I loved listening to Paul Harvey’s radio broadcasts, especially his famous “The Rest of the Story” segments that gave us the back story of events and people we thought we knew. For fifty-six years, Paul Harvey broadcast the news to as many as 24 million people each week. But he did it in a way that made you feel better about yourself, your community, and your country. That’s why I admire him so much.
In this blog, I’ll share “The Rest of the Story” of my life and also answer a frequently asked question, “Why do you do what you do?” I’ve shared some of my story in a previous blog entitled “Exposing Sexual Dependency’s Dirty Secrets.” As with that one, I will keep it brief.
Growing up was rough, to say the least. My biological mother abandoned my three brothers and me at age 2, leaving a massive wound in my heart that took years to heal. Add to that with an overly-strict, very abusive, inexperienced step-mother trying to raise four boys under the age of 5, resulting in a house where my hurt and hate festered. I viewed all of this as hatred toward me. Brooding all the while about my abandonment, which left me feeling unloved, discarded, and on my own. Although I wasn’t, my feelings as a five-year-old boy outweighed any logic. Resentment ruled my heart, turning my hurt into hate, often erupting into an out of control rage that at times even frightened my father. All which created a cavernous distance between my father, family, and me, which would affect my life and relationships for decades.
When abandoned by my mother, without a word, birthday card, or phone call, it germinated a belief that there must be something wrong with me. No matter how angry I was with my step-mother and father, the thought that continues to cross my mind was, “If my mother hadn’t left me, I wouldn’t be treated this way.”
However, instead of blaming my mother for the hole in my soul, I blamed me. Not knowing her yet still harboring a fairy-tale ideal of her, I accepted the broken belief that “I” was the reason she left. Because “I” wasn’t worth her sticking around for. Consequently, I would spend over four decades trying to prove my worth, while harboring a hatred that infected all my relationships – especially my relationships with women.
Fast forward a few years. Everything I learned about women, dating, relationships, and romance was caught, not taught to me. Consequently, I often tried too hard, gave too much, and expected too much, only to be left a growing feeling worthless, frustration, and hurt. With no one to guide me (as if I would have listened back then), I determined that the key to dating was to remain in control. In control of my heart, my thoughts, my emotions, and the relationship. My aim was to get what I wanted out of the relationship without giving too much of myself. And never let them into my heart, because the broken boy was still lived there. And he still demanded repayment for the hurt he harbored.
So began the years of loving women just enough to use them to get what I wanted, which was sex, but never allow them total access to my heart, thoughts, or feelings. Thinking that I was all so clever and in control, I didn’t realize that the sex I pursued was actually pursuing me. Consequently, having sex became a constant preoccupation. It also became my measure of worth and love in the relationships that did last.
So much so that I lost several great jobs and careers in pursuit of sex-based self-worth. I wasted thousands of dollars perfecting the mask that enabled me to stay in control of the relationship. I hurt a lot, and I do mean A LOT of people: my family, my friends, and my children. They continued to love me despite my roller coaster relationships. Using and pursuing sex as the measure of being loved and self-worth became the self-made prison from which I couldn’t break free.
It was then; at the lowest time of my life, I met John. He was a wise sage of a counselor who was able to show me the connection between the broken boy and my hurting heart in a way that finally made sense. However, breaking free from my sexual dependency took several more years.
All too often, “men don’t change until we hurt enough that we have to, learned enough that we want to, and grown enough that we’re able to.” With John’s guidance and the love of my family, I was able to change.
This is why I do what I do.
If today’s blog was encouraging to you, take sure you sign up to receive blogs every Tuesday and Thursday. TransformingFamilies.org was created to enable you to discover and develop authentic, healthy intimacy in all your relationships.
FYI: I also provide one-on-one coaching, if you would like to improve your relationships, or you want someone to talk to, e-mail me at ‘email@example.com’, and we’ll schedule a time to connect. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed man.