Angry at my Son and I blame recovery


Here is another one of those eye openers I referred to in my previous post.

Most recently I have been having an increasingly difficult time with my kids’ bed time routine. My son takes forever to go to bed and the last few times I put him to sleep up until the point mentioned in this post I actually raised my voice and threatened of different types of punishment if he were not to stop fussing/tossing/talking or whatever else he does to stall and prolong the process. And I hated myself every time afterwards.

The time I want to mention here was a new low. And it wasn’t even night time, it was nap time. He was really tired and he really needed to nap. Or more like I needed him to nap so that he is well rested and we don’t spend the rest of the day with a grumpy child. We started fine and the pattern followed. This time I hit a new low. I got really upset with his tossing and the subject this time was that the cover wasn’t adjusted properly. I got so angry I snatched the cover while yelling “stop this” and as I placed the cover after snatching it, it hit his face. I had no intention of hitting him, and this is the first time I ever did such thing. Even though the intention wasn’t to hit and the cover hitting his face was accidental and wasn’t too painful, it was a shock to him. And more importantly a shock to me. What happened to me?

Let’s take a few steps back. As a young man, I thought parents around me sucked big time. I arrogantly wanted to have children to show the world how it is done. I knew I was going to be the “perfect” parent. As if such thing existed. I did eventually realize that I am not a perfect parent and that parenting is harder than what I thought it would be. That being said I still pride myself on how I kept my cool. I was always calm and thoughtful about my parenting decisions in the most stressful situations. I could face hours and hours of grumpiness and constant crying but still stay “Zen”. I was the parent described in the book “Scream Free Parenting”. I also made my wife feel terrible about herself as a mother for snapping at the kids. Questioning her ability to mother if she couldn’t keep it together. That was the case before recovery. And so that you know, my wife is on my step 4 resentment list for snapping at the kids.

Now back to the day mentioned earlier. I was feeling miserable the rest of the day. My wife asked me “what’s wrong?” I told her that I hit our son and shared what happened. She gave me a hug and said “I relate.” We chatted about it further and as we were discussing she asked me “could this have anything to do with your recovery? Cause I never saw you so angry!” It got me thinking. Then she added “as crazy as it sounds, it makes you more human. It always amazed me how you never snapped at them”

She was right, and I know the reason why I was so calm with the kids. I was under the influence. I was high on acting out. I had the “perfect” way to process such overwhelming emotions. Now that I am sober I am faced with the real beast within me. My character defects that need to be removed rather than be sexually medicated. I found myself tearing and saying sorry to my wife. When she asked what for, I replied “a whole lot of stuff”. this is not my amends making but this experience will contribute to my amends making process.

As for my son. I have been attempting things differently. I start bed time routine by explaining that I understand he doesn’t want to sleep. Or that he finds it difficult to sleep. I tell him about things that he found once frustrated and now he masters. I tell him that it is okay he finds falling asleep difficult and that he will need to learn to fall asleep. Whenever he fusses and provokes me to get the pattern started I remind him that “dad will not yell at you tonight” and that I will support him to help him fall asleep. It is been only a couple of days but I feel like my relationship with my son is going in a slightly more positive direction than the one it was headed towards prior to this realization.

Angry at my mother and saved by recovery


A few things happened this week that were eye openers. I will dedicate one post to each of them. And here is a first.

24th December was the last working day in 2014 for me. We were invited for dinner as a family and we needed to bring a plate and my son was already on school holiday. I had originally planned to work from home that day to help my mom with the food preparation and with looking after my son while my wife is at work.

Two things changed the plan, one I woke up to find my mom not well and still in bed. Two I realized I needed to hand in some receipts at work so I needed to drive to the office. So I told my mom to remain at home and rest, I will drive my daughter to day care, and take my son to work with me. Just as I left the house my mom got up and started to prepare food. I did what I needed to do at work and spent most of the time being with my son. When he got bored we decided to head back home. I got home to find my mom didn’t sit still. Food was almost all ready and she didn’t rest. I went to put my son down for his nap and told her to go rest. I told her that I will take a short nap and go pick my daughter up from day care.

I had a nice short nap, woke up, and found the car is gone. My mom had taken it to go pick my daughter up. I WAS FUMING. How could she do that? despite me telling her to rest and that I will go to pick my daughter up. I could go on about how worried about my mom’s health and wellbeing etc. which is true, but the real reason I was upset is that she didn’t conform to my plan. My arm was twisted. I was not in control.

I had an outreach call with another SLAA Member and when I was done I was still fuming. My mom came back with my daughter and walked in to my room seconds after I finished my call. I told her that I was upset and I needed time alone to say my prayers then I will come and talk to her. She left, I closed the door and said my prayers quietly and meditated. When I finished. I went and talked to her. I explained that the reason I was upset is that I had a plan and things didn’t go according to my plan. I gave her a hug and we were good. And while I didn’t expect nor ask for an apology she apologised that her action triggered my upset.

The above situation resemble many others of similar nature and it always went terribly, with blame, accusations and mom and I really upset for days (or months) so the face that this took minutes was only a blessing of the recovery process.

Step 9 – First challenge


I didn’t think I will be posting another entry so soon. But here I am.

You all probably know that I completed step 8 and that I am moving to step 9. My first homework was to prioritise the list. I needed categorise which amends are going to be direct vs indirect. Which amends will be made immediately vs deferred. I thought this was an easy task. I prioritised my wife, parents, sibling and children. They are all to be direct amends and as soon as possible. Then the list went on.

I was hoping to make amends to my wife first. I talked to my sponsor about it and the challenge appeared clear. Before my wife and I got married I had told her that I have same sex attraction. I remember at the time telling her “I am bi sexual, and I had a boyfriend”. It took her a while to get comfortable with that fact. And then we got married. I progressively started referring to my sexuality as “gay” rather than “bi” as I really have no attraction to women whatsoever.

Anyway, if you’ve read one of my earliest posts “I am a Sex and Love Addict” you’d know how I came to SLAA in the first place. my wife pretty much knows as much as that blog entry, she knew about my journey, the support group I wanted to start and the fact that I identified as a sex and love addict after my first SLAA meeting. I have been going to meetings since and I am working the steps so she knows when I am in a SLAA meeting, when I am talking to my sponsor, having outreach calls or even out of town for a SLAA camp. She noticed that I have changed and she attributes this to my recovery. The one thing she doesn’t know, is the extent of my acting out. She doesn’t know that I was unfaithful.

I want to do this right. I want to be rigorously honest yet at the same time I was planning to make amends to my wife without completely revealing the details. I have considered that telling her I was unfaithful qualifies as one of the things “when to do so would injure them or others”. Today on my call with my sponsor he questioned my logic. He doesn’t want me to mention too many details but certainly feel that if I were to hide the fact that I was unfaithful then I am not being completely honest.

I don’t know what to do. The only decision I made was to move my wife to the deferred amends and pray about it. I am outreaching and sharing with others asking for Experience, Strength and Hope and if anyone who reads this has something to offer I welcome your thoughts.

Step 8 – Made a list and became willing


Step 8 says: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

The first half of step eight is about making a list. Technically the list would have been made in Step four. The people I had harmed would exist somewhere on my resentment sheet or sexual inventory/general harm. Hey that is easy. Copy and paste did the trick. Then as I continue to pray and continue to reflect on my list I started remembering names that escaped step four. The list grew slightly bigger than when it first started. My recovery tells me that I will find a few more names, as time goes by, that I will need to add to the list and make amends to them all.

As I was putting the list together I started thinking of the amends I have to make, how will I make them and when, what will I tell these people. One of the things that I struggled with the most are people that I had resentment towards and the thought of how humbling and potentially humiliating it would be to go say I am sorry. For some names I might not be that ready, but I am willing.

I talked to my sponsor yesterday and we agreed that I have now completed step 8. I will move to step 9, and start making direct amends. I had an outreach call with another SLAA earlier today and he was the first I told that I completed step 8 and moving on to make amends. As I shared that with him I felt my heart racing. Now as I type this I am getting the same feeling. It is probably the public admission that I am about to take my recovery outside the circle of the fellowship. On some level it is a scary thought. But if that is what it takes, I will do it, with God’s Help.

A year ago today


At this exact hour, a year ago, my brother was hit by a tram in Cairo and passed away almost instantly. That time I was out with a friend having a drink and a chat. It was about an hour after his death that I got a call from my mom yelling “your brother died”! That phrased still rings in my ears every now and then. I felt like a bullet imploded in my stomach.

I flew back home to be with my family. It took me almost 2 full days before I could reach Cairo from NZ so they had to bury him before I came back. Everyone was sad but it was normal to not have him around in family gatherings. We lived in two different countries for years and it was okay that he is not around. He will eventually appear and we will talk and catch up. Or he will call me or I will call him. When I left home six weeks later, I snapped back into life, kids, work, wife and marital problems etc. I lived in the perfect denial.

I decided to host a memorial service for his soul on the 15th of June which marks 6 months on his passing. That was the hardest part of the year. I planning his memorial service was an admission from me that he is gone. Pain takes over me as I type these lines and find myself overcome with tears. I felt so much pain, I was almost not fit to drive, work, or just do normal day to day stuff. 10 days later I attended my first SLAA meeting. It was the perfect distraction. If you’ve been following my blog you’d notice that I may have never mentioned my brother. And you’d know how much I immersed myself in my recovery.

Yesterday I was in a face to face SLAA meeting. I had so much to share and then I talked about my brother’s anniversary and found it difficult to hold back my tears. After the meeting I was approached by a couple of SLAA members, they tried to console me, but I really needed a moment alone. I dashed outside the hall and started weeping. When I came back in I was warmly welcomed and everyone was very nice. Well they are always very nice anyway. then I shared how the year have been with me, how I dealt with his loss so far and just couldn’t hold it back, I collapsed into tears and this friend of mine hugged me and gave me a shoulder to cry on. With however much pain I was going through, this was a magical moment. I was vulnerable in the arms of another man without sexualizing the situation. It was nothing I would have dreamed of before SLAA. And I know that I did sexualize a hug from a close male friend when I had just found out about my brother’s passing.

Just as I was driving off another SLAA member got into my car and we started talking. He shared about the loss of his father and heard me share what I am going through and we connected. I am so glad for the fellowship.

Today I took the day off, spent it with my mom, we went out to lunch then sat somewhere quiet to pray and remember my brother. We laughed and cried and talked. I had a good rest of the day, my kids were so easy to put to sleep and now I am typing this. I will continue to pray and remember him and his soul and continue to cherish the sobriety that allowed me to honour my brothers passing at a level I never knew I was capable off.

#SafeTrip3 – Day Four – I am home


Just realized that day three and day four posts are less than 12 hours apart. hehehe.

So I said my prayers and went down for breakfast. I sat on a different table with a view to reflect on the sky and the beautiful cloud formation with the sun in the background. I loved it. When I got back to my room there was very little to pack in my bags as it was a really short trip and I managed to travel light. I checked out and got straight to the airport. I could honestly say that I had very few triggers or had no triggers but had thoughts of “it would be nice to act out while keeping my sobriety”. I wonder if an alcoholic ever thinks that it would be nice to have a glass of wine with dinner and stop there. Is that the same thing? Anyway, I didn’t. I knew I couldn’t.

One of the things that kept me going was the Skype meeting. I am hosting a weekly Skype meeting on Fridays at 8 PM NZ time. Last week we had the first conscience meeting. In the meeting we decided that service positions should only be occupied by members who have at least 30 days of continuous sobriety. We are a young group in the program and there is only me and some other guy who have such sobriety. The agreement was that he would be the chairperson and I will be the secretary. If I acted out, I couldn’t be serving on the meeting. And the meeting wouldn’t happen. That kept me sober.

While we are practicing before the meeting we had some technical issues that meant the other member couldn’t chair the meeting and I had to play both roles the chairperson and the secretary. I was very glad I remained sober.

I will keep this short for today, I want to thank you for keeping me company. I am not travelling again for work before the end of the year. I might be going with my family somewhere for the holiday break. Will keep you posted.

#SafeTrip3 – Day Three


Good lovely morning everyone. The sun is out and it is a beautiful day. What is even more beautiful about it is I am flying home in just over 4 hours.

I drove to work yesterday and got there early enough to get myself settled before my first meeting. I had a good few meetings with my boss and colleagues. I had a call with my sponsor. He sounded a bit different than usual, almost made wonder if he had too much to drink. But it was still a helpful call.

There is a gay guy in the Sydney office that I met years ago and kept in touch over time. I made sure I contact him whenever I am in town with the hope of acting out with him. Yesterday I happened to stumble upon him in the office, I asked him out for coffee. We had coffee and chatted, I was very thankful to be sober and thankful I never acted out with him. He appeared uninterested and not that interesting. If I wasn’t sober I would have humiliated myself being flirty and suggestive, then hated myself for not getting what I wanted. This time I was just me, with my integrity and self-respect intact.

The rest of the work day went well. while at work I checked the blog notifications for people who liked my post. I got a like from OAPlascencia. As per my habit I go check people who liked my blog and try and read through their blog to know a bit more about them. this time the blog was full of beautiful words in stories or poems accompanied by pictures romantic in nature between two men. I found myself unable to read through cause it was about to feed my fantasies and trigger me.

After work I went to visit friends briefly and then went to a meeting. I am not a big fan of the SLAA H.O.W. meeting structure. But anyway, I got to share under the new comers’ category because it was my first time to this meeting. They then assigned someone to talk to me after the meeting to make me feel welcomed. It was nice.

After I finished the meeting I found myself wandering the streets of Sydney in my car. I was really hoping for company, connection. Didn’t necessarily want to act out, didn’t fantasise about sex or being touched but I did want to be with someone. Maybe I was trying to avoid feeling alone or lonely. I took a while driving everywhere before I eventually decided to turn on my GPS and head to the hotel. At the hotel I found a family stuck outside their hotel room. A young boy, a mother and a grandmother. They spoke my mother tongue. I called the reception for them to send someone and help them in. While waiting for the hotel staff to come I had a nice chat with them and even played a little with the young boy, he was my son’s age. It was nice, I got my company.

I got back to my room, changed out of my day cloths and had no energy to shower before I went to bed, I had the same feeling I had when I wasn’t sober. Back then I was really tired but I didn’t want to sleep because I might be missing an opportunity to act out. It was weird why I didn’t want to sleep this time because there was nothing planned. I eventually fell asleep with the TV on. Woke up in the middle of the night to switch the TV off and go back to bed.

It is another beautiful morning over here. I have exactly less than four hours to my flight, I am already showered and I don’t have much to pack. Will get dressed, go for breakfast and check out. At the airport I will try to spend some time preparing for the Skype meeting I have tonight, the topic is Anorexia. I need to prepare the script for the meeting and work with the chairperson on it. That will keep me occupied.

I will write to you again from home when I have reached 🙂 thanks for keeping me company

 

 

#SafeTrip3 – Day Two


Good morning everyone! After I left you yesterday I decided to drive to work, which was an adventure. I got kind of lost and the GPS wasn’t very helpful in the middle of tall buildings in the city, so I was about 10 minutes late to my first meeting.

