"Pletcher and Bartolameolli are undisputed experts on the subject of co-sex addiction.  They know more about it than anyone I know and have presented  an expose that with great clarity supersedes anything I have read before."

– John Bradshaw

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What's At Risk?

What's At Risk? 

 One of the most courageous things we do on our life journey is to face our own addictions, wounds and family of origin issues. While I will never forget the physical pain of giving birth and the incredible sense of power getting to the other side of that process, walking daily with a Higher Power and taking responsibility for my life in all areas and in all ways draws even more deeply from my core. 

   In cosex addiction, like not other addiction, it is most challenging to keep the focus on ourselves. Since many women come into cosex addiction through a partner's sex addiction, this is understandable. However, eventually, if we are to truly commit to living an emotionally and spiritually mature life, we must come to seeing ourselves as responsible for where our life is right here and right now. We are not victims to what happens to us in our lives. Yes, we are victimized and trauma, incest, sexual assault, betrayal, abuse we have endured is real. We don't take responsibility for what has happened to us. We do, however, take responsibility for what will happen to us from this day forward. 

   In order to grow ourselves up, own our power, reconnect to our intuitive wisdom and learn the mastery of our own boundaries and voice, we must ask ourselves, "what's at risk for letting go of being a victim in our own lives?" There is a payoff in keeping ourselves small and voiceless once we are aware. When we are able to be honest about this, we begin to access our choices around it. Awareness leads to choice.

   When I asked myself recently "what was at risk for me to do something different in my marriage" I was faced with the part of me that doesn't want to grow up. Although I've done father loss and reprinting work for years, there is still a small, fatherless little girl inside who misses her dad. In fully embracing my voice and power in my marriage, I give up the fantasy, at another level, that my husband is going to fill the daddy void inside. These awarenesses are subtle and in seeing the subtleties, there is great power and choice. 

   In all our addictive behavior and most especially in the dynamic of cosex addiction and sex addiction, answering the "what's at risk?" question honestly gifts us abundantly. We have another opportunity for deeper connection to ourselves and others. We see choices more clearly and experience greater freedom. There is less likelihood that we blame our partners when we are hurt or triggered. We are empowered, adult, strong and intuitive women when we honestly own our payoffs for staying small and victimized. 

   Simple tools like, "what's at risk?" when used with honesty and willingness, intervene on old patterns with force. Addictive patterns are transformed to authentic connections. 

  For more details information on "what's at risk?" follow this link:

Blessings and love to you on your journey,

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Being Present

 One of the things that I remind myself and others of often is that pain is a great teacher. In our pain, we develop greatness of Spirit, if and only if we embrace our pain from a place of power, not victim mentality and allow ourselves the gift of community so that we are witnessed in love. In our victim mentality,, we become attached to seeing ourselves and outside circumstances from a particular viewpoint and in doing so, familiarity becomes comfortability. Even though the familiar viewpoint keeps us stuck and without our personal power and choice, it is preferable to acting in power and conscious choice, as the outcome of acting in this way are unfamiliar to us.

   When we embrace our emotional states and allow ourselves to be fully present, we experience a sacred connection: to self, Spirit and others. Our pain, sadness, shame and fear will teach us much if we find the courage to embrace these emotions.  If we are driven consciously or unconsciously by feelings that we simply want to avoid, we end of losing the precious ability to be fully present in the each moment. Sadness, anger, fear, joy and shame can drive us to avoid, medicate or numb ourselves and our bodies, spirits and relationships will suffer. When we breathe deeply, trust our spiritual connection and community and let ourselves be present in the moment, we learn that our feelings are just feelings, not facts, and that we have a choice about how we hold them. We can let the wisdom of our emotions inform us, teach us and guide us in healthful actions in our daily lives. In this awareness and being emotionally present, we have choices for caring well for ourselves: physically, spiritually and emotionally, as well as letting go of the past, creating our future and enjoying the privilege of being in the moment.

  If the emotion feels overwhelming, we learn to ask for help. Remember the origin of the word, "emotion" means "to move." The implication is a flow or movement in energy. We begin to feel stuck when we "shut-down" our feelings rather than embrace and allow to move through us. This is where support and community make a difference.

