Introductory blog - seeking help
By amIlost
6/7/2013 10:43:37 PM
I couldn't decide whether to sign up as an addict or a loved one. Actually, it is both. For sure, I am a compulsive eater, and have been affiliated with OA off and on since 1971. In fact, I got to this site doing a search to try to find a meeting and couldn't even find an online meeting. Then, since I knew there were LDS addiction recovery meetings held in my area, I did a search and found this. I am hesitant to attend local LDS meetings because it might be hard to remain anonymous, but the blog idea is appealing. Writing is supposed to be very helpful in working out problems, is it not? Okay, so that's one addiction. The "loved one" part is that I'm trying to help a loved one realize that he has an addiction and help him want to work through it without being judgmental. He's not LDS. But also, I'm caught up in his addiction, and that's the one I need to focus on the most. The problem is sex addiction. I have a history, and there is no reason to go into it at this point. My history with Scott is that I was an employee at a state prison in my state, and I worked in the office of a medium security living unit. I had daily contact with about 250 inmates, with crimes from murder to robbery and everything inbetween, lifers to sentences of 1 year+ 1 day. As part of my job I worked closely with a small group of inmates helping them with leadership responsibilities in a pilot program our institution was conducting. Strictly professional. I was married, a temple marriage in fact. I never looked at another man; that wasn't my nature. However, my marriage was in trouble. My husband was often emotionally abusive, and the term "unrighteous dominion" was very pertinent as he became more and more prone to dictate to me how I was to think even, and to criticize me for being myself. I found myself not looking forward to going home at the end of my day. He had retired, but he was very much opposed to my retiring as I had planned to do soon. After a lot of contention about it, I agreed to put off the retirement for a while, but I felt a lot of resentment about it. I was going through a lot of family issues, as I had two grown children with disabilities who had also lost their jobs during the economy fall during 2008-09. My son was returning from the Philippines, and needing care while he prepared to bring his wife and her daughter to the States as immigrants. My daughter's unemployment had run out, and she had no income and nowhere to live. I was trying to set things up so they could live together and she could earn her keep by taking care of him. My husband, although he would do anything for his own five adult children, was very unsupportive of my efforts to help mine. On Labor Day weekend he went to Portland to meet with an old family friend who was visiting family there, and my son came to visit me. During the weekend I pondered and prayed about what I should do about my marriage. I seriously considered leaving and finding a place for my children and I and just being separated for a while. My husband and I had both committed to the"no divorce ever, under any circumstances"policy. I finally came to the conclusion that my temple marriage was the most important consideration. Although I didn't at that moment want to be with him for eternity, I knew I would be blessed if I did my very best to honor my covenants no matter how hard my husband made it. When he came home, I sat down with him and asked him what we could do to make our marriage work. And he told me right out that he was filing for divorce that week, and I would have until the end of the month to move out of "his" house. No ifs, ands or buts. I went into shock. This profoundly put me into a tailspin. The next day, back at work after the holiday, one of the inmates who was in that prison program needed a copy made of an agenda for a meeting and came to me. It was pretty common knowledge that I had planned to retire in a month or so, and he asked something in passing about it. I said I was going to have to put it off for a few years, and he asked "Why is that?" I knew we weren't supposed to get into any personal details with inmates, but I was hurting so bad I didn't even think as I responded that my husband had just pretty much thrown me out like a bunch of garbage. He obviously didn't know how to respond, but there was genuine sympathy in his eyes. I mumbled something like please don't repeat what I just said because I could get in a lot of trouble if that got around. Later he let me know that when I did retire, he would like it if I would look him up and write to him. I pointed out that he was young enough to by my son, and he said that didn't matter to him. Contrary to everything I believed in, I communicated with him in ways that were immoral since I was not divorced yet. Several months later I did retire, and he was transferred to a different prison, and we started corresponding and talking on the phone. I visited him a few times, and he asked me to marry him. The problem is the difference in our backgrounds. I grew up in an active LDS home and culture. I don't know if he had any religious exposure at all before he was baptized into a Christian church in prison in his late 20s, early 30s. His parents divorced when he was a child and he lived with his mother who was unable to control him. He made some very bad choices of friends who got him involved with alcohol, drugs, and sex. He is in prison now with 5 years to go on a 22-year sentence, the maximum recommended for a second sex offence with children. It is very bad, not not a bad as it sounds. The influence of the alcohol and the drugs made him unaware of his choices. He is free of those addictions now. In prison he came to see that he was on a very self-destructive track and did everything he could to change his habits and his way of thinking. He went to classes, worked hard, and stayed out of trouble. He went to church regularly, prays, and reads the Bible. After meeting me, he attended LDS meetings too, when he was able (there aren't any where he is now, because there are no members there and they won't send anyone out for just him) and he is very receptive to everything he has learned. The problem is that he really has no comprehension of how wide the differences are between us. I love him very much and I know there is so much good in him. However, it is also very obvious that there is a sexual addiction that he is in denial about. I do not for a moment believe he would ever commit a sex offence again, but he focuses all the time on sexual images and he masturbates on a daily basis. For a while we participated in our own version of phone sex, and I started masturbating during those "sessions" and on my own. He has a fixation on what he calls "cameltoe" photos (I had never heard of them before) and is always wanting to to find them on my computer and send them to him. I have gone through about two years of spiritual sickness and now am trying to come out of it, trying to explain to him why I can't live this double life, and trying to reassure him that I love him and will be here for him always. I have greatly toned down my participation in the addictive behavior, but sometimes I slip. I can't fault him because he really down't know better. His version of Christianity doesn't recognize any disconnect between his behavior and the commandments. I am trying to teach him. So I need help both as a recovering addict and as a loved one trying to help an addict. If anyone has any advice, without ripping me apart as I have seen some insensitive men do to others seeking help, I am open. By the way, I am 68 years old, well-educated and not entirely stupid in spite of my sheltered upbringing, so please respect that.


