Friday, June 29, 2012

Our Daughters' Perspective



The Father's Day Gift, plus a little treat for you readers.  You get a gimps of my face!



Father's Day 2012

She's the girl I absolutely adore.  

A green-eyed, free-spirited child who avoids wearing shoes and combing hair whenever possible, who cruises the neighborhood on her long-board and is currently reading the BFG by Roald Dahl
her favorite author.

I found her in the office cutting dozens of strips of paper, 
she had an idea.  

Tomorrow was Father's Day.  

We cleaned out a mason jar and began writing why we're thankful for our Dad.   Here's my favorite reason she is thankful for her Dad:

Makes me teary-eyed even now

Hope your weekend is fantastic.

Love you dearly,
                     Scabs


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Limbo and Parachute Packs

RJ SHAUGHNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY
credit

Follow the story.
Read the previous entry here.



July 2011

Impossible things have happened!  

Impossible thing #1:   I can do emergency home repairs, alone.

One night I heard the horrific sounds of the bedroom fan ripping free from the ceiling clamp that held it's whirling blades a safe distance from my head.  It hung and spun from an electrical thread! Gyrating, threatening decapitation. In the most independent way, I woke up, ducking my head like I was under a helicopter and flipped the light off.

It may have cost me 2 hours and a few tears and swear words but I fixed it!  Myself!  I turned off the electric breakers, fixed the wire and re-attached the fan!  

The dog days of summer have begun, even the starry evenings are warm.   Seventy-four nights have come and gone since he left with his pack of never-ending lies.  At midnight I dive into the cool depths of our backyard pool.  A solitary skinny-dip under the cover of a blue-gray night.  Water washing me, the caress taking me to another lifetime where I thought I loved a man who knew every inch of my skin.  I hadn't always skinny-dipped alone.


Impossible thing #2:  I am officially in limbo and I'm happy here.

It's a state of uncertainty.  A place where decisions aren't made.  The biggest nagging question, "should I stay or should I go?"


A snap decision would find me running.  I'd pack the Subaru with essentials, top off the tank and tell my children an elaborately woven story of adventures to be had while driving east, the sun shrinking as it settles down for sleep.   Driving all night, all day, all night and all day again before slowing for a small town in Georgia or maybe North Carolina.  I'd rent the first little house with a yard and buy 2 milking goats.  I'd work at the local downtown hardware store (I know how to fix ceiling fans, afterall) and make goat cheese until I had an entire farm of goats and a underground cellar full of every flavored chèvre.   My children would grow up eating handmade cheese and wearing handmade pants.  

Divorce seems eminent.  I mean, really, what kind of woman stays with a man like that?  A sex addict.  A sex addict?!  The very words reek of hopelessness.  Fatal.  Futile, like an eternally lost sub-class of homosapien.


He's broken every marital vow.  Told every lie.  No wonder his eyes never meet mine.  A man splintered by his own personal hatred.  I would hate myself too if I had been where he has been.


Limbo has become an opportunity.   In a place of not knowing what to do, I can prepare for the worst.  I use his money, live in our house, love of our kids, let him mow the lawn when he asks and encourage him to visit our children.  All this time, I'm preparing my parachute pack.  My emergency rip-cord.  I love the happiness and freedom I find from being prepared.

Impossible thing #3: Bill is on our side.

Bill believes we can repair our marriage.  Bill sees redeeming qualities in Mr. Scabs and sees the depth of forgiveness in myself.  Bill is a cool, older hippy guy with grey hair and glasses.  Bill kinda looks like this guy from M*A*S*H.  Bill is our shrink.

Walking into the waiting room of Bill's office is like being sucked into a time warp circa 1976.  Macrame brown and orange beaded plant holders cradle a handful of poorly kept house plants.  On the wall hangs a brown, orange and mustard colored yarn art which forms the head of a sleeping lion.  The office smells slightly of burnt coffee, not in a bad way, just in an endearing forgetful professor way.  

Papers, books and board games are piled in every corner of his office.  It's a disaster.  His collection of board games has things like Scategories, Uno and Candyland.  I wonder why our sessions never include a rousing game of Monopoly?  

