Enjoy this helpful post written by “TemptedSinner” about his recent trials against temptation and how he dealt with it.
Ok, so what does this mean? With the assistance of a spiritual director I am working my way through the 19th annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is a 32-week program where I spend time every day in prayer, reflection and journaling.
Those of you who know me, know that I am a fetishistic cross dresser. So yesterday (Monday) Ignatius has me once again go back to the times of my teenage and young adult life. A time where I began to break away from the rules of my parents, family and home. A time when my friends and what I wanted to do, were more important than family, church and God. In the beginning a time of experimentation with partying and puberty. Little did I know where these things would lead me at that time.
Quickly my mind went to some of the early days of going through my older sister’s dresser drawers and finding all of the pretty, soft colors and feel of her underwear drawer. As I was recalling these times of what I thought was innocent curiosity I didn’t necessarily feel shame or remorse as much as I began once again to feel arousal and excitement. Even to the point of touching myself almost unconsciously. I wanted to “get dressed” or put on some feminine fineries. Having burnt all of the items that I used for self-gratification back in April, I began to think about what my wife has that I could try on once again, as I used to in previous times after purging and starting up again. Trying to fight these thoughts and feelings I figure that I had better get ready for work and leave the house. As I am grabbing my shirt and pants from the closet I reach to the back of one of my wife’s shelves in the closet and pull out a pair of my panties. I couldn’t believe it! This is the second time that I have run across something since the great purge of 2015. I swear I thought I had gotten rid of everything at that time, in fact I had spent months gathering and consolidating all of my stuff before I lit that fire on a beautiful spring day in which I almost ceremoniously made sure that everything was set ablaze. A day where I declared my freedom from my sexual depravities. To say that I was overwhelmed with a combination of anxiety, excitement and fear would be an understatement. I continued to dig around and found six more pairs of underwear which my wife no longer fits into but I do and three