Time to heal

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

  1. Bilbo Swaggins

    Bilbo Swaggins Well-Known Member

    Good luck with this! Not always easy to deal with this, but I am sure you will find an interesting job.
  2. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    The other night I lay awake thinking about a situation that occurred when I was a spotty little teenager. At the time, my parents owned the house next door which they rented to two attractive young women. One day, when the women weren’t in, I used a spare key to gain access to their home to fulfill my fantasies. I knew it was wrong to be doing what I was doing, but I got away with it.

    A few days later I repeated the behaviour but this time one of the women came home and caught me, just as I was leaving. She was (understandably) angry and mentioned ‘breaking & entering’. She told me to go explain to my parents what had just occurred.

    I briefly recall an awkward conversation with my mother about it. I think they all knew there could have been a sexual element to my actions. I wasn’t directly accused, but it was insinuated. I made up some kind of excuse and between them, they gave me the benefit of the doubt.

    I’m not sure why this story came to mind, I guess it still fills me with a deep sense of shame. And it shows that, even in pre-Internet days, I was engaging in weird, high risk behaviour for sexual thrills.

    Think I need to do a deeper dive into past traumas to see if I can identify what triggered me to act out in such a way (not looking to excuse my behaviour, just to understand it).
    positivef and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  3. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    There's a significant relationship between unresolved trauma and our sexual acting out behaviors, forlorn. And trauma can be such an insidious thing, being something that occurs slowly, gradually, and at a subconscious level, as well as occurring during specific discreet events. It has taken me a long time to recognize (and still working on this), how traumatic my early years were, and in particular, how my father traumatized me in so many ways. Our sexual acting out, whatever that looks like, is just a way to revisit the 'scene of the crime', in hopes of re-framing it with some sort of happy (pleasurable) ending. We end up with the pleasure (which comes and goes), and we end up re-traumatizing ourselves in the process (additional feelings of guilt, shame, and abandonment, which stay with us).
    Keep posting!
    realness and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  4. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Forlorn, sorry to hear about your job situation. Good luck with the digital marketing idea.
    As for your memory of your past misadventure, since it was sexually motivated, high risk, and you got caught, it's no surprise that you still think about it. The search for sexual fulfillment drives lots of people to do risky, and often very self-destructive things (there are tons of scandals that immediately come to mind). Sounds like the embarrassment of getting caught may have stopped you from making a habit out of it, which is of course good.
    Anyway, whether there is an unresolved trauma involved in your story or not, you're here and dealing with the addiction and analyzing your past. I wish you the best as you work through this.
    realness likes this.
  5. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hey @forlorn - I also just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear about your job. Thanks for the advice you've given me recently - I'll be praying that something good comes your way soon.
  6. Vanoli16

    Vanoli16 Member

    @forlorn Thanks for sharing something so intimate. I can relate to the fact that, although my specific situation never involved that, what I was feeling and experiencing way before the internet came along was "weird" for sexual thrills, and those memories don't just fly away. For me its a reminder of how deep this issue runs for me, and how important using all the tools at my disposal to build the life I want to build now.
  7. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="forlorn, post: 712247, member: 24334"

    The biggest barriers I'm facing are in my mind. Fear, doubt, uncertainty.

    But right now I am trying to stay focused on being positive and taking action.[/QUOTE]

    I think these are the biggest barriers with face with anything in life. Best policy is to focus on being positive and taking action as you said.

    I wish you well with whatever you go onto next.
  8. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Hey @forlorn, sorry to hear about your job. I hope it doesn't directly affect you too much financially. A while ago you were posting about giving a new durection to your career. Is this the right moment to dive more into that?

