Document the Victory

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by realness, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. realness

    realness Active Member

    unexpected time home alone today, so here I am. Journaling to do something useful instead of allowing urges to take root and become behavior. Came across this quote: What you are not changing you are choosing.
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  2. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Keep going @realness - thanks for all the insights you're sharing.
    realness likes this.
  3. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    Having a good day will become more xss satisfying just keep it up you're moving along.
    realness likes this.
  4. realness

    realness Active Member

    It's been a busy week but it's great to carve out some time to come back here. Yesterday was two weeks with no P, and today makes 15 days, feels great! Unfortunately I did MO twice on Monday, 3 days ago. I got back too early from working at the coffee shop. I had walked into a trigger while I was there, reading the news stories of the Congresswoman Katie Hill whose nude pictures were leaked and forced her to resign. I wanted to see the pictures, and when I got home the family wasn't home yet and I was standing in front of the computer with Incognito open. Battling. I knew that if I looked up the pictures it would be PMO, and I would likely go right to video P and hardcore P. The battle led me to compromise with my first try at sensation based M. As I did it was pretty hard to keep fantasy out of it but I was largely successful. But still, I don't want MO in my life. This was not a victory but a compromise. And compromises have downsides, one of which was the chaser effect for me which led to a limited fantasy MO a few hours later. So, Monday wasn't a great day. But compromises have a few upsides and not indulging in P is one of them. It took some focus and effort to limit the chaser to Monday and it's good to be here a few days later with a clearer head.

    As always the lessons and battles in other's journals are so helpful to me. I'm doing the continual work to establish changes in my heart, mind and body. It takes knowledge and then putting that knowledge to practice an action. I want to move past abstinence to a changed heart and mindset. I need to accurately see cravings as waves that will build, crest and then pass me by. They are not a buildup that will eventually take me down. That is a lie! I also need the reminders of where PMO will take me. The regret. The brain fog. Missing out on the joys and pleasures of small moments and memories made with my family. Ignorance of serendipity of walks, smells, sounds of life. So, I'll keep using the tools. Throwing some push-ups at the cravings that come, visualizing where PMO will leave me immediately after the rush is over. Cold showers. Planning days in advance for times where I could be home alone. Resuming work on a backyard patio that is 75% done, but paused in June due to the heat and running out of funds. It will be fun to pick that up when the kids are back in school again as something I can immediately jump back into to reinforce purpose and goal achievement in my life.

    P sucks. It is self harm.
    catchingup likes this.
  5. catchingup

    catchingup Active Member

    "see cravings as waves that will build, crest and then pass me by. They are not a buildup that will eventually take me down. That is a lie!"

    And that is the truth! I've been fapping for years and the feeling of the urges never changes 15 years ago they felt exactly the same. It's always the same. And relapsing won't ever free us from having to come back. It takes a higher mindset, the mindset is so important as you mention. I wish you the best on your journey!
    realness likes this.
  6. realness

    realness Active Member

    FUCK! PMO today. Coming here to cope with the crash. At least it was fairly short, 45 mins. This is different than my last few binges, where I took advantage of 2+ hours of alone time at home. 16 days of no P, and one day of MO a few days ago. Sucks. I know that these things aren't linear. Moving away from daily and now weekly PMO is an improvement, and these are steps to eliminating PMO from my life. I don't have any magical insights or solutions here. It's been a tough week at home. My wife is exhausted with the kids, and jealous of even the limited time that I'm not working from home and able to help with the kids. Sometimes the sounds of the kids fighting, the sound of my wife's exhausted and angry voice are all just too much and put me in a really bad mood. Besides just giving in to the strong urges, today may have been my unhealthy reaction to all of that. Last night I was feeling all of that, and I told her I wanted to go for a walk after the kids were down, and she whined that I was going to get away when she hasn't been away for over a week. I didn't know how to react to that.

    I take heart in the things I can do. I can react today with push ups, hard work on the job and home, make plans for Monday morning so that I don't binge while home alone. Tomorrow the kids have a day out from 9-4PM. We have just the baby for 7 hours! It's a treat and there will be ways for my wife and I to recharge. I'll take care of her by going out with the baby and giving her a good long time to nap. I need to think of some ways that I can take advantage of the time without all the kids. I like being productive, so this could mean putting more work into completing our backyard patio/steps project, or maybe even something fun. I'll have to give it some thought.