  Being present, fully present, means embracing our pain which in turn deepens our connection to joy. Being witnessed, experiencing the support of community and developing deep emotional intelligence is the key to a full life, filled with meaning, purpose and service. 

Blessings and love to you all, 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Fierce, Loving and Clear

Wow-This is a picture that reminds me to be Fierce with my self-care, with my program, with my boundaries as well as honor my beauty and feminine nature which loves connection, nurturing, support. I also know that my feminine nature is powerfully instinctual and intuitive and with strong, loving boundaries in place that honor my energy, I think and act with clear intention. I am in service of myself and others. I give from my own fullness within.

The 12 steps are a guideline for living a full, empowered and amazing life. This life must have begin with learning good boundaries, a strong sense of self and the courage to risk living differently, breaking our old vows and beliefs around enabling, codependency and tolerating the untolerable. 

Blessings to you on your journey, 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Communication, detachment and love.

   When I first got into 12 step recovery, I began to learn about boundaries. I realized that I did not have them, nor did I really understand what they were and how to use them to create intimacy in my relationships. It took time to develop these skills. First, I had to begin to identify my feelings, wants and needs and then learn a language for communicating them to others. Early on, in my naiveté, I also learned that just because I knew what I was feeling, needing and wanting, not everyone else cared or wanted to hear about those newfound awarenesses. 

   Over time, my learning about boundaries matured and deepened. I began to understand that there was a context to what I shared, when I shared it and to whom it was shared. I also learned that even though I knew what my own boundaries were in a specific situation and were able to communicate them to others, they were not automatically respected. These situations revealed a lot about the people with whom I was in relationship, as well as what realistic and reasonable expectations might be for me on my part. 

   There were also many times that I engage in a conflict around boundaries violated to try and "prove my point," be "sure I was heard," and simply because I was addicted to drama. I would feel shame if someone got angry or I made a mistake with not having good boundaries or being too rigid. More often than not, I was learning a new set of skills and the process of navigating all of these  situations with my newly developed communication skills and boundaries was messy. I wasn't always sure how to best handle the differing circumstances. Needless to say, learning functional communication and relationship skills is a journey, not a destination. 

   Today in my life I notice how much more easily I stand up for myself, without blaming or attacking the other person. I see my own expectations as appropriate and sometimes I don't have any expectations and I let go of outcomes readily. I don't expect others to do for me what I am unwillling to do for myself. I no longer put my unmet childhood needs on friends, family or strangers and I communicate easily with love for myself and others.

   Gratefully, I've learned many skills needed to experience authentic, fulfilling relationships with others and with myself. 

Blessings to you on your journey, 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Gift of Tension and Struggle

Growth, transformation and change of any kind involves tension. The original origin of the word "tension" means to "stretch." Stretching ourselves in mind, body, spirit and emotional intelligence is the foundation of the recovery and personal growth work that we do. We are learning to stretch our perspectives, our familiar problem solving skills, our spirits and learn what gifts our emotions have for us, without acting out those feelings unconsciously.

In our cosex addiction and codependency, we often allow the tension we experience emotionally to drive us to behaviors that we later regret or do not serve our highest good. When fearful about our own or someone else's behavior, we act that fear out by snooping, trying to control or manipulate outcomes, eat, shop or otherwise try to medicate or stop the fearful tension we experience inside. 

If angry, we may not know how to hold that energy inside without raging, trying to force a solution or hurt ourselves or others. 

Even with joy and happiness, we may be inexperienced in allowing these emotions to be and feel some tension or discomfort with their newness. This may be a time we try to dissolve the discomfort or tension and not fully let ourselves integrate the experience. 

Using addictive behaviors, substances and/or thinking patterns to relieve the tension prematurely can lead to automatic reactions that do not serve our growth and personal transformation. 

When a sex addict relieves the tension with sexual acting out, the addictive pattern becomes anchored. When the tension is experienced and intervention occurs without addicting out the tension, one is able to reframe and re-pattern  thinking and behavior. The addictive cycle is interrupted and a new way for holding the tension is created.

