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Hello, broken down and looking for help

  • Thread starter EverestFreeSolo
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EverestFreeSolo

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I'm a 50-year-old man, divorced 8 years, live in a big city. My personality and behavior are a combination of super-self-conscious introversion when sober and reckless appetite-driven desperate/creepy behavior when drunk. At least that is how it's been for the past 2-3 years since I retreated from the dating scene. A recent set of incidents has really scared me about my behavior and has crisscrossed almost every part of my life with guilt, shame and self-hatred. So I decided to search for a forum where I might find help.

Hello,

I'm not sure what combination of alcoholism and/or sexual/risk addiction I have, but I feel like one of those combinations is probably accurate. At the moment, I'm going through one of the worst emotional crises I've ever felt, subjectively speaking, even though intellectually I know that all the advice I have been getting from others seems sound (avoid or abstain from drinking, that this is just something I can learn from and move on).

About a year ago, I met a young woman while attending some live music at an area bar. She was visiting from abroad for the holidays, and we hit it off. She actually walked over to me first to start some banter, and she seemed to respond to my initial flirting, so we exchanged info and stayed in touch loosely over the following months. I had tried to meet up with her for coffee while she was here, but she ended up not being free, so that didn't happen.

As time went on, I began to incorporate her into this bad habit I had of using Instagram to browse with a "finsta" (fake second account). On that side of my social media life, I was able to follow and comment on all the amazingly hot and/or scantily clad women who post sexy photos and videos. I realized later that it is sort of a semi-pornographic shadow world that appealed to my history of porn (been watching since junior high school and recently has become more and more seeking outrageous graphic porn like gangbangs etc.). So in order to blow off steam from my increasing work stress, I would hit the bars and after a few beers would start commenting and messaging these women, and every few days or so, going home to continue while watching porn on my computer.

And I also started blurring into doing the same with some of the women I actually knew from my real Instagram. This young woman was one of them.

However, I need to stress that I felt an immediate connection with her on first sight. Even though she is little more than half my age, there was a real spark between us. It wasn't just sexual; part of my guilt is also about all the things in her life that I was curious about that I never got a chance to ask her because I was so fixated on this drink-for-sexual courage nonsense.

Finally, though, about a month ago, she started to respond to my flirting more and more, and pretty soon we were trading really exciting messages. So that context is important for the next section of my story, because it wasn't like we weren't exchanging sexual/erotic messages; just that I gradually started using my intoxicated moments to try sending increasingly graphic stuff, which was odd because I really was falling hard for her emotionally and would have done better to actually start listening more to her and asking her about all the other stuff in her life that I wanted to know more about.

I was on top of the world, but unfortunately I kept doing this communication while drinking and watching porn. Well, one night, I went completely overboard (something like .22 BAC) and sent her a vile stream of pornographic messages and even a couple of porn videos (bizarrely one was a bisexual one where several men were having sex with each other and with a woman). I was so horrified when she wrote me back and said she was very busy at work and not to ever send her porn again. Aside from the word "again," which amazingly indicated that she was still willing to communicate with me, she naturally was extremely upset, and due to the time difference these messages had reached her during the middle of her work day. I also got blocked by a friend of my niece's whom I had sent a couple of creepy drunk messages as well. Terrible.

I feel I should step back and explain that my parents broke up when I was around 12 and that I never saw my father again. But my sister says he sexually abused her, and she always called him the Creep. At that moment, after I saw what I had sent this woman who liked me so much, I immediately felt I had switched over from the attractive, exciting man she wanted to being the Creep. I then made the classic series of mistakes of trying too much to apologize, and then drank AGAIN a couple of days later and sent her a string of apologetic nonsense. She systematically started blocking me on each way I had of communicating with her.

At that moment, it all hit me at once. I mentioned the sex/risk stuff at the beginning of this story because it's almost like my drunk self wanted her to somehow accept or at least not reject me for those pornographic barrages. It was so embarrassing and humiliating not only when I realized what I had sent her, but even more so when she suddenly told me she didn't feel the same anymore. I started crying that day and have cried almost every day since out of extreme remorse and sadness. I had a chance to escape my loneliness and managed to ruin it all in two days. TWO DAYS. Even though I know I should have expected it, it was still so brutal to go from such a height of connection to complete no contact.

So I sent her one last Instagram DM from a different name account, and that day she changed her IG name because, rightly, she felt stalked by me. But a bizarre thing happened in that in the message I sent to her, an IG name appeared that was incredibly close to the new IG name she had chosen, so when I typed it in to the search I found her new IG page. I have been creeping it ever since but have resisted sending her another DM because I don't want to scare her off any more than I already have. I am sick to my stomach almost every day because in that time the last thing I wanted to do is scare her, but I was desperate to try to fix what I realized with horror was becoming unfixable.

I have heard back from posts online was well with a good deal of compassion, agreement that I should quit drinking and go to AA. I am currently on a 30-day break from drinking (which I told her about in my last DM but who knows if she even read that). And I have started going to a weekly AA meeting. The people there are very supportive although I don't know if the AA approach is for me. At the same time, I have gotten judgment from people saying she is too young for me (I disagree - I know this would not be a long-term relationship but it had the possibility of a fun if brief love affair had I not ruined it).

