166. I'm showing symptoms of sexual addiction
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Dear Dr. Smith

My parents openly fight each other verbally and emotionally. They both seem to be miserable in their marriage and don't want to address their differences constructively. Instead, they seek to keep my sister and I as buffers for what looks like a fractured relationship.
As a struggling undergraduate student, absorbing this has proven catastrophic. I'm at a critical stage in my development, however, I find myself mimicking the distressed behaviors of my parents: depression, pessimism, bad temper, materialism, lack of respect, self-hate and possible loss of faith.
This behavior makes its way into every aspect of my life. I never seem to be at peace at home. I'm showing symptoms of sexual addiction as a way of coping. It has also taken a toll on any attempt at pursuing a life partner.
Basically I'm feeling dejected and have lost my way. What can I possibly do to address my problem constructively?
Kind Regards
Dear anonymous,

The problems you highlighted are multi-dimensional, so I will make an effort to break it down into parts.
Firstly, your parent’s dysfunctional marriage:
Your parents need professional help and you and your sibling cannot provide that for them. What they are doing to you both is called “Alliance & Coalition”. They are seeking to for alliances to create favoritism or to develop a coalition with you, your sister of both against the other parent. Of course, all of this is just to camouflage the real problem, which is, their incompatibility or dissatisfaction in marriage.
Secondly, the strain of your parents dumping:
You are not at that developmental stage to be absorbing so much, besides, the educational challenge that you have to deal with is more than enough. Your parents need to understand that they can drive you to a psychotic wreck if they do not stop their childish and selfish behavior. At this stage of your life you need emotional stability so that you can focus more on your schoolwork. Unfortunately, they cannot understand this of their own and that is why it is so crucial for them to have therapeutic intervention.
Thirdly, the emotional and psychological effect of your toxic environment:
According to you, you find yourself mimicking the pathology of your parents. Your childhood wounds are already manifesting themselves. All of the truancy behaviors that you have listed are symptoms of your environment. But guess what, your environment is only the slave master, you can choose not to be the slave. In other words, while the toxicity of your parent’s behavior is real, you don’t have to mimic them.
The grandiosity of the notion of sexual addiction creates the delusion of a coping mechanism. But that’s all it is, a delusion. And if not harnessed quickly will plunged you precipitously into fornication, pornography, masturbation, cyber-sex and prostitution. It is a dangerous slippery slope.
I recommend the following:
  1. Find your way back to God
  2. Develop a richer prayer life
  3. Avoid discussing with your parents any of their problems
  4. Provide no time for their lamenting and gurgitation  
  5. Ignore your parents problems, you cannot be their therapist
  6. Re-establish your self-worth
  7. Immerse yourself in your school work, start making better grades
  8. Stop having pre-marital sex
  9. Destroy any and every sex objects, tapes, dvd’s, sex toys, etc, etc.
  10. Think positively, get rid of the negative feelings and behavior
  11. Take frequent exercise, it will help you to stay more focused.
  12. Seek professional help
Thanks for reaching out to me, I will keep you in prayers. Be strong, stay committed.
God bless.
Dr. Smith
For more information about Dr. Smith's services go to www.familyfixers.org