Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Falling Back Into the Pit

It's getting harder to come here to write...getting closer to sharing a betrayal like that of Judas. I still really can't explain the reasons. I was visiting my brother just the other night, and he plainly asked me why did I continue to go back on-line after Paula had caught me the first time. I easy answer is that I just don't know. But the real answer is probably that I was so arrogant that I just thought that I could get away with it. As the old adage goes, "I wanted my cake and to eat it too."

Those first months after Paula confronted me in November of 2001, I stayed off the computer and away from any of the chat rooms or the porn sites. Paula and I spent a lot of time talking, trying to figure out what had happened and why it had happened. For a long time, Paula believed that it was something that she must have done...something about our marriage that didn't make me happy. I'm thankful that she now knows that it had nothing to do with her. She can't be faulted in any way. The bottom line is, I was searching for something that no one else could help me find.

I lasted two months before I went back to the sites. I can still remember the work in my office. I can remember my body shaking, my hands trembling as I sat in front of that compute screen. I didn't want to go back on...but I was drawn to it like a magnet. I should have gotten up and gone for a walk. Or a visit to one of the schools. Or called Paula and asked her to pray for me. I should have done a lot of things. Instead, I reloaded the Yahoo messenger program on my computer and checked to see if anyone that I knew was on-line. There wasn't and that should have been enough. But I kept going back. And then it was making new chat friends...going to new chat rooms. I was right back where I was before, only maybe a little deeper this time.

Paula and I went to counselling, driving almost 300 miles round trip every other week. It wasn't effective. It couldn't be as long as I kept lying. But that's what I did. I lied to Paula, I lied to the counselor, I lied to myself...I lied to everyone. The counseling did cause me to try to take a closer look at my past, to see if there was anything there that I could identify that might help to explain what it was I was looking for. The only answer that was revealed was that I had never really had any long term male friends at any time in my life. Something would always end the relationship...usually them moving away. We talked some about my sexual experiences as a boy, but there was really nothing that I can remember that was a new revelation.

During those three and a half years between getting caught by Paula and my eventual arrest, Paula and I slowly rebuilt our marriage. There was still a great deal of non-trust by Paula, but that was deserved. We still slept in the same bed, but there was no intimacy. I hid my actions on the computer much better the second time around, not spending late hours at work, not using the home computer for my chats. But I was still stuck in my sin. Whenever Paula was gone out of town, I'd bring a computer home from work and go back to the chat rooms. Many nights, I would stay on all night long. I would try to quit on my own, but I wasn't able too, I just didn't have the strength or the willpower to give it up. In the back of my mind, I knew I had a lot to lose if I got caught, but I just KNEW I would never get caught. My pridefulness was blinding me in ways I couldn't see myself.

When I look at the lives of other people and the bad habits or addictions that they have, it's easy to think that they should be able to simply walk away. The cost will be too great. The family is suffering, or the job is at risk. I guess until you've been there, that's an easy assumption to make. But I've come to understand that Satan can blind any of us...he certainly blinded me for many years. I simply couldn't see what it was I was doing. I thought I had it all under control. But the reality is, my life was quickly spinning out of control...accelerating each day. That is, until they day they showed up in my office.

1 comment:

Deb said...

You've described the total blindness of shame and addiction perfectly here. To risk all that you'd worked so hard for, even after getting a taste of what losing it would feel like, so that you could fill that black hole. . . .

Keep going. You're not alone. Your story matters now and will eventually help others heal.

I love you.