Main page

My childhood


Social phobia




The Twelve Steps


All posts in chronological order

Relationship anorexia

One of the emotions that drives any sex addict is loneliness. Certainly that emotion can be said to be the dominant force in my life. As I wake up, as I drive to class, as I work on projects, as I eat, as I go to sleep, I am conscious of the painful, lonely isolation.

No one (except, of course, readers of this group) knows of my struggles. No one knows who I am. I see couples cheerfully walking in the streets, in the malls, in the libraries. I see groups of friends chatting cheerfully between classes. I see people going over to each other's houses, going to bars together, seeing films together, while I sit in endless, crushing solitude, cursing myself for cowardice and misanthropy.

Despite the deeply felt longing for closeness that drives me to lap dancers, I have not and have never had a romantic relationship. This is not a matter of being rejected by women I meet; I realize, suddenly, that I have hardly ever been attracted to any 'real' woman. Indeed, the only women I am ever drawn to are those I meet at conferences etc. who live far away and are thus unavailable.

My sex drive overheats as far as my addiction is concerned, but with 'legitimate' outlets it has all the fire of an ice storm.

In the past four years, there have been two women, both quite attractive, who (I think now) were 'making eyes' at me. At the time, I refused to let myself believe that any possibilities existed. For the first, I simply avoided her completely. With the second, I did chat with her a bit. She was warm and very likable, but I couldn't bring myself to ask her out, though I think now the response would have been positive. She has since graduated from my university - I don't even remember her name.

Here is a man who says he is lonely, who feels lonely, so much so he spends a fortune on his sex addiction, yet runs away from any semblance of even a friendship with a 'real' woman.

Nor is that all. I should add that I have no female friends. In fact, I have no male friends either. Furthermore, the behaviour I describe above I find myself exhibiting towards any potential friendship. Just this week, a guy I had met in the debating club asked me to come over to his house, talk politics, and play chess. I pleaded unavailability, the thought arising in my head that he was trying to start a gay relationship with me. This is absurd - in fact he had met his girlfriend indirectly through me. Nonetheless I couldn't shake the thought, nor can I bring myself to telephone him and ask to 'do something'.

When I lived in a different area briefly and attended SLAA meetings there, I could not bring myself to ask anyone to sponsor me. I kept thinking no one would assume such a 'burden'. Actually, there were at least 2-3 people who probably would have agreed (one even offered his phone number for help, without my asking), but I couldn't let myself believe this.

Nobody I meet ever actually dislikes me, as far as I know; nor can I name a single person I dislike. It is simply a situation of thoughts and desires being ignored in actual behaviour. It is, one can say, insanity.

How long have I been like this? Actually, a long time; I have never had a truly close friend, and childhood playmates were those who invited me - I never invited them. I suppose you could say I have been anorexic since age 7 or 8, while the 'active' addiction did not begin until age 13-14.

Why am I like this? I haven't got the slightest idea. I was emotionally abused by my parents, but that did not start until early adolescence, long after the anorexic pattern had already been established. Besides, I know people who were PHYSICALLY abused by their parents and yet have managed to build healthy friendships as adults.

Indeed, I've often been told, and often believe, that this behaviour is a sign of a selfish and anti-social personality that despises other human beings and deserves to be despised. Stop being such a baby, the saying goes, just go make friends. How?

So today, I am lonely, bitter, angry at myself, and not free.

Jan. 5, 1996.