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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Your list of top value is well done. Having them written in this way helps build that foundation. When you go to do your action plans keep in mind that you may have a list of things to do to establish or uphold the value but you are only looking for the first 4 or 5 steps you will concentrate on first. Anymore than that times the 15 values and it becomes overwhelming and can set you up for failure. Once you have ingrained the action plan you can update it with the next 4 or 5 actions you need to take :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:48 am 
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Thanks for the feedback, CoachCheryl.

Lesson 6: Building Proactive Action Plans I
A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones. Post these plans into your recovery thread.


  • Being an active engaged parent.
    • Ask child #1 how his day went, every evening.
    • Take responsibility for starting the "best thing/worst thing" game.
    • Do one workbook exercise with child #1 before dinner - phone alarm set.
    • Involve child #2 with the cooking.
    • Take child #2 to water the garden daily after school drop off.
  • Developing an awareness of other people's state of being / empathy.
    • Ask myself "What's going on with X" when either child is crying.
    • Take time to "take in" my wife when I see her.
    • Do a websearch on "how to develop empathy" - update this action plan.
    • Take a minute to look at people's faces (esp in the eye) when I say hello to them.
  • Being deserving of trust
    • On getting into bed do a mental "Anything I've ommitted to tell you" exercise.
    • Be aware of tendency to put a positive spin on my behaviour so as to avoid criticism.
    • Remember to communicate what I'm doing/ where I'm going with my wife.
    • Get on with work first, arrange time for catching up email, dilbert, forums, etc after 1 hour of work.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:33 am 
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Lesson 7 is about filling in an action plan for all of my values that's expected to take a week, then lessons 8 and 9 have been moved to couple's programme, so I'm now on Lesson 10 - Absolute Honesty in Recovery . Thought I was going to have some smooth sailing with this one as I'd come clean with my partner about a whole range of behaviours on the 2nd day of us being apart from each other. But some of these lists I'm finding really challanging to post. I'm also remembering other things that are coming up that I'll be telling her about this evening - it's like I've been keeping them apart from each other, just occasionally thinking about this one thing or that other thing that I've done that's not healthy behaviour. Having them all start to come together in one place (ie my head) at the same time is painting a pretty ugly picture.

Lesson 10 Exercises

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior. List these items and their locations in your Recovery Thread.


I don't know that these items count as "stashed" since that's just where I keep them and my wife is aware that they're there and they relate to my/our sex life:
  • Vasaline in bed cupboard
  • 3 Vibrators and lubricant gel in a box in bedroom cupboard.
  • Condoms in middle pocket of daysack.
  • Shaving stuff, razor, clippers in bathroom.

The following items aren't known about (until today):
  • Photos of old girlfriends in briefcase. Don't know that I use them for sexually compulsive behaviour - I don't masturbate over them or anything, but I imagine my wife wouldn't be pleased to know I have them, so I list them here since they're part of my generally deciteful behaviour.
  • Computer in loft will have various pictures (C:\windows\system32\bak) on it that I'll delete when I can get access to it.
  • Underwear - whatever is currently sitting in the wash pile.
  • Some old links to porn sites stored under favorites\multimedia\old (or similar non-obvious path) on the main computer.
  • Files of explict conversations that I'll have stored in "documents\letters sent" but I zipped them with a password in the year 2000 and I've now totally forgotten what that password was. I don't use them, but they're hidden anyway. I guess I was hoping that I'd figure out the password at some point.
  • Sunglasses (confessed to this one yesterday) use them to appear to look in one direction, but actually stare at women.
  • Still camera - see "Beach" below, pretending to take scenic shots
  • Video camera - one time I recorded something I shouldn't. The guilt and lack of satisfaction from that made me promise myself I wouldn't do it again. Not sure if I've stuck to that or just not had a sufficiently enticing opportunity that would overcome the guilt.

