I Don’t Deserve to Be Happy

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About Felicity Hodgman

Felicity Hodgman currently lives in Vermont with her husband and two rescue dogs. She spends her time with a tribe of writing friends who often rescue her from herself. Felicity's work is included in the Johns, Marks, Tricks and Chickenhawks anthology and can also be found in Fifth Estate magazine. When she's not wrestling with words, Felicity enjoys hiking, skiing, yoga, and dance. Felicity's blog is located at www.risingsunhouse.blogspot.com.


  1. You have extraordinary courage to put into print those things that expose. I wonder how many of us would have the courage to do the same. I would venture to say not many (me included). Thank you for writing from where you write.

  2. Interesting experiment: Flip the genders in that initial anecdote and the author would become guilty of harassment, unprofessional conduct, and up on charges with HR. “He” would be declared guilty of sexual assault, and TGMP would be decried for publishing more apologetics for sexual abusers. Sympathy for the protagonist would be zero.

    We live in an interesting society.

    • I don't know says:

      Perhaps the problem is not that males are brought up on charges is such cases, but that females aren’t.

      • Copyleft & I Dont Know–The incident with my supervisor is used to illustrate how broken I was–a college educated woman, with a decent job, yet still the only way I knew to relate to someone I admired was sexually.

        • Not broken. No you were not broken. There is nothing wrong with having sexual friends nor in seducing. What is problematical is the hope or expectation that there would be a sea change.

          • Rio, don’t you think that “Felicity” is intelligent enough to know herself and why she was doing certain actions better then you know her or why she was doing them?

            Yes, there is nothing wrong with having sex. But when you are only able to relate to others sexually, yes, that is a problem.

  3. I can’t help note the irony that this author doesn’t believe she deserves happiness, while publishing under the name “Felicity,” which means happiness.

    Anyway. That’s a linguistic observation – don’t need to read anything into it. I found this piece interesting and hope the author finds it in herself to resolve her problems.

    • KKZ–I changed my name to “Felicity” 20 years ago when I began my healing journey, and also as a way to distance myself from my family of origin. :-) Thanks for reading & commenting.

  4. “Men I hoped would rescue me…”

    This is very powerful writing….thank you for being so brave…

  5. I hope that this important conversation doesn’t turn into a tortured dialogue about double standards of sexuality and the difference between apologetic position and a gut wrenching level of candor. Because this piece transcends gender and sexual ethic arguments and cuts to the chase. It opens the door to talk about how many of us consider sex a fall-back strategy to cope with feelings of inadequacy and incompletence. If we feel we are losing control over a situation we throw sex into the mix to try and regain our footing.

    Thank you Felicity for your honesty and courage.

    • Amen. Thank you, Felicity, for sharing your stories.

    • FlyingKal says:

      @Jeff C:
      ” It opens the door to talk about how many of us consider sex a fall-back strategy to cope with feelings of inadequacy and incompletence.”

      Then what about when you discover that your inadequacy and incompetence (yes I changed that on purpose) includs our inability to attract and therefore have sex with other people? How deep into the well of “I don’t deserve to be happy” do you then sink?

    • @JeffC…

      Well, you might be right. But, few men can just “throw sex into the mix” without using call girls/prostitutes. That is a privilege that only women have Jeff.

      Only conventionally attractive men can wake up and decide they want to become sex addicts. Otherwise, the reason many men might have feeling of inadequacy or incompetence is because they cannot get sex. More than likely these men will turn to drugs, alcohol,…..not sex.

      Just saying.

  6. …dirty home, crabby husband, unhappy children…what to do? Fix It. I am of the very strong opinion that most of your married clients also had made up excuses in their minds-house too noisy, children too demanding, wife not satisfying my sexual needs….and so, they carried their excuses to you and you fed them with yours too.

    But what’s the solution? Fix It. Clean up your home, work at your relationship with your husband, make your children happy, after all kids are born with a happy-switch-on-button which takes fuel as little as a piece of candy. Work It!. I’m so fed up with people giving excuses for their screwed up lives. Those men’s wives are at home struggling to make their homes happy and their marriages worthwhile, and here you are supporting the wretched men’s excuses with your own. It’s Not Fair. I speak as a married woman who’s been cheated on. It hurts from this other end of the spectrum I assure you. We can’t afford to make any more excuses, and certainly not in this day and age of HIV, AIDS and other deadly diseases. So Work It people, Fix It where it broke!

    • @Joy…

      “Those men’s wives are at home struggling to make their homes happy and their marriages worthwhile, and here you are supporting the wretched men’s excuses with your own.”

      And how do you know this?

      Those men wives could be at home miserable and unhappy. People assume too much about what is really transpiring within a marriage. Nearly 75% of all divorces are filed by the wife. So, maybe the wives are at home plotting their exit strategies.

      I have sympathy for you being cheated on and feeling the hurt afterwards. But, as someone who endured a sexless marriage for over a decade and did NOT cheat, I do understand the men who are suffering in these sexless marriages too.

      Something just seem to go terribly wrong with sex in marriages. The women just seem to lose sexual interest in their husbands. Yet, the wives just expect their husbands to just endure it. Most do. But, it is torment and hell.

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