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#42346 - 02/11/03 07:32 AM Cold Turkey
hanginon Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 89
Loc: sarasota, fl
I am a survivor of incest and have recently come to terms with facing my problem head on - mostly because my partner left me and "woke" me up to the severity of the problems that stem from my victimization as a 8 year old boy.

As I begin the journey to recovery, I have to extract myself from the promiscuous behavior that make me a sex addict including using the internet for seeking out sexual stimulation.

My question is: Is going "cold turkey" setting my expectations too high for right now? How can I regain the trust after I abstain from sex altogether and seek to heal from the hurt of the "abandonment" of my partner?

Any help on getting through this phase is appreciated! I am worried about becoming asexual and replacing my addiction with another addiction. I have also used marijuana to help me "numb" the pain.

When I was in my relationship, I used pot as a "stimulus" for my sex life - and now I am seeing how using the pot also exacerbated my sexual addiction (made me horny all the time with no "pain" associated with the sex).

Anyone else have ideas about this?

Thanks.

_________________________
walker, there is no path, you make a path as you go...

(caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar...)

Antonio Machado

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#42347 - 02/11/03 09:12 AM Re: Cold Turkey
al Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 143
Loc: canada
I don't know if cold turkey is the way to go. Seems to me it would be going from a full warm sensual life to a cold dark empty existence. Although you don't want to become addicted to something else, you do have to replace it with something. I don't know what. Just don't set yourself up for failure, and that's what going cold turkey means to me. Too high expectations or a goal you can't reach. And if or when you revert to old practices you'll feel 10 times worse - whatever you do,be prepared to be kind to yourself after al, you're only human just like the rest of us. Ok this is getting long and I don't know if it's making sense to anyone but me.

Make the right choice for the right reason. Quit (smoking, sex, booze, pot, starches, etc etc etc) because it is a good thing for you to do, not because somebody tells you it's wrong. Decide to make a change and weave it into your life - kind of like rapelling down a cliff instead of jumping.

In whatever you choose, I wish you the best.

