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Joshua Shea

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Everything posted by Joshua Shea

  1. Joshua Shea

    Husband addicted to cstfishing

    Your husband clearly has a problem (or problems) that have made your life a living hell and you shouldn't have to stand for it. If you want a divorce, don't ask for it. Demand it. Get it done. I won't get into my entire story, but I did a fair amount of catfishing back in the day, but this brings it to another level. He's pimping you out and forcing you to film in. That could be considered a criminal act depending how he coerced you. At the least it's mental cruelty. This is just me, I but after seeing what he's done with your stepson, it's just another step before he's messing with your daughter. He's clearly and unwell man and for the sake of the children, and you, this is not somebody who should be in your life when they are this sick. I do have pity for your husband. He is very ill and needs some serious long-term help and while you can nudge him in the direction, it's on him to get himself well and it's on you to make sure your kids and you are safe. Don't call the cops...it feels like the right thing to do in the moment, but it will embarrass your son and put your husband through a series of situations that you may not fully understand. I would not do this without speaking to your son first, and I'm still not sure it's the right thing to do. Who cares what you tell people? Tell them: "We've grown apart" "He made some decisions I don't agree with" "It's run it's course" "We fell out of love" It doesn't matter what people think about your divorce. It's a lot easier to tell them about your divorce than about the stuff he's been doing. For your sake and the kids' you've got to get moving on this.
  2. While gaslighting may be something he's doing, if you looked in my spam folder you'd think I buy tires all the time, have a garden, want to be on a game show and yes, engage in behavior outside my marriage. Odds are, it's spam. I know when I did anything demanding an email address, I created a new one. Nothing under my regular email address has anything to do with my behavior of years earlier. It just shows I'm on too many mailing lists.
  3. Joshua Shea

    We are here for help.

    I would suggest you Google "World Health Organization" and "sexual compulsivity disorder". You'll find a lot of articles that will explain how this past summer WHO finally included this disorder as a treatable condition. You being a porn addict is not a moral failing of a weak man. You have/had an illness. If she can view this in terms of a mental health problem, you may find that she can put this into better perspective. Good luck, mate.
  4. Joshua Shea

    How do I forgive and move on?

    So sorry this took me so long to respond. Been down with pneumonia most of the last two weeks. It depends what cured means to the individual. I haven't touched porn (or alcohol - which was just as much a problem) in 4.5 years, but I don't think I'm cured from anything. I believe I'll be in the recovery process until the day I die. Yes, it's now much easier for me to live a day-to-day life and the triggers are few and far between, but I'm not going to fix the brain chemistry that I damaged with years of addiction. I look at it like a tattoo. It makes things different, but not all that different. He has quite a robust SAA schedule there. If it's working for him, that's tremendous, but I wonder if he's really getting at the underlying causes for his addiction. As I'm sure you know, addiction is almost always a coping mechanism for something else, and since 90-94% of porn addicts have some kind of childhood trauma, odds point to that. I'm not going to bash SAA simply because after several months I decided it wasn't right for me, but just make sure he is taking care of his demons and not just window-dressing what's happening on the surface. You may be in this position in 10 years again...or 2 years...or 20 years...or never. Relationships are delicate things. And while I appreciate the fact you think porn is filth, try not to harp on that opinion too much since it's very judgmental. Recovery doesn't happen in unsafe, judgmental environments. It's OK if you think porn is immoral, disgusting, etc., but for the addict, it's very easy for them to hear, "YOU are immoral, disgusting, etc..." Good luck to you.
  5. Joshua Shea

    How do I forgive and move on?

    It's good that you know his story, but you didn't get it through the most honest means. If honesty and trust are things you want in the relationship moving forward, you're going to have to practice them as well. I understand and appreciate your reaction, though. It's like being hit with a ton of bricks and you wonder who that guy you first fell in love with really was. SAA works for some people and not others. I went three times a week for about two months, then once a week for four months. At that point, I recognize I got everything out of the program I was going to get. The weekly meeting was mostly guys complaining about their wives with no real benefit to me. I have also never relapsed and I'm at 4-1/2 years, but I don't attribute it to SAA. It's because I was given the tools in rehab and counseling to stay away from sexually explicit materials. More importantly though, the therapy helped me understand how I got to the point that I did. I had some theories, and a few proved to be true, but there was also much deeper stuff I never would have got at without the aid of a mental health professional. I don't think you should pretend it never happened and if bottling it up and trying to forget about it is going to be bad for your mental health, don't do it. That said, if he's making the effort and doing the hard work, that's all you can expect from him right now. I would suggest that you find a therapist because you probably have a lot of serious things to discuss and having the aid of a professional can help.
  6. Joshua Shea

    Confused, angry, hurt, upset!

