My next therapy session is the impetus of this post. The good doctor has requested that I write the following 3 things:
- Problems: Problems I had to lead me into addiction
- Secrets: What are the secrets I kept to let it continue?
- Excuses: Excuses: how I justify/justified my acting out.
Some of this is going to be incredibly easy while the rest might rip my soul out. Or they could all be easy… I doubt it.
As I initially wrote this, I did not realize I was writing the blog equivalent of War and Peace. THIS entry is purely for my satisfaction and emotional treatment/needs. There’s a lot to read.
This is the easiest of my lists.
Parental Physical Abuse: I get it. You have a kid and you don’t know how to handle your emotions. He’s crying and you don’t know what to do. Maybe he’s being disrespectful. You can’t let it slide; action must be taken. The only tools in your arsenal are violent. I’d say that is a fairly accurate description of my father.
My father comes from a very ethnic eastern European heritage. He is a first generation American. Grandma and Grandpa had a very strict method of discipline- hit the kid until they stop. The phrase, “children are to be seen and not heard” was uttered a LOT during my childhood. Should the child (me) dare to make himself heard…SMACK! This really sucked; my personality lends itself to making my opinions/thoughts heard. An old-school guy would say that I should have learned my lesson. That if I would have just followed the program, none of this would have happened.
There is nothing wrong with a child expressing themselves. As long as they are respectful about it, let it happen. Why stifle thought?
One of my earliest memories from my childhood takes place in our family kitchen. I couldn’t have been any older than 4. Dad had me standing at attention against the refrigerator as he bawled me out for whatever I had done. I can still see my father, as a young man, pointing his finger in front of my face saying, “Don’t you move a muscle.”
As soon as I had moved my father slapped my face. Hard. That’s really all that I remember. But it is one of my earliest memories from childhood. Being bitched at and hit.
The years went on and the violence escalated. Dad worked nights and my stay-at-home mother took care of the kids. I remember the hubcap that I had painted that hung on my wall. It was an odd shade of green. Kind of a cross between celery and mint green. I stared at that hubcap as my father was yelling at my mother. I became more and more enraged. Why was this guy yelling at mom? It was then that he hit her. I heard the hit and her scream followed. I leaped from my bed, grabbed the hubcap and ran into the living room where they were fighting. Dad had his back to me. I raised the hubcap as high as I could, saw the horror in my mother’s eyes and bashed my father’s head as hard as my little body allowed.
This was a very bad move
Dad turned very quickly to see who had assaulted him. As he looked at me he rubbed his head in pain. Apparently that shit hurts. Good old American workmanship had injured my father. I was shocked (Why? I had just bashed his head.) when he grabbed me by the back of my neck. Slapped across the face, thrown against the wall and hit some more.
I was 7
The years saw my father mellow a bit. Not as much as was needed though. When I was a junior in high school, more major events occurred. It was winter. I know that because I was shoveling snow and ice off of our driveway. Dad came around and started telling me how poorly I was working. I had an answer for that. The next thing I know I’m lying on the ground being hit with my shovel.
As a senior in high school there were 2 other highly memorable events.
I was laying/sitting against mom and dad’s bedroom wall as they were yelling at me for whatever. Again, I had a little something to say. It’s funny how most of my negative experiences begin with me smarting off. Dad jumped off of his bed and grabbed the nearest thing to him; a plastic hanger. He began beating me with that hanger. Over and over and over. My legs were covered in red welts. This, however, has a different ending. I grabbed my father by the arm and shoved him out of their bedroom. I pushed him down the hall. He bailed out into my bedroom. I was truly surprised by my strength as I picked him up and threw him through my closet doors. I said something stupid and high-tailed it away.
The last major event has my father and I taking the trash out. We had just put the bags into the dumpster. I don’t remember what started the fight. I do remember having an old-fashioned fist fight right in our front yard. It was pretty dark, but how a neighbor didn’t see that and call the cops amazes me to this day. He landed a really good shot on my left eye. I had to make up some lame-ass excuse about my black eye the next day at school.