Alan

_________________________
Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music. Mark Kleiman

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. Winston Churchill

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#42348 - 02/11/03 10:27 AM Re: Cold Turkey
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hanginon
Hi. Your question is a very intriguing one. Cold turkey very seldom works without a huge support system. I am an example of that. Like you I was abused at an ealy age; physically as a child and sexually and violently as a 16year old. As a reslut of this I had a totally secrewed up vision about love and affection was. Additionally I received inapproriate counselling and from 18-21 plus I was a mle prostitute catering to the more violent element of what I now call sexual deviants.
Looking back I see now that as a small child I equated attention to physical violence. In ther words if I wanted attention I had to get this. I also equated attention with violence. I had no problem doing this as recently I have been diagnosed as having attention deficit hyper disorder. It followed in mind mind that attention equated to love. But because of the violence I was a lonver shunned by my peers because they obviously did not want to come into harms way. Thus my first addiction was too pain and violence. And this was amplified by my perps at 16. I was still a loner bacause of the abuse I had suffered but craved attention;wich i equated to love and need. I needed to be wanted in a sense loved. I could not relate to my peers as a loner. When I received inappropriate advice and wound up on the street as a hustler I was able to feed that hunger and need. I had buried really deep the shame and the guilt and self loathing. I was in demand and what a rush. I also discovered alcohol early and I think it was to deaden the effects of any abuse I was suffering. I also discovered that when I was high my state of personal arrousal was diminished. This in turn angered my perps and clients and made them more nagry and thus more violent. So I used it to really get attention. the same think happened with heroin. I mean the high I got from that took away all the pain for the moment and I could relish the pain. At 21 plus a friend of mine locked me in a flop house room in lower town Ottawa and took away my clothes and gave me nothing but soda biscuits and water. He held me when I cried and was haviang terrors and prevented me from hurting myself or him in my rages and self abuse. I calmed me down. He saw something in me other than an object or toy for sick people. He was a fellow hustler who loved me in a brotherly sense and not sexually. He was two years younger than I was. I broke free of heroin. I had a lot of support. Unfortunately I was not there for him when a cliend murdered him 6 months later. At that time the only people I felt completely relxed with were other street hustlers both male and female. Moving forward quite a bit my alcoholism was in full bloom. I was married at 27 to my current wife of 36 years. Periodically during this time I would feel the need for the attention I was used to (addicted to) and would seek out those that could provide the gratification at great personal danger to myself and in retrospect to my wife. I had a great deal of difficulty with intimacy with my wife bcause love to me was violent and there were winners and losers in every sexual contact. Me being a loser but actually a winnner in getting what I needed. During this time the self lothing surfaced in a big way togther with the shame. I contantly lived in fear that my wife and others would find out my past and my periodic sojurns into the seamier side of the city and that I would be left alone and scorned. I had tried to fit in and had developed relationships with the so called normal world. As a result of this my drinking rose dramatically to the point wheremy left almost left me and I had my first attempt at suicide. I fooled everyone then and it ook 3 more years before I arrivefd at AA willingly. I guess you might call it divine intervetnion but I realized that alcohol would kill me. I received the support of AA and my wife and friends in this and could not havee made it without them. It took a day at a time. I have now been a member of AA for 36 years. But I lied to them and myself as to some of the more base reasons I drank. Once again my fear of my past being revealed reared its ugly head. I still made periodic trips to obtain what I thought I needed. It was a real addiction.
At 56 years of age I was nerely killed in an episode and was picked up by the police nude and in a state of incoherence. I had been tied to a picnic table and had been raped and tortured for some two hours. The poice arrived while two men were still hard at it. I was arrested but was in no state to even know what was going on. When I taken to the police station I wss terrified. Some of my best customers in Ottawa Canada had been Police Officers. As a matter of fact it was they who had introduced me to heroin. A P interviewed me and finally the dam burst and it all came flooding out. It was like a boil being lanced. This was in front of the Poice P , twon officers and a stenographer. They wre very kind and gentle with me and facilitated a meeting wiht the crown attorney. This was the first time that I realized I was more than just a piece or meat for others pleasure. God I was lucky.
I finally sought help and took therapy at a local hospital and joined a mens group therapy session. But I still lied. I hid the time on the street from everyone. I told my wife I was going for anger management. After two years of this I finally broke down and told my wife and daughter of the abuse I suffered. I was terrifeid they would dissapear because I was damaged goods. They did not. They were the most supportive people I have ever encountered. But I still did not reveal my years on the steet to them. This finally happened and once again I received support from them.
I still am drawn to the violence but I have channeled it into dangerous sports, mountainbiking, inline hockey and snowboarding, as well as ice hockey. I find that it is still a struggle though. The old ways are comfortable and safe because I am familiar with them. This new road is unknown to me and holds a lot of apprehension but I am determined to take it. That is in and of itself dangerous. But had I stayed in the comfort zone I would have been dead, either mentally or physically and my Perpetrators would have won totally. They won by turning me into something that should not have had to exist and for that I will never forgive them. BUT I WILL WIN. And I could not have done it without a whole lot of people showing me the way and helping me along the way.
What I am illustrating here is that yes when you make a conscious decision to change, no matter what it is, it is exteremely difficult to do it yourself. You need support from those around you. If you wre like me you have had a whole lot of difficulty with relationships and being intimate either with a loved one or with a clos friend (with a friend sharing hopes, fears and aspirations). I could not share my past because of fear of rejection. Once the descision is made to change whatever it is yes it should be done but never for forever. That is too long a period. Just today. Any person can cope with today; it is when we add those two awful eternities yesterday and tomorrow that we cannot cope. But you also must ensure that you have the right support mechanism to help you on your way. Cold trukey does not mean in isolation so the expression really has no validity. I suspect that it was coined by someone who has no addiction and can take or leave a thing or situation. For us it evokes a terror that is unimaginable. We.quite frankly by and large cannot do it alone. We have been severely injured by the abuse we suffered and it has clouded everything we have done and thougth. It is like our brain was hotwired.
Start with one thing, get support and have a go at it. Reember we have nothing to fear but fear itself. What we have done is sruvived in spite of everything and that is a major hurdle for us. Use that inner strength to channed yourself down the road to where you really belong and do it with all the support you can muster. Alone humans accomplish very little but as a group , and with the will can travel the stars.
Stay with us brother cause you got a lot of support here from us all