I had meetings lined up all the way to 4 pm. meetings went really well and smooth and they all ended up by 1 pm. Everyone was available and we discussed everything we needed to discuss. So I was “free” three hours earlier than expected. Well not free technically cause it is still a work day, I just didn’t have anyone to miss me if were to be somewhere. I took a walk to my car and on the way to the car I was just so aware of the number of pretty boys around me. I was objectifying a little, but I didn’t sexualise. Or maybe they are the same, I don’t know. A very cute guy on the side walk turned his head and locked eyes with me for over a second. In gay languages that could be code for “I might be interested”. I kept walking but I did look back to see if he looked again. I was slightly annoyed to be sober and not be able to act out.

I got to my car and knew that I need to head straight to my hotel room. I had to drive past a road that had a Gay Sauna (Sex on Site venue) which I spent hours and hours in it prior to becoming sober. That was also annoying. I got to my hotel, got to my room and I wasn’t settled. I changed and went to the pool to swim a bit. The pool wasn’t inviting. it was more of a large tub than a swimming pool, so I ended up at the Gym, did a bit of cardio and some weights (don’t get the wrong impression, I am not a sporty guy but I just needed an outlet at that moment). I got back to my hotel room and started doing work. I was somewhat productive. I also went online to the SLAAONLINE.org chat room. I found a couple of SLAA members who heard my share and encourage me to keep going. I was pleased to have made it there.

I was determined to go to a meeting a night. The good thing about Sydney is that there is a meeting almost every night, actually there are a few meetings a night. There were three available to me last night, one of them was gay, lesbian, transgender focus. I decided to go to that one. For the sake of full transparency I need to share that the thought crossed my mind (am I going there to pick someone up?). Luckily the meeting wasn’t a place to pick someone up, it was a really safe environment, good sobriety among the older members. A couple of new members were at the meeting and I was able to share my story and share the message of recovery in their presence. What a privilege.

After the meeting I picked my cousin up and went to visit the family I talked about yesterday. Their daughter was at the hospital for an operation so we were there to support them. We stayed for a bit and then went out to get junk food (bad idea) but it was late and there was nothing open that served good food and I hadn’t had dinner.

I dropped my cousin off at his place, got to mine and slept. I am up now and it is a beautiful day. I will shower, say my prayers and get to work after having some breakfast. 🙂

#SafeTrip3 – Day One


Looks like I am travelling a lot again. I haven’t been for a while and certainly not since I came to SLAA but then BOOM, I am a gold status again on my frequent flyer. It feels very different travelling sober. All that time and energy saved or utilized differently not to mention the restful sleep!

So I am in Sydney, if you are one of my regular readers you’d noticed I didn’t do the day zero post from the airport like I did the last two times. I was a bit short on time and I didn’t have much to share that was specific to the trip. So anyway I got on a plane, no one sitting next to me. Got to the airport and there were a couple of guys in the immigration queue that I exchanged short conversations with. One was clearly gay, no advances though from neither of us. The other guy was cute and just made me think what I would have been like if I wasn’t sober. Luckily I am.

I got my rental and went straight to my hotel, I am staying at the Novotel darling harbour, first time to stay there and I kind of expected more than they have to offer, but oh well, it is a nice place non-the less. I met my cousin who lives in Sydney, got to my room, had a quick shower and changed then the two of us headed off to a family friend’s home. There was a large gathering of my favourite family in Sydney. We had a great time, some food and a lot of laughter till past midnight. I was dead, needed to head home so bad.

I had a good sleep though short. Nice shower in the morning then I went down for breakfast. After breakfast I took a minute to stand in the restaurant balcony and just take in the sky, the clouds, and the fresh air, all of it and be thankful. I went back up to my room, ironed a shirt and said my prayers and now I am writing this. I actually almost decided not to post a #SafeTrip entry for this trip. Maybe for fear of it not being interesting. But then I am not writing it for entertainment and if I keep it up it might be a tradition that I do with every trip that help keeps me sober while on the road. The journal daily and tell the world how my day went. And more importantly see it for myself.

When I am done with this, I will make one last decision (drive to work or take a walk) then start with my meetings. Some of today’s meetings I am not fully prepared for so I hope they go well. I need to pay more attention to how I use my time at work and procrastinate less hehehe.

Thanks for keeping me company