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  1. Enigmajacq


    Hi,

    This is my journey through addiction, I hope it can help others see there is a way out.

    I first struggled with alcohol addiction and went to rehab in 2006, there it was quickly identified that my primary addiction was indeed sex addiction. I was hoffied and in complete denial. I refused to accept it and labeled myself an alcoholic. I carried on relapsing with alcohol and stayed in complete denial about SA until July 2007. Then my partner found out about my affairs and I told him I had been told I was a sex addict. But really  I wasn't ready to accept it myself. After another two trips to rehab, I finally managed to stop drinking in September 2009, and started my recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous using the 12 step program. I managed to be faithful and not act out until February 2012.

    Then because all I had done in my recovery up until then, was deal with some of the symptoms (ie drinking) and I had been too afraid to look at the root causes and deal with the real issue,which was sex addiction I relapsed into SA. I tried to convince myself it was actually a new love of my life (even though I desperately loved my partner) and that it was not me using men to deal with my fears,shame, insecurities and pain. It escalated over the next 4 years to many sexual encounters and I came more insane and irrational.

    Eventually my partner found out again and I was ready to accept my real problems. I went to Paula Hall (as my partner had previously had some partners counselling with her back in 2007 when I was using 12 steps for my recovery). There I was introduced to my therapist and started my real journey into getting well.

    Too begin with I was still holding onto bits of  the truth and lying even to my therapist, but she was patient and she helped me see the need for absolute total honesty. To be honest I didn't know what true honesty was and it took me a while to learn how to be completely honest. I was so ashamed and so afraid to face all what I had done. But I knew that to deal with this meant dealing with the causes of my addictions, not just the symptoms. I had to accept why and how had I became so dependant on sex and lust to fill the pain inside me.

    The journey was painful and extremely hard at times, but I had the most amazing therapist and I was able to totally trust her in a way I had never trusted anyone. Over the years I have had some many people try and help me but she was different, she understood me and my issues totally. i will forever be so grateful to her. I spent 20 months going to see her once a week and I believe I needed that much time to really process my issues.

    One thing I did regret was D Day and trying to go through disclosure with my partner on our own and too early. As I took so long to be able to be completely honest, each time I tried to tell the full truth to my partner I either hide something or lied about something or denied it. This caused so much more pain. I wish we had waited until I was honest enough to do it properly. Eventually we did a therapeutic disclosure with two therapists from Paula's practice, which went very well. So I would advise using the therapists to help with this totally.

    My partner has been amazing and we are still together, I know I have been extremely lucky to have someone who understands my issues and believes in me overcoming them.

    I am just about to start seeing a new therapist from the practice who is relationship trained, who hopefully can help me further with some of my lasting relationship issues, and take me to a further place of healing.

     

    There is a way out, if you can be honest and face yourself and your shame.

     

    If there are any other females who would like to talk, I love to make contact, unfortunately the one draw back at the moment is there are not many women coming forward for help, so it can be  lonely journey.

     

    Cat

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    hi Cat

    wow another woman. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am just at the start of mine and one of the biggest hurdles I have found so far is the fact that I'm a woman. I feel such a freak as 'woman aren't meant to have issues with sex'. Or that's what I got told anyway.

    I would love to keep in touch in some way if that's possible. 

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  2. Enigmajacq


    I'm not sure what the rules are here and it maybe that you won't allow direct discussion of the subject. So, I'm just going to point at a blog to start with. It's an account of how my porn addiction took me to places I should not have gone and ended in my arrest. Obviously it's a cautionary tale but please, if you are an addict, read this because there are some rabbit holes down there that can finish you life.

    That said, one of the consequences is that I've freed myself of the addiction. It seems small comfort now but, if I'm lucky, a year of two down the line my life might actually be better.

    https://wishidknown240296063.wordpress.com/ 

    I've just read your blog. Thank you for sharing in such an open way. So much of it resonates with me and although my addiction has gone down a different route to yours, the steps that have taken it there have been similar. 

     

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  3. outofwishes


    I'm getting sentenced for possession of illegal images of children next month and the waiting is hell. However, I wrote this to myself this morning and thought I'd share it. 

     

    What an odd thing my head is. So full of voices (not in a MPD way) demanding attention, dragging regrets from the past and making horror movies about the future; how does it feel to get shanked?

    So I've been working on all that useless negative crap. Sharpening up my sense of perspective, reminding myself that half a billion china-men don't give a toss about who I am or what I've done. I've been reading some Tolle as recommended by a good friend and I've been meditating 20 minutes a day and, apart from a single nagging little butterfly that seems to have taken up residence in the pit of my stomach, I've actually had long periods of relaxed normality; the litany of fears and regrets reduced to barely a murmur.

