Posted in Addiction, Blog

Stigma, Shame and opening up

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been reading another blog. Obsessively. Voraciously. http://www.dooce.com is amazing. Yes, the language she uses is not the language I choose to use, but I love her insight as well as her openness about her disease. She struggles with depression. Big time. In reading her archives I’m up to Sept 2004, where she has just come out of an in-patient facility and is on massive amounts of drugs. She is right out there with everything, willing to share her personal hell. That humbles me. Depression is one of those diseases that a lot of people just don’t “get”. “get over it”. They will ream you out for taking drugs for it, because shouldn’t the Lord be enough? Cut me a break. It’s a disease, just like diabetes. I don’t see people going without their insulin because the Lord is enough….

Well, this actually isn’t about depression. But it is about a disease. An addiction. One that I have struggled with for literally decades now. I have a sex addiction. Yup. I do.

When I was young, and I do mean YOUNG, I hung out with one girl and a bunch of guys. That’s what there was in my neighborhood. The guys were much more adventurous than the girl, and she was often at ballet. On one (or more) of their adventures, they came back with a stash of pornography that I could probably describe to you 30 some odd years later. This was not soft-core porn with a pretty gal in her altogether lying on some rock. This was hard core porn. And it messed me up for LIFE. It utterly changed my childhood–took all that innocence and threw it quickly away.

As a teenager and into my 20’s I knew I was different, but didn’t know what to do with it. As a Christian, I betrayed all that I knew was right time and again, repenting time and again, and going back to it time and again. Until 1994, when I finally admitted that I was addicted to something I didn’t know you could be addicted to. That moment, which is still very clear in my mind, was the beginning of a New Me, a New Everything. I was able to get counseling, and face so much of what I had previously been hiding. I told some people, who still loved and accepted me. What?! But if I tell people, they should be disgusted!! Nope. They loved and accepted and made it possible for me to continue in my recovery.

Which I still am. 13 years later I still make compensations for this addiction. My husband does, as well. How he got past addicted Tina and fell in love with recovering Tina I’ll never understand. Honestly. He’s an amazing guy and I’m grateful to him for loving me.

So there you have it. My deep, dark secret. Questions? Ask away. I’ll do my best to answer.

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