My Life Changed When I Found GYE
I was hitting puberty in the early 2000's. The world was still in an uproar over the supposed second coming of Yoshke, which never materialized. I was young, stupid and innocent. And I was curious. Things started happening to my body, my mind was going in different directions then it had until now. The same girls that were "ew" until now, my eyes were now following them to their doors. I wasn't a sicko on most accounts. I didn't get turned on by people who got dressed to please. It was those "expensive" girls that got me going. The real Princesses, the ones that acted and dressed the part that got me going.
I found myself fascinated with my anatomy. I took pictures of myself. Looking back, I don't even know why I did, I could've looked down at any given moment. It was weird, and i didn't know what to do about it, except to explore myself more. Soon enough I was rubbing, in the beginning, it was dry masturbation, afterwards, it started coming out in small amounts, until it got to the point of where it is today. On some point I have to thank god I couldn't get it going more then twice a day, if I would've been able, I would've skipped yeshiva every day.
When I was 13 or 14 years old, I found my first turn-on magazine, an US magazine my sister had left in her room. It was what I was looking for, finally something to show me what the female body I had been fantasizing about actually looked like. Soon thereafter, that got boring and I went upstairs to her room looking for more. I found People magazines etc. It was heaven.
That summer, I didn't know what to do. I couldn't exactly pack the magazine in one of the suitcases, so I resigned myself to a sober summer. However, I soon found another magazine. This time, it was much better, a cosmopolitan. It even had a story or two to feed my fantasies. It was great. That year in yeshiva, I had been a failure. Due to the fact that my head was always thinking about girls and sex, and not about learning, the next year in yeshiva I was put in a lower level class.
That year, my acting out got worse and worse. That class is made up of people who either want to work, or want to hang out, and therefore they had failed their way thru the year before too. I wasn't like that, I was a good boy, I just had a problem. So I was in this class with boys who openly spoke about their girlfriends, the movies they went to, and the porn they watched. Though I watched movies, I never watched the movies they watched, and I surely didn't actually go to a movie theater, that was another whole level. At that point, I didn't even know what porn was. The closest hint I had was that we were taught to stay away from newsstands, and the internet was dangerous.
I was a computer geek, and always was interested in the latest computer gadgets. So I would defy my parents orders and buy MaximumPC and PCworld in the newsstand. The first few times were fine, the computer magazines were on a different wall then the porn. However, a few times later, I chanced upon my first porn magazine. I still remember thinking in my head "They actually show these things in pictures? I thought a woman's top was ALWAYS covered!". As I said, I was innocent. Soon enough, I was spending a bit extra time in the newsstand every time I went to buy a computer magazine. After a few times, the arab worker offered one to me. He showed me a "good" one. My parents weren't home, so I would be able to sneak it in no problem.
I got home and my brother was there and asked me what I had in the bag. I tried brushing him off, but he didnt let up, so I finally showed him. He raised his eyes, and walked away. A few minutes later, he came back, with his own, and said "Lets switch, I'm getting bored of mine". I happily obliged, very excited to have a partner in crime. After I got off for the first time to real porn, my brother came into my room, and announced that we would be both stopping right then and there. "It's not right" he said. I gave him the magazine to throw out, but inside I was seething. Who gave him the right to make decisions for me!? So, he went off to yeshiva, as I went back to the newsstand.
That year, I had a chance to show off one of my amazing skills to a real-live girl without ourtight chasing one. I would show her just how great I can be, she will enamored by the amazing Moishe Goldberg. I did show her, and she was enamored. After a month of calling and texting a girl who lived more then 500 miles away from me, my mother found out and the whole thing went down the drain. Even if I would be able to get away and communicate with her without my mother finding out, she wouldn't talk to me for my own good, she didn't want me to get into trouble. What a good, caring girl she was, no?
Anyway, I forged on, looking for new girls to focus my crush and lust onto. Luckily, I live in a city where there is no shortage of girls. At the same time, I was becoming more and more aware of the wrongdoing that I was doing. One day, a guy came into class, and said what he saw about masturbation in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, boy was I afraid. I was going to hell, and I didn't want to. When my mother had busted me, she had sent me to a life coach. I went to him, begging him to free me of my ticket and my kids' tickets to hell. He told me to promise one day of the week at a time. I thought of it, and it was a dumb idea. I would be smarter, I wouldn't do ANY days of the week at all. Needless to say, my plan failed, miserably.
