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Dov's Story - and the Deep Lessons He Learned

This is a long piece by Dov, but well worth reading. If it's easier, print it out and read at your leisure. (See the bottom for a short summary of the main Yesodos that I understood from Dov's words)

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 01 February 2012
Part 2/4 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

I spoke to Rav Mendel Weinbach, The Steipeler, and other great people, my Rebbis in yeshiva, a few Rabonim in my town, went to a few shrinks under the pretense of "having marriage problems" (I had to hide behind the marriage issue to get my wife to be OK with me going to a shrink). Needless to say, by the time I was done trying to secretly do teshuva, I had a whole double life. I was a "normalish" frum guy on the outside, but a tortured yid on the inside.

To make matters worse, I viewed the lust problems I had - and the "teshuva" from them - as "the struggle of my life"; "My secret mission." At times, it placed me in a category above others, for I was "working on big things". I - as I see many do here on GYE - romanticized the struggle with the Yetzer Hara, as though it were some epic battle of good vs. evil that I alone could wage for the honor of Hashem. Some people go as far as to view whether they succeed or fail as something that will bring Moshiach - or delay his arrival, c"v.

If my attitude upsets you at this point, please at least give me a chance to explain. I understand that it does not sound like what most of us are told in yeshiva and s'forim:

I never got better until I saw that the extent and quality of my acting out was indeed, ill. The frum approach that I was familiar with was not working, and I could see that. The reason it wasn't working was not because I wasn't trying hard enough, but rather because there was something wrong with my approach. After all, Hashem's Torah is perfect!

And something was wrong with me. Not being absolutely sure what it was, I went to a shrink and laid out my entire acting out history, mind games, inner tortured life, etc. to the very last detail, and she suggested I go to a 12-step fellowship called SA.

I came to SA the next week and discovered that I was in a room filled with other people who were stuck in a pattern of using sex and lust in a way that was destroying their lives - and in spite of it destroying their lives, but many of them finally got out of it and stayed out of it. In other words, they were sexually perverted, but found a way to live differently.

A) I discovered that as long as I looked at myself as separate from the acting out, meaning: "I am a regular, healthy guy on the whole, but sadly have this terrible habit" - I'd never get better. [Dov is saying that it is not just a habit, it is a reflection of who we have become; i.e. we are 'ill']

B) By the same token, I discovered that as long as I remained absolutely disgusted with myself - which I was (and I was sure there was a whole litany of secrets I'd quietly take to the grave with me) - I'd also never get better.[We are not 'bad' people who need to become 'good', but simply 'ill' people who need to get 'better']

C) I discovered that whether or not the process qualified as "Teshuva", is something that I need to leave up to Hashem, for a change. Thinking into these types of things has always been just another way for me to feel a sense of control over my "madreiga". Now, Hashem gifts me with what you may call "madreigos", if He wishes to. I am getting better on His schedule, not mine. My business is doing His will for me today to the best of my ability, period.

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