The Pain of Intimacy

As I write my heart has a knife in it. My lungs buckle under the strain of gasping for breath. Pain spreads over my clouded chest as both Continue reading

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Winds of Change: Workbook Assignment for Chapeter 8

I am currently working my way through Restoring Your Sexuality Back to Biblical Foundations which has assignments at the end of each chapter. This post is in answer to the assignment at the end of chapter 8 which is long overdue. But God knows why I postponed publishing until today. The answer to question 3 is different from the one I wrote originally because I got clarity on an issue which I’ve been trying to come to terms with for a long time.

Feel free to leave a comment at the end of the post.

1. Ask God to show you some of your triggers. Write them down.
Lust, “horniness”, boredom, fatigue, procrastination, stress, anxiety, loneliness, desire for stimulation or to be energised, anger, frustration, sadness, despair, and curiousity. Phrases, keywords, scenarios and question that randomly–sometimes not so randomly–pop into my head.

2. Next write down some of the behaviours that you identified with as you read this chapter.
Selfishness, frustration

3. Ask the Lord to show you the roots to these behaviors. [For e]xample[,] the root to my frustration is that when I was growing up my dad would abuse my mom, I felt helpless and frustrated. . . .
For this we will delve into my childhood.

Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money. My dad worked for the government while my mom stayed at home to look after my sister and I. Before she became a stay at home mom, she worked as a receptionist for a doctor in the area.

I never saw myself as nerdy back then. I liked playing outside with my toys, gardening, and reading. I liked video games too. Now we didn’t have a lot of money during my formative and post-formative years so I pretty much appreciated my toys. My (“wealthier”) cousins did not. Whenever they played with them one or two would either disappear or be broken. When I used to visit them and play in their rooms, they would always tease me and leave me either crying or having to defend myself against them. I’m not the athletic type, one was athletic and the other practised karate so you can imagine my predicament. The karate kid’s sister also joined in the fun when I visited their house.

It got so bad that I just decided that I didn’t need them in my life anymore. They were from my mom’s side. There was one cousin from my dad’s side who also used to fight with me but him I could handle.

I didn’t like my mother back then because she never defended me. What mother calls the children who make sport of her son her son or daughter then proceeds to kiss and hug them? How is her real son supposed to feel? My mom’s family is big so you can imagine how often I used to hear that! When I entered the 3rd grade, I began questioning whether I was good enough to be her son. It angered me.

My dad was distant. I helped him around the yard and stuff in my pre-pubescent days and adolescence but their was a rift. My mom wanted to shield me so much that many a time when my dad needed my help in the yard she would interfere and make me stay inside. Looking back now I think she tried to make up for the abuse I suffered at the hands of my cousins. I had cut them off and immersed myself in a world of hot babes, hot sex, and rock hard masturbation sessions by that time. After being introduced to them in the 4th grade, I escaped to my paradise of lust whenever I could get a chance.

But this entry is not about my adventures in the world of pornography, it’s about explaining the origins of my triggers. I actually forgot about her role in my ill-treatment until she reminded me this afternoon.

Anyway, I experienced the unfairness of life at a very young age. And although I suffered no sexual abuse, I felt rejected by parents, as if I wasn’t good enough to be their son, that other kids had something I didn’t have.

My mom decided to stay home and raise my sister and I after seeing me stand outside my nanny’s house one afternoon when they came to pick us up. The other children had teased me. It wasn’t the first time they did that. But it was certainly the last. So my mom stayed at home for the next four or five years at which point she relaunched her career as a receptionist. My cousins still teased me and later excluded me though while she still called them her children.

The reason why my mom did not defend me was because there was a whole backdrop of family politics that I was unaware of. My dad put things into perspective for me this afternoon while we sat in my aunt’s kitchen. She and my mom reminisced about the ill-treatment they suffered at the hands of certain family members because they were not as economically strong as the others. I’m not going to go into all of that.

