"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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Embracing our Shame

There is much that is counterintuitive about shame and recovery work. We learn to avoid certain feelings and behaviors as a way to survive and be effective in our lives. When it comes to shame and recovery work, however, the answer is to fully embrace all of what we feel, think and how we behave; especially that which we want to hide the most. In fully embracing these characteristics of ourselves, we come to know who we really are. Honoring and embracing shame allows us to find deep compassion for our own wounds and teaches us to love fully. As we learn to embrace the darkest parts of ourselves and bring them into the light, our heart opens and we have more mature care and love to offer to others. Here are some tips for embracing shame:

1) Develop a relationship with a Higher Power that loves and accepts you unconditionally. We may need to do some work with our image of God/Goddess/Spirit/Higher Power in order to be certain that our image is pure and not based on parental characteristics or a shaming demeanor learned in childhood.

2) Create circles of support that empower and nourish us in our authenticity. Recovery support circles where we learn new behaviors and can do our grief work are essential in teaching us to fully love ourselves and live life differently.

3) Trauma resolution, grief work and bioenergetic healing is an important piece of embracing our shame and loving ourselves. We are learning how trauma is stored in the body. We need places that understand this and create a container for releasing this trauma from the body.

In allowing ourselves the experience of embracing our shame, sharing our deepest secrets and receiving blessings from others in spite of it all, we heal. In our healing we learn mature self-love, self-forgiveness and self-care. Our compassionate hearts break open and we love more deeply and fully. We become the wounded healers and servants of compassion.

Blessings on your journey,


Monday, May 9, 2011

Breaking the Silence and Repairing Connection

One of the practices that one who is recovering from trauma learns is necessary in the ongoing healing from the trauma is breaking the silence. Breaking the silence around what has happened to us, where addiction has affected our lives or how we have been abused is one of the first actions to take in continued healing and empowerment.

As cosex addicts, there is a strong identification with being victimized by an acting out partner and being caught off guard by the trauma of betrayal. When we look more honestly at the situation and begin our own recovery work, we see our part more clearly. This does not excuse anyone else's behavior, but it does allow us to accept our part in the denial, our lack of boundaries and over-focus on another individual. We begin to look at the family of origins that we learned our behavior within and see a pattern within ourselves that has kept us locked in shame and fear. Here are some guidelines and practices for breaking the silence and repairing connection:

1) We must ask for help when the trauma and betrayal is revealed. In asking for help, we begin to step outside of our own denial and move into the possibility of seeing with a new set of eyes.

2) We learn the facts about addiction, dysfunction families and start to see of our family of origin set-up for our own lack of boundaries and cosex addiction. Seeing our own medicating of feelings through an eating disorder, alcohol, shopping, over-volunteering, extreme care-taking for our children and family, gossiping and triangulating allows us to uncover our authentic selves. With our honesty and personal power beginning to emerge, we can make new choices.

3) A vibrant and authentic spiritual practice and support circle is an ongoing necessity for repairing connection with ourselves and others. In our spiritual practice we connect honestly with our Higher Power and use the tools of the 12 steps to deal with the challenges that arise in our lives. In a support circle that understands recovery from cosex addiction and empowerment work, we continue to speak our reality which allows us to keep from falling into denial and silence. As we reach out to others, our Higher Power and honor our own reality, we begin to repair connections; first with ourselves and our Higher Power and then with those we choose to be in a relationship with over time.

Honesty, spiritual connection and ongoing support are the paths to Authentic Connection with ourselves and others.

Blessings on your journey,


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Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The word "persistent" means continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. For women recovering from cosex addiction, this can be tricky. Sometimes in our dis-ease we tolerate and tolerate and tolerate and tolerate, without a sense of self and good boundaries. Persistence in this regard is really feeding our dis-ease and not necessarily feeding our recovery and self-esteem. There is a time to hold on and a time to let go.

Persistence in our recovery, however, is something else. Looking inside, seeing our patterns of behavior, honestly reviewing our family of origin set-up, formally writing the 12 steps, using the tools of the program and being consistent in developing a support network is a good use of the energy of persistence. When we use persistence to embrace the obstacles along the way, walk through the shame and fear that we inevitably encounter-we reap the benefits of emotional and spiritual maturity. We develop the capacity to care well for ourselves and the ability to choose who we attract into our lives. Our persistence teaches us to trust ourselves above all others and from this trusted relationship with self, we choose how to care well for ourselves physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually and financially.

Persistence with discernment and the perspective of our recovery support group makes all the difference.

Blessings on your journey,