We talk a lot about lying and sex.  Bill wants to see Mr. Scabs tell the truth and make hard changes.  He teaches me that I will be ok no matter what and I believe him.  There is one thing, I'm not sure I believe; sex addiction isn't about sex.  In that wandering moment where two strangers bodies collide it is undeniably sexual.

Bill's button up shirts are always halfway tucked and he wears birkinstocks with black socks.  A sign of genius.  It's not unusual for Bill to take off his shoes mid-session and assume a meditating yoga-like posture with his palms facing up on his knees.  After we've told our stories and made our demands, he'll ruminate, closing his eyes and breathing as if as if asking the universe what to do with us.  

Bill's so weird and quirky but it's his weirdness I trust.  I like weird people.  He's genuine and we often laugh through our sessions.  Mr. Scabs is charming and fun but also so lost.   

Bill helps me set boundaries.  We make an infidelity contract, clearly outlinning what is cause for future marital disintegration.  The contract is sealed with palm-spit and a handshake.  

Honestly, I feel myself moving toward divorce despite the contract.  He hasn't been able to tell the truth and is still telling me new lies.  He thinks I'm clairvoyant as I have an uncanny way of seeing his lies.  

Bill teaches me how to pack my parachute.  And, in the case of an ememrgency he prepares me to pull the rip cord.  Preparing for the worst, I begin researching divorce laws, squirreling away all my money, investing time in my part-time job, knowing soon it may be my only support.   

I even, practice making cheese.  





Monday, June 25, 2012

Farts in a Flying Tin Can




credit


June 2012

Every time my left foot follows my right down a jet-way, scrunching and packed into the hot belly of an airplane, I wonder how absurd it must look.  200 mostly strangers with an imagined sense of urgency, scurry hyper-aware of ever shrinking overhead bin space and the luxury of a window or aisle seat.  We're literally compressed into a flying tin can.  Although it's physics are solid, it feels absurdly unnatural.

In the cavity of the tin can there's no escaping the pungent flavors of 200 fellow passengers.    

Bold letters on my ticket announce a middle seat assignment, 6E.  A soft, aging, white man fills 6F.  He is the exact size of the seat, with a seemingly square body shape.  Like a pair of just right acid wash skinny jeans, he's pressed, no bigger no smaller, an exact fit.  A cube.  I can't see his face, just the balding crown of his gray head.  Somehow, I squeeze past him into the middle seat, with a little unintentional lap sitting.  Sorry sir.

That's when I notice the tinniest woman I have ever seen!

She's in the window seat, hypnotized by the chaotic flow of the tarmac.  I can't see her face but her shoulders are covered with a child-size blue print cardigan, a white blouse tucked into black women's trowsers that are obviously too short.   They reveal white socks, a size too big, stuffed into black croc knock-offs. Every inch of her skin is covered but her face and long-fingered dry hands.  I wonder what her story is.  I'm observing the beauty of her wavy, obsidian, shoulder length hair when she turns toward me.  She's an older Asian woman with tinted amber yellow orbs the size of grapefruits for eyeglasses.  Like she has gigantic butterscotch-candied bug eyes.

I ask, "Where are you going?"

She says,  "Yes. Yes."  And, smiles, nodding.

I smile, nod and say "Yes" too.  A language barrier.

Considering my trigger history, I cringe a bit.  Taking a shallow sip of tangy human air, my eyes close and I repeat my mantra: 

"Triggers are lies I tell myself, I do not need to believe them."

The soft, aging, white man is the tiny woman's diametric human form.  

His hands are also dry.  More than dry, they're calloused and hard.  Not only on his palms but the outsides of his knuckles too.  Like he's never known the soothing feel of Nivea being rubbed into his skin.  I wonder how one gets callouses there.  

A Kindle rests on his belly and he's reading some political novel.  Yes, I might have scanned over a few pages.

The man has a unique face.  His nose is sharp which leads into a firm mauve-colored upper lip.  This is pressing against a chapped fuller and darker pink lower lip.  The corner of his mouth holds bits of the half-eaten sandwich as he smacks and slobbers the ham, cheese and lettuce.  


There is no chin.  It's as if the lower-lip simply gives way into an even fuller, soft, ball-shaped area of translucent skin, peppered by age spots.  

All of this is framed by large square eyeglasses, which look as if they haven't been cleaned in a very long time.  I lean back in my seat, looking through the lenses; the picture is fogged and yellow. 

