"Dale, I have struggled over sending this to you. I don't know why I am. Maybe leading by the Holy Spirit. I'm not looking for anything out of it. If anything, maybe it will help someone else. You're blog posts on pornography have hit closer to home than you may know.
You probably know already that Mary and I are no longer married, but I don't know if you are aware of the circumstances that brought that split about. In 1995, I sexually molested my daughter. I have not voluntarily told this to anyone. In fact when asked if I have children, I have recently started telling people, "no," so I don't have to explain or make up a story about why I can't see them. I was arrested and spent several months in jail and the next four years in psychosexual counseling.
Because of my sin, I destroyed or at the very least damaged several lives. Mary was so hurt she left not only me but her faith. I have kept up a little with the kids (I have a permanent no-contact order) through MySpace and Facebook. John and Sally have graduated high school, but they both appear to be heavily into the occult. They are doing drugs and drinking. Bobby seems to have gotten on a better path (finally). I can read their wall posts, but if I were to contact them, it would be a mandatory six months in jail. So, I have watched my kids grow up online due to my actions.
All three kids have been in and out of foster care. John and Bobby have both been incarcerated. Mary has been through more than I am even aware of. I am devastated to know the damage I have done to these innocent lives. Would things have turned out differently if I was still in the picture? I don't know, but I would like to think they would. I did read on Mary's facebook page that her new boyfriend and Bobby were baptized a couple weeks ago. So, hopefully things are on a better track for her. I continually pray for them.
I have been addicted to pornography and sex since I was in my teens. I recall shoplifting pornographic magazines from the store when I was in junior high. When I was working for a city in Montana, I found a stack of porn in one of the trucks. I sat parked in that truck for several hours looking at those magazines. I had a tough time explaining to the boss where I had been with the truck. I made up a lie to cover myself.
I am reluctant to tell you what has happened to me, because I don't want to sound like I'm looking for pity. I want no sympathy from anyone. For what I did there is no pity warranted. I hate this kind of behavior in others. I am repulsed by it.
What has my crime/sin cost me...?"
"Everything! I lost my wife. I never got to see my kids grow up. I lost my ordination in the church. I lost friends and family who can no longer stand to be around me."
In the last several years I have lost jobs when employers found out about my past. I have had difficulty finding jobs, especially in the last couple years where everyone now does a background search.
I have to register as a sex offender for the rest of my life. When I move, my neighbors are informed of my crime and who I am, including a picture. I have been denied residency because of my crime. Every six months a sheriff's deputy shows up at my door to make sure I still live here. I have a felony conviction that denies me entry to other countries.
I have been asked not to attend two different churches including what I considered my home church. I attend church regularly, but now I will not fill out a visitor card for fear of being asked to leave. The church is a mega-church. 4,000+ attendance, and I don't know anyone there.
What I did was over 15 years ago, and I have lived a model life since. I haven't even had a speeding ticket since 1984. I pay all my bills on time. My faith in Christ has never dwindled. I know that without my faith, I would have ended it all years ago.
I knew I had a problem, but fear kept me from finding help. I never considered how much it would cost (myself and others). I told myself it would never happen again, but without counseling the cycle just continued.
I have always been kind of a loner. I never really fit in, so I have kept to myself. As a result, I have taken to living in isolation. I have no close friends, but I have 400+ facebook "friends." If they only knew... This is the beginning of my cycle... then depression...
How have I broken the cycle?
1. Awareness - I was made painfully aware of my problem. I recognize that I have a propensity to porn and I avoid it.
2. Admission of problem - I have admitted that I have a problem, and that it is a problem.
3. Recognize cycle - In my four years of counseling, I learned to recognize that my failings came in cycles. I found that when that cycle was progressing toward sin, there were ways to avoid it, to break the cycle.
4. Avoidance - I have used several things to prevent entering into my destructive cycle over the years. I can't say that it always works, but I have found that these help: 1) Turning off the TV or computer, 2) Prayer or read my Bible, and 3) Negative reinforcement ~ snapping a rubber band on my wrist (when I think about it)
5. Redirection - Find something else to do. Go for a walk, fish, read, exercise. Anything healthy."
Anonymous will be reading your comments. So please let him know what you think...
BE A MAN.