Home > Writing > Ensnared


“Ensnared” ~ by Adriana Seserko
Image used by permission and courtesy of one hundredth gallery
(all rights reserved)


The following prose was inspired by a visit to Victoria’s Liv2write2day’s Blog with a writing prompt topic of addiction, challenging the writer to perhaps enter the mind of an addict and see what happens.




Where am I?  How did I get here?  How did it come to this?  Must find a way to break free of these binds in my mind and my body.

Too tired to think.  No need to think for yourself.  I will be your thoughts.  Feel the need inside you grow. That familiar feeling.  I’ll keep you safe and warm.

No. Look around.  I don’t know where I am.  How did I get so entangled?

Breathe in the familiar fog.  Breathe out all your thoughts.  Soon we will be in that familiar place, alone and safe from those who do you harm.  You’ll be free.

No.  Must stay awake and think.

Thinking is so very hard.  So very tired you are.  You need to let go.  You need to surrender.  Drift off into your special place we’ve been so many times before.  Drift off and leave all your thoughts behind.

No. My family… my friends…

They are not here.  They cannot help.  They do not help.  Only I can help you, save you from the pain.  I can take it away.  Let go, and let that familiar craving take over.  Your thoughts are mine, and you cannot resist the feeling.  Surrender and fall there.


No need for your own thoughts.  My thoughts are all that matter.  No one else makes you feel like I do.  Surrender your will and you will fly with me.  Resistance is so difficult.  Feel yourself surrendering to my power over you, and how it makes you feel good all over.  You want me, you need me, you crave me…

So tired…

Yes, so very tired.  You deserve to escape from all that makes you tired.  I can give you the rest you need, the rest you deserve.  Surrender to the feeling and let me take you to that special place where no one can reach you, hurt you, trouble you.  Only I can take you there.  Only I can make you feel that way.

Too tired to fight…

Yes, too tired to fight.  Too weak to fight.  No will to fight.  No need to fight.  Only the feeling I give you – it’s what you need, what you desire, what you crave.  Surrender is pleasure.  You are addicted to the pleasure that I give.  You do not need anything else but me.  I am your alpha and your omega.  Now surrender to the feeling. Surrender.  You must surrender.

Just a little pin prick…

Yes.  So very nice.  Let the feeling take you over.  Sleep my pet, while I stitch a few more strands to secure your body and your mind to me.  Just a few silken threads to connect you with me…




Following is a song by Sarah McLachlan called Angel. The song was written about Jonathan Melvoin, a touring keyboard player in Smashing Pumpkins who died of a heroin overdose in 1996.  Click on the link to hear the song. The lyrics appear below.



Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There’s always some reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There’s vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don’t make no difference
Escaping one last time
It’s easier to believe
in this sweet madness
Oh! This glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here


  1. March 17, 2012 at 5:44 am

    This is excellent… You know (?) It could also be about love. Interesting thought there (for me).

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:45 am

      Not the empty parts though… (as to the love thought process I had) …

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:31 am

      MC, the original intent of the post was about a rather fatal attraction and love affair the addict has with his or her addiction. I see that the conversation has expanded somewhat, although I enjoy reading all the comments and appreciate that everyone seems willing to discuss with each other.

      • March 19, 2012 at 4:33 am

        I know… it sure did go a different route. I loved what you wrote 🙂

        • March 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

          Yeah…that’s me for you. Always been a troublemaker. 🙂

          • March 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm

            haha 🙂

            Phil… you’re too kind allowing us to go around the primary topic… thank you for your, hospitality. 🙂

  2. March 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Mysterycoach – I’d agree, love addictions are very similar to drug addictions…only about 10x more powerful and much more difficult to give up. I’ve had experience with this. And it’s fun for a while…

    When you fall in love, your brain creates the chemical phenylethylamine (PEA) a neurotransmitter responsible for the thrill and energy we feel when we fall in love. Some people get addicted to this feeling, which lasts only about 3-5 years. After this time period, oxytocin takes over if there is sufficient touching and cuddling. Oftentimes people who are serial monogamists are that way because of the chemical high they feel with new relationships and they don’t work towards bonding through nonsexual touch or cuddling.


    [I won’t even go into the chemical manipulation that occurs in BDSM practice, but it’s even MORE powerful than simply falling in love because it involves endorphins (a morphine-like substance)].

    The reason its so difficult to break an addiction to love is precisely because of emptiness and the promise of being filled by that relationship – even if it is a rocky one (and what’s more people seem to crave attention of any kind and in particular, negative attention seems to more addictive because we crave excitement, and what’s more exciting than a drama-filled relationship?), and while you can stay away from alcohol and drugs, staying away from relationships altogether is harmful. Plus, many times you are attracted most to the type of person you’ve had is just like the parent that failed to provide you with something you needed. Freud’s whole compulsion to repeat.

    Harville Hendrix Imago Therapy revolves around this concept of working on the adult relationship in order to heal the wounds from childhood. I won’t go into that here…but it’s a very interesting concept. Suffice it to say is that if you have a difficult relationship, it means that there is tremendous opportunities for growth there.

    At any rate, very nice post Phil. Always something interesting to think about with you.

    • March 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      There was a fella on wordpress who started to get into BDSM. I always wondered how that evolved so I read and I’d comment and it was amazing to see how it all evolved. Nothing short of acceptance, making someone feel like they belong, like they’re special, weaning them into it and yes… I can see how they would get addicted to it. After a while I was glad he decided to get out of it because it was getting pretty heavy. Detrimental even to his health and his mind. I was like, Dude you need to get out of this… I can see how the lure can come about.

