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Recovering Anorexic, Trying to Help My PA Partner Recover

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So I have been on this site for a while, and have thought about making a journal a number of times, but fear always stopped me. Fear of others making negative comments and fear of me discovering my true feelings about things. So since the first post is a way to get to know who I am and where I am in recovery, here goes nothing.

I am a recovering anorexic (hence the journal title) and I've been in recovery on and off for three years, and been anorexic since high school. I'm 22 and have been restricting since age 15 or 16 to my awareness. I've always had bad body image even though I have an hour glass figure. A girl friend of mine once told me "Guys will only like you for your body" in middle school and that fed my anorexia and drive to be thin.

I met my PA, who I'll call Cody, over a year ago. He has been the best thing to have happen to me. Seriously the love of my life. I met Cody after a bad chapter in my life. I used to go to school in georgia, where I ended up getting sexually assaulted by a classmate my freshman year, raped my boyfriend of the time in my sophomore year, and my junior year got raped by a guy I had been dating for a while. (I would appreciate no comment on my choices in men, I never would have guessed any of that would have happened when I knew them). Anyways, so those trauma's deeply and profoundly affected me and changed me. Also made the anorexia really bad at times. I figured all I was worth is sex because of my body and knowing guys liked it. I thought a lot about being an escort or going into prostitution though I never did, just I figured that's what I was worth.

Meeting Cody on 6/6/15 was the day that changed my life. I told him right out about my trauma's and my anorexia and gave him plenty of "outs" in case he couldn't deal with me and my issues because a lot of guys in the past bailed on me. I also mentioned week one of meeting I couldn't have porn in a relationship because of my anorexia and that I would relapse.

He obviously said he would stop and it wouldn't be an issue. Of course it was an issue. So I found out about four months ago, so a little over a year of being with him. This of course was after we signed a year lease together and got a kitten together. I felt very... manipulated. I felt like I was trapped and couldn't leave because we signed a lease.

I love him, I am supportive of him, and he is four months porn free and I couldn't be more proud. I've helped educate him on porn and the harmful effects. He never had PIED. Though I could always tell something was off with sex. Intimacy was off at times and then it was so close.

So since finding out I've been an emotional wreck. I already had PTSD from my trauma's that I worked through but now I have PTSD from this. I am a freaking mess. I am triggered so much. I have restricted at times. I've basically made sure to take care of him and help him. He also has been trying to help me.

The worst part of this is that he feels guilty, disgusted, and ashamed and feels like he doesn't deserve me because of how amazing I've been to him. I truly have done everything for him. I got him a great job at my parents company. I got him to go back to school and actually do well, which was something he was insecure about. Ever since he has given up porn his life has gotten so much better in every way, and I am so happy to see him do well in every area of his life.

The thing is he feels like he can't marry me now, which we've talked about. He feels he has to be worthy of me or something and that has been a real sensitive topic for me. After my trauma's I gave up on a normal life of a husband kids and house with a dog. He wants to marry me but feels like he can't ask until I'm better. We found the ring, he knows how much he has to save, but he just worries that he isn't good enough for me anymore. That couldn't be further from the truth! I love him so much and want to see him succeed in every part of life even though he has hurt me so much. He also feels like he can't recognize the person he used to be and the things he did (when I would beg/ask him not to). He doesn't recognize that as who he is.

I know the damage porn can do in relationships by my own experience and reading of others experiences. I hate seeing the harm it's done and I can only hope that everyone can heal from this sad addiction. So I will continue posting here about my experience in recovery, and helping Cody through his.

Thanks for taking the time to read :)

So today was pretty good. Cody made a huge step in his recovery. He asked me if he could go on Facebook to post something so I told him it was okay, and then he blew me away with how brave and courageous he was. I asked his permission to post what he said and he said okay. I'll share that because it shows how much he has changed and grown.

"It seems to me that there is a problem in today's society that most people are unaware of. To some, it's not a problem, to others it may be, some don't realize it and most just deny it completely. To me personally it is a major problem and i didn't even know it until earlier this year. I've had it for probably almost a decade from what i can remember, and in the past years has helped feed a circle of feeling hopeless and like I wasn't going anywhere in life and even some depression i didn't even know I had. I've been addicted to porn for a long time and it took me a while to even realize let alone admit that it was a problem. It's not a problem for everybody but for those that it is they may not realize it. You'd be surprised how much it changes your personality and especially how you view not just woman but everyone. It makes you think that societies view of how a man and woman should look is that "perfect" photo shopped add from clothes stores and magazines when in reality nobody looks like that. It makes the "perfect guy muscular with a perfect face and hair and the girls are unrealistically skinny and most don't realize what hell they go through with there awful health killing diets. And nobody realizes that most porn stars in fact don't want to do porn and the suicide rate is atrocious. The average life expectancy of a porn star isn't even 40 years old. The only 2 states that it's legal in don't even do it legally.

The biggest problem is the effect it has on relationships in society. Most divorces are because of porn and other infidelity that is the cause of a porn addiction that got so bad they went to physical cheating. My relationship has taken a huge toll because of what I've done with porn. Anna told me from the start that she can't handle that in a relationship, her anorexia would take over. I did it for an entire year behind her back. When she found out i promised i wouldn't do it ever again. Of course being an addict that didn't happen. I couldn't understand why i wouldn't stop and i was disgusted with myself inside. This happened a few more times where i said i'd stop and didn't until she found everything I had done for the past year or so a few months ago and it really hurt us.There is nothing in the world we argue about. There is nothing we can't have a short conversation about before coming to a compromise. We agree on almost EVERYTHING and am not exaggerating. The things we don't agree on we talk and come to an agreement but that's rare we don't agree on something. We've rarely been apart in the past 16 months besides work and class and we still miss each other when we're apart. We never fight about anything except for my porn addiction. I ruined the best thing I've ever had because of it. Fortunately she's amazing and has stayed with me and is helping me through it. It is still difficult though. We fight more often all about things that come back to what I did. I lied to her constantly as an addict always does and it took a while to know and admit that it was an addiction. Luckily enough it was not as escalated as I have read of others that were much much worse. I never went passed vanilla and I never got Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction, and yes it exists. If you watch and get off to porn too much you may start needing more and more porn and different kinds just to get hard or even turned on at all. Eventually you won't be able to get an erection, not even for real people. It can be cured by a 90 cleanse from porn and getting off at all. A lot of addicts will go to some f***** up shit on porn sites even child and incest and other taboo s***. Their relationships will crumble and that's usually what causes divorce. If your partner, girlfriend or whoever you're with is not ok with it and you do it anyway, you're letting other woman into the relationship and that's cheating. It's infidelity and if it's left untreated and can escalate to going to other woman physically and emotionally. Some couples and partners are ok with each other watching porn, and that's fine if they are both ok with it but as long as they know that porn is mostly rape and sex trafficking. They usually start out modeling or something innocent and simple and someone tells them they can make a lot of money just having sex. They start off simple and easy but the next thing they know they're taking it in every whole and on coke and alcohol just to get through it and they're pregnant or have syphilis for the fifth time because the tests the male actors get for std's are mostly fake. That's not all cases but it is a lot of cases. Like i said, even the legitimate companies don't abide by the laws. The industry is mostly unregulated.

Since I've stopped, I've been so much happier. Work is better, I'm passing classes with more than a C+ i have all A's now. I finally feel like I'm working on my future because I've felt so stuck for so long. And my relationship is better even though there are some fights about the past porn use and what it did. Also the sex is great, it was great before but now it's the best sex ever every time. Porn really does effect how you interact with people and can very well hinder any kind of intimacy with people, not just in a romantic relationship. Quitting has just overall made me a better person and feel like a better person. I've seen so many stories that are very sad and some that are very nice to see that people recover. It's also nice to see that I'm not alone by long shot. It's a huge problem not only in the U.S. but it's such a serious issue in Australia that a mayor declared that he will try to make his city porn free. High school students in Australia take nudes of girls in class and not only rate them but trade them as if it's a currency. It really is a serious problem and I know many of you will disagree and I really don't care about your arguments on this. This is my experience and my opinions with some facts thrown in. This is not me wanting to argue although if you have polite counterpoints or questions I am more than happy to talk. This is a serious issue and I believe awareness of such a problem should be spread to not only help people who share this problem but also address the insecurity that things like this cause with guys and girls alike where they feel they have to match this impossible picture of perfection that society paints and that even their partners/girlfriends/boyfriends expect them to look like. They even say they want someone more porn or model like not knowing the kind of verbal knife that they are using to stab them with. It's serious shot to self esteem and self worth. I hope everyone can understand this and help make people aware or at least know that this is a problem. I know this was a very long post but thank you for being a real friend to me and taking the time to read it."

The support he has gotten so far has been amazing! He even told some of his friends who he games with to read his post they they would understand why he hasn't been on his computer lately, and they were supportive. Though he did say he didn't look at porn on his computer (because he mainly used his phone) which was a lie, he completely forgot about the couple (3 times maybe) he used the computer. But still, I am so proud of him and his steps forward.

