Progress Report 1-30-13 – How I successfully fought temptation…but then failed

This post was originally going to be about how I dealt with temptation in a healthy way a day this past week, as an example to follow.  But I should have been thinking more along the lines of 1 Corinthians 10:12 – “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”  As they say, pride comes before the fall.

I had a failure the same day that I was fighting the temptation and thinking about the blog post I was going to write about resisting temptation.  My failure was not with actual crossdressing, and it was not with crossdressing fiction.  I am thankful that God turned me away from those two most serious failures and most deep addictions from my past.  But I did have another kind of failure, and that was looking at pictures of men dressed as women on the internet.  In a way, it’s much less addictive for me and messes with my brain and feelings much less.  But in other way, it’s even more perverted and messed up than actually crossdressing myself.

I’ll tell you the story of what happened.  It started with a dream.  In the dream I was trying to put on a bra.  I used to have crossdressing dreams all the time, and they were and in some ways still are my bane.  But they have been much more rare in the past 6 months or so.  They still come at times, but just not so often.   This particular dream messed me up a bit once I woke up and started my day.  This often happens to me, and makes me very prone to temptation.  In dreams like this, I have nice feelings about crossdressing, and then upon waking up, I desire to reproduce those feelings by actually crossdressing like I did in the dream.

So in this case, my desire upon waking up was to put on a bra.  I was home alone.  My wife was already at work.  It happened that several of her bras were lying out.  I looked at them from a distance and sorted out my thoughts from the dream.  Back to reality, I remembered that bras are just fabric, and I shouldn’t be so obsessed with them.  I remembered that I didn’t have breasts, and a bra didn’t make sense for me to wear, nor would I look good in it.   The temptation was easily dismissed.  I no longer even wanted to do it.  The deception of the dream passed, and I was completely fine and ready to start my day with no crossdressing in sight.  And I smiled at the image in my mind of my wife looking good in her sexy bra.  🙂

(On the rare occasions that I get crossdressing desires these days, this is what it is like.  They are easy to deal with.  I know many of you have much more difficult times facing temptation and it’s really hard to resist.  Because I have resisted crossdressing for so long, rarely do I have crossdressing desires, and when I have them, they are weak like this, and they are easy to dismiss.  I wish it was as easy for you guys, but I can give you the hope that it gets easier with time.)

I did a lot of work during the day, but then had some time alone again in the afternoon.  I showered and then the experience of getting dressed, being home alone, brought up the dream and temptations again.  Again, they were easy to deal with.  And it was at this point that I thought about writing a blog post about dealing with temptation, to show you all my thought patterns, to help you resist temptations as well.  I liked the idea, and I took some time just to rest and lay on my bed and think about what I would write.

But the more I thought about what I would write, the more I thought about crossdressing and giving in.  This time when I saw my wife’s clothes hanging up from a distance I longed for them more than I had in the morning.  I again went through the reality checks, knowing that I would look stupid and had many reasons for not wanting to give in.  But this time, the desire to put on the clothes did not go away.  But I still resisted.  I just made myself go and do something else.  And actually that worked fine.  I played some video games.

After playing my video game it was time to get back to work.  But I didn’t feel like doing so yet, and this is where things went bad, and it was just really stupid, and didn’t need to happen.  I did not at all have an overwhelming temptation that I just felt I had to give in to.  Nothing of the kind.  I was just bored and not wanting to work, and I looked up on google a specific crossdresser I used to pray for in the past.  I used to pray that God would help him get out of his addiction.  I wanted to see how he was doing and if he had changed.  Sounds really spiritual and good right?  Well it was just a stupid rationalization.  And once I get in the zone of google searching and anything related to crossdressing, I quickly get into old habits and go down a wrong path.  So I ended up looking at pictures of other crossdressers as well.  There was an aspect of my mind just being kind of not there.  I have spent so many hundreds of hours in earlier years of google searching and sinning with crossdressing stuff online.  It was major major addiction.  And so as soon as I let myself do one little search, I got into that old zone, completely forgetting about all other aspects of my life and how much most of me would not want to be giving in again.   It really makes me upset because there was no reason for this failure to happen.  I wasn’t really that weak that day.  I had no trouble resisting earlier temptations, even when I had partially wanted to give in.  I was feeling strong earlier in that day. It kind of just happened.  It really feels like a fluke and makes me angry.  I did masturbate after being on the computer, but thankfully my mind went to my wife on its own when I actually masturbated.  (Deep down my body still knows that being with my wife is more pleasurable than crossdressing).