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#42349 - 02/11/03 12:07 PM Re: Cold Turkey
MrEdd Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 317
Loc: Texas
I'm trying cold turkey. Not even masturbating at night is triggering as hell and I am in an anxiety attack much of the time if I leave the house or if someone comes over, but its only been three weeks and my sister's therapist gets here Wednesday (I Hope) and I want not to be like this anymore.

_________________________
Some Things are not problems to be solved, rather, they are facts which must be coped with over time.

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#42350 - 02/11/03 12:11 PM Re: Cold Turkey
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
WOW MIKECHURCH!! YOU BLOW ME OUT OF THE WATER WITH YOUR FORTHRIGHTNESS! You gave hanginon a piece of your beating heart. You speak such wisdom.

Your shadows certainly echo my shadows.

I think it is very sound advice to go it one day at a time and for the very reasons you stated. I think you're on target too al, your wisdom is innate.

What an honor to be able to bear witness to all three of your struggles, hanginon, mikechurch and al, as well as the struggles of all the men here on these pages.

TRUTH LIVES HERE!

Welcome hanginon, I think you can expect tons of support here, I certainly have.

To reveal to ourselves the precious child we were born takes monumental courage. It shows you have that kind of courage by the fact that you have posted here. The precious child in me has learned to be well hidden and protected over the years of abuse, including the years of self abuse. We were taught how worthless he is, but they taught us to believe a lie.

I learned to accept that lie as a truth. My life became structured in such a way that I learned to maintain this lie of my worthlessness. I even set out to prove it and I did it with a vengeance. I raged on the vulnerability of that little boy for many years. I hated him. He is the one that carried the hurt and I hated him for that too.

My wish for you is that you make peace with that precious child you harbor, he so deserves it.

ONE DAY AT A TIME.

----- be gentle with yourself


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#42351 - 02/11/03 12:28 PM Re: Cold Turkey
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
I am a survivor of incest and have recently come to terms with facing my problem head on - mostly because my partner left me and "woke" me up to the severity of the problems that stem from my victimization as a 8 year old boy.
John, I too am a survivor of incest, including sexual incest by my mother from ages 2 or 3 to 9.

Quote:
As I begin the journey to recovery, I have to extract myself from the promiscuous behavior that make me a sex addict including using the internet for seeking out sexual stimulation.
This is just what I'm struggling with now, only I began recovery about 18 months ago.

Quote:
My question is: Is going "cold turkey" setting my expectations too high for right now? How can I regain the trust after I abstain from sex altogether and seek to heal from the hurt of the "abandonment" of my partner?
You've already gotten a lot of good advice on this. I can totally agree with & affirm what Alan says. I can also agree with Mike, and am brot to tears of sadness & joy by his story.

John, I've tried cold turkey, well, a lot. I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person. Recently I've tried again. I won't say it can't work for anyone or that it couldn't work for you under the right circumstances & with proper support. But I can say it's not yet worked for me. Usually it just puts more pressure on me, then more guilt when I do numb out. When I try cold turkey, well, my goose is cooked!

