Going down a spiralI need help

Hello everybody. This is my first post, not only here, but in any other online support group.

I am from Guatemala, a small country in Central America, where I work as a human rights lawyer at an NGO and at an international organization. I also teach a course in university. I am 29 and single, and have never had a boyfriend, or a meaningful relationship with a man. I am overweight and that has had a deep effect on my self-esteem. I also consider myself to be very ugly.

Most of my friends are married and I have lost touch with many of them. My parents are supportive, but most of the time, I feel alone. Very lonely.

I am under a lot of stress at work, not only because of the nature of it, but mainly because my boss at one of my jobs is a bully and makes my life miserable. I am on the verge of tears, or hiding in the bathroom crying, at least once a week, because of what she does to me.

About 2 months ago, I joined an online adult dating site. It started as a distraction form work, something I would only log into, briefly in the morning or during my lunch break. However, it quickly turned into an obsession. I correspond with about 50 men. I've met 3 men in person, and have had sex with 2 of them. They are complete strangers and the sex has taken place in highly inappropriate places.

After the encounters, I feel empty and sad, and I promise I will not do it anymore...until the next time.

I have not been able to do much at work since I started getting more and more addicted to the website. It's been almost a month since the last time I produced a valuable document. Because I used to be very responsible and professional, no one has questioned this yet. I suppose people think I am just about to finish a report or a memo or something. This causes great anxiety, since I might just be giving my boss a real reason to be mean to me.

For the past 2 weeks, I have become more dependent to one of the men I met. If he has not written to me by a certain time of the day, I start freaking out and have even cried on a few occasions. I get desperate. I don't even really know him, so I don't know why I am clinging to him this much. It's embarrasing.

I want to stop, to engage in my work fully and to be able to meet a wonderful man one day. But it seems as if I am going down a spiral and getting further and further away from that. I am scared. I am alone.

I don't really know what to expect from a support group (mental therapy is highly stigmatized in my culture), but even just writing this has provided some relief.

Thank you.

monica.maria .... welcome to supportgroups.com

I would like to say that it might be helpful for you to cancel your membership on that adult dating site.

I also just did a quick Internet search and found the following blurb about mental health in your Country ....

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"Mental health has not been given high priority in Guatemala, but for the past two years a group of governmental and nongovernmental agencies has called attention to the problem and to promotion of development of a national mental health program.

The Ministry has a 350-bed national psychiatric reference hospital that offers outpatient consultation as well as daytime hospitalization. The IGSS has a 25-bed psychiatric unit to which cases from its affiliates are referred, and it also offers outpatient consultation. The Ministry has outpatient psychiatric clinics in three of its national-level hospitals located in Guatemala City. There are 10 Ministry psychologists and 10 IGSS psychologists in the metropolitan area who provide services in health centers and peripheral polyclinics. The IGSS has a community psychology program in the department of Escuintla."
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I have no idea if this is helpful to you or not.

Thank you for your advice, LuvsHeadMeds.

I don't know if this makes sense to any of you, but I would be very embarrased and ashamed talking about my problem to a mental health professional here. I don't know if that is normal, ot if it is just my own perception, heavily influenced by the culture.

Guatemalan society is very conservative and the mere thought of confessing to what probably is a sex addiction sounds terrifying to me.

I have cancelled the membership on the website, as you suggested. I felt as if I had taken a huge step. One that seemed fairly obvious, but that I have not considered until you sait it. Thank you.

You are welcome. :)

I don't know if this helps but ..... men are very reluctant to see a doctor for anything especially mental health issues. It's even worse for men who have been raped. They feel like that can't share that with anyone.

However, if one wants to get better they must reach out in a new way.

I hope you can find the inner strength to reach out ... to reach above the current culture perspectives.

Also, I am really hoping you become part of the new mindset in Guatemala. The more people that open up to the idea, the more likely it will catch on where you live. Granted, this could take many years to become a reality. But, someone has to start it ... it has to start somewhere.

In the mean time, please keep posting here. :)

Monica, I hope you'll take LuvsHeadMeds advice to heart & I admire you for writing & sharing your thoughts & experiences w/all of us here. Its very difficult to change the mind set & try other alternatives & you've made the first step in beginning though, please continue & let us know what you've considered so others can learn & read about your efforts good, bad or indifferent.

Take care of you.

April

Thanks to you too, April.

Only a few hours have passed since I deleted my account at said website. I experienced great relief and a great calm at first, but I am now battling against anxiety. I feel the need to contact this one man, and I feel great distress about not reading from him and not knowing if he's been online recently. I feel pathetic.

In the midst of those feelings, your words give me serenity.

Monica,

You can take some faith from knowing that we feel that way too at times when trying to reach out to others.

You are not alone.

I would like to suggest that you something to take your mind off it. What sort of things make you happy? Does taking bath work? Does a walk make you feel good? How about scrapbooking? Maybe, a little trip to the store to buy yourself something inexpensive and nice? The trick here is to treat yourself to something nice.

Also, have you ever thought about joining a chatroom? Attending local functions outside of your family and work environment? If you were here in the States I would suggest that you volunteer to do something or look at the website meetups.com

http://www.meetup.com/
http://www.volunteermatch.org/

I hope you can find something that you like and that takes your mind off of things that cause you anxiety. :)

Monica, excellant & job well done honey. What your accomplishing to overcome IS very "White Knuckling" (I know the craving, yearning feeling to feel one close to you even when it isnt fulfilling ones quality of a long term life relationships, I did that in my 20's)your doing a wonderful job, keep going & talking it through w/us here.

Luvs, **** good stuff, I gotta give you an atta boy for that sound advice, being from old school I didnt even know these types of sites existed, I'm glad I didnt, WOW.......

I am overwhelmed by your kindness (in a good sense). Thank you.

After work, I went to my yoga class, which I have missed for over a month, due to my addiction. I got into the bathtub after I got back, and had dinner with my sister, afterwards.

I expect hard times to follow, but at least, for the first day, I felt a little better.

Thank you.

I am overwhelmed by your kindness (in a good sense). Thank you.

After work, I went to my yoga class, which I have missed for over a month, due to my addiction and my restlessness. I got into the bathtub after I got back, and had dinner with my sister, afterwards.

I expect hard times to follow, but at least, for the first day, I felt a little better.

Thank you.