Alpha Bitch? Me?

Dear Friends,

It’s a dark and stormy night in Baltimore, and a hint of winter permeates the air.  My mood is as sulky as the weather. I am annoyed that someone- today- a male uber driver gave me the facial expression of what would amount to being called a bitch.
You ask me what did I do? I suggest it was more about what I didn’t do.
I happen to think that it is rude for taxi and uber drivers to play music unless they have earphones. I do not want to listen to your favorite indie group. Please don’t carry on long loud phone conversations while you drive me to my destination. Is this asking too much?  Apparently for some folks, yes. What I didn’t do was smile sweetly or ask  the driver if he would do me a favor and turn down his music.  I was not apologetic. Why am I expected to be charming and sweet? I can be both of those emotions, but today I had used up all of my “nice” on the Comcast folks, who were now more than 36 hours late for their Monday appointment.
I’ve already confessed in past blogs that anything that can’t move fast should move out of my way.
My same bitchy self  appears when workers whose job is to help you the customer, client, or patron insist in finishing  their conversation while I  wait. I will interupt you. No, I’m not being rude-they are! And because, I don’t have a vapid sexy smile for you, does this make me a bitch?
The people who are answering “yes”, well, I didn’t get that memo. While I am pondering, who made up these rules of female behavior any way?
So, No, I won’t put a little giggle in my talk and a little wiggle in my walk. (Yes, some kindly male superior made this suggestion to me regarding how I interacted with clients.) No males were given this tip of how to get along in a male dominated industry. And I will bet you my bar license, that no male was asked to wear brighter clothes or not so bright clothes depending whether it was the partners who thought I should put my good looks to better use or those who thought the clients would not take me seriously wearing  a lilac colored dress. But before my lilac dress became too feminine there were -and this is true-there was a time where women wore only suits with skirts and I guess were in the minority or not at all represented. Even though we are paid less for the same work  in many industries, and just because I am female do I have always to say it with a smile? I think you know my answer.
If you speak up, interrupt, correct or raise your voice above a seductive purr, then you are a bitch. Add short hair  and I wear pants often, I am judged to be a bitch or a lesbian or both.
My mother learned to smile and compliment; my grandmother learned not to complain and to keep the peace, in my world I know what I want; how and when I want it and that does not make me a bitch.
The Addict Writes

The Big O and Porno

Dear Friends,
Tonight, I am writing about pornography and orgasms and oh what the hell penis size.
I personalIy have not watched porn in years, but when I did, the women were super skinny  with enormous breasts. The men were buffed and had enormous penises. Those iconic images is one of the reasons our perceptions about sex are so jaded and discordant with reality. Its not only porn its in film and television. Who can forget, Meg Ryan’s faked orgasm in When Sally Met Harry. You get my point.
My research indicates that 68% of men view pornography on a regular basis. Most men have seen porno as early as ten, with both boys and girls viewing porno around the age of 13. 18% of women view pornography on a regular basis. And I dont know if there statistics about heterosexual couples or same sex couples viewing porn together. However, the point is that watching porn creates unrealistic expectations for both men and women.
Some numbers that may surprise you:.Only about a third of women experience orgasm regularly during intercourse. A third can reach orgasm with intercourse but need extra stimulation. A third never achieve orgasm during intercourse but can by manual and oral stimulation. Having orgasms by means other than intercourse is a normal variation of female sexuality.  However, laboratory studies in the 1960’s showed that an orgasm is an orgasm no matter which way you obtain it. How a woman reaches an orgasm has nothing to do with her mental health or emotional maturity.
An orgasm is not always an earth-moving experience and there is nothing wrong with a woman if she is unable to reach orgasm.
Some women have orgasms and don’t know it. Some women do not experience orgasm in the sense of feeling their pelvic floor muscles contract. They do however reach a peak of arousal after which they feel very relaxed and contented, the same feelings other women experience after orgasm. By contrast, women who get very aroused and do not experience orgasm will sometimes feel “nervous” or “edgy” or even an aching discomfort in their pelvis.
And, gentlemen, if she didn’t orgasm it doesn’t mean you are an inadequate lover. Or worst fear, that your penis size is inadequate. Most women will say they don’t care. And while I hear the occasional  complaint about the lack of size, most women are in terror of the plus size penis. Many women have told me unless they are getting married to the guy that’s packing, their response is “oh hell no!”. And those who do have long-term relationships with men with over sized, large penises invariably joke about having vaginal tightening.
Also, guys few women want to be awoken to have sex-so don’t jolt us out of a deep sleep with your erect penis. And if you must awaken us do so gently and make sure we are aroused.
Now ladies, researchers say one of the number one reasons women don’t orgasm is because we are concerned how we look while having sex. I know it sounds stupid, but its true.  So stop worrying about your thighs or breasts or stomachs, we’ve already scored, so enjoy. And its perfectly ok to fantasize while, before and after sex. It’s ok. And everybody, ask for what you want in bed. It’s like having a sex menu- why not?
Remember communication is our friend in bed.
The Addict Writes

Playing Ophelia.