I don't really need to "stash" anything anymore. At one point I had 300Gb of porn which I deleted (in 2007), but with bandwidth increased the way it's done, for the past few years I've just used a few internet sites that I've memorised.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object. Post this in your thread.
  • "D" Met (and slept with the same day) when I was 16 then picked up as a Facebook friend 18 years later and crossed a line into explicit sex room style chat at some point in the next 4 years. Instances of phone sex. I called it off for a year or so, then re-established. Laterly (until caught) exchanging photos and video when wife was away for work. Met her once for coffee which was ackward - worked better as being mainly fantasy.
  • "H" first love...something of a romantic ideal and (now I'm reading lesson 11) somewhat obsessional and unrequited. Have been harbouring notion that if I ever found myself single in the future and she also got divorced that I might try to rekindle something there.
  • "P" vague school acquaintance who has something of a trendy single sex-in-the-city style life. Was hoping to introduce her to wife and make her something of a "family friend" but the thought that we might someday end up in a three-some is also lurking at the back of my mind.
  • "G" & "M" - Two neighbours who regularly step out into the crisp morning air in a T-shirt without a bra. Not that I think about this a lot, but I'm just very conscious of looking or trying not to look.
  • "A" & "S" - Two locals who I bump into most days. Both quite attractive and tend to wear push-up bras. I don't fantasise about them and impulse thoughts of having an affair are quickly quashed with "that would be ridiculous", but I list them here as those impulses come up anyway. I'm very aware of needing to make an effort to keep my eye contact high enough.
  • My wife. Does that count? I fantasise about what I'd like to do with her quite a lot.
  • Women in street, at swimming pool - generally eyeing them up, treating as objects rather than people.
  • "S" - Added this one in subsequently, finding difficult to type. S was a long term girlfriend who passed out (drunk) while we were having sex. I continued to finish and in a way that she'd previously said she wasn't into. This happened two times...we broke up about 6 months later. Hasn't come up again most probably because I haven't been out with anyone who'd drink themselves unconscious since then.

VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/romantically compulsive behavior. Post this list in your thread.
  • Internet - porn sites, sexually explicit chat with "D" on facebook
  • Bathroom - masturbating and pulling underwear from wash pile
  • Swimming pool, last 3 cubicles on the left which suffered from a lack of structural integrity - voyeurism.
  • Beach - topless sunbathers - mainly looking (and trying not to look at) at but have photographed a couple of times while pretending to take a "scenic" shot.
  • Passing windows in evening (lit with open curtains) - glacing to see if there's anyone in a state of undress
  • Study / Bedroom - using internet as above, masturbating without internet (rarer), phone sex, taking video/pictures of self
  • Lounge - can see into neighbours bedroom. Often linger, just in case I see her getting changed.
  • Brothel - also added this one in subsequently, funny that it seems to "hide" in my head, and then pops up and I'm like, wow, how could I have forgotten that? Anyway, I went this one time in 2007. It was very exciting, but not so great that it overcame the guilt. I felt like a real Judas and had the coins in my pocket to prove it. Haven't gone again, although have fantasised about doing so. Also lap dancing bar similarly.
  • Massage Place - in 2002/03 I was going for a weekly 90 minute massage. The place was totally above board, but I'd masturbate quickly when I was left on my own as I got dressed.
  • Hotel Rooms - reminded of this when I did the assessment and had to look up the meaning of ecouterism. Not somewhere I'd seek out deliberately but if I happened to be staying in a hotel anyway and I heard someone having sex in the room next door, I'd put a glass to the wall so I could listen.

EDIT: Included a couple of "One Time" incidents after they "came up" yesterday and I confessed them to my wife as they're an indication that I've seriously crossed some boundaries in the past.


Last edited by Guided on Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Lesson 12 Exercise:

I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.


Yes, I think I definitely see myself in that fourth group which is (as I see it) best summed up by the observation that:
Quote:
They put forth the required amount of effort in their participation, but only rarely go that "extra mile". The one where they take the information and use it for their own benefit, in their own way. Establishing a private workbook, writing out (or just thinking about) additional personal ways that the information may pertain to them.

I am putting effort into this programme, but I don't feel like I'm "going the extra mile". I'm also very aware that a lot of my motivation stems from being caught, and I find that on the days when my wife is feelling upset I'm far more inclined to spend time here, and on the days where she's acting like everything is fine, I also feel like everything is fine. And it's not, of course it's not. So I need to get away from - in general - my state of mind being so influenced by other people's behaviour towards me.

I would say that (of the 4th group observations) this one does not apply to me
Quote:
They have spent the majority of the workshop looking for proof that what they are doing is working, or that it will work. Which has kept them from fully investing themselves into their recovery.

Actually I'm OK with just doing what I'm told and trusting the programme...but I don't know that I'd go as far as to say I'm fully invested in it. I recognise that I need help to become healthy....lol, actually I recognise that I need guidance, which is why I chose my username. I can't fix my thinking using my current broken thinking.

EDIT Additional:

To the extent that I'm here because I was caught, I can see that a few of the patterns described under "Those Who Will Continue to Struggle With Relapse" could apply to me:
Quote:
  • They often feel forced into recovery (e.g. legal consequences, social expectations, treatment demands)
  • Their motivation for recovery comes from an attempt to appease others (e.g. to save a relationship; to deflect attention from the behaviors)
  • They minimize their behavior (e.g. "It's not how it seems"; "It's not that big of a deal.")


I don't "feel" forced into recovery. Actually I'm quite grateful that I was caught because it's given me an opportunity to stop the things I was doing that didn't make me feel good, and remove some invisible barriers that had formed between me and my wife, as well as all that emotional energy that was leaking out of our relationship. On the other hand, I'm quite clear that I wouldn't have come here of my own accord if I hadn't been caught.


Last edited by Guided on Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Journal Entry

I found lessons 10 (Honesty) and 11 (Assessment) very difficult. I thought I'd been completely honest with my wife the day after I'd spent the night in temporary accomodation (had a list of about 9 items to confess to her), but I came up with a few more things that just hadn't entered my head before - I think I've actually been a bit blocked from thinking about then because they don't make me feel very good about myself so I just don't think about them. I'd think about each one from time to time (maybe a couple of time a year) but this is the first time I've had all of them collected together at once.

I've been acutely aware of various impulses, which (perhaps because the memory of being caught is so recent) I've been able to quash instantly without any difficulty. Although I did find myself hitting a chocolate bar and having a beer this afternoon, and I think carb craving is something I need to consider - just another way of getting that dopamine hit.

My wife is away for the next 4 days which is usually a trigger for a major porn/beer/movies/computer games fest. A lot of that is about avoiding feelings of abandonment, but also there's an element of "Cat's Away", like I'm a teenager being left with the house for the weekend. And they work together, the beer puts enough sugar in my blood to keep me up playing games, then I can't sleep so porn and masturbation follow. Tonight it's lights out at 10pm. That's the plan anyway...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Lesson 13 Exercises:

I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.


Interesting that I don't recognise anything of myself in the "Early Recovery" section of Lesson 13. I don't know if that's because I've already been doing significant personal development work without addressing my sexual addictions directly, or if it might be because I'm in some sort of inauthentic recovery. I struggle to get emotionally connected to both myself (supressing emotion) and with others (lack of empathy) so the fact that I'm not experiencing "extremely negative emotions" may relate to that. It was the anniversary of my brother's death yesterday. I remember the day after he died (killed himself actually, he was 14 and I was 21) I just went to work - now that's some ability to suppress emotion - to not feel what I "should" be feeling.

I see most of the "Middle Recovery" quotes as relating to me. In particular the following stand out:
Quote:
• Relapse triggers are experienced not as a threat, but an opportunity.
We haven't covered what "triggers" are yet so I'm making an assumption here. Normally when my wife goes away I go a bit wild with staying up late, having a few beers, playing computer games and watching porn. She's away this week and I've been OK so far at limiting myself to one beer in the afternoon (so it doesn't keep me awake). That also brings up this quote:
Quote:
•They make decisions based on what they believe is the right thing to do, rather than on what they think they can get away with.
Yeah, I'm not quite there with that one yet. It's more like, because I've made a commitment to be completely honest with my wife (which is something I feel really good about for our future relationship), I know that I'm not going to get away with anything. So I'm not looking at porn because I know how I'd feel having to tell her about it. So that's not great, that I'm staying on the path because of what other people would think....if there was no-one to tell, I'm not sure I'd be making the same choices. I'm looking forward to reading the pornography awareness thing fairly soon because right now it doesn't seem that harmful to me - except that I've promised my wife I'm not going to do it, and I want to keep my committment there.
Quote:
• They recognize failure as a learning experience--but only when that failure occurs with on-the-spot sincerity, as opposed to pre-planned deception.
My failings at the moment are quite subtle in nature - glancing at a woman's breasts as she passes, something of an annoying automatic habit that I suspect will take a while to shift.

Nothing in the "Late Recovery" section applies to me.

II. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If yes, wonderful. If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving/managing your recovery? Share your thoughts in the community forum.

In terms of unhealthy patterns, the values I see in
Quote:
  • Their motivation for recovery comes from an attempt to appease others (e.g. to save a relationship; to deflect attention from the behaviors)
  • They minimize their behavior (e.g. "It's not how it seems"; "It's not that big of a deal.")

...are all about "Wanting to be Liked" which came up in my dark side values I posted in Lesson 3 eg being liked, avoiding criticism, avoiding difficult emotion. It's all about immediate gratification (which was also one of my dark side values) because of course in the long run one is found out and it turns out worse than if you'd taken the hit of telling the truth and not being so liked in the short term. Oh dear; I've shifted not to behaving because it's the "right thing", but just to having a longer period of evaluation of the consequences...

In terms of the healthy recovery patterns:
Quote:
• Relapse triggers are experienced not as a threat, but an opportunity.

I see the value there of "Being dependable" or maybe "Trusting oneself" that's in line with what I posted as my 4th prioritised value in Lesson 4 of
Quote:
4. Honouring my commitments conscientiously esp marriage vows, Being dependable, extending that to being dependable to myself.


The other pattern that stood out was:
Quote:
• They recognize failure as a learning experience--but only when that failure occurs with on-the-spot sincerity, as opposed to pre-planned deception.

I see the value here as "Honesty with self" and "Self examination" which I hope is all about Personal / Spiritual Development which I listed as my #3 prioritized value. Although interesting to look back at that and note that I didn't specifically say that I wanted to develop honesty to myself. I think I thought I was being honest with myself, but that experience in Lesson 11 of not remembering some quite shocking behaviour in my past is making me realise that I've been hiding one part of my psyche from another part. I think it would be a good thing for me to just sit with my Lesson 10 admissions and just let the consequences of all that past behaviour (brought together in one place) sink in.


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 Post subject: Journal Update
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:22 am 
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I've not completed as many lessons as I'd have liked the past few days. I've been working on a complete (hmm, we'll see) timeline of my sexual behaviour which ran to about 11 pages of text. I've shared it with my wife. So that was a bit challenging; feels sort of good to have it all "out", and I hope it's good for my wife that she's not going to be (so much) waiting for the next revelation to bring things crashing back down on her.

Have committed to not masturbating (unless my wife wants to initiate something) and both that and the impulses to look at porn on the internet have been well under control - but then I'm still very much in a "things aren't OK" state of mind. So it's been a month since I last looked at porn and a week since I last had an orgasm. I was feeling charged up like the Duracel Bunny the other day, and I've been working on awareness of where that energy is sitting in my body and letting it spread out, rather than staying centered in my groin.

But today I've got back to Lesson 14, the Daily Monitoring. I've also printed off my prioritized action plan to refer to throughout the day.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:27 am 
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Exercise Fourteen

I. Develop your Daily Monitoring list. Construct it in some sort of word processing document (Word, Notepad, Wordpad, etc.) so that you may update it as needed. Post this list into your Recovery Thread.


  1. Have I actively participated in my recovery from sexual addition today?
    • Have I logged on to and worked through RN ?
    • Did I engage in any behaviours that I need to tell my wife about ?
    • Have I looked at women taking them in as whole people?
    • What impulses have come up for me? How did I handle them?
  2. How is my emotional connection with my wife been today?
    • Have I "taken her in" as my life partner, friend and lover?
    • Have I touched her in an affectionate way that's made her feel valued for who she is?
  3. Have I achieved what I set out to do today?
    • Has anything prevented me from achieving my goals today?
    • Have I been appreciative for thing things in my life today?
  4. How present have I been today?
    • Have I been grounded, energized and self sufficient today? (thinking comfort / stims here - caffeine, chocolate, beer)
    • Have I made the best use of my time?
    • Have I felt fully aware and present to my body and surroundings
    • Did I look properly at the people I've met today?
    • Have I sat with difficult emotion today?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:28 pm 
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Lesson 15 Exercises:

I. Take a minute to review what you have learned over the past two weeks. Of what you have learned so far, think of one example of how you have actively integrated that information into your day-to-day life. Share this in your personal thread.


I think the main thing for me has been this reaslisation that my behaviour has been based on my inability to handle my emotional state in a mature way, so I've been constantly looking for the "quick fix". So today I was feeling pretty low - a combination of guilt, sadness, despair - and I just sort of accepted that that was how I was going to be feeling for the next wee while and just sat with it, let it be. I really know what the phrase "heavy heart" means today, like I've had a ball of lead sitting in my chest, weighing me down.

I've also been thinking about my meditation - not that I do it very often - but that too is about self soothing, avoiding those painful emotions.

This has come up for me - in a specific situation - when my son was starting nursery and he was crying his little heart out as I left him. And I felt like my heart was breaking, I was really upset. But as I cycled away from him I thought "you know, this is exactly how I should be feeling with my son crying like that. What sort of father would I be if I was leaving him crying and I was feeling happy?" So I decided that I wanted to be feeling like I was feeling, and that made the feelings OK.

So to sum up, what I'm getting to is "being ok, with not being ok".


