Many months have passed since I discovered something devastating to my recovery. A couple years ago right as I was beginning my healing journey my job went away because of federal budget cuts. When it rains it pours I guess. As a result of my economic and emotional situation I decided to move back in with my parents while working through my problems and finding a job. Perhaps not the smartest decision as a compassionate friend of mine told me, "you are trying to recover and find a job at the same time and you really can't do both." Aside from all of the usual stress associated with such a move I was about to find out something even more upsetting.
Getting right to the point it did not take long for me to realize my father (not my perp)is ADDICTED to the internet/porn. I don't mean he spends too much time at the computer I mean he spends all of his time at the computer watching porn presumably whenever nobody is around (I may be wrong it just seems that way). From my experience I can safely say he gets up around dawn and does not move away from the computer except to eat/use the restroom until nine or ten. His routine is one where he browses the net/watches netflix/dvds while he torrents but once completed he watches porn every chance he gets I think. As you can imagine, his torrents have hindered my own use of the internet for things like this, job seeking, and naturally my own recreational internet usage (I love Reddit).
However, the worst part of all this for me is what happened when I got fed up a few months ago and went to his computer after he had gone to bed (yep he sometimes torrents all night too) to turn it off and out of angry curiosity checked out what he was downloading. Besides the shear amount of porn being downloaded it also included everything from animal porn to child porn although at a glance not those things exclusively. My. Heart. Sank. He is well aware of what I suffered through but clearly can compartmentalize this aspect of his life. In addition to the wound of knowing he is this way it drives me crazy because every time my internet is connected but not working I know why and walking past his computer room and seeing him staring at the desktop you and I both know wasn't there a second ago. I know why he is like this: he grew up in an alcoholic, physically abusive, emotionally neglectful, vacuum of love. Upon my discovery I read up on porn addiction and found information suggesting his addiction is directly related to these circumstances and that the content of the porn is less significant than his need to saturate himself with all kinds (like drug addicts who need more and more of a drug to duplicate that first high) but honestly any more insight you all can provide might be helpful in assuaging my anger and disappointment. Sometimes I want to destroy his computer just to see what he would do while waiting for the new one to arrive or the old one to get fixed
That being said, absent the porn addiction I am just like him. Instead of porn I play video games, browse the net, watch youtube, anything to check out and numb my pain. I am embarrassed and ashamed that in spite of all my educational opportunities and financial blessings being middle class I am still paralyzed by fear/anger/sadness and feel the need to play games all day/watch youtube/read internet articles in order to cope. I am beginning to hate my father because I know he is the person I learned this behavior from as a child. He would get home from work and pretty much check out in front of the TV that is until we got a computer and then internet and that was all she wrote. Although I never established any real emotional connection with him I am deeply afraid of becoming like him. At the same time, I find him a pitiable man because I know precisely what led him here, why he "can't" be a nurturing father, and most of all the absolute abyss of unhappiness he must live in everyday.
As for me, I saw his behavior at four years of age (when my abuse started) so when I needed a way to cope I planted myself in front of the Nintendo and television set and have not really moved since. As I grew up I became increasingly aware of other more fruitful activities such as sports, reading, social engagements but I always default or digress to the games and it is a genuine struggle to this day for me to commit myself to any of these things that I enjoy, mind you, both as matter of principle and after the fact. Today, as I continue this struggle to end my cycle of electronic evacuation from reality I feel like a recovering alcoholic living with an alcoholic. I mean there are days when I am industrious and even, dare I say, joyous about said fact but coming home, seeing him, hearing him clicking incessantly, just pulls me right back down. Often times, I just say "screw it this is where I came from this is who I am" so I spend the next day playing games, watching tv, and surfing the web. On occasions when I do watch online porn I sometimes find myself surfing for a couple of hours and even though the content isn't the same as his I still hate myself for acting in any way like him.
It feels better getting this off my chest. For months now I feel like I have been keeping it all inside in some vain effort to protect my father, family name, and maybe myself to some extent. After all, dealing with my own problems is hard enough but dealing with his!? The fact is I feel like I have been taking on and internalizing his guilt/shame whilst having my own exacerbated by his presence. I don't understand why I can objectively sit here and tell you the reasons I am this way but am emotionally ill equipped to rectify it. Why is this? Can anyone here give me advice on how to overcome this aspect of my recovery? Has anyone here had to deal with obstacles to recovery imposed upon them by one or both of his parents? How did you overcome it?
Edited by Publius (02/28/13 04:58 PM)
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh