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A Cry for Help
From a Cheder Rebbe
Taken from Our Forum by niceguy
I grew up completely non-religious. i was exposed to pornograghy by, believe it or not, my parents. they had piles of mags and i found them one day when they were out.i don't remember how old i was maybe 10 . but i memorized those things . the masturbation began as soon as i could get it going and went full speed through my teens. i did it any time i could anywhere i could.i went to israel and became frum but this was the only real thing i could never kick .once i was frum i began to feel guilt and regret for doing it but i couldn't stop in any real way .i controlled so many things, kicked so many habits,i gave up so much and it was hard but i did it. i thought i could do this too .I cried and dovened and vowed and swore and continued masturbating.that started at 18. i'm now 34, i have 6 children, a good wife, a job teaching in a cheder in israel and i can't stop masturbating. i think it has gotten better as far as frequency but it never stopped .not for more than a few weeks at a time. i didnt have access to porn for a long time b/c i was in yeshiva and i was mortified to be seen getting it but that didnt stop me. i drew my own.i would sit for hours at night ,in bathrooms sketching porn scenes for myself. . i think now it was a way of fooling myself that i'm not so bad b/c i'm not making a chillul H' by buying it .but it was just as bad .maybe worse.i put so much time into getting what i wanted w/out embarrassing myself or hurting my image.it was vital that noone should know.i would destroy what i drew almost after every time so noone could find it . i'd rip it up and flush it .almost everytime promising never again.that went on for 18 yrs.i finally "grew up"&got the guts to buy porn in the store. i "disguised" myself so no one would recognise me . i died every time. threw out what ever i bought the same day .it was getting expensive and i couldnt continue. then came the computer .its been a battle ever since.you see i've always known the problem isnt the computer it just makes getting my fantasies so much cheaper and easier.thats why stopping my access isnt enough b/c i'll just find something else.i've never said these details to anyone before. only Hashem knows it all.i'm writing b/c i want to know where i stand in relation to the rest of you. am i crazy ?am i better ?worse?the same?whats bothering me is how much effort i put in to satisfying my fanasies.the obsession i had to see the porn.how hard i would work for it just to throw it away.where do i stand ?is there anyone of you who relates to the kind of all encompassing singleminded obsession for that fantasy scene movie clip etc.?i lied . i cheated my bosses,rebbes,wife of work,time,myself.i invaded privacy at my liesure. i respected only my obsession in private. noone but myself.if somebody relates to this and can name it and especially if they got out of it please let me know.
Answer on the forum from Elya, the moderator of the Jewish Healing Group:
Hi, nice guy. Thanks for sharing. It takes a lot of guts to expose yourself like that, but it's actually the first step to getting better. I relate to everything you've said. I've been addicted all my life and it got MUCH worse since he Internet about 9 years ago. Since then, I have been sober for at least 3 years, slipping occasionally.
This is not going to go away by itself. It will never go away. You have an addiction which is a disease and you must treat it as such. It gets progressively worse so its best to stop it now, before you end up doing worse things with live people or even illegal things and end up in prison. I'm just giving you the facts and experiences of people I know with this illness. Eventually the magazines will not be enough and the internet won't be enough, you'll have to have more and more excitement.
The Guard Ur Eyes site has everything you need to educate yourself. Awareness is the first step to recovery.
This is a spiritual disease of intimacy.. Once I stopped, my relationship with my wife improved 100 fold. This is not
about sex. You're just masturbating to cover up and ease the hurt and low self esteem you feel inside. Am I right or wrong? Once you stop you begin to explore the root of what is causing this. Most of the time there is childhood trauma involved. Finding your parents are looking at this stuff is not exactly normal at 10 years old.
And you've been keeping it a secret from them and your wife for 24 years. Lots of secrets, hiding, lying doesn't make for a very calm life, does it?
The Guard Ur Eyes moderator also lives in Israel. Get in touch with him and meet with him. He has years of sobriety and can help you. He can tell you if there are groups in Israel. I know there are counselors in Israel that specialize in sex addiction. Find one today. Put a block on your computer, today, if you're really serious about stopping. This will help tremendously. Pray to Hashem to help you stop but ALSO thank HIM for all the goodness he has given you. Children, wife, life itself, no matter how miserable , you're still alive. Ask yourself before you want to masturbate, "Who Am I?" How Will I feel after I do this? What are the consequences of my actions?
Start here and let me know how you've doing each day. You can email me privately also.
Moderator of the Jewish Healing Group. A conference call style 12 step group with a certified counselor that meets once a week on the phone for healing and recovery. http://guardureyes.com/GUE/hotline.asp
Answer from the webmaster:
Hi. I am the webmaster of guardureyes. Before I say anything, I want to thank Elya K for his great answer and say that he is right on target.
Unfortunately, I do not meet with people in person to preserve my anonymity, but you can write me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For religious therapists in Israel that are trained in addictions, see this page. (Scroll down to the bottom for the Israeli therapists).
For group therapy in Jerusalem, SLAA can be reached at 02-676-9583. Rabbi Avraham J Twerski, expert in addictions, holds highly of such groups - even for religious people.
The first thing you need to know is that the phenomenon you are dealing with is not because you have huge desires and can't seem to be able to deal with them. Rather, you are simply dealing with a strong "addiction". It is important to understand this because, as an addiction, it can be dealt with in many tried and proven ways and methods. Your story parallels so many people's stories as you can see on the story section of our site (you might even find your own story there :-).
There are two prerequisites to being helped.
1) You must truly believe you can be helped (reading the recovery stories on our site can help you with this)
2) You must truly want to be helped. (The fact you posted your struggles here means you are on the way).
For starters, I want you to do just one thing for me. I want you to read carefully through the feature story on our site. It's a bit long, but I think it's vital here - especially for you. After you have done that, write back on the forum (preferably) or write me by e-mail, and tell me your thoughts. Then we'll see how we can work with you further.
Haba Le'taher, Mesayin Lo. Be ready to give your addiction and disease over to the care of G-d. Be ready to trust G-d that he will care for you as you heal! (See this page for more on getting started).