I know that I make it seem as if I was a victim and I am to a certain degree, but I also had a role to play in all of this which escapes me.

So the events I just described are the source of my need for intimacy, the desire to be myself with others not having to put on a mask, anger at the injustices of life, frustration with my inability to change things and loneliness. The fatigue originated from over-masturbating and over-reading. I’m a curious person by nature but my curiousity was perverted by my interest in pornography and masturbation. My boredom was simply a combination of desiring a neurochemical hit from porn or masturbation and procrastination.

My parents also raised me not to trust people not even church pastors. So when I was ready to seek help in my teens for my addictions, there was no one I could really turn to. This fed my loneliness and perfectionism.

You see, one of my main reasons for falling into the porn trap was the idea that I needed to be prepared with sexual knowledge before I get married. I thought that I needed to know where and how to touch my wife to satisfy her sexually, to have an arsenal of sexual positions ready for her pleasure and mine, to know what pleases me. I bought into the lie that my penis had to be longer to reach her g-spot so that she would not seek out another man or, God forbid, an animal. I bought into the lie that you needed to experience sex mentally, physically or both prior to marriage to gain experience and be an awesome lover.

But, I learned that it just ruins your life, your love, and your spirituality. Sex and sexual health topics becomes your god and you look out for no one but yourself. Your lover becomes a tool to satisfy your (dare I say, perverted?) desires which cheapens any bond that might’ve existed between the two of you. And even though I have never been romantically involved with anyone before, I have seen the above scenario play out many times in my family to know that that is not the way God wants us to live.

Winds of Change: Day 96

After reading my post, Frank (my accountability partner) contacted me. From the post he saw that I had control issues. I was trying to control my future, whom I’ll marry and how I’ll raise my children. He said that there’s no guarantee that I will have boys and that it’s no big deal if the girl I fancy breaks up with me and tells the whole world my past. We’ve all made mistakes and many people deal with the same issues I’m dealing with now. If she does this, her character is revealed showing that I’m better off without her. He asked me to relinquish control to God and allow Him to break down this stronghold which I did.

Now as I reflect on what he said and on my life, a few things are apparent. The reason why I lay so much emphasis on bonding with my sons (if God blesses me with some) is because I only became close to my dad during my senior year in high school. My dad currently works in another town about 800 km away because he can’t find work here where we live. His age counts against him. So I only see him over long weekends and whenever he can take off from work.

If I am blessed with daughters, I know that I will bond well with them as girls generally they are their daddies’ little princesses. Bonding with my sons is important to me because the depth of the bond I want to have with them is not what I have with my dad.

In January 2014 I will go on my first–hopefully not my last–solo retreat. Frank’s message just brought me back to its original purpose: to unplug and spend time with God. That’s why I chose a relatively remote location, in nature where I can roam around naked freely without fear of being seen or stumbled upon; thus not controverting the law. The nudity is just a measure for how far removed from civilisation the place is.

The main purpose of the solo retreat was to unplug and to listen for God. I lost sight of that. The schedule I worked out was so full of Bible study or sermon watching because I had to be busy. If I’m not busy, I will get bored and I don’t want to be bored. I forgot that my soul yearns for not being busy, for drinking in nature and for communing with Christ in the stillness of the moment. It’s like waiting to a drop of water slide off a leaf to plop onto the pond below. So, I relinquished control.

I guess that after the amazing weekend I had, the dissatisfaction I’m experiencing is only normal.

I don’t know what else to say; I’ve got a lot to process. My mind is so tired . . . . Such is life!

Winds of Change: Day 95

Tired

Right now I am tired! I’m tired of frequently checking my e-mail accounts for messages from friends and Yahoo! Answers alerts. I’m tired of checking Yahoo! Answers for interesting questions. I’m tired of searching for pictures of things I want to do. I’m tired of searching for pictures of places I’d like to go to. I’m tired of trying to read other people’s minds. I’m tired of being tired.

