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Topics - 67reboot

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Ages 40 and up / Hope ...... (Male 50 married nearly 10 years)
« on: May 14, 2018, 03:04:23 PM »
INTRODUCTION:

Why hope?

Because I hope I have not screwed up my marriage, my wife, my kids and my own life ....

About 6 weeks ago my wife caught me wanking off in a cyber chat room, headset on talking dirty to some random woman  ..... now I am staring down the barrel of divorce, loosing my best friend (the wife) and not seeing the kids as often. This is truly the lowest point in my life. But do you know what's totally stupid? The wife caught me about 5 years ago in the same  way doing the same thing ... I was threatened with divorce if I was ever caught again. So I have had my chances ... so why the hell did I not stop? Why the hell am I here now ... and what am I going to do?

About 3 weeks ago I decided I needed some help, I did consider it last time I was caught but thought I could handle it. You know I am not exactly sure when I relapsed back into porn / chat rooms but relapse I did. I doubt the wife will ever believe me when I say "this time is different" so I had to do something .. but where to turn? I managed to find a counsellor not to far away and have had 3 sessions so far and its through here I found  https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/ and reboot nation .... its been six weeks so far and not been back to my cyber sex activities. Part of me feels actually relieved I got found out so I can sort my life out ... the other half is struggling with the fact my love of my life is looking for another place to live. Breaking her heart again is going to get some getting over.

It is so scary to realise what I have done to myself over these years .... I feel like I am coming out of some foggy existence into day light ... only to see the wreck I have made of my marriage .... the disconnect that this has had between us ... can it ever be repaired?

The rest of this journal starts from my first week of counselling ... when I first realised I was a porn addict.

WEEK ONE

I have called this document hope, because that’s all I have at the moment, hope that the hurt and harm that I have caused to the person I love the most in the world does not tear us apart. Hope that our beloved boys, still happy and oblivious to all this don’t get caught up in the mess and their futures tarnished. Hope that I can make a better future for all my family by making myself a better person.

There is not much structure to this document, but will follow the “homework” schedule as given to me by my councillor. After week one “I am ready to change” ….  I am ready to change. I have lived the way I have for too long. When I began this journey long ago my choices were just that; choices. Now they have grown into an addiction that controls me to the point that I feel I have no control. This process has affected my thinking, my feelings and my being. Those that I love have also been impacted, some have been devastated.  But now, I am ready for change and I commit to pay whatever price is necessary to accomplish this. I have already seen the power of bad choices from my addiction. Now I employ that same power but for positive choices. I will use the power of positive choice for the purpose of recovery and growth. I will begin the change now and I will recover from my addiction. 

........... Whether or not I shall ever be taken back is another story.

The above paragraph is part of the Neural Pathway Restructuring which I shall be reading to myself and out load thrice daily, the intention is to build up a positive thought pattern in the same way as repetitive movement in karate develops muscle memory.

What started my addiction?

Questionnaire in three sections used by my councillor to categorise my addiction or at least the most influential!

Opportunity Induced Addiction.

1) Early access to pornography? - Not especially so no, at 14 I had a prized copy of Mayfair and I think  a Penthouse .. not even sure where they came from now but that was as strong it got for many a year.

2) Any influences or encouragement from parents or mentors to be sexually active? - Absolutely none what so ever.

3) Has Internet access increased my unwanted sexual behaviours? -  Sure, before easy access to the Internet porn was difficult, embarrassing and costly to access so my exposure to it was “accidental” rather than deliberate i.e. finding a magazine etc. It was not until my mid 30’s when I started internet dating that I was exposed to and consumed more porn.

4) Did I have easy and regular access to sexual partners through work or travel? - Oddly enough no, in my 20’s I was a DJ and got a lot of female attention but was always too busy with the job to take advantage of the opportunities. In the 10 years I was DJ’ing I think I dated 3 girls I met through the job.

5) Have I had the financial resources to pay for sexual behaviours? -  I guess so more so now than ever but have never paid money for any sexual practice.

6) Has it been easy for you to keep my sexual behaviour hidden from others? - Apart from my wife yes, she has a sixth sense for these sort of things.


Attachment Induced Addiction.

1)  Was I separated from parents or other key people in my life whilst growing up? -  My Dad was in the Army and when we returned from Germany to the UK (about 13) he stayed in Germany for a few years returning for holidays etc. By this time my relationship with my Dad had deteriorated to a very low point.

2) Did I experience any significant periods of separation from family? - Only as described above.

3) Did I experience regular threats of separation, abandonment or rejection as a child? - No, not that I am aware of.

4) Did I experience impaired parenting? No, my Mum was a great Mum for the most part and my Dad was a good provider but, with the great gift of hindsight, was emotionally “strangled” and found it hard to express himself. However, he is now making an excellent Granddad!

5) Did I experience neglectful parenting? -  Tough one this, I remember childhood mostly playing alone or with my brother. Don’t have any real memories of parents “interacting / playing” with me etc .. just one or two .. by the time I was in my teens exam selection, tech college choices, university etc were all decisions I had made alone.

6) Did I and the family move home more than average -  Oh yes, as mentioned the “family” was in the Army until I was about 13 … before that I moved house / school every couple of years

Trauma Induced Addiction.

1) Did I experience any physical abuse in childhood? - Got caned at school once and got the leather belt from my Dad once and slapped around the head once …. taken in the context of the era I grew up in I would not consider that to be either abusive or excessive.

2) Did I experience any emotional abuse in childhood? - In family life no, at school yes … from 13 onwards when my family settled in Devon, integrating into the local school was tough. I was bullied and got into fights, was unpleasant but survived it and at 16 when I went to the local tech college life normalised.

3) Did I experiences any sexual abuse in childhood? - No.

4) Have I ever been physically or sexually assaulted? - Sexually no, got beaten up at 19 by a local mobster.

5) Was there any domestic violence in our home? - No.

6) Did I experience any traumatic loss in childhood / adolescence? - No

7) Have I ever witnessed disturbing scenes of violence / brutality / suffering or been in fear of my safety? - No.

Reading this week:

https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/doing-what-you-evolved-to-do

WEEK TWO

Its been six weeks now since my wife caught me in the act, wanking online to a nameless person in a chat room. Yes I have been here before, but why is this time different?  I thought about help last time but didn’t .. big mistake. Although I did behave for a while last time I relapsed. Getting some professional help has pointed me in the right direction in terms of support and reading material. Discovering what has been happening inside my head is frightening / enlightening, sickening / depressing but ultimately does give some hope that things are reversible.

Knowing that my PMO (Porn / Masturbation / Orgasm)  habit / addiction had lead me down the path of poor decision making and reduced libido inside my marriage is sickening enough but understanding the hurt its caused my wife is hard to bear at times.  As it stands at the moment we are friends but she still wants to move out. Loosing my best friend and breaking up the family is the toughest thing ever. But I knew this would happen if I got caught again, so why did I not stop earlier? Now that is the question, it would appear to be a defining characteristic of “addiction” where the “want & need” of something outweighs the “known consequences”, couple that with the apparent cognitive “fog” PMO addicts experience is my only excuse. Is this all that this is? Am I trying just to excuse my appalling actions, bad decisions and apparent complete disregard for my wife’s health and well being not to mention my boys? Am I trying to hide behind the label of “addiction”?  I truly hope not, I know I love my wife and boys more than anything in the world and I will pay any price to not only prevent the breakup of my family but also to make things better than they were .. to make my wife happy again.

So what’s next? I have have had my second counselling session and its time for the second pillar of my Neural Pathway Restructuring. - My brain can change.

My brain can change. My brain can be my best friend and it can also be my worst enemy. If I do positive things in my life it is because of the neural circuitry that exists in my brain. If I do negative things in my life it is because of the neural circuity that exists in my brain. Although my brain does not exist in a vacuum, it does work systemically with my body, my emotions and my spirituality. I have allowed my brain to develop an addiction and my brain has taken control over me. Now I am taking the control back. I will form better and healthier neural pathways in my brain. A neural pathway is a network of neurons that are responsible for behaviour throughout my brain and body. Now I take control to develop healthier pathways in my brain and body. As I learn more about my brain I will become more and more in control. My brain is changing even as I read this pillar. My brain can change and I will recover.

Discovering or admitting that I am an addict is a bit like smoking. At first you chuff away happy and oblivious to the consequences then at some stage you want to stop .. and you find you can’t .. you try you fail and you try again. 6 weeks ago I decided that stopping was not enough I needed help to stay stopped and here I am. Stopping all “artificial stimulation”  (in my case porn and chat rooms) actually has a name “rebooting” ( https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/reboot_your_brain ) and I am happy to learn can reverse the negative consequences of PMO addiction … given time. I have now abstained from all forms of masturbation for 6 weeks.

