We say I have Selfish Oppressive Bastard (SOB) syndrome. Selfishness was clearly a problem for me, extending beyond the realm of sex and relationships. “Oppressive ” refers to my misogynistic tendencies, so deeply ingrained in me that I didn’t recognize them until very recently.
TL and I have worked together to support her through the trauma and to work on my problems very intensely, with professional help, for nearly three years now. Our first therapist recommended Cairns. After reading Out of the Shadows and some other work of Cairns, we discussed with our therapist the many things that did just not add up for me. Cairns spent a lot of time describing men who just could not control their actions regarding sex, a process that included preoccupation, ritualization and despair that are an overpowering part of the addiction cycle. That wasn’t me. If opportunities presented themselves, I took them. But, I did not look at every woman as a potential opportunity. Though, I certainly have obsessive-compulsive tendencies and a history of impulsiveness, each time I cheated or lied, I did so based on a conscious decisions with little regret for the behavior, nor desire to stop. For me, it all boiled down to the fact that when opportunity was there, I was willing, ready and able. Hence, why we call it Selfish Oppressive Bastard (SOB) Syndrome.
So, here’s the steps we’ve taken so far. Step one was a system-shock. With D-day, all the consequences I had spent years ignoring came to full bloom instantly, right before my eyes. TL was deeply hurt, my actions caused her to be traumatized and she almost left me. I could no longer hide the consequences from myself. They were real. It felt the same way I might feel if I stepped out my front door and saw a vampire. Vampires are not real, right?
But there it is, standing in front of me, staring me in the face, and refusing to go back from whence it came. The only thing I could do is learn to live with the vampire. But, I did know exactly why the vampire was there, exactly which of my choices summoned it into existence. I knew, at least, that I didn’t ever again want to do, say, or think anything that might summon another vampire.