Another look at the reluctant leader

Today I realised that the reason why I’m so reluctant to lead is because I’m afraid that I will hurt people. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a people pleaser and a conformist. So, being in a leadership position where I have make unpopular decisions from time to time is difficult for me. In addition to this is the expectation that leaders shouldn’t apologise much. I apologise when I’ve wronged someone whether or not it’s popular to do so.

Family Ties

My thoughts today have largely been centred on how I will bond with my children, when I have them one day. And my experience has been that nudity plays an important role in the bonding process. So, I basically revisited the question with a strong emphasis on adolescence, father-daughter and father-son bonding as well as the role of nudity.

Nudity, I realised as I had done before, is only a part of the equation. There are other factors that have to be taken into account and practised daily for the bond to be strong.

I look forward to the day when I become a dad. The day I really look forward to though is when my son(s) and I make box cars or build something else together. That’ll be awesome.

However, I have to get over the first hurdle. No it’s not getting a girlfriend or mustering the courage to ask her hand in marriage. It’s putting everything on the line by telling her everything about my sexual history. Will she accept me? Will she still love me the same? If she chooses to end the relationship, will she keep those things to herself?

I long to be the father of a close-knit family. That would be wonderful.

Winds of Change: Days 83-84

This post contains mature subject matter. NPU 18.

Day 84

Itches and Urges

My day started with a battle as I fought the pleasurable sensations and the urge to masturbate that came from cupping my balls for comfort. The battle was fierce as I fought flashbacks of how I relieved the pressure in the past and the realisation that a mere pulling would have the same effect. I resorted to prayer and was careful not to make matters worse.

But, the battle continued this morning as I made my way to work. This time the battle was not about masturbating; it was about possible places my (future) wife and I could go for our honeymoon and what we would do there. These were places that were so remote that we would be free to roam around nude without fear of breaking the law. These were places where the only mark of civilisation was the cottage we would rent. These were places that were close to a body of water in which we would be able to cool down in. These were places I would like to go to for a solo retreat where it’s only God, nature and me. And by going to such places for our honeymoon, I would symbolically be inviting my bride into that communion.

Solo Weekend Getaway

But, the excitement of my solo weekend getaway (as I call it), which will be happening in January 2014, has been getting the better of me. By that I mean I was planning when I would be naked, for how long, what I would be doing during that time, what safety precautions I would take, what food I would make, how I would commune with God, if I would listen to music or watch a series of sermons on DVD, etc. It got so bad that I repeatedly visualised how I would do these things to make sure I didn’t miss a detail. My thoughts also dwelled on what if others see me, how do I handle that situation?

This desire to “just get away from it all” has been fuelling my internet searches for a long time. More often than not when I perform a Google (and now Flickr) image search (again) I look for things I would like to do or places I would like to go to. So, I would really like to wade (skinny dip) in the pool at the bottom end of a waterfall. I would also like to take in and observe nature on a virtually untouched (secluded) beach.

Why? Because my soul yearns for the tranquility of nature and meeting my God there. Similarly, my soul yearns for total acceptance by another human being who loves me so deeply, so unconditionally and whom I love in that way too. That is what I meant by

“. . . and if indeed catastrophe should strike
may our nuclei fuse with cataclysmic might!” — Close

I did not mean that my wife and I should lose our individuality after our happy union breaks apart, but that our union grows deeper, stronger, and becomes more devoted to God our Saviour and each other.

Dream casting

So, because my dreams, hopes and fears interfered with my work, I took some time out to write them down. I wrote down every activity I thought of doing on my solo retreat (sounds better than solo weekend getaway). I also made a list of my dreams.

My initial idea was to place my list of dreams in a bottle and throw the bottle into the sea symbolically giving them over to Christ who would work things out for the good of all the people concerned. After doing this I would not resume searching for pictures of waterfalls, hidden beaches, pristine forests, tranquil lakes, outdoor showers and bathrooms, freedom, and whatever tickles my fancy.

