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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:57 pm 

Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 7:14 pm
Posts: 215
Adapted from Recovery Nation, Jon Marsh . . .trying to personalize for my own understanding . . .and for my mate . . .

I know that looking at my decisions and behaviors through the regular lens of life may not make sense, even now with a dose of healthy values repairing some of the damage, it is difficult to entirely look at things through where my eyes and head were . . ..
I was not thinking clearly. .
I was not seeing truth . . .
I was delusional in my thinking. .
It didn’t happen over night. . It was frogs in the kettle experience that I let happen to myself and it ultimately was a complete moral breakdown and it was ultimately my decisions and downfall.

• Why in my right mind would I ever risk thirty years of marriage for a sexual high with a prostitute.
• Why would I potentially sacrifice my career to spend time in relationship with a prostitute, risking imprisonment, disease and personal safety.
• Why would I jeopardize your health by being with a prostitute?
• Why would I spend money the way I did, so irresponsibly?
• Why would I ever choose to spend my time masturbating to porn, when I had a wife who enjoys healthy sex?

To a normal, healthy person, I know my decisions make no sense. I know you believed everything that you knew to be true about our relationship an you thought you knew me. I was deceitful in the cover up of my secret life I was leading What was once a relatively stable future is now a wreck and in jeopardy of never being restored.

Is there anyway that you can allow yourself to see things through my eyes? To allow you to conclude that this compulsive behavior is not all that it is made out to be. This is not a case of me "having my cake and eating it too".

To see these actions through my eyes is to look beyond the shell of the person and to inspect my very foundation that over time was built with shoddy material. Which is why, even as I got older, though I may have added acceptable layers to my personality . . . underneath it all, a moral structure remained unsound...and vulnerable to collapse.

I did not develop an obsession to immoral sexual behavior all of a sudden, I did not realize it until well after it had taken root. I may have sensed that "something was wrong". Many times the qualities of the obsession’s development were actually experienced as a positive in my mind, not a negative when it first began. Ultimately, it was not a positive in any way shape or form. It was all a recipe for failure.

In my mind, albeit through fantasy and delusion, it was these qualities/behaviors of sexual gratification that made me feel good for the moment, that allowed me to feel good about myself whenever I was feeling down or feeling like a failure or foolish. It was a vicious, downward cycle or spiral of utilizing a prosthetic, something that was not real, whether it be an emotion, a fantasy or an outward act to achieve for a moment or few moments a feeling of self worth and gratification.

The behaviors or emotions, in my mind with fantasizing, delusion of sexual/romantic grandeur provided me with comfort and probably much of my self worth. As my sexual maturity continued or did not occur as the case may be, it was these fantasies that developed the sexual attitudes and romantic boundaries, or lack thereof.

Each step and decision that I took in the wrong direction led me far from where I expected to be. I had the best of intentions in my mind, but I ended up far, far from where I expected to be. In many ways I was clueless as to how I got to that place. I can look back and see fork after fork after fork in the road where I made another poor decision to feed my immediate gratification and escape to fantasy and delusion instead of face the truth.

As I progressed deeper and deeper into this wilderness there seemed to be an attitude of arrogance and/or self sufficiency that blocked out the applications of what I heard and knew in my heart to be true. I was hearing but not applying things, not internalizing what I knew to be true.

I did not recognize the development of the addiction that it had become.
I knew intellectually that what I was doing was wrong, but I developed the ability to compartmentalize my actions out of a need to appear to be who I was suppose to be and out of a fear that I would be “found out” and exposed as to fraud that I was . . .I thought that, that would hurt others, my family, my friends, my church . . .so I continued down the road of self sufficiency and “I can handle this”. How untrue that was to be.

I did not ever set out to become obsessed with sex. I did not intend to end up where I was 12 years ago in a strip club let alone 2 years ago at the worst of my decision making seeing multiple prostitutes in a week.
I took steps in the wrong direction, step after step after step and then tried to cover it all with horrible decisions. One lie led to another, to another, to another.

I surely developed many of my traits of deception and obsession with sex early on . . .the total obsession itself may not have been seen for many, many years… I masked as much of it as could but the underlying patterns undoubtedly took place over many years.

