"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

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,