Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hard Questions for Mr. Scabs

adorable.

The original Ask Mr. Scabs post here.
Q: 
From Stacy B


Well, my question may be a little different from everyone else's because I am not a married woman with a husband who has this problem. Instead, I'm a 17 year old girl who's parents just recently divorced because of things that I'm still not entirely sure about, other than the fact that my Dad is now about to marry another woman. After reading your blog, I began to wonder if my dad had a pornography problem. For some odd reason, I had felt like he did, but being a member of the LDS church myself, I thought that was impossible since he had served a mission, was a part of the bishopric, and raised me and my brother to love the Gospel and believe that the church was true. Today, I asked my Mom if dad ever looked at porn, and it turns out that she discovered his problem with pornography when I was just 3 years old. He could have been addicted to it long before my parents ever met, but she caught him several times after that first instance as I was growing up. It just baffles and disgusts me that he ever did such a thing. As his daughter, I feel degraded and disturbed that he would ever look at porn. He doesn't know that I know about this, and he'll probably never tell me. I'm guessing that he doesn't think it's a serious problem, or maybe he doesn't want to admit that he has a problem.

So my question for you Mr. Scabs, is how do you feel pornography has affected your parenting? I used to think that I was such a daddy's girl, but now I feel like I can't be close to him like I was again because of what I know now. Should I ask him about his interest in porn, or just let it be? I want to think that maybe I should help him realize that it's a problem, but I don't want him to get mad at me, or make things even more awkward between us. I just want the old Dad that I knew and loved to be in my life again. Do you think his viewing of porn had anything to do with my parents divorce? I'm sure they had other problems, but could that be why he stopped loving my mom? He was also never excommunicated from the church, but he no longer goes. Should he be excommunicated? How can I help him go back to church again? He was never sexually promiscuous, or that's what he told me, but he had feelings for another woman that wasn't my mom, so is that something that could cause excommunication too? Also, with being a Mormon, how could my dad be viewing pornography and talking to another woman, yet still go to church, partake of the sacrament, go in the temple, and teach me gospel doctrine and give me advice about things in a way that follows the churches standards? He helped me to build my testimony of the church, and it breaks my heart to see him not fall away and not follow the churches standards. I just want to rebuild our relationship, but I just need help on figuring out how to love my dad when there's so much about him that I don't even know.



A:
Stacy, I need to apologize for taking so long to get back to you.  My life is still upside down and I'm trying to repair my bad decisions.  Although, I've thought about you and this question a lot I haven't taken the time to gather my thoughts about it.  Next time, you could just call us! Ha Ha!  


Also please limit to one question only.....Just kidding!  I realize your questions are very personal and layered.  They are personal to me too because i have a 10 year old daughter who will someday be 17.  She might have the same questions you have.  I feel upset because my actions have led me here and put my daughter and my family right in the middle of it.  Just like you are now.  I feel so feel badly that your right in the middle of the wake of destruction and it makes me feel even worse when i see it happening to another family.


As for parenting and porn...


I missed out on building a deep relationship with my daughter.  My porn addiction trickled down and affected me and my relationship with my wife and kids.  I was working on a shallow level.  It's hard to connect when you're allowing things like porn or addiction into your family.  It becomes next to impossible to focus on what's right.  Porn destroyed me, my family and my relationships with my children.  I wish I would have heeded the many warnings by our church leaders.  I wouldn't say I was a bad dad, just not 100% invested.  Pornography was a doorway for me.  It invited conflict, anger, and made it hard to connect and grow when I was constantly justifying or excusing my behavior


I have had to explain to my 10 year old daughter (age appropriate) what has gone on with our family and why I moved out.  I don't think you should hesitate talking to your dad about your feelings.  You feel betrayed and hurt too.  My mistakes weren't just between my wife and I, I had also wronged my children.   You have the right to know the whats and whys of your parents split, maybe not all the details, but at least an understanding.  I'm learning that mine and Mrs Scabs problems are deeper than just porn but when you throw all the worldly crap on top of a relationship its very difficult to grow together and work at your marriage and family.


Your father is still the dad you love.  And I'm sure you are still his Daddy's girl.  A hard thing to learn is that everyone messes up, even parents.  It's especially hard when it's your father that you have loved and learned from your entire life.  Maybe you feel a loss of respect.  I bet that's a very normal feeling.  I would talk to your dad about your feelings.  Talking about it will open it up.  Silence will only hurt both of you.  You can still be close even though you know a different side to him.