I had initially “dismissed” the idea of putting some form of “porn control” on my laptop, as I could circumvent anything rather quickly. But after reading a lot of accounts of other people going through “rebooting” it became clear that even a few extra minutes of “thinking time” to circumvent controls in place can make all the difference in making the correct choices. Its also making a conscious choice to say “no more” which can have a powerful effect on the subconscious.  I have used OpenDNS on both my home network & laptop to block all porn / chat room activity.

OK this weeks homework …..

Harmful Consequences

What is the risk of the following happening if you are NOT found out?

1. Hurting the people you love? - Confused by the question here, with the fantastic ability of hindsight it is clear that the people I love have been hurt by actions even before I was found out. My addiction has destroyed the intimacy in my marriage.
2. Not Developing a relationship? - Guess this question is more aimed at single addicts, but as in Q1 it seems like it can stunt relationship building inside a marriage too.
3. Spending less time with people you love such as a partner, family, friends? - For me my addiction manifested itself mostly (but not exclusively) when alone away in hotels so this is not really a relevant question.
4. Spending less time on health and fitness, hobbies and personal growth? – Well yes, the plan was always to use my hotel time for study & karate practice … although I had been doing this any time spent with my addiction was detracting from this.
5. Wasting Money? – Never spent money on my addiction.
6. Compromising my work career? – Apart from slowing down my studies not really relevant.
7. Catching a STI? – no relevant in my case.
8. Developing a sexual dysfunction, such as difficulties in getting an erection or going off sex with a partner? - Again with the wonders of hindsight I can now see that this addiction has lowered the sexual drive in my marriage. Which in turn has lead to untold hurt to my wife who thinks I prefer porn / nameless women in chat rooms to her.
9. Damaging my self esteem? – I have wanted to stop many times with increased regularity in recent times. My failure to do so had lead to a depressed state.

What is the risk of the following if you ARE found out?

1. Hurting the people you love? – I knew my wife would be very angry and upset if she found me again doing this. I knew inside how hurt and betrayed she would feel.
2. Loosing your partner? - My wife has told my clearly that I would be divorced is she found me doing this again. She is more than my wife, she is also my best friend and soul mate, so why would a sane person continue?
3. Having less contact with your children? – Our boys are so special …. I knew that in a divorced life I would see them less, this  would be a real risk. We are so close that thinking about it now my actions have been stupidity beyond reason.
4. Loosing your home? – Very real risk … goes with the risk of divorces two homes would be needed.
5. Losing friends? - A lot of friends are related to school life now so if my issues were more widely know I am sure that I would loose a lot of friends and acquaintances.
6. Losing your job? - Have not done anything to make this risk tangible … I think.
7. Reducing your disposable income? - Goes with loosing partner / divorce / home.
8. Damaging your self esteem? - Well …. its very low at the moment not sure what else to say.
9. Wanting to end your life. - Would never contemplate that. Even in a life with divorce as a real prospect I want to be the best Dad I can be.

Rock Bottom

Well this is easy, rock bottom is here and now. My beloved wife despises me, the woman who has loved me more than any one ever has cant even bear the prospect of touching me. She feels like our marriage was a waste of 10 years and regrets being with me. She is planning on moving out and I am faced with loosing my best friend, soul mate, lover and the boys who I adore.  How did this come to pass? Well most of my online masturbation activities happen in hotel rooms when I am away, at home its limited as to be frank during the day I am too busy working but on this day I had just finished jury service, had no work to do and I was alone for about 90 minutes … so I jumped onto my chat room of choice and unusually got chatting to a lady rather quickly. The wife came on home early as she had picked my mum up from the airport, I thought she was going to pick my son up from school first but she dropped my mum off first and dashed in to let me know … and there I was cock in hand headphones on masturbating. Writing and reading this fills me with shame, regret, remorse and  feel rather disgusted with myself. Why of why did I do it.

Triggers

Looking at the list of triggers, these seem to be the most relevant …

Environmental: Being away in a hotel.

Emotional: Bored, stressed, sexually aroused. I can relate to all of these as triggers.

Attachment Related: Getting into an argument with the wife, lonely, overwhelmed. I can relate to these as being triggers.

Trauma Related. Stress and depression have been triggers.


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