    Thanks for encouraging me @catchingup . Your journey out of darkness is awesome. There will be twists and turns, highs and lows. But I'm in your corner all the way.
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  7. catchingup

    catchingup Active Member

    One relapse is not the end of the world as you know. More important, is your heart and mind, and they are in the right place brother. I like who I see.
    realness likes this.
  8. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    You had a slip but keep faith and remember you're on the right path overall. Have you put any plans in place for Monday when you have that alone time? Maybe writing in your journal or working on the patio? Imagine how proud you will feel if you can start to handle these alone times better. Do this for yourself. Be the man you want to be, even when nobody is watching.
    realness likes this.
  9. realness

    realness Active Member

    Heartbroken and horrified. Yesterday when I PMO'd, my 5 and 3 year old girls were napping. My 5 year old got up and sneaked into the kitchen. I was in the connected dining room. I heard her and put her back to bed. I asked her what she saw on my laptop and she said "Work things". I asked her what she saw me doing and she said "work things". Today I asked some more probing questions, like what was on the screen "Boys and girls". Kids or grownups? "Grownups". Were they wearing costumes, bathing suits or naked? "Naked". Were they playing or wrestling? "Playing and wrestling". She said she was only there for a little bit before I heard her and put her back to bad.

    My heart aches that my brokenness has now impacted my daughter. I have greatly hurt and risked her innocence. She may at any time bring up that her Papa was watching naked things on the computer.

    Her reaction yesterday was only anger at having to go back to bed. She had no questions or curiosity about what she saw. I pray that it was all just so over her head that she has given and will give it little thought. Because of her age, I pray that this will be forgotten and won't foster any sexual reactions, thoughts, or activities going forward. I pray that she was exposed in such a limited way that this does not damage her in any way and is just forgotten as she moves on in her childhood.

    I cried today for the first time in years. I don't want to tell my wife about this. I want to tell my daughter that what she saw should not be on our computers. Our private parts should not be on computers or phones. With the limited discussion I can have with her, I will tell her that those silly pictures and video shouldn't have been there, and Papa will fix our internet so they will never be there. I want the lasting impression of this experience for her to be that her Papa will fix things to keep naked things off our devices.

    I have nothing else to say. I feel horrible. This is the lowest I have ever felt. Going forward will be very difficult. I will make a separate post on one of the general P topics about filtering options, I am acting out on a Chrome book which is incompatible with our current monitoring software, Covenant Eyes.
  10. catchingup

    catchingup Active Member

    Hey realness, this can be seen as a powerful wake up call. Use it as fuel for your transformation. We are here to support you, wishing you success.
    realness likes this.
  11. wareagle

    wareagle Member

    Hey realness,

    This is an opportunity to double down on that determination to heal. We are here for you.
    realness likes this.
  12. realness

    realness Active Member

    thank you @wareagle and @catchingup . You are right that what's happened must be a tremendous catalyst for change. Your support and kind words helped so much yesterday.

    I will work on directing my energy toward that change. That is difficult now, as I'm devastated with regret. And fear of the damage that I've done. Livid with the foolishness and selfishness to PMO in the first place, and then to do it where I could be seen my my children. It is difficult to forgive myself. I have no appetite. It's hard to sleep. I walk around like a zombie, going through the motions. The weight of what's happened crushes my conscience, my spirit, my heart.

    I keep replaying the event in my head, trying to determine how long my daughter was in the kitchen before I heard her. Trying to figure out what her view of the computer was from her angle and height. I keep beating myself up asking, why didn't I sit on the other side of the table, with the screen AWAY from where anyone may approach. Why didn't I go downstairs? I had a good streak going but that thought and that success means absolutely nothing after what's happened.

    There are moments where the pain relents briefly. I read Psalms 22 and 42, where David expresses his agony and pain, where God feels far away and he is constantly mocked and attached by his enemies. Though he describes physical enemies I know he also means spiritual ones as well. Is it possible that God's sovereignty extends to this event? That he is in control of what my daughter saw, how she will process it, and can heal her or prevent it from being a significant life event for her? Can he make an experience that was confusing, made no sense, and is thus forgotten? Is it possible that God can use this in my life as the wake up call to end PMO and MO? Could this be the event that stops me from ever bringing this poison into my home and family? The event that leads me to protect us all with filtering and accountability? That breaks the sexual brokenness in me?
  13. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    realness, your story is a powerful one. Anyone who has been caught in the act knows how devastating it is. My wife walked in on me early in our marriage, and she never fully trusted me after that. Since your daughter probably doesn't know how to really process what she saw, I think that if you never allow this to happen again, and just continue to be the Dad she knows and loves, she will be okay. I know you'll be on the alert for any signs that she isn't.
    As you go through your recovery, there will be highs and lows. But as you do your best to remove the scourge of porn from your life, you must absolutely protect your family from it.
    I wish you the best. You're in a place here where you can relate your journey and count on support from people who are on that journey with you.
    realness and catchingup like this.
  14. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    Hi realness,

