Thursday, November 24, 2016

The introduction to my book

This is an incomplete memoir. I won't be delving extensively into my unhappy childhood, angst-ridden adolescence, or confused young adulthood. While I'll allude to seminal events and phenomena from those days—my father dying when I was five, being bullied in elementary school, sibling rivalry, college highs and lows, ten years of aimless career surfing after graduation, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a suicide attempt, and a dating life that makes Taylor Swift look like Gloria Estefan—I'm focusing primarily on personal and professional anecdotes from my life after I decided to become a mental health clinician in my mid-30s.

Having bipolar disorder has made me both a better and a worse clinician. On the plus side, I know many symptoms inside and out and can normalize clients' experiences very effectively. I know the side effects of many psychiatric medications because I've taken them. I can instill hope because I know treatment can work and recovery is possible.

The downside is that my own dysphoric mood and anger can impede my interpersonal effectiveness, both with clients and co-workers. I've learned that even if you're competent and creative, expressing anger or emotional chaos at work will get you fired—in my case, more than once. Behavior that appears out of control will get you dumped by even the most patient boyfriend—in my case, more than once.

While I've finally found an exceptional psychiatrist and therapist, having an excellent pit crew is only part of the battle. You won't win the race unless you hone your driving skills—you'll crash and burn. That's a NASCAR metaphor for emotional self-regulation, something I struggle with every day.

For about 10 years I wrote a blog under the pseudonym “Ayelet Survivor” that I taglined “My life as a single, Jewish mental health professional who suffers from bipolar disorder and a keen sense of irony.” I explored my experiences with graduate school, working, dating, sex, and my religious observance, which waxed, waned, then more or less collapsed. The personal anecdotes in this book are drawn from that source and from my twitter feed, which as of this day has about 230 followers. There are more than 1300 blog posts and 7000 tweets, so obviously I've picked and chosen selectively. Feel free to visit the blog (or @ayelet_survivor on twitter) for a window into my brain at any given time.

In April 2015 I was asked to contribute an article to a now defunct online e-newsletter (“CBT for schizophrenia? You don't know Jack”). After I posted it to my LinkedIn profile, I was pleased to note that more than a few people were reading it, and decided to start writing anecdotes about other clients. After about 10 posts, some of my friends started saying, “You should write a book. You're like the social work Oliver Sacks.” Well, one friend said it, and I was hugely flattered.

I was also asked to contribute to the Chronotherapy blog on PsychologyToday.com, which gave me the first opportunity to merge my professional and personal writing. I detailed my experiences with insomnia and seasonal affective disorder, and also wrote about other individuals' struggle with insomnia and other circadian rhythm disorders.

I've always loved writing. My personal blog was a tremendous creative outlet for me as I adjusted to a clinical career after more than 10 years of publishing and editorial work. I wrote poetry, stories, and plays as a child and young adult, which developed both my skill with language and my conviction that my true milieu is nonfiction. Nowadays I write progress notes, employee evaluations, and reports. Occasionally I'll bust out a villanelle or free verse poem, and I'll include a few in here.

I'm also committed to advocacy. Even before I became a social worker, I've been trying to explain the reality of mental illness in order to diminish the tremendous stigma that accompanies most media depictions. For a while I wrote numerous letters to the editor, which the New York Daily News was often kind enough to publish. I've engaged with the National Alliance for Mental Illness's efforts to provide a counterbalance to stigmatizing movies, television shows, and news coverage. On my blog I tried to portray my struggles with a sense of hope that it's possible to have a decent, even good life while managing a chronic psychiatric condition.

Most recently, I've been entertaining my Facebook friends with a series of updates that explain what circumstances will cause me to reject a man's Bumble or Tinder profile. More than one has asked, “When's the book coming out?” So I decided to include those, along with other dating anecdotes from my blog.

I also learned recently that I'm a survivor of emotional incest. For most of my life I didn't know that existed or that my experience with it had traumatized me. I just knew I was an emotional mess, sometimes more than other times, and that despite psychotherapy and medication, my problems persisted. As I write this introduction, I've just started a new kind of therapy to address this aspect of my life. It's an evolving story.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ayelet comes out. In the Bronx. Does that count?