      Same with what you’re saying here about the chemicals the body produces and how we can become addicted to a person or what we “preceive” as love. It’s like when a couple fights and they assume making love (make up sex) is the answer, it brings them close however until the core issue is discussed and remedied, it’s only a bandaid. Same in abusive relationships as well for women. Never ending cycle … it’s that heightened awareness through fear and then … I caught it in a movie one time that I was engrossed in… He was being abusive and then he wanted her (sexually) and she was such an excellent actress that you could see how powerful this was for her, in her head to have his “love” back. That wasn’t what it was though… I agree with you, it’s very powerful.

      I never could retain all the words for the chemicals the body produces 🙂 I’m glad you have ! It’s amazing… the whole thing is amazing how it happens… I’m still amazed by it. Look at that post I made a while back about (I don’t know if you’ve seen it) Pretty Pictures… talks about this and it’s amazing what the mind can create. It really is and then you add sexual enticement? Wow… 🙂

      • Androgoth
        March 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

        Hey how naughty of you to say so…
        Just kidding MC and don’t forget to
        hide those handcuffs as they are a
        dead giveaway for that BDSM that
        you mentioned, of course I have no
        concept of this discipline but it does
        seem a ghoulishly exciting thought 🙂

        Have a great weekend now, as long
        as you are not too tied up I mean ? 😉

        Androgoth XXx

        • March 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm

          Maybe I have the wrong name for it but uh, no one was totally getting tied up. More flogged… among other things. Noooo, not my thing I was curious though how one would be enticed to join in … now I know. 🙂

          Agh, tied? Moi? I would think since I’m naughty I would not be the one fit to be tied… however… 🙂

          ROFL! 🙂 I’m making myself laugh …

          One neva knows aye Andro? Perhaps I am a dominatrix by day and a vampire by night! bbwwwaaahahahaaaaa!



          • March 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm


            Bondage, domination, sado-masochism. Involves ALL types of fun.

            Flogging, spanking, being tied up (or not), acting all sorts of ‘scenarios’ are all a part of it. You can have and SM relationship without the bondage.

            You can have BDSM with or without sex.

            And there’s plenty of books about woman being on top, so if you’d like to check them out (written by women).



            Many high-powered men love being dominated by a woman in the bedroom.

            There’s also Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleepy Beauty trilogy.

            • March 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm

              Where do you store all of this information woman 🙂 I’ll pass on being a dominatrix though. LOL 🙂 Not my thing… maybe with mean people with no regard for anyone else… then, you know (I kid…totally kidding!)

              • March 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

                Well, you never know when you might change your mind.

                I have a deep intellectual curiosity about all sorts of diverse topics..including the taboo ones. I’ve always been weird. When I came out of the laboratory to raise my daughters. I got really bored so I started exploring all kinds of things about human nature that I didn’t have time for when I worked.

                • March 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm

                  I think we’re all curious, doesn’t make us necessarily weird… I’ll keep the dominatrix thing in the back of my mind… waaaaaay back there. 🙂

                  I would imagine with all you did in the lab you would definitely be bored. What’s cool is that you have the time to dig around and read all these things… some are really interesting, although I gather you’ve really been looking. 🙂

                  • March 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

                    Some of it was out of necessity. I am raising children differently from my mother (and most of society), who was narcissistic and abusive (psychologically and physically), so I studied attachment parenting, child development and trauma recovery. My daughters are gifted, so I studied gifted issues. My middle daughter was selectively mute with sensory issues, so I studied selective mutism and brain function/dysfunction.

                    I am autodidatic by nature. Always had been. My scientific background my current studies easier.

                    I want to know why people are so disconnected in our world, why modern society is poisoning everyone from the inside out but only a few people are truly aware of what’s really going on (everyone else seems to be blissfully ignorant)…so I read up on why technological advances are doing nothing to really bring us closer together, but simulating a lot of false intimacy. Everyone talks a good game…but real intimacy has little to do with talk and a lot to do with being fully present and being face to face and really being there for one another.

                    I want to know why people have touch hunger…and are finding substitutes in food, drugs, process addictions (gambling, shopping, sexing, hyper-intellectualizing).

                    I want to know why our churches are failing to bring us peace and comfort and free us from anxiety.

                    I study philosophy and Eastern spirituality and am encouraged that Western neuroscientists like Daniel Siegel are proving medically that mindfulness can improve mental and physical health.

                    Studying mindfulness helps rest my overactive mind, so that I am more in control of it, than it is of me…and it helps me endure the fact that I can’t find the kind of spiritual teacher I am looking for in my real world.

                    Like I said, I’m weird. But I wouldn’t change me for the world. 🙂

                    • March 20, 2012 at 3:24 am

                      Casey, you “study” everything, even your children’s emotions. Let me ask you a question: Do you ever just relax and go by “instinct”? But then, I suppose, a person who is into, what’s it called, BDSM (thanks for the education) likes to tie herself down. Into knots?

                      I myself prefer freedom.


                    • March 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

                      You know what? when you learn it all, put it in terms of a 4 year old so I can absorb it well and I’ll listen. I agree with the false intimacy some technology creates. It definitely has it’s pro’s and cons. That’s for sure…

                      I think we don’t connect as people for reasons too lengthy to get into… which makes me sad really. Because it’s so important in life. If you love researching, and I know you do 🙂 Have at it woman! I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier, I didn’t click the little box. 🙂

        • March 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

          Androgoth –

          It never amazes me how many people make jokes about BDSM.

          And you don’t even need actual handcuffs, a real willing submissive can get into the role without real restraints. It’s mostly psychological anyway.

          But, IMHO, It’s not just ‘fun and games’ (though most people who don’t know better think it is)…but actually it can be a real serious exploration into altered states of consciousness. Again, not unlike someone doing drugs…but instead, pain and the body’s natural response to pain at the core. Done right, it can bond you with a person in ways no ordinary relationship can.