I think I viewed much of this as a normal part of growing up.
Whatever emotions I it shame, obedience, fear, pressure...I think I accepted a just a part of life and the struggles that growing up presents to every boy.
I fought to manage these emotions as best I could but kept taking step after step and making decision after decision that took me deeper and deeper into these patterns of deception and delusion and fantasy.

I took comfort where I was able to — managing my life on a moment to moment basis through fantasy and escape and rationalization that I if I could be good in this and this area, everything would be ok. Unfortunately, this just led to a pattern of seeking immediate emotional relief versus long-term growth.

The porn and masturbation was a continuance of the emotional comforts that I had been experiencing through fantasy Whether it was just giving up or again going into the immediate gratification mode, masturbation seemed to be okay and the thoughts of “its not that big of a deal” began. It didn’t seem to be hurting anyone else . . .but it did in the end, initially it hurt me, then others in direct and indirect ways.
And so it continued.
Eventually, when real life hit and values and boundaries for most people switched from living with myself to being in society, I recognized that there were big differences between the values that society expects and what I had developed. This has lots of consequences, not the least of which is the phenomenon of creating a “secret self” and the “social self”.

That secret self, allowed me to continue comforting myself in times of stress or emotional imbalance;
my social self, allowed me to put into practice the values and boundaries that should have already been in place, but these weren't real boundaries and values... they were illusions. These boundaries and illusions were knowledge based and had little substance behind them — except for my sincere desperation to live in an acceptable social a way.

So I continued to learn how to put up more and more attractive layers —yet with each layer came more stress to maintain the illusion. And with each point of stress there came the need to hold tighter and tighter to my secret self. These were not split personalities, they were decisions that I kept making along the path I was fully aware and responsible for both sides of the personality, I just got to a point that I decided more to the side of the secret self than the social acceptable self in a continuance of the, “its not really hurting anyone else” (another delusion that was absolutely not true).

Eventually, I experienced some breakthroughs in the ability to experience satisfaction and fulfillment from my "social self". This came through... athletics…coaching…parenting... teaching... leading groups... or any such behavior which required giving of myself n apparent unselfishness. I looked at these things, coaching, parenting, teaching, and activities as breakthroughs and did them with genuine passion and energy. But I was never able to go the full distance to balance and develop a foundation for living the genuine life that would always make healthy decisions. That would have meant giving up my secret self, which was still not an option I was willing to take because I would have had to be completely honest and I didn’t want to admit that I was wrong. I still felt like I could manage the secret self and was not willing to jeopardize such a potential comfort to fall back on without something else immediately being offered. Short term gratification won out again in my decision making.

This is an observation from one of the readings:
One of the hardest things for partner's to understand in regards to their loved one's behavior, is "How can they have sex with some nobody in the day, and then come home and act like everything is just fine that same evening?" The partners sees their attempts to explain away this behavior by saying that it had "nothing to do with you" as poppycock. Well, it isn't poppycock. They are telling you the absolute truth. Their behavior really did have nothing to do with you. Instead, it had to do with the patterns that they have developed over the years, and their ability to enter a mental state to escape overwhelming emotions. Not necessarily bad emotions, just overwhelming ones — although a healthy person may not see them as overwhelming.

The two separate identities became firmly entrenched. All that I presented however, was the more idealistic social self...and little parts of the secret self that allowed me to experience passion, romance, intensity. It was and probably still is the social self that is severely lacking in so many areas of my life. Insecurity, not being comfortable in groups, fear of rejection, avoiding intimate talk — to name just a few. This was a lack of true social skills and I faked it enough to get by, knowing to go any deeper in conversation or relationship I would be exposed as a fake.

While at work, while in marriage, while parenting: I seemed to be extremely attentive, productive and capable of gaining substantial fulfillment from such roles...when I was able to isolate or divert someone else’s attention from the insecure me.

