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outofwishes

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About outofwishes

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  1. outofwishes

    Not quite success, but a ray of hope

    Well, I've been sentenced. This judge took me on a roller-coaster ride of dread, telling me they didn't believe I was either sorry for what I'd done or intended to stop, that my seeking help was just a ruse to avoid harsher punishment and that the letters of support I had meant nothing. However, the actual sentence; a suspended prison term, voluntary work, anti-offending courses and certain specific restrictions on my actions, were pretty much what the legal firm supporting me expected. It may well be that the judge was just making sure I'd be so terrified I'd never re-offend; if I want people to give me the benefit of the doubt, maybe I should go first. It will take a while to get the judge's words out of my head and I may get to hear similar once the local press publishes the story, but I feel I know something of what the future holds; I want to get on with what's next and not dwell on the past. I have meetings this week with the company organizing the unpaid work and hope to contact the person in charge of my restrictions as I'm keen to get these very clear in my head. I've begun to re-connect with some social groups and I'm off out to the movies next week - first time in a long time. I'll be fetching the cats home in a few days. I currently have no job having resigned once I knew I would be convicted - I pleaded guilty from the start - and that's obviously a worry. Financially I will be OK; a combination of savings and bit's of pensions I've taken early will keep me and the cats fed for a while so I can take my time seeking income. More importantly it's about filling my time with purpose or meaning. One of the problems with having the label 'sex offender' is that there are no shades of grey and I know I'm automatically excluded from all sorts of areas of employment and voluntary work despite the level of the actual offence. So what I'm going to end up doing is more likely to have to be done alone; I have some ideas, but this is not the place to discuss them.
  2. outofwishes

    Not quite success, but a ray of hope

    Little coda to yesterdays post. Was at a friend's place yesterday evening and they offered me a brandy and said I should stay over. I said that, if I did that more than a few times I'd have to give their name and address to the sex offenders register. They said, 'Put it on. I'm your friend and I don't care who knows it.'
  3. outofwishes

    Not quite success, but a ray of hope

    I've had my first crown court appearance now. The judge really tore into me and it was the first time I felt what it's like to be on the receiving end of real anger and disgust at what I've done. I suppose it's about encountering someone who only knows that about me and how I look to them. It's probably something I need to get used to. I am now on the sex offenders register and have a criminal record with a conviction for a sexual offence on it with all the implications for employment and travel they bring. I will be sentenced after a report from the probation service. It has been hard to find the levels of calm I had before the appearance, but I'm keeping myself occupied and have one particular friend who is able to spend a lot of time with me. I have had so much conflicting opinion on the possible legal and social outcomes from different agencies that I have stopped seeking advice, especially as my head is so good at horror movies. I have been assessed by the probation service and am keen to get on with the therapy/counseling they will provide, whatever the punishment element turns out to be. It's still 11 days to my sentencing, the sun is shining and I've just had my first whole night's sleep for a few days. I'm trying to look on the current situation like a holiday; I know it's going to end, but I need to enjoy it while I'm here. If there's any lesson to come at this stage it would be, avoid thoughts of 'poor me'. There are arguments about the law's response to my offence compared with, say, being caught with drugs for the first time and, in my case, part of the CPS evidence is a bit wobbly. But none of this will affect the outcome; the law is the law and will be applied no matter what I think of it. The wobbly evidence doesn't change the fact they are right, I had those images. 'Poor me' just brings self-hatred for both now-me and then-me ('If only I'd...'), it can also, if it get's control of your tongue, make you sound like a whiny child who's stamping his foot and saying it's not fair; this will not help your case.
  4. 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.
  5. outofwishes

