Ready. Set. Sail!
(The following story contains very mature sexual content and language. Viewer discretion is advised.)
So here we are. I did promise to give you guys the full story and I am going to. It’s going to be long so pull up a chair. If you read my previous post, you’ll know that I’m starting my life story off with the most recent and most painful bipolar symptom I’ve experienced: hypersexuality. If you haven’t already read it, I’d suggest going back for educational purposes. To me it’s better to know the “how” and “why” before hearing the “what”. Essentially, hypersexuality is, from my personal experience, an overwhelming desire and obsessive preoccupation with sex and sexual content. In the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition), it’s listed as a primary symptom of bipolar under the category of “sexual indiscretions”. Louis J. Cozolino, PhD, a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University in southern California, and leading bipolar disorder guru, says that it’s akin to sexual addiction. He goes on to say that people who are manic with this symptom display “vulnerability to a ‘disinhibition’ of social restraints during manic periods” In fact, there are studies to suggest that there is more blood flow to the left part of the amygdala (almond-shaped part of the brain that deals with fear and panic) in bipolar patients than in other people. Furthermore, feelings of pleasure and arousal are related to a sort of calming effect. Sort of like taking painkillers.
Well, to me, I needed to kill the pain. And when I did I got into trouble. Although it seems like I’ve been taking this topic lightly, it’s because I’m thoroughly embarrassed and afraid to relive it. In recounting the events, maybe one of you could shine some light on what I could’ve done different or hopefully realize you’re on the same path and quickly turn back. You don’t see how far you’ve gone until you look back and realize you can’t remember where you came from.
That’s how it happened.
Everyone gets to hear about it and everyone knows you’re not supposed to go in there. It’s where the snakes and liars live. It’s where the evil people of the world congregate to hurt their partners and spouses. It’s what Ashley Madison capitalizes on with its now 32 million hacked “dirtbags” who thought they would never get caught living in it. I call it The Forbidden Forest. It’s pretty much the road to an affair. Cheating. Adultery. Whatever applies to you.
It’s something me in my now 11 year relationship (4 years happily married) would never have dreamed of doing. Now if you do the math, I’m 27 years old. That means my husband and I were high school sweethearts. And if you did, you would be correct. We were so in love for so long! (We still are!) It’s hard to imagine life without him. He is my everything. I’ve never dated or been with another guy because I found someone who syncs so well with me. We are soul mates. True love does exist and I almost ruined it.
It started around Valentine’s Day. 50 Shades of Grey had just come out in theatres and it seemed like everyone was feeling the whole steamy passion vibes. That movie isn’t my cup of tea but the effects of the advertising got my heart pumping. I was pulling out the old kinky tricks and me and my husband were having the best sex we had ever had. Every night. And I was on top of the world at work and in my social life. Things were perfect.
This came just in time because I was struggling with depression just prior to this leveling up in my emotions. I was taking Lamictal for my mood stabilizer and Klonopin for my anxiety but I was still getting low swings in my mood so my psychiatrist prescribed an antidepressant called Wellbutrin. That was around January. Now antidepressants aren’t the best idea for someone with bipolar disorder because it can induce mania. But with all the family drama going on and me and my brother wanting nothing more to do with our “dysfunctional family”, I needed a little pick me up. She was cautious to put me on it temporarily until I started feeling better. I did almost immediately.
For those of you who don’t know, people with Bipolar Disorder generally fall into two categories: Bipolar I is the powerful fast jump into mania while Bipolar II has a milder hypomania that sort of slowly sneaks up on you. It’s hard to tell exactly when it starts and when it really ends because of how gradual it is.
Now back to the crazy passionate sex! I thought I was fine. And maybe I was. But over the course of the next few months I was starting to obsess over it. My younger brother gave me a gift subscription to Spotify and I used it to create a really naughty playlist that I’d listen to over and over again. All day every day.
