I'll never forget "the look" he gave me.
My road to becoming a sex addict started when I was about 8 or 9 years old in my backyard pool, after a sexual "incident" changed my life.
I had a pool and would occasionally have friends over.
A few of us would get naked and swim around. It all seemed pretty harmless until one day my friend, who came over regularly, went down on me. At that age I really didn't understand what he was doing.
He had older brothers (seven of them) who I'm sure had passed down some of their sexual knowledge to him, even at such a young age. A neighborhood girl saw everything and the result was devastating.
Hello shame, welcome to my life.
She told her parents, who told my parents, who made me tell them exactly what happened. After telling my parents the whole story, my father and I went to my friend's house. He then had to tell his father exactly what happened.
This was extremely embarrassing because, even though I was young and ignorant, I could already feel shame creeping into my life.
The actions of adults, even when unspoken in words, convey strong emotions to children.
It was very clear to me, via these actions, that what I'd done was wrong and warranted shame and guilt. After my friend finished retelling the story, I was finally able to walk back home with my father. We didn't talk the whole way, as far as I can remember.
However, there is something that happened that would shape my life for years to come. Right as we were about to get to the back door of our house, I looked up at my father and saw a disappointing look on his face. A look of disappointment that I'd never seen before.
At that young age when we boys look to our father for reassurance and approval, the emotion behind my father's eyes was devastating to my young and undeveloped mind. My father never really talked to me about that day and later in the month they disassembled and disposed of our pool.
Only a wooden fence that surrounded the pool remained. Another silent reaffirmation of what a terrible thing I'd done.
But it was the disappointing "look" that would echo throughout my life.
I unconsciously decided that I wouldn't disappoint my father again and spent the rest of my life focused on that goal. So I buried the feelings I had and set out on my impossible venture of perfection.
Of course this was an already doomed feat, as we're human and prone to failure.
I would disappoint him from time to time, and as a means of coping with the pain, I'd turn to sexual avenues for comfort.
I started out slowly by reading sexual heath sites, which led to masturbation, then to reading masturbation stories and eventually onto full-blown pornography.
It's ironic that the very acts that caused the disappointing look in the first place became the very coping strategies I used to escape the disappointment itself — a vicious cycle of guilt and shame.
My father was an amazing man, and to this day he is someone I look up to, for good reason. There is no way he could've known the effects "the look" had on me.
Later in my adulthood I spoke to him about this. Of course, he had no idea how it affected me and felt terrible about it. I told him that there was no reason for him to feel terrible and that I only told him so he'd understand the struggles I endured.
However, true healing didn't occur until I confronted my mind about the look I'd received all those years ago and that coping with sex was no longer needed.
Today I'm a sex addict in recovery, and I am no longer using sexually compulsive behavior to cope.
I've been freed from the "the look", and I'm living a life free of sexual addiction. I have a feeling that there are a number of men (and perhaps women) who've dealt with a similar situation. I'd encourage you to seek the help I did, and this site and this program is a great place to start.
Get out of the shadows and do yourself the favor of living a joyful and free life. I promise you, the effort is worth the results.
George Collins, Founder of Compulsion Solutions has spent the last 30-years helping porn/sex addicts to reclaim their lives, self-esteem and relationships. His books are Amazon's #1 Bestsellers in the industry. Click here to get 1-on-1 help from George, or simply get the first chapter of his book, free.
This article was originally published at compulsionsolutions.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.