Tuesday, October 10, 2006

joe's story - part two

joe's story - part one

joe's part two:
I never really had a problem with porn per se such as magazines or movies. For me it was more a mental/imaginative thing as well as oral/sounds. I pretty much kept things under wraps all through Bible College, had a few dates but again didnt know how to have a regular relationship with normal romantic approaches. A counselor i began seeing said he thought my biggest fear was of women and being rejected by them.

The *bait* of fantasy is that you NEVER have to be rejected cuz you CONTROL the entire scenario. Shortly after graduating Bible College I saw an ad in the back of the paper for massage. It was outcall. I called and made the appt. The girl arrived and proceeded to give me a massage with oil i had NEVER been touched that way by a female and it made my insides as well as my brain feel like the 4th of july. I wanted more of that feeling, just like a drug high. I soon called an escort service as well as began to go to massage parlors, all so i could re-experience that sensation of being *touched* by a female.

Most of the times with escorts i ended up having them leave with not doing too much, my guilt overcame the pleasure rush i had wanted to have. To show my naivete i even said to one escort *guess i can't call you to just see you and go out again can I???* I was seeking something physically that could only be experienced spiritually, that genuine intimacy and love only God can provide. I think I do fit the definition in a small way of being psychotic because i DID try and repeat the same thing over and over seeking a different result.

I made a decision to go to seminary, far away from where i lived, hoping for a fresh start. Things went very well and i really enjoyed it. I began to go on interviews to be a youth minister and was hired by a small church. I would go down on friday and spend the weekend coming back to seminary on monday. I really liked the congregation and the sr minister as well as the kids in the youth group. I ran into a problem of feeling in over my head though and let my insecurities over feeling inadequate and stuff to rampage thru my mind.

As i sat in my room on a saturday waiting for sunday to come, I called a phone sex line in california i had called while living there. Before i knew it several hours had gone by and I had made a LOT of calls to that line!!!! This was also on a night before i was to preach the next day.

In a few weeks I was told by the sr minister they had recieved the phone bill and checked out the number. i was asked to resign. I had been there a lil over 2 months. The dean of the seminary had me meet before a group of faculty and i was given probation as well as told to enter counseling, he said that such an occurrence was death to anyone seeking to be in ministry. I entered counseling, really had a hard time still uncovering the emotional core behind my addiction/compulsion.

I later that summer recieved a chance to work as a counselor at a group home for abused kids. I worked all through the summer, it was a intensive job emotionally, had to restrain kids all the time, as well as deal with their struggles and pain emotionally/relationally. Once again as a means to escape my stress and feelings of inadequacy, i called that same phone sex line in california. They recieved the bill and i was fired. One thing that struck me odd though was when the group homes director fired me, he asked if i was planning to hurt myself, intimating suicide, i said no... and he just left not saying anything else. I soon dropped out of seminary and moved back to california feeling like i had totally disgraced my church home, the seminary my family not to mention God!!!!

More to follow soon, One thing i want to add, my guilt and shame were even more deepened because in Bible College i had roomed with an atheist, and he had told my head resident, who was doing his masters thesis on atheism. that i was the best example of a christian that he had seen. This is what eats at me even now still as i share my story.... how could I commit such sin having been a christian for so long and a very committed one let alone one seeking to be a minister???? Thank you bobbie for letting me share. Thank you all for reading and any comments/thoughts/wisdom you might have.


aBhantiarna Solas said...

This story makes me so very sad. I simply fail to see the difference between what Joe did and what those of us do who overeat or let greed rule our lives? Why is there such a double standard? This is not to say that there is no sin, but that it's all equal ... that we don't fire pastors for gluttony or greed or closet gambling. Joe, you have not let God down ... not anymore than any of the rest of us have. You are a wonderful creation ... made in His image and loved by Him. Your filthy rags have been removed and replaced with glistening white robes in His sight. Abba Father, I pray that Joe will know your love as a child knows a father. That you will send a father into his life and that he will feel Your presence each and every day. That You will fill him up and his cup will run over with goodness all the days that You have ordained for him. Abba Father, Christ Redeemer and Spirit Counselor, we ask that you surround Joe; keep the loneliness without and community within. Amen.

Diego said...

nice post and comment....thanks....

Trudging said...

Powerful post!

neritia said...

Hi Joe! Your post is powerful and I cannot wait for the rest to follow!
Addiction is addiction. Nothing more and nothing less. Yes, some might say that addiction to movies are not as bad as sexual or substance addiction...but the root is still the same. we all have an addiction - for anything you cannot imagine living or going without is just that - an addiction.
The shame and guilt is what kills on slowly. It's death....no matter how we look at it. The sad part for me is how it keeps us from intimacy with God. It's the one thing that really creeps up on you and steals the purity of knowing Him.
I commend you Joe - for sharing you truth, your struggle and for giving voice to something we all tend to want to hide.
Can you imagine the healing that would happen if pastors were prepared to share their own brokenness and addictions from the pulpits of the world. Can you imagine the hope of a healing path they are able to testify of and are able to live out daily. It would bring a healing forth that are greater than my broken mind could ever imagine!
You are loved by the Triune!