That still wasn’t enough. I needed more sex. It’s hard coming home when you have a raging “ladyboner” to hear your husband say he is tired or not in the mood. Some nights I’d convince him otherwise but usually that meant no sex and I’d wake up later in the night and masturbate. On top of that I was masturbating 2 times a day.
That still wasn’t enough. And then the problems started. I have a coworker who started taking notice of my unusually high confidence and started gravitating toward me. Bumping into me in the break room frequently. Sitting close staring into my eyes and being all kinds of nervous around me. The usual, I like you but I don’t want you to know kind of attitude. Which made sense if he liked me and didn’t want me to know because he was married as well!
Now I was never planning on doing anything with him but it did feel good to be noticed by another guy. Feeling the sexual tension in his eyes added another rush to my day.
That still wasn’t enough. So I tried letting my husband know. Communication is key for a good marriage so I wanted to let him know I was missing the attention. My husband is a good man. He definitely agreed to try harder but he does work a very stressful job so it’s hard to find the time to be romantic (I’m told this is common in marriages and that the passion slowly fades over time). I’m not naive, I’m being silly. You’ll get my humor eventually.
That still WAS NOT ENOUGH! I mentioned in my previous post that I went to go see the movie Magic Mike XXL in theatres TWICE in less than 24 hrs. That was around mid-July and I can clearly see now that I’m stable that I had hit hypomania because my mind went out of control. Sunday morning after the second screening I sat back and practically begged my husband for attention. I had told him about the guy at work and that I don’t feel the passion in our marriage. Whether or not things had actually changed is hard to remember objectively but I was still craving sex to the point of being aroused constantly. My husband gave the usual, I’m trying my best but you I can only do so much speech. That pissed me off!
So I downloaded an app called Whisper so I could post an angry confession. It basically said that I loved the attention my hot coworker is giving me because I’m not getting that from my husband.
….and so it begins. Baby steps.
There were a few guys who responded. Most of them asked for pics or replied with nasty comments so I did the normal thing and dismissed and deleted the gross ones. One guy though. He was different.
He responded with something funny. He said the dude is probably a hot fireman on the side and will probably take his shirt off to show me his rock hard abs. My immediate response was a quick LOL and said that there was no way because my coworker is rather skinny. The guy, let’s call him Mark, starts telling me that he probably has steamy office fantasies about me. Mark says that he is probably slowly crossing boundaries, doing “this or that to try and get me to blush”. That he is biding his time before he corners me in the breakroom.
Reality check: This isn’t my first time chatting online. I enjoyed it in college with the whole Chat Roulette craze until it got to be all about dick pics. However, guys rarely ever talk to me without getting extremely gross, sending me a dick pic, or asking to hook up. Mark hadn’t done any of that yet so I was reluctant to just cut him off.
So I kept chatting. Or rather he did. After learning about my coworker being 12 years my senior, Mark essentially said that my coworker was trying to hookup with the young office hottie to make himself feel young again. I agreed and said that nothing would ever happen but it’s fun to imagine. Mark agreed and helped me imagine. In what seemed like an endless stream of about 50 messages, he painted this vivid erotica about me being cornered alone in the breakroom with him. How he’d press his hips against me from behind so I can feel how hard he is for me. How he’d undo my shirt and bra and let my chest out in the open air. How he’d push me down to the ground and pull my panties off of me, shoving his tongue deep inside and sending a rush up my spine…
It was absolutely amazing! I was hooked to my phone’s screen I couldn’t look away. It was the most erotic thing I’ve ever read. I was getting so hot and bothered that I started to masturbate as I was reading. The dirtier it got the more aroused I was. Mark would say things like “you dirty little slut” and “I can tell you’re soaking just thinking about it”. Finally I climaxed and felt this absolute electric sensation run through me. The orgasmic feeling was orgasmic if that makes sense.
When it was all done, I said I was absolutely blown away and that the story really turned me on. He replied with a quick thanks. I asked him who he was, thinking I accidentally bumped into some famous John Grisham of the erotica world. He said, no one really, “Just call me Mark”.
