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June 08 • I've Got a Secret... or Do I?

Day 700


My elderly parents are aware of my sexual addiction; I disclosed to them a couple of months after the disclosure with my wife. They’ve been very supportive and have even spoken into some of my Steps with information and insights I did not have before. We don’t talk about it much, which I guess is typical for both sides, but I feel like it is often the elephant in the room even when we don't verbalize it.


Last night, this 'openness' went to a new level when my wife and I told them about how I’m posting my journal entries on the internet. I’ve been thinking about telling them for months, but could never get over the hump of that additional shame on their heads, as well as mine. I did not intend to tell them last night; it came up as a slip in routine conversation, and I felt I needed to fully inform and or warn them about some of the content. I do not know whether they will decide to read any of this, but if they do I suspect it will lead to more awkward conversations, or maybe just bigger elephants in smaller rooms.


I apologized to them again, and my dad’s response was that it took a lot of courage to ‘put it out there.’

“What took courage?” I asked, “Telling you that I am writing a blog that I was afraid to tell you I am writing, or trying to make sure that no one finds out it is me behind the keyboard?”

My snarkiness was uncalled for, but in both fascets, it calls to my mind that phrase from one of our readings that

“...Half measures availed us nothing.”

Is that what I’m doing? Am I still trying to control my crash by protecting my identity and keeping my story away from people close to me? I don’t think it’s a simple answer, but maybe it’s more simple than I want it to be. It’s on my list of things to re-consider.


I shared some of this with a preacher friend of mine, one of the few non-family and non-program guys that know anything about my addiction. He was very gentle with me, and I am quoting him to end this post as I think his thoughts need to be part of the conversation on these issues, and any decision that I have the freedom to make in the future:


“I don’t think you’re being chicken...you’ll know the right time and right way to go public. And, if you choose not to, no one can fault you for that; certain types of silence can be deeply spiritual. The (12 Step) groups are encouraged to make amends when doing so would not complicate the matter. And, Paul instructs the Galatians to restore the individual who stumbles, but it is those who are spiritual who should be leading the restoration. In other words, not everyone can handle the responsibility of connecting with someone’s confession. Discernment is healthy, not destructive.”


Thanks, David.


–JR

 

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