On the other hand, there was a moment in which I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I kept going anyway.  I used the really stupid logic of – “well I’m here already doing this, might as well keep doing it since I failed either way.”  It’s so stupid.  That’s like saying – “Since I accidentally ate some dog shit, I might as well eat some more and really make myself sick.”  You see there is more than 1 sin going on in what I was doing.  The basic sin was looking at crossdressing pictures online.  The deeper sin, and more serious sin, was a willful rebellion against God at the point of conviction.  At some point in the process, I was convicted that I was doing wrong, I had a brief moment of reality while in the absent-minded sinning zone, and I chose to ignore that conviction and keep going.  That’s the scary deeper sin which I repent of now more seriously.

So that is that.  It’s been about 17 months since my last failure like this.  There have been moments since of temporary glitches, and looking at a couple pictures.  But nothing like what I did today of purposefully looking at a bunch of pictures for a long while and getting sexual pleasure from it.  17 months of doing really well and enjoying life, only to go back to this now.  It’s disappointing to me, certainly, and probably disappointing to many of you.

Some skeptics might say that this is proof that I’ve been suppressing crossdressing, and I might as well give up.  To me it is only further confirmation of how great my life was without this.  I don’t need it nor want it.  This fluke is not going to deter me from my path.  I have not been suppressing anything.  I’ve never denied that the desires are still there to some extent.  But as I’ve been saying, they are greatly reduced from what they once were.  And that is not from me burying crossdressing thoughts within, but just from choosing not to give in to the behavior, and slowly learning to not even want it.  Even though I failed that time this past week, 98% of my being still does not want crossdressing in my life.

When I try really hard to not give in to crossdressing, non-Christians reading this blog think that I’m driven by guilt and fear, and they think that I believe I’m going to hell if I crossdress because God will punish me.  That’s a non-Christian belief.  I’m not striving for perfection because somehow I think I need to be perfect on my own merits.  And for me it’s not a choice between being perfect in regards to crossdressing versus giving in fully to crossdressing.  No.  Not at all.  I’m grateful to be saved by the blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I’m completely forgiven for these sins I committed this past week.   I’m under God’s grace.  I strive for perfection, but even though I do not attain it, I keep on choosing to aim for it.  And I don’t do this out of fear of God smiting me, and I don’t do it to try to earn God’s pleasure.  God takes pleasure in me because of Jesus standing in for me.  I strive to get crossdressing (and other sins) out of my life in response to God’s grace, to show my gratitude and thanksgiving.  And I strive to get crossdressing out of my life because I know that God’s design for life is better than my own, and that the only path towards flourishing abundant life is in following God’s will.

Usually after failures in the past, I would have trouble wallowing in depression and guilt.  But this time, I think I’m more appreciative of God’s grace than I used to be.  I don’t feel really depressed, just a little depresed.  And I’ve already given my guilt over to God for this sin and it is no longer holding me down.  Wallowing in depression for a Christian about past sins, is really about pride.  It’s about wanting to earn our own salvation, and being disappointed in ourselves that we couldn’t do it.  That kind of depression is about wanting to take pride in our own integrity and achievements, rather than taking pride in Jesus our perfect savior.  But the Gospel is about realizing that we can’t do it on our own, and treasuring God’s free grace.  Why should I wallow in depression and guilt when I am forgiven?  If I really believe that I am seen no differently by God before and after this failure, than I have nothing to be depressed about.  All I have to be depressed about is how all of you might see me differently.  But I shouldn’t be caught up in that.  It doesn’t matter what other people think.  It only matters that I know and treasure God’s love for me and his presence in my life.