Sometime during the hour long flight, the soft, white, square man took a nap.  When he jolted awake the Kindle slipped off his belly and his calloused fingers quickly caught it before it fell.  A few minutes later he fell asleep again but this time the Kindle fell to the floor with a thud, accompanied by an open water bottle which began gurgling into the aisle.  

Frantic, this man leaned over to gather his things and I heard a distinct "brrrroot brrrrroot".

No! That didn't just happen.  Maybe, I imagined the "brrrroot" sound?  My hands held my head as I stiffed a giggle.  Instantly, the giggle was silenced with an unmistakable gagging and savory smell!  

Farts in a flying tin can aren't fair.  


This story is told at the gut-busting request of Mr. Scabs.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Speak!


"There is no greater agony than bearing an 
untold story inside you"

-Maya Angelou

Do you know her?  She can do hard things and so can we.  

Born into the Great Depression and a volatile family life Maya found herself bounced between her mother and grandmother's home.  By the time she was three her parents divorced.  Her father sent Maya and her brother on a train to live with their grandmother.   At the age of seven,  the children returned to live with their  mother.   During this time she was sexually abused and raped by her mother's boyfriend.  A horrifying experience for a little girl.  An experience felt by too many children.  She lived in silence for the next five years, terrified her voice had murdered the man who raped her.  

She found her voice and told her brother of the abuse and rape, who in turn, told her family.  The boyfriend spent one day in jail before he was released and four days later he was found murdered!  This twist of events, forever changed Maya.  In her child's mind she believed 
her words had killed the man who raped her.  
Her words had killed a man!  Imagine that.

She determined to never speak again and for the next five years she didn't.  In her silence she was again shipped to her grandmother's home.  It is from this experience that she learned to be one of life's greatest observers.  Her eyes and ears catches lifes peculiarities and infractions of light.  

We are given the divine power to instigate a great metamorphosis in our lives.  We are not bullied by our tragedies or those around us.   We are defined by the actions we take to discover our own divinity.  Maya grew from victim and dysfunction to one of the worlds most beloved authors and activists, speaking out for those who could not.

What will you do with your story?



credit


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Laying in a Hammock

2012

Follow the story. 
Read the previous entry here.



There's been talk about DeLoreans and Time Machines here, here, here, here and here.  This is my contribution to that thread.

June 2011

I'd been living sans Mr. Scabs for a few months when he handed me an envelope.  I turned it over in my palms confused by the pasted drawings all over it.  Time machines.  He had carefully cut and pasted pictures of time machines all over the envelope.  In another time, the gesture would have been cute and quirky, like the Mr. Scabs I knew before he was Mr. Scabs. 

Inside was an apology but back then, it wasn't enough.  No matter how sincere or sorry he thought he was, I knew he wasn't.

After reading it, I scribbled across his words, this is a lie!  His black tongue told nothing but lies. The distance between his words and his heart was colossal. 

More than a dozen times I screamed, "Build a damn time machine!"  to his endless requests wondering how he could fix this mess.  

I left him hopeless.  Even Mr. Scabs, who's an inventor and creator by nature, couldn't build a time machine.  He was incompetent.  I mean, really, how did he expect to fix this?

So, I hung a hammock.  

Time stops in a hammock.  Taking idle moments under the green canopy of an orange tree, my feet dangle and the swaying temporarily erases anxiety.  Returning to the womb.  A time to slip between dreams and a soft reality.  

Almost the whole of summer 2011 was spent in my backyard time machine.

June 2012

A year later, I still erase moments in my time machine.  I've spent entire afternoons in the hammock.  Sometimes a wiggly child will join me, or a lady dog will uneasily lick my feet till she gets bopped in the nose, or I'll be left with my thoughts.  Collectively searching to make sense of the past and present.

Although, I may have the occasional afternoon getaway, there's much less time spent in the time machine than last summer.  Progress, right?  Nothing is clear, there are no guarantees but I feel the evolution of myself.

There are moments of depth.

There are times of understanding.

