At a very young age, I felt alienated from my parents. I couldn’t express my emotions. I masked my emotional longings with weird sexual fantasies of torture. In my teens, I was obsessed by looking at girls and then fantasizing, masturbation, exposing myself, looking into windows to see if I could get a glimpse of something sexual. Even when I became a Christian, I could only stop masturbating for a year. I used to look through friend’s shelves for erotic material, raid fellow lodger’s rooms for underwear, and look at worse and worse forms of pornography online. I tried to groom a 15 year old I lived with. I tried to give up again and again, and couldn’t. In the end I just felt appalling. I went to see my pastor who was very sympathetic. We met once a month for a year and I was free of pornography. But I couldn’t keep to the sexual boundaries I set with my girlfriend, and I realized something was wrong. I went to my first SA meeting.
Since then I haven’t masturbated or had sex (4.5 years ago). I no longer waste hours on pornography. I have started to make amends for what I’ve done, saying sorry and praying for people. I struggle to renounce the right to lust after women in my heart, but at least I have a strong idea of what I’ve done wrong, and want to change. I’ve uncovered other addictions (food, work) that I used to mask my feelings, until finally I feel I’m much truer to my emotions, even if they are hard to deal with.
The 12 steps have really helped. I feel more able to handle life, rather than letting life dictate to me. With the help of counselling and my faith, I’m looking slowly at all my emotional issues and able to find some freedom. I now have a much clearer, more loving view of God and Jesus, my higher power. I have many tools which help me stop lusting and deal with life better. I’ve discovered a group of people in SA who I can be genuine with, some of whom have become good friends. It has brought some joy to my life.