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:14 am 
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Lesson 16 Exercise:
I. Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)? Understanding the functional role of your addiction is important in removing the power, mystery and fear from that addiction. To begin seeing it in terms of practicality, rather than supernatural. Share a few positive aspects of your addiction in your recovery thread.


Well first off and maybe easiest is that I've been using masturbation to get to sleep - that deep relaxation that comes after orgasm and just falling asleep with that.

Basically I've been avoiding negative emotion - I'm not even sure I can say what the feeling is; a sort of despair, abandonment, guilty grief. I've been sitting with that this week and it's just a long long morning or afternoon of feeling crap. And the buzz of watching porn (even just a brief peek without masturbating) or eyeing up or spying on women pulls me out of that funk. I'm sort of seeing this in terms of that biochemical high in Lesson 16 - I seek out porn (or some sexually connected behaviour), or chocolate or beer, caffeine, computer games (and often one after the other). Anything to give me that dopamine hit. And when I'm tired or hungover then I'm much more likely to need that hit so that's something to watch out for.

And of course avoiding sexual frustration. I can get what I want without having to cajole anyone else into it.

And when I've not had an orgasm for a while, I think I feel quite uncomfortable with that "full" testosterony feeling, like I'm getting dangerously energised. Orgasm pulls me back down into a soft comfortable glow.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:21 am 
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Exercise 17
I. Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread. It is important that you understand the principles involved in identifying the stimulating elements of compulsive rituals...so if you are not comfortable with this concept, ask questions! Also, recognize that the elements listed above are not the only elements associated with compulsive behavior. And so, you will want to identify those elements that are specifically related to YOUR compulsive behavior.


I have been engaged in compulsive behaviour regarding voyeurism.

The ingredients this involved were:
  • Sensory - the visual stimulation of looking at someone naked / dressing / drying off / rubbing in cream.
  • Danger - I didn't (at the time) see this as a positive thing, but it was certainly intense. My heart would beat so loud I could hear it, and my whole body would shake with adrenaline. Interestingly I was very unlikely to have/maintain an erection handling that much fear (of getting caught).
  • Suspense - not knowing who'd come in (if anyone) in the time I was there or if they'd take up a 'favourable' place to change. Frustration (during the act of voyeuring) if they were facing the wrong way, or covered up.
  • Fantasy - imagining what I might see, imagining what women who I could see currently dressed, would look like naked. Fantasy that the woman might enjoy being watched, or might want to watch me in return.
  • Past - my fantasys would include remembering previously gratifying voyeurism.
  • Accomplishment - satisfaction from seeing a woman naked.
  • Information - perhaps this could be lumped in as delusional fantasy if it's the case that knowing intimate details about a person (such as their bra size, or what their underwear looks like, colour of their nipples, trim of their pubic hair) was giving me some sense of having an actual intimate connection with a woman. Actually, I think I've been avoiding giving this one it's true name. Information is Power.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:48 am 
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Exercise 18
II. Consider one of your own compulsive rituals. Identify circumstances when each of the three filters (time, habituation and intensity) have come into play. Make sure that you understand each filter to the point where you are able to identify them as a ritual is being performed. Post these personal examples in your recovery thread.


In the compulsive ritual of masturbating to pornography, I recognise the following filters:

  • Habituation - I started out with pictures of women, but graduated on to more hardcore 'showing pink' pictures. Then as it became easier to download large files from the internet, I found I got more intense stimulation from first audio and then video files. The video sharing sites on the internet meant I never had to watch the same video twice. I also graduated (?) away from unrealistic porn queen type models to more of a "girl next door" look - perhaps trying to make the fantasy more like reality.
  • Intensity - I rarely masturbated more than once a day, and ideally it would be about 3 days between orgasms. Too many orgasms in a period of time resulted in subsequent orgasms being less intense. I would set up a number of video files (choosing one particular one to orgasm to, usually at the same point as a person in the video (male or female) was acheiving climax) and rotate through them to maximise the intensity. I'd often stand (or tense my legs straight) for orgasm as that would make it more intense that in a seated position.
  • Time - getting to orgasm quickly didn't have the same 'hit' of allowing it to build up slowly. I'd try to "hold back" by slowing down or not touching myself. At some point in time I'd decide to orgasm, or no longer be able to hold back any longer.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:27 am 
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Exercise 22 - Measuring Compulsive Behavior
1. Consider a very simple ritual that you have engaged in.
2. Identify three or four elements of that ritual (e.g. physical sensory stimulation; danger; orgasm; accomplishment).
3. For each element, assign a relative number for the amount of stimulation you think you derive from this particular element. These numbers are relevant only to you and in relation to other elements that you experience.
4. For each element, consider the effects of each of the three filters on the stimulation derived from that element. Does it increase the stimulation? Decrease the stimulation? Have no effect? Have a mixed effect (as in, sometimes it increases, other times it decreases)?.
5. Share the above in your personal recovery thread.