Quote:
Any help on getting through this phase is appreciated! I am worried about becoming asexual and replacing my addiction with another addiction. I have also used marijuana to help me "numb" the pain.
John, I used pot & other drugs, as well as alcohol & tobacco, to numb the pain for years, tho not in about 25 years now. I also use & still use food, in addition to my sexual numbing out with FPM (Fantasy, Porn & Masturbation).

Addiction replacement or transfer is often a concern for those of us trying to numb pain--if one DOC (Drug Of Choice) doesn't work maybe another will. NOT!

But Alan is right, we do have to replace our DOCs,
our addictions, with something positive. Good relationships, friendships, support persons, therapists, doctors, etc. Helpful things to look at, listen to, read. Fun activities we enjoy or might enjoy.

Oh I know--much easier said than done! But all that happens when I try to numb my pain is that I can't heal, I numb me, then I can't feel or function as myself. And worse, the pain is still there, it comes up somewhere, worse than before!


Cold turkey or no, that of course is your choice.
But whatever you do, don't be a turkey!
Whatever you do, do it for you, do it with plenty of support, including us. Take care John.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#42352 - 02/11/03 12:46 PM Re: Cold Turkey
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
I'm trying cold turkey. Not even masturbating at night is triggering as hell and I am in an anxiety attack much of the time if I leave the house or if someone comes over, but its only been three weeks and my sister's therapist gets here Wednesday (I Hope) and I want not to be like this anymore.
First of all I'll refer you to my post to Hanginon
John.

Again I want to emphasize: cold turkey is not necessarily a bad thing. If you can do it, including not falling to pieces & worse into your addiction if you "fail" (slip), it may be the way to go, at least for some. But again it requires a lot of support, healthy alternate activities, filling up your time constructively, probably good T and a support group, etc.

When I was attending SLAA (Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous) and SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) groups regularly and doing specific online sex addiction recovery work, I was able to go as long as 64 days without masturbating, using porn, or fantasizing pornographically. That may not sound like much, but it's the longest I've gone since I was about 10 years old, maybe younger.

However it did stress me out a lot, and when I "broke sobriety" the dam really broke! My problem I think was still not enuf healthy alternative activities, not enuf support between meetings, and just plain thinking about it too much instead of working on the root problems of which my addiction is a fruit--my SA & PTSD.

Or maybe it just wasn't for me...

BTW my friend 3 weeks is pretty damn good! Pat yourself on the back!

Take care Edd, & take it easy. ODAAT (One Day At A Time).

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#42353 - 02/11/03 01:07 PM Re: Cold Turkey
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
Expecting your self to become asexual is really not realistic. Humans are sexual beings, and trying to deny it is very uncomfortable at best. Since you are just getting started, I suggest you find yourself some support before you worry too much about the actual things you are doing. Do a search on SLAA and see if there is a group close to you. I also recommend PRIDE, again I havenít dealt with the actual sexual issues in a while so youíll have to do a search to find it.

If you follow along the lines I did, you will find that the abuse is driving the addiction, and that you are using sex to escape and medicate your life. Working on the underlying emotions and feelings will alleviate some of the stress, and make actually stopping the sexual acting out a bit easier.

A good therapist is vital. This is not a do it yourself project. Where I think you can mature beyond needing constant therapy, and move into a stage where support is what you need, at first a therapist is a must. You cannot analyze yourself, or your real problems. Unfortunately, we tend to lie and deceive ourselves too much for that.

For me the actual sexual compulsion to look at porn, cyber-sex and arranging encounters lost power when I realized what they were. Once I realized I was punishing myself with this garbage, and defined a healthy sex-life in my own mind, I was able to walk away from those things fairly easily. As part of healing I also had to step back and decide what were the basic truths for my life. In other words, which things were really harming my life, and which ones only felt wrong because I labeled them falsely. Once I had understanding and perspective, I was able to actually change my behaviors. I think to do so before you understand such things is to invite failure, and failure pulls your esteem even lower. It is all kind of a package deal. JMHO.
jeff

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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