    I agree with the others that you can use this as a really powerful catalyst for change.

    We’ve all probably heard of stories where an addict (regardless of their addiction) has to hit a rock bottom before they are forced the change. You could choose to make this your rock bottom.

    I’m not sure that constantly replaying the event in your head will help you. Better to spend the time and energy into figuring out how not to put yourself in that situation again.
    realness likes this.
  15. wareagle

    wareagle Member

    Hey realness,

    Was thinking about this while driving today. Just some thoughts I had ... what could you have been doing that was productive at the time you were caught? I ask that because an older neighbor of mine has a few wooden planters in her back yard with vegetables and such that she tends to all the time. Weeding, watering, I swear she talks to them. I was just wondering if you had a project you could start working on that would include your daughter (and the others really). I ask that because looking back on my own childhood I really only remember the good things. Maybe you can take a negative a make a positive by creating a productive project that can give you some family time. I don’t have kids so I’m not even sure how realistic that’d be.

    Just thought I’d throw that out there.
    realness likes this.
  16. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Hi @realness, I am sorry to hear this happened. Although I understand your feelings very well, and probably I would have felt the same, I also think that your reaction is largely colored by the shame and guilt that you were already carrying around. In that sense this is merely a trigger to a whole bag of emotions that opens up, whereas the actual event is not the worst thing in the world. Your daughter might have seen people having sex on a screen. Not something suited for children, but also not damaging if it was just a glance. On TV and youtube there is a lot of stuff that is way more damaging to kids, even though accepted as normal. Your daughter walking in on you watching (regular) porn is in my eyes in the same category as her walking in on you banging your wife: not suited for kids eyes, but also not the end of the world. Don't be afraid that this will affect your daughter and please don't further discuss it with your daughter or hear her out. If you do that, she will feel by the tone of your voice that there's something about it and than you can make it a bigger thing for her. Children are naturally curious, so if she has seen it than she might ask you about it at some point. If it is not a big deal for you (there was just something on the screen, children don't put labels), then it won't be a big deal for her and won't affect your daughters behaviour in the future.

    Also, I really don't think that this should be your motivation or catalyst to change. That seems counterintuitive, but I really think that positive change can only come from within and from positive goals. Forgive yourself for this, make sure it doesn't happen again, and continue to work on your really sensible and effective plan that you layed out in your first posts.
    Mozenjo, forlorn and realness like this.
  17. realness

    realness Active Member

    Thank you all so much for the support. I had no where else to go with this. You have helped tremendously. The clouds have lifted a bit. The regret and guilt still hit in waves but in between I can see things differently and perhaps more clearly. Thank you @Gil79 for pointing out that my initial reaction was colored by guilt and shame. These triggers makes me anticipate the worst possible outcome. That my daughter is permanently damaged, that she will tell my wife in her innocence and I will be divorced and scorned for my foolishness and perversion. This is not so, and I'm grateful for all your support here.

    My daughter is 100% her normal self. Cuddling and jumping in my arms, playing creatively with her siblings and friends, sleeping and eating well. She hasn't brought it up or expressed any curiosity or questions. This is such a relief. It's likely she didn't see much, and it wasn't that important to her anyway as she was only concerned with ending her nap and being able to watch one of her shows. Now that I can see things more clearly I'm experiencing gratitude. For who my daughter is, for the joys of my other children, and for my role as their father. That last part is difficult now, but as you have supported and encouraged me to do I will put my energy away from dwelling on this guilt and instead on being an active and loving father. There's no shortage of opportunities to do that. And also my energy back into my recovery so I'm never in this situation again.

