Sunday, September 11, 2011

Through the Open Door - Part 2

We had an idyllic wedding following what I would later come to realize had been a bizarre bachelor party. That is part of my story in my article entitled “Reaching for Recovery – Putting down the Drink.” During a blackout, I came out to my sister and several members of the wedding party.

Even so, the next day, I marched down the aisle with my new bride before we departed for a fantasy wedding trip to Bermuda. The sad truth was that, once the honeymoon was over, a tragedy would begin to play out over the coming two years.

Within a short period of time, I found the anxiety of self-doubt quickly creeping into my life. I would awake with that awful sense of dread, having to literally force myself out of bed, followed by torturing myself with thoughts that I was incompetent during my morning commute. I also found myself seeking out new places where I could temporarily act out my homecoming anxiety. I reverted to my sneaky sexual behaviors even though my wife had expressed permission for me to have sex with men. The one caveat was that I couldn't fall in love with them. This only fueled the forest fire of my sexual addiction.

Even though she'd given me that permission, I still had the sense that she hoped I wouldn't need to act upon my desires if she could be the perfect wife. I'd arrive home to find her preparing dinner after juggling her senior year classes and all of their demands. This only served to exacerbate my guilt. What I'd imagined to be an ideal situation for me was turning into a living nightmare.

Within the time span of a few short weeks, I was emotionally bottoming-out once again. My morning anxiety mounted to the point where just leaving the house became sheer torture. I would fitfully delay my exit from bed, hoping I could drift back into the oblivion of sleep, only to discover I was so late that I would have to cancel my scheduled appointments.

When I was able to be on the job I would find that to make each call was an exercise in anxious humiliation. This only served to increase my arsenal of self-abuse. I started replaying the tape in my head that I was an incompetent fraud. I would pace the apartment, thereby wasting more precious time. Sometimes I would not arrive in Boston until afternoon, trying to go through the motions of work while I found myself in a hypnotic trance, filled with self-loathing.

It was impossible to keep up any charade of normality with my wife. It was her first time witnessing these behaviors and they frightened her. Nevertheless, my twenty-one year-old bride, stood by her man, trying to find a way to get help for me. She returned to a therapist we had seen prior to our wedding for advice.

He advised her that he wasn't concerned about me; rather, he was concerned for her well-being. He gave her a therapist referral for me. Following a Thanksgiving trip to my family's home where we acted out the part of a happily married couple as best we could, I started my first true experience in psychotherapy.

I started seeing a psychologist named Barbara, who had a private practice in the attic of her Revolutionary War-era home. She really was an empathic soul. I will never forget how the two of us chain-smoked, while she gazed upon the thoroughly depressed shell of a man I had become. Her face reminded me of a sad hound dog.

After a handful of sessions with Barbara, I decided I needed to take a total timeout. I wasn't even able to fake it enough to make it into work at that point anyhow. I was granted a leave of absence by my sales manager; however, I felt ashamed and incompetent when he told me this was the first time such a leave had been requested.

My wife and I decided on a trial separation with me moving out of our marital apartment. That decision made, I felt a tremendous sense of relief. I excitedly went about searching for a temporary living situation with another gay man.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui

Books and Kindles by Author David Aujourd hui (these two below are at a special price on Kindle for $2.99)

"The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" Book 1
"Babes in Bucksnort" Book 2

"Putting the Pieces Together" Kindle Version only for .99 cents!

Putting the Pieces Together is an anthology of a gay man's journey toward self-acceptance. It is a poignant and intimate book chronicling recovery from mental illness, sexual addiction, and alcohol.

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