Over time it was my inability to manage a foundation of healthy values and I retreated to my secret world of delusion and fantasy and avoiding the reality for the safety and comfort. This is where immoral behaviors came into play as an adult. Each of these behaviors, no matter what they are...from viewing porn, to affairs, to compulsive masturbation, to prostitution provided me with the opportunity to escape from the stress of trying to maintain my lives on such a faulty foundation. Engaging in such behaviors . . .which by this time had become complex ritualistic chains . . . provided me with the ability to emotionally escape. Whenever I was intensely involved in positive behaviors, like parenting, teaching, out to dinner, on a cruise, at family events, going to church}, reading the Bible— I was in a mental state where I was emotionally at peace. By focusing intently on this one thing, all other aspects of their life disappear.
When I would relax and let myself wander into delusion and fantasy I would start down the ritualistic chains that invariably would lead to horrendous decisions. Once I started down those paths there was very little stopping me . . .it was at those points where I needed to stop and turn the opposite direction. I did not.

My thoughts were that if I can just keep things secret for a while longer, I will be able to work through these problems. Because I had this secret life, I protected it at all costs. I did not expect to get caught — ever. Society thinks it wrong, I knew it is wrong, it was wrong, but such fantasy/behavior had comforted me for so long, I just would not, could not, did not change. Not for as long as the behaviors remain secret.

When it was no longer a secret, the sexual aspects, the self comforting and obsessions went away relatively easily . . .it is and continues to be the surrounding related patterns such as lack of communication, lying, being genuine and dealing with the frustration of what I had done that has been an issue

My attempts to engage in socially fulfilling, healthy activities were and are real. The love that I share with you and with our family, my behavior in most life events (holidays, vacations, births of our grandkids)...they have all been genuine. That is not to say that struggles and huge chasms between my behaviors and my desire to live a socially -acceptable life have not occurred. They have, more times than I can count.

I hope that what I have written and expounded on will help you more closely identify my issues and lead me back to more positive decision making and life but also open your eyes to the misery that has encompassed my life.
Feel sorry for me?
Excuse my behavior?
Absolutely not.
I want you to understand for the possibility that you might have any love, respect or trust of me again.
Only true recovery includes rebuilding the foundation of my life.
I have to do these things for myself, but please, please, please, you are invaluable in terms of having this understanding and helping me.

I am establishing new patterns, placing new building blocks into the foundation of my life, focusing on internalizing these values. Developing true empathy, compassion, joy and intimacy. Not just an intellectual knowledge of these aspects but making them vital parts of my life by consciously trying to manage these parts, being aware of times that I might be going into the rationalization of escape or not living in the here and now recognizing issues that are coming my way, evaluating and assessing what values I need to turn to as a response and then responding in a positive, productive, healthy and honest way.

To focus on being faithful, trustworthy, honest, considerate, responsible, attentive, grateful, unselfish, patient, gentle and true, not arrogant are most important to me. My words, because of my past mean very little. It is my actions that will determine my progress. It is not just doing these things . . .it is being these things.

The mistake of saying to myself over and over again in my life, “ its not that big of thing” has been a mistake. The little things that are not that big of thing pile up on each other to make it a big thing . . .I need to have a DAILY assessment consisting of the questions:
Did I do everything that I should have done today?
If not, why not?
If I can still get it done, do it.
If I am frustrated with a situation sit back and recognize the frustration that I have caused and put it all in that perspective.

My motivation to do all of this is to be more healthy as an individual, but the overriding factor in all of this is because I love you. I want to share life, love and family with you. That cannot happen unless I continue to do these things.

I am sorry that I have put you through this . . .I hope to bring peace . . .no more turmoil.

I love you

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:50 pm 
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3897
Location: UK
Thanks for this
We can all take lots out of and benefit from it
much appreciated :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g:

Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:31 pm
Posts: 246
DB, I am right there with you too :g: :g: :g: :g: :g:

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:38 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:57 pm
Posts: 317
Thanks for sharing this.
I agree with Kenzo, a lot to take in and reflect on. :g:

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:02 am
Posts: 116
Thanks for sharing this DBack it really hit home for me.

It seems for me the more stable and open I became, the more my wife feels able to look back at the past and 'WHY' is always at the front of her mind. I'm not sure if I had some how hoped to brush it all under the carpet as I got more healthy and we'd just move on, but the reality is it's just the opposite, and actually that is a good thing. We both need to know why, so we can understand it, grow, heal and move forward. But it's not easy.

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