THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
Here is the fourth characteristic of sexual/love addiction again:
"We confuse love with neediness, physical and sexual attraction, pity and/or the need to rescue or be rescued."
This is my third post on this one, but I feel the need to keep writing about it because it really defines me more than the others so far.
I wrote about my need to be rescued the last time. Now I am going to write about my need to rescue. When I was at therapy this week, we talked for a long time about how it felt to be the one who my dad confided his innermost thoughts to.
What I realized is that I loved being that person. I didn't care about anyone else he was associated with because I always was the one he talked to the most about whatever he happened to be going through.
He was a very complex man, almost to the point of having different personalities depending on his mood. I don't know if you would call it a personality disorder or not because he did drink and do a lot of drugs. He smoked pot a lot and took a lot of prescription medicine, especially after his first heart attack.
I don't think I looked at rescuing him as my job or that I could even save him from himself. It took on the form of just being available to him to talk when he wanted. He had an intense desire to communicate. A lot of men don't like to talk a lot. That was not him. He liked to talk all the time.
We would go for long drives and he would talk the entire time. He always felt like he was imparting wisdom on me, and it was sometimes, but other times, it was just crazy and inappropriate for a girl my age.
I knew way more about sex before I was 10 than most people know at 20. He didn't just like to have sex, he liked to talk about it all the time. He wanted me to know everything I needed to know at too young of an age and really, it just confused me a lot.
Rescuing my dad meant saving him from any harm. It meant listening when I didn't want to or felt uncomfortable about what he was saying.
What was the pay off for me? It was being the one he came to. I would never have wanted him to think I didn't want to talk with him.
It meant feeling like I was the only one who understood him. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't - it didn't matter because I thought I was.
What I know now is that I have a need to communicate and feel like I am that special person in someone's life. I liked that feeling. That's why sexual abuse is so complicated.
There are things about it which aren't horrible and actually make you feel special and good. Because of that, most girls suffer abuse longer than they should.
There is always a pay off. If there wasn't it wouldn't be happening as much as it does. If it would have all been bad, it wouldn't have gone on as long as it did.
I have never read any book or blog written by someone who was sexually abused that talked about the good feelings they were getting from the situation. Part of recovering from the bad parts is owning up to what kept it going as long as it did.
My dad made sure I felt special.
That's all I ever wanted.