And, maybe even moments of love.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Mr. Scabs Answers Hard Questions

:D
Please laugh. Credit here

The other morning I woke up feeling kind of overwhelmed.  Although my mom knows about my addiction, she doesn't know about this blog.  I was talking to my sister about sharing it with my Mom.  I don't know how well she'd handle all the details.  She is so sensitive.  In fact, there are quite a few people who know me personally who read this.  And, while I'm ok with that and given them permission, the thought is sometimes overwhelming.  I want to own this as my life, my choices.  You have all said such encouraging things especially our friend Lindsay.  I've felt so emotional about her comment on my last post for a few days.  Thank you Lindsay.   

I'm working everyday to "Wake Up and Be A New Man."  The farther I get from my addiction, the I feel like I'm falling in love.  This addiction has stolen my feelings.  I feel myself beginning to have feelings from someone real in my life.  I feel badly every time i read your stories and wish I could help.  I want your men to own it too and really see that our addictions will destroy us.

I just want to warn you, these a lot of these questions were about sex and what I think.  In trying to be honest, I've given some detailed information.  I don't mean any of it to be offensive.  

Q:
My husband seems to have a Madonna complex - he holds back sexually with me even though I am very interested in the same things he is. So why would he seek outside satisfaction elsewhere when he has me at home willing and eager? 

Is there something I can do to help him get past this? I know there is no easy solution, but I am open to thoughts and suggestions from a fellow recovering sex addict. Am I pushing him too far too fast? It has been over a year.

A:

So, let me get this straight, it's been over a year and you are willing to be with him sexually and do things together but he's not interested?  It has been over a year for me and I am chomping at the bit to be with my wife.  I can't help but think he may not be at the right place in his recovery.  If he keeps working toward healing the sexual intimacy will come.  For us, it's not something we could rush.  Pornography had replaced my wife and I fell out of love.  Even though she was there in front of me wearing something sexy, I couldn't see her.  

It's my opinion that an addicted man will not seek any interaction with his wife because it's too much work.  Pornography and sex addiction take your ability to love someone and be interested in them.  Masturbation or whatever is the object of their addiction is a simple means to an end. I wasn't able to give my wife anything sexually because wasn't capable.  If a man is healthy and recovered I think that he will do what is necessary to regain a sexual relationship again.  If he is not fully recovered he may not be ready for intimacy yet.  Our brains are literally tainted.  Intimacy and sex are different beasts.  

My wife is eternally patient.  That has been helpful.  Also, a great sex therapist.  My wife and I started reading "Erotic Intelligence" because we thought we were ready for intimacy.  We put it back on the shelf and have been visiting our sex therapist instead.  Sex after addiction is complex.  I think in the near future we will start reading it again.  It had some real relatable information that's helpful.  

A lot of baggage comes with sex addiction.  Recovery is a long road.  I have needed a lot of support and people I could trust to be accountable to.  If not, its too easy for me to hide it


Q:
From Annon:
I have recently re-discovered my husband's near daily pornography habit after he has been in therapy for a year for the same issue. He has no clue what's coming. How do I confront/approach him so he knows I just want him to be honest so we can get help? I know that relapse is a part of recovery, so I don't care that he messed up. I care that he is lying and I want him to understand the difference.

A:
I'm sorry, I feel like we should have answered this question right away since you're looking to confront your spouse.  How did it go?  

This question reminds me of my wife and I.  I don't know how many times I lied and got caught and didn't want to talk about it.  We've come a long way in learning how to talk about hard things.  I've become more humble and able to talk about hard things too without feeling attacked.  I would suggest talk about boundaries and common goals.  

I thought there was no way I give up porn.  I couldn't imagine it was possible for any man and  I believed every guys needed it.  Hiding porn was a result of feeling ashamed and embarrassed.  I knew my wife didn't like it so I would hide it from her.  I knew what I was doing was wrong.  I still struggle with that.  It's hard to tell her.  Lying has been the key to this addiction for me.  I hid it because it's wrong and I didn't want to be that person.  If I admitted it, than it was real.  I wanted to have more control of myself.  I would tell myself that I could get away with it and be able to hide and pretend like everything is fine.  

It's so hard, but I would try and approach him with honesty and love.  Assure him you have the same goals in mind and your not bashing him or that you think he's less of a man.  But, ultimately, you can't accept the lying in your relationship.  Trust is ultimate.  