    So here's something new. I'm missing that panicked state (it's ok, it's back now). It's like a sore in my mouth, when it stops hurting I can't help but poke it with my tongue, 'Where's the pain? Remind me what you feel like.' What I'm achieving is good, it points to a more thoughtful and functional me when calm ceases to be a tool to help me through the next few months and becomes part of my life. I need to learn to let it.

    I'm positively serene about the stuff I'm leaving behind in my life and getting a little impatient with my employer for not getting my resignation sorted. I'm leaving behind one major not-work activity after 9 years of striving to be good at it and I'm relieved I don't have to strive any more. I've left all the activist organisations and no longer feel I have a duty to wade through the comments in the Daily Mail putting people straight. When I hear that The Powerful have behaved in some baldly evil way, or that the Not So Powerful are tearing themselves to shreds, I'm learning not to pile into the ruckus; they don't listen to each other, they're certainly not going to listen to me.

    The ego (for want of a better term) is bloody powerful; it wants regret so it can whine about how hard done by it is, it wants fear because that takes over my whole mind and my body. It want's to be in control and has been for so long that these brief periods of calm and acceptance feel like the aberration. My sentencing is not now, or today, or this week. Actually, it's not even this month so this is a great time to take pleasure in what I have now.

    When I've stopped shaking quite so much, had my porridge with banana, blueberries and raspberries, and filled the Black Bin to the very top with more crap-from-the-past that not even gumtree wants for free, I'll get in my little car and drive hundreds of miles to spend a few days with a very good friend. We will walk a bit and watch old movies and play board games and try not to talk about either the past or the future because neither of them actually matter now.

     

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  4. Enigmajacq


    Here's the way to get rid of your profiles. Write down some random code on a piece of paper...like 6h8884knsdf   Something that you'll never remember. Then go to your profile settings and change your password to that. You'll have to type it in twice, so make sure to write it down. Then, once that password is changed, destroy the piece of paper.

    Yes, you can always go back and launch a new profile, and you can even contact support...but what you've done is create a small hurdle...and that small hurdle may be enough to stop you in your tracks.

    thanks for the advice Josh .

    at the moment it is not something I can consider. I know that sounds strange given I'm here and saying I want to stop. Right now, I need that safety net even if I never use it. When I read through your post, I really thought I could maybe do that, but then had a huge anxiety attack.

    I think it is hard as my main issue progressed from porn so long ago, that I don't use sites often anymore even before this.

    my addictive behaviours are physical with real people. I would say I'm a prostitute but I don't get paid........But if someone calls me and wanted it, (before I found here and have started the process of change) I would just do it, whether I'd met them before or not.

    But despite a difficult week I have now had days of being sober. 17/4/18 is going to be an important date for me. 

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  5. Joshua Shea


    Here's the way to get rid of your profiles. Write down some random code on a piece of paper...like 6h8884knsdf   Something that you'll never remember. Then go to your profile settings and change your password to that. You'll have to type it in twice, so make sure to write it down. Then, once that password is changed, destroy the piece of paper.

    Yes, you can always go back and launch a new profile, and you can even contact support...but what you've done is create a small hurdle...and that small hurdle may be enough to stop you in your tracks.

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  6. Enigmajacq


    I don't know why, but getting rid seems like good therapy for, well, anything really. I've been slowly culling my FB friends - down from 1500 to 500 over the last week and I'm aiming to get to under 100; but it gets harder :). This is for different reasons that yours Enig, but I've applied the same process to books, clothes, DVDs, odd bits of furniture. Maybe clearing the junk of life out of the way gives us a little more space to think? Dunno - just a thought.  

    I get where you're coming from. I think we use the chaos of things to distract us at times from thinking about what is actually happening. 

    I am currently 3 full days clean of actual physical addictive behaviours that have involved anyone else. I have decided for now this is the minimum I will accept for my abstinence. I want sex from now on to only be part of a loving honest relationship. 

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  7. outofwishes


    I don't know why, but getting rid seems like good therapy for, well, anything really. I've been slowly culling my FB friends - down from 1500 to 500 over the last week and I'm aiming to get to under 100; but it gets harder :). This is for different reasons that yours Enig, but I've applied the same process to books, clothes, DVDs, odd bits of furniture. Maybe clearing the junk of life out of the way gives us a little more space to think? Dunno - just a thought.  

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  8. Enigmajacq


    So things are changing. 