Dear Friends,
In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Ophelia his fiancé has sex with him before they are married. She does this because she was willing to do almost anything in order to marry Hamlet. Ophelia sleeps with Hamlet even though its against her personal and religious beliefs. Instead of winning Hamlet, she in facts loses him. He tells her to “get thee  to a nunnery.” Nunneries were where highborn women were sent when they somehow lose their place in society. (Think  the wives of Henry the VIII of England.) Anyway when Hamlet tosses Ophelia away she drowns herself.
This my friends is being an Opelia : desperate, willing to do anything, and knowingly harming yourself.
Sadly, I have played some modern version of Ophelia. My friends have reminded me of my long ago relationship with Ted, the sex addict.
Faithful friends have  telephoned to talk about my ex,Ted. Observers close to the relationship clarified a few key points- the way they recalled that relationship.
 My boyfriend before Ted broke up with me, and not the other way as I portrayed it. (I think it was a mutual agreement.) That additionally,  the former boy friend was a piece of work who had declared that I wasn’t wealthy enough for him. (Really?)That I was too old to have a child, which he wanted.
These same friend’s remember that Ted told me up front that he was not interested in a girlfriend  and that the relationship – at least for him was never serious. Worse, at least to me, was  that initially I wanted a fun “throw away” relationship until  my real boyfriend came to his senses or I found a weathier version of him. So, I was pretty shallow as well.
In Ted’s defense he always maintained that he didn’t want to be my boyfriend. But that leads me to ask myself who was I that had accepted such a relationship?
Was I desperate like Ophelia? No, not in the same way. Did I compromise my own values and morals and wants? The answer is “yes.”
Ted was a boost to my deflated ego. He was 7 years younger than me. Also, Ted had earned a lot of money and notoriety that summer almost a decade ago. He was on the cover of three magazines, and no he was not a model.
I was not easy to be with. Petulant, particular and hard to please, only someone who didn’t care or see a future would have put up with me. And after, I sent him away, like Ophelia I wanted to die.
For every player out there, there is an Ophelia forsaking herself. Stop the Ophelia cycle. Guys like Ted, and Ted’s female counterparts cannot so easily exist without someone to play their Ophelia.
Monday we may talk about pornography- 68% of you guys are watching. Ladies you are too.
The Addict Writes
“Beauty stops the world on it’s axis and makes us realize we are One.

Are You Lonely Tonight? Alienation

Dear Friends,
I have always felt that I didn’t fit in, didn’t belong.  I have always felt different and from my earliest recollections I was different. I was not born in America, I was multi-racial at a time when being multiracial was not common. I was also painfully shy and awkward. This is enough to doom anyone.
Later, when I was nine my parents moved us to a school in Chevy Chase Maryland, one of the wealthiest communities in America. In order to attend that school we had to use a fake address, because my fresh off the boat family was not able to live in one of America’s wealthiest communities.
In retrospect, I was glad my parents made it possible to attend such an academically superior school, but as  a child it made me feel poor, unkempt and not belonging. Because we didn’t live in that ritzy community, daily I was whisked from the order and cleanliness of Chevy Chase to our shabby rundown row house in Washington DC. Because I could never stay after school, I made no friends at that school and the kids from my real neighborhood resented and ostracized me.
In addition to being a wealthy private school, it was also a Catholic school. I was not Catholic- yet another reason to feel like an outsider.
This hiding and pretending and fitting in no where was exacerbated by my sex abuse, because more than anything else, Catholics value virginity and I had had my virginity taken from me. By thirteen I was living separate lives and a total lie.   I was on one hand pretending to shield my virginity with all my might and being a cheerleader for the eighth grade football team. Then after stolen horrid hateful sex with my father, I was expected to do go upstairs in my shared room and do my 8th grade algebra.
Because of all of these behaviors I learned how to play “the part’ put on a happy face and then go hide away. The behavior is called alienation and isolation. Here are examples of five different forms of alienation, which I will list, but the best statement about alienation is “People who are alienated will often reject loved ones or society, and feel distant and estranged from their own emotions.” I have often felt this way, and I struggle to intergrate myself back into society and meaningfully connect with others.
Much has been written about alienation, but I have provided a general list of the types of alienation. See if you find yourself or loved ones exhibiting these behaviors.
 Alvin Melinda Seeman identified five types of alienation that have been used as starting points for research. They are:

Powerlessness: A person believes that his or her actions have no effect on outcomes.
Meaninglessness: A person is unable understand his or her situation and doesn’t know what to believe or expect.
Normlessness: A person feels disconnected from social norms or believes that social rules for behavior have broken down. This might cause the person to believe that socially unapproved behavior is necessary in order to achieve goals.
Isolation: A socially isolated person puts low value on the goals and beliefs of his or her given society. Isolated and detached people may create their own value systems.
Self-Estrangement: Alienated people may feel disconnected from themselves. In such cases, they may not be able to find activities that are interesting to them
The possible causes of alienation are limited only by the number of ways someone might be able to feel disconnected from other people, the environment, or oneself.
Some possible social causes of alienation are:
divorce or other forms of familial separation
any significant change of environment, which may include immigration, starting a new job or school, changing technology, and other types of environmental complexity
prejudice, by the individual or by others, such as racism, sexism, or ethnocentricity
being bullied and abused
Alienation can also be the result of a mental disability, physical disability, or illness. Possible health-related causes of alienation include:
mental health disorders, such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia
post-traumatic stress disorder
self-stigma as a result of mental illness
conditions that cause chronic pain
any diseases that may cause a person to feel singled out or disconnected from others or themselves.
Here are some of the symptoms of alienation which can include:
feelings of helplessness
the feeling that the world is empty or meaningless
feeling left out of conversations or events
feeling different or separate from everyone else
difficulty approaching and speaking with others, especially parents
the inability to feel safe when interacting with others
the refusal to obey rules
signs of depression, including poor appetite or overeating, excessive sleep or insomnia, fatigue, lack of self-worth, and feelings of hopelessness.
This was a long blog with lots of information, I hope you have learned something that will help you or someone you love. I close with this question: Are you lonely tonight? Come out, there are friends out here.
The Addict Writes
“Beauty stops the world on its axis and makes us realize we are One.”

Sex Sex Sex Addict.

Dear Readers,
I have dated a man who is a recovering  crack cocaine  addict, but an undisclosed sex addict. Don’t smirk yet. The idea of a man up and ready for sex may sound like a good thing, it is not. First let me define what constitutes a sexual addiction. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, Volume Four describes sex addiction, under the category “Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified,” as “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used.” According to the manual, sex addiction also involves “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.”
My guy had been through any combination of these behaviors, but not all of them, and never multiple partners when he dated me – if you don’t count masturbating to internet porn.
He  was a very nice man and he fits the profile of being addictive to more than one thing. His other vice was crack. His crack addiction landed him in jail and at the end of his addiction to crack he was physically, financially and spiritually at the bottom  of the bin of life. 
If you are picturing a jail house grungy guy think again. Ted (not his real name) had a masters degree from a top school and looked like a Calvin Klein model.  I knew about his former crack addiction – and he had not used in years when I met him. I had known his former girlfriend – in fact we were good friends- and she never mentioned this man’s sex addiction. 
As fate would have it the girl friend moved away, I broke up with my long time boyfriend and Ted and I started dating.
At first his active sexual attention was flattering. It was also flattering that most nights he would drive an hour each way to have sex with me. Each night he would arrive in tasteful clothes driving his spotless luxury automobile. 
Wow, handsome and faithful and undemanding! He never wanted dinner, but he’d take me out to dinner or do whatever I wanted just as long as we ended up in my bed.
After awhile, despite his attention and time and money, the relationship felt empty. The constant sex became like work or a chore. It was so empty, meaningless and without emotional connection. I began to feel like a sexual  object, which I now realize I was. More importantly,that attention was all addiction. He had become addicted to me. He treated me like a rare object whose sole purpose was to satisfy his physical needs.
The relationship lasted a little less than a year. I ended it because I just could not deal with the shallowness. He called me “Beautiful” because saying my name might imply some level of intimacy. He only paid attention to me when we were having sex. Everything else we did were stops along the way to sex.
After, I broke up with him, I missed him terribly. I realized that  I had become addicted to him to his addiction to me.
It took months of therapy and  2 years of no contact with him, to get over him. It was painful, but I learned a lot about myself- mostly that I was needy and insecure and I craved attention. Through therapy I realized that Ted was the composite of my parents. He was the father who never paid attention unless it was sexual and my mother who I would never be good enough for her to love. 
In my next blog I’ll tell you how to spot a Ted or Theodora because this is a very tame tale of sex addiction- there are dark stories of people who end up in the hospital, financially wiped out, diseased or dead.