          I have a polyamorous friend that uses BDSM to manage her anxiety. She has a very progressive therapist who supports this choice.

          Quite honestly, I think it could be quite a lovely experience…so I have heard from people who take the concept seriously. It’s also a way to bring two long-term lovers into a new realm of trust.

          That being said, done wrong, with no aftercare it can really screw up someone too.

          MC – if you ever get the chance to explore it…I’d say, go for it. It’s quite interesting and I haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg.

          • Androgoth
            March 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

            Perhaps you were generalising but when I said that I had no concept of this discipline I was simply being facetious, of course I do know about BDSM and all of its trappings but as this was just a tongue-in-cheek response to my great friend MC I was not expecting such a comprehensive reply from another user of our WP, however these types of blogs are often debated upon by many passersby and so I thank you for your retort…

            Have a very nice rest of evening…


      • March 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

        Well, if you are interested in learning a little more…


        I’ve never had that extreme kind of thing…but I have to admit, it sounds really tempting…but it would have to be with someone I thoroughly trusted.

        As far as remembering all the scientific stuff…not really hard for me as I’m constantly researching neuroscience and human development and I worked in molecular biology (specifically genetics though at one point in my life I wanted to pursue a master’s degree in analytical chemistry) so now that I’m no longer in the lab, researching this stuff satisfies my intellectual curiosity.

    • March 18, 2012 at 2:21 am

      Casey, I hope you speak in jest: “…love addictions are very similar to drug addictions…only about 10x more powerful and much more difficult to give up”. Try and tell that a heroin addict or an alcoholic. I think they’d take love over their addiction any time.


      • March 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

        Ursula –

        I don’t speak in jest. You carry the chemicals around in your brain to be modified by ANY behaviors, including love addictions. I don’t mean to make light of a drug addict’s problems…but after having been through a long period of being addicted to someone emotionally, and going through periods of being sent into hyperspace and crashing down into deep suicidal depression (truly, I had the tylenol PM and whisky at the ready one night), I can assure you, a love addiction is just as deadly as a drug addiction, only, there’s
        virtually little support and no comparable ‘detox’ clinic for love/relationship addiction. Check out Dorothy Tennov’s Love and Limerence for some information about the powerful draw of a relationship obsession.

        Love addictions for someone else, when you are married, can destroy your marriage. Pursuing your addiction is often shrouded in secrecy, for obvious reasons.

        I got involved (a little bit) in BDSM WITH my husband, hoping that would “cure” my addiction. Nope, having him flog me while thinking of someone else only added fuel to the lust/love I had for someone else.

        I tried getting husband to open up the relationship, so I could manage my raging…well…addiction. It only partially worked, but it nearly destroyed my marriage in the process.

        I tried getting over that extra-maritial emotional/physical relationship by getting involved in another one, and ended up pregnant and having to terminate it.

        Gee, I don’t see how a drug addiction can be any more destructive of life than what I’ve gone through.

        I think love/sex addictions are easier to hide and much more powerful to overcome because there is very little support.

        BTW, I’m not ashamed of what I went through…but I learned a hell of a lot about what real love entails through what I put my dear husband through.

        • March 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

          Oh, and the person I was in love with was a talented writer, a philosopher, a spiritual seeker and one of the best ‘teachers’ of life I have ever had…and he was 7 hours away from me. Hardly something one could really in a ‘codependent’ relationship with.

          I never met anyone to teach me more about myself in a four year correspondence than I have with anyone in real life. I did meet him for one week about a year ago…and…let’s just say that after he left my heart just stopped beating.

          • March 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

            And…yes, my husband knew all about the meeting, because he stayed with us for that week.

            Another thing I wanted to add was this:


            “Psychologist John Bradshaw provides the clearest definition of addiction as “a pathological relationship to any mood
            altering experience that has life damaging consequences.”
            By using the word experience, the net is spread wider.”

            You can read more about this if you were to read Healing the Shame that Binds You. Addictions are powerful, period. I don’t care if it’s food, or drugs, or people. But there’s a LOT of social support for drug addiction. People seem to understand craving a drug a whole lot more than craving interacting with a person.

            You can keep drugs away from the drug addict, but you can’t keep food from the person with an eating disorder or people away from someone who has an addiction to a relationship. And, from having been through it myself, the absence of the physical presence of a person makes no difference in a love addiction. I spent MUCH time in thoughts obsessing about my friend and made myself frequently sick.

            I’ve been in therapy for over a year…and it didn’t help…UNTIL I started experiencing the life-damaging consequences.

  3. March 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Phil, this just gives me the chills. Your use of dialogue, the personification of the addiction is so very effective and then using the song, the arms of an angel…gripping is all I can say. Thank you so very much for this. You’ve taught me a new technique to put in my tool bag: the dialogue.

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Victoria, thank you so much for the kind words. The idea of a dialogue came to mind early as I put myself into the reference frame of the addict. I just heard the two voices in my head and ran with it. I avoided the temptation to edit too much. I wanted it to be raw, rough, and uncut – not polished. The thanks belong to you for managing to inspire me with a topic.

  4. March 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Wow Phil, very powerful writing, I was totally drawn into the words and feelings you wrote of.
    My brother is a drug addict, many stays at rehab has so far not worked for him to stay away from it for good. Like you’ve said in your post…I guess resistance is too difficult. We have hope though for him, always hope…always a new day with a new chance…until there are no more.
    Have a great weekend Phil, and a happy St Patricks day.
    Big hugs, Nikki

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:46 am

      Thanks Nikki. I can appreciate how difficult it is to deal with an addict in the family. I can relate to what you’re going through. If you should ever need help with another viewpoint, some perspective, or just an ear to listen to you, feel free to send me a message. Stay strong for your brother.