Ritual Measured:
Voyeruism

Primary Elements Involved:
Sensory (visual); Danger; Suspense; Fantasy; Past; Accomplishment; Power; Moral Conflict

Values assigned:
Sensory (visual) 3
Danger 2
Suspense 1
Fantasy (imagery) 1
Fantasy (delusional) 2
Past 1
Accomplishment 2
Power 2
Moral Conflict 1

Filters applied:
Sensory (visual):
  • Time - Increases to the point where the feeling of danger greater than the stimulation ie I've seen enough. '7'
  • Intensity - seeing something particulary intimate clearly, very intense '8'
  • Habituation - different girl every time, always something new - '10'

Danger:
  • Time - element stays fairly constant throughout ritual '4'
  • Intensity - Body would be shaking with adrenaline, very intense '9'
  • Habituation - wasn't a welcome part of the ritual, would prefer to do without the shaking and fear. On the other hand I did once push out a plug that was blocking a viewing hole which greatly increased danger (decided not to try that again, too risky) so '5'

Suspense:
  • Time - possibly quite important since suspense built up over time (during swim) to point of entering showers and changing room at which point it was either an 'accomplishment' or a 'fail' '7'
  • Intensity - that waiting and wondering and looking around, quite intense '6'
  • Habituation - didn't change much '3'

Fantasy (imagery) :
  • Time - wasn't really looking for fantasy, would have preferred to have concentrated on my swimming '1'
  • Intensity - low level background stimulation '5'
  • Habituation - didn't evolve much, was trying to avoid daydreaming '2'

Fantasy (delusional) :
  • Time - Delusion that victim would appreciate me looking or even reciprocate would ramp up as opportunity to voyeur approached, then fall off quickly as the situation became more real. '8'
  • Intensity - was very aware that I was fooling myself in this regard, didn't give much credance to these thoughts '3'
  • Habituation - this possibly was increasing slowly with time, as I continued to 'get away with it' '6'

Past:
  • Time - thinking about previous victims during fantasy wasn't really time relevant '3'
  • Intensity - memories of previously accomplished voyeuring quite intense '7'
  • Habituation - more and varied memories were being collected over time, as per sensory visual, offering fresh material '7'

Accomplishment:
  • Time - Timing actually hugely important in the accomplishment of getting to the right place at the 'right' time. But that's not quite how time is being measured here. Accomplishment not varied over time so '2'
  • Intensity - mixed feelings about failing to accomplish, in some ways the better result morally. '5'
  • Habituation - experience different each time '9'

Power:
  • Time - time not really relevant to the amount of information gained about 'victim' '2'
  • Intensity - knowing/seeing more things increases intensity '7'
  • Habituation - like seeing new things, knowing new things had no limits - not habituated '7'

Moral Conflict :
  • Time - moral conflict fairly constant over whole time I was in area until I left. '4'
  • Intensity - actually possibly a part of the whole thing, that deep introspection and fighting with myself could have been an important part of the ritual '6'
  • Habituation - no effect '1'


Sums:
Sensory (visual) 3 x (7+8+10) = 75 / 9 = 8.3
Danger 2 x (4+9+5) = 36 / 9 = 4
Suspense 1 x (7+6+3) = 16 / 9 = 1.8
Fantasy (imagery) 1 x (1+5+2) = 8 / 9 = 0.9
Fantasy (delusional) 2 x (8+3+6) = 34 / 9 = 3.8
Past 1 x (3+7+7) = 17 / 9 = 1.9
Accomplishment 2 x (2+5+9) = 32 / 9 = 3.6
Power 2 x (2+7+7) = 32 / 9 = 3.6
Moral Conflict 1 x (4+6+1) = 11 / 9 = 1.2

Total value for ritual chain - 29.1


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:19 am 
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Exercise 25 - Identifying Compulsive Rituals

I. Develop your own compulsive ritual. Make this relatively simple. List the primary elements in a similar fashion as exampled above in Compulsive Ritual: Exhibitionism. Post this ritual and its elements in your recovery thread.