Q: 
From Mrs A. @Kill Your Own Buffalo
Dear Mr. Scabs (first, go you! you are brave and I love that you're doing this.) Talk to me about lust. Is there ever a time/place when lust is appropriate? Most especially with Mrs. Scabs. Do you feel a difference in the way you feel about her (sexually) now as opposed to when you were in the deep dark part of your addiction?


A:

Thanks for your vote of confidence.  It means a lot.  
Yes, definitely, my feelings are different.  I have felt more in love now than I have in years.  I'm more attracted to her body, mind and her emotions.  We went swimming the other night after running and I kept watching her buns, I think she has such a cute butt!  I'm attracted more now than ever.  I truly believe if you alleviate the smut then the wholesomeness that's right in front of you will manifest itself and become more important to you.  So ya, I think lusting after your wife is healthy in a marriage


But, who's going to lust after their wife when they lust after porn.  Like I said in the answer above when you get rid of the porn all those emotions and physical feelings return for your wife.  Porn smothers feelings of love, intimacy and passion for your wife.  I want to "lust" after my wife and have her want me too fueling the fire between us.


Lust is normal.  Maybe every guy feels it but, its what we decide to do with it.  If you entertain it and mull it over it will ultimately get you into trouble.  Lust has become such normal thing in the world.  I was talking to a guy who was ogling over a woman and saying how he was totally going to "get with" her.  Then he was telling me his girlfriend would give him a free pass and that luring in this other woman for sex was ok.  Really?  What self respecting girlfriend would give a pass.  Lust has become such a pig attitude.    


Q: 
From Green Olives @ Life By The Yard Is Hard 
Does anything or has anything in your intimate life with your wife make you uncomfortable or set you thinking about the addiction? for instance in my relationship with my husband I am now nervous to share some intimate things with him that we have enjoyed in the past. Because I never would want him to think of me the way he has thought about other women. Not things I am necessarily uncomfortable with in themselves. Like dressing in lingerie or just more light hearted things in general.(We seem to only be very serious lately.) Or is it totally separate from the addiction?

A:
For me, nothing feels like a trigger and Ill tell you why.  Sex with my wife is way better than any experience I had with a prostitute.  When I was in my addiction, I had a weird sense that I couldn't be open with her.   Nothing my wife would do or that I would do will trigger any addiction memories.  Before the addiction, my wife and I loved doing certain things intimately.  We were just talking about this the other night, because she was feeling afraid at the thought of being so intimate again (or doing things we enjoyed before) because she might feel like just another hooker.  The act could be so loving and wonderful or so degrading and hurtful.  But the experience to so different.  With pornography or prostitutes sex becomes mechanical, it's not what it seems.  Does this make sense?  When I am healthy, being with her sexually is completely different than my addiction.  


Really, it's more my wife that has the triggers than I do.  She feels like she may not live up to the "professionals" or pornography or even worse would end up feeling like just another prostitute. I'll bet he may be worried about how you feel because he would never want you to think he thought of you as one of those other women either.  I can relate to that.


I wouldn't say any of this is separate from the addiction, everything is connected.  I was a fool.  There is nothing that I experienced with porn or prostitutes that was better than my wife can offer. 
Q:
From Anonymous 
I feel totally compared to the other--my body, my movements, my performance, who was better, who was best; they are he professionals right? My husband says he doesn't compare, of course you can't answer for him, but how can he/ you not compare to other experiences and what about all these years when it was happening and I didn't know he had been with someone a few hours ago, of course you/he would compare to his sexual experience earlier that day or yesterday while he is having another sexual encounter. Also, are the photos of them on their sites real or is it a bait and switch? Were they beautiful, sex kittens or are they bottom of the barrel? 
A:
The world thinks your man goes hunting because he's not satisfied with you but that's not true. I'm so ashamed to say these things but to answer your questions, I'll share the nitty-gritty about hookers.  They are not the people in the magazine or ads.  These are women who are abused, coerced and sex-trafficked.  There only was one picture of a hooker I went to that was real.  I hate to admit what I did but she was a real person, a mother and this was how she survived her life.  The sex was never intimate and that is what is missing.  

When I hold my wife and caress her body it is nothing like being with other women, the connection is not there.  When I'm not in my addiction, I think I'm a romantic person and I want to feel loved and  be loved.  I want the connection.  I was caught in the addiction cycle and every time I did it, I'd feel like a douche bag. I felt hopeless.  