  5. March 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    So like the spider…exceptionally well done Phil!

    Much love to you and yours ❤

    • March 19, 2012 at 2:02 am

      Carol, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them.

  6. Androgoth
    March 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    That graphic reminds me of that film
    called ‘Demon Seed’ only that one was
    a sort of male Robot or Alien, whereas
    this is clearly of a female nature…

    This is a very good posting my fine and
    wickedly good friend… I do hope that you
    are enjoying a wicked weekend 🙂


    • March 19, 2012 at 12:50 am

      I had a chaotic weekend, not as wicked as I might have wished, but splendid nonetheless. I hope you’re enjoying the conversation here.

      • Androgoth
        March 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

        Yes there are some interesting replies on this,
        however I agree with Ursula, but don’t be telling
        her or she might get a tad wicked 🙂 😉 Joking…

        Have a great rest of evening Phil 🙂


  7. Red
    March 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Excellent portrayal, Phil. I like the cajoling. Very accurate.

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Thanks Red. It was quite enjoyable to create this, despite the dark nature of it all.

      • Red
        March 19, 2012 at 12:57 am

        There is something inherently fun about dialog. I think it satisfies our inner actor to be able to play both roles, and when we do it well, it is gratifying.

  8. March 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I always loved that song but had no idea it was about addiction. I always thought it was about someone dying who had a lot of hardship in their life. isn’t funny how everyone hears the same words and draws their own meaning from their own frame of reference?

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:54 am

      Song lyrics are very much like any other fine work of art – always subject to interpretation, even when the artist explains it. We all see and hear so uniquely. Just as we’re all moved in our unique ways.

  9. March 18, 2012 at 1:03 am

    to me, this evokes so much loneliness…is it just me who sees this?

    anything but

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:56 am

      I agree. Addiction is an act of isolation and disassociation from humanity.

      • March 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        And sadly, Phil, thanks to technology, we have so many more ways to ‘keep in touch’ and so little that actually promotes deep communication and meaningful contact with one another.

        But…it’s also easier to turn to the pills and booze as a way of relieving the stress of being on the treadmill of modern life than it is to find healthy ways to manage it.

  10. March 18, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Phil, the image is powerful. And so is how you spin out the dialogue between an addict and his needle.

    I do disagree with MC and Casey that “love” is an addiction. It isn’t. Love is love. What both of you, MC and Casey, appear to be talking about is “co-dependency”. And some people are so afraid of being “lonely” they will put up with anything. That’s sad. But it most certainly is not ‘love’. Does a dog which sticks loyally to an abusive master love him? I don’t think so.

    Believe me if ‘love’ were an “addiction” I’d be the first to go into rehab. As it is, I am “clean”.


    • March 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

      Good Morning Ursula, 🙂 I googled Love addiction and co-dependency this morning so I could have a better conversation about this, I’m admittedly a little rusty on the dynamics of both. I hope Phil doesn’t mind my putting up a link I found regarding love addictions and the behaviors which are “also” co-dependent as you’re saying. Interestingly enough, co-dependent behaviors are not only related to drug/alcohol addictions.

      I remember years ago I had learned about co-dependent relationships and as the years went by I wondered why they only were related to those addictions. At that point I had no idea about love addictions or other levels of co-dependency however … over the years, it started to become readily apparent to me that it’s definition (symptoms if you will) are very closely related to other things, not only drug abuse.

      Love can be an addiction based on the body making all these feel good chemicals. I know it sounds “odd” that a person could be addicted to love, however… it’s true 🙂


    • March 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

      I would read Dorothy Tennov to really understand what love is. Most of what people call love isn’t love…but co-dependence.

      • March 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

        Ursula, I do agree that ‘love’ in it’s purest form isn’t addiction at all. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say relationship or sex addiction…which can include love but not always. It could just be about sex. And sex is definitely addictive (…orgasm produces oxytocin too…IF it’s done right. Sadly most people are satisfied with a mediocre or non-existent sex life.)

        However, to say what I am talking about is just co-dependence is partly the reason why I say ‘love’ or (relationship or sex addictions) are tougher to beat than a drug addiction. There is lack of compassion for it, putting the blame on the person, rather than the lack of deep connection in modern society.

        I’m a highly intelligent stay at home mother (now) who quit my job in the STEM field where I was thoroughly stimulated intellectually. I know exactly what kind of isolation exists for me.

        I am not afraid of being lonely. I’m afraid of having to relate to stupid people for the rest of my life.

        That being said, I met the most incredible human being in my friend…fell in love with his soul…and in lust because for me they just go together…and there you have it. One bona-fide love and lust addiction.

    • March 19, 2012 at 1:29 am

      Ursula, thanks for compliment. As usual, you force me to really think long and hard about what you are saying. I understand your example of the dog and its master. Let’s reverse the authority roles and ask a similar question. Does a parent who sticks loyally to an abusive child love him? I certainly think that is possible. Is it possible that love and co-dependency coexist? Perhaps we’re just arguing semantics. Speaking of semantics, the mother of all questions is this: What is love?

      I for one am enjoying all the discussion. It is quite… addictive.

      • March 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm

        LOL It’s quite addictive! LOL 🙂 (sorrry, I didn’t subscribe to the thread here so I missed the entire discussion.

  11. March 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    um…so i have no idea how/why amazon also added that picture…totally didn’t intend for that to happen. sorry phil…can’t undo it…but you could edit it on your end.

    • March 19, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Um… so if I don’t edit and delete it, will you be displeased and have to discipline me? Or should I just be an obedient boy and say, “Yes Ma’am!” and delete the images? Decisions, decisions… 😉

      It’s a bit strange – sometimes the image appears in place of the links and other times only the links appear. I’ll just leave them be.