Then I got the awesome idea of building a ship out of toothpicks and setting it adrift instead. If I go with the latter, it will take me a long time to build; but the former allows me to do the thing now, today.

However, I’m having trouble letting go. I would like to retain a copy of the list of my dreams for myself . . .

I yearn:

  1. for a close communion with the Lord;
  2. to be my complete, unreserved self with another human being (i.e. wife) who will love me just as I am; and vice versa;
  3. to raise my children in such a way that we have a close relationship in which they can talk to me about anything and everything; and
  4. to live in nature–the more pristine, the better–but not too far removed from civilisation; we’re not designed to be hermits.

Day 83

Yesterday was much the same as today. I spoke to Frank, my accountability partner, who suggested that I leave these desires for intimacy with God and my (future) wife in His hands and in that way stop searching for the scenes from nature.

I had porn flash backs yesterday too. Didn’t realise what they were until today (Day 84).

How God comes through

But, God is faithful. I told Frank that every time I get a flashback, a song of praise or thanksgiving interrupts it as my heart responds by picking up the refrain. When the flashbacks are especially tantalising, I pray and after a while I either sing a hymn or worship song, or my thoughts dwell on some peculiarity of Scripture. Frank was very pleased when I told him this. He said I’m on the right track.

Winds of Change: Days 33 and 34

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the three addictions that have controlled my life. And lately I’ve been distracted from my work and suffered from mental fatigue. I would’ve liked to convey my thoughts and feelings to you in a poem, but the verse escapes me. So, I decided to draw a picture of how oppressed I felt for the last two to three weeks. The pic will be posted up soon.

So, yeah, I’m just feeling a little down tonight.

Connecting with God

After some soul searching this afternoon (which always involves prayer), I realised that ever since I was a teenager and especially when I began fighting this battle in the 10th grade, I wanted to connect with God in nature. The only way I saw this happening is if I went off to a remote location renting a chalet or cottage or house somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

But, I had no tangible measure of such remoteness. That is, until I discovered that there is nothing sinful about being naked. God created us naked. But, as in all things He requires us to exercise moderation, temperance, self-control. And He regards public nudity as a shameful thing and breaching, what I call, the gender barrier. So, now when I look for remote locations, I always ask myself “Can I freely roam around naked outside?” If I can’t I don’t won’t plan on going there for a solo retreat to spend time with God.

The moments I spent by the window at night are sort of a promise that one day I will go away to a remote location on my own so that I can spend quality time with God. Of course, I don’t have to go away to spend quality time with my God, but I want to commune with Him in a natural setting as I dreamed about since my childhood.

I would be lying to you if I didn’t admit that I planned on spending some time naked inside and outside the house, but that’s not the point of the retreat and it won’t be for extended periods of time as I firmly believe in moderation. In so doing I hope to get a glimpse of what it must’ve been like for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Does nudity play a role in your life? If so, what role does it play?

Winds of Change: Day 09

In this post I talk about one of my relationship fears.

While reading chapter 5 entitled “Help! I’m married to a sexually abused spouse” I realised that the chapter deals with one of my worst relationship fears.

(There are many different ways in which I can begin this discourse so I’m just going to randomly pick one and take it from there.) My mom’s late brother, to whom she was the closest to, married a bitter, spiteful, resentful woman. Of course she didn’t appear that way to them at the beginning, but time revealed her character. My family always speaks of how she lied to them when they called to speak to their brother saying that he wasn’t in, or that he was sleeping. They didn’t have the freedom of visiting him when they wanted to. My aunt always shamed him in public emasculating him and what not. He drowned his sorrows with food and she even wanted to take that way from him by forcing him to go on diets and stuff. He was soft-hearted and was a respected member of the community. People looked up to him. I can go on and on and on but you get the picture.

Now my fear is marrying such a woman. A woman who wants to control me. I also fear marrying someone who undergoes a personality change once we’re married. That is my worst nightmare because I’ll be in prison.