The Addict Writes 
“Beauty stops the world  on its’ axis and makes us realize we are One.’

Dreams, Have you Got Any you Want to Revive?

Dear Readers,
 Where ever you are as you read this blog, jail, hospital, mansion in Beverly Hills, Baltimore basement apartment or Inner Harbor Ritz Carlton Home, this blog is about not giving up on yourself or your dreams. Others will always criticize your dreams. You will criticize your dreams. Both are fine as long as you don’t stop pursuing your dreams.  I know that dreams require action. Each day I do one thing to move myself one step closer to my dreams. I do this even in the face of the darkest moments. It is hard, but the alternatives are not options.Dreams give us a reason to live- to get up in the morning. Goals are the building blocks of dreams.
Life is often times ugly and there are times that look like we have no hope, yet here we are making the best of wherever we are.From our joint darkness may we seek the light together. May our journey help the wounded, send love and heal.
As the rain begins to fall and the temperatures drop, when we don’t have the warmth of the sun on our faces and on our backs I hope we will find the good and if not the good the humor in what life throws our way. After all, success can be measured in how fast we clean up our messes; burrow under or over or around our obstacles.
Ask yourself what dreams have I given up? Then do one thing towards that dream. One tiny thing is enough.
And here’s a reminder: The pulse of Life is not so much about reaching those goals and living those dreams, but the process, path, or journey in achieving them.
As we enter the Fall this blog will reflect upon current events, politics, art and any insight I might have gleaned from moving beyond survival to creation.

The Addict Writes “Beauty stops the world and reminds us that we are One.”

The Last Day.

Dear Readers,
Today was the last day of summer. Grey clouds and cool temperatures marked the day of my Father’s funeral.
I had a beautiful day today. I saw family that I had not seen in years. I was greeted and hugged by friends who came to show their love for me- all of them protectively close and guarding my heart. And the young people still hopeful and shy and loving. It was a day of love.
I was not happy that my Father had died, I was happy because I was free. He could never disapoint or hurt me again.
There would never be another Father’s Day where I fought with myself as to whether I should call him.
The ugly truth of his abusive sexual relationship with me that hung between us like rotting meat was buried with him today.The facade and pretense  lurking in anything that was about fathers and daughters would no longer be played. There would never be a touch between us, no matter how beguine, where I would recoil in some fashion.
 There would be no longer family members who knew about my abuse, their eyes always watching to see if they could detect that unnameable something. Did he really do it? Did I makeup the entire tale, in a morbid plea for attention?
No longer will the men in my life- my husbands- all three of them feel uncomfortable, but never confronting my Father. Each of them wishing they could throttle him for damaging what they believed to be a beautiful work of God.
Tonight I no longer fear that his lustful eye might fall upon a child of either gender.
Tonight, I shall sleep the sleep of a woman now free of a man, a father that did not know how to love anyone- not even himself.
Tonight I know that I was innocent in my love. What happened was not my fault not my doing. I am free of shame and proud to have fought, struggled, clawed my way to where I am and who I am today. My past has faded at last to black, the curtain falling on the last day of summer. I awake tomorrow into fall with a summer as rich and sharp and tart as black berry wine.
The Addict Writes

