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Adult Decisions
By mrpuppy1983
3/15/2015 12:49:57 AM
My journey through the various stages of recovery has been long and twisted. I have been working at it for years, but have not made it past the first 3 steps of the AR program. I began seeking out pronographic images when I was a preteen, and over the years, I have seen this filth erode my mind in a way that few in the outside world can comprehend.

Ten years ago, I began the grueling process of attempting to quit porn. I was not a member of the church at the time, and was in a committed relationship. My girlfriend was the only individual in my circle who took on the challenge of trying to help me fight through the withdrawals; my family knew of the issue, but was completely absent.

Over the years, my girlfriend and I got married and had kids. I was able to leave the porn behind in spurts, but the alterations to my brain have persisted. Essentially, I merely transitioned my desire for stimulation onto her in a completely unhealthy way. My willing, even eager partner became a shel of herself as the demands and coercion escalated. I'm not going to get into graphic details on here, but I will say that she has found herself fending off my advances more than once.

I feel awful for the things that I have done to her, and the damage that I have done to our marriage. We were in the process of preparing for the Temple - already had our recommends - when my behavior went off the deep end. Now, she can't imagine an eternity with me. Honestly, I can;'t blame her.

I have fought long and hard to come to a place where I feel comfortable being held accountable, and facing the mistakes that I have made. I try to surround myself with people who can accept who I am, and where I've been. I usually find that I am harder on myself than others are. The concept of forgiving myself seems to elude me.

Despite al that has happened, my wife remains my primary support. She has benefited me in enumerable ways, and I find myself admiring her al the more as time passes.

On the other end of the spectrum are certain members of my family, who have largely turned their back on my struggles. I was neglected, isolated, and simultaneously "spoiled" as a child. A process that my wife tells me is narcissistic in nature. This process has gone on in my family over the course of my entire life, and I am just now beginning to see damage that has occurred because of it.

My parents knew that I was viewing insane amounts of porn for years both as a child and adult, but never saw fit to address the issue. Even now, my mom downplays the effect that it has had on my life, and only tacitly supports the recovery process. The rest of the family either ignores the issue, or offers limited help.

I had come to accept this reality, but was taken by surprise when blame for my wife began to merge in my family. As one family member put it, " he has never abused you, and you need to spot being so mellow dramatic". Not only was my wife deeply hurt by the criticisms and insults that she has received, she was mortified at my family's refusal to help me by offer support and some realistic accountability.

I point to a singular event, but the pattern has become very striking in my mind. There are certain people in my life whom I have loved unconditionally, who are very clearly toxic to mine and my family's well-being. From a logical perspective, I understand that walking away from these people will eventually lead to more self-confidence and self-esteem. However, the process of coming to terms with this reality is quite painful.

I have begun to face the rarity that I may end up alone, as my wife understandably wants out of the marriage. This isn't a new thing, but that in combo with losing my extended family was a shock to the system. I am trying to have faith that all will work out for the best in the end, and that this is yet another difficult step on the road to recovery, but it's not easy. On one hand, I have always felt compelled to forgive the crap that they've done to me over the years. Yet somehow, I am trying to accept that they are completely unrepentant to the point that they attack when any allegation of wrong-doing on their part is brought up. I am at a crossroads in my life, and I am praying for the strength to go down the right path. I've been through quite a bit in my fees years, but nothing quite like this. I just hope that I am finally getting somewhere on this journey to a healthy mind, soul, and spirit.

Comments:

Therapy    
"Mr Puppy 1983, there are so many parts of your narrative that I can relate to, i.e. those that should help me, hurt instead, plenty of self-doubt and self loathing, etc.

It has been a long road for me, and I still have quite a ways to go, but I think one of the keys is to keep moving in a better direction.

It sounds like you have a lot of family issues that may be difficult for you to comprehend why they are the way they are. I can relate to that. My recovery journey brought me to find a good LDS therapist. I've actually seen a few LDS therapists. Some of them were much better than others. If you haven't explored that route yet, I would encourage it. I wanted to do couples therapy to help my marriage but my therapist said there were currently too many people in my marriage, i.e. me, my wife, AND my addiction. So, I'm working on the addiction.

Hang in there. The road will quite possibly be long and arduous, but it is worth every effort. God bless."
posted at 15:52:43 on March 15, 2015 by DANO42
Hope    
"My heart goes out to you. This was hard to read and your pain is so real. I just want to support you in this dark time.

I think Dano is right about therapy. That was a big turning point for me and my husband as well. It took me a long time to find a therapist that actually could help me build tools and to start to change my life. We ended up 'meeting' with a counselor long distance through Skype and phone calls. His name is Paul Jenkins and I'd be happy to pass on his information if it would help, or you can search him on the internet. Even if he is not the right help for you I just thought I'd offer the info.

My hubby's family is awesome.... and totally, deeply dysfunctional all at the same time. I cope better when I realize that they are 'addicts' as well. Maybe it would help you to think about your family that way as well. Mine are so trapped inside a certain reality and always looking down on people. It makes it impossible to have a certain kind of relationship with them, but I have learned to detach from them in a way that makes it possible to love them for who they are, problems included. Letting go of the extended family and their issues brought so much freedom and happiness. In a way it sort of feels like not caring at all what they think, but it also opened up my heart and I love them more than ever....I just don't pay attention to what they say or do. I guess you could say it is sort of unconditional.

As far as your angel wife....Oh! do I hurt for her. She sounds amazing. Just tell her there is LIGHT and perfect healing. Tell her I promise that. I don't know what path that will be obviously. But I know it is possible and the journey is both hard and beautiful to get there. There is so much to hope for. Everything in fact. She can have hope for everything. I know it seems like every dream is broken, but it isn't. Miracles are real. And sometimes it has to get just this bad so that we know that the impossible was overcome and then we'll know for sure we did receive a miracle.

The same goes for you. You can get to a place where all the damage in your brain magically shifts into the soil that you start to grow into the man God wants you to be. It doesn't disappear as if it never happened...it becomes a crown of compassion and knowledge. Don't worry, just let the process work in you and above all....KEEP GOING.

I'll second Dano's words again... God Bless."
posted at 15:25:39 on March 17, 2015 by maddy


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"Brothers and sisters, stay on the straight and narrow path. No, stay in the middle of the straight and narrow path. Don't drift; don't wander; don't dabble; be careful. Remember, do not flirt with evil. Stay out of the devil's territory. Do not give Satan any home-field advantage. Living the commandments will bring you the happiness that too many look for in other places. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006