Marriage, I believe, is a life-long commitment. The vows “for better or for worse, till death do us part” mean something. And being married to a woman from hell definitely falls under the “for worse” part.

If you read Winds of Change: Damaged Goods [a link will be added here], you will know that I fear rejection. That’s why I decided long ago that if a future girlfriend and I were to break up, the break up is final–no matter how much I might love her. If she breaks up with me, she shouldn’t expect me to pursue her any further. I’ll be done with her and the relationship. The same thing goes for when I’m married and my wife has an affair. I will divorce her and fight for custody of my children even if we have to prove her an unfit mother. I wouldn’t her to influence my children negatively in that area of my life.

So, yeah I’m afraid of marrying a spiteful, bitter, resentful woman or of my wife becoming like that. A woman who draws back from my affectionate touch, who verbally abuses me, who doesn’t want to be intimate with me, not necessarily sexual, and who hates me for no reason even though I move heaven and earth to please her and to minister to her needs.

To be honest I don’t care for sex that much or let me rather put it this way. I don’t care for orgasms and ejaculations. In fact, if we can live without them I would be happy. But, I would still like to have sexual intercourse with my wife because it is the highest form of intimacy husband and wife can experience. I’m also of the persuasion that the let down people report to experience after having orgasmic sex adds to the discontent in many marriages today. So, I know that I wouldn’t want to orgasm that much. But to just be with my wife would be enough for me.

It serves as a birth control method as well. Because I don’t want to go for a vasectomy. Whether she wants her tubes tied or a hysterectomy is her decision. I will support her. Since we are on the topic of contraception, I am an advocate of diaphragms and condoms as well as of male continence (the only good thing to come out of the Oneida community, in my opinion, and which I alluded to above).

The chapter that I read made me realise that this spiteful, bitter, resentful woman that I fear is actually a victim of sexual abuse who has not dealt with her abuse. As her husband I would help her through it even giving up the intimacy I yearn for. But, she would have to seek resolution of her issues too just as I am seeking resolution of mine. To a certain extent we are all damaged goods. The only difference is the degree of damage we incurred.

Forgoing the intimacy with the one I love that I need in order to help her is something that is very tough to swallow. If it’s tough for someone who has only imagined what that kind of intimacy is like, the blending of souls, how much worse is it not for men like my uncle?

I would like to end with this:

“The key to unlock a woman’s body is her emotions and the key to unlock a man’s emotions is through his body.”

I don’t know how true that statement is since I don’t have any experience in that area. But it certainly seems logical and true.

What has your experience been? Do you think the statement is true? Why or why not?

Winds of Change: Damaged Goods

In this post I am very explicit as I bare my soul. The post deals with sexual damage so I will be adding to the sexual imprinting list as found in Winds of Change: Day 06. You are advised not to read this post if you don’t want to know this side of me which I am VERY ashamed of, by the way.

On Friday, I printed chapters 3-7 of the sexuality restoration book my accountability partner gave me. I read through chapter 3, entitled “Sexual Damage” and did the assignment.

Sexual damage

Sexual damage follows improper imprinting and perpetuates more damage and wrong sexual imprinting. Where sexual imprinting is the act of recording a sexually stimulating activity, sexual damage is the result.

Damaging others

In addition to the list of firsts in Winds of Change: Day06 , I was sexually imprinted and damaged when my male cousin (same age as me) and I had anal sex and “sword fights” and what not. I damaged him by exposing him to porn in 4th grade and he later damaged me by exposing me to gay stuff and skinny dipping (in a sexual context). My sexual relationship with my cousin lasted till we were in the 7th grade. I only taught him to masturbate when we were in the 5th or 6th grade, once I stated to ejaculate. I’m not proud of all of this and am not looking forward to telling my future girlfriend or fianceé about this in the future. I’m single, by the way.

Sexual damage also occurred when my sister witnessed one of our “sword fights” and wanted to participate. I didn’t want her to be involved so I gave her something “harmless” to do. This only happened once and I didn’t rape/molest my sister nor have an incestuous relationship with her neither did I consider having one with her–just so that we’re clear. Incestuous relationships disgust me even more than masturbation does.