I also wonder whether yes, I do have a binge-drinking problem but maybe my bigger problems are with erotic/sexual impulses and anxiety compounded by drinking, rather than drinking being the root issue. I feel stupid and incompetent in almost every area of my life and have irrational envy when I hear stories of men who score with women or women who post lusty comments about attractive men on Instagram.

I also get really depressed over abandonment and romantic rejection. It just feels so final, and far worse in this case because it was totally my fault. I feel so creepy and gross that I don't feel like approaching any woman because I feel like I am a dirty creep so meeting a new woman won't really solve my hatred of myself. And it is spreading to other parts of my life because whether it is my phone sounds and apps - all of which now remind me of her - and work, my family, the country she's from, everything - is shot through with how my disgraced character has failed all of that. Even sitting here at my computer feels corrupted because this is where I sent her that awful barrage of graphic messages.

I have gone back to the therapist I stopped seeing this past spring. And although I don't think he is any longer the best therapist for me, he was very helpful in letting me see him when someone had canceled an appointment. But his focus has always been on my drinking. Again, not that he is wrong about that, it's just that maybe I need (1) a new therapist to shake up what was becoming a dull therapy pattern, but also (2) perhaps a specialist who can help me figure out this "pornographic exhibitionism" for lack of a better term that I drink in order to let out when I feel sexually frustrated.

Well there you have it. I hope someone can help even though it is not a very sympathetic story given my behavior.

Thanks.
 
NWiddi

NWiddi

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You've done the right thing in quitting drinking and going for help (AA), alcohol has a way of bringing out our inner demons.

Things I've learned from this forum alone is to not post while being drunk or go online shopping, hardly ever goes well :)
 
calypso

calypso

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Whether there is a deeper reason for your behaviour than drinking I definitely think that drinking brings out the worst of it in you and so that is your first port of call. Try hard to stop that and then go searching for any deeper reason for your problems.

With your therapist have you said to him that you think there is a deeper reason for your behaviour? It sounds like you have very poor impulse control and just tend to explode once the inhibitions are lowered.

Don't put yourself down too much though. You are aware of the problem now and so can start to build the bridges in your own life to make things better. We often focus on someone else to build those bridges with when its ourselves we should start with. I know you feel so bad but this lady needs her space from you now, so you have to take a deep breath and put that relationship down to experience.

I wish you well and keep talking here.
 
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EverestFreeSolo

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With your therapist have you said to him that you think there is a deeper reason for your behaviour? It sounds like you have very poor impulse control and just tend to explode once the inhibitions are lowered.

Hi calypso,

Thanks for your reply. Regarding your question above: Yes, I have mentioned those things to my therapist, but he is most heavily focused on trying to get me to never drink alcohol again. I have to be honest and say I don't know if I could abstain completely for the rest of my life. But I do understand why he wants me to quit, since he probably saw this most recent calamity of mine coming a long way off.

At the same time, I do really think the drinking is a way for me to release this sexual frustration in a way where my mind is clouded and not sober. I still don't know why that would be. But I recall seeking out that kind of bliss and excitement from porn long before I ever cared about drinking booze, so I have to believe there is something else going on here.

And the things with this young lady were going absolutely perfectly. Again, not to excuse my drinking, but the messages when I was "only" buzzed are flirtatious but not gross. It is only during those moments where I was extremely drunk, like .17 - .22 BAC. As I may have said I use an app to track my drinks so I get a ballpark BAC even though I systematically never let it actually make me stop at around .05, where the red line on the app's chart is. My guess is that I have such a combination of guilt and shame around sex that I overdo drinking to get these messages out where otherwise I would be too cautious to send them. Which I know is completely self-defeating and even self-destructive because she was more than into me enough with us communicating sober (I know she was also out drinking with a friend during one of these times, but not the one where I sent the most inappropriate messages).

And finally, I know that in many ways she was not the appropriate, available dating partner I should find at this point of my life. But having been married for 15 years and raised a child, and then having been divorced for 8 years, I felt (until my drunk brain betrayed me) that a love affair like this was not going to be the worst thing in the world for me.

Which brings me back to the stuff that's there that the drinking brings out but that seems to be there waiting to erupt. She asked me to keep my messages relatively tame because she had a busy day at work. And I even promised her that I would respect that. But as the messages go on and I was drinking more, I completely ignored her initial request. So I see some passive-aggressiveness there that also makes me more guilty and ashamed because she asked me a perfectly reasonable favor and I should have honored it and things would have progressed even more. But I did the direct opposite. Yes, that came out badly because of the drinking, but do you know what I am getting at? It's still in there and it actually scares me that I could harbor such passive-aggression towards someone who had done nothing but grow more and more responsive to my amorous words.

I've leave it at that for now, since I have written more than enough. But that was a long-winded way of saying that my therapist doesn't seem as interested in getting into those topics as opposed to focusing on AA and getting me to stop drinking at all.
 
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