It’s been a long time since I’ve written. And I might as well share with you the ugly story which kept me off line as long as it did: a woman whom I know from my neighborhood decided to send D and his ex-wife some of my posts from here. The sheer absurdity of that act upset and confused me. Why would any distant third person, not close to any of us, whom none of us particularly like as a person want to stick their nose in D’s and my private life? Loneliness? Self-hatred? Nothing better to do? Evil? Thought she was exposing some hidden truth? Who knows. I opt for all the above. The point is, she didn’t expose D to anything he didn’t already know, nor did she interfere, save or destroy our relationship. We are very intimate and share everything.
What she did do is cause all parties involved to lose trust in her as a woman, as a mother and as a member of this community. She exposed herself as ugly, immature and desperate and lost a potential friend in us. Her mistake, however, severed to remind me that all my actions are accountable. That I am the sum of my actions, and I find great peace in knowing that I work very hard to be good to people.
As for the blog, I kept it offline for so long because I felt too exposed in the presence of people who might lack a deeper understanding of this kind of soul-searching. I felt, too, a sense of betrayal by the promise of anonymity that should exist in “Anonymous” groups like AA, NA, SA and LAA. I felt as though my cover was blown. My anonymity was revealed, and not in a good way, mind you, but in a hurtful, selfish act that only comes from individuals who are in pain and suffering themselves. And yet, this is a public blog. Anyone can read it. And once they read it, they can do what they’d like with the information. It is meant to help women and men who might suffer from love addiction the way I’ve suffered from it and am trying daily to overcome. It is not meant as a destructive tool with which to hurt people. But! Part of the process of recovery is learning how little control we have over the world around us. As much as I put up boundaries to protect myself from weirdos, they still manage to slip through the cracks.
Do I fear that she has passed this website onto other people in my neighborhood who might not understand what recovery is about? Yes I do. Do I fear that D’s ex still has a link to this site and will continue to further read about my life, perhaps. Nevertheless, I feel more compelled to write and share my story than I do to hide myself away and abandon the message of hope and strength that is so important to the recovery of those who need it.
Love addiction may seem like a flimsy, self-centered, overdramatic affliction, belonging to a group of individuals who whine, complain and just need to “get over it.” But the truth is, love addiction is debilitating. It can destroy lives and it can lead to irrational, criminal behavior and even death (crimes of the heart, suicide due to rejection, etc.). Since 1980, the number of women imprisoned in the US has tripled. Statistics show too, that women are more likely to get involved in street life, crime, the sex trade and substance abuse because of the influence and expectant acceptance of men. Battered women are possibly the most obvious example of a large group afflicted with love addiction. To a lesser degree, both women and men beset with love addiction deal with depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth, emotional volatility, anger, unresolved issues from childhood, loss of identity, physical illness and self-hatred. Love addiction is not about love. It’s not about breaking up with someone or picking the wrong partner. Love addiction is avoidance of the self. It is a state of feeling and believing that you are so unworthy that you allow abuse, pain and suffering. It is also an obsession and compulsion disorder that prevents those afflicted from thinking rationally and making healthy choices for themselves.
It isn’t a joke.
I suffered with love addiction most of my life- to varying degrees. And although I managed to get by relatively unscathed (no crimes of the heart in past) it did take its toll in the areas of remaining in an abusive, neglectful and traumatizing marriage, and many years of wasted living and escapism. If you’d like, you may read my story here. My aim in writing this blog was and always will be to share my recovery with others; to give hope, strength and courage to those who need it and to prove to both men and women that, though the journey is sometimes challenging, a better, healthier life is possible.
Anyone who would like to read the pages of this blog, I welcome you to do so. But I ask that you respect the subject matter and be mindful of the fact that this is a sacred place. Not only is it my own personal journey, but it is also my gift to others who might benefit from all I’ve learned in the past and all I continue to learn in the present.