Sexaholism existed in my family as far back as my great-grandfather. He sexually abused my mother and many of her siblings and cousins. His wife, my great-grandmother, overdosed on pain pills shortly after he was caught molesting a neighbor’s child. These topics were taboo and rarely discussed.
Not surprisingly, I chose many sexaholic partners before I found the help of S-Anon. When I look at my history, I see that I was groomed for these relationships; sexaholism is a family disease. I had been surrounded by the effects of sexaholism as well as other forms of addiction and unhealthy behavior, such as alcoholism, self-mutilation, anorexia, food addiction, attempted suicide, and a lot of resentment and isolation.
That environment had seemed “normal,” and to recover I must now work to let go of the disease and the problems it has caused for my relatives and me. I am learning that it is not my job to carry the shame and pain of other family members. In recovery, I can detach from the role of taking care of others, and attach to the safety of my meetings and my Higher Power. I am choosing a “recovery family.” These new relationships are a healing gift of the program – a bigger gift than I possibly could have imagined when I started the process of recovery.
Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 290.