There was a lot more to my abuse. Mom got into the game some too. Spankings with a belt that became more than punishment. There would be face slaps for the smallest disobediences.
Some of this may seem ticky-tacky, but that stuff adds up.
Parental Verbal and Emotional Abuse: There are a few things that I understand in my adult years. One of which is- you don’t have to call your child names, belittle them or cuss them out when they mess up. I cannot remember most of the “interesting” names I was called. Worthless liar comes to mind…Another of the statements that particularly sticks in my head is, “You have no chance of success.” Then there was, “People have to like you before you can get anywhere in this world and nobody likes you.”
Great things to say to your elementary school aged child.
I was a bed wetter. Yeah, shocking. I wet the bed at least through 5th grade. Any time I stayed with a relative, they would make a huge production of having to put plastic over the bed. One of the more common things said was, “I don’t understand why someone your age still wets the bed.”
Dude, have you heard the way my parents talk to me?!?
I vividly remember the tool shed we had in our backyard. It was pretty small. Large enough to house a lawn mower, an edger, a roto-tiller, all of the associated supplies for those items and an assortment of gardening implements. One fine spring afternoon my mother announced to the family that our family DOCTOR had a cure for my bed wetting. My parents were to move all of my belongings, my bed and my student desk/lamp into the tool shed. This would be my home until I ceased wetting the bed.
I spent several nights in my little bachelor pad. At least I had a radio. I was finally allowed back into the house because of several days of severe storms in our area. They didn’t want me to be struck by lightning or blown away by a tornado.
Thanks, mom and dad.
Since this post looks like it is going to be a Homeric Epic, I’ll skip a lot of the issues. I will finish this part with a pretty tough event.
My fiancé (now bride) and I were on our way to pre-marital counseling (I think). My mother was on the warpath for whatever reason (a very common occurrence) when she came busting out of the house. As we were pulling out of the driveway, my mother and fiancé were arguing. SOMEONE ELSE HAD BEEN BROUGHT INTO MY HELL! I was driving off as quickly as possible when my mother leaned through the window and said to my bride, “He doesn’t deserve you.” My little-lady was a little more than pissed off. She said something like, “How dare she!”
An interesting aside- mom’s statement is actually true. I don’t deserve my bride. It just didn’t need to be said by my mother. The one person on earth that should think I’m special in every way. But, no. My own mother said I didn’t deserve my bride.
Sexual Molestation: This is something I addressed on one of my initial blog posts. I had kept this tidbit suppressed for a very long time. The memory was there, but I told no one. One does not forget forcible oral sodomy with all of the trimmings…ever. I think that one event, more than any other, has had the most devastating impact on my life.
Being molested, and in the way it happened, is something that I have lived with every day. Every day. There have been more than a few nights that I have had nightmares over this. He would force me to the ground. Right as he was forcing my mouth open, I wake up. But sometimes I don’t wake up. Sometimes I remember every detail. And like I told my wife before, it’s confusing. To this day, when this nightmare occurs, I ejaculate. To. This. Day.
This was a watershed moment in my life. It led to a fixation that has crippled me ever since.
Abandonment: There are more times than I can remember that I was abandoned by my mother. When I was a little kid (3-5 years old) I would be left totally unsupervised all day. I would wake up, eat breakfast and go outside and play. When I got hungry I would go home and eat the sandwich she had made me. When I was 3, the neighbor boy and I snuck a package of matches into the alley behind his house. We set it on fire. As in, the alley caught on fire, the fire department showed up and property was destroyed.
Anybody know whose kid this is?
Mom found out AFTER the fire department left the scene. This incident is joked about to this day. Me being left unsupervised and the resulting actions is joked about.
There were several times that mom would take me clothes shopping. I hated it. She would drag me around and I did my best to escape. I always escaped. As soon as she used 2 hands for something, I was gone. I would hide in the store. Sometimes in clothes racks and sometimes in the bathroom. there was a shopping center pretty close to our home. There was a residential area and right next to it was the shopping center. I guess this is why she did it.
She would leave.