There is another practical reason I am not so depressed after this failure.  In previous years, every failure was a reminder that crossdressing still held me in bondage.  I just kept giving in, after only resisting for weeks or months.  So every failure made me feel like a pathetic follower of Jesus.  Every failure made me wonder if I would ever be able to beat this sin.   But now I don’t have that same feeling.  I know this was just a dumb quick failure, from not keeping my guard up around google, and not dealing appropriately enough with my bad dream.  I know that crossdressing still doesn’t have a hold on me anymore.  I know that I don’t have to be hopeless and in despair about resisting crossdressing.  Resisting crossdressing is easy.  I just did it for about 17 months, and actually still have not physically crossdressed since 17 months ago.  God has given me the power of freewill, and I don’t have to give in.  That’s easy to say, but harder to believe in your heart.  After 17 months, I believe it with all my being, and I’m not afraid to get back up out of the gutter and get back to living the life God has intended for me, a life without crossdressing.  I’m not afraid, and I’m excited to start fresh again.

My biggest disappointment is breaking my streak.  But in the scheme of things that doesn’t really matter at all.  I wanted to keep a big streak of success in order to give others hope, but that’s probably more about my own pride anyway.  The real story is that life is better without crossdressing, and that God doesn’t want us to crossdress, and so it doesn’t matter whether I have a streak or not.  It just matters that I try to live everyday to the fullest for God.  Some days we do better than others, and on the days we do worse, we can rest in God’s grace.

In case the above hasn’t made it perfectly clear, if any of you who are wondering, this failure doesn’t change anything I believe about my faith, my views on crossdressing, nor my views about myself and my progress in healing from crossdressing addiction.  I feel just the same as I did.  This was a dumb failure that shouldn’t have happened, but I still don’t want this crap in my life.   I was only out of commission during the time I was looking at the pictures online.  I’m back in the fight now and very eagerly stepping back into life without crossdressing.  For those of you who are on the same page with me, if you are willing, please pray that God would take these pictures out of my memory in my mind.   And please take my blog post as a good reminder to stay vigilant, and avoid google whenever you are home alone!

Perhaps this blog post can be an example after all, an example of how I think we can deal with failure in a healthy way.  We mess up.  We confess our failure to God and others.  We treasure God’s forgiveness and take joy in Jesus.  We analyze what happened so that the same failure doesn’t happen again.  We rest in grace, and allow God to pick us back up.  We enjoy living life again without wallowing in the past mistakes.

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5 comments on “Progress Report 1-30-13 – How I successfully fought temptation…but then failed

  1. ikthys says:

    SUPER encouraging. Going beyond the “streak” mentality is so hard. When I felt I had fallen (also not dressing, but doing way too much that I shouldn’t have), I was so pissed about breaking the “streak” that it made me feel all the more determined never to break it again! But your writing helps me move from the anger and pride drive back to the healthy reality of simply moving into a CD free life regardless of the specifics and details. It’s wonderful to just live in that, and to be new. What a wretched life I lived once. I can remember when I first told my wife years ago now- how I bawled. Not to be weird, but I felt like I could tangibly feel a dark entity leaving me from the inside through my breathless lament… Glory to God for life today.

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  2. thorin25 says:

    Thanks for the comment Ikthys. Makes me feel good to hear from you. Thank you for your affirmation that it is not all about just having a streak. Glory be to God indeed. With or without cd, our lives would still be nothing without Jesus.

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  3. Ralph says:

    It occurs to me that if you focus too much on the “winning streak”, that becomes a point of pride rather than a desire to please God. Way to keep it real!

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  4. Sheena says:

    Hi there,

    I have been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I can relate to most of your experiences and emotions that you have meticulously chronicled.

    Today I caved in to temptation and got myself dressed for the first time this year. But this post of yours has been very encouraging, especially the part where you say that “Wallowing in depression for a Christian about past sins, is really about pride. It’s about wanting to earn our own salvation, and being disappointed in ourselves that we couldn’t do it.” I feel better, not because i don’t feel guilty and want to continue doing it, but because I can accept it as a part of me that may or may not go away. I feel better because I recognise that God is in control of the situation. I feel better because it makes me realise that I need more of Jesus in my life; this I have come to truly discover over the course of the last 12 months.

    It’s still an ongoing battle at times, but I am doing what I can and learning to rely on God.

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  5. thorin25 says:

    Sheena, thank you for letting me know! I appreciate hearing how God is using my confessions and words. These are things I constantly need to remind myself as well, whenever I fail with any sins in life, whether with cd fantasies, or not loving people well, or being selfish. It always comes back to grace. Grace has to be our motivation or we have misunderstood the Gospel.

    Keep in touch!

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