    New and ashamed

    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.
  6. outofwishes

    New and ashamed

    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.
  7. outofwishes

    New and ashamed

    Hi Enig - I agree that stopping any or all the destructive behaviour though force of will or any other method is really only the beginning, indeed it might not even be the best place to begin. Addiction seems, for a lot of us, to be filing a hole in our lives and with sex addiction that's might well be intimacy (in its broadest sense) but I'm sure your work with the various organizations will help you explore that. But I do think it's worth asking the question, 'and then what?'. When you leave the addiction behind, what will you life look like; what do you want it to look like?
  8. Just wanted to pick up on this: It’s a really cr@ppy way for it to happen, but if I really an work through this then I can be a better person, which should make me a better father, son, brother and (possibly) husband… which will hopefully translate on to all the people that my behaviour has affected. I think this is a really important message for every one of us - especially those of us who have been outed one way or another. Once this is over you will be better, you won't have (and are already getting rid of) those crippling secrets that were eating your brain, you will no longer have to go through that thing, while you're doing whatever activity it was, of thinking about how disgusted this or that person would be if they could see you. Every new person you come into contact with is meeting a new, genuine version of you and when they say something positive, there's no part of you saying, 'you wouldn't be saying that if you knew what I do'. The next trick, which I've certainly not got to, is putting aside the thought, 'you wouldn't be saying that if you knew what I did'. There's a real paradox here: there are many people we knew before we were caught who took us at face value and liked spending time with us, even though we were behaving in this unacceptable way. Now that we have stopped, many will no longer want to be around us. Hmmmmmm, soz this is getting to be about me. BTW - Like the gratitude list; will start one of my own
  9. outofwishes

    New and ashamed

    I found working through 'In the Shadows of the Net' a good place to start understanding my stuff - just a thought.
  10. Not sure how much help this is, but I know that my addiction (currently I'm off the stuff, but you know...) was part of other problems in my life generally. Right now my life is crumbling around me because of where the addiction lead, but I'm convinced that I need to do more than just stop the addiction once I get to the rebuilding bit (hey, how positive am I?). I know that loneliness and depression were part of it, but I was dealing with those so that wasn't all it was. I've got to say that, over the last months, I've looked very hard at my life and the people around me and am looking at more fundamental change. You are very down on yourself in your post - and we pretty much all are here - so maybe look at that; I think looking at any addiction in isolation and just trying to change that behaviour, at best leads to a life of frustration and denial; it's not about not looking at porn, it's about not wanting to look at porn. Soz if that's all a bit obvious
  11. Many thanks for those links, PJ
  12. outofwishes

    How are you?

    I appreciate your comments Joshua. I'm guessing that at least part of my sentence will include some sort of therapy and I'm continuing with the StopIt stuff I got, including the books. I know what you're saying here, it took me several goes at stopping smoking and I had a 3 year break at one point before starting again so I'm going to keep working at it. Joining this group and others is also part of that longer term plan. That said, I'm going to treasure every non-addicted minute I get
  13. outofwishes

    How are you?

    Serenity, kind of - I'm am clearly a different person now and try not to wish I'd found a better route to this place as that's unhelpful. I have regained several hours of each day, which I'm currently too screwed up to use, but I'll get there, and I no longer have a nasty secret that I'm keeping from people. My main fear, which is mostly about an angry mob with pitchforks and torches, is a) hopefully inflated but b) hideously ironic because they are finding out after I've fixed it. People who don't want to be in the same room as me now were in the same room when I was doing this, now I've stopped doing it, they will reject me. So, yes, I have no secrets about who I am now, nothing to hide that I'm ashamed of and I'm no longer getting twitchy when I'm away from porn sites for more than an hour or two. Once the conviction is behind me and I've started building whatever life I decide/am allowed to build, I'm pretty relaxed about not telling people about it; I've done plenty of things in my life I'm ashamed of and/or regret and I don't provide a list of those to everyone I meet. Actually, one of the mental health team recently asked me if I'd go round telling everyone I had piles and, if not, why tell them this? Things I'm concerned about that might make me blab are a) I'm a real attention freak and it's something 'special' about me - my ego needs a little squashing - and b) the need to tell people before they find out some other way.
  14. outofwishes

    My story, my challenge

    I've just finished 'In the Shadows of the Net' which I found pretty good - lots of exercises in it that worked for me. Keep plugging away; you still have what you value most and you're already working on keeping that.
  15. outofwishes

    How are you?

    Today I am mostly suppressing my anxiety about my up-coming court appearance. Because that makes it really hard to concentrate for very long I divide my time into short chunks and do stuff like write on my blog, meditate (or appear to), watch TV in small chunks (Taken 3 was rubbish), try to eat properly, walk round the block (once this snow has gone), read a bit. I did try to distract myself by planning possible lives after conviction, but I found that a) it reminded me that I'm going to be convicted and b) most of these plans involved having to find a new place to live, sell my house, move, start again from scratch; these things actually seem more stressful than worrying about the conviction :o/ BUT, it's 5 months since I looked at any porn.
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