Thursday, April 20, 2017

Getting To Know Me: The Early Years

I became a Christian sometime when I was a kid, I didn't really understand much at that time. But I wanted to be good, because I thought that was what God wanted from me. Nobody taught me any different and I grew up under this idea that the better I was the more I was loved and accepted by God.

At 15 my sand foundation finally fell apart and I realized I couldn't be the good guy anymore. So I turned from Him and went to find my happiness in the world. Sex and pornography was always a lure for me and so I turned to find my acceptance in woman.

I had a number of relationships many of which I ended because of my own guilt and shame in the way I was living. This lead to meeting my wife Sarah, who at the time was another Christian who wasn't living for the Lord. 

Sarah had addictions issues that I knew nothing about at the time, nor how to deal with them. Our romance was fast and exciting, and we both talked about getting our lives back on track with God. Although she was clean and sober at the time we met, after 3 months of dating she was back into the partying and drugs. 

I was far too scared of drugs and alcohol so I didn't join her but did everything I could to try and rescue her. I nearly lost my mind during that time as I did everything in my power to protect her from herself, but it was a losing battle.

Near to a breakdown I reached out for help and found it in room of older ladies in an Al Anon meeting, a 12 step support group for those with loved ones tangled in addictions. After a couple meetings I found strength and reached out to my "higher power", the God I knew as a kid.

I broke up with Sarah because I knew that's what was best for me and I also realized I couldn't help her. Knowing she needed to make a choice between the partying and me she decided to clean up in the hopes she could get me back. It worked, we got back together but I wasn't the same, I had met God.

I had a hunger for God for the first time in my life and I believe this is when I started to own my faith. I was no longer living the faith that my Mom had passed down to me.

The people who lived on the main floor of the house I was living in invited me to their church and within a week I was baptized. I had a huge conflict within me now, I wanted to live for Christ but I really enjoyed living with my girlfriend (Sarah) and really enjoyed sex.

At 9 months of dating we found out Sarah was pregnant. Now my sin was obvious for all to see. After breaking up and getting back together we decided we would get married, after all it was the right thing to do.

We started regularly attending the church I was baptized in and we were married there in 1996. Life was not easy as we were both extremely immature, in life and spiritually. Our first son came only 3 months later and he had very severe health problems.

I was going from one dead end job to another, really feeling the need to find a career. My self esteem was crushed as I got fired over and over again. I kept looking for jobs in trades I was not skilled in and I really didn't fit in with "the guys".

Life at home was became mundane. Now that we were married sex was no longer a sin and it lost it's excitement. We decided we wanted more kids and sex became a tool for procreation. Sarah was now a Mom and her priorities were in making a home and looking after a baby and not me.

The internet was this new cool thing that everybody was talking about. I knew it had a lot of good uses but I had also heard it had a lot of porn which intrigued me. I wasn't getting much at home and had never dealt with my sex addiction. It had been kept at bay by my wife who had been willing to serve my sexual needs until her desires and energy were affected by having a baby.

I got accepted into school in 1998 and also got a grant to buy my first computer. This is also around when I started viewing porn online but with dial up internet you were limited with what you could get access to. Things got much worse in 2000 when we got high speed internet...

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