Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Writer's Workshop Wednesday ~ Beyond a Dark Past, by Anonymous

Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday!  This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.

I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.

Today's piece is brought to you by an anonymous writer. A man with a troubled past, a man who hurt others for far too long, a man who wants to be a better man.

I encourage you to read this with an open mind, with an understanding that facing what he's done has been excruciating, and that he is committed to changing himself - one of the hardest things any of us will ever do.

Beyond a Dark Past

My life has not always been as it is today. Most people who look at me now would have no idea of my past if I didn't tell them. They see that I work for Microsoft, I wear button ups and keep clean shaven. I drive a decent commuter car, live in a nice house, have a beautiful wife and three daughters and have been very involved in helping troubled youths.

People don't know about my broken past. How could they? My charade was played like a symphony. How could they know my pain and anguish from childhood that chased me through much of my adult life? They couldn't know the vow I made to myself when I was 11 years old to never again be victimized or to be controlled.

You see, as a young man I was forced in to some things by a neighbor. He told me that if I didn't do those things he would kill my 8 year old sister. You can use your imagination to figure it out, I will spare you and myself the details. I wish I could say this was the first, or the last of the painful moments in my life but it wasn't, and it won’t be.

The decision to never be victimized did two things in my life. First, it protected me from ever being powerless again and did exactly what it was supposed to do in that aspect. The real problem here is that the second effect, of unintended consequences. These words, this vow to myself led me down a path in which my only hunger was to feel powerful. I could not ever feel like that weak young boy again! I flipped, the victim became the predator as is so common in this kind of tale. I began to develop vast persuasive skills. This, coupled with a taste for innocence and an ever widening pain in my life made me an Apex predator. I was suddenly a teenage boy with a knack for picking out the girls who were weak, searching or just plain broken. I would feed on their insecurity while humiliating them for my own selfish needs. I would make the gap in their soul bigger, because I was trying to fill my own.

Who and what I was became less and less clear as each year went on. I was slowly becoming the monster I so hated. It got to the point where I was so disconnected that it often felt like I was viewing myself from outside my body. Like I had no control of my own actions, like I was a machine that could not change course from this path of destruction. There was a moment in my not too distant past where I finally realized I had hit rock bottom. Porn was my comfort blanket, it was a part of my everyday life. I was living a secret life separate from my wife and children, I was having online relationships with young women, continuing the trends of my past, exploiting them for my own selfish needs. 

I went to church with my family, worked diligently at work and wore a mask the whole time pretending to be someone that I so badly wanted to actually feel like. I wanted to be a Man, yet never felt like anything except a boy hiding in the skin of a man. The day it got real was when I walked into a small mom and pop shop, at the counter was a beautiful young girl. Within 20 minutes I had charmed and manipulated her into closing the shop for a break, and there we were kissing and touching. 

There I was, again, a married man bending the will of another young girl to my whim, stealing innocence from a young lady to feed my need for power. This was the day I realized it all had to change. I could no longer go on faking my whole life. I couldn't live with myself anymore. One way or another something was going to end. I couldn't do this to my wife and kids anymore. I couldn't go on in this cycle of shame. It had to end, or I would end my life. I carried so much darkness and so much pain it was beginning to consume me. I was a man with responsibilities and a house full of people that loved him, yet all I could do was continue to lie, cheat and steal from others. I decided I had to get help because I was done gambling my family.

I got to the point where I feared that I would lose everything if I sought help for this sickness. I would be forced to tell my wife all that had happened, to fill her into the truth. This thought was devastating to me because even though no one could tell by my twisted behavior, I truly love my wife and children more than anything. 

I started seeing a counselor and he told me that if he was going to work with me I would need to stop doing the things I was doing and confess all to my wife. He gave me some options, he told me I can continue on living the lie and keep my family, or I can choose the way that a real man would choose and tell her everything even though that would bring the possibility of losing her. He then asked me if it was worth it, to lose everything to save myself. I said then, yes. I would say now again, yes. 

I feel so much better being free from that shame, that pain. I have gone through much counseling and found out a lot of why I am the way I am. My child hood was extremely broken, my parents have never ever been a part of my life, and I have endured sexual abuse and a lifetime of loneliness because my darkness couldn't allow real, close, relationship. And now, in spite of all that conspired against me to destroy me, here I stand. A man finding the broken pieces of himself to mend together.

I look back on it now like it was all some very bad dream. It’s not all behind me, but I am working hard at being better each day. I recognize my short comings and my trigger points. My mind will still try to veer off course and revert to old ways but each day I make a conscious effort to choose my new path. I am now truly exploring faith (I write a lot about faith on my blog) although I am called a heretic for my views I feel closer to God than ever before in my life. I think it has something to do with no longer letting the words of others define him in my life. Also, I'm sure removing the evil behavior from my life helped a bit as well. I also think deeply on Character (how we act when no one else can see) and I try to always improve on mine.

My new life looks very different, I go to counseling, I sold off all my personal computers, and my work computer and phone have software that will report to my wife the things I am looking at and doing online (through my choice). I pray every day, I think deeply about faith, God and humanity and how it all intertwines. I no longer drink alcohol because it lowered my inhibitions. I have even given up masturbation because it was one of the deepest addictions I held. 

My only intimate connection is now with my wife and I feel this is probably how marriage and relationship was intended to be. My communication with my kids is on a whole other level, I have made a conscious effort to give them a safe place to come and share their feelings with me.

I always remind myself, my past does not define me. I choose to be a better man now. The most important thing is my perspective as I move forward with healing. 

I want to leave you with this: If your past is crippling you, running away, pushing it down, and pretending it’s not there or just remaining in the cycle while waiting for something to free you is not going to help. You must face it, make the choice today and every single day to be free of its hold. Misery is a habit and with time will break. 

The temptation to go back to old ways will remain for a long time, because let’s face it... It's easier. It will always be easier to remain in the mud, it takes a lot of effort to climb out and clean off.

This tale is only a sliver of my pain and I know many of you can probably relate. My hope is that each of you can fight your demons and find freedom like I have. It’s so much better out here. I am better today than I was yesterday and all it takes is a daily decision and some hard work. I am so very hopeful for the future and I cannot wait to see what it brings.


  1. Thank you for sharing your inner soul! We're all broken in our own way and working on being well is a very powerful thing!

  2. When I was 5, I was raped (I've written about it on my blog as well) by a neighborhood kid who threatened the life of my family. As I got older, I decided to either be a victim of my rape or be a survivor. I picked the latter. I'm so happy that your wife was understanding and, more importantly, that you got help. You're a strong soul and your bravery resonates thought this post. I'd love to read your blog!

  3. My heart goes out to you--it took so much courage to share your story. This was beautifully written and will surely help your readers who have also been victimized. Your strength will give them hope.

  4. Such an inspiring piece. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It means more than you know to some of us.

  5. Thank you all so much for your responses. I'm very sorry for the pain each of you went through, I am so sorry that your innocence was stolen. You are all worth so much more. Ill keep you all in my prayers.


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