I want to say a whole-hearted THANK YOU to all the many who reached out to us here at PoSARC which is headquartered in New York City. Amidst the incredible devastation everyone in the country is watching on newsfeeds, there have been so many loving and supportive e-mails, phone calls and texts coming in daily.
The outpouring of love, prayers and compassion has caused my heart to be opened wide, renewed in its knowing of our basic human goodness, concern and caring for one another.
I’ve had offers of help, offers of whatever may be needed here in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by PoSAs (partners of sex addicts) whom I’ve had the great fortune to know and work with. Some of you are colleagues, some are clients. To all of you, thank you for showering us with such kindness. I am incredibly moved by your huge hearts.
I spoke the other night with a colleague, a fellow PoSA Coach in Tucson. Jodi was gravely concerned after watching the News and called me. We ended up talking about how we both had gotten so used to storms since outer hurricanes mimic the internal storms we witness daily in our clients who are in the midst of having discovered sex addiction in their marriages/partnerships.
As I was walking home from a session that night after all of our city’s mass transit had been shut down in anticipation of the arriving storm, I watched the ominous clouds amassing in the sky above Manhattan. The huge trees in Central Park started being bent down by the wind, debris started flying around and I stood transfixed by an eddy of leaves and paper, dancing in a furious cyclone fifty feet up in the air.
As the skies darkened further and I got indoors, I watched as my city garden, planted on my sheltered set-back roof, was being battered by the relentless storm winds. Within an hour it was flattened. A wet and frightened cat, apparently lost, appeared at my roof window, meowing and begging to be let inside before the winds could pick it up and toss it over the edge. And everywhere- the sound of ambulances and firetrucks, a wailing of sirens amidst the howling wind.
I thought about how very much like Discovery this was. The world goes upside down and nothing makes sense anymore. Assurance of our safety flies out the window, replaced by a flood of fear that rushes through us at all hours of the day and night, making sleep or rest impossible. One cannot find an anchor to which one can hold tight because one can no longer trust that anything is what it seemed to be before the storm hit. The person one would most trust in an outer storm is now the cause of the inner storm, the person from which one must actually shield oneself against. The only sure bet is that buying stock in Kleenex would probably be a sound investment for the days to come.
No wonder outer storms leave me pretty unfazed nowadays. Yes, they’re fearsome and create huge swaths of destruction, but clean-up will still happen and in a few weeks or months, life will resume as normal, as it was before.
In many or even most cases, there will be no evidence remaining of the prior storm and everything will even have the gleam of the “new” on it: new bridges, new homes built, shiny fresh neighborhoods with new trees planted.
In our life as PoSAs, such a day does not arrive after our personal storm has struck and devastated us. At least not for a very long time.
In a real hurricane, one of the most heart-warming aspects is how it brings people together to help each other. Everyone shares resources, rolls up their sleeves, food drives are organized, goodwill is seen in abundance, there are hugs all around. The whole country raises money to help you rebuild, and churches on every corner are holding prayer vigils for those affected.
When the storm called sex addiction invades your most cherished relationship, you are utterly alone, broken and terrified. Your intuition tells you you’d better ride this storm out without telling a single soul. And so you do. Although it is a death, the death of all you held dear, the sacredness of your partnership, no one brings you casseroles so you don’t have to cook for a few days. No one offers to babysit the kids while you get in your car and drive somewhere quiet to break down and sob. You are alone in your despair.
And hopefully you will find good support and help in the days after Discovery so you can start to stabilize yourself. Eventually you will rebuild your life, with or without the sex addict, but never without the scars left behind by that merciless storm.
For those of us who’ve weathered and survived our own sex-addiction hurricanes and now help others, we know the work has just begun. After surviving our own personal battles, we are out here working against great odds and amidst even greater opposition to deal with the bigger battle, the nearly-complete pornification of our culture and all the devastation it brings with it.
And so we soldier on, newly revitalized by the love and well-wishes of all of you during this time of outer storms. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your thoughtfulness and immense generosity of spirit. This is what heals the world, of that I am convinced.
May your darkest times be met with love and support,