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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:13 am
Posts: 37
I started to masturbate and watch porn when I was 11 years old, before the onset of my puberty. I am now 25. I've been thinking... Does this mean that, although intelectually I'm a perfectly fine 25-year-old, I'm emotionally a 11-year-old (because of the fact that the addiction stopped my emotional development)? If so, does this mean that I have to go through this emotional aspect of puberty for instance? I mean like this period when teenagers act rebelliously, etc. Do I also have to act that way to eventually transition to the emotional state of an adult? Or since I'm 25 this should go differently? What do you think?

Another question I'd like to ask is connected to the first issue: if I am to be absolutely honest with myself and show my true self with the world around me, does this also mean that at the age of 25 I should behave like that 11-year-old because I feel that way (if the answer to the first question proves positive)?

I would very appreciate any help. I have been pondering over that issue for quite some time now...

If there is someone with similar experience - please speak up, I would VERY appreciate that as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:55 pm
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Your early introduction to pornography and masturbation does mean in some ways you are emotionally stuck on certain things, but you are not an 11 year old by emotional standards. What has happened is that you short circuited some of your emotional development and created unhealthy patterns in your behavior. It means that some of the intellectual and emotional imprints you might have created had you developed normally are stuck with those which you created at the age of 11. It means you need to figure out how to re-wire your brain with the healthy pathways you never did because of the effect your behaviors had upon your emotional self. I do not know what those might be---perhaps unrealistic perceptions or rituals which control arousal or expectations---but you need to go back and examine them and deconstruct them so you can understand the specifics of your issues, which will help you to evolve past them into healthy expressions of sexuality. I can only suppose you have several issues because people usually don't come to RN without them.

As for behaving like and 11 year old, the answer is no. One of the difficult things about addiction is you are repairing some issues which damaged your development, but this does not give you license to behave like a child. You are expected to develop and make yourself capable while maintaining/behaving in a mature manner.

Most people here have had similar experiences to yours. As you ask more specific questions, here on the forum and have coaches respond to your recovery journal, some will respond as they can from their perspective.

I hope this helps. Keep asking questions and working the lessons.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:13 am
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Thank you very much for your reply, CoachSandalwood. I really appreciate it and at the same time I am scared and sad as I realise more and more how much havoc did the addiction create in my life.

I'm not sure I understand the imprinting part correctly... Are imprints foundations of some sort on which I have built my system of beliefs, etc.? Are they developed during some very important moments in life? If so, does this mean that when I find them and deconstruct them, my beliefs, etc. will crumble and I will have to build everything anew?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:52 am
Posts: 98
Location: Ger
Hey pavloo,

I can realte to your situation. I'm 23 and although I feel like I'm intellectually mature, I think that in some areas of my emotional life I'm a prepubescent boy. I've asked myself the same questions you asked yourself and sadly I did not come to a conclusion. But CoachSandalwoods wise words are definitely something one should take to his heart.

What helps me, is to get in contact with this inner child and try to help him, to find his way to maturity. I guess we need to set certain boundaries, to stop ourselves from acting immature in unhealthy ways and start to become authentically vulnerable as adults, that carry pieces of a traumatic chiledhood with them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:30 am 
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Imprints: As we grow and develop, certain experiences become ingrained into out experience and outlook. or example. If someone is raised by parents who show no physical intimacy or expressions of affection with each other, that child will have a good chance of believing that all parents behave that way and will believe physical intimacy should never be a public thing. Another example might be that if some trauma is experienced at a crucial point of development, that trauma might become associated with that development, and imprint a negative feeling with said development.

You will not have to re-build yourself once you deconstruct your addictive behaviors. What will hopefully happen is that you will understand some of the reasons you do what you do, why you prefer or dislike certain things. Then you can decide if you can continue. Some imprints might be as mild as preferring tall instead of short, or blonde over brunette---things which have no real negative impact. Others might determine rituals you have created and prevent you from being comfortable with sex unless it happens in one specific way. Deconstructing your behaviors, as the lessons will guide you through, will help you to sort things out and decide how best to move forward. You shouldn't have to abandon any of your positive core values.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:13 am
Posts: 37
Thank you for your answers, I appreciate the effort.

I have one more question concerning absolute honesty in recovery (Lesson 10). I mean I don't know whether I understand this correctly. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The way I see it is that instead of doing something and only then, AFTERWARDS, think of whether to hide that action or not, I should include it in the decision-making process, i.e. think whether I will have to use deception or not BEFORE I do something.

For instance, let's say I'm 11 and am faced with a decision on whether to smoke my first cigarette or not.
BAD SCENARIO: I smoke that cigarette and THEN start to ponder whether I should use deception when my parents ask about it or not, what are the consequences of my telling/not telling them.
GOOD SCENARIO: I include that deception part in my thought process BEFORE I smoke that cigarette, i.e. "OK, I have that cigarette here and I am curious what it tastes like, BUT will it not be so that after I smoke it I will have to use deception to hide it from my parents?". If so, I don't smoke. If - however - that is not the case, I can smoke it.

(Of course the situation is very hypothetical because no 11-year-old will think that way, but it's a nice example to put my train of thought clearly).

Is is really that simple? I mean the principle here (before/after)? Or is there some more depth to it?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:55 pm
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Yes and no.

It's simple in that it is a binary option, really. Either you are going to be honest or you are not. However, there are different fields of honesty, as you pointed out.

For me, honesty did not mean I tell everyone in my life about my addiction. What it meant first and foremost is that I be honest with myself, and honest with my wife, who I had hurt the most with my addictive behavior. When assessing the day, I needed to be honest with myself about how my actions affected my recovery AND my relationship with my wife. Yes, I need to employ the forethought you mentioned in my decision making process. If I slipped during the day, I did not allow myself to rationalize that behavior away. I owned up to my actions, and I adjusted my recovery work accordingly. I am still doing this as I monitor myself on a daily and weekly basis.

For you, honesty needs to be at the level which keeps you moving forward, keeps you in line with your values, and maintains healthy relationships with those important to you. You need to be honest with yourself, and you need to be honest with those people whom your addiction affects adversely. You do not have to share all of the messy details, but you should not pretend your addiction has no impact on other people.


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