They may be professionals but it is mechanical.  There is no feeling or passion or love and I think that is what makes sex come alive.  It's not even like the sex in porn movies.  Porn is over-dramatic and unreal.  I don't even think of them as professionals it's just an act and it's hurried.  Quick and dirty as they say.  And not quick and dirty as in fun with your wife.  It's literally quick and literally dirty.  I feel stupid talking about this.  I feel so stupid that I rationalized it.  

Personally, I really don't compare because it is not even close to the same experience.  The only time I ever compared sex was different times between my wife and I.  I would compare if one time was better for her than another.  For me, my needs are pretty simple and easily met.  But, great sex is when you know your partner is enjoying it.  We all know damn well that the prostitute isn't getting any pleasure from our interaction.  It's a job and she does a dozen men a day.  Its sad and I'm disgusted and overwhelmed that I contributed to it.  The prostitutes I was with didn't even act like they liked it.  They were just doing a job, mechanical...it's not good sex.  What they portray in a porn film isn't real.  It's acting.  The emotion is missing.  If you were to see what goes on you would be disappointed with their performance.   It's pathetic and I know I'm pathetic that I went there and did those things.  I want to forget it.  They aren't good memories.  
Q: 
How do you set boundaries with a addict when there is no open communication? I feel like most of the boundaries I have seen women use in their relationships require that there be communication.Boundaries are just so foreign to me. Any thoughts or suggestions.
A:
You have to decide what is healthy for you and your family and stick to it.  I'd suggest to follow through with consequences.  For example, and this might not be realistic for you but for example, you tell him, "next time you lie about porn, I will cut the Internet, or the cable bill or sell your jeep or feed you Lima beans"  whatever you decide.

Then just do it, whatever it is do it.  When the boundary is crossed, follow through.

To encourage communication my wife says to find common goals.  So, lets say he refuses to talk about porn or intimacy or whatever the issue is and becomes defensive or silent when you're talking.  Use patience and love and find a common goal that you can bring you both together.  Maybe say something like, "I'm not trying to hurt you or belittle you, I know we both love our family and want to feel happiness."  "I know that we both want to be free of this problem."  And then begin your conversation from there.  If he doesn't feel safe you won't be able to communicate.      
Q: 
From Anonymous
I don't get why the addict feels trapped?
A:
When you've never felt the loss of freedom from an addiction it's hard to understand.  But, I think any addiction or vice makes you a slave to the body.  Have you ever had too many diet cokes and then stopped cold turkey?  Then come the headaches and cravings, dehydration, only another diet coke will temporarily alleviate the pain.  Addiction is like this times 1 million.  


Q:
From Jane@Learning From My Husbands Pornography Addiction
I want to know what you thought of the taco shop? Will you be going back?

A:
Finally!  An easy question!  I love that taco shop.  We already went back and I ordered tamales and rolled tacos, not a burrito!
Q:

From Xena @Killing Cupid
Hope you can do it from time to time.

A:
I would like to do this again.  It has been one of the biggest helps in my recovery and relationship. I think there is a side bar link, ASK MR SCABS, so ask a question whenever you'd like and I'll take the time to answer.  I really like being part of the discussion.  Thank you.

Q:
Hey Mr. Scabs. Well, I am not sure how I can post asking a question, but it is really helpful to have your honesty and explain how your addiction affects you. I still struggle to accept that porn viewing/masturbation is a "disease." I suppose since my relationship disintegrated with my ex, he seems to be fine while I have been a mess for so long. He couldn't care less I am gone or what he has done. I will never know the truth from him no matter how many times I ask. what is baffling though is how he has told me numerous times that porn is horrible, that it is not okay and I should never be okay with it. Yet, he is willing to date other girls or get married to someone else. It's like what why is he telling me that but is interested in other girls? I simply assume he is trying end things with me by using his "problem" as an excuse to end it with me rather than just say he doesn't have feelings anymore. I just don't think he cares or feels guilty about viewing porn. Here I am still trying to determine or believe it really does affect a person simply b/c everyone views porn and dismisses that it is even destructive by any means.

A:
I told myself and my wife the same lies your hearing.  No matter what, any form of pornography is destructive for men or women.  Look at what it did to me, my wife and my family.  