My mother would leave the store without me and drive home. Again, I wasn’t even 9 years old at the time. Left. By myself. Freaking the hell out.
There were several times in middle school that she would “forget” to pick me up. There were several times, in early high school, that I was made to walk home. During an ice storm was the worst example of that one. “I can’t drive in that stuff” was her excuse. Maybe, maybe not. There is the small detail of your child being left to fend for himself that you forgot to address. “Have one of your friends bring you home” was said a lot. “Mom, I would, but I told them you were picking me up and they left an hour ago.” So I got to walk home. 5 miles. That time, there really was snow both ways.
Anger: I have been a little more than pissed-off as a result of those things. I still get worked up over the thought of the abuses I suffered.
My parents have undergone a radical change. They aren’t the same people of my child hood. They improved enough that my kids spend the night with them. I was a little nervous the first time my oldest son stayed over there. My wife was also uncomfortable, but she didn’t know a hundredth of my abused past. I was confident, though, that they could do it. There was the stipulation that they were not allowed to physically discipline the kids put in place. As far as I know that was never violated. Then again, I have absurdly well behaved children.
Back to anger.
I blame quite a lot of my personal anger issues on my upbringing. I am a teacher. I currently teach elementary music. I used to be a band director. I remember a time, early in my career, that I was so frustrated with a class I picked up a chair and threw it across the room. I didn’t know how to handle my emotions.
I got better
I used to explode any time one of my kids messed up the slightest bit. I used to explode in anger at my kid’s ballgames when I thought they had been mistreated by a coach or an official. I have been kicked out of a lot of baseball games. I didn’t know how to control my anger.
Several years later, at my wife’s pleading, I saw a psychiatrist. I’m bipolar. Big shock. she would tell me that she didn’t know what husband was showing up each day or if he would be the same guy throughout the day. Happy one minute, incredibly pissed the next. It sucked.
I still have anger problems. I try my best to internalize them; my therapist says this is a bad thing btw. I am generally pretty successful at hiding my anger, or at least controlling it. My students have a really good idea when I’m upset. I don’t yell, scream or throw things anymore though. I tend to get very calm and speak at a very reserved level. Totally against my natural instincts of blowing up.
It’s really hard to pull off.
Entitlement: One thing that I have come to realize is that my past has lead to a feeling of entitlement. “I had a shitty life, I deserve to do this” is kind of what plays in my head. Just because you had shitty things happen doesn’t mean you get to be shitty to others as you age.
This will be a pretty tough list for me. I know that it will be woefully incomplete. I’m trying though.
Molested as a Child: I addressed this earlier, but need to include it here as well. I thought I would be taking this information to the grave. Come to find out, my bride suspected it for quite some time.
Seriously, who can get sexual with a child? You sick fucks. Dude, get a hooker.
Extracurricular Sexual Activity: There’s quite a lot in this one. It began with porn use almost immediately following being molested. That escalated to buying dirty magazines from dudes at school. That led to phone sex. That led to buying my own dirty magazines from a porn shop (when I was old enough). That led to internet porn. That led to more phone sex. That led to buying porn on our satellite. That led to my discovery of the porn theater. That led to encounters with men in the theater. That led to me setting up, unsuccessfully, an encounter off of Craigslist.
All of these led to denial.
My initial porn use- discovered by my parents. Son, there’s only one person in the house that would watch this. We know it was you.
My initial phone sex- discovered by my parents. Son, we saw this on our phone bill. I called them up and they said it was phone sex.
I got away with dirty magazines. Always. I think. No one ever said anything. There is one thing about magazines. When I was first married, my wife and I acted as the managers for our little apartment complex. I was asked to go into a guy’s apartment once to turn off his gas. There was a playboy centerfold taped to the wall. On his table was a stack of filthy magazines. I worked with the guy at a restaurant. One day, when I was off and I knew he was working, I went back into his apartment and stole a couple of his magazines. “He won’t miss 2. He has like 20” was in my mind. I got away with it. I would store my dirty magazines with our stuff in the apartment’s staff only storage room. When the urge hit, I’d go in the room and take care of business. I almost got caught once. Almost.
