Posted by: Marie | May 3, 2009

(60) Self-sabotage rears its head

Post #60
[Journal entry written to my therapist on Sunday, August 3, 2008]

Hi, Mark –

This week has been a mixed bag – some parts have been really enjoyable and some parts have really sucked.  My status reports shows mixed results . . it is a good representation of what is going on.

On the ugly side, the self-sabotage has reared its head again:

– Skin picking – and the hot sweaty weather isn’t helping my skin either, so my face looks pretty rough

– Poor sleep – I have been waking up in the middle of the night, waking up very early and not going back to sleep, and dreaming really wild, emotional dreams – then I find myself avoiding going to bed because I dread dealing with all that.  So, I have been perpetually exhausted these last 2-3 weeks and wishing I could just get one good night of sleep.

– Porn – I have been using the demeaning type of porn to get off, but the driving force behind wanting to get off is to find some relief from general tension (anxiety) and not because I’m feeling sexual.  When that is the case, I get a temporary rush from the orgasm, but then five minutes later the tension returns and I crave another “fix”.  As a result, I orgasm 8-10 times over a 3-4 hour period, but at the end of the that time I don’t feel satisfied from the orgasms, I feel “dirty” from viewing the demeaning porn, I feel like I have wasted a lot of time and my genitalia is very irritated for a couple days later.  I don’t enjoy this type of masturbation, but it is a compulsion that moves in when I feel out of control (like now).

On the encouraging side, I have been maintaining some of my newer healthy habits even though I’m not tightly following my schedule/plan:

– I have kept my commitments like the accountability group, family times, house sitting, etc. and have shown up well prepared – two of my accountability-group’s ladies have really been struggling with sticking to their plans and I have been able to provide significant encouragement/coaching.  It is so awesome to see their lives really shifting as a result.

– Other than the week during which we had our last session (where I was very emotional, reactive and having my period), I have stuck to my eating plan – and my “binge” from that week was very mild (a bag of “63%” very dark Dove chocolate).  I am finding that my cravings for processed sugar are insignificant, now that I’ve removed most of it from my diet – that is a new experience.

– I have stayed on my physical activity plan 100% – and I’m craving that time/activity, which is a new experience.  I’ve never liked going to the gym and even though I love to hike, it has been easy for me to find excuses to not make the effort to go when I’m not feeling “pumped”.  Now I’m finding that even going to the gym brings pleasure to me – and the physical activity has become a source of rejuvenation and renewal when I’m in crisis mode.

– I have been sticking to my plan to prepare for teaching piano to my housemates – and I’m very excited and passionate about it.  I have been really, really enjoying reviewing music theory and creating my lesson plans.

So, when I pay attention to the mental tapes running in my head, here is what I find:

– “Things will never change, it is a waste of time for me to work on changing because it will never happen, I will never ‘get my act together’, I will never be desirable to quality men, I will always be a slob.”

– “I know that as soon as I ‘get my act together’ and represent myself to the world (and to my life partner) as this person who is on top of her game (a person with a “yes” face), something stressful will happen, I will lose my grip and it will all come tumbling down – I will revert back to being a slob (a person with a “no” face) and I will disappoint everyone who believed I was this person who had it all pulled together – and they will reject me.”

I am out of control and it sucks.  I hate this place of being.  My anxiety about it knows no bounds.

I am struggling most with a sense of not being able to do “this” – I really don’t want to even try – I don’t want to come to therapy because I think it/I am hopeless.  I have no idea how to move forward.  It is taking everything I have to stay committed to coming to your office.  However, the alternative is not acceptable to me.

When I feel frenzied and compulsive, the driving force is a need to find a place where I feel “okay” – where I feel I am enough, I am accepted, I am loved, I can relax and rest.  When I imagine what that would feel like, I imagine it to be what it would have felt like to curl up in my dad’s arms as a little girl and have him whisper loving, encouraging, accepting words in my ear.  I don’t even like to imagine that because it makes me cry – it is such a sensitive thought – my sense of loss from never having that experience is profound.

I have to accept that will never happen.  It is something I will have to create for myself – I will have to hold myself and whisper those words to myself – I will have to learn to accept and love myself before I will be able to value being held and whispered to by another person.  I don’t know how to create that for myself.

I also wonder if shifting my relationship with God would help – while I have rejected the idea that God is judgmental on a day-to-day basis, I haven’t fully accepted the idea that He is loving and warm, either.  I experience Him as I experienced my dad.  So, my relationship with Him is rather distant and neutral – I know He is there, I know He “cares”, but I don’t believe He REALLY cares enough to hold me in His arms and whisper in my ear – or at least my feelings towards Him reflect that belief.

– Marie


  1. i like the way you have balanced out both what you have struggled with, with what youve achieved.

    • Thank you, jumpinginpuddes — I do try to show both sides — I do want to continue moving into the more positive ways of being! Thank you for reading!

  2. Marie,

    I have just read a few of your earliest posts, as well as this one. Wow, I am so sorry for all that you have experienced that still affects your life.

    My T is also a man. I am concerned by your earlier posts in which you mention that you feel uncomfortable when he hugs you. He shouldn’t be hugging you. If he knows what you’ve been thru, he wouldn’t even try to hug you. My T rarely gets any closer to me than a couple of feet, unless he is opening a door or handing me something. He is very considerate.

    Because your post was about a year ago, I really hope this has changed. You don’t need to experience that from someone you so badly need to trust.

    RE: your request that I add you do my blogroll – I will add your URL to my blogroll.

    Best of safety and healing,

    • Hi, Ivory –

      Thank you for reading and for writing such kind words. I have heard about a “no touch in therapy” policy from other people — I think it is a very “iffy” matter — I think it has to be figured out on a case by case basis. My T is a big teddy bear of a guy — big on hugs — and touch is my #1 love language but I have not had much positive touch in my life. I felt VERY safe with him from day one — and his hugs caused me to feel safer and more connected than I think I would have without the hugs.

      In his defense, we hugged at the end of the first session, before he knew my history — and before I even knew my history — I didn’t become aware of my sexual abuse history or my issues with touch until several weeks into therapy. When I did uncover all of that and asked him for “no touching” for a time, he complied. So, in this case, touch, as part of therapy, was very healing.

      Anyway . . thanks for adding me to your blog roll!
      – Marie

  3. Yes, I suppose if you’re both in agreement… I just freaked out because I personally have trouble coping thru a man touching me, if I haven’t initiated it. Just a man standing close to me cause extreme anxiety and I freeze as if he’s hit me with a stun gun! So, yeah, I would freak at something like that. I’m glad you are good with it.

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