You poor thing.    
"I really feel angry at your husband. He brings up memories of my own self-righteous emotionally detached and mean father.

I am sorry you have had such a difficult time and I can understand your vulnerability when you fell into the relationship with the inmate. That being said, I think it is YOU who does not quite grasp the differences between yourself and this inmate. You cannot help him. The relationship you have with him is a Disney movie version of the relationship you would have if he was out of prison. He has already manipulated you into feeding his addiction and deceived you into thinking you are helping him to be a better Christian. Danger ahead! I wish I could convince you that you deserve better. Your husband has done a good job of destroying your self-esteem but if you seek out and join a 12 Step fellowship, you can find yourself again. Please shift your focus on the one that really needs healing...YOU! I hate to be a Negative Nancy but Zebra's do not change their stripes and this man that is on his best behavior while incarcerated has many painful lessons to learn after he is released. He is not relationship material right now or any time in the near future and you actually do him a disservice by enabling his addiction.

Good luck, my dear. I so hope that I have not been too harsh. I want you learn that you are worth so much more than how your husband treated you. You are intelligent, articulate, and compassionate. You deserve a man that treats you with respect and honors your womanhood."
posted at 09:39:59 on June 8, 2013 by Anonymous
You really need to work on yourself    
"I will try to be as sensitive as I can but I have to say YOU DESERVE BETTER!

I know that you really think that you love this man but in my experience you can never really experience the love the Lord intended for a man and women unless you both truly, deeply, spiritually love each other. I am not saying that you don't love him but he does not love you the way a man should love a woman. And if he truly did have a true spiritual conversion a true change of heart, he would not be still addicted to masturbation and the sexual imagery he is lusting after and using you for.

He has more problems than you ex-husband and I feel he is using you in more ways than you know. I have no doubt that he is possessed by an unclean spirit as well. You should go to the 12 step program and also there are church dating sites that you can register with when you are ready and when you are over these abusers. You can find a genuine good man but you have to be spiritually ready and looking in the right places. I am not saying that some people don't have true conversions in jail and become spiritual but with my psychology experience and my own discernment not many child molesters in this world have a true spiritual awakening and a true change of heart.

I know as you go to these meetings and get back to your Father in Heaven the vulnerability and dependency you feel will leave and soon you will start asking yourself what in the world were you thinking, being with such abusers. Unfortunately you have the spirit of insecurity, vulnerability and co-dependency working on your lack of self worth encouraging you to do and feel things that are contrary to your innate spiritual nature.

If you can get a priesthood blessing and ask the priesthood holder to rebuke the evil spirits away from you that are influencing your insecurities, vulnerabilities and lack of self-worth this will help you. If one is riding you, you should feel a weight lift off your shoulders after the blessing / rebuking and your confusion should also ease off so you can make better choices.

