Frantz's story
My name is Frantz, and I am a sex addict. My very first sexual experiences were voyeuristic. As a boy I believed that love was hidden behind closed doors and in dark places. I tried to drill holes into walls and toilet doors. Later I found that some of the magazines that were sold in my parents’ shop contained sexualizing images. This was also the time when I began to be sexually harassed, as well as beaten up by fellow students, and physically punished by teachers.

Growing up, I discovered my father's collection of porn magazines. I looked at them when my parents were out, feeling both guilty and irresistibly drawn to those images. I sought solace and excitement in them, and began to build an inner world in which sex was something dark, secret, shameful, consuming, violent.

When I had my first long-term partner, I cheated on her from the very beginning. After breaking up we reunited and had our first son. But I continued betraying her, developing seductive ways that I used to have affairs with students of mine. I was having an affair while my wife was pregnant with our second son. She finally separated from me, and I sank into self-pity, telling myself that the problem in my life was that only the right woman could fix me. Then our second son died. He was only one year old. Even in the face of this catastrophe, I continued acting out the addiction, reaching an extreme when I discovered internet porn. At this point, my acting out took over my life. Often I spent hours in front of the computer, becoming socially isolated, neglecting my work.

This is the state in which I met my current partner and second wife, to whom I owe my waking-up. She had the strength to encourage me to look at my problems and seek recovery from my sex addiction. However, as an addict this request scared me tremendously. I invested much energy into half-hearted recovery for two years, looking for an “easier, softer way”, thereby causing much pain to those close to me and to myself. The turnaround finally came when I started working with books on sex addiction that contained a series of daily recovery tasks. These helped me to break through my denial, and they directed me to SAA. I started to attend meetings online, and it made all the difference. For the first time I felt I was not alone and did not need to hide in shame or seek the false protection of lying. I met people who had been in recovery for years, and others who had only joined recently, and they all generously shared their experience and offered their support.

Soon after I began the stepwork with my sponsor. When I made my step one presentation in a meeting, the positive energy I received from my fellows was something I will never forget. I could feel that they had been there too, and had advanced in recovery using the tools of the program, and were now offering their support to me. As time went on, I began to experience how the meetings and the stepwork began to manifest positively in my life, untying the Gordian knot of the addiction. The enormous stress that I created in my acting-out life subsided. Now, there are so many worthwhile things to do every day, things I never realized were even there: I enjoy my work for the first time in my life, I enjoy my friendships and my partnership, I love my son, and I love my fellows in recovery. I have been able to embrace life as a great gift, and I am filled with gratitude every day.

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