Once I recovered my demons, my recovery discovered me, and my present became authentic.
Jennifer: I was the hottest chic in town. I had a few nose jobs, a few boob jobs, a pretty face, long, beautiful raven hair that cascaded down my broad shoulders and a hot body that drove men wild. All I had to do was show up! When I married Bob, he thought he had won the lottery! I satisfied every inch of his mind, body and spirit. I sucked his lips, his toes and his cock. We spent the first six weeks in bed which we left only to void, have some coffee and shower. We ordered in food, took baths together, lit candles, drank wine, sucked on cream filled chocolates, danced around the house naked until we fell exhausted into each other's arms only to do it all over again. And then, something happened that was inexplicable. My sensual pleasuring and sexual needs diminished slowly, and after about a year of marriage I noticed they vanished completely. Why? I knew I loved sex before. Why had I suddenly gone dry? Why had Bob been unable to titillate the girl who never had to be titillated? Within a few months after our wedding, the lust and thrill we had once known had morphed into a performance and then disappeared without warning. What made my sexuality vanish?
Bob hadn't changed that much. He still had his warm brown doe shaped eyes. He still stood 6'3" in his bare feet. He still wore the same cologne and the same size pants and shirt. Bob looked just like the picture on our wall that was taken on our wedding day and so did I. How could one year of marriage change my sexual behavior so radically? I knew the answer, but didn't want to admit it. I wanted Bob perhaps more than anyone I had ever known. He was kind, sexy, rich and madly in love with me. He could offer me a life style that every girl dreamed about. I knew I made him fall in love with me. It was my mission to do just that. I knew I had the stuff of a femme fatale, capable of bringing most men to their knees. Had I really been in love, or was Bob just a conquest? Every man I ever dated lusted for me. I drove them crazy and when I won them over, I dumped them. I never married any of them because I waited for someone like Bob to come along. I felt I could be faithful, sensual and make him happy. Boy, was I wrong! If I had to be honest with myself, I just wanted to conquer this guy because he was the hottest, most eligible bachelor around. What a trophy husband he would make, however, there was something I didn't know about myself.
It was in therapy that I learned I was an addict—a love addict. I needed men like an alcoholic needs a drink. I thirsted for a man who I could conquer in order to satisfy my low self esteem. Now you may wonder why a woman like me, beautiful, sexy, intelligent and classy would have a low self esteem. After all, I had the face, the figure, an alluring personality capable of getting whomever I chose. How could that be a representation of someone with a low self-esteem? With the help of my therapist and long term treatment, I was able to uncover my authentic self. It wasn't easy. It took a few years, but it was the best investment I ever made. The rewards were more than I ever expected. In fact, once I realized that my need to conquer men was a result of my abandonment issues in early childhood, I was able to not only heal the little girl in me, but my marriage as well. I used my looks to cover up my pain. The sexier I looked and the more I could get a guy, the more I massaged my ego. My ego had to protect my wounded self. My ego, although trying to help me feel better about myself, was actually causing more damage that good. It wasn't Bob who caused me to lose my sexuality, it was my toxic shame and pain from early childhood losses that were carried into my adult life and brought into my relationships. My need to conquer men fed my ego, but only temporarily. I needed more and more. It was an insatiable wound that could never be filled. Once I discovered my wounded child and learned how to nurture her spirit and affirm her, (something I had been missing all my life), my true self emerged. I learned how to love myself, something I didn't even know I lacked. Once I could love myself, I was able to love another.
I was fortunate that Bob was patient and relentless. He knew there was someone inside me who was very wounded and needed help. He also knew he could not fix me. He encouraged me to get professional help before we threw in the towel. Our marriage was on the brink of disaster, and the only options were divorce or counseling. I chose the latter, and we went together. But soon into the couple's sessions our marriage therapist uncovered my history and saw the dots beginning to connect. She suggested I come in and work with her alone for a while. As she uncovered my past, she and I discovered that I had been abused by abandonment and left alone to prove that I mattered. I was an adult child of an alcoholic. My mother drank to bury her pain in the bottle. My dad was physically and mentally abusive to both my mom and brother. For whatever reason, he left me alone. But the pain I felt when I was subjected to his violent behaviors felt like they were perpetrated on me too. Most of my memories were repressed, I guess because they were just too painful to remember. But I learned that brain memories never die; they become repressed, but then acted out in some kind of compulsive behavior that fools you into forgetting your past. Sooner or later your wreckage catches up and bites you in the ass.
I used my sexuality to meet my needs and that was all I thought I had, but that never really worked because I had to learn to love who I was. If my parents couldn't love me, then how was I to know how to love myself? How was I to feel loveable? It was my therapist who mentored me through my past, guiding me and supporting me with tools and resources that I never knew existed. As I healed, so did our marriage and my sexuality returned.
Today, Bob and I have three daughters, and although our sexual life has shifted from what it was to what it is, we are both engaging in a loving, sexual relationship that meets our needs and enriches our lives. My sexual dysfunction was about me and my history. I had to confront my past to repair my present. Once I uncovered my demons, my recovery discovered me, and my present became authentic.
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