“One loveless relationship followed another. I sought comfort in the sexual pleasure I’d been introduced to as a child. I even kept a numbered list of lovers.”
In Marina’s last episode she described her teens in a segregated Catholic high school, her increasing drug-use and how sex soon evolved into her “drug of choice.” Random sexual encounters, which Marina controlled, flowed through her years in college and her segue into a broadcast career.
BY MARINA GIULLIANI — Over the years that followed, I specialized in lusty encounters.
One loveless relationship followed another, as I sought out comfort in the sexual pleasure I’d been introduced to as a child.
The marijuana-induced haze I indulged in was sufficient to dull any ounce of real feeling. It didn’t matter to me if my lovers were single, married, separated or divorced. There was never any risk of commitment, as I certainly wasn’t the kind of girl they’d bring home to meet their mother.
I was quite proud of my conquests, and I always kept a numbered list of my lovers, but after one too many “mornings-after”, I started to get sick.
My past overwhelms my present
One day my head hurt, the next day my stomach ached, and I continued to self-medicate with marijuana. I burned the list in an attempt to get free, but illness was definitely upon me.
It was time for my yearly check up with my MD whom I had nicknamed “Dr. Pain.” When she asked how I was doing, I gave Dr. Pain an honest report — minus the lowdown about my excessive screwing and pot smoking.
Her first words? “Let’s get you on some anti-depressants.”
My response was immediate and emphatic: “I’m not taking drugs for this!”
“I want you to recommend someone I can talk to.”
“Well! If you’re turning down medication, you’re not in as bad shape as you think.” She handed me a slip of paper with the name of a “clinical psychologist” who dealt specifically with “social problems.” This one also begged for a nickname, so she became “Dr. Killjoy” to me from then on.
All you want to do is talk talk
So, why are you here?” Dr. K. asked.
“I feel like I’m growing older but I’m not growing up. My body hurts in a different place every day, so I figure it’s all in my head,” I explained.
My weekly appointments were quite successful considering the issue of my grandfather’s wandering hands never arose. We didn’t discuss my sex life because the one time it was mentioned she made me feel sleazy. We talked about the basics: my career, my inability to feel confident anywhere but at work, and how to apply that strength to my everyday life to regain self-esteem.
We talked about my spirituality — or actually, lack of it. I had absolutely no desire to be a Catholic anymore and wasn’t prepared to consider other options. My intrigue with the unexplained continued, but to me “spirituality” meant “religion”, and I wasn’t going anywhere near there either. She gave me books to read, some helped and some didn’t. When she identified me as a drug addict, I ignored her. So, I was pretty much in control there too.
“Where are you in that picture?” The picture she was referring to was a framed graphic illustration of a two-story house on a hill. There was no landscaping. The colours were blues and reds, and it was just plain ugly.
The last step to intimacy and transformation: losing my most valued possession
Here I was, working in a creative profession, and I couldn’t pull a single original idea out of my head. “You’ve lost touch with your feminine side.”
I didn’t have a clue what she meant.
I thought a lot about it “First: I’m a woman. Second, I’m pretty good looking. Third, I’ve had a lot of great sex. Fourth, weeks before Dr. Killjoy had told me that I ‘mother’ people and take on their problems to avoid my own.
“Wasn’t ‘mothering’ feminine enough for her??”
Killjoy prescribed three books: He, She and We. The only one I could relate to was He. I’d always been a bit tough, but I liked my toughness. It meant “feminist” to me so I just didn’t get any of it and didn’t pursue it because for the most part I felt I was regaining control of my life.
I took yet another tropical vacation, three months into my therapy, and met up with the most wonderful, gentle and loving man. My self-esteem was peaking. I was happier than I could ever remember, and in another three months Dr. Killjoy kicked me out of her office. “You can’t continue. You’re too happy. You’ll need to come back in the future but right now you’re not making progress.” I thought she was full of shit.
Marina Giulliani’s book, Sins of My Faith: Innocence Lost to Incest, chronicles a true story of stolen innocence and the ultimate redemption of a little girl raised in the Roman Catholic tradition.
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- My first taste of control came in my grandfather’s lap
- Forgiveness was my final release from years of pain
- Finding, and losing, love
- When sex and love are not part of the same relationship
- A brief history of my post-childhood sex life