Sobriety Navigator: The challenges of living with Sex Addicts.
A Ghost Story!
I’m just a ghost in my house. I live deep within the walls of myself. I know who I am. I know there is another world going on around me. I can’t see it, but I can feel it. When I’m by myself and I turn off the lights and look into the mirror…into my eyes…I know there is someone else in there. She is strong, aware and unafraid. She’s all-knowing, and the rare times when she come out, she’s a blast to be around. Her friends like her and fear her at the same time. They know she sees through them for who they really are and it frightens and excites them at the same time. I know the trees, houses and sky are all fake…they are props! I know nothing is as it appears. I can read peoples’ personalities and I can easily reach them and talk to them like I know them. I can read people…not in a bad way…there is a familiarity about people to me. I can see “them”! It’s not bad, it’s good, but I can’t talk about it or express it to anyone. There is no one in my life that is cognizant of the spiritual aspect of life. There is no one to reflect back to me what I can feel…sense…and embrace.
This spiritual awareness was my saving grace. I never felt alone deep down inside. And I knew that my life wouldn’t always be like this.
What I didn’t know at the time was that it would take years, a serious alcohol addiction, and the birth of a child for me to finally seek help and understanding. I was able, with the help of treatment, a sponsor, a therapist and a 12 step program, to reach that spiritually safe place where I didn’t have to live like a ghost anymore.
I didn’t have a nurturing father or mother. I was an object to contend with to the sex addict woman who bore me and the inconsequential daughter of a schizophrenic father who medicated with anything he could get his hands on. I was an unwanted byproduct of their need and greed for sex!
Sex, sex, sex, it was all about sex! I would get so sick and tired of living in a household that was saturated with ugly, dirty, sexual energy. So I hid.
They knew they couldn’t fool me and at times my mother would get in my face and say “You’re so strong minded. No one can control your mind.” This really agitated and angered her. But I played along in order to survive. I would pretend that they weren’t doing what they were doing, that nothing was wrong with their behaviors or with them. After all, these were sensitive people who had been hurt. And if ever they were to be called on their improprieties, it would victimize them. So, if they were staring at you when you were nude… if your underwear were pulled down to have a look… if you woke up because your step dad was masturbating and it woke you up…so what! So I had to stay hidden. It was not safe for me to acknowledge to them that I knew they were disgusting and inappropriate. A look, expression or movement could bring on the wrath of shame. I’m forbidden to be seen. I don’t dare challenge the authority…I speak when spoken to…I’m told what I need…what I think…what I feel. I’m told not to ask for anything. I don’t dare say, “You’re not fooling me.” When I did speak up, once, about being sexually violated, I was told to shut up. Later I was called a liar…an exaggerator. They don’t like me…no one in this house treats me like they really like me… I have no place to go so I live in a dream world where I can create anything I want…I can pretend. It’s ok to make believe…God made it so I can imagine…pretend…make believe! In my own mind I’m free to be me. An enthusiastic… excited…playful…adventurer. Who is smart…funny…fearless and connected to the other side of life, “the real world”!
I sense and am aware that they are all acting out. Literally acting! I watch them go in and out of their trances and I can sense what is coming before it happens.
Today, I can clearly see that these people had suffered at some point in their young lives. They were reenacting behaviors they had been subjected to themselves. That didn’t make it right or ok. It just made sense. By giving voice in therapy to these violations and experiences I was able to stop taking their acts of abuse and neglect personally. They would and did exhibit these behaviors to anyone they thought they could.
I am not a victim today! Today I am a survivor who avoids victims as much as possible. Adults who see themselves as victims exhibit an unbelievable false sense of entitlement. They are not safe to be around, especially when they have been triggered and gone into the “trance”. Whatever that trigger and trance is for them…it is not safe for children.
By Cynthia Peterson