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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:52 am
Posts: 2
Hello, Shaman Speaking.
First, summer and I would like to thank all of you who make this site possible.
I've spent some time looking around trying to get a feel for how this is going to work. Although I'm still not totally sure, I didn't want to keep signing in and just reading other people's posts. So it's time to dive in and make some mistakes :)!
I would think that if anyone Is going to read this and offer help, some background would be a good idea.
I am the one in recovery! I suffered with a porn and masturbation addiction for 35 years or so. My first breakthrough was about 10 years ago (Summer and I have been together for 14).
Some self help books and 4 more years of denial yielded very little! Summer left!
A renewed commitment to solve this (even if it didn't bring her back), therapy and a pseudo self administered 12 step program (no groups anywhere near us) DID actually result in getting control of my acting out behavior. That was six years ago.
Unfortunately we fell into the trap of "things are so much better now" and lapsed on continuing the work! This left us incomplete! We still had major communication, intamacy and other issues. A lot of "escaping" into television and video games. I do have to say, mostly on my part.
I had turned from acting out to mostly acting in. I was afraid that too much intamacy would trigger that inner demon and that had to be avoided at all cost! And my mental state was only marginally better than before. I was, essentially, a "dry drunk".
Not to mention poor Summers remaining fears, distrust and conditioned responses.
She finally convinced me that we are still living a totally unfulfilled life and I finally agreed! We're a few months in now and I think she will agree that remarkable progress has been made... But we need help.
So here we are! I WILL NOT approach this work from a viewpoint of already having done half of it... Because I haven't! This is a new program (to us) and this is a new day!
I have written my letter and am planning exercise 2! The only thing either of us find potentially awkward is brushing her teeth!
But I'm definitely game!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:52 am
Posts: 2
Shaman here,

So, finally managed Summer's night of caring. I had tried months ago, but in talking about it I mentioned that 1) I already do the cooking and 2) we routinely give each other therapeutic (non sexual) massages. At that time, she took this to mean that I wasn't taking the exercise seriously and didn't expect to get much out of it. We did finally work that out, but the idea had been soured for bit.

But here we are. I feel it went well. Not without its hiccups of course. Though I most definitely felt the intimacy, vulnerability and responsibility of caring for another being.

Made a nice spaghetti dinner with homemade sauce and bread. Feeding her wasn't an issue (except worrying if the bites were to large and whether I was going to jab her lip or throat with the fork) and we had some laughs over the whole thing! The tooth brushing was a little more difficult for me. For technical reasons, not the intimacy. That actually felt nice. I also gave her a full leg and back massage, brushed her hair and played a game. All in all a lovely experience.

In talking about the experience afterward, it occurred to me that this might be a good experience in reverse. I know that I (and I believe many addicts) struggle with “being cared for”. It requires a great deal of trust and vulnerability to have someone feed you and brush your teeth! I understand that at this stage it is FAR more important to put the addict in touch with the feelings of truly caring for another being. The mindfulness, care and gentleness required. Maybe you do do this later on. Not having read ahead, I don’t know. Just a thought.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:11 pm
Posts: 1
As Shaman said we had some trouble committing to this exercise. I was definitely nervous about it, especially the being fed part. He prepared delicious spaghetti with sausage and garlic bread. Having him feed me was very difficult for me, I was not at all comfortable not being in control in that situation, especially since I was really hungry. He was very careful and thoughtful about it. He thought that he should be giving me my drink as well, I was not so sure, I finally allowed that towards the end of the meal. I was really concerned about it, but he was very careful and thoughtful and it was fine.

We thought it would be a good idea to not have TV or video games for the night as we, Shaman in particular, have addiction issues with screens. He wanted me to decide what I wanted to do for the evening. I was not coming up with anything I thought we could both enjoy together, and conversation was not really coming to us, that was feeling awkward.

He gave me very loving back and leg massages. Apparently he was getting sleepy and he feel asleep towards the end of the back massage. After that he could not keep awake, part of me couldn’t help but feel that it was because I am just so boring to him. He gets board very easily without something to do. He decided to take a short nap hoping it would wake him up. It did help a little but he was still pretty much dozing off, and I still was not coming up with anything for us to do. We finally decided to play a video game that required awareness of each other and cooperation. It was fun and he did wake up, but I was not sure if it was really the best idea.

After that he brushed my teeth, after having him feed me I was not worried about this so much. Like with the feeding he was very gentle and careful, I can’t say I was comfortable with it but compared to the feeding it was easy for me, it did really tickle though. Later he brushed my hair, which was very lovely.

In addition to those things he also was generally doting over me, getting me anything I needed and taking care of most of my chores. It was definitely very interesting. I do feel that it depend our connection a bit and helped me to regain some trust, which I have really been struggling with.

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