I also damaged our cousin’s cousin when I exposed him to porn.

Anger toward sex

The book also talks about the loss of innocence causing anger to sex. I also experienced this. One day when I was 13 years old, I took a scissors and cut off all the pubic hair that I had at that time in anger. They were the cause of my insatiable sexual appetite, I thought. I wanted to regain my innocence.

Body image issues

As a result of masturbation and pornography, I developed body image issues. I had acne on my back while growing up. In my ignorance, I let my mom pinch out the whiteheads or zits or yellow pimples which left me with dark spots. I also did it when I was alone and ran my hands over my back. And I was scrawny. This is very graphic and personal, please skip:My penis curves to the left and points up. It is also thick. So, naturally I wondered whether I would measure up, whether I would be able to satisfy my wife and not hurt her, whether I would make her so satisfied that she wouldn’t want to leave me, whether I would be able to reach her G-spot and cause her to have the greatest orgasms ever, etc. End of graphic and personal description. I also wondered whether I had HIV due to my earlier sexual activity with my cousin because my penis was thicker than what it was and I lost a lot of weight. I hated my face.

In good humour

The chapter also lists the telling of jokes about sexual issues as a cause of sexual damage. My maternal extended family does this a lot. But, it’s also a form of sex ed in our nuclear family as these jokes give rise to questions which my parents answer.

Hearing parents

Another cause of sexual damage is children hearing their parents have sex. I walked in on them once– as described in Winds of Change: Day 06–and heard them have sex once, i.e. I heard the bed creaking rhythmically late at night. As an adult I did hear our two neighbours (both men) having sex in the flat next door. The one partner bleated like a donkey. He was very loud and actually rose me from my sleep.

Rejected

My cousins who were my age on my mom’s side of the family teased me a lot. They were wealthier than what we were and always used to play with my toys. For some reason my toys always ended up broken. So, I just cut myself off from them. I was still friendly with each other but I had nothing to say to them. I was rejected for wha reasons I don’t know. But, I always lived with the hope that they will accept me for who I am.

Exhibitionism

I would like to talk about my exhibitionistic thoughts. I just realised the following now. There was a time since my exposure to porn that I drew female stick figures with a hole in the front of their skirts and dresses that revealed their genitals (mostly pubic hair). I used to draw it secretly in class. I stopped drawing these pictures for some reason. The desire for such exposure I later adopted in high school when things really came to head and my identity crisis was in full swing. I would imagine walking home from school with my genitals hanging out through the zip of my pants. It wasn’t to shock anymore but rather to say “I am here.” This I realised last year. Like I said, I did walk around like that in public, but never exposed myself to anyone.

This need for recognition and intimacy with others fed my desire to be naked around others in socially acceptable settings. Since watching Oprah’s interview with Matthew Fox, who played Charlie Salinger in Party of Five, and hearing him say that the best part of life for him was to chill in a hot tub or in the sea with naked with his friends, I had the desire to have that kind of closeness and acceptance with my friends. And that is why I was conceptually drawn to nudism.

This is where I’m supposed to delve into my experiences and share with you the analysis I did. But, this post is so long already and you have stuff to do. My next post might not be a continuation of this but I will most probably return to this topic in the near future.

One last thing

I dread having to share all of this with my girlfriend or fiancée and risk being rejected. I am not ashamed of what I did and thought especially the damage I did to others. I told my dad about my sexual relationship with my cousin and he was cool about it. This happened in the 10th grade. He said that God forgives. And I believe that. But, I still have to be honest with the woman I will marry before we get married. She has the right to know where I have been and how the Lord has led me. She has to know what she’s buying into. This makes me wonder if I will ever get married. I mean no woman would want, respect and love a man like me. So, yeah, let me stop here. That’s a post for another day. 🙂

Thanks for reading.