It destroys a man by making them lose affection for their wife, children, reality and real intimacy.  It leaves the door open for even worse things.  It destroys a woman by making her feel worthless and debased, compared, not loved, jealous, hurt and self conscience.   There's just so many bad things.  There are no pro's, all cons.  

I think it sounds like he's having the same intimacy issues.  Does he think he's immune and that the same cycle won't happen with the new girls he dates or marries?  I would put money on that but I'm an x-gambler, so i wont.  Don't accept porn on any level.  An addict will say one thing and do another.  Thousands of times I told my wife one thing and did the opposite.  His actions simply won't match his words.  Maybe he doesn't feel like changing.  Maybe he feels trapped in his addiction.  I know women hear this all the time and have a hard time believing it or understanding it.  But, I ll say it again, my addiction was never about my wife.  

I'm sorry you're feeling so badly.  I know that without him, without all his unanswered questions and words/actions that don't match up.  There is a place where you can find happiness and know that his actions are his own.  Like my wife says, it's a terrible trauma to go through something like this and I'm sorry you have lived it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mr. Scabs Answers Hard Questions


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    I almost hate to read your stories because it echos mine.  I 'm beginning to see how much destruction I've caused in my family and I can only imgaine what's been going on in yours.  Thinking about the things your husbands have done upsets me.  I think it's lame but then I take a step back and say i did that, I'm lame.


    You all deserve honesty, a complete family and something real. 

    I can't believe you ladies even care what I have to say.  It's humbling to answer your questions from my addicts perspective. I don't deserve your compliments and yes, I would have picked a different way to be famous.  These questions are requiring me to be more honest and more open with myself and my wife.  It's scary to look in the mirror at face value and see that I am that person.   

    Here are some more answers to hard questions.  
                       
    Q:
    These two questions are from Kara @ Mujer Rota en Reparacion
    Does the word "power" have anything to do in the bad choices you made? Did it make you feel somekind of "I am a powerful man" rush to act on the addiction? My husband told me that being with the others made him feel like a man.Like he had control.
    A:
    In a word, no.  Not at all. This is just my opinion and in my experience I never felt powerful.  Wish I had more to say on this but I just can't relate to feeling powerful.  I didn't feel powerful or in control I felt alone and weak.  I'm still trying to figure out "why" I did these awful things.

    Q:
    Also, I don't know if this was the case in your marriage, but in mine, I tried to "lure" my husband into having sex with me (cause he would always tell me he was tired or something) and sometimes he would say that it (sex) wasnt important to him, that he preferred any way of expressing love but not the physical part of it. So the real question is... how does that work? is it because maybe sex is so horrible and dirty or whatnot that a husband with intimacy problems wants to spare his wife of all the dirt?

    I couldn't believe that my wife would want to have sex with me and so I pushed her away.  Isn't that stupid?  Porn messes you up so you begin to think of sex differently.  It becomes a perversion.  The expectation of sex is twisted. 

    I find my wife more pretty, beautiful and sexy now than when I was deep in my addiction.  When I was looking at porn I loved her but I wasn't interested.  One New Year's my wife thought it would be great to have sex everyday for a month as part of a New Year's resolution.  I think she could see something was wrong and wanted to reach out to me.  I told her "no".  Isn't that stupid too?  If I could go back, I would say YES!  I would want to learn how to build a sexual relationship with a real person. What normal guy wouldn't want that?  

    Honestly, pornography and sex with hookers is far from perfect.  It might seem that way from the outside but it's disgusting.  I'm disgusted with myself.  It was the ultimate selfish, lazy way out of being part of a real couple.  One day the porn wasn't enough, I left the door open to cheating and I let it all go until there was nothing left in me.  Once you've crossed the line it's much more simple to just  run up the street pay for sex and be done.  I'm sorry. I know I sound like a jerk.

    Q:

    Questions from Xena @ Killing Cupid

    This Go Mr Scabs!! Feel free not to answer if ur feeling like its a bit personal. My husband is a recovering porn addict. His gone the whole hog into bringing fantasy into life. Since last year he says his been clean, but this is what I want to know ;


    1) he denies even thinking about porn these days. Is that possible when someone has been so deeply entrenched? I would feel more comfortable if he told me that he was struggling but seemingly over night his addiction dissapeared. What's ur take on that? 