Where Have All the Boys Gone? 1out of 6

Dear Readers,
11 years ago when I was a lawyer for abused and neglected children, the statistics about abuse of young boys was resoundedly missing. This has always bothered me. I am also infuriated when people smirk when they hear of  a young boy being sexually abused by an older woman and  they say that the boy got “lucky.”
Here are a few facts, many of which I have taken from researcher and therapist, Jim Hopper, Ph.D.  Hopper   teaches at the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School reports that in the United States 1 in 6 boys before the age of sixteen are sexually abused. Hopper goes on to say that the methodology and the population from which these  studies are derived widely differ.
With that being said here are a few facts to consider:
1. Boys who live with a single parent or no parent or whose parents abuse alcohol or engage in illegal or criminal behavior are at greater risk of being sexually abused.
2. 50-75% of the male perpetrators tend to be men who consider themselves heterosexual. They are likely to be known to the boy, but unrelated to the boy.
3. 80% of the boys who are sexually abused will never become abusers.
80% of sexual abusers have themselves been sexually abused.
4. A boy being sexually  penetrated by a man does not change the boy’s sexual orientation.
The average age that boys are abused is age ten. The elements that exacerbate the abuse are how young the boy is when the abuse occurs, whether violence was used and whether the boy told anyone and if the person they told shamed, blamed or disbelieved them.
The effects of sexual abuse on boys include, anger, fear, helplessness, isolation, alienation or shame. These boys display symptoms of anxiety, depression, disassociation, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbance, sexual identity issues and suicidal ideation and behaviors.
Most of this blog has been about males sexually abusing boys. There are woman who force boys to perform sexual acts against the boy’s will. The consequences, outcomes, symptoms are the same as when men sexually abuse boys. The last word on female abusers is that while the boys may become aroused they are at the same time repulsed.
I sigh deeply here, once again reflecting upon the number of boys in my immediate family who were abused by men.
None of these young men sought therapy, my hope is that they will.
My last ugly fact is that childhood sexual abuse of boys (and girls) is worsened by whether or not the abuser is a parent, a step parent or an adult in a position of authority. In my opinion and personal experience is the worst consequence of childhood sexual abuse is that it makes the victim more vulnerable to desperately and niavly put trust in the wrong people and being betrayed again.
The Addict Writes

This Makes No Sense.

Dear Readers,
Current events have triggered past emotional traumas and my responses have me running back to therapy.Whenever I feel abandoned and betrayed I strike out.  Not physically, but verbally.
The intensity of my anger combined with my verbal acquity is my version of slice and dice.
People tell me to let it go. I wish I could “let it go.” I do not know how to do this. If someone could show me or tell me what  to do  I would do it right away.
No one has taught me how to do that.
Counselors, therapists help me identify what pushes my buttons. What actions and words could I not do or say? More importantly how do I prevent the rage inside of me from  penting up and spewing out like red hot molten lava.
 How do I stop the tirade of words from shooting from my mouth like carefully aimed arrows?I don’t know.
Beneath my levity the darkness of my spirit is evident. I spent today managing either great sorrow and worthless and a sense of failure so profound that I wanted to simply give up. Quit.
Not today, but not so far in the past  I thought it might just be easier to give up than to live.
But I cannot let the Demons win, for my soul- your soul is pure and light and love.
So I live another day to try to make sense out of things that will never make sense on the dawn of another new day.
The Addict Writes

Summer Time Blues Dad and Depression.

Dear Readers,
Tonight it is difficult to write. Tonight it is difficult not to write. I will write about my depression and the unexpressed rage that lies beneath it.
Tonight I am very angry as my sisters and Mother and Aunt plan my Father’s funeral.
I am not interested in good theatre- for the nieces and nephews to share their gifts of song and rapping. I have nothing against song and rapping. It is simply not something that my father would have wanted.  After all, he was a very elegant man.
He was moved by the presicion of language, by the solving of a conundrum of any kind. He was skilled at many things.  No one skill captured his attention foxr long.
 If I had to guess, I would say that my father probably suffered from bi-polar disorder and attention deficit disorder.
He committed heinous acts, but I believe those acts were a reflection of what was done to him. Under neath all of that he was a stylish elegant man, at times a very nice man and even a good father.
 We as a culture must acknowledge that mental illness is an illness of the brain. There is nothing to be ashamed about.We are not ashamed of our defective immune systems that cause us allergies.
Yet we are ashamed of our mental illnesses. We treat them as something to hide and not to mention in public. I think people would more readily admit that they have a sexually transmitted disease than to admit  that they suffer from depression.
My substance abuse was linked to my depression. It was not an excuse for my addiction, but it was a factor.
Depression is inherited. 40% of the people who suffer from depression inherited it. The other 60% percent the source is “environmental.”
I want a very simple ceremony for my father. I donot want a preacher to speak at my father’s funeral. My father was not a fan of organized religion, but he would accept a prayer of goodwill and yes love.
The Addict Writes