Saturday, November 26, 2011

How do you un-learn something that feels as natural as breathing?

That’s the question of the day. Or at least ONE of the questions of the day.

I am 36 years old. Over the past 20 years, I have had only 2 relationships that haven’t started with sex on the first, second, or third date. Yes, I know what that means. I was a whore when I was in my active addiction. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on. I’m 36 and feel ridiculous that I don’t know how to have a relationship that DOESN’T start this way. I don’t know how to meet people and strike up a conversation. If I somehow stumble into that scenario, it doesn’t take long before I start gauging whether or not the person is relationship material and wonder how they’d be in bed. Once that though occurs, I start planning out how to achieve that as quickly as possible. Will he respond to coyness? Thrill of the chase? Bluntness? It doesn’t take long, we hop into bed and something changes in me. He’s automatically shifted from “possible relationship candidate” to “sexual escape”. Yes, I use sex as an escape. Just as I used drugs, alcohol, food, etc. Anything that makes me feel good can be used as an escape. Unfortunately for me, I can all too easily split the emotional from the physical and sex becomes a purely physical act that is devoid of feeling. It’s merely a series of biochemical responses that feel good. Romantic, huh?

So how do you break the cycle? When the majority of the compliments I have received in my life stem from bedroom performance (I’m not bragging, just reporting the facts), it is easy to see how I came to the conclusion at some point that my only real worth is what I could do for you in an intimate setting. I am not a people-pleaser…I am an approval-sucker. I make you feel amazing, you give me your approval, I bask in it for those fleeting moments before the negative self-talk starts, and then start looking for the next approval-seeking moment. If that’s all I’m good for, why would I risk losing that approval by saying “no” or “not yet”?

Even if “Mr. close-to-right” came calling, I’d still be screwed (obvious pun, not intended). If he slept with me, there would be no relationship. If he said “no”, I’d wonder what I did wrong or start thinking about all of the things that are wrong ABOUT me and then he’d just be an asshole.

Then there’s the whole issue of my gut instinct. Even if I KNOW it is wrong, I can rationalize and justify everything until I am MOSTLY ok with it. No matter what, I’m most likely going to do it, because, God forbid I disappoint you and you don’t approve of me.

Being fucked up is really getting old. I thought I had all these demons exorcised years ago, but I’m afraid I’m finally getting to the root of them and have no idea how to fix it. To top it off, I still think my screwed up brain and fix my screwed up thinking.

Screwed up, eh?

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