    A:
    Things may be different with your husband and I don't want to call people out but here it is, bullshit.  When I said those things to my wife I was lying.  I couldn't quit cold turkey and I was too ashamed to say I was having any problems. I knew how much it hurt her.  When I came home from the country-that-must-not-be-named and was caught I couldn't stop.  I felt like dirt and white-knuckled it for about 2 weeks.  

    To be honest, I will never be the same.  Lust is part of who I am. It's our job as men to determine what is lust and what is love and make the right choices.  I'm not saying that lust is right, it's something I have to be carefully aware of.  This question is so hard to answer.  If I was talking to you I would say, "no, you can't just stop thinking about it."

    I'm now at the point where i pretty much don't think about porn or the websites I've seen.  It takes work and it's been about 6 months since I've looked at a porn site.  This is just my opinion and so maybe he had a lightening bolt moment and a sudden change.  That would be awesome.

    Sex is everywhere.  For me I have to do the small things to evacuate those images from my mind.  I read scriptures, I try to focus on being honest, on rebuilding my relationship and communicating, on my 12-step work, on building my relationship with God, on keeping myself safe from my addiction and being honest in therapy.  Whenever I "white-knuckle" it, i always loose and get lost in the patterns of my addiction that ultimately lead to crappy decisions.
  2. Q:
    2) what do you think the reason is that addicts will only do some heavy sexual stuff with others, but refuse to do it with their partners? My husband treated me with kid gloves. A serious Madonna complex and was shocked when I wanted to experiment and yet I saw some of the porn he was watching and my suggestions were pretty tame in comparison. 

    A:

    I don't want to be hurtful and this question involves so much about image and sex.  For me, what happened when I was so involved in pornography and addiction was that my image of women got warped.  I forgot what it felt like to be with a real woman.  Its like your constantly searching for something that doesn't exit.  It's an image, a video or fantasy.  It seems like it's the ultimate sexual perfection but it's really a let down.    Pornography and prostitutes killed me sexually and emotionally.  It's counter intuitive, you'd think being surrounded by sex and porn would actually ramp up your sexuality.  Honestly porn is just a means to masturbate and it kills the connection and sexuality between couples.   I couldn't be interested in my wife when porn had killed our emotional and physical connection even if she wanted to do the same things I was watching or doing.


    Q:
    3) what was the best thing scabs ever did, that aided ur recovery? 

    A:

    She kicked me out.   Having the natural consequesnces fall where they fall and I had to decide to either pick up the pieces or fall deeper into my addiction.  I wasn't happy.  She also supported me by setting boundaries.  And she gave me hope.  Even though she kicked me out, she let me come everyday and take the kids or come for dinner.  But at the end of the day I had to go back to the pink bedroom.  The pink bedroom was the room I rented from a guy who works for me.  I lived there long crappy 8 months and new I didn't want to loose my family.

    Q:
    Questions from HX @ Working Towards Healing
    What gives you the most hope? What scares you the most?

    What gives me the most hope is just seeing progress and healing in myself, my wife and my family. The things that matter most are coming into focus.  There are great things like, I'm sleeping in my wifes bed, I'm taking an active part in deepening relaitonships with my children and there is the possibility of getting rebaptised into our church.  And forgiveness from Mrs. Scabs although i am having a hard time forgiving myself.  I feel myself working on my relationship with God.  

    My biggest fear is screwing up again.  I'm making some of the hardest changes I've ever made and I'm afraid of it not lasting and what if "screwing up" becomes a pattern in my life.  I'm afraid of not breaking my bad habits like not communicating with my wife and looking at porn.  It's all very slippery and it seems like it wouldn't take long for me to be back living an empty life.  I'm afraid that I'll loose my family and my wife would re-marry some rad dude that lives in my house and raises my kids.  
    -------------


    There are a lot more questions left to answer.  I hope to get to some more by the end of the week.  They are difficult to answer but you are helping me with my recovery and my relationship.  I appreciate the opportunity for honestly and i feel like every time I do this I'm getting closer to my recovery.  Answering these questions has been as good as 12 step, maybe even better.  I really have to think about my own feelings and actions and put them into perspective.  Thank you for giving me the chance to share my part of story.

    With great respect,

    Mr. Scabs

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