    About the situation with the renters. Isn't that something that any teenage boy could do? Driven by a healthy sexual curiosity and maybe a bit of boredom? I don't think there was necessarily something out of the ordinary with you that made you do that. But I could understand that the way that your parents dealt with it has caused you a lot of shame and negative self image. Not to blame them or anything, but such things can really affect the vulnerable teenage psyche.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  9. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Part of the thrill can be exactly that you know it's wrong. I've got a couple of shameful teenage masturbation stories myself.
  10. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks for the support, encouragement, and advice. I'm grateful to all who posted.

    Yesterday I received a phone call from an ex colleague who is part of a new tech startup. She wants to hire me to do some contract work. It's a big opportunity that could lead to some lucrative work. I have the usual doubts (can I deliver what they want? Am I good enough? etc). But part of me is very excited about this opportunity. I should know more in the coming days.

    Totally agree about the link between acting out and unresolved trauma. I know some here have had abusive or absent fathers (yourself / Gil). Also Realness mentioned some traumatic experiences from his childhood, involving his mother. I think this stuff is worth exploring to see if we can find answers and come to terms with our past.

    "misadventure" - that word sums it up perfectly :D

    While my parents are good people, I've come to realise some of their parenting was flawed. The way they were over protective when it came to anything sexual. When I was quite young, we were told there was to be a sex education class at school. All the other children were giggling and sniggering. That evening, I went home and asked in front of my older brother and mother "What's sex"?

    **Wall of silence**

    I recall being surprised by their unwillingness to explain. What was this thing that we could not speak openly about? They told me to go to the class and find out for myself. Even after the class I don't think I really understood, I was a naive kid.

    During my teenage years, when my parents would record movies on VHS, they would cut sections of the recording if they deemed it inappropriate (basically any adult scenes). So upon watching tapes back, we'd have a several minute gap in some movies. One time I remember seeing the same movie over at a friend's house and thinking "aaah, so this is what the scene looks like when it hasn't been edited by my parents....."

    Agreed. It's something that carried through into my use of porn.
    realness and positivef like this.
  11. realness

    realness Active Member

    I really appreciate your vulnerability in sharing the story about the renters, brother. Like the others who commented, I have memories of misadventures like that. When examined and processed I don't think they provide brilliant, "BOOM" answers, but rather validation and explanation of our brokenness. Processing them nudges us on toward better tools, coping mechanisms, and healing. I hope sharing it and hearing reactions from caring people was cathartic to you.

    And fantastic news on the job opportunity!
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    A sporting injury to my wrist has made everything difficult lately. I’m hoping it’s just a strain and nothing more serious. Annoyingly, lots of things around me seem to be breaking, including some expensive equipment that I rely on. To add to the stress, some exterior household repair jobs are proving to be troublesome and costly.

    However in general terms, my mood has been stable.

    I did face a strong urge a few days ago and was tempted to indulge in one of my ‘go to’ P genres. Despite the temptation, I won the moral battle and I was able to remind myself how self destructive that behaviour would have been. I have been PMO free since 7th September.

    I’ve mainly been focused on career goals this week. Being proactive and getting things done has helped to reduce my anxiety. An ex colleague has thrown a contract opportunity my way, so I’m preparing myself as best I can. I have had a disagreement with this individual in the past, but we settled our differences. I also did her a big favour a couple of years back so I think I can trust her. If this opportunity works out, I ought to earn some decent money.
    Lowdo likes this.
  13. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    3 weeks free of PMO. Based on historical attempts, it’s around this time I start to feel a bit jittery and experience a slip. It’s like a sexual wilderness, an in-between place where I’ve created a gap from pornography but I’m still a long distance away from marital sexual intimacy. A combination of rationalisation/justification, libido and ingrained behavioural responses gang up to lure me back in. The main behaviour I need to curtail is the peeking. These powerful dopamine-releasing, secretive online searches keep me trapped. I need to be extra mindful from here on in. As NCBob’s 11th commandment goes, Thou Shalt Not Peek.
    Lowdo, UK Don and realness like this.
  14. Cali

    Cali Active Member

    Focus on moving towards "marital sexual intimacy", which is going to be so much better than PMO. Keep reminding yourself that at the end of the day PMO does not provide the same rewards as real sex both physically and emotionally.