      • March 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        Well, Phil,

        if you have to ask, you don’t know how to please your Domme really well, now do you. I shall have to take you to task for your waffling…


  12. March 19, 2012 at 3:01 am

    the use of visuals and word visuals is gripping. That picture makes me ponder it for a while.

    • March 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Thank you Barb. I was trying to find an image that conveyed the mood, and was pleased to stumble across the artwork. I was rather amazed at how easily it came together and flowed into the post.

  13. March 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

    **You’re in the arms of the angel
    May you find some comfort there
    You’re in the arms of the angel
    May you find some comfort here**

    Phil, those word by Sarah McLachlan always choked me up.

    Love Love Love. Xxx

    • March 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

      It is an emotionally loaded song, Kim.

  14. March 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Ursula :
    Casey, you “study” everything, even your children’s emotions. Let me ask you a question: Do you ever just relax and go by “instinct”? But then, I suppose, a person who is into, what’s it called, BDSM (thanks for the education) likes to tie herself down. Into knots?
    I myself prefer freedom.

    I have explored BDSM a little bit in reality, but more so in theory. There’s no drawer full of pleather and kinky sex toys at my house. I actually don’t like being tied up. There are things that can be done without all that stuff.

    I have a girl friend who is polyamorous and uses hardcore BDSM to manage her anxiety. I was curious about it because she was intensely happy with her arrangement with her significant other. I wanted to know what made her feel that way.

    I’m one of the most relaxed and free people I know, but I appreciate your concern. And I have intellectual curiosity. I would be what would be considered a polymath…or a Renaissance (wo)man. DaVinci was like this, as well as Michaelangelo, and Copernicus, and Aristotle, Goethe, and many others.

    As far as my “studying” my children goes, I find it much more healthy than what I see my contemporaries do with their lives – bitch about their kid’s awful behaviors, allowing kids to have handheld video games from the age of 2 to shut their kids up in public places, then when they are older and out of control, they medicate them with ADHD medications and antidepressants while taking AD’s themselves to “cope”. There are plenty of parents pulling out their hair while concurrently reaching for the bottle of wine or scotch to “unwind”. And nobody bats an eye at this stuff.

    In the “real world”, so-called doctors and psychologists are pathologizing everyday behaviors. I see a lot of ‘bratty’ behavior in my daughters’ friend that parents desperately try to control their behavior with reward charts, unsuccessfully.

    My daughters are some of the most loving, thoughtful, considerate, delightful children because of the time and care I’ve taken to understand their strengths and limitations and their asynchronous development.

    Was this stuff “instinctual” with me? No dear Ursula, it was not. I’m an adult child of an alcoholic. My mother was self-centered and controlling, by the time I was 2, the divorce from my father was final. She had a new spouse by the time I was 5, who was also an alcoholic.

    She was the spoiled only child of a lawyer. She inherited my grandfather’s shrewd business acumen, but she was one of the most cold-hearted people I know. She was, and is, a very powerful woman, sitting pretty on the assets my grandfather’s hard work resulted in.

    I have two sisters with suspected personality disorders, one of them with OCD tendencies and another one who is obese with an obese husband (and no, they didn’t start out that way…they both have extremely stressful jobs). They have nice homes, their children have all that they want, go to private schools, and yet, these are some of the most tense, anxious families I know and the parents micromanage their children’s lives, turning their children neurotic too.

    I don’t expect anyone to understand my rather peculiar ways. I can assure you I’m free of guilt, I’m free of anxiety, I’m free from engaging in the social constraints that prevent free expression of my self, and I’m sitting here drinking my coffee and happily expressing my views because I don’t care of the consequences but I do hope that I might educate others to think a bit more consciously about what they do and why they do it.

    I chuckle every time I see a bazillion comments on Phil’s blog because it wasn’t so very long ago that he didn’t have the fanbase he has now. I have often wondered why so many women think it’s funny to flirt with Phil and each other. Is this an adequate substitute for thoughtful meaningful interaction with another? Or is this what we’ve come to? Facetiousness and coy, essentially meaningless chatter?

    According to Jung, we all have a shadow side that wreaks havoc in our lives (and it’s covering them up from others that causes addictions and neurotic behaviors), but the funny things is, exposure of our darker natures to the light attentuates their impact. As part of my spiritual growth, I’m exposing some of mine to the light and realizing that there is nothing at all there that is shameful.

    You know, and I haven’t even picked on Androgoth and JennyGoth (I think that’s her handle). Do you know why? Because I find it interesting that grown adults so avoid dealing in the real world that they prefer living in a world created with vampires and sexual fantasy involving mythical creatures, but at least they aren’t tied to social convention. And they are probably more in tune with their shadow selves than the rest of us and overall happier for it (I would hope that’s the whole point). They have the courage to express themselves in the way that makes sense to them (even if it doesn’t to me). That takes balls, man.

    • March 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Casey, this minute I am knackered.

      I will give what you say consideration. In the meantime, and please don’t laugh, or do if you must: Before I visit Androgoth’s site I will ask my son to vet it for me The Angel is twenty. Which obviously makes him slightly younger than I am: Don’t confuse age with wisdom. I never ever put parental (web site) control into place. The day he came to me, as white as a sheet, maybe he was twelve or something, asking me what those “bits” were (some site he had stumbled upon) was the day that I learnt that unless you are a gynaecologist, you will not know the intracacies of your own machinery.

      Bear with me. Catch up with you later.


      • March 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

        I am not saying you must or must not visit Andrgoth’s site. I don’t. I have no interest. It’s rather tiresome to me…but if it’s their thing…I say let them have at it.