From then on out I was hooked like a drug addict. He would message me on the app daily feeding me stories and I’d give him real life material to make it more interactive. It was fun and, in my mind, harmless. I wasn’t “cheating”. I was simply allowing this guy to get me off at work, no reciprocating, and make my day less boring. Mark mentioned that a few times. He said he hopes that he can make my day a little less dull. And believe me, when you’re stuck in meetings, it sure passes the time!
So after about a week I got curious and started asking Mark more details about himself. The usual, I’m from San Diego, play video games, etc. Then it hit me. He said he went to college in the city. I asked reluctantly how old he was. He said 20! 20 years old!!!
My heart sunk. I’d been dirty talking to some college boy?!?! I thought he was in his thirties the way he talked, how well written and how large a vocabulary he had. My God I felt like a pedophile! I let him know and he said typically women do get shocked when they find out how young he is. Apparently this kid does this online chatting alot. Come to find out that he has apparently chatted with hundreds of women! It made sense. Mark was able to pick up exactly how to talk to a woman after all that experience. And he had me under his spell and he knew it. So I was stuck.
Over the next couple weeks I’d start reciprocating and turning the stories more toward Mark and I rather than my coworker. I’d give him hints as to what I looked like so he could imagine and dream. But one fine day while my husband was out of town on business, he asked for a pic. I knew it! This is what he was waiting patiently for! I refused. He insisted. I said no I’m not about to do that. That’s when he tried to convince me.
Mark would say things like “oh I know you want to. It makes you fucking wet just thinking about it” “I know your heart is racing and you’re thinking about how good it’d feel to show off”. Normally, in a clear state of mind, that kind of mental mindfuck wouldn’t do anything to me. But the way he persisted and how he practically knew how to push my buttons at this point, it took a lot in me to say no. He agreed and said that’s fine and he won’t ask ever again. Granted, he just wanted a pic of my ass because I wouldn’t stop bragging about it (I work out like a beast and I do a lot of lunges and squats so use your imagination). On top of that, we agreed from the start to keep things anonymous (no faces, no full names, no personal contact info). Furthermore, he mentioned that he doesn’t do married women. He did at one point and it ruined everything and he regrets it til this day. Funny how he still flirts with them but that’s just really warped logic in my mind. He said he gets off on older married women getting aroused by his writing. Power trip? Issues with his mom? He said he didn’t do well with love in the past and broke a girl’s heart so he doesn’t desire commitment. Mark was more of a fwb kind of guy.
Now throughout all this, my conscience was still working but on low battery. My mania was telling me that I needed this. Without his messages I’d go bat-shit crazy. I remember times when I couldn’t get a hold of him, I’d be sitting in a meeting at work writhing in my seat. I was so horny it was palpable. I couldn’t pay attention let alone think straight. I needed a hit and Mark was my heroin. Without him, I felt like I’d jump my handsome coworker and ruin my and his entire life. So that was my justification.
There were plenty of times I could’ve been honest: with myself, my husband, my BFF, and my psychiatrist/therapist. I decided to lie to all of them. Wellbutrin was feeding my mania and I was LOVING it! Everything was easier. I was more social, confident, sexy and seductive, and fun to be around. Life of the party. I felt powerful. Even Mark was starting to fall under my sensuality. As much as I trusted what he said, I figured he was bullshitting me on the compliments and the “God I missed you all day. My cock only gets hard for you now.” Psssh! Just because I’ve only been in one relationship didn’t mean I was naive. I dismissed a lot as foreplay. Didn’t really matter. I got off at work and at home. My mania was under control…or so I thought.
One day work was terrible and I got drunk while cybersexting and I sent him a pic of my ass. I thought it’d be cute to get a reaction. Boy did I get a reaction. No man has ever told me compliments like that! Mark said “Jesus. Fucking. God Almighty! You’re ass is so juicy plump. I wanna fucking worship it. What a God damn beautiful goddess you are. I need. I need to touch and suck and lick every crevice.”