Phone sex immediately after marriage- discovered by my bride. Crushed her spirit. Our once amazing sexcapades cooled off. A lot. She had been very adventurous for a good girl. Not after that. I denied and denied. She actually called the phone company to dispute the charges. “My husband would never do anything like that” was said more than once. I was standing right next to her when she said it. It had zero affect on me. I had become that accustomed to my double life that lying about it, in front of her, as she lied (unknowingly) for me had ZERO affect on me. None. Nada. Zilch.
Satellite porn- discovered by my wife very quickly. I was such a dumb-ass when it came to that. Yeah, there’s going to be an entry on your bill for that stuff. I even taped and sold some stuff for some of the guys. The worst part, I taped over one of our wedding videos for that.
Craigslist- discovered by my wife. I wasn’t vigilant with the email account I had used for the set up. She was on my laptop and apparently started going through my emails. I don’t think she would say this, but I’m pretty sure she was checking up on me. More than once she checked my internet history. This would be another instance of that. This was a near fatal blow to our marriage. She asked if I was gay. Is this real? I came up with a shitty excuse, “Honey, I did do that. But what I do is email back and forth with these guys and end up telling them what sick fucks they are.” She bought it. She started to cry, “I can totally see you doing that.”
Porn Theater- I uncovered that one during my disclosure. I didn’t have to put it out there, I suppose. It just blurted out. “Did you mess around with guys?
I can’t write the rest again. It’s on one of the early posts. You can go and read it if you want. Saying it or typing it is too painful. I am trying, REAL hard, to move on from that. Just know that it’s gross in every way possible.
All of those secrets led to lies and deceptions. Lies built upon lies. Bigger and bigger it got. She believed all of it. Kind of. She always knew something was up. That’s why her sex drive is almost dead. She hooks me up once and awhile, but that’s pretty much it for the most part.
There is know way possible that I can detail all of the lies I have perpetrated during my addiction. I made up stories to cover my ass. I would tell fantastic tales. I would make absurd excuses. And they were all bullshit.
This is also going to be pretty tough for me to write as well. I’m more than willing to provide and admit the information. It’s just that it has been going on for so long, I’m not sure I can hit very much of it. Maybe I can. If I do, another 100 pages…
I Deserve It: My justification here was pretty easy- my life had been so bad, this was something I deserved. It was my reward for suffering through so much.
That’s total ca-ca, but I thought it.
She Doesn’t Have Sex With Me: As late as 3 weeks ago I actually blamed my lovely bride for most of this. “If she would just give it up more than twice a month I wouldn’t have to do this.” It was totally her fault. She didn’t want to have sex. I had to get off. The best solution- porn.
She didn’t want to be with me. Not because she doesn’t like sex, she does. When she does have sex she says she enjoys herself. However, she does tend to filter her comments. Often she will leave out information or tell what she thinks I want to hear in order to not hurt my feelings. It’s entirely possible that she hates sex altogether. It’s also possible that she likes sex, just not with me.
I Have a High Sex-Drive: This is used to be true. At least that’s what my mind thinks. I wanted sex and she did not. This part piggy backs with She doesn’t have sex with me. I have figured out, though, that I really don’t have a very high sex-drive. I masturbate a lot, but it’s not because I’m horny. I have figured out that I’m really not horny very often. I was masturbating out of compulsion. There are nights that I have woken her up masturbating in my sleep. IN MY SLEEP! We’re just lying there asleep and whack, whack, whack. It wakes her up. She pushes me around in order to get me to stop now. Apparently she used to let me finish my business. I asked her to stop me (healthy or no?).
I’m a Guy: This is an oft repeated excuse but I think it’s totally true. I’m a guy, we all want sex and we will do whatever we have to to get it. Everybody is doing it.
No they aren’t.
That’s it, I think.
I present this list to the good doctor tomorrow afternoon. I’ll probably shoot him a link to this so we don’t have to spend an hour watching him read this drivel.