Malibu November Garden

I remember sitting in a car with my mother.  Her car.  I am in my mid twenties.  The refrigerator that I just bought refuses to work and I have to return it.  I am so full of fear and shame and resentment that I know the only way I can deal with this very simple situation is to lose my temper-but I hate losing my temper!  I hated that the only way I knew to find the confidence to return a refrigerator was to get mad.  I knew, painfully, that I let myself down.  I said to my mother tearfully, “You know HE did this to me, he made me this way.”  I knew instinctively that the crushing blows of my step-father had shattered my confidence and caused a rage so violent it would define my existence.

It would take twenty years for me to know how to deal with my anger and then quite suddenly-it would be gone.

When I was a little boy I remember smashing every single thing I owned.  It was the only power I had over the world.  I smashed everything I loved.  I hated him so much.  I refused to be subjugated by my stepfather.  I could not fight back with my fists so I evolved a tranch of behaviors to defend myself-empower myself-some of which I have to this day.

Pat Carnes says, “Anger and sex can be fused in such a way that it is self-perpetuating, self-destructive, and once ignited, independent of culture and even family.. “

My rage comes from my desire to be free of bondage.  Every time I lose my temper I have the same feeling of casting off my shackles.  Yet, I cast off a great deal more.  I lose my temper at the talent agents and I walk away from a restricting situation and a career.  I lose my temper on the phone to the bank that refuses to acknowledge an error and nearly wreck the car.  I lose my temper violently with a man I do not want to tell the truth and the police call me to discuss the ‘situation’.

There are always consequences for my rage.

After my rage-I think about sex.   I go online and look at men.  I masturbate.  I want to be close to them.

I have a suspicion that on tonight’s sex rehab you may get to see me lose my temper.  Finally!  I am really not as nice as they made me seem so far.  I lose my temper twice during the taping of the show and tonight I lose my temper with the vapid trainer woman who wears her nasty sweats too tight revealing the outline of her vagina.  I think I may refer to it, angrily, as her ‘camel toe’.

This woman was almost certainly a ‘plant’ by the Producers to get the guys to talk more about sex.  I overheard the cameramen say that he ‘felt sorry’ for Phil and James as this ghastly, inappropriately dressed woman bends over in poor Phil’s face.  However, at that moment I was feeling vulnerable and worthless.  I was alone-my friends had gone with Drew and Jill to do art therapy and I felt ignored.  Within the context of the Rehab I felt ignored.  All of the cameras were on them and THAT alien woman.  My rage got the better of me and ANTHONY came to the rescue.

Who is Anthony?  Anthony, caged deep inside of me, only stirs when I feel embarrassed, vulnerable, besieged or when I need protecting from the conspiring world.

Anthony, my alter ego, was the Lord I pretended to be when I lived in Paris in my late teens/early twenties.  My charismatic, acerbic grunt; Anthony is invincible!  Anthony gets things done.  Anthony is the enforcer. He makes films and paints and etches and believes in God but he is also destructive, violent, rageful, addicted to drugs and believes that there is only room in my life for him and me.

Anthony doesn’t trust anybody.  He will convince me that no one is good enough, rich enough, intelligent enough or beautiful enough.  He will convince me, always convinces me, that I best be on my own-that if I don’t listen to him they’ll hurt me like I have been hurt before.  That I will only ever be able to trust him.

When he leaps forward to defend the helpless child I used to be my accent, posture and face completely change.

Anthony terrifies me.  When I am Anthony I stand beyond myself wringing my hands, imploring him to stop, to stop shouting, to put down the knife, please don’t say that to her..Anthony please.  After he has gone it is like a bomb has been dropped in my life and I am left to pick up the pieces.

As I found out in rehab the solution for my anger turns out to surprisingly simple.

They said that I had to get to know Anthony.   They said, acknowledge his attributes: his tenacity, strength, clarity but, they said- when ever he charges to defend you-coursing powerfully through your body, tell him politely to go way-that you can deal with this.

So I say firmly but politely, “Anthony, I can deal with this situation.  Thanks, I can handle this.”

He didn’t want to hear that at first, he badly wanted to defend me.  Now he listens and backs off.  I can feel him sink back into me. Thankfully he is beginning to trust, trust that I can deal with anything I say I can.  That I am not so vulnerable any more.

I had to learn to accept Anthony’s gifts and ditch the rest.  As for me, I am kind, thoughtful, sensitive, diplomatic but prone to people pleasing. Between us we have a chance at being a grown up man, the ying and the yang without the fury or the subjugation.

I had three great revelations in Sex Rehab and this was the first.  More will be revealed.