Whenever anyone works in prisons, hospitals, institutions they should pray earnestly, get blessings, live worthy and learn how to rebuke evil spirits so they do not bring any unclean spirits home or have them ride or possess them.

You can break this mans influence and the evil spell you are under and have your own spiritual awakening. You are a beautiful daughter of God and you deserve so much better!

I am sorry if I have upset you or offended you but you deserve better and you are enabling this man to continue in his filth.

Good Luck and God Bless!"
posted at 21:00:25 on June 11, 2013 by Anonymous
Thank you for your comments    
"I do appreciate the comments. I spent a lot of time responding, but somehow my comment was not entered and I can't re-create it. I think both of you are missing the point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Scott, the inmate, is not a member of the church. But he is a child of God. As I read the Book of Mormon and conference talks by General Authorities (especially in recent years), there is always the possibility of a change of heart. Scott has grown up in a culture that was very difficult. He was sexually abused as a young child by a babysitter - maybe that was in my original post, I don't remember, and the memories of that and subsequent experiences he had while growing up around "friends" in the drug culture still influence him. But remember that those who have not the law will not be judged by the law. He still has the right and the opportunity to learn the commandments of the gospel and to choose whether to accept them or not. I'm betting that he will, because he has a willing spirit that is reaching out. But you have both made good points that I have been enabling him in his addiction, and although I have been pulling away from that in order to get my own house in order, I have written him to let him know that there will be no more pictures, no sex talk on the phone, etc. and why. He will either accept that or not. He has always put me first and we'll see. But I think you were both out of line in that you stereotype all sex offenders as unchangeable pedophiles, unredeamable. Sex sins are very serious, but still second to murder. Society actually views murder in a more favorable light than sex crimes. Murderers many times get out of prison in a much shorter period of time. They do not have to have their name on registers for the rest of their lives and get permission to move about. It is extremely difficult for a released sex offender to find a place where he can live, and he has to report to his landlord and his employer what his status is. The concept of serving time in prison for a crime and then getting the chance for a new start does not exist with a sex offence. As a mother, a grandmother and a greatgrandmother I certainly do not condone what Scott did, but it was at a time in his life when he was unable to appreciate the enormity of it all, and he has given a lot of time and thought to how he could become a better person. Yes, he still has a long way to go because he has to learn to control his thoughts. He has to come to an understanding that he has that remaining addiction. But remember what the 12-step program is -gaining an understanding that we have this problem that we can't deal with on our own so we have to turn it over to God who can and will remove it from us when we are ready and willing, etc. I don't want anyone saying he doesn't have the same right that you or I have to receive that miracle if he's willing to do what it takes. And since I met my ex through an LDS singles program, went through a clean courtship and an engagement of two years, married in the temple, supported him in his church callings, and we both maintained our temple recommends, don't even talk about my going through that again and finding someone worthy of me! I no longer have any faith in finding a man who will find me "worthy" of his inflated ego. That's not to say that there aren't wonderful men in the church, just that I'm not going to risk my bruised heart again. I know who Scott is. He doesn't pretend to be anything other than what he is. He is the only man in my life who has just listened to me and actually wanted to hear me, and wanted to know how I feel and what I think. He puts me needs first before what he wants. He worries about my health, and reminds me that when my bipolar 46 year old daughter screams at me that she hates me, that it is her illness that is speaking, and he helps me get through it. Sometimes he gently reminds me that he is the one in prison. Everyone assumes he is manipulating me to get what he wants, but I know when he's doing it and if I give in it is my choice and my fault. I admit to being co-dependent, I always have been. That's why I'm here. Help me, don't judge him. I don't have money, a home, or a car even. He has always known that there's nothing to get from me except love, acceptance of him as a worthwhile human being, and friendship. And we are best friends, with most our conversation about the things we enjoy in common. His family have told me how much growth they have seen in him in the last couple of years since I've been in his life. I love his family and they love me. So, thanks for the insights and I value them for what they are, but please lose the attitude and remember the worth of EVERY soul is great in the eyes of God."
posted at 21:25:58 on June 17, 2013 by amIlost
AMILOST, You are so right, and I am sorry.    
"I can't believe how judgmental my post was. I want to apologize. You have reminded me that everyone is redeemable."
posted at 23:24:13 on June 18, 2013 by Anonymous

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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay