I just finished the first season of The Morning Show on Apple TV. Stunning, inspiring and truth-telling television.
In 2008, I co-authored a book entitled Relationships from Addiction to Authenticity, which explores the dynamics of sex and cosex addictiveness in relationships, generally between a man and a female. However, we know additive dynamics occur in relationships regardless of gender identification or sexual orientation. My co-author, Claudine P., and I wrote this book and chronicled the stories of many individual women, who walked through their fear to find the courage to speak out, to speak loudly, and to speak consistently.
On the back cover, we offer practical advice with the following bullet points:
- Honoring the Feminine Voice to learn to love and respect yourself
- How to set boundaries, honor your intuition, & demand to be heard
- How to create authentic relationships & sustain them for a lifetime
- How to experience authentic intimacy & rewire tainted perceptions of sex and sexuality.
- How to define and transfer a new relationship model to your children & loved ones.
The Morning Show has reignited my passion for inspiring strong feminine voices to speak up and offer support to those who are no longer willing to go unheard. As we stand together, we stand strong.
The opening sentence in our Preface state:
“Our purpose in writing this book and our desire for everyone who reads it is that they are empowered to create in their lives “authentic relationships” (xi).
Further down, we say:
“It is our desire that a Sacred Feminine Voice is restored to its proper place in our culture. Addressing the ever-powerful dis-ease of co-sex and sex addiction is an essential beginning. In our co-sex addiction recovery, we honor the feminine voice, which loudly declares that we will no longer carry nor enable* the shame of our offenders. We are no longer victims in our own lives” (xi).
Whether or not you identify with the terms we speak about in this book as we discuss addictive family systems, or utilize the structure for spiritual recovery that we refer to in the book does not matter. What matters is that we begin to speak out, speak up, and break the binding secrecy and shame that has kept us tolerating inappropriate behaviors and disrespect from the wounded patriarchal systems in our personal and professional lives. When we isolate in fear and shame, we forget that there is great power in our numbers. There is no healing or empowerment without leaning into the pain, secrecy, and shame that we have been carrying for what was done to us:
“As cosex addicts, set up to be victims, we begin to carry the shame of our abusers. The sense of shame replaces the gift of self-empowerment and healthy self-care. The cycle of shame begins. Once we are in this cycle of behavior, our innate sense of healthy self-care and empowerment becomes more and more diminished as we take on more and more shame of the abusers in our lives” (52).
There is help available for those who are seeking help. Please visit www.cosexaddiction.com for more information or my website www.sallybartolameolli.com. The book is available for purchase on the above sites or on Amazon and other online booksellers.
You are not alone.
Pletcher, C., & Bartolameolli, S., Relationships from Addiction to Authenticity, Deerfield Beach, Florida, 2008.