        I’m not confusing age with wisdom. I’m saying freedom of expression is a beautiful thing…even if it makes some people uncomfortable.

        The Angel? I’m not sure who/what you are referring to, is that Androgoth? So he’s doing his exploring now…as a young pup. Good for him. I know of highly intellectual men having a rip-roaring good time with it well into their 50s. To each his own.

        My daughters are 7, 8 and 10 and while they don’t know a whole lot about sexuality, they certainly now they have vaginas and vulvas and that boys have penises. I have started discussing menstruation with my oldest since I got my menses at 11. In due time, I’ll educate them on what a wonderful, uplifting, spiritual experience sex with their significant others can be.

        Some enlightened individuals believe that sexuality is a path to God. Just look up Ken Wilbur’s integral sexoloty or Osho’s use of tantric sex.

        I plan to enlighten my daughters so they aren’t scared about their bodies or sex. They are going to hear a lot of misinformation from their peers, starting in middle school. I want them to have accurate, unbiased, loving, open information.

        I spent 5 years as a forensic scientist on sexual assault and murder cases. I have no delusions about the dark side of the psyche. It’s in every. single. one of us. I’d rather shine light into the shadows and find out there’s nothing really all that scary there…except our own fears of exposure as fraudulent, inauthentic people.

        • March 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

          typo, sorry…

          integral sexology.

        • March 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

          Casey, the Angel is my son. He does have a name. One of the most gorgeous, luckiest (and, in Britain, rare) you can imagine. The only reason I don’t use it [his name] because privacy, not that he cares, needs to be observed. Why “Angel”? His blond locks are nearly down to his elbows, and his eyes are blue.


      • March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        Where to start, Casey? I am not easily overwhelmed – so, in no particular order:

        “Meaningless chatter”? Does that include your own [chatter]?

        “Flirting with Phil”? Being a “substitute for meaningful thoughtful discussion with each other”?

        Phil is a great guy, not least because he allows us to interact freely on his blog where others will throw you over board. When I first “met” Lorna I challenged her to a duel over him. She was good enough not to take the gauntlet. Now there is a woman [Lorna] whose got her priorities right. Neither have I heard from Phil’s wife yet who, by my reckoning, must be one hell of a woman. There is nothing wrong with flirtation. I flirt with my brother for heaven’s sake. And he is nine years younger (and my brother). I have declared undying love to a gay guy. My son’s friends will squeeze me in bear hugs to an inch of my lung capacity. And Androgoth and I will work on the old saying that “each relationship has its own secret”. He may be the bearer of handcuffs and I will bring the garlic. As long as he doesn’t eat it too I’ll be fine. Please do not make assumptions about people. If I weren’t able (and so is he) to look behind the veneer I dare say the Goth and I wouldn’t have any interest in each other.

        Your two sisters: One piece of advice: Never “psychologize” your siblings. It’ll backfire so badly you wish you were an only or, at least, had drowned them at birth.

        I am sorry to hear about your mother. Mothers are pivotal to our lives. Yet, they too are human.

        Let me give you a little bit of “tough love”: You say you are free of anxiety. Casey, by all accounts, you are riddled with it. And that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t run to the next therapist and spend money they don’t deserve.

        You say we have a “dark side” to us. Maybe. I don’t know. I am not called Sunshine for nothing. And the sooner any of us acknowledge our dark side the better. Please do take note: I said “acknowledge” NOT “embrace”.

        “Renaissance man/woman” – you are aiming high. Neither are you the best judge of whether you have achieved your goal. Whilst Goethe was full of himself (and quite rightly so) I wonder if Leonardo da Vinci ever had an eye on an accolade. I doubt it.

        May I ask you, and I hope this isn’t too forward, neither do you need to answer: How old are you?


        • March 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

          Where to start? Start picking me apart, you mean?

          I’ll be 42 this year.

          I’m not trying to overwhelm you, just stating my views. If you feel the need to be overwhelmed, don’t let me stop you.

          It doesn’t at all bother me what you think of me. I don’t pathologize my siblings. I see them suffering. Some of their traits could easily fall into the DSM-IV. I see their children suffering. I see why my husband, my friends, my former colleagues who I am still in contact with are suffering.

          What I don’t see is how to help them break free of the roles they are shackled to.

          The world is poised for a great tumble. I only hope that enlightenment will soon come before that happens.

          I see what kind of world my children will be inheriting. I’m sorry I don’t share your optimism. They say ignorance is bliss for a reason.

          My mother taught me a great deal of things…she was a very strong woman. I have forgiven her for the things she failed to teach me.

          You may read what you will into my words. I know the truth of my internal experience.

          You flirt with your brother? Wow. Okay. That’s seems mighty incestuous of you. But if that is what you find pleasurable, I guess that’s all right. I would never think to flirt with my brother, 10 years younger than me.

          It’s always troubles me (actually makes my stomach lurch) when a mother so idolizes her son (or a father her daughter)…but well, its sometimes an easier source of intimacy than the appropriate source – the spouse.

          Have fun playing your games with others. I guess your way of gaining intimacy is through these at rather weird attempts at connection. It’s not my path. So, who am I to judge.

          And now, I think I’ll bow out of this conversation. It is clear that you are missing a lot of my points and are simply just trying to undermine what I know is true for myself.

          • March 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

            “Bowing out of this conversation”, Casey? Getting uncomfortable, is it?

            You give me permission “for playing …. games with others”. Thanks. My “weird attempts at connection”? What are you talking about? The person here who is desperately trying to connect is you.

            Incest? Don’t make me laugh. I even flirt with my father. Idolize my son is it? Well, never will a son, according to your Jung, be more successful in life than when idolized by his mother. One nil for the home game.