On Thursday, October 20, I flew to California to participate in a weekend of healing for survivors of sexual trauma. It was amazing, and I can't really write about it. Too huge. Very glad I went.

I landed the next Monday morning and stepped into a whirlwind of activity. Classes, conferences, meetings, I was all over the place. And that Thursday, I went to a conference at the Bronx VA.

The topic was holistic mental health recovery. Attending were clinicians, veterans, and peer specialists--people with lived experience of mental illness who then work with other people dealing with mental illness. They spoke openly and frankly about their struggles, side effects, and experiences as patients in a system that thinks eliminating symptoms is enough.

It's not. Recovery is about having a full like you enjoy, with friends, a nice place to live, and meaningful activity (paid or voluntary). And the psychiatrist on the panel kept droning on about how people with mental illnesses need to take medication, some people who have bipolar or schizophrenia, they need medication, blah blah blah. The peer on the panel respectfully noted that psychiatrists minimize even quite draconian side effects.

I raised my hand.

"I'm a clinical social worker, and I've spent a lot of time discussing side effects with clients," I said. "Mainly because their psychiatrists haven't. We don't have perfect medications, but we do have more than one option. I take three medications, and they work--pretty well. But not perfectly. Psychiatrists need to maximize the client's quality of life. If they gain weight on Zyprexa, give them Haldol with Cogentin! Think outside the box!"

Did I just come out as someone with a mental illness?

I was exhilarated and terrified, which involve very similar physical reactions. My heart was pounding; my head felt light; my breath was quick and shallow.

Did I just tell a room full of strangers and clinicians and colleagues that I have a mental illness?

Fortunately, they were the second to last panel, and the last panel was brief. After the conference concluded, I went up to the organizer. He's been trying to get me to go to one of his events for a while; after having to cancel twice, I finally showed up. How would he react?

With warmth. And a smile, and a handshake with a slow firm clasp. "Thank you so much for coming today," he said meaningfully. "Will I see you at the event on November 4?" (Sponsored by a different veteran organization.)

"I'll be there," I said. He smiled again.

The reaction was similar from the social worker who runs the local VA's suicide prevention/crisis line. "I'm so glad you spoke up," she said.

"I felt like I needed to," I said. "The peers were so brave and honest, sharing their experiences. I felt like I needed be honest as well." She's also looking forward to seeing me on November 4.

I'm not sure who else I'm going to tell, or when. But when I publish my incest article, I will use my name and photograph. One of the other survivors on the weekend is also a writer. She introduced me to World Pulse. I can tell my story there.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Presumptuous as Hell

When you work for city or state government, it's often perceived that your salary is decent, your benefits excellent, and your job security rock-solid. I'm happy to report that my salary is excellent, my benefits are decent, and my job security is pretty good for someone who's not in a union. I can state unequivocally that I love my job.

Either that love shines forth from my LinkedIn profile like a beacon or people see where I work and think, "I could do that." I get a lot of requests to find people jobs. Once the landlord of a newly housed veteran asked me if I had any positions open for a friend of his, a social worker who didn't like her job. (I had called him becaues he was having some issues with his tenant.)

"Does she have any experience working with homeless veterans?" I asked.

"No, but I bet she'd really like it," he replied. After a moment he added, "You know, I know another guy who's really smart. He's not a social worker, but he's very smart and capable. Could you use a guy like him?"

For what? was my initial thought, which I kept to myself. I wanted to stay on good terms with the landlord, so I let him know the drill: sign up for a list and wait, wait, wait.

Anyone who actually works for the city knows that getting a city job is never a simple matter, especially for unionized positions. It often requires getting onto a civil service list, which is a matter of timing and luck. And people on those lists might wait years to be called for a job interview. I was lucky: I responded to a job ad for a newly created position within a newly created department, and waited only 16 days between interview and job offer. (And then waited about five more weeks for my start date, which felt glacial to me but for government jobs is blinding speed.)

Apparently many people subscribe to the belief that if you're the recipient of good luck, you should pay it forward by helping them get a job. I don't think they intend to be rude, but it's rather presumptuous. The morning before I spoke to that landlord, an acquaintance on Facebook accosted me:

Hey! I'm looking for a job. You should just hire me it'll be fun

He's the brother of someone I used to supervise. We talked about getting together for a drink, but it never happened. He's cute, but not very bright. Even if I were looking to hire, which I emphasize I am not, I wouldn't hire this guy. But I'm working on my tactfulness, so I didn't overreact.

Not in a million years ;) You wouldn't like working for the city. Tons of bureaucracy

That's diplomatic, right?

Aww boo but ok. What agency are you with ?

Persistent little bugger. But I told him which agency. He responded:

In the Bronx? Why can't I handle that

Not in the Bronx, that was my last job, which he would have known if he were actually paying any attention to my Facebook feed. Still, I tried to be diplomatic, because karma.

My program isn't hiring right now. I'm not sure if the agency is looking for case managers, but you have to take a civil service exam and be on a list for years before they call you

I hoped that would discourage him, and it did. Haven't heard from him since.

At least this guy has met me in person a few times and we used to work for the same agency. Recently I got an email from someone whose connection request I had hesitated to accept.

I hesitated because he's fairly junior, and at this point, not to brag, I am not. I was wondering if he was just connecting so he could mine me for contacts and job prospects. Against my better judgment I connected anyway, and the next day he sent me this:

Good evening Ms. Survivor, I'm very interested in clinical work with veterans. I was wondering if you know of any clinical positions available. Thank you, {name redacted}

I don't think he realizes how incredibly rude this is. I don't know anything about him aside from what he's posted on LinkedIn. If I were going to recommend someone for a position, it would only be someone whom I know well and trust not to make me look like a bad judge of skill or character. I can't say that for him.

I'm genuinely happy to help people I know and trust. Recently a recruiter emailed me asking to discuss a position as Deputy Director of Behavioral Health, offering a six-figure salary. Even though I love my job, I figured I had nothing to lose by talking to him. Turns out the job isn't right for me, but it's perfect for a former colleague; I called her and sent her the recruiter's contact information.

But I don't know this new connection. I've never seen his work. I don't know if he's a good person. Why on earth would I risk my reputation to recommend him for a job? I thought about responding to him along the lines of,

Listen, this is not how you network. You don't send an email to someone who doesn't know you and ask for a job. You get to know a person, and they get to know you, and then if they feel comfortable recommending you, they will. You come across as horrendously unprofessional and presumptuous.

But it's not my job to fix him, and I think that just ignoring his request will send the right message. If it doesn't, I can always block him.

This should teach me not to accept connection requests from junior-level people I don't know. If that sounds horribly pragmatic, well, it is. I got another connection request a week ago from a psychiatrist who's worked with veterans for 25 years. Hells yeah I accepted! But no more brand new starting out unknowns.

I've been used by enough men in my time; I don't need to extend exploitation into my professional life.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Aunt Luba drops a conversational cluster bomb

Two nights ago my Aunt Luba called to let me know she was sending me a sizeable check. Not because she thinks I need it, but because she loves me and wants me to have something before she dies. So the government won't get it, I guess.

We talked about my estrangement from my mother because she still lives with and adores the degenerate pervert. "I can't go to family events and see her," I said.

"You know, I was abused as a child, too," said Luba. "And had to see that person at family events."

WOW. During the ensuing shocked silence, I struggled to think of what I couldn't ask her. Who it was, of course; when and what happened; and if it happened to my mother too.

I bet it happened to my mother too. That's what the Prominent Sex Addiction Expert thought. Incest happens not only because fathers/father figures commit it, but because mothers/mother figures don't stop it, don't see it as wrong, or don't "see" it. They don't consciously ignore it--they're too emotionally distant to acknowledge it.

This verges into psychoanalytical territory, an area that is somewhat foreign to me, but it must be true. Because that's what happened. My mother knew the degenerage pervert tried to have sex discussions with me. He even tried in front of her. She told him to stop, but I don't think he stopped. She knew what was going on and she ignored it. Maybe not consciously. I'd like to think not consciously.

But if she was molested, or incested, then I can see why she doesn't think what happened to me was abuse. My Aunt Katya agrees with her.

Katya called me, and I spoke with her. We've always had a good relationship; she's always supported me. So I thought I could tell her what the degenerate pervert did, and name it as incest.

She said, "Oh, c'mon!"

That's a punch in the throat.

I tried to explain the terrible developmental consequences that kind of pornography exposure has on a teenage girl. She said, "Well, it might have felt like abuse, but it doesn't sound like abuse."

I feel very alone right now. I participate in a Tuesday twitter chat (#sexabusechat) which helps, but I desperately want a support group of women survivors of incest.

I went to a meeting of Survivors of Incest Anonymous, and the rigid 12-step format felt uncomfortable. As did the mandatory praying and chanting. (Well, you don't have to join in, but the chanting is all around you.) You can't talk about each other's experiences--you just listen as everyone speaks. I tried to say, "Like many of you, I have family issues" but was cut off: "We don't discuss what other people share!" But that's what I wanted.

Although listening to the others, I was relieved to learn I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't talk to her mother and sister. And none of them judged me. Which had to be validation enough, at least for then.

PSAE suggested I go to a survivors' weekend, which might be a good idea. It's a shame that there are survivors in my own family but I can't talk to them about it. I wasn't even sure I could blog about this. Some people would probably say that's a violation of Luba's privacy. But even though it's her story to tell, this kind of secrecy is what allows the abuse to continue. What allowed abuse to become part of my story and damage my life.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, July 07, 2016

I feel like an elephant: another poem

It's hot, and I feel like an elephant,
massive and lumbering.
Elephants are emotional
creatures, loving touch and contact
with their own and other species. Elephants
are loyal, weeping when bereaved. Elephants enraged 
can charge and stomp, but never unprovoked. 
At least I hope it's never unprovoked. When I stomp
I'm usually not as destructive externally.

I feel like a hippopotamus, 
clumsy on land, barreling along
on stumpy legs. But hippopotamuses 
are elegantly graceful in their element, which is water.
Mine is supposed to be air, but somehow
I'm rarely graceful in it. So I wish
I were more like a hippopotamus.

I feel like a whale. Or I wish I did.
Whales are incredibly powerful, with
an amazing sense of smell, sense of self.
Whales can swim with their eyes open in the ocean.
I can't do that, it stings me.
Whales travel in pods, whereas I seem to run through friends
too quickly, either discarding those
that ultimately annoy more than companion, or 
detaching, sadly,
from all those who join new pods.
Facing the constant hunt and chase and acquisition
of new whales who can resonate at my
own frequency, just like the whales who drifted away
to love and cradles, backyards and the suburbs.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Amputate: a poem

I wrote a poem, and I hope that doesn't mean I'm manic. It's about nobody in particular.

Amputate

I should amputate
the traitorous parts of me: the arms
that reach for you, the
fingers that want to trace
your jaw and cheek and
all your beautiful bones, the
heart that wants to beat in unison
with yours.
The tongue that seeks your shoulder, chest, your neck and
every inch of skin; the hips
that sway in your direction when
the traitorous eyes enrobe you in their gaze.
I should amputate the thighs
that wrap yours cozily, the fragile cheek
that presses on your beard.
My lying mouth
betrayed me when I said
I didn't need you, didn't love,
and since I cannot amputate
you from my treacherous heart,
my heart should be the first
to feel the blade.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, June 18, 2016

How I paid for my date

A few nights ago I went on a date. It was my first week back at work, I've been tired all the time, but I've also been bored and lonely. The three weeks of recovery from surgery were spent primarily lying in bed watching "Mad Men." Which was an excellent choice, since it has relatively few laughs and laughing hurt the first two weeks. But I was by myself, mulling over my choice to discard yet another friend I was sick of and my recent diagnosis as a sex addict.

It's an accurate diagnosis. The process I went through to hook up with a cub--posting a clever ad on craigslist, weeding through the responses, meeting up and banging, then feeling ashamed--is very similar to the stages of copping and using drugs. It's a huge distraction from loneliness and frustration, because it takes up so much time. (This article explains the cycle very well.) So phone sex and other addictive unhealthy non-relationship-building sexual activity was out.

Going back to work was good, albeit exhausting. Going to volunteer meetings (even during my medical leave) was also good. But trying to date is necessary. If I want to have a healthy relationship, I need to practice appropriate dating behavior.

So I went out with a guy. He wasn't very attractive in his photos. I thought that would be an excellent way to keep my expectations and hopes low, and force me get to know him as a person.

