Time to heal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by forlorn, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. forlorn

    forlorn New Member

    I'm a 42 year old male with a history of sexually compulsive behaviour spanning 25 years.

    The two biggest traumas that come to mind from my youth were being bullied at school (I was sexually naive compared to others) and almost losing my mother to illness when I was 16. Other than that, I had a fairly happy childhood. In later years through college and throughout my twenties I suffered a series of painful rejections from women. I have some fetishes which have always made me feel like a weirdo and an outsider. I've always had a thing for pretty feet - and humiliation.

    Masturbation and porn started off with lifestyle magazines and fantasy novels. Then the internet came along. I was initially hooked on the chat rooms. After college I moved out, got my own computer and made sure I had lots of privacy. I soon lost interest in reality. The years rolled by.

    Then came the strip clubs, escorts, cash meets. I've put those real life encounters behind me now but I was never able to give up porn. In between all that, I got married but our sex life never materialised due to my inability to get it up/in. In the meantime my secret porn use continued, my tastes morphed and the content became more graphic.

    It's got to the point where it's making me miserable, irritable, frustrated and ashamed of my behaviour.

    Over the next few months I aim to document my journey as I take the time to heal. I will learn to accept myself for who I am, forgive myself for the past, deal with shame, learn emotional management and strive towards becoming a better man.
     
  2. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Welcome aboard sir. This is a good place to sort out ones thoughts and get insights from others
     
  3. forlorn

    forlorn New Member

    Everyone around me seems to be angry and stressed lately and I'm caught in the middle, acting as a mediator. It's adding to my anxiety but I am reminding myself that it will soon pass. I need to get through these difficult first few days, build momentum and consider strategies for filling the void that porn has left behind. Right now I feel empty and numb, I want the world to leave me alone but I'm being pestered by people from all angles and getting countless notifications on my phone.

    For me, this healing process must begin with self forgiveness. I acknowledge that the past is the past. Dwelling on it won't change anything. I'm not proud of some of the choices I've made but they are in the past. From now on, I will focus on the future as it's the only thing I can change. I will be careful not to set unrealistic expectations. Chances are I will experience setbacks along the way, there may be relapses but I will do my best to go easy on myself and carry on moving forwards. Everyone makes mistakes, sometimes you have to make them to grow as a person. As of next week I am starting some volunteer work, it could be challenging but I'm excited about it and hope it will help me to feel good about myself. The process of self forgiveness will be partly mental/emotional and partly based on taking actions, i.e. helping others as well as looking after myself
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  4. forlorn

    forlorn New Member

    A list of reasons why I want to put an end to my addictive behavior:

    So I can feel free
    To have inner peace
    To improve my marital relationship
    So I can look people in the eye
    To gain self confidence
    To feel desirable and masculine
    To feel in control of the direction of my life
    Improve my finances
    Face up to my fears
    To grow as a person and learn how to manage emotions
    To have a sexual relationship
    So my wife feels loved and appreciated
    To make the most of the time I have

    I've observed a something about myself over the past few days. In social encounters I tend to over disclose. Nothing inappropriate but maybe I share too openly the minute details of my life. Perhaps I'm doing this to be liked or to gain approval. I have a habit of repeating the same stories to those I encounter rather than being spontaneous.

    Does anyone know how I can upload an avatar? No matter what type/size of image I use, I get a message saying 'An error occurred. the image could not be processed by the server.'
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  5. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Good on you. Sometimes having a purpose is great help
     
  6. forlorn

    forlorn New Member

    Thanks for your support Boxer. Yes, doing this volunteering work is giving me a sense of purpose and helping me to see problems beyond my own. There are quite a few other volunteers at the site, many of them younger than me. They've mostly been friendly and welcoming and I have interacted with them well. There was one girl who I found to be quite hard work and yesterday after she put down a newspaper I picked it up and started attempting the same puzzle that she had been working on. Upon her return, she asked for the newspaper back in a passive aggressive way. I felt embarrassed. I hadn't realised it belonged to her and I don't think she wanted any hep with the puzzle. Afterwards I felt bad about the awkwardness between us.

    It made me realise I have this thing where I kind of want everyone to like me - or at least I want to feel as if get along well with everyone. Now I've reflected on it, I suppose it doesn't matter if I see eye to eye with everyone. There will be some people that don't like me, that's fine. In the coming weeks, I will be exposing myself to emotions that I've previously suppressed and overridden by porn. I will deal with difficult emotions and learn how to cope with them. I will accept them instead of trying to hide and pretend they don't exist.
     
  7. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    I know what you mean about interacting with people. It can be a minefield sometimes
     
  8. learningOrder

    learningOrder Member

    Hi Forlorn, welcome to the forum. I relate to your struggle - both with P but also with the compulsion to be the mediator and to avoid conflict.

    There is a very worthwhile book called No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover that I have read several times that might be relevant. There is a lot to unpack in the book --> but it has a lot about how many men are friendly and outwardly helpful because they are insecure and want people to like them.

    Best of luck!
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  9. forlorn

    forlorn New Member

    Thanks for the book recommendation, sounds like it may relate to me, so I will be sure to take a look.

    For the next few days I am setting myself the challenge of facing uncomfortable emotions and painful truths. I will try to spend time reflecting on my current situation and learning to accept the reality. The idea is to train my brain to cope with anxiety, boredom, stress and perhaps uncover other emotions that I have been suppressing.
     
    seebs75 and Boxer17 like this.
  10. seebs75

    seebs75 Member

    So I can feel free
    To have inner peace
    To improve my marital relationship
    So I can look people in the eye
    To gain self confidence
    To feel desirable and masculine
    To feel in control of the direction of my life
    Improve my finances
    Face up to my fears
    To grow as a person and learn how to manage emotions
    To have a sexual relationship
    So my wife feels loved and appreciated
    To make the most of the time I have


    This is my exact list as well. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be a normal person.
     
  11. forlorn

    forlorn New Member

    It's been a good week overall. Triggers have been easy to manage, I've simply dismissed them as soon as they arrive. Emotionally I have been fairly stable and I am slowly trying to leave myself exposed to uncomfortable emotions so that I can make peace with them. However, in some ways I have been a little out of sorts and it's led me to do a couple of inappropriate things at work. For example I was working with a client and noticed she was displaying signs of drug use so I asked her if she used coke last night. She denied it and got offended. I'm fairly certain I'm right but nevertheless I should not have mentioned it at all, it was unprofessional of me to even suggest it. I should have kept my thoughts to myself.
     
  12. forlorn

    forlorn New Member

    I've made a monumental fuck up. The comments I made about coke use to the work client have come back to bite me. I foolishly confessed my own drug use to her which she has also reported. I had to own up to my employer when they asked me if I made the remark. Now I have to play the waiting game and hope there aren't further repercussions. I can't get it off my mind and am literally thinking about it constantly, I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. This is a test, of my ability to handle anxiety and deal with uncomfortable emotions. I'm learning the hard way that I must be wary of over disclosure.

    The weekend has also taught me another valuable lesson, specifically that I need to be more careful around my consumption of alcohol. I'm not a daily drinker but I tend to overindulge on weekends and it's become more of a problem over the last 6 months. After the dopamine rush of the alcohol wears off (at the end of the night or the following day) I feel anxious, low and in need of a high. Quite often in these cases there's a higher chance I will self medicate with a sexual high.

    So all in all a bad couple of days but the important thing is, I am going to learn from these mistakes. No matter what happens, I will get through this. Even if I lose my job I will find another one.
     

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