Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by ZimDownUnder, Aug 1, 2013.
Good to hear, ZDU. Keep fighting, man. Don't let the bastards keep you down.
Job definitely sounds like "fitness bootcamp or the gym," LOL!
Here's hoping you continue to get gigs. (I'm realizing some of what I'm writing might be US-slang or otherwise specific, if you're an Aussie?)
It's great to hear from you, ZDU, and congrats on the run of non-PMO, as well as getting through the recent emotional rollercoaster ride with flying colors!
I think life often gives people more than they can or should handle. This is what we call "trauma" or worse . . ..
Most suicides, however, arise out of affluent, lavish environments. The cure for that, outside of matters of chronic depression, is altruism and universal compassion. It rarely if ever even occurs to people who prioritize those traits that they should not live.
I seem to be bouncing back from the terrible dark cloud of depression, despair and hopelessness that I was in a few days ago. Unless you have had depression you will not understand how helpless you are when it hits.
Thanks to RFS for the link to David Burns book "Feeling Good". I got a copy and it has helped a lot. I wouldn't say it is a miracle cure to make me feel good, but it was amazing to read the symptoms he describes and see myself in nearly every single symptom of depression. I had convinced myself that I wasn't depressed, life just really was that awful. I made an appointment with my psychologist even though it costs me $175 a visit.
Something I realised is that I am confused about how I should act. I feel that as a convicted sex offender my only option is to hang my head in shame and never be happy. If I show signs of happiness it will be interpreted as being indifferent to my offence. In other words it is expected that I only behave in a shameful, miserable manner and I am not allowed to be happy. Ever. I don't know at which point, if any I am allowed to show signs of happiness again. When am I forgiven for what I did?
I had to start Sex Offender Treatment with yet another psychologist this week - court ordered. They have been unable to get me into the usual group Sex Offender Treatment for almost a year (bureaucracy!) so they mandated individual 'treatment'. It's hard having a complete stranger probe every detail of your most personal sex life whilst using the label 'Sex Offender' all the time. I understand what I did was offensive, and sexual in nature, but it's still hard hearing yourself labelled as 'Sex Offender' over and over again. I fully understand the gravity and depravity of what I viewed but I don't align myself with a rapist and yet I am labelled with the same label.
My regular psychologist whom I have worked with for a year and a half assures me I am not a pedophile. I have questioned that myself as I have been called it so often now that the label has begun to stick. You know how if you call a kid dumb often enough eventually thy believe it? Well I have been called pedophile so many times I start to believe it. It's such a vague label as it also includes child molesters and child rapists which I am definately not. The reality is some people will always choose to label me as a pedophile for the rest of my life and I can't change that. I have to find a way to not let that label interfere with getting on with my life. That's very challenging.
As far as PMO goes, removing every trigger from the environment sure does help. It's a lot easier not to be tempted the further you remove the temptation. I have also recognised that when I wake is the difficult time as I have morning wood and I'm so used to satisfying the urge. Realising that if I can distract myself for five minutes it will pass makes sense but its not always that simple. Not being depressed or stressed sure helps too - when I am down I want some pleasure, any pleasure so masturbation is a cheap and easy thrill anytime I'm down.
This is gonna sound a bit wierd but I'm trying it anyway. I try to pray on my knees every morning and I started putting my forehead on the carpet as a sign of lowering my ego (mind) to the lowest possible level. Okay, so I look a freak but it has an added bonus that I never realised - blood rushes into your head. That has a few unforeseen benefits - added oxygen for your brain to kickstart your morning, less blood to maintain an erection, and it's hard to be horny with your forehead on the carpet (for me anyway!). The main benefit for me is humility though, I need to be reminded to lower my ego.
I've set my PMO goal to 17 days which was my previous record. I find marking off days is not rewarding enough so I've printed off a thermometer chart and put it on the wall so I can mark off the percentage towards my goal rather than the days. The percentage moves faster than the days for me so it's more rewarding as I get to colour in more red on my thermometer more often. Childish I know but it works for me. 27% feels more successful than 4 days out of 17.
Thanks to everyone here for the patient support, I realise sometimes I'm not a lot of fun to be around.
My advice, ZDU . . . Take advantage of those therapy sessions. Stay in charge... They are on YOUR team. . . Study yourself. The truth is what will liberate you . . .
As for prayer, ironically I have found that the more humanistic that I have become, the more recovery I have found from my vices and character flaws. I basically never pray anymore. If there were an all-powerful deity supervising everything, he/she seems to be doing a horrible job of it. I really doubt, however, that such an entity would need my advice or requests. No deity ever lifted my character flaws. I had to face them myself and take courage to walk free. Otherwise, we just get into a holding-pattern, an endless loop of failure and absolution (Jesus please forgive me...) that grinds our souls to powder, at least for those who take it seriously. I wonder if you have an ego after all of this you have gone through .. . I think you would benefit greatly from a double dose of merited self-esteem. Let's walk free together . .. as your counter rises, so will your spirits, ZDU. Trust me on that.