    This is tough because everyone is different. I'm working with a therapist on a co-authored book geared toward women in your situation. He and I had a discussion about this very topic last week, when the husband said he's done and you need to stop nagging. There are women out there who find out and experience severe betrayal trauma. I get that you're hurt, but I don't think you're in this group. These are the women who can focus on nothing else and even when their husband goes above and beyond, they simply can't get over it. I think you're in a situation where he doesn't want to do the work, doesn't want to face what this is really about and may not have the tools needed to prevent relapse. You really only have two choices here. You either just accept where you are with this and move on with your life or you create some boundaries/ultimatums. The trick with those is that you actually have to be willing to enforce some kind of sanction if he breaks them, up to and including leaving. You have a right to a marriage with a healthy, non-addicted partner. He either wants that marriage too, or you're not on the same page. I can't tell you exactly why he doesn't want to do the work, but it's never a good sign for a healthy future. How badly you want that future is up to you.
  7. Joshua Shea

    Confused, angry, hurt, upset!

    Hi Carrie, I'm about 4-1/2 years sober from pornography and alcohol, so maybe I can lend some insight. And while I'll always be an addict, I believe I am truly recovered. It sounds like he started to do the recovery work, but stopped. That's like filling a tub with only a few centimeters of water and calling it good. It's better than an empty tub, but it's still not suitable to bathe in. I don't know exactly his situation, but he sounds a lot like me when it came to how he treated the women on the other end of the computer. It not only was about "getting back" at women for those who physically, sexually and emotionally harmed me when I was young, but it was also a way for me to exert control over the situation and my life. Here's the kicker...in my intense therapy, it went even deeper than the stereotypical abuse stuff and it took a long time to get there. That road is paved with sadness, anger, embarrassment and shame. Its much easier to say "Hey, I got this" on your good days than to delve into that deep subconcious stuff, but for me, it has changed my life for the better, and I think my wife and kids would agree. Be angry at the addiction, not at him. Anger, resentment, judgment...they come natural...but they only make the situation worse. Why would he open up to somebody who harbors such negative feelings toward him? If you haven't read everything yet, just type my name into Amazon and you'll find a memoir I wrote that was published earlier this year. Good luck, and remember to keep yourself healthy. You're the only person you can truly control. Joshua Shea
  8. Joshua Shea

    Some advice

    Hi Jermaine, I'm sorry to hear about your return to pornography. The thing that's really screaming here is that you're not in some kind of therapy. For the most part, addiction is a reaction to something else. It's a bandage you put on a wound. Until you treat the wound, the bandage isn't going to heal anything. Odds are if you started at 11, you have some idea why, but a professional could probably guide you through more of your story, helping you to remember, and understand things better than you do now. I think 12-step meetings are good, but you don't get to talk a lot. It's mostly listening. Find someone who can help you as a professional to get through this. I'd also urge you to do a little research. Do some reading. Check out other online forums. There's a lot out there that may help. No two people have the same recovery path, so the more you open yourself up to recovery options, the more likely you are to succeed. Josh
  9. Joshua Shea

    New and ashamed

    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.
  10. Joshua Shea

    New and ashamed

    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.
  11. Joshua Shea

    New and ashamed

    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.
  12. 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.
  13. Joshua Shea

    New and ashamed

    That's a very wise thing to say. It wasn't until I was in rehab that I could actually trace my addictive behavior back to being a kid. The guy who ended up with the alcohol and porn was the same one who needed to collect over 200K sports cards when he was 10 or had to beat every videogame he owned the day he got it when he was 12. He was the one who would work 80 hours a week to impress the boss at 22. I knew that my biggest challenge was kicking my addictive personality more than my specific addictions. Alcohol could become food and porn could become gambling very easily. Are those worse? It's really just a matter of semantics. I don't want to end up on a gambling message board anymore than I wanted to end up on a porn one.
  14. Joshua Shea

    How are you?

