Sunday, October 08, 2006

giving voice to shared struggle - joe #1

in my recent flurry of posting i have made aquaintence with some new readers of my blog. one of the best parts about telling your story is having it resonate with others- especially others who have felt isolated by their own struggle. the reason that i write about such a difficult topic is that i hope that somewhere, sometime someone will be able to read my story and say 'i am not alone'.

today i awoke to an email from one such person. he spoke of his desire to share his story, but because of his situation felt unable to bare his soul in his community. he asked if i would be willing to give voice to his story here on my blog. i happily agreed. this is the first of as many posts as he needs to get his story out. his name has been changed to protect his anonymity, you can call him joe.
I am a 45 year old man, ordained minister, Bible college graduate and seminary student. I have had a long running struggle with sexual addiction. My father died when i was 8 and i think i filled an emotional void by turning to sexual fantasy and self-gratification as a means to mask or avoid emotional pain, even at a young age. I had a few experiences where i was sexually abused by older kids in my neighborhood, basically by them making me masturbate them, i still consider it abuse. I went through a difficult time in jr. high, severe acne left me physically unattractive to girls and an object of ridicule and rejection so i turned even more to fantasy and self-gratification to experience a feeling of sexual pleasure and escape pain. I think this caused an emotional disconnect between my head and heart as i grew older and outgrew the acne actual interaction with girls in any romantic sense was too risky and i stayed focused on fantasy. I became a christian at 16 and pretty much repressed and bottled up any notions of dating or romance. As i went on to jr. college and Bible college i still was avoiding any close relationships with girls afraid of being rejected. I just wanted to lay groundwork for the underlying factors which affected my struggle.

Bobbie has been very gracious in allowing me to share myself via her blog. Some may know me who read this and I hope you appreciate my seeking to be incognito in regards to this subject matter. i will share more as bobbie allows. I find bobbie's writing to be a tremendous inspiration and blessing used by God!!!! Her courage is my chief reason for sharing my own story on here via her blog. may God use it to help heal and give hope to any with similar struggles.

thanks joe! if you have any comments or questions for joe you can leave them here or email me and i'll pass them on to him.

off to the beach today to enjoy one last day of warmth and sunshine (just in case we don't get anymore!) :) happy thanksgiving all!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Today, I am thankful for safe spaces.
Happy Thanksgiving, Bobbie.
Happy Thanksgiving, Joe.