingerly on the chair opposite her. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"What is there to talk about? Nothing happened," Alice snaps.
"Well, at least we tried," Lynn says, still hesitant.
Alice whips her head about and stares Lynn down.
"Try?" she says through gritted teeth. "You of all people know how to do IT; you've done it with just about everybody else but me. Maybe I am the problem, not you!"
Lynn's tears turn to sobs as she doubles over, gasping for air.
Alice knows she's gone too far. All of her pent-up anger and resentments exploded. She ad wanted to hurt Lynn, to make her feel her own pain. Now she regrets it. She wants their relationship to work, but like Lynn, she is at a loss.

Early recovery brings many challenges on many levels. Lynn and Alice were able to work through the hurt and betrayal. They were able to repair the wreckage of their capsized relationship, but they needed a plan, and they needed to apply this plan one step at a time.

Because the sexual urge is the energy source of our selfhood, sexual abuse caused us to lose contact with our creative identity. In order to get back in touch with our healthy needs and wants, we have to rediscover what it feels like to be authentic, free of traumatic intimidation, and vulnerable. This reconnection will be a careful and specific process of reflection and practical exercise. It is a step-by-step process. The goal is to rediscover, in the everyday events of our lives, the healthy bond between pleasure and sexuality. Only then will it be possible to see how spiritual truths and sexual energies energies are connected at the highest level of our being.

As we have explored, sex addicts had to disconnect from their feelings when they were children because to acknowledge the betrayal of their parents' role of caregiver would have been overwhelmingly threatening. So they adapted, denied their feelings, and lost contact with the care and nurturing they genuinely wanted and needed.


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