Wasn't sure what was been asked for here - "Develop" as in "create" or doing the analysis on an existing ritual...which I thought was what I'd done for four such rituals in Exercise 24. I had a look at what other people have been doing on the forum and perhaps I jumped the gun earlier... anyhoo, I'll try for: Beach Peeking

  1. Arrive at beach, anticipation of viewing topless bathers [suspense, fantasy, past]
  2. PONR - Make a point to take sunglasses out of car to allow me to stare without being noticed [Power]
  3. Allow wife/children to choose spot as I'm trying to avoid parking myself near an attractive woman [Moral Conflict]
  4. Feel sexual frustration, especially if wife isn't topless. [Flatness, Past]
  5. Sit down, feel frustrated at self for being in beautiful spot with family yet experiencing sexual frustration. [Moral Conflict]
  6. Notice topless woman nearby, quick glance, hope wife doesn't spot me looking [Danger, Moral Conflict, Sensory (visual), Power]
  7. Sit facing away from topless woman to try to stop myself looking (in a similar way, in a bar I sit not-facing the TV otherwise I just look at it the whole time.) [Moral Conflict, Past, Power (self control)]
  8. Despite conflict and facing away, end up making various 'long pass' looks ie pretending to look at scenery, turning head steadily [Power (getting it right)]
  9. Take particular notice of breast and pubic area, nipples, skin tone, colouring [Sensory, Power (information)]
  10. Feel rush of sexual excitement, Danger, discomfort, sense of how long I've been looking, until I look away [Moral Conflict, Danger]
  11. Repeat until I leave beach, or there are no more topless bathers in range.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:01 am 
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Exercise 26 - Mapping Compulsive Rituals

In the previous exercise, you were asked to label the elements involved with a particular ritual. In this exercise, you will be delving deeper into your awareness of that ritual. Here, you are asked to 'map out' one of your rituals. Make sure that you choose a specific ritual that you have engaged in (as in, last Thursday before work, I looked at porn); rather than a general compulsive behavior (as in, in the past, I looked at porn).

The main difference between what you did in the previous exercise and this is that you are no longer listing the elements of the ritual. Instead, you are listing the behavior associated with that element. For example, in the past exercise, it was sufficient to label a voyeuristic ritual with the element 'sensory stimulation--visual'. No longer. From this point forward, all rituals should be identified in terms of the specific thoughts/behaviors associated with the elements. And so, today, your 'element' will read something like this: "I would focus my eyes on her and inconspicuously follow her around the store."

Quote:
Your first step in mapping a compulsive ritual is to select a single, specific behavior pattern to work with. As you consider the first element of that ritual, consider the emotions that were experienced just prior to the 'urge' to act out. For some, it might be boredom, or arousal, or anxiety; for others, it might be success, anger or failure; and for still others, it might be rejection, monotony, pressure, depression or any number of feelings. And, of course, for most, it will be any number of these. The only consistent property of acting out is the invariable presence of some emotional trigger just prior to experiencing the 'urge'.

The next step is to consider the urge itself. This is a key element in understanding rituals, as it is often the breaking point for the chains that follow. In fact, it will be your recognition of this urge that will serve as the point in decision making--and it is why you have been instructed to take out your values list and read through it at this point with EACH urge experienced...whether you go ahead and act on the urge or not. More on this later.

After identifying the urge, the remainder of steps involve an accurate and emotionally self-aware representation of the different points throughout an act where your actions (i.e. behaviors, thoughts) have caused a change in your emotional state. This change can involve either increases/decreases in either positive or negative emotions. The key is that they produce change in the current emotional state.



Post this more advanced ritual in your recovery thread.


I'll try for an analysis of the specific last time I did the swimming pool voyeur thing.