During that summer, I asked my principal to take me out of that class. I still remember the exchange. The assistant Principal was there, and he said "but Rabbi ____ is a great rebbe!" and the principal turned to him and said "eeh, I don't think the rebbe is Moishe's problem…". This was it!!! he understood me! I would be out of this class, and on my way to a new beginning! Free of talking about Jennifer Aniston and Kelly Clarkson! Free of porn and masturbation! But his final answer said differently. "Wait until Tu B'shvat, if you still want to change classes, I'll do it without a problem". So I started the year. I was a good boy, learned diligently, and forged a great relationship with my rebbe. This was all because on Tu Bshvat I was changing classes, and I wanted everyone to know that I was on a different level, I was different then them. Tu Bhsvat came, and I went to the principal. He promised it would go without a hitch, so I even took my gemora and notebook along, knowing I would be switched right then and there. But it was not to be "First I have to know if your on that level, maybe you'll sit in for a shiur or two, take a test on that level and we'll see if you're ready". I was seething, all my hard work went down the drain, I was promised to be switched with no strings attached, and now I found out all the conditions. I was in no shape to be on that level and he knew it. I know that after a few weeks, I would be able to understand the shiur after getting used to it, but I wasn't used to it, and I wasn't interested in trying. He broke his promise, and I was sick of his antics.
I went home that night, and did the one thing I knew that would make me feel better. Porn. I blamed the principal, I told Hashem that the principal ruined me. He put me in that class with those bad influences, and didn't want to switch me out. Porn was my release of all my frustration, and it helped. After every time I masturbated I promised it would be the last. I would never do it again. It was so terrible. The things that would happen to me were so scary.
My brother got married the next year. He had known his wife before that, and I was sure I could do the same. With my classmates, it was no problem, they would help me. I got hooked up. This guy's girlfriend was my neighbor and she had a sister, and this guy's sister might be interested etc. I was running down the steep hill and I didn't know it at the time. Hey, if Shmuel can find his own, why can't I?
At my brother's wedding, I was the frum brother, I didn't look at all at the girls. Yet at the same time, I was also the best dancer to show off to the girls. Truth is, I probably embarrassed myself more then anything, but I didn't know that at the time, nor did I care. All I cared about was catching their attention without giving it away. At the mitzvah (aveira) tanz, I sat across from my sister-in-law's single aunt. Whoa, she was the one. Beautiful, all made up, with that beautiful gown, and her hair just like that. She was my bashert, and it was so obvious. Why else would Hashem seat me right across from her by the mitzvah tanz?
I chased after this girl for a year and a few months. I got her number, address, school and any other information I would need. I even knew her license plate number! I called, texted, followed, whatever you could think of. I remember walking past her house on shabbos. She walked out right then with a friend and saw me. She turned right around and went back inside. What I would do for one glimpse of her beauty.
A year later, I finally grew up. One day, I texted her one last time "I'm sorry for everything I did to you, this is the last time you'll see a text from me". I didn't even answer her when she said "You promised me this many times, so I don't believe you". The next year, I was in a different yeshiva and she was by my brother's apartment. I called my brother's apartment, and she picked up. This was right before Yom Kippur so I said "This is Moishe, but before you give the phone to my brother, I want to ask you for forgiveness". And she complied.
In the meantime, Porn was still raging it's war. I would come home from a off-shabbos and my first stop was the newsstand. That night I would renew my vows to never do it again and I would throw the magazine away. But the cycle continued every off shabbos.
Every zman had a new commitment, but for some reason they never lasted.
The year after the obligatory year in Eretz Yisroel I went to a dating yeshiva. I was bored of yeshiva life, and wanted to move on. Also, marriage would correct my problem, no? Lo and behold, this new yeshiva didn't stop the porn. Even more, its cell-phone policy allowed for porn in my bed! I wouldn't even have to wait for an off shabbos to act out.
Later that year, I got engaged. Now, it will end. I mean, there would be no reason for it, right? I'll have my own girl I can wack off into every time I feel the urge. Also, all this time, it wasn't the sex that got me going, it was the feeling of being loved. The feeling of an intimate relationship. So even during niddah, I wouldnt have a problem, because I would have a great marriage. Don't get me wrong, I knew that marriage was hard, but I would do it right. All those other couples that have hard shana rishonas should take a page out of my book. I would do it the right way. The truth is that I only remember acting out once during my engagement. It was a "good-bye" to porn a day or two before my chasuna.
The rest of the story you know. My marriage did not start off on the right foot. I was clean for about 4 months waiting for my wife to fall for the most amazing boy she'll ever meet and we'll finally consummate our marriage. It was not meant to be. We fought and fought. After one big fight during which the "D" word was mentioned, I went into my room and made myself feel good again. It was my way out, I found it. I was surprised too, wasn't I supposed to not have this teivah anymore!? It made me feel worse, which in turn made me act out again and again. Soon enough, my wife walked into the room.
About a week later, there was an article in the mishpacha about GYE. My wife didn't say a word, and neither did I, but the first thing i did after reading the article was go and check out GYE. My life changed.
Im still not as clean as I would like. But I'm on my way. I'm serious about changing. Stress still kills my sobriety and I don't know how to follow the 12 steps yet. But I know what my goal is, and I know how to get there.