            Taking you apart? Casey, do not flatter yourself. I don’t have the time. However, I do have the time to correspond with anyone on Phil’s blog.

            And don’t you “worry” about me. No one has yet ‘overwhelmed’ me. It “doesn’t bother” you what I think of you? I sincerely hope so. The only thing that should bother us is what we think of ourselves. I’d hate to be in in your skin.

            And, Casey, I am not “missing a lot of your points”. I am getting them hard and fast. Neither do I ever “undermine” anyone. Do you seriously think I’d engage with a complete stranger if I didn’t care?

            If you were my younger sister, let me say this, Casey, and I mean well: You’ve got to get a grip. Fast.


            • Androgoth
              March 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

              Usually I see no positivity in these tit-for-tat exchanges, however I must admit that you Casey are a class act, adding whatever you see fit and then backing out without an ounce of blame for your, shall we say fleeting encounter? You are one of those commenter’s that throw caution to the wind and create the waves of darkness with a touch of ignorance, even offering a summary of me in your attempts to rock Ursula with your so acclaimed in depth studies on the subject but to me you are the ultimate blabbermouth offering your own brand of communicating and clumsily shattering any chance of positivity as you thrash it out with whomever does not agree with your findings. You do not know me my friend and so do not make uninformed judgements of my character.


              “I am not saying you must or must not visit Andrgoth’s site. I don’t. I have no interest. It’s rather tiresome to me…but if it’s their thing…I say let them have at it. I’m not confusing age with wisdom. I’m saying freedom of expression is a beautiful thing…even if it makes some people uncomfortable. The Angel? I’m not sure who/what you are referring to, is that Androgoth? So he’s doing his exploring now…as a young pup. Good for him. I know of highly intellectual men having a rip-roaring good time with it well into their 50s. To each his own”.

              What exactly are you blathering on about with this statement? Indeed why bring my name into this conversation in the first place, or was this your opportunity to engage me without actually replying to my original comment to you? How disrespectful you are that you should add a slight against me and then just back off without apologising to me for your negative assessment of my character and of course my Space, which you seem to have visited at some point in time without adding anything?

              Are you one of those individuals that labels another without a true understanding of their individuality and instead prefer to harass with condescending remarks in order to receive some form of fulfilment, because if this is your aim my friend you have failed miserably as you do not impress me with your ridiculousness, nor your flagging ability to grasp the reality of another person’s qualities before actually knowing them for whom they really are.


              • March 21, 2012 at 12:02 am


                I wasn’t criticizing you. At all. I could indeed have mistaken you for someone else. So your blog isn’t the one with graphic images of dripping blood and scantily clad big-chested vampiric women with poetry about the lustful desires and sadistic imagery?

                Wow, I must have really been mistaken. I’m sorry for confusing you with that person. I apologize.

                I have recently viewed someone’s blog with vampires and all sorts of things of the underworld. My point is that I’m ALL FOR free expression EVEN WHEN I DON’T UNDERSTAND it. I certainly don’t understand the draw towards vampiric fantasy worlds. But I certainly don’t discredit those who do.

                If that’s not you, please accept my sincerest apologies. I was attempting to appreciate your candor. My bad.

                It’s cool if it wasn’t you and I certainly wasn’t attempting to mock you. It certainly wasn’t meant to be taken as an insult, but I have no control over how my words are percieved. On the contrary, I think that it takes a certain kind of courage in order to express one’s individuality.

                Whatever the content of your blog, which I can’t see anymore because I have no access to it, I’m sure it’s great.

                That being said, BDSM, to me confers a level of intimacy that no ordinary relationships have…a relationship built more on trust and the exchange of power. This isn’t something I mock or denigrate but I see as a potentially beautiful thing, but certainly takes a lot more trust than most people have to give.

                See, no one has any idea that I’m not taking out of my ass. I’m actually providing well thought out responses based on my experiences and my curiosity…and NO ONE is actually considering that I may have a grain of real insight here.

                That’s fine. Truly.

                Y’all are pretty tight with each other, I can see. My presence and my views are perceived incorrectly. I see no reason to keep beating myself against the wall.

                Just so you know…I spent the entire evening crying about this…knowing you have no idea the things I see…the denial that everyone has going on that everything is fine just fine in the world.

                And I’m no longer addressing Ursula. I do not need to defend my self to her. Or anyone.

                But I did want to apologize to you Androgoth…because I wasn’t insulting you, but rather, appreciating your courage to live as you see fit.

                • Androgoth
                  March 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

                  You know full well that the Space that you are describing is mine but that doesn’t give you the right to add your slant on what is deemed acceptable or not, now if you are not a fan of horror then so be it I can understand that but why be so negative towards me when you don’t even have the slightest idea of what my Space is all about, of course in your eyes I am some kind of fiend offering the dark side of humanity, lust and debauchery at every turn, I guess you never read about such things, or watch movies of a creepy nature and perhaps turn your head away from a hint of bare flesh. Don’t be so judgemental, stop being so sensitive and try engaging in a positive manner with other users within the debate and maybe that way when someone reads what you have to say it will be taken in the sense that you are being constructive about the given theme. Everyone that happens along this blog will have a different idea or opinion but this is what makes a good debate, which I was quite willing to participate in but this kind of action offers a reaction and unfortunately you are on the receiving end due to a rather flippant approach to debating. Sadly the dialogue here has fractured and spiralled thus giving the impression that everyone is against you but that is definitely a pessimistic view, indeed without all the innuendo I figure this debate could have been a fruitful one, no point in crying once the milk has been spilt my friend, just keep an open mind on things instead of trying to fathom everything out and blend it in with your own assessment, and why add anything about Jen or myself? This is not the point of this debate, and for the record we are just adding what we enjoy in our own Spaces, if you or indeed anyone else does not like what we write about or add to our Spaces then that is absolutely fine, but do not covertly add what you think about that content here, or what was it that you said, ah yes…