    Be careful....you're moving pretty fast. You've had a lot happen to you, made big changes and assimilating a lot of new things. You recognize the sun still rises and sets and nobody is going to firebomb your car, if they even care at all. There's a thing a lot of people have as they leave inpatient rehab called "Pink Cloud Syndrome". It's when they've stayed away from their addiction for the longest stretch in years, picked up new tools to cope and have had so many breakthroughs and good days with new perspective that they tell themselves, "I've got this". I've seen a lot of people convince themselves everything is going to be fine with their addiction and then something sideswipes them in life and they fall back into their old coping mechanisms. I'm not say it will happen with you, and I certainly hope it doesn't, but the most dangerous thing you can say is, "I got this" because after four relapse-free years, I can tell you the line between "I got this" and "what happened?" is razor thin, and overconfidence and be a narcisist will be the poison.
  15. When I went to inpatient rehab for my porn addiction back in 2015, I went to a facility that welcomed drug, alcohol, sex and food addicts. The food addict program was mostly eating disorders and the sex addict program was mostly porn. I would have never guessed it going in, but I made closer connections with the eating disorder patients than the drug or alcohol ones...and I myself was an alcoholic. Recovery from drugs and alcohol has a simple goal. Don't use. 100% abstinence. With food and sexuality, the goal is cloudier. It's about a healthy relationship, not complete denial. You have to eat to live. We are sexual beings. We have to learn to do both in balanced, healthy ways. I know you're becoming a big fan of SAA and the circles can really help figure out where things should land. When I was deep in my illness, if I was looking at porn, I was masturbating. If I was masturbating, there was porn in front of me. That was the formula 99% of the time. Was the goal looking at sexy women or was the goal the orgasm? When I had this question posed to me once, I really had to think long and hard about it. So I monitored the triggering feelings inside of me. It took about two days to realize that I was after the porn and I used the masturbation to "justify" it. Here's an analogy: Let's say I was addicted to huffing gasoline fumes. I could go and only put 1/10th of a tank of fuel in my automobile when I go to the filling station. I need to use my car, so I need to put fuel in it...I'm justified. But, if I put only a little fuel in the tank, I can go back again and again. I will make excuses to take drives just to use the fuel so I must return. Somebody on the outside could look at me and think I'm addicted to driving my car. But, let's say my wife takes the car and fills the fuel tank to 100%. I doubt the next day that I'm making 5 or 6 little trips. There's no reason to visit the filling station, so there's no reason to take those little trips. There is nothing wrong with masturbation...which is the car in this analogy. Porn is the filling station. If I don't need to go to the filling station, I don't need the car. If I don't look at pornography, it turned out in my case, I didn't need to masturbate. It became super clear to me when porn is not in my life, masturbation is not an activity I do a lot...much like I don't listen to my MP3 player unless I exercise. They just went to together, yet I was only addicted to one. Sure, there are some people addicted to masturbation and not porn. There are some people addicted to both, but you've got to figure out the relationship they play in your addiction. One of the benefits, for me, of cutting masturbation down to almost nothing (I'd guess 1-2 times per month, never with visual aids) is the increased health of my sex life with my wife. It hasn't made us freaks, but it has made me desire wanting to be with her more. But I don't feel guilty if I give myself some pleasure in the shower every few weeks. And my therapist knows this, confirms that it is not a relapse, and my thinks this is healthier than completely denying myself. You shouldn't plan on being celibate. Humans were never supposed to be celibate. You can see what years and decades of celibacy does to people just by looking at the American Catholic Church and the problems they've had with clergy over the last two decades. There are organizations (sometimes it's hard to tell if they're about helping people or selling T-shirts to college kids) out there that preach a hardcore no-masturbation philosophy. If you're a masturbation addict, maybe that's what's necessary, but I don't think it is for a pure porn addict like you or I. Healthy sexuality is your goal.
  16. Joshua Shea

    My story, my challenge

    If you contact me privately through my website at RecoveringPornAddict.com I'll share with you. I don't think it's fair to link or promote other sites and forums here. This is actually one of the best out there, and the best I've seen out of the UK. It shows you just how little people really want to talk about this.
  17. The timeline/autobiography is always a fascinating tool. I've had to write several in my recovery. One thing that I wish therapists would make people do is edit them. I found one of the biggest exercises in my recovery that put my life into perspective was when I had to cut my book from 200,000 words down to 90,000. It forced me to evaluate and determine what really were the important parts and what were just the parts I told myself were important. The birth of my son is a big deal. Winning awards? Not so much. If you can, try to look at the need for testing of STIs in the way you're looking at your offense. You can't do anything about it now, you can just ensure that it doesn't happen again moving forward. Yes, you put them in a horrible situation, but once they are tested and cleared, it's over. Your wife is going to be angry for a while. It may destroy your marriage. But, you were sick over a long stretch. Now she's going to be sick in a very short timespan. You have to let her have her reaction organically and it sounds like you're doing that. When she berates you for making selfish decisions, all you can do is agree with her and tell her that you're taking the steps to make sure your decision making process is different moving forward. Your brain is going to throw a lot at you. Mine still does, but just because it does that (as I think it does for any man) doesn't mean we act on it. Haven't you ever been cut-off in traffic and thought, "I'd like to punch that motherf...." but you don't. Or your boss says something demeaning to you and you start the tirade in your head back at them. Or you see an advertisement for a pizza place on TV and suddenly you want pizza even though you just ate. I struggled with accepting my mind's thoughts for a while and then I had a therapist tell me, "It's OK to think anything for three seconds. That's involuntary. After that, you're making a choice to think about it and a choice to act on it." He's right. Don't beat yourself up for your thoughts. Develop the good sense to steer yourself away from them, or the ability to analyze and understand why the thought is faulty on the spot. It sounds like given your situation, things are fairly stable and it's going about as well as you can hope. That's good, and better than most. I think you now have the sense life is forever different. It's just your job to make it a healthier place now and most of the other stuff out of your control will take care of itself.
  18. Joshua Shea

    My story, my challenge

    I hope that intense one-on-one therapy is part your agenda, because you clearly have hundreds of hours of working things out ahead of you, many of which you probably can't even identify now. If I were you, I'd put the letter on hold until you talked to a a professional and they could go over it with you. There seem to be a conflict in you between this "man's man" who is military and tough and addicted to porn and this little kid who is suffering inside of you and begging for relief. It's not that it's an alter ego because I think that's the you that most people see. That kid inside of you, the one that you are starting to identify more with, is who you view as your real self and that little kid needs a lot of of love and support right now. Have you seen anybody about PTSD-related illness? I would urge you to do so as that's the thing that comes screaming the loudest out of this. It wasn't until my PTSD was properly diagnosed (roughly 12 years after my bipolar diagnosis) that the cocktail of medications was tweaked to the point we finally found the right formula. I would also urge you to reconsider your antiquated stance on medication. I had a similar "I'm not taking anything" attitude for a long time, but then it was finally explained to me that much of mental illness is physical. For instance, with bipolar, it's a failure of the neurons working properly. That's a physical issue. Symptoms of the physical issue are mental, so it can be confused as a strict mental disorder. There's actual some science that suggests it will soon be classified in the same family of physical ailments as Alzheimer's or dementia. If you had diabetes, you'd take medication. If your blood was too thick or thin, you'd take medication. You may be suffering from physical conditions that appear to be mental. Your entry bounces back and forth between the tough guy and the kid. Don't be a tough guy. You can't beat this alone, or you would have. You need to develop the tools and take the advice of professionals. I know you've seen stuff, but so have they. Good luck and I hope you continue to update us.
  19. Joshua Shea

    My story, my challenge

    I hope that intense one-on-one therapy is part your agenda, because you clearly have hundreds of hours of working things out ahead of you, many of which you probably can't even identify now. If I were you, I'd put the letter on hold until you talked to a a professional and they could go over it with you. There seem to be a conflict in you between this "man's man" who is military and tough and addicted to porn and this little kid who is suffering inside of you and begging for relief. It's not that it's an alter ego because I think that's the you that most people see. That kid inside of you, the one that you are starting to identify more with, is who you view as your real self and that little kid needs a lot of of love and support right now. Have you seen anybody about PTSD-related illness? I would urge you to do so as that's the thing that comes screaming the loudest out of this. It wasn't until my PTSD was properly diagnosed (roughly 12 years after my bipolar diagnosis) that the cocktail of medications was tweaked to the point we finally found the right formula. I would also urge you to reconsider your antiquated stance on medication. I had a similar "I'm not taking anything" attitude for a long time, but then it was finally explained to me that much of mental illness is physical. For instance, with bipolar, it's a failure of the neurons working properly. That's a physical issue. Symptoms of the physical issue are mental, so it can be confused as a strict mental disorder. There's actual some science that suggests it will soon be classified in the same family of physical ailments as Alzheimer's or dementia. If you had diabetes, you'd take medication. If your blood was too thick or thin, you'd take medication. You may be suffering from physical conditions that appear to be mental. Your entry bounces back and forth between the tough guy and the kid. Don't be a tough guy. You can't beat this alone, or you would have. You need to develop the tools and take the advice of professionals. I know you've seen stuff, but so have they. Good luck and I hope you continue to update us.
  20. Joshua Shea

    Time to move on?

    I don't venture over to this side of the site often, but this entry struck me because I kind of felt this way a couple years back about the 12-step groups I was attending. I really got to the point where I was going because I felt like everybody expected me to, but I was getting nothing out of it. In fact, being around a bunch of sad former drunks and sad former sex/porn addicts was actually killing my enthusiasm with recovery. I swear to you I met people who were miserable drunks 40 years ago and are miserable former drunks now. One my reasons for getting into recovery was to try and remove the misery from my life, so I stopped going. I still utilize many of the tools I learned, and I've found writing on these kinds of forums and my blog very helpful and yes, had I stayed, I believe it would have been detrimental. Remember, it's not just the addict who gets sick. It's everyone around them. You've been in a period of recovery. For some people, this board could be like a band-aid, for others it could be like major surgery. We're all different and you have to listen to your heart and your head. Maybe for you, it's like chemotherapy. It's good in doses, but you reach a point where it's done what it can do and you stop. If you keep going, you'll actually get worse. It seems like there wouldn't be any harm in experimenting with stepping away. You know this forum is here if you need it. You're in a good place it sounds like. If you don't need it, don't use it. Things run their course. There's no need to worry or feel bad if this has done what it needs to do and it's time to move on.
  21. Joshua Shea

    My story, my challenge

    Hey Desperate...I'm sure you felt a little bit better after sharing that. Please continue to share. You might even consider starting a blog. It's been a key part of my recovery. You've clearly got some issues with your father and while you're right that they MAY never be resolved, I can guarantee they WILL NOT be resolved if you don't try. Simply by the act of reaching out, even if you're rebuffed, you can clear you conscience that you tried to begin the process of making peace. There are probably a lot of things he doesn't want, or constitutionally can't share, but it's still worth the effort for you to try. I wouldn't spill your heart out in a letter, but rather say you'd like to get together or have a phone call and do it in a more personal forum so you can read the situation and keep it safe for yourself. If you're worried about him trying it again, well, you're not the problem. It seems like an extreme excuse to avoid reaching out, IMO. If you feel you need a support network, they exist. Sex Addict Anonymous and Sexoholics Anonymous are two places to start. Your GP may have more knowledge of what's in your area. Obviously, he should refer you to another therapist. If you have the means and can go more than once a week at first, that's great. Have you actually thought about some kind of inpatient or outpatient rehab? Are you really desperate to kick the habit or do you just feel really bad that you were caught again? It's an important question to answer. You don't have a habit. You can have an addiction and an addict's minds work in strange ways. Like you said, fighting your mind is difficult. NoFap is cool if it works for you. I don't completely agree with their messaging and sometimes feel like they and a few other companies out there are more about selling T-shirts and other trinkets than they are about helping. Good luck, man. I'll be following.
  22. I don't know if you go back and read your older posts, but you're sounding so much better than you were a few weeks ago. You've learned that this won't kill you, it may actually make you healthier in the long run and that the world didn't stop spinning because while you're at the center of your world, you're not at the center of anybody else's, even your wife, who is still alive and functioning, too. Your wife knows she needs support, but it's going to be up to her reaching out to find it. Whether she realizes it yet or not, even if your addiction was secret, everybody is effected by addiction while it's going on. She's probably sorting a lot of that out right now. I'm sure she knows of red flags she ignored, rationalizations she made and behavior that she witnessed. Figuring out her place in all of this can be rough, but that's her journey and it sounds like you're still the last person she wants to get help from. You can't blame her. It's like you hit her with your car and then asked, "So do you want me to run into the house and look for a bandage?" You're not going to fix anything right now. You neither have the tools nor the know-how. It stinks, but it's the way it is. You may also find as recovery becomes an active part of your life, it's not an active part of hers. The toughest part about coming home from rehab or jail is that while you change, most of the people you see upon return haven't. There were times where I felt like my wife needed a lot more help than I did. And she got it in time in her own way. I couldn't dictate it, all I could do was support her decisions. Your brain is going to mess with you for a while. I wish I could say the worst of it is over, but I find the worst hits on a random Tuesday afternoon when you don't see it coming. Just keep working through it. After four years, it's still there for me, but it's a very diluted, rarely-appearing issue. I assume it will continue to dissipate the further I get. You're doing better. Recognize that. The legal stuff will be the legal stuff. Nothing you can do about that now except get yourself into tip-top shape should you ever appear in court and need to talk to the person, or people, who will decide your fate.
  23. Joshua Shea

    What I'm going through now

    P is right. It is ironic that we face the music when we are at our healthiest, but I think that's also a good thing. I viewed my sentence (ended up serving 6 months) through objective eyes. You can't do what I did and expect to get away with it. Being punished was a huge part of my recovery and I'm thankful I was at my healthiest when I was punished so I could truly appreciate the price I was paying. Don't be fooled into thinking the police stopped the addiction. You can be scared straight, and I certainly experienced a lot of that, but you can't have an addiction scared out of you on a cellular level. Stick with your program, seek fellowship with others and, for me, one-on-one and group counseling have been huge keys to my recovery success. Also, keep writing about it. Granted, I've been a professional writer for more than 20 years, but I've yet to meet the person who isn't helped my putting their thoughts on paper. You don't have to write them here, or blog, or do a book like I did. There were plenty of times I wrote things and then tore them up and threw them away. It's just a matter of getting the mental garbage out of your system. Don't worry about your friends. Those who love you and understand addiction aren't let down. They're concerned for your well-being. You let yourself down, and that's a harder wound to fix. Yes, there will be people who cannot see beyond your crime and will forever label you a certain way. It doesn't matter. They clearly don't know you as well as you thought and they don't have the kind of compassion you require, so let them go. With your real friends, this will be something that happened to you, and something you deal with, but it will just become part of your ongoing history.
  24. Prior to your conviction, they just want to know where you are. They probably won't show up for searches or anything like that. After your conviction, they'll be more likely to check in with you...you can almost guarantee it. But in my experience, it's not invasive. It's just making sure that you are saying where you'll be and making sure there aren't any obvious problems with that place.
  25. I'm American, so I can't say 100% what it looks like assuming you're in the UK, but a lot of it has to do with what you have NOW, meaning cars, houses, etc. I've found in most cases, horror stories of insurance, loans, etc. have been overblown. That said, there are a lot of restrictions where a registered sex offender can live and it varies from town-to-town in the US. I wouldn't want to try to find an apartment now. Thankfully, since I've had my house almost 15 years, I'm grandfathered in on most. Ironically, since I've pulled my life together, my credit score has actually greatly improved since my conviction. I am on probation for three years, with about a year left. At first, I had to report to the officer every other week and there were periodic checks of my house. I also had to take two lie detector tests in the first year. Once it was established that I'm low-risk for reoffending, it's been much easier. I check-in once a month and usually he just looks at me and says "Everything good? Any questions?" and then I move on with my day. We built trust and I've shown that I've learned my lesson. So, your relationship with law enforcement will be the tightest immediately after your conviction, but it does get better. I was fired the day I was arrested...and because of my visibility in my community...I was all over the media. I will most likely never work for someone again in a white-collar environment. So I started freelance writing on my own, wrote my book and actually now make more money doing less work than I did before the conviction. And yes, I'm on the register in America for life. But that just involves checking in with the police where I live every 3 months. Sure, it's a pain sometimes, but I look at it as a good reminder to stay in recovery and a small penance considering I created victims. My best advice to you is use this time now to get your stuff together. Find out why you did what you did -- it's a long process, or at least it was for me -- and it involved a formula of reasons I couldn't have guessed when it first happened. You should have nothing to worry about with the police checking on you if you have nothing to hide. Live a life of honesty with your family and friends. I saw on your blog that your friends were great...people usually are. Some aren't, but that's their problem, not yours. Your life will be forever different, there is no denying that, but despite the hoops you'll be made to jump through both in the short- and long-term, you may find that a couple of years from now, this was just the thing you needed to turn around. Consider checking out my blog at www.RecoveringPornAddict.com for more about my story.
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