    Yesterday I had a very emotional day and it is something that in the past would have seen me running to screw anyone and everyone just to get through.

    But I didn't, I have woken up today and know I'm clean. I haven't woken up with those feelings of despising myself. It is a strange feeling, but nice in a way as well.

    I've also got rid of more of my fb and hidden myself on my hook up site. I know you are asking why I haven't cancelled it and deleted everything......I can't right now, the thought of having nothing else there is too scary right now. But it does mean I won't be getting loads of offers and messages through the day.

    Update over........thanks for letting me just waffle on. It is helping.

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  9. outofwishes


    That's been exactly my experience, Enig - and I could be headed for prison. If people know you well, if they know the good side of you, they see your addiction as just one part of you. Clearly you have to be careful about who you tell, but suddenly having some people you can be around without feeling you're hiding something is such a relief.

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  10. Enigmajacq


    I made a step forward last night. I opened up to one of my best friends about my addiction. 

    They blew my mind away with their support. There was no condemnation or judgement, just concern and real worry that I may have been hurt or taken advantage of because of it. It feels good to have made that step, another move from the shadows and secrecy that can fuel this more.

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  11. Enigmajacq


    The worst thing is, I know all this stuff. My job is basically 24/7 therapy. I spend all my time supporting people to take control of their lives, identify issues and deal with them. But I can't do it myself.

    I've tried getting a therapist but can't afford one.

    I've contacted two 12 step groups and both said they would pass my details to the group leaders but I have not heard anything.

    I've got books including Paula's. And have been researching everything I can .

    I do crossfit at least 4 days a week which I love.

    I'm making excuses which is wrong.

    So what are the things I can do that will support my recovery; I am going to keep coming here and posting. I am thinking of starting some form of journal. I'm going to chase the support groups for the information I need.

    Thanks for replying j sometimes we need reminders even if it is information we already know.

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  12. Hannah


    What you’re saying about parental controls, I blocked porn on my ISP account. It didn’t take my husband very long to get around it, but even then he still was able to access porn. He some videos stored on his computer/hard drive back up. He was able to access other materials not blocked by the parental controls that involved partially clothed/topless/near nudity and full frontal nudity. He certainly considered buying DVDs although I’m not sure if he did. 

    Unlike your husband, there was no apparent charge in his behaviour towards me. If anything, it was around about this time that the distance between us was getting bigger and something didn’t feel quite right. But nothing changed. I had a false sense of security from the parental controls for a little while but my intuition told me otherwise. He’s very tech savvy so I figured it was only a matter of time, and I was right. 

    I recognise all those fakey “I love you’s”. If I had interrupted his porn time which I sometimes did because I so wanted to catch him in the act, he’d jump out of his chair after closing the lid on his laptop and be all hugs and kisses and I love you, and offering me cups of tea. Of course I knew what he’d been doing but he had it all set up to avoid detection. I had this idea in my mind that unless I had any evidence there was no way to confront him, and nothing had ever changed early on when I did find evidence. To him, getting caught out was a learning s opportunity. I felt completely powerless. I wish I’d actually just come out and said it, but I was scared  of the aggravation I might cause. I ‘ll come back with the rest of my story because I paid the price of “put up and shut up” and it’s not good for any woman to do that. Just as their porn addiction is progressive, so is our distress. 

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  13. Joshua Shea


    Get a therapist, go to a 12-step group, buy a book, keep posting here or other places, start a blog, exercise...there's so much you can do. The more ropes you have, the less likely you are to slip.

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  14. Enigmajacq


    Thanks Josh 

    I am still feeling like shit. I ended up acting out again today. I need to get control but the more I try the more despise myself and that leads me to do the behaviour I despise.

    I don't know why I'm here or still posting. But it is like I've found a rope to hang on to to stop me drowning and even though I am going under regularly I know I can't let go or I will go completely under.

    So tomorrow I will try again.......

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  15. Hannah


    Feelbroken, thank you for sharing your story. It appears a very familiar one as many women on this forum will testify. Like you and Cowslip, I was also aware of my husband’s porn use. I knew he’d been using internet porn regularly for at least 15 years before I couldn’t take the isolation any more. Before that he’d bought magazines and DVDs, and VHS movies before there were DVDs. It was always something that he kept hidden but as soon as we had the internet at home he was straight on the porn sites, which I found in his browsing history. He soon learned how to clean up all traces of what he’d been doing, so I couldn’t prove anything. As with Cowslip, it was my intuition that told me he was using porn, not his internet history. 