Except he wasn't interested in getting to know me. Maybe I'm still too swollen after abdominal surgery, but the second he saw me, his face settled into lines of resentment and disappointment. He was too polite to just walk away, but it was clear he wanted to.

I thought if I could get him talking, he'd relax and enjoy the date more. He might have, but I didn't. I asked him as many appropriate questions I could think of--about his job, his children, his car, his family, his politics--and he was animated and eager to discuss them. But when he was finished, he was finished. His face resettled into resentment. I had to come up with another topic.

He didn't ask me a single question about myself.

He also didn't ask me to suggest a restaurant until we were in the car and had driven past the places I usually like to go. Why not ask me before picking me up, or actually make plans ahead of time, like a gentleman? Yes, we're in my neighborhood, but I don't know what you're willing to spend or what kind of food you like. And I really don't think well when I'm put on the spot. I'm the least spontaneous person you'll ever meet.

But mainly, the date was painful because the responsibility for conversation rested solely on me. A few times I thought, "I'll wait a few seconds and he'll say something." He's apparently a champion at conversational chicken, because if I didn't speak, he didn't speak. This happened to me before when I had coffee with a guy I suspect has Asperger's--he could speak at length on a topic he was interested in, but he couldn't start a topic; it had to be suggested. That was another exhausting date.

It's a shame he was so disappointed in me, but I was annoyed that he expressed zero curiosity. Why even go out at all? I would have rather he stood me up. Mediocre chicken teriyaki--and being expected to try his sake and sushi, even though I hate both--was so not worth it. Even the green tea ice cream was a chore.

Maybe I should forget about spending time with people outside work and volunteer activities. (At this point I volunteer with three organizations and could potentially add a few more.) I'm no good at keeping friends, I'm obviously shit at romance. Maybe I should just be a hermit, and come out of my cave just to work and volunteer. Because I'm no good at organizing fun outings, and I don't know how to make new friends.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Myomectomy and betrayal

I met with my surgeon, and with another surgeon for a second opinion. Even though a hysterectomy would heal more quickly and painlessly, I'm having a myomectomy: the surgeon will dissect out the fibroids and sew together what's left. Because what's left is enough to keep, and I am not ready to lose my uterus. I know, rationally, that I will probably never have a child, but that seems hugely different from saying I will definitely never have a child.

I emailed an aunt about my mother. Actually, she emailed me first, to say she missed me over Passover. At first I didn't know what to say. Then I decided to tell her the truth. After all, I was the victim, not the sex offender. It's not my fault.

I'm sorry, [aunt], but after speaking with a leading expert in abuse and trauma, I have confirmed that my mother's boyfriend committed incest with me when I was a teenager. This was a significant trauma that led to tremendous problems for me in forming intimate relationships. I will never have a baby and I might be alone for the rest of my life. She refuses to get rid of him. So I can't be around her right now.

She wrote back,

I am so sorry to hear this.  I understand how u feel. 

To me that was inadequate. More evidence that my family thinks I'm making a mountain out of a pile of Penthouse magazines.  And a coffee-table photo book about people masturbating (I Am My Lover.) And all the other atrocious trash I was fed.

I don't think you do. I don't think you know how it feels to have 
your family embrace someone who abused you.

I don't know what I was hoping for her to say.

You are correct, I do not know how it fees to have your family embrace someone who abused you. I"m sorry if you thought that was what I meant. I meant I understand how u felt about not coming to pesach at Jerusha's house because of it.

I didn't respond. It's dawning on me that my family will never hold my mother accountable for what happened to me. Or feel at all upset that I was molested.

Not all abuse victims have to prove their victimhood to family and friends. I'm not saying I would have preferred to have been abused more violently. But everyone needs to stop telling me to forgive my mother, reconnect with my family. I can't do that. It would be lying to myself. Pretending that I'm something that I'm not.

You wouldn't tell someone who is gay to pretend not to be gay around homophobic relatives, or to spend time with them and not be bothered by the vitriol they spew. You wouldn't isolate someone who married a person of another race or faith because some family members disapprove. But my family is never going to confront my mother with the heinousness of what she allowed to happen in her house.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Incest and hysterectomy

I used to think it was okay for my ob/gyn to be an asshole because he was a good doctor. Turns out I was wrong. He wasn't a good doctor. I should have had fibroid surgery years ago. Now it's too late for anything but a hysterectomy.

