Don’t Follow In My Footsteps

To my daughters when someday they read this, to other women in relationships with sex addicts or abusers, don’t follow in my footsteps. Be wiser than I have been. Don’t let your love for another be more important than your love for yourself. I told myself over and over I wouldn’t walk away from a cancer patient who chose to not get treatment, so it stood to reason I wouldn’t walk away from someone with the disease of addiction. In a way it still makes sense to me, but, in the case of addiction, the disease kills more than just the one who has it.

To anyone who sees this, pornography/sex addiction are serious and growing issues. This isn’t about religious morality or anything like that. This is about the minds of people who are fathers, husbands, wives, mothers, sons, daughters, being damaged, warped and twisted in ways that are not imaginable to most of us. Porn/Sex addiction is so much easier to hide than a substance or gambling or even food addiction. But that doesn’t make it less real or damaging.If those affected by this addiction continue to remain silent because of the shame surrounding the nature of this addiction, nothing will ever change. We are so desensitized to sexualized images, and nudity, and technology has made EVERYTHING available at the click of button, and literally anywhere, at any time, that if we don’t start speaking, this addiction will grow exponentially in future generations.

To Caleb’s friends and family to whom I have reached out at various points over the years in a desperate attempt to have a “united front” of people doing whatever it took to help him, help himself, especially Barb, Julie and Mike, who instead chose to enable him, help hide his affairs, get him high and drunk, or just turn a blind eye and hate me, while ultimately there is only 1 person responsible for taking the steps to get into recovery, each of you have done him a great disservice. Should something more horrible than what has already happened to him, happen, or should other women be hurt, (and no addict gets better without help) you are all culpable. It was easier for you to help him stay sick and small than to face your own fears. Maybe if just one of you would have helped me support and encourage him, things wouldn’t have gotten as bad as they did. Maybe he’d be healthy now instead of denying that he’s a sex addict. Maybe our marriage wouldn’t have ended.

And to Caleb, I hope that someday you get the help you need.There were never enough words to express the depth of my love for you. And it is who I still believe you to be, underneath the addiction, I still love. I know you believe some of my actions of the past were taken with the intention of hurting you, but it was never that. The shear, utter desperation to reach you when you got to the point where you stopped trying to get help, led me to do anything I had to, even if it made you hate me. Raising the bottom is a real thing, and there were times I had to put my sanity, safety, and well-being first. Those moments were few and far between. I know to you it doesn’t count when I apologize for the things I did wrong if I don’t list them in detail, but every single day I play scenarios over in my head from our past wondering “if only” I had done this not that, maybe you’d have chosen health, and it rips my heart wide open, over and over again. I loved you in spite of your flaws, and hoped to have the same in return.

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