                  “You know, and I haven’t even picked on Androgoth and JennyGoth (I think that’s her handle). Do you know why? Because I find it interesting that grown adults so avoid dealing in the real world that they prefer living in a world created with vampires and sexual fantasy involving mythical creatures, but at least they aren’t tied to social convention”

                  This was something that you said to Ursula but I don’t like how you try to use Jen and myself to push your points across, and while we are on the subject who are you to ‘Pick On’ anyone? Then you say that you didn’t mean to insult me, well that statement of yours is most definitely insulting don’t you agree? You say that you haven’t picked on us yet, and that you find us interesting, well I don’t understand you at all my friend and this is my last word on this subject…


  15. March 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Well then, it looks like the dinner party has carried over to here. Shall I order in some food for everyone?

    • March 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Please do, Phil [order some food, or cook it yourself]. I already feel slightly sick so a bit more nausea wont’ make much difference.

      A Bloody Mary will be fine, too.Thanks. What are friends for if not to lean on? The staggering leading the blind.


      • March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

        Ah, the staggering leading the blind. Another form of bliss if you ask me…

    • March 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Phil, sorry for the major derailment of your conversation…but I draw all sorts of parallels between your beautiful piece and many areas of modern life, not just the obvious substance addictions which most of us are relieved we don’t have. But it’s the process addictions that most trouble me….

      I am afraid I might be wrecking the party, so I might have to quietly withdraw. I certainly mean no harm. Thanks so much for your hospitality. You are a kind and generous host.


      • March 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm


        No need to apologize to me or to withdraw for fear of wrecking the party. As you can see, I have little desire to moderate and steer discussion or act as heavy-handed censor. Everyone is responsible for their own words and actions, and I don’t consider it a reflection on me. I hope we all have thick enough skin to be able to enjoy a lively debate, if that is what breaks out. This place always has been and still remains my little playground with everyone welcome to frolic about, save for spammers.

        So… hang around. Want anything to eat? Drink perhaps?

  16. March 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Phil, the vehicle of the internal dialog was quite effective. I wish my internal dialog had been so rational even on one side. I remember thinking, “Well, I have to die of something. It might just as well be liver failure.” And then I’d drink myself into oblivion.

    • March 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Lorna, thank you. I am sure the dialogue progressed and changed over time, as you’ve crossed back over the line to sobriety, and with the distance of time, that voice now worries less about dying of and more about living for something.

    • March 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Lorna, as you know: I take my hat off to your incredible honesty which, both on your blog and in your comments, you offer without a hint of self pity. One observation (can’t remember who made it and it is so striking) that the bottle is a sort of inconspicuous way of killing yourself. Suicide on the sly, as it were. Dying in increments.

      I myself do call it, and most affectionately so: “The coward’s way out.”

      Fact is that a lot of genius is carried on the back and the burden of a glass often empty, in need to be refilled. (If Hemingway were able to read that last sentence he’d either fall in love with me or shoot me. Take your pick).


  17. March 21, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Well now, what a fine mess this all has become. I’m guessing a group hug is not in the cards this evening. Maybe it’s best to wrap up this discussion and turn in for the night. Sleep – what better way to cool off one’s jets. Last one out, please turn off the light.

  18. March 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Oooh. May I remove my comment on your detention post then… I see what happened. Lively bunch … My god, this got long.

    Did you ever order something Phil? I have … well, what would you like to drink, I can stop off and bring whatever you like. 🙂

    • Androgoth
      March 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      I will have a jelly and peanut butter sandwich followed by lashings, oop’s did I say lashings? Okay then I will have a slap and tickle of a doughnut with cream and some of those chocolate handcuffs, I mean marshmellows 😉 🙂 lol

      Be good MC or else? 😉

      Androgoth XXx

      • March 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm

        Wait… you’ve been in my bosses credenza? Oh… no, that’s me. hahaha!

        No lashings for me … that’s just … I’ve seen pictures? oh. No. That’s not happening. LOL 🙂

        I’m gude… 🙂 sshhhh… don’t tell anyone.

        • Androgoth
          March 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm

          MC what are we having to drink? 🙂
          Maybe a nice bottle of chilled Vampire 🙂

          Androgoth XXx

          • March 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm

            Sounds good! Maybe some … zombie fingers and a club or two. 🙂

            • Androgoth
              March 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm

              I was thinking more in the line of a few sarnies and a wicked cake but definitely no clubs are allowed so no point in looking for him okay? 🙂 lol

              Be Good…

              Androgoth XXx

              • March 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm

                What’s a sarnie?

                Okaaaaay. No cluubbbbssss… (insert pout, walks away dragging feet)

                You be good Andro. I think you must certainly get into much more naughtyness than me!

                • Androgoth
                  March 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

                  No Way… You have the monopoly on naughtiness MC and I wouldn’t get anywhere near with my feeble attempts at wickedness, you see I am just too innocent you know? 😉 lol

                  Androgoth XXx

                  • March 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm

                    Why yes… I do believe I see your halo… 🙂

                • Androgoth
                  March 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm

                  A Sarnie is a Sandwich 🙂 lol

                  Androgoth XXx

      • Red
        March 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm

        How did I know there would be chocolate handcuffs?

        • Androgoth
          March 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm

          It was your idea originally as I recall? 🙂 lol

          Androgoth XXx

          • Red
            March 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm

            Yes, it was 😉
            So Very Wickedly

            • Androgoth
              March 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm

              Yes it was 😉 lol

              Androgoth XXx

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