    I noticed an immediate effect on our sex life. His interest in sex decreased almost straight away and even physically his responses and reactions seemed less intense. Our sex life dwindled to maybe 3 or 4 times a year. I’d always have to initiate, and I mean ALWAYS. Every time. I’d be getting turned down more often than not, and in the end he was losing his erection and couldn’t finish. It was soul destroying for me, to know he was masturbating to that garbage and making all that effort to make the time for it and then make sure there was no evidence that I might accidentally stumble across. I never touched his computer or his phone but he was still very meticulous about leaving no trace. 

    The reason why I’m saying this is that porn addiction is progressive. I had no clue at the time. I had reached a sort of a truce with him where as long as there was no physical infidelity I would ‘accept’ his porn habit and turn a blind eye. This turned out to be a big mistake on my part but the way I saw it at the time was that he didn’t want me sexually, he wanted porn, and not me. I felt that the rest of our relationship was good. So what else could I do? Every time I confronted him about the porn he’d say he’d stop using it but within the week he’d go back to it. He wasn’t interested in having sex with me, so I ‘tolerated’ it as the only option. I thought our relationship would carry on working well in every other respect but some years later I realised that the porn had a very damaging effect on other aspects of our relationship. That’s why I believe it’s never a good idea to put up and shut up. 

    I’ll have to continue this post later on, but please remember you’re not alone

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  16. Hannah


    Yvonne, I so understand your pain as do many other partners here. In order for the courageous women on this forum to offer you some words of kindness and support, may I suggest that you copy and paste your post in a new thread? Otherwise it may get a bit lost. Please don’t be afraid to reach out X

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  17. Joshua Shea


    First, take a deep breath. You're still here. Just be in the moment. Take a few deep breaths. In the through the nose, out through the mouth.

    You didn't break up those marriages. I'm not claiming being a party to adultery is morally OK, but those marriages broke up because of the decisions that were made by the people in the marriage. Odds are, if you weren't "the other person" that somebody else would have been. Unless someone is mentally deficient in this equation, you don't have to believe you were the reason those marriages broke up. At most, you were a prop. You've got enough other things to deal with. Don't make this about you when it really isn't. It's about their failed marriages.

    Learn from this, work on yourself because you have no control over others and try to be better next time.

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  18. Realitycheck


    Hi 'Feelbroken', 

    In my experience if he is an addict you will be dealing with someone who is in denial and will be unable to be truthful with himself never mind anyone else about his behaviour. It wasn't until I bought, read and gave a copy of a book on this problem that my partner even considered he might have a problem and I wasn't talking bs. Again this is just my experience and what I did. Do what you think is best for you. 

    I wish you well. 

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  19. Realitycheck


    Hi Cowslip,

    Hope you're  doing ok.

    I feel the same about this forum. Sometimes its good to know you're not the only one going through this but on the other hand its not a club you ever wanted to be part of, if you know what I mean.  I can be  feeling stronger and then begin reading on here and it can bring me right back to the reality and the shock of 'is this really happening in my life' and all that fear will wash over me again. 

    Its good to know its here but we must move forward. I find im in a better place by focusing on the good things I used to enjoy and spent time on before and the more I  do that the less intrusions I have and the more confident I am that I will get through this. 

    Its helpful to make yourself a list of goals for the day no matter how bad you feel in the morning. If you start small and to do something positive for yourself each day it helps. 

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  20. Cowslip


    First of all - everyone on this forum will understand just how you are feeling right now, and I am sure we would all say that you have made the first and important step in coming on to this forum and sharing what has happened to you.  It is not an easy or comfortable thing to do, and I hope that you will find the support you get here useful.

    Many of us (including myself) have had the experience of knowing about our partner's porn use but not knowing how to raise the subject with them, or what to say.  From my own experience I found that the longer I kept it bottled up inside, the worse I felt, and the more my imagination and fears ran away with me.

    What I did was to spend a little time working out exactly what I wanted to say and making sure I covered everything that I needed to tell him, including questions I needed to ask him.  Once I was clear in my own head, I actually set myself a date and a time when I would start the conversation.  I made it a time when I knew we would not be disturbed, and I told him in advance that I needed to talk to him and told him when we would be having the conversation. 