  1. My wife urges me to take time to go for a swim - feel sense of relief about having some space/freedom and time to myself.
  2. Walk to the pool, feeling a bit lonely, flat [TRIGGER], enjoying physicality of walking - taking in the day, breathing. Resentful about lack of...sexual affection in my marriage, excited about the possibility of seeing someone attractive at the pool.
  3. Pay money, walk up stairs to changing rooms, walk slower by poolside to see who's in there and note there's about 4 women swimming - 2 of whom are in their 20s [URGE]. Feel sense of anticipation.
  4. Already know that last 3 changing rooms have holes between them so no need to check them out again. Feel comfort of a familiar unchanging place. Feel perhaps sense of comradeship / not being alone that other people are engaging in this behaviour as they're creating these holes.
  5. Choose middle of 3 holey changing rooms. Note couple have just left the largest changing room to the right, now at hairdryers. He looks at me - suspiciously? Feel protected by my apparently innocent behaviour - since cubicles are nearest to lockers there's no way to judge if I was choosing them purely at random or not.
  6. Feel sense of loss to have just missed them - perhaps they were engaged in sexual behaviour if sharing cubicle, but also perhaps he knew about the holes and would have been looking out for me, feel relief that I didn't 'have' to put myself in dangerous position.
  7. Change, enjoying feeling of light erection but pushing thoughts away since about to walk to showers, don't want it visible in skimpy trunks.
  8. Note person in cubicle next door, bend down (while taking socks off - more innocent behaviour) and note that white trainers are very large. Decide on balance that is likely to be a man and don't look through hole in cubicle.
  9. Change withough worrying about hole. Not sure if I'm not bothered, or subconsciously excited that a man might 'get off' looking at me changing. His choice, I don't mind. [?feeling here?]
  10. Walk to lower shower by pool side. As I shower, I note fit/slim looking woman doing front crawl [URGE]. She's wearing reflective googles so I can't tell how old she is. Feeling anticipation about swimming in next lane to her, seeing her body up close.
  11. She looks directly at me as she turns, for longer than expected. Not sure if she's checking me out or glaring at me for looking at her (think, or did she look at me first?). Mixed unsure feelings.
  12. Get swimming. Feel frustrated at myself for wasting so much of my mental time thinking about sex, try to feel water, my body, get some sense of enjoying the swim, the regularity of the breathing, aiming to make the 'perfect' tuble turn.
  13. Note that slim woman isn't in lane, brief sense of frustration at having missed her.
  14. See the two girls in their 20s sitting in water at end of pool. Make various judgements about their bodies (a bit overweight both of them, somewhat pretty), righteousness - I'm doing lengths front crawl, they're just sitting in the pool, might as well sit on a bench and save the money, etc.
  15. Pleased that they decide to swim a length so I can see them properly. Enjoy trying to 'choose' between them, prettier one is shorter and tubbier, less pretty one has better body.
  16. Take in their thighs, fantasise about what their breasts would do out of swim suit. Feel frustrated that I can't see properly as they're in middle of pool - some distance away in murkey water.
  17. Remember a couple of women I'd seen in the past. One with fuzzy ginger pubic hair and light pink nipples, and another who rubbed cream all over herself.
  18. Have internal conversation about Universe/God/Existence/Human Condition. Am I being tested and failing? Am I invading someone's privacy or - at some level - do they accept that they're being looked at? If they were aware of the threat, they could choose non-holey changing rooms.
  19. Or is accepting my dark side part of a process of integration? Or should I be making more effort to fight those demons? Feel guilt, that I'm not making the spiritual progress I 'should' be making, that I'm not a person I'm proud of.
  20. Decide not to do usual thing of taking a break in their part of the pool, have my lane to myself which I'm enjoying. Also would raise suspicion to leave an empty lane to change stroke.
  21. They leave the pool [PONR]. Watch to note that they take towels from lockers. This, plus that they're chatters, makes me think they're going to take time in the showers. Judge that I have time for another 10 lengths before they're going to be heading for changing rooms.
  22. Keep swimming and periodically check that they're still in (upper) showers. Sense of anticipation.
  23. Decide timing is right and go for shower myself. They're still there. Pretend to rinse hair with eyes close but actually look at them. Make further judgements (very untoned, flat bottoms, thighs touching, nice hair, medium sized breasts, pretty faces). One has back to me, the other one gives me a long discrete look - feel excited by this.
  24. Damn, they're not moving. Only so long I can rise myself off for. Feel sense of failure at misjudging timing, but also opportunity to let universe (or girls themselves) decide if they want to be looked at. Feel sense of connection to Universe.
  25. Head to changing room, taking a long time to have a pee in men's room to give them more time to finish showering but dammit, they're still in there - feel frustration.
  26. Take middle of 3 changing rooms. Feel intense suspense/anticipation about which cubicles they'll choose.
  27. Hear them talking as they walk past, one of them takes next cubicle but one ie close but no cigar. Feel sense of frustration, but also relief that I've found myself in the more honourable situtation.
  28. Analyzing further, realise that I'd caused them to miss out that changing room because people rarely fill up cubicles in order, make mental note that going in 2nd myself is much more effective than hoping someone would come in next to me. [As I write this, I note evidence of progressing to a more effective/dangerous voyeur]
  29. Walk home feeling very mixed. Relieved / disappointed that I didn't see anything, sexually frustrated.


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