I believe porn was the "open the door" to things that led to my excommunication from the church.   It tainted everything I did.  I was excommunicated because of what I physically did, how spiritually destroyed I was and how damaging my actions were to myself and family.  


I don't think i stopped loving mrs scabs, my addiction got in the way of connecting and working it out.  I don't know how to explain this to you.  Love doesn't just end.  I let my pornography addiction cause anger, excuses, bitterness, blame and I built a big old wall between my wife and I.  There was no room to grow a deep relationship.  I let it all get in the way of a deep meaningful love.  The addiction, self-hate and anger made it easier for me to distance myself and justify not being close to my wife.


If your father chooses to go back to Church that's for him to decide.  I know that one day I had to decide to change my life and then take action.  The best thing you could do is be a good example and love him. 


I understand how you feel so confused about your life with your father and how he taught you everything you know about the gospel but then now you see his actions so far from what he taught you.  It doesn't make sense.  I did the same thing.  You should ask you father these questions.  They are hard to answer but I think you deserve the truth.  Your old enough, educated and mature.  Your father knows you best.  Maybe you can tell your dad you deserve the truth and you can handle it.  

It's so hard because even dads make mistakes.  We still love our children with everything we are.  We are human and it stinks cause we want to be perfect for our kids.  I had to let go of my pride.  For me, part of recovery is learning how to do hard things...that includes talking to my daughter about what I've done.  She cries and i feel like a douche bag.   I hug her, love her and tell her I'm sorry.  Maybe the biggest thing I can teach her is that even though we make mistakes, big mistakes, we can repair them.  The Atonement in action.  Healing and the attonment is for you too.  Forgiveness will come in time.


Another thing, your dad may not be ready to talk.  But, I don't think that means you should hide your feelings.  You can feel hurt and mad.  That's ok.   When I ask, my daughter will sometimes tell me that she's mad at me.  I tell her it's ok to be mad and upset.  I apologize and hug her.   I have to look her in the eyes and be sincere.  It breaks my heart and I get teary too.  I hate that I've hurt her.  

Again, I'm really sorry this took so long for me to respond.   It's such a hard question for me to answer but they are all really good questions and deserve answers.  This is a hard way to learn whats out there in the world and I'm sorry you're there.  It boils down to Honesty.  You can't build deep relationships without it.  I would set that expectation with my father and mother.  And that is why I would suggest talking to your dad about how you feel.

Can I ask you a question?  How would you want your mother and father to respond to you in this situation.  What do you wish they would have done differently?  What have they done to give you a sense of self love, even during these hard times?  Sounds like your parents hid their issues well, do you wish they would have been more open?  or is it better that they kept the issues hidden?


Q:

From Anonymous


Wow! I love reading this blog! I told dh the origination of the blog name and I think it made him a little nervous! LOL! 

Here is my question...I was a virgin when I got married. Not an easy thing to do :) but I believed that when I finally found 'the one' it would be worth it! I imagined sex being a little bit (and sometimes a lot) of everything...fun, exciting, meaningful, intimate, adventurous, bonding, etc., etc. 

My husband's past was not like mine. He was a recovering alcoholic/drug addict who had also lived with a girlfriend before converting to the faith we currently share (he converted several years before we met). When we married 18 years ago I believed that all of his sordid past was behind him. 

Well...it's been 2 mos since d-day for us. His SA acting out behaviours included p & mb, cybersex, phone sex, and a physical affair. 

I've read everything about SA that I can get my hands on and logically I understand the disease better than I ever wanted to :) But in my heart there is one thing that I still struggle with...

In my heart I imagine his sexual behaviour outside our marriage must have been wonderful. The OW must have fulfilled some need of his that wasn't getting met at home. Having spent no time in 'that world' I imagine his sexual encounters as being exciting and fun. Full of happiness and the anticipation and giddyness of new 'relationships'. (He doesn't like that word...he says there was no emotional connection with any of them so it isn't accurate to call it a relationship). Either way...I feel like what I have to offer him is simple and boring...in no way, shape, or form able to compete. 

I wonder if I am just a fix for him - a fix without the guilt because we are married. He assures me that it's not the same...but what makes it different? How is it different?



A:
I can relate.  There's hype and chase and excitement.   But once it's through, there's the disapointment always the disapointment. 


It always left me with emptiness, no connection.  That's what I wanted, a connection, but had no idea how to cultivate that with my wife.   Cheating left me with an empty wallet empty and an empty soul and heart--that girl isnt' going to call me.  She doesn't know my name.  She doesn't care about me.  I didn't have an affair, I paid women for sex.  It was nothing but a business exchange.  


For me, sex was always better with my wife so it doesn't make sense that I would seek out prosititutes but i did.  There was no deep connection between my wife and I.  I let my pride, anger, bitterness and pornography addiction get in the way.  I couldn't get past it and see that my wife wanted that deep connection with me too.  I shut her out. 


I was a liar.  I constantly had to justify and hide my second life and maintain the fasade of your perfect life with great kids and amazing wife.  Everyone wondered how I'd gotten so lucky.  But underneath it all I was destroying myself.  


Once I realized what I was doing and wanted to change I had to actually do it.  Not just talk about it.   I wanted to make it work.  The hard work was worth my while, to save my marriage with my beautiful wife and beautiful kids.  I have to invest in my life 100%.  Is he invested in your life?  Can you feel it?  Is it genuine?  When I'm invested I spend time, attention to detail and I want to work it out.  Everything I do, every choice I make, every word I say is invested in repairing my family.   


Mrs Scabs chimes in here and says she can feel the difference when sex her and I is fueled by the addiction.  She feels cheap and just like a warm willing body.  She can also feel when sex is real, intimate and about us as lovers and a couple.  Sex becomes healing and bonding.  You can probably feel the difference too. 


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Do you have a question for Mr. Scabs?  Click the side bar link "Ask Mr. Scabs"

15 comments:

  1. To Stacy-

    I think this can be a potentially really good thing for you. Take this opportunity to learn about pornography addiction. Use discretion and caution, and involve the help of older people you trust. (Your mom, bishop, a counselor?) But chances ar,e when you start embarking on your endeavor to find your own husband someday, you will encounter young men, really nice guys who seem to have it all together, who are struggling with this.

    I totally understand your disgust. I was raised in a bubble more or less and was horrified and nauseated when my husband confessed to viewing pornography. But with some knowledge and understanding I've learned that he isn't a creepy pervert, he's a good man who has been snared by the Satan's lies and deceit manifested in pornography.

    My husband is an Elder's Quorum president, and I don't say that to boast, only to point out that while pornography addiction is NOT what God wants for his sons, it doesn't define them. And it does affect their worthiness, but perhaps not to the extent you imagined. I hope this doesn't make you more confused.

    I hope mr. Scabs doesn't mind me saying this, but not all porn addicts end up where Mr. Scabs did, assuming they make the same realizations Mr. Scabs has made, earlier in their addiction.

    I'll just echo what Mr Scabs said about your dad, his issue with pornography may have hurt his ability to have ideal relationships, but it doesn't mean he wasn't all the other good things you saw in him.

    Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement, I really do feel that this trial has better prepared me to find a good guy who will become my husband. I know what to look out for, so hopefully I won't have to put my future children through what my brother and I are having to face.

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  2. "Grateful for my Gift"

    To Stacy,

    I totally understand your feelings. I am a father, husband and am excommunicated. my father was a convert at 26yrs old. i was the first to serve a mission in my family. Sealed in the Temple. yet before all these wonderful blessings i struggled with my addiction at an early age. I WISH I could have gone to my father at that time in my life. i looked at him as perfect!! High Counselor, Bishop, Singles Branch president. Yet i constantly wondered what my dad was like before he joined the church. to this day he wont tell me. i know if he would have told me the life he lived i believe things could be different for me. So ask you father, tell him its step one in the 12 step program HONESTY!!! I have made a promise to my wife that i will tell my sons what has happened and what is out there. obviously leaving out details. but they will know i have struggled. Above all through it all i will and have learned so much about the Atoning sacrifice and the blessings that await me and my sweet wife. The Atonement heals EVERYONE!!!! i encourage you to go to the 12 step recovery program in your area. to learn more about yourself and find the support of so many sisters who have been hurt by there husbands and fathers. Like Jane said we are not perverts. OUR ACTIONS LOOK SO. but our hearts are so far from it. I am living proof as is Mr Scabs. I KNOW WHO I AM TRULY BECOMING!!! A WORTHY HUSBAND of a BEAUTIFUL WIFE and caring mother to our sons. And a true child of our Father in Heaven.

    You will find peace, I know it..

    "Grateful for my Gift"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. speechless. i burst into tears as i read it. it's beautiful. All of it is true. Change can happen, lives can heal.

      thank you.

      and thanks for being brave enough to speak out.

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    2. "Grateful for my gift"

      Eat my scabs,

      I am learning one of the only ways to heal is for me to talk about EVERYTHING!!!! My wife has shown me your blogs (she loves your posts and have been very helpful to her)and mr scabs blogs. The two of you are an AMAZING couple with a strong future!!! I truly belive you have been inspired to have these blogs. I thank you for any and all comments you two have made!! My wife and I both enjoy and know they are often times inspired thoughts. Whatever we can do to help we will. I know right now its one day at a time and a decision is made daily for me to be sober!!! and i now have been sober for 6 months. with the help of my loving wife by communicating daily. sharing every thought with her. it has helped so much!!!! Communication is the key in all things. with our spouses and our Heavenly Father... Thank you again both of you...

      "Grateful for my Gift"

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    3. i think you are right. talking about everything matters. Email me...i have an idea and I'm wondering if you'd like share more about this idea on the blog

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  3. Wow. I'm so impressed with you, Mr. Scabs. This is so powerful to hear SO many sides of one situation - the daughter, the husband, the wife. Everyone is affected by this, and it's so amazing to see that we are all on the SAME side! We aren't fighting against one another, but rather WITH each other against the SAME culprit.

    Freaking Satan!

    I just feel so happy after reading this, even though the topic is a hard one to discuss. However, I really feel like we ARE fighting for good, even though porn and sex is increasingly pervasive, but we are all desiring healing, despite which affected role we are in.

    Thank you, Scabs, for building such an amazing blog for people to share and discuss.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I want my husband to tell me the sex was nt good at all, and I hate that the chase and anticipation of the hookers arrival to his room was exciting.

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  5. Mr.Scabs, thank you for answering all of my questions! I think I got everything I wanted to know out in the open now so thank you so much for your advice. When I go to college, I will be just 30 minutes away from my dad, so I plan on talking to him more, and getting those difficult questions out in the open. You have truly inspired me and helped me to realize that I can't just brush everything under the rug and never talk about it, otherwise I will never heal myself.

    To answer your questions, I wanted my parents to tell me the basics of what happened that ended their marriage. I knew bits and pieces for a while, but over time, I began to unveil and realize other things, and it brought me back to that same initial hurt everytime. So I would want to be told everything up front, not in great detail, but just so that I would have a full idea of what happened. Then, if I was curious about a certain situation that I was told about, I would ask for more details, but only because I want to know. An example of this would be with the fact that my dad viewed porn, I would have liked to know that when my parents first got divorced or were seperated. When I asked my mom about it, I asked specific more detailed questions until I didn't want to know anymore, and then I asked her to stop telling me. I think it's important to let your daughter come to you about specific things because that's when she's ready to hear them. I hope that makes sense?

    My parents helped me to feel self love by encouraging me to be more involved in church activities and spending time together. My mom began to hug me a lot more and tell me that she loved me all the time. You might all ready do this, but I'm not a touchy feely person, so I saw that as a change cause I began to visually see her love for me even more even though I always knew that both my parents loved me. We also made sure to always do our family scripture reading, family prayer, and FHE. Again, we had already done these things, but it became more of a priority. Being more involved in church things helped me to build my testimony of the church and Christ's atonement which has helped me the most. No matter what, help your children to know that the church is true and through Christ, we can always feel love and comfort. That has been what has helped me the most, and I would probably be a totally different person if it weren't for my testimony of the church that I gained through the experience I had of enduring my parents divorce.

    My parents did hide their issues, but at the back of my mind, I feel like I always knew. Us kids are more intuitive than you think, so if parents are hiding something, we sense it. One of the worst feelings is guessing about if there is really an issue or not. I felt like this for a long time while my parents were seperated, just hoping that they would get back together. That was a terrible feeling because my dad never planned to come back, the whole divorce process was just being prolonged. So I would say to tell them things up front, don't give them that glimmer of hope if you know it's not going to happen. I think this made me build more feelings of animosity towards my dad, so it did more harm than good in the long run. You may think that you're sparing their feelings, but prolonging it like that just makes it hurt even worse.

    Sorry if my thoughts seem a little jumbled, but I hope this answers your questions. Thank you so much again for your example and advice. I will sincerely take it to heart, and hope that I can love my dad like I used to again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everything you've said is perfect! Thanks for sharing such deep emotions with us. Keep in touch and let us know how things are going at college this year and being closer to your dad.

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  6. Wow. So touching to hear it from him. - Em

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  7. Sex Addicts never change.Never.

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    Replies
    1. hope is a dangerous thing to live without

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hi

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