"I WANT TO GIVE YOU
BY SHARING MY STORY OF REDEMPTION"
My core belief as a child was, “I don’t matter.” At the age of 8, I was exposed to pornography, distorting my view of love and healthy relationships. I did not have a safe place to share what I had seen, which gave shame a perfect place to grow. As I grew older, I learned how to hide what was really going on—how to not cause trouble by “being good.” I lied to control what others thought of me, and I numbed my fear and pain with more pornography. Because I was raised in a religious home, I had a lot of head knowledge about God, but I did not understand his love for me. I didn’t even think He liked me very much.
My early exposure to pornography, coupled with my childhood environment, paved a path that led to pornography and sex addiction in my life. The cycle of addiction controlled me until the age of 40. On 7/27/2015 my lies totally unraveled; my wife of 18 years learned all my secrets. At the time, it felt like the worst thing that had happened in my life, but I was tired of hiding. I couldn’t run anymore. I was at the end of myself, and that is where I finally found hope.
From there, I began my journey of recovery. It has been a journey of tearing down and starting over. I had to put everything on the table, be willing to let go of everything, but I was willing to do anything to heal.
Many times the end of ourselves is where we find real hope.
For a lot of my life, I was distant, disconnected, angry, and frustrated. In recovery, I have learned how to be vulnerable, feel my feelings, and be honest with safe people. Learning how to deal with the 40 years of emotions that have come up in recovery has been a process, but I have found that there are safe places and safe people who are willing to listen and help me walk the path of recovery.
I don’t know where you are in life, but I know that you are not made to walk through life alone. Maybe, like I was, you are feeling disconnected, angry, alone, and just withdrawn from the people you love the most. There may be an underlying addiction that you are hiding from yourself and others. You may just have trouble fully engaging yourself with others, and not know why. Wherever you are, I want you to know you are not alone. There is hope!
The journey of recovery is a life-changing journey. My wife and I, and our family, are learning how to engage in deep and authentic relationships. We are learning to live fully in the grace of each day. In love, we are learning how to communicate the good, the hard, and even the hurtful. We try to make space each day to talk, listen, and validate each other's feelings. When we hurt each other, because we do, we are learning to make amends and give grace.
My wife and I want to share our story of how God has transformed our lives whenever we can, because we want others to know that they are not alone. There is hope!