As cosex addicts we can do the same. We can learn to tolerate our own emotions and the tension within by using the tools of recover. We can channel the energy in ways that intervene on our usual patterns of attempting to control, medicate our feelings or manipulate someone else's behavior.When we intervene on our own usual addictive patterns and hold the tension, we can avoid hurting ourselves or others. In holding the tension without acting it out, we develop the maturity to think through our options, reach out for support, choose behaviors that honor our values and act in alignment with our spiritual program. 

Surviving tension, without prematurely acting it out teaches us to thrive within our own spiritual and emotional maturity. The gifts of tension teach us about our own personal power, deepens our relationship with a Power greater than ourselves and transforms our obsolete ways of being. 

Enjoy this story of the butterfly's need for tension and struggle.

Monarch Butterfly

Blessings to you on your journey of transformation and growth.


Monday, January 28, 2013

It's all about me

     After many, many years in 12 step recovery and doing personal growth work, I have come to the conclusion that the journey never ends. It is, as is said, "a journey, not a destination." In our driven, hierarchical, competitive culture, it's a reminder that I need to repeat often. I learn, I grow, I relearn, I forget, remember and then relearn again. Depending on our histories, some lessons take longer to integrate than others. Thank goodness there is a lifelong learning curve and many opportunities to develop compassion and understanding for ourselves and others. 
     In Relationships From Addiction to Authenticity and in our dis-ease of cosex addiction, we learn to use the 12 steps as tools for living our lives. The principles of a recovery program teach us how to take care of ourselves in a new way. Here a some of the most potent actions we can take to do things differently on our journey of recovery:

*Asking for help. If we reach out to one another or to a sponsor when we are in pain or unsure of how to proceed, we begin to train our brains to do things differently. We begin to see other perspectives and develop more variety in our problem solving skills. 

*Sharing in support circles. Speaking aloud and breaking the silence that we carry inside and perhaps learned to tolerate at a very young age is necessary in order for us to grow and live authentically. Twelve step meetings, grief support or other gatherings in which we are called together to support, listen and stand for each other is both comforting and empowering. 

*Physical self-care. One of the most important tools for self-care is exercise and physical release of energy. It becomes the norm to stay focused in our minds and over think situations and relationships. Taking time to rest and then exercising and moving our energy is another important self-care action that can make a different in our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. 

*Daily Prayer and Meditation. This is by far the most powerful tool for me and does not ever fail to amaze. Some days, when I think I simply do not have time to pray and/or meditate, are the days that require I take time to do so. Again, when we contradict what our brain tells us under stress we can begin to "retrain" our brains to take the actions needed for our own highest good. Prayer and meditation give me a space where I can release my fear, shame, attachments and rigid thinking and receive guidance, intuitive nudgings, refinement in my listening to the still, small voice inside and comfort.

In our first few months, maybe even years, of coming into cosex addiction recovery, we falsely hope that we will learn how to control and change our partner so that they are available, faithful and respectful of us. In time, we learn that as we focus on ourselves and use the tools of the program to deepen our own self love, self-care, and spiritual connection, life becomes sweet, whether our partner does or doesn't. We learn to care for our own well-being and nourish our divine purpose and passions. It's all about me in the most generous and unselfish ways.

Blessings on your journey, 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Admission of powerlessness

  It's a challenge to get there, but when we do, what a relief. Admitting we are powerless and in need of help is the first step in our 12 steps and the most important in creating a life of freedom, choice and inspired joy. 

  Every week I am privileged to witness individuals who are seeking help, asking for support and reaching out to assistance and in doing so, experiencing clarity, wisdom and connection. Recently, the simply act of making a phone call and leaving a message for a support friend opened up a new perspective of seeing a situation which made a huge difference for me. 

  Letting go of an old belief that says I have to "figure it out myself" or "I'm alone" or even "no one will understand or be able to help me" opens the door for a new way to live. Whatever the flavor of the old belief might be, it is wise to seek a new way of living; one that begins with admitting our need for help. 

  Admitting powerlessness requires humility; knowing we are human, both brilliant and fallible. Reaching out for assistance is both an act of power and humility, an act of strength and vulnerability. In this paradox of our humanness and our divinity, both sides of these seemingly opposite qualities offer us choice, new possibilities and the option of acting in love for ourselves and others. 

Blessings to you on your miraculous journey that begins with admitting powerlessness, asking for help and receiving the spiritual medicine available.