    We have been duped by PMO, it is not real intimate sex with the physical and emotional connections that make sex special. We need to beat this beast and start experiencing natural intimacy again.
    forlorn and realness like this.
  15. realness

    realness Active Member

    I really liked how you explained where you are at right now @forlorn . The in-between. Thanks for processing it in writing. It's extremely relatable. I agree with @Cali on what the goal is. But until you reach reliable marital intimacy you'll have to manage your energy, time, moods and urges. We're all discovering new tools to do that and coming here for encouragement, comraderie and support. Cheering you on and walking with you bro. 3 weeks is awesome
  16. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Coming up to a month now and I’m still free of PMO. I’m trying to recognise triggers as they arise. Sometimes they occur in the subtlest of ways. A particular word in a Photoshop dropdown menu reminded me of a previous masochistic online encounter.
    It was almost enough to send me on a downward spiral of self defeating behaviour.

    I’m at a stage where I have mixed feelings about looking at porn. It’s exciting and takes the edge off anxiety (though only in the short term). But it also causes emotional pain, to the point that the pleasure it provides isn’t worth the sickening misery that inevitably follows. During this reboot I’m attempting to make more conscious choices - to respond to challenges in more balanced and appropriate ways. I also plan to continue exploring past traumas and trying to figure out underlying issues.
    positivef likes this.
  17. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Remember porn isn't really exciting, just a simulation of excitement that takes away from real excitement.
    realness and forlorn like this.
  18. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    Some really good insights there to reflect on.

    The triggers definitely get more subtle as time goes by. For me, I’m now finding that triggers that would have worked years ago before easy access to online stuff have crept back into my life since I quit all the online stuff. These subtle triggers can be seemingly occur in ‘harmless’ everyday situations. Still got to ignore them regardless.

    You are absolutely right about the pleasure that porn provides isn’t worth the sickening misery that inevitably follows. It’s only when we’ve had a break from porn for a while that we start we realise this and to see for ourselves how much better life can be without it.
  19. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    That’s a great line.
  20. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Yesterday was a struggle. I was tempted to message an attractive young woman on Twitter who I previously sent money to on multiple occasions. I wanted her to belittle and degrade me like she has done in the past. The addict in me knew it would be extra taboo to message her from my real account (I used to have multiple fake accounts). This trigger stemmed from boredom, career anxiety and a lack of direction. As I sat there wrestling with my conscience, I heard my wife's laughter from the next room where she was watching TV. I managed to disrupt the pattern and get off the computer, but it left me feeling on edge all day.

    Why does part of me want to engage in such self-hating behaviour? To lose self respect. To fall back into a vicious cycle of paying for humiliation. To do something that’s directly in conflict with my relationship and career goals.

    I’m pretty ashamed of my kinks. I think I need to come to terms with them. To not allow them to define me. But how do I go about that?

    A lot of people we know have young children or are about to start a family. In fact, my wife’s sister is pregnant. Of course I’m happy for the sister but hearing about everyone else’s normal, healthy relationships reminds me of the pain of our sexless marriage. My wife is sweet and beautiful. She’s a few years younger than I. When we used to attempt sex, I got hard either through genuine desire or by conjuring up porn-related fantasy. But I always suffered with premature ejaculation, so our sex life has never been good. And then we stopped trying altogether. And the years rolled by. I now feel paralysed by a fear of failure (“what if it happens again?”)

    Despite it being a tough day I stayed clean of PMO. I looked back over a list I made of the main negative consequences of continuing my addictive behaviour.

    1) I’m destroying my marriage
    2) In the future, I will look back with regret
    3) It will increase my anxiety
    4) It will further impact my ability to perform sexually

    I will continue to use the above reasons to motivate myself towards making healthy choices.
    positivef likes this.

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