I feel that I should post more details about what has been going on this week than what I already posted in my introduction post on the 7th. This is going to be a long post, so I want to say thank you in advance to anyone who will read through it all.
As most of you know, my posts have mostly been about how good I was doing, that I didn't really struggle, that I was making great progress. That was untrue, and I have to admit that to myself and to you. I lied to myself about what was acceptable or unacceptable. I lied to myself with justifications that I have no way of spinning into anything other than what it is. It was not fully conscious, but I lied to my girlfriend, my therapist, and all of you and I am sorry. I can say truthfully that I was not consciously lying like I was before I admitted this problem, but I was aware that I was lying on some level and the fact that I didn't identify that my justifications were completely harmful and were actually me lying to myself is completely unacceptable.
I think I have mentioned that in my job, there are times when I am potentially exposed to pornography. Sometimes (rarely, I admit) I will need to visit a site that turns out to be an adult site. I wouldn't have to be on the site for more time than it takes to determine whether it has an active site, literally just a second or two. In these cases I did click out of any adult sites right away. However, being exposed to sites like that obviously was a trigger. Another aspect of my job is that I sometimes need to find contact information for people, which can involve doing an internet search for them. When I was actively seeking out pornography, one common behavior was to do an image search on search engines and find porn sites that way. At my job, I started to click on "images" when I was searching for contact information. I told myself that I was trying to learn more about the person I was contacting, to better perform my job. I still did not identify that this was extremely "slippery" behavior, or could even be called acting out. In time, I started spending more time "researching" image search results, especially when the person I was looking for contact information was female. Many times at the bottom of the search results there would be pornographic images that I would look through. I still told myself that this was work related (most obvious lie ever...) and that I was just looking quickly at the small images on the search engine for a few seconds rather than visiting the sites the images came from.
Obviously what I was doing was in no way related to work. It was me continuing to act out, plain and simple. I let myself believe that there was a gray area here was it was so clearly black and white. I was no longer actively going to porn sites, but my actions were motivated by an increased chance to "accidentally" see pornography. A year and a half after admitting that this was a problem, I was still justifying this shit.
What brought this to the forefront was my girlfriend finding questionable videos in my youtube viewing history. I explained that these were links I was sent by people at work. This was still me justifying, but the worst part is what I did right after I got to work that day. Thinking that my girlfriend had the wrong idea about the youtube videos, I thought about what else might cause a "misunderstanding" if she saw it. I thought of the google searches I had done at work. I researched how to erase search history, and did so, then turned history off. It was a frantic and panicked reaction, but I absolutely should have identified that as a bad thing and settled down and thought things through with clarity. I previously had not deleted anything on any computer, phone, or other device for almost a year, and I used that to show my girlfriend that I was trustworthy. This is something I've pointed out many many times to her as showing that I could be trustworthy, and even that morning I had made it a point to tell her I haven't deleted any history at all on anything to prove that she can trust me. Then less than an hour later, I did exactly what I told her I wouldn't. We have had countless talks about how if I were to do anything questionable, I should come to her with honesty and that we could work through it. That would have been the right thing to do here, but instead I deleted my history and in doing so I betrayed my word and my trust with the person I love most in the world. Almost immediately after I deleted history and turned off the history feature, I realized what I was doing and turned it back on, but by then it was too late to undo what I had done. I had done something that was wholly deceitful. After wanting so badly to build back trust in my relationship, I undid everything with two clicks of a mouse.
This has all been a huge, huge blow to me. I feel like my world is turned upside down even though I already knew deep down that what I was doing was horrifically wrong. I've destroyed trust yet again, not because I had acted out but because I was deceitful in the face of everything being laid out black and white. My girlfriend is no longer my girlfriend. She says that this time the trust cannot be repaired and she will never be able to trust me again. I want to be with her, I love her, I want so badly for her to be able to trust me again but there has been a year and a half of her giving me one chance after another. Though I told her what I had done when she asked, the only thing that matters is that I broke that trust in the first place.
I talked about all this at a meeting last night. A man I have talked to many times told me that he would be my temporary sponsor and help me start working through the 12 steps. We are planning on meeting later today. I am going to see my therapist today as well, in about an hour. I am entertaining that there definitely may be other issues I have than sexual addiction. I'm in disbelief at myself yet again, after being here so many f***ing times. I am scared as hell of myself. I have had many thoughts of hurting myself, although I know I would never commit suicide because I know there are still people who care about me and don't want to hurt them, and I don't want to hurt God.
I am sorry for not being honest with all of you and with everyone I care about and with myself. I need this to stop, I don't believe this is just who I am, nor is it who God would have me be. I need to stop hurting people. I have lost so f***ing much because of all of this. My life could have been perfect. I want to believe it still can but I can't stop thinking of what I've lost. I feel more guilt than I can say. The acting out was one thing, but choosing to delete my history is another thing all together...
I am trying to move forward but feel lost. I have felt so strongly that I want to get rid of this in my life but I still made the choice to lie and perpetuate so much harmful and hurtful behavior.
Thank you for reading and being here.
Sobriety Date: October 25, 2011
"Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it."