Friday, June 25, 2010


Mia culpa... I am avoiding writing about the second challenge mentioned two posts ago. And it's already here, blossoming to full size in about 9 hours. I am avoiding because I don't want to tell or face the whole truth about the situation. I don't want to deal with the past and I am a little apprehensive about the future.

In this moment all is well. I am following my food plan and doing what I have to do. I am sane and sober.

But I feel insecurity creeping toward me. Will writing help? I don't want my journal to read like true confessions, even though it is for me and for my healing.... I'm waffling about this.

So, guess I'll write the outline... the part that is more or less factual... the part that isn't so much about my feelings.

About 30 years ago I was in Eastern Europe, then under Communist control, and met a family, who were members of an ethnic minority group in the country where they lived. Their ethnic group suffered much persecution. The father (I'll call him J) wanted to get his two children out of that country and raise them in a politically free country.

I helped by getting information for them and by raising money to pay for bribes and expenses (getting the family out of the country was very tricky). For a while, they lived in a limbo status in another country. I visited them there a few times.

After a couple of years living hand to mouth, moving frequently, trying to get into Western Europe but not succeeding, they finally found an opportunity to get into Denmark as political refugees. There they settled, learning Danish, adjusting to a very different culture and eventually becoming citizens.

When they first went to Denmark, they knew nobody. J and his wife were worried about what would happen to the kids if anything should happen to them. I agreed in writing to take full responsibility for the two children if it were ever necessary.

I had four extended visits with the family in Denmark. The last time I saw them as a family of four was 17 years ago. The daughter came to visit me in the USA the year after that. And J came to my home for a brief visit 8 years ago.

In 9 hours J is arriving here for a second visit. My husband, J and I are going on a 4-day motorcycle ride. J will be here for 6 days.

What does all this have to do with my recovery? Well there's the obvious... Have guest = eat more, richer foods. Travel = eat more, get hungrier. Stress = eat more. That's the surface challenge about the week ahead. I know how to deal with that type of challenge... I have my plan and my talisman!

However, under the obvious there's a more significant challenge. When I met J and got to know him over periodic visits to the family in Europe, I greatly admired his strength of character, daring and determination. I began to really love this amazing person. Actually, that was part of it. The other part was that I developed a ginornous crush on him.

My addictions (in addition to the mother addiction of overeating and certain foods) include tobacco (3 packs Pall Mall every day, quit in 1968), alcohol (sober since 1985) and love. Love addiction is the strangest thing... For me it was not sex addiction, even though sex is often desirable as proof of love. It wasn't sex I wanted at all; it was to be loved.

My love addiction manifested itself as crushes, mostly on unavailable or uninterested men. I would constantly obsess about a man on whom I had a crush. Sometimes I would almost stalk the person, hound them with notes/letters.

Poor J. He was very fond of me. But he was also married and totally in love with his wife. For me, it was very confusing. I loved and admired the whole family, including his wife, in a healthy and reasonable way. But at the same time, he was the object of my passionate obsession for a long time, maybe 10 years.

Because of my lust for J, I broke up with my steady boyfriend/partner of 13 years. I only wanted J.

Then some things changed. I began writing poetry with a group of recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and one sex addict. For the first time, I began to see my crushes for what they really were... an addiction to love... obsessive and compulsive attachments that were not reality-based. I awakened to the fact that I could love J as a friend and let go of the notion that he could (0r ever would) be a romantic partner.

After that, I met my husband (1997) and consider myself happily married. No more crushes. J was the last. Not even a hint of it in the 13 years I've been with my husband. Even when J called to tell me his wife had suddenly died of a brain tumor, I did not give more than idle thought to the fact that he was now available.

J and I are close friends. I've stood next to him through many important life changes. We have a strong bond, an emotional and intellectual connection similar to my relationship with two of my brothers and my husband.

So now J is coming here. His visit brings up the past for me... reminds me of my addiction to love. I've been having memory flash-backs about those days when I adored him in such an unhealthy, odd way. We did not have an affair, although at one point I would have if the circumstances had been different. I am ashamed about that. I wonder if I want to talk with him about it? I wonder if there is some way I can make amends. Most of all I want the impossible... to apologize to his wife for the lust I carried for J. But to him as well. It could not have been easy to be my friend.

So the challenge ahead is to feel my feelings, accept my memories of who I was back then, forgive myself for my mistakes and my addictions, and pray for guidance in matters of making amends with J. That's it. That's the challenge I face right now.


  1. Wow. That is a challenge. I have a sort-of suggestion... When I was in psychic school in the '90s, we did an exercise that had to do with making amends or tying up loose ends or unfinished business with people who had passed on. We wrote a letter to someone we wanted to "clear the air" with. In the letter we wrote out specifically what we needed to say to that person, then folded it up carefully and sent it to the person by burning the letter and releasing the energy out into ... the wherever. Then we waited for answers, which most of us received in one way or another, a sign, or a communication during meditation or dreams, or just a "knowing.". And those who did not get an answer felt as though their letters were received and understood. You could write a letter to J's wife in that way and see what happens.

    For what it's worth, I once reconnected with someone I'd had a walloping crush on years before. I'm sure I was a nuisance, and sent silly notes and such. I was very nervous and a little embarrassed to see him again. But he just remembered me as a friend he used to hang out with. Much to my relief, I should add. Maybe it would be that way for J also? It's possible my friend was just being diplomatic, but I think that he really didn't "get" that I had had such a fixation on him, even though it was painfully obvious to me.

    Have a grand time on your trip, Peacfulbird. I know your strength will support you, and your talisman will help you when those "moments" come up.

  2. To Lois ~ I am sooooooooo glad you came to my blog, as your comments are very helpful to me, especially this one. I had thought about writing a letter to J's wife, but not about the ritual burning/releasing of the message to her spirit, whatever/wherever it is. That's perfect and I will do it. Thanks also for your optimism about me taking on this challenge!

  3. Robin, these are things that you can put in your 4th step. The 9th step says to make amends to all people we have harmed except when to do so would injure them or others. Some things do not need to be told. Julie C

  4. I'm glad I could be of help. Generally I feel very hesitant to offer unsolicited advice, but this just seemed right.

  5. I could relate to this on so many levels. That being said, I wish you peace and serenity in the next few days.

    I have an award for you on my blog when you return.

  6. Hey, PB,

    Somehow, I missed this entry, then I came over to see where U bean.

    Wow, quite a story. Come back and let us know the updated ending!

  7. Love is life, lust is life. Somehow we tend to think it is more acceptable in men. It makes us feel safe. Good women. Lower abdomen tightly locked. Why feel ashamed of fantasies ?

    13 years - double 7 year itch... ouch ! Difficult time...

    You are very brave to write about this.

    Big hugs.


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