Baby steps. Or should I say a big fucking leap.
After that he insisted on more pics, saying “you’ve already started what’s the harm in more?” I was so stupid. But that wasn’t the worst. He convinced me to move to the app Kik which auto deletes old messages. That, among the laundry list of things I did and said, should’ve been a God damn red flag! But like I said, Jiminy Cricket had apparently taken a vacation and I didn’t resist.
One day we were chatting at work and he wanted a pic of me in my work clothes. He liked it and thought I had the body of a 20 year old. Nice! But after more chatting he wanted a pic to prove I was enjoying his messages. A really dirty pic. Nothing showing my body. But he wanted to know I was…wet. I immediately said no. That pushes it too far. Mark asked if I had a headset. I said yes. He said that some women appreciate his voice over his chats because it’s “low and raspy”. I reluctantly said that I probably shouldn’t. He said “that’s not a no. If I don’t get a no, I’ll send you a sound byte.” I replied with, “I really shouldn’t.” Big. Fucking. Mistake. Mark sent me the clip. He insisted I listen to it now and let him know what I thought. I did. Good. Fucking. God. His voice was so damn SEXY!!!! Manly and confident. Seductive but not dirty. I remember the first thing he said to me because it hit me so hard I orgasmed on the spot. Bipolar orgasm is a thing. Google it.
Baby steps. I was hooked. I melted into a puddle. Mark told me “Mmmff…you look. Absolutely fucking delicious. You look so damn sexy at work Jess.”
My heart stopped. I told him a string of indecipherable ums and ohs and I’m about to faint. He sounded like the hot guy in a teenage romance movie.
I have to stop this right now. Honestly it’s more for context and less for educational purposes. Essentially, that was what lead to late night Skype sex. Going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 2am to chat until 5am. Head to gym. Doing this for a couple of weeks. I barely slept but my energy levels were never higher.
One fateful morning, he contacted me wanting to meet up. Uh oh. He said he didn’t do married women. At that point he wanted me bad. He pulled out every card in the book. It took an hour and a half and I finally said no. It hurt so bad I grabbed my pillow and screamed hard into it. I wanted him bad. I was fighting an internal war. I was losing. I contacted my BFF and told her everything. The whole truth. Nancy said she could help me cut him off so he wouldn’t try to convince me.
Later that day I cut him off completely by myself to see if I could do it alone. I told him that this escalated to a dangerously high level and I’m afraid I’m going to go too far. Mark thought I was overreacting and joking. I laid it down on him saying we need to stop all contact and let it go. He didn’t want to but he understood. We said our goodbyes and I told him to block me. And I blocked him. Erased all evidence of him. Pics, his sound bytes, my pics, and the apps.
I cried hard. This was after work on a Friday. A Friday before my husband was going to leave on another week-long business trip. I knew if I didn’t end it then that I’d meet up with him and make the fantasy a reality. I couldn’t do that to my husband. It was never meant to go that far. I can’t believe I got so lost in The Forbidden Forest. Every step I took drew me in. And by that time, my compass was only pointing farther in. I had no idea how to get back to where I was.
I wanna say I cried because of guilt but I think I cried more because I lost Mark and I wasn’t ready for it. Needless to say I cried all the way home. My husband confronts me….and I tell him the story.
He storms out. We had a rocky weekend and he left Sunday for his trip. I was stuck alone at home, no Mark and no hubby. I contacted Nancy and another close friend. I told them I miss Mark and they said they just wanted to support me. They checked on me and made sure I didn’t try to contact Mark again despite the fact that I blocked him and he was supposed to block me. (Spoiler alert: He didn’t!)
I went from all to nothing and felt AWFUL. I was so ashamed of myself. But I still missed Mark. I tried finding resources online about how to get over an affair but nothing really helped.
