Monday, November 29, 2010

Staying up too late watching Intervention, and other confessions Oct 10

Can't get this out of my head this morning-can't figure out how to get it to play automatically.

UPDATE: I must add that although I mention people on the TV show, looking back, everyone that I ever actually knew with any addiction problem had something going on behind the scenes; I may not have known it at the time.

Now play the vid and read below. Thanks

On the road again, this time as a student at a school in Arlington, VA. Control of the remote is all mine! When I am on the road I tend to watch some of my fav shows on TLC and A and E, etc, that I can't watch at home, because of course, the hubby has control of the TV. Oh I get to watch my Phillies, but other than that, it's his chicken, and that's ok.

On the road though, it's a different story. last night I stayed up way too late watching two shows that make me feel both depressed as hell and the sanest, most together person in the world, all at the same time. That would be Intervention and Hoarders-OMG! They both show people in various modes of utter despair and distress, and you know their families are at their wits end if they made a video and sent it in to the show, because of course if the magic works, their loved one will get some help, that is if said loved one is willing to be helped.

Hoarders is just incredible. I mean, I have way too many pairs of shoes, and sometimes the books pile up all over the house, and I have two sets of health and beauty items (one for the road and one for home), etc etc etc, but these people make me look like Mrs Clean and organized. Literally breaking a path through the clutter like through snowpack in the winter, they surround themselves with stuff, from accumulated memories that they can't get rid of, stuff they may need "someday", unfinished projects, and shopping sprees that made them feel better for a little while. So sad-and many times disgusting; under those piles they find rotted food, animal poop, and sometimes even dead animal, not to mention insects galore.

Intervention, on the other hand, shows folks in despair and denial, but these people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or some combination of the two, and the show gathers their family, some of whom have enabled the behavior in a big way, to try to get the addicted one to go to treatment.

Now I must warn you, I am going to disagree with the psychology on this one and reveal my own observations and personal experiences, so if you are a strict adherent to the addiction is a disease school, you may not like what I have to say. And I have no training in psychology, so if you say I am totally unqualified to even have an opinion, well I guess you are right, but dammit I gonna say this anyway.

Every one of the people on Intervention has some kind of trauma in their past; abandonment by one or both parents, abuse by a spouse, childhood sexual abuse, etc etc etc. From where I sit it seems that the addiction (whatever it is, even including the hoarders above) helps them hide from/ameliorate temporarily the pain and/or keeps them so wasted almost all the time that they feel nothing, no pain, no joy, nothing, like chemotherapy, their self-medication can not be targeted to solve the problem and so scars everything it touches.

Now there may be people out there who abuse drugs and alcohol because they are just catching a buzz, but to me those folks are not hiding from their lives. IDK, maybe there is no fine line, but that's another blog for another day. When the impact of the substances can be seen by the outside world, there is def a problem.

So-when these people go to treatment, of course they detox their bodies from the poisons, but they also must detox their minds, and to me this is what keeps them clean. The addiction is just a symptom of something wrong deep down; this something must be resolved and the pain managed and dealt with, before the person can really stay clean, otherwise, only the symptom is treated, not the cause.

One of the women on the show last night was sexually abused as a child by a family member, and she didn't tell anyone for several years. When she did speak up, her mother didn't believe her, and from then on it was all downhill. Promiscuity, drugs, you name it, this girl did it. To get attention, to block out the pain, because the abuse taught her to see her only value as sexual.

This struck a chord with me, because you see I know about this first hand. I was sexually abused when I was 13, not by anyone in my family thank goodness, but some guy from the neighborhood. I never told my parents or anyone else until just a couple years ago when I revealed it on my other page here. What a relief to finally understand a bit about my behavior! All that time I thought that I had control over my actions and that I had started being sexually active earlier than most people because I chose to!

However, when I thought back to my experiences at the time, this man groomed me in the textbook manner, and it was almost a classic case! What I did afterwords was also classic-acting out sexually, looking for that one guy who would make me feel complete and whole, all the while ignoring on all other parts of my life. All that mattered, the only part of me that mattered, was the sexual. Luckily I was usually serially monogamous, so it wasn't too bad, but I literally ignored the rest of my life, sleepwalking and partying my way through high school.

Yes I did drugs, but it never got out of control. My drug of choice was always pot-it made everything seem rosy and everything funny. I could gloss over a lot of ugliness when I was stoned.

I find it hard to believe that it took me so long to understand this experience and my reaction to it; I was in my 40s before I realized that the abuse had led me down a certain path in my life. I was lucky because I always functioned in the world, and as I got older(in my 30s), I stepped up my game and started using my brain and skills to get ahead in the world a bit. But it wasn't until another decade had passed that I understood about my behavior.

So-do I think that my "addiction" to sex, or need for sexual validation, or pot, was a disease? No, I don't. I used all of these things to try to compensate for what had happened to me, to try to deal with the pain and maladjustment; the fact that I felt different from other girls (well yes I was different, but never knew why). This comes home to me every time I watch Intervention, and although of course I never got to the level of the people on the show (maybe that's why it took me so long to discover the causes for my behavior), I suffered a trauma, and tried to cope the best I could.

Now I'm not going to say that the abuse is to blame for all the mistakes I made in my life, but it did set me down a path...

BTW, luckily I met my husband a month before I turned 18, and once we started seeing each other, I never had sex with anyone else again, so that could be another reason it took so long to figure things out. So that part of the story has a happy ending; no it all has a happy ending, although it's not over yet. The queen of reinvention still has the stage!

So-I am exhausted and the TV is OFF; I need to keep it that way and go to bed. Well, maybe after I look at some more of the lighthouse pictures I took over the weekend. the first set of pics is up on the website HERE-please have a look if you are so inclined.

Thanks for listening, and please, if you read this, even if you don't want to comment, please leave me a kudo. I had 51 views today, and that was before this blog, and I can't remember my mixmap password, so I don't know WTH is going on.

Thanks again.

PS The book below also helped crystallize my thinking on the topic of promiscuity; the thoughts and feelings expressed by the author mirror many of my own, and many of the pages of my copy are turned down at the corners.

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