Along with him taking steps forward, so have I. We are doing a game with his friends in a couple weekends and watching Walking Dead afterwards, and since I found out we haven't really watched TV on cable, just Netflix. So I'm anxious about commercials and such but he understands and we have a plan. Also a friend who got really mad at him and us for fighting reached out to him to grab coffee with him tomorrow to talk about the porn addiction I think. A bit nervous, but hopeful that that goes well for him. 

Emerald Blue:
It saddens me to read about young women with eating disorders and issues with body image at an age when these should be the best years of their lives, and at an age when their youthful beauty is plain to see to everyone but themselves. I know that eating disorders are very complex and I don't know all that much about the subject but I can imagine that your own experiences of rape and later becoming the partner of someone with a porn addiction is going to be very, very difficult. You have been through a lot in your young life. I hope you can find the help and support you need.

I grew up before internet porn. Porn certainly existed but it was mostly magazines. There were X rated movies but people had to go to a theatre to watch them and there were age limits, at least that was what the law said, but no way would a 12 year old kid be admitted although a 16 or 17 year old might get lucky. Even when people started getting home video players, they still had to go to a store and buy a movie, so porn didn't play that big a role in people's lives. As teens, we had to learn from experience, not from porn.

Views on sex and sexuality were far more progressive than in previous generations. We were able to control our fertility. We didn't have to be in committed relationships to have sex. Women's sexual pleasure was being spoken of. Women could explore their own bodies and learn what they enjoy and how to reach orgasm. The women's movement at that time has to take a lot of credit for women's increasingly sexual awareness, in terms of exploring our sexuality, being aware of our sexual health and our reproductive rights. It was a time when we could question tradition roles and explore our own sexuality and lifestyle choices. I consider myself very lucky to have come of age at a time when we had more positive and progressive ideas about healthy sexuality. The prevalence of pornography in the post-internet age has, I feel, been reactionary and backwards. I don't believe it fosters healthy ideas about sex and sexuality at all. But that's another topic for another day. I'm saying all of this to say that healthy sexuality can exist perfectly well without the presence of porn in anyone's life. In fact, a truly sensual shared experience is one of the most beautiful experiences that anyone could ever know.

I also understand the exploitative nature of the porn industry, and I know that many young women suffer from inhumane and cruel treatment at the hands of the unscrupulous sharks who make a killing from their trade. Even at the 'high end' of the industry, it's still a hollow and soul-destroying experience for many. Sure there are a few who apparently make a good living but they often have issues with alcohol and drug misuse, they have unhappy personal lives, they get involved in damaging relationships. For every porn "star" that makes it big, there are hundreds, if not thousands who are used up and cast aside. To be honest, some diehard porn users don't care. They take the attitude that these girls are consenting adults, nobody forces them and they get paid. Anyone who researches what really goes on in the porn industry behind the scenes will tell you a lot of it ain't pretty. Some people care, some don't. I guess that's another aspect of desensitisation. Their fix is all that matters.

I wish you both well in your healing. It's possible to have a beautiful loving relationship without porn ever being a part of it. I wish you both well.

Thanks Emerald! It is very difficult to be anorexic and be with a porn addict. I was talking to my best friend yesterday and he said that the odds of having a dangerous combination as an anorexic and porn addict together is probably rare.

It's true this is the first generation to grow up with internet porn, and honestly it's ridiculous how bad porn has affected this generation. It really saddens me. The industry is very exploitive and it's scary the stories you read about. I just hate knowing not only does porn destroy relationships, but thinking about the women and men in porn and how abusive that environment can be. It's sick to think that most men don't think about that when they watch porn, it doesn't even occur to them.

Thank you for wishing us the best. I wish you and your husband the best in recovery as well!

This morning was tough. Cody and I talked about his porn addiction and I am the kind of person to want details. It was really frustrating that he couldn't remember. He has a terrible memory, but I just really wanted to know the things he couldn't remember.

I started feeling really insecure and suddenly felt like Cody shouldn't be touching at me or looking at me. He was hurt by that. I tried explaining to him that to me porn is him going out to a restaurant and eating a good meal, and I am left overs that one considers whether to warm up or throw away. That I felt like I was a consolation prize at times. He felt bad that I felt that way.

He then told me that whenever I start feeling like he shouldn't see me or touch me, that to him it's me seeing him as the tainted porn guy who hurt me, and feels that he isn't good enough. It's ironic that he feels that way, because me not wanting him to touch me is because I feel not good enough. It was good though that we communicated these feelings. I never realized how my not wanting him to touch me made him feel. I usually just am caught up in anorexic thoughts about how my body must be gross compared to porn that I didn't even think about how he was feeling with me pulling away.


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