Fast forward to Labor day weekend. I met up with my psychiatrist and told her the story a week prior and she took me off Wellbutrin and told me to take Klonopin three times a day! She could tell that I not only was still manic but that I wasn’t over Mark and she thought I was gonna try and contact him to meet up. Labor Day weekend she gave me permission to go into the hospital and take some medication to kill my mania but it’d knock me out cold for essentially a day and a half: Zyprexa. Not sure how well this works for other people but it’s powerful and has some nasty side effects. I believed her and refused to take it. I was having too much fun and I believed I wasn’t going to do anything.
Lying became so easy once I hit my highest point. Once my husband found out about the chatting he put parental blocks on my phone. Unfortunately, I’m a scientist and a tech nerd. It wasn’t that hard to override. And I did. I contacted Mark and said I was ready to meet up. That I wanted him more than anything and I’m ready. Mark, who had always told me that he respected me and wanted nothing more than to make me smile, said no initially. He said he knew me and knew how hard I struggled with it the last time he asked. He said he wouldn’t dream of fucking me cause it’d tear me and my marriage apart.
I insisted. I put my foot down and said I needed to experience him in real life. He said no and added that he had “performance issues” with another girl he was really interested in that we had talked about before a few times. I kept telling him he should fuck her. Mark would say he needed to get his sexual frustrations he had toward me out and he hadn’t been laid in months. He told me that I drive him crazy and that I’m always on his mind. That I’ve become his fantasy now.
Psssh. Sounds like bull but whatever. I didn’t believe him at the time. Sounded too convenient and romantic. So I always dismissed stuff like that. But I was determined. So we set up a time when I was at work and met up. I told my husband is had to work late cause something went wrong and the guys at work wanted to play Settlers of Catan and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to ruin friendships (tip: no one wants your fucking sheep).
So we met up. I spent a good 45 minutes scared to death. Shaking and nervous as hell. It took all my mental concentration to “turn off” my conscience. Then it went off like a rocket. Started with making out. Then second base. Then third base. He would always brag about how good he was at third. That he’d blow my mind and “open up a whole new world in between my legs”. He wasn’t lying. I orgasmed several times. All the low raspy voice dirty talk, the way he moved his hands, the way he used his tongue. It WAS mind-blowing.
Afterwards I felt sick. Actually sick. He tried to tell me that it was all him. I’d not touched him and we agreed to just let him please me. So in a way, he made it seem like I wasn’t to blame. But I let it happen.
My story is long and won’t fit all the details. Most are unnecessary and most won’t help me get over him. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I still miss him a little but the guilt is stronger than the memories at this point. He hinted at how much he was falling for me so in a way this affair hurt him as well. Some of the details are here for me to write down and some are my sort of justification to myself that I did indeed get swept up. I wasn’t looking to cheat. I was looking for sexual release. Mark was the exact wrong person at the exact wrong time. It was a terrible mistake. I lied and cheated. I hurt and broke the trust of my best friends and health care professionals. I’m working on rebuilding that along with my marriage. My coworker thankfully is completely out of the picture and was just a side effect of the mania.
No I’m not in contact with Mark and yes I’m not manic anymore. We ended it officially 3 weeks ago. I’m actually surprised I’m able to recount the events without longing or desire. I’m trying to look at it objectively and learn from my mistakes. I’ve also worked closely with my friends and health care professionals to work on a prevention plan. I hope that when my mania comes back, we can get it under control. According to an old 1975 study there is about an average 10 illicit affairs in the lifetime of a bipolar person. I want to make sure mine stays at one.
It’s never worth it. I know that sounds cliché but it’s not. It makes it harder to come back from. Because at the end of the day, you hurt people and the passion won’t last forever. Talk to your partner. Let them know what’s going on in your head. Let them know how you feel. Most importantly: every step you take into The Forbidden Forest, baby steps or leap, it’ll lead you to a dark place. And you may never find your way out; especially if your compass is only pointing further into the woods in the process.