    I appreciate this insight. I've only had two brief talks with her about it, to determine the extent of what she saw. In my fear and insecurity I could make things worse by pressing this further. I won't bring it up again. Rather, the next time she's with me and I'm working on my laptop I'll have a general talk about what should be on a computer and what shouldn't. And for the things that shouldn't, Papa can fix the computer to make them go away. And she'll never be in trouble if she sees them and she should tell her Mom and Dad so that we can fix them. My hope is that she'll associate that general truth with what she saw and not what she saw in itself.

    I think I get what you're saying @Gil79 about not making this bigger than it is because it could fuel more guilt and regret instead of recovery. So I'm working on the balance of what a huge trespass this was, taking it as seriously as it deserves to drive positive change in my life. If I do claim this as my rock bottom it should be in a healthy way. It should be a milestone in my recovery along with the others earlier in my journal that you mentioned. But you're right this event wasn't the end-all-be-all. There will be actions that spring from this. I've heard a few people mention OpenDPS and I finally looked it up. This looks like a good concrete step forward as it is a general filter at the router level that will apply to all my devices. This will take away the ability to compulsively grab my chromebook and act out, which is what put me in this current situation. If anyone has any info or other suggestions here, I'd really appreciate it. I posted a thread in the general P addiction forum but haven't gotten any replies. My other devices are covered by Covenant Eyes. This has been enough of a deterrent to force me to think about things before acting out on other devices. But CE is incompatible with Chromebook.

    Thank you bro, I'm on the path of positive, concrete steps to protect my family. Thank you so much for your support.

    Thanks Clovis, I'm taking this to heart and keeping moving instead of dwelling, staring off into space and replaying things. I've gone for walks in the evenings to change my thinking and direct my energy to positive thoughts and planning.

    Thanks wareagle. The summer is about to cool off so it will be time for adventures, like hiking around and bike riding. They're in different stages of balance bikes, training wheels and learning bikes with gears. So this should keep us busy until the weather gets cold and then it will be time for different activities.
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  18. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    I’m glad that we could help.

    Gil raised a good point about the guilt and shame. I think that it’s something we’ve got to be really careful about, because if we let it get to us to much, then there’s maybe a tendency to say F&@% it, there’s no hope and then to act out even more.
    TroyTempest and realness like this.
  19. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

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  20. realness

    realness Active Member

    Thanks for checking in @Gil79 . I'm doing better. Appetite is back, I'm able to sleep pretty well and am starting to enjoy moments in my day again. The guilt, regret and fear are not pressing me down at all times. I'm not wallowing in shame or stopping my recovery and running to PMO. I feel slight urges from time to time but they quickly make my stomach turn when I remember what indulging led to last week. So in that sense, what happened is some fuel for me to hate P and PMO. Last week is fresh enough in my mind that my eyes are wide open to how ruinous, destructive is. P lies, P robs and steals, P humiliates and mocks. And then P tries to seduce me again.

    My daughter has showed no changes and has had no questions or curiosity about whatever she was able to see. I haven't asked or pressed anything further other than a brief talk 3 days ago about good and bad things that can be on the computer, and anything naked that she could see isn't a good thing and she can tell me so I can fix it. I'm slowly allowing myself to feel some relief from the fear and worry. It's hard to let that happen. When I have a comforting thought that nothing will come of this, maybe convince myself that she didn't see much and has not given it any thought and likely never will, it's usually quickly followed by the opposite. Fears that someday, somehow this will come up in a bad way. So I go back and forth at times during the day on this. I have been exercising my faith, and praying to my God who can do all things. I have asked him to rescue my daughter from any harm from this, to rescue her innocence from what she may have seen by having her forget what she saw, or to purge any memory or images that she may have seen. Praying that she is simply too young to comprehend what she saw and thus it's probable that this really was nothing to her. And after I pray for her, I pray for my God to redeem me and rescue me from myself, from my mistakes like last week, and to lead me.

    I'm hungry for integrity. I'm hungry for good character and using my time well. I'm hungry for peace, which also means freedom from the paranoia of being caught. Either literally in the act, or having to hide things on my computer, devices and TV. I want to experience the joy and peace of looking back at days, months and years and knowing that there is no P, PMO or MO that may have been seen or influenced me as a Husband, Father or Friend.

    So it makes me happy to continue this journey of recovery. Here in my actions and reflections, and in your journals as well. I'll continue working on investing in others and getting out of my own head and dwelling on the low failure of last week.

    If anyone sees anything off in how I am processing this and moving forward, please let me know.
    Gil79 and catchingup like this.

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