So that's that. No babies. I knew I couldn't breastfeed, but I will never give birth to a child.

My friends have helpfully pointed out that I'm not the only woman in this situation and are urging me to join support groups. I'm really not ready for that. I'm basically covering my raw pain with a very thin skin of normalcy. when I'm not working and focused on other people's problems, I am devastated.

I know that I can't really blame anyone else for this situation, so I'm still trying to figure out what I did wrong to get here. Besides being too picky about potential mates when I was young and an attractive mating prospect.

But I've been having dreams about my mother. Almost every night. Dreams where I'm with her, in her house or elsewhere, but I don't want to be there. Once she made me sleep in the bed with her boyfriend. Another time I climbed up a kind of jungle gym trying to get into the house, only to find that the window was too small. (I think. Dreams are weird.)

I'm connected on LinkedIn with a very Prominent Sex Addiction Expert (PSAE). So I thought I'd ask him if I could get some advice about a "client":

Hi PSAE, thanks for agreeing to a consult.

Let's call her Jennifer. Her father died when she was very young. Her mother moved a boyfriend into the home when Jennifer was 10 or 11. He was a former hippie-type who had done tons of drugs and considered himself a poet, although he worked as a custodian. He brought a great deal of pornography into the home -- several books and many, many magazines, which Jennifer read. And reread. And masturbated to. Sometimes the boyfriend would try to talk about sex with Jennifer; when her mother was around, her mother would stop him from talking about sex. He also smoked marijuana in front of her during an unsuccessful fishing trip on his friend's boat.

Jennifer has had difficulty establishing healthy relationships with men and has always rushed into having sex early on. Throughout college and her 20s and 30s, she had few long-term relationships but numerous one-night-stands or brief sexual relationships. Part of the hypersexuality might be attributed to bipolar disorder (type 2), which was diagnosed when she was 26. Despite knowing that was a symptom, she hasn't been able to bring her sexual behavior under control. She is now still single at 46 years old.

After I read your article, I wondered if her mother's boyfriend's behavior could be considered covert incest. She has struggled not only with intimate relationships but with work as well, having been fired from several jobs (I think the bipolar is a factor there as well). I can't tell if she's a sex addict, but I do know she's desperately unhappy, having wanted very much to marry and have children, which, thanks to an impending hysterectomy (fibroids), is now impossible. She has stopped speaking to her mother, since the boyfriend still lives in her mother's home and is financially supported by her mother.

Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

He wrote back in less than a day, suggesting that we speak by phone to discuss the case and adding:

Actually - fyi- this is not covert incest. His showing her those magazines and talking to her about the content -is actual incest. Covert incest is just that -not appearing to be sexual- like using your child like an EMOTIONAL husband or pal. But once the overt sexual piece is added, it becomes plain old incest.

This woman has a profound, early, chronic sexual abuse history by an abusing stepfather and emotionally absent mother. No wonder she is where she is today.

I would like to get a bit more info about her current life -and then I think I can help here as it falls directly into my work.

Hopefully we'll talk soon. I'll let him know I'm Jennifer, and if he agrees to keep talking, maybe I'll get some help. He's wrong about my mother being emotionally absent--she was only selectively absent, turning a blind eye to something that might have forced her to get rid of the degenerate pervert. But at the very least, PSAE has validated my decision to cut my mother out of my life.

The last time I spoke to my mother, I tried to tell her how wrong what hr did was, bringing pornography into the home and trying to talk to me about it. I said to her, "I am damaged."

She said, "I'm damaged, too."

I'm not a parent, but I thought you were supposed to want your children to have a better life than you did, and that you wanted to protect them from harm.

She is asking me to forgive incest.

And I will not.

UPDATE: PSAE called.  "Incest produces intimacy disorders in adult women," he said. "Your stepfather is a predator. This was overt incest--it was reportable, arrestable, and I would report him if he's involved with other children." And, for the record, he does think I'm a sex/intimacy addict.

He suggested some books I should read and workshops and meetings I might want to attend. I'm going to talk to my therapist about this when I see her next.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"