Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Shame with the movie "SHAME"

Ed & I finally watched the movie "SHAME" last week!  Wow, is all I have to say.  It is a movie about a man and his sex addiction.  I am not sure what I expected but I am still shaken by the emotions that I felt watching it.  I am not sure if I even liked the movie, if you don't understand the world of sex addiction I am not even sure if you would fully comprehend everything that went on ... but what had the biggest impact for me was the loneliness that Michael (the lead character) felt.  It was so intense and so real that it stayed with me for days ... the loneliness was just so heartbreaking.

And then there was the infamous "3 way sex scene"!  I had read that it was one of the more intense and erotic sex scenes .... in my opinion there was nothing erotic about it.  If you look closer, you can see the pain that Michael was experiencing, the shame that he felt .... it just made me cry.  What a sad and lonely place the addict is in!  I wanted to cry for him (or I guess Ed really),  cry for the girl that he really liked but couldn't be with (and that would be me) and cry for his sister that he just kept ignoring.  The more she tried to be close to him, the harder he pushed her away (hmmm ... sound familiar anyone???)

Ok, I just want to talk about the word SHAME for a minute ... that is a powerful word in the world of sex addiction!  The word runs so deep in this space that it becomes a HUGE anchor for everyone involved!

The addict suffers with the shame of their thoughts and behaviors and with that comes the loneliness that they feel.  As a partner I felt shame in a different way ... I felt shame for staying in the relationship.  My shame was for letting someone else decide on my happiness.  I didn't understand at the time, I loved Ed and he loved me and that LOVE will conquer all with a little work.  Well, I didn't truly grasp how deep his problem was.  Once I did understand I felt shame for not recognizing the signs and not setting clearer boundaries with what I would tolerate ...or should I say I allowed those boundaries to be blurred.  Realizing that and finally understanding allowed the doorway of shame to be opened.

Once I opened up that doorway and truly connected with the shame, well, then I felt the loneliness.  And the loneliness ran deep ... oh so deep!  But the ironic thing is so did he ... just in a different way.

It's so interesting how lonely the addict feels, how lonely the partner feels, how lonely the sex addiction world really is.  Man, I just hate the loneliness.... I really, really do!  Everyone is lonely ... if you watch the movie Shame, it's hard not to be affected by the loneliness.  And if you are part of this world as I am ... the movie can help you have empathy for everyone involved.  Everyone suffers ...

But, what I have learned through my self discovery is that  I need to embrace my feelings of shame, learn to accept them as part of myself and give myself compassion for the challenging times I had to endure when I just didn't understand them.  Once I started to do that, I began to use those feelings as life lessons, to feel EMPOWERED... and feel confident enough to know that I am strong enough to not make those mistakes again!

And to be honest ... it is so important for Ed to do the same!

Did you see the movie Shame?  What was your reaction to the loneliness?


  1. I watched the movie also my husband did not, I am glad that I didn't watch it with him because it made me angry and I probably would have taken my anger out on him. I am also now not comfortable watching sex scenes with him, as I sit and wonder what is going on in his mind.

    I thought it was pretty powerful but I don't think an ordinary person who has not gone through this would completely understand..The scene that bothered me the most was when Michael needed his "fix" like a drug addict and went to some club and had oral sex with a man..

    In finding out about my husbands behavior he had wrote that he was thinking of being with a man in a three-some situation, this for me has been one of the most difficult things I had read on his Craig's list postings..I don't think I can get over that...It turns my stomach, to this day my husband cannot explain why he would want to be with a man...The loneliness from sexual addiction is beyond explainable to have to live it to understand..

    1. Hey Bridget! I agree with you, I think it is hard to really understand it if your world hasn't been rocked by the world of sex addiction.

      The scene that bothered me most was when he was in the bar and he was hitting on (and you know what else) that woman and her boyfriend came over. Michael just became this other person and was a complete ASSHOLE, almost sociopathic!!!!! It is like I always say ... addicts are like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. They can be this amazing person one minute and then with a flip of a switch can just transform into another not caring awful human!!! But what gets me is that "awful" person is just a person in "pain" .... awful "pain" ... and they just don't know any other way to cope. They are not happy, they are just coping and it is destructive, for everyone.

      Once the addict becomes "awake" and "aware" ... they realize that. They can learn from that ... then they can learn to change their minds and their behaviors. But that scene really bothered me .... I guess it hit home too hard!!!!!

      I have been there my friend ... Ed has done so many things that would probably shock you, and being with a man is one of them. Yes, he has! I just try to think of it as an addiction (although that doesn't excuse his infidelity by any means)... Ed always says that he was actually INSANE, no sane person would do the things he did. And when he thinks of it he actually gets sick to his stomach. But his mind wasn't here, it was an addiction. But it still sucks so bad!!!!!! It does help me though to deal with my mind .... and Ed and I make jokes about it now... that support helps both of us!

      I am sending big hugs your way!!!!!!

  2. Mishka,
    I just discovered your blog. I too am a survivor (and sometimes thriver) of sex addiction in my marriage. I saw SHAME a few months ago and was similarly haunted by the incredible, palpable, heartbreaking (and stomach-churning) loneliness. It rocked me. Just reading your post brings that feeling of anguish and confusion back. It IS that lonely and isolating.
    My husband was a lifelong porn-addict and I wouldn't always (usually not) know when he was bingeing out but for a creepy, sad, loneliness (like we lived on separate islands or universes) would slowly invade our relationship. Overtime as I learned of his addiction that became an indicator to me that he was "using." He's been clean for 2+ years and while we are still guilty of ignoring each other at times or being too busy to connect, that black fog of loneliness is pretty much gone. We are left to figure out intimacy and connection and trust, but that's ok with me. I really love the tone of your blog and the obvious love you have for your husband. What a lucky man. Thanks.

    1. Thank you sooo much for your comment! And I so appreciate your great feedback. You are right ... I do LOVE Ed so very, very much! I'm happy that it comes across ... thank you for that!

      I LOVE what you said about being a THRIVER ... that is wonderful. You go girl! That is a great way to look at it. Keep up that positivity, it is fantastic!

      I'm so glad to here that the black fog is gone for you guys. That place is horrible, ugh! The intimacy, connection and trust take time. Just keep an open communication between you guys and be honest about your feelings. That has been the key for us. I am able to tell him exactly how I feel, even if it is not completely rational and he supports those feelings. He has to. That complete support of my feelings and my support of his allows trust and connection to develop. At least that is how it happened with us. We are still working on the physical intimacy but that is really the last to develop.

      Good luck my friend!!!!!

  3. When I watched this movie with my girlfriend, she didn't know I was addicted to porn, and had been for 15 years. Since then, I've told her and I am starting my journey of recovery. It is not going smoothly though as I have had a number of setbacks, and it is slowly taking its toll. She admits she doesn't understand porn addiction and so I wonder if watching this film again would be beneficial to her.