Here we are at the final installment for this series of postings. It has been, for me, an arduous task of writing about very difficult topics. My plate of spaghetti has many other strands that I have to chew through in my healing process, but after today we can sop up the sauce of this topic, as I have forgiven and moved on.
Finally, I imploded and pursued illegal pornography.
It may be hard to believe but for me, my case is a blessing.
There is joy in the tribulation.
How can I say that when I’ve left my wife to deal with life all alone? It opened the door for me to get the help I needed, still need. I do not recommend my path as the path to healing but if it hadn’t happened I’m sure I’d be dead today due to suicide. Sounds dramatic but it’s true. And sad.
Help for me came from a talented and competent psychologist well trained in sexual recovery as well as addiction. I have to admit that admitting I was an addict and hearing the diagnoses of PTSD, Delusional Disorder, and Dissociative Disorder was scary because it also meant out of control psychologically. Yet once I knew what was wrong I could face it head on and use my intellect in a healthy, productive way. The thing I valued most had a different purpose: uncover and heal verses cover up and hurt. Another blessing!
Where am I today?
I’m proud to say I’m a rehabilitated addict. I’ll always be an addict – that’s the nature of the beast, the monkey, yet it’s under control for the first time in over 45 years. You might say, “of course it is, you’re in prison,” but I assure you that pornography is readily available and cheap. I see today the horror in addiction and use and in fact its very existence. I read of younger and younger (children!) people viewing it on the internet and so developing ill-defined views/beliefs/perspectives on human sexuality and intimacy. It is a scourge.
As for addressing the hurts of my childhood, I feel I’ve done pretty much what I can. There are no answers for all the ‘why’ questions. The relative that abused me is gone yet I still love and miss them – I hold no ill feelings. I do however have a new understanding of their role in my life. Now I know them to be someone as broken as me, suffering their own hurts, who acted inappropriately and in so doing aiding, driving, my ill developed views and beliefs around human sexuality and intimacy.
My childhood was far from normal and holistically healthy in many measures. That is not to say there weren’t times of true childhood though. I had loving parents, siblings, fights, resentments, laughs, and healthy love. Separating the good from the bad has not been easy but I believe I finally have.
The PTSD, its associated depression, the hallucinations and much of the work to overcome and/or manage their effects.
What help is available in prison?
Honestly, very little at my location and other non-medical locations. Unless you’re horribly non-functioning and/or a danger to yourself and/or others you won’t get the help you really need.
They work to keep you stable, not heal.
I’m blessed that the psychologist, Julie, I worked with outside is still working with me by letter while I’m here. She is as committed to my full recovery as I am. The challenge is in the trying to do this kind of work through writings with weeks between responses. But I write.
I want out of the mental illness prison. I do understand though that much of it is about management and understanding. Recovery may mean I think differently and manage the left over.
I began my first medication in July of 2014. It is a mood stabilizer to help with the suicidal thoughts and has helped some. I also began my first medication for the hallucinations in August of this year, 2016. I had to go off due to the side effects. I began a second medication but it’s too early to judge effectiveness or side effects. More to come.
I wonder what life without all the people, voices and noises will be like. I wonder if I’ll feel more human or lost without them. I do know they are all unhealthy coping mechanisms and I, like a child, have to learn appropriate and healthy coping mechanisms.
Can you teach a 53 year old dog new tricks?
I’m committed but I wonder, am I capable?
Time will tell.