    On that first occasion, I told him he had to just listen to me, and to answer my questions as honestly as he could.  Confronting him was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and even though I had prepared myself, I found there were some things I just could not say.   My partner's initial response was to tell me he loved me, that it was 'just' porn, that it didn't mean anything to him.  That first conversation didn't take us very far, but it did open the door, and the conversations we had later, and which we are still having, several years later, were more useful and more meaningful. I have had to initiate every conversation (except once, early on, when he decided to come clean about some of his porn use).  I don't mind that, as long as he really listens to me and answers my questions truthfully.  It took time for my partner to open up and to be completely honest with me.  It also took time for me to work up the courage to ask him the really difficult, and scary, questions, and to tell him honestly how I felt.  Those conversations are still hard, but we are both now in a much better place than we were a few years ago.

    I understand you don't want to bring your daughter into this, and I think you are right about that.  I never told my partner how I found out about his porn use, and he has never asked me.  Basically, over a number of years I developed a sixth sense about when he was using porn, and when I did, I went looking for it on his computer and phone.  Yes, I was snooping on him and checking up on him, but I don't feel I need to apologise for that - he should not have brought that stuff into our home!  You may find that your partner won't ask how you know, but if he does, make sure you have a reply ready (this may be a time when a white lie is justified in order to protect your daughter).

    None of this is meant as advice - we are all in very different situations, and we all need to find our own ways to get through this.  I am only sharing with you my own experience.  One thing I would say is that you must take care of yourself, and put your own mental and physical health first.  

    Let us know how you get on, and stay strong!

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  21. Enigmajacq


    So I have had a really difficult weekend. Firstly I am not sober, clean or abstinent from my addictive behaviours.

    I've had a huge slap in my face that should have got me running for cover, but sent me straight to the behaviour I want to stop.

    Two people who I have been using have had their marriages break down and I have been a main factor in both. I have not wanted to hurt anybody,  but my actions do hurt people. I've tried justifying it in so many different ways- it was their behaviour not mine (I'm single), if they weren't doing it with me it would happen anyway with someone else.............. you know the sort of things. 

    But it is me.....that wife will never be able to unsee the pictures and videos she came across. 

    I feel so shit right now and that is dangerous knowing what I can do when I feel like this and want to punish myself. 

     

    Anyway I've rambled enough. .....

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  22. Joshua Shea


    Thank you very much for the shout-out for my recoveringpornaddict.com website...helping you, especially those first couple weeks, has been just as rewarding to me and has been a big part of my recovery. Once you move beyond these early phases, I have no doubt that you'll be there for others the way you feel I was there for you.

    My final bit of advice to you publicly -- though I hope you'll continue to check in with me privately from time to time -- is that you are in charge of your recovery. Your sponsor can guide you, these boards can guide you, SAA can guide you, I can guide you, but ultimately this is a trip that you take on your own. If you feel like you're every with the wrong therapist, or wrong sponsor, or getting bad advice from someone, it's OK to make changes. Just because there are "experts" and those with "experience" out there doesn't mean that they have the answers for YOU. I always encourage people to try everything and talk to as many people as possible because that's how you find what works for YOU.

    I say good luck to you for the things outside of yourself that you can control, but I don't think you need too much luck when it comes to you. You'll be fine.

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  23. pdw123


    A p.s. to my 'bye for now' posting.
     
    Anyone who stumbles across my ramblings and feel they need help with their own sex/porn addiction - well done for thinknig that.  It is the first and most important step to think you might need some help.
     
    Over the eight weeks since I hit absolute bottom, I have started a spiritual journey.  I have, with a heck of a traumatic shock to me and my nearest and dearest, come to stark realisation that I have a problem.  I want to get better.  I have a few things that have been good for me and I'd like to share them.  These may or may not work for you but they worked for me.
     
    • Move your PC to a shared part of the house e.g. only use it in the kitchen, somewhere where you wouldn't look at porn.
    • Delete your porn, your accounts (to sites, to secret email accounts etc) and your browser histories - all of it.  Use Ccleaner to permanently get rid of all that; that way you won't be tempted to look at things and you are less likely to try and get it all back.
    • If you're technically minded, set your internet router to block adult sites or block internet altogether after e.g. 9 pm. If you're not too sure about that try some software like netnanny.
    • Get to Sex Addicts Anonymous. I have done and it is the best decision I could have made; there are people who care and understand. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! https://saa-recovery.org/ or http://saauk.info/en/    Please please try this; even if you don't talk for your first few meetings please reach out.
    • If you can afford it, get a therapist and BE 100% HONEST WITH THEM.  If you can't afford it, contact some anyway and say about your finances, they might be able to offer something anyway.
    • Have a look here - https://recoveringpornaddict.com/ This guy contacted me via a UK based forum but he is in the US, he is lovely and is good to talk to for someone who has been to rock bottom and climbed out the other side a better person.
     
    Take care all of you.
     
    P.
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