Apuleius if a picture speaks a thousand words the yours speaks ten thousand or more. It captures the inaccuracy of the idea that God never gives us more to bear than we can handle. Indeed, how does one 'handle' starvation or watching your child die of preventable malnutrition or illness?
It makes sense that suicide would be more common amongs the affluent and privileged - perhaps because to the poor and struggling life is more fragile and valuable. I have become more altruistic since the hardships of the past hear and a half but I do need to be careful of my intentions when practicing altruism and be sure I don't do it to inflate my own ego which takes mindfulness as I live in a society that likes to broadcast their acts of charity.
Many people don't practice altruism as they feel they can't really make a difference but the reality is even a small seemingly insignificant donation in our currencies goes a hell of a long way in third world currencies. A dollar a day is enough to feed a kid and send them to school in a poor country!
Thanks for the respond, ZDU. I am going to believe in you until you believe in yourself !! We can do this !!
I'm not a big fan of organised religion but I'm learning to tolerate it. I guess my prayer is not neccesarily religious. I say a prayer that I learned as a child:
God, I offer you my day, all my work, prayer and play. Keep me in your loving care, teach me always how to share.
I then give thanks and gratitude for specific things, and finish off with the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
In AA I learned that God is a god of your own understanding, not neccessarily the God being promoted by any particular religion. It's a concept many struggle with. For me God is nature, the universe, love, family, nothing and everything.
I severed all the tendons in my leg last year. A skilled surgeon rejoined all the tendons and closed the wound but that was not enough. Something else continued to heal my wound over the following weeks and months so I was able to walk again. That's my God.
Back at 'cha, ZDU. Really glad this is helping. Even if it's just to recognize yourself in those descriptions. And to know you're not alone in those feelings.
The meat of that book - if it's at all like the When Panic Attacks! book - is a part where he describes, with examples, some 40 different techniques for self-talk: for changing our distorted thinking and the way that we talk to ourselves that continually hurts us and makes our situation bad or worse. Burns acknowledges that most of those self-talk techniques simply won't work for you, me, or any other, particular person; they're just not believable or credible to us, for instance, or for whatever reason don't have much impact on us. Your challenge is in finding the small set of techniques, from that large toolkit, that uniquely works for you.
Putting the forehead on the floor can be calming, much like a parent who touches the forehead of a child to sooth them. It can trigger the sympathetic nervous system to disengage and and the parasympathetic to become more active. And as this calming effect happens, more blood is shunted to the forebrain where higher critical thinking takes place and blood is shunted away from the primitive hind brain where emotional and more automatic reactions happens.
This is used in yoga, for example child's pose with the forehead touching the floor, it is a calming and relaxing posture used to rest in between more strenuous postures. The head is slightly below the heart which is probably helpful too.
Hello ZDU. Just finished reading your entire journal because you got me curious with your posts about suicide and depression on mine. I'm rather tired right now as it is way past my bedtime, but I felt compelled to finish your journal. I too would like to say I am sorry for your sexual abuse as a child.
I had a few thoughts come up while reading, but one that comes to mind right now is you despondence about not being able to find a partner because of your legal label of being a sex offender. I haven't had the same experience but I can understand feeling like your situation is not like the rest of the members of the forum. My life has been unsustainable for over two years now and I'm alone. Not to belittle your situation but my self-appointed label is "I'm good for nothing and unemployed… stay way from me" (yeah, I got work on reframing that one). I get by day to day with little evidence that it will get better, fearful I may be unable to pay rent or unable to pay medical bills if I get injured (which I am). That's the very short story.
I realize people want to help, but the obstacles sometimes seem insurmountable (btw, I read a lot of members genuinely giving you support here, in case you missed it, that I imagine can be hard to acknowledge sometimes when faced with such unique dilemma). I for one, do not care to hear "things will get better." I know this can be just a gesture of sincere care, but nobody lives in my shoes. So I'm the last one to want to offer you a guarantee things will get better... if you haven't picked up on my cynicism already. That said, going back to your despondence about finding a partner. First, I get that fantasy is different than acting out. Even at the height of my P addiction I would not fuck a woman just because I could and she gives me a woody. My awareness does know the difference between "show" and a real exchange with a human being. From what I read about you, you know the difference. Perhaps a special woman could understand this, especially given your abuse of the past. Second, you have won over the trust of some of this forum, so why not with a compassionate woman? I have a different situation, but same dilemma. As I see it, we could benefit from finding a support group of some sort where self disclosure and improvement are practiced. An environment where men and women can get to know who we really are as human beings and what we are going through. This also gives us motivation to give PMO the boot.
The problem for me has been finding such a community. I know you go to AA. Does it feel safe enough to disclose yourself there? Maybe somewhere else if not there. I have been frustrated in finding a support group that I want to belong to, but I think this is vital for me to not give up on. Writing this, has got me thinking about support groups for unemployed, porn addicts, or some crazy theme such as adult children of shaming parents, or sensitive atheists or even recovering catholics … someplace nonjudgemental with honest and reasonably intelligent people. I tried SAA but to be honest my local meetings didn't feel right for me. But I now realize I gave up trying after that because the disappointment was demoralizing. Perhaps even volunteering for some cause could also demonstrate our lovable qualities. Of course, that can be the primary motive for joining a group, but it could improve our odds of meeting people who will be more understanding. Just my 2¢.
Another thought is I relate to depression around birthdays. I have found hitting birthday as you get older and when you're feeling alone to be depression city. I can't underestimate how this can effect my mood for days before and after.
BTW, did you ever get that Guinea pig? Maybe you could call him Hobbes I used to have a cat I poured all my affections on…and sometimes anger (no abuse though). I actually cried when I had to put her to sleep about a year ago. I can't afford another pet right now (vet and food bills), but I like your idea there.
Hmmm, somehow your story got me writing again.
A very thoughtful post, Real_Rewards. I wish I had better words, but thank you!
Sometimes when I'd been in a time of life challenge with what seemed like no solution in sight, whether that challenge was short-term, or even going on more than a year or two, all I needed to hear was "That sucks ..." That was the truest sympathy I could imagine at those times.
ZDU and A Short Guy, thanks as well for your discussion of the benefits of putting your forehead on the floor.
A simple things, but sometimes those are what matters. I'm going to try that, either as a new habit - per Omega Man's suggestion about trying new habits - or when I'm in emotional challenge.
Yeah, that's a lovely and thoughtful post Real Rewards... Good on you...
Thanks RFS. Just so you know I wasn't singling you out when I expressed this sentiment. It's just like you wrote, sometimes al we need to hear is "that sucks ..." You know, I daily see desperate homeless people in the 'hood I moved to. Quite frankly, I can't imagine most—if any—will have their life improve.
I did want to say I was moved by your support for ZDU. Your words demonstrated a lot of compassion. I noticed you linked him to my journal in order to help him see if he was not alone in what he was going through. Thanks because that probably led him to posting on my journal which led me to his.
Hey ZDU, sending you positive vibes.
Thanks for your kind and thoughtful words, Real_Rewards! I'm just getting back to this journal and saw your post today.
Yes, that's exactly on target: I linked ZDU to your journal "in order to help him see if he was not alone in what he was going through."
Have just read some of your posts and responses on your journal. You wrote:
Good. I'm counting on seeing you here on this forum. And ZDU as well. That you both are around, and are posting about what's real in your life, whether it's hopeful or painful, helps me, personally, and from what I've read, a whole lot of other guys as well.
Real_Rewards and ZDU: you're both now part of my posse, part of my online neighborhood, whether we may ever have any more connection than just these written words. So don't disappear, OK? I meant that: I'm counting on you!
Just a quick post. Much gratitude to the 'posse' for the support. It means a lot to me and I'm getting more support and encouragement here on this forum than I am in real life!
I lapsed yesterday. I've been pretty flatline for most of the ten days but yesterday my libido returned and it seems once it starts it just doesn't let up until its satisfied with an orgasm. Once it starts up it just never seems to ramp down, it's like a ratchet that only ever gets tighter until it snaps. Rather than fight it and drag it out I figured it was better to O and just get it over and done with so I can start again. If I'm having an orgasm once every ten days that is a lot better than daily. So I'm not a superhero that I can't manage 90 days straight.
Good to hear from you ZDU. This may take some time, but we can improve... The gaps can become larger. Progress not perfection as they say. Stay inspired.
Hey, we'll give you a pass on that ... this time! (Seriously, you've passed my two recent streaks of 7 and 6 days respectively. So congrats on 10 - that's nice work, ZDU!! It will get even easier and better over time, or so our many comrades in arms here on this forum tell us!)
Challenging, eh? Saw another post, by Giles:
That's certainly not the same thing as a steadily ramping up libido ... but it came to mind: both your metaphor of a rachet, and his of a sugar or caffeine rush, are wonderfully descriptive!
You are doing great ZDU - you are right to focus on the positives and you are masturbating less frequently and this has to be good.
I understand what you mean when the libido kicks in - it can be difficult and uncomfortable and it is natural to want to relieve the 'pressure' (so to speak). One ot the things which helped me is the energy redirection technique described here: http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=9025.msg178084#msg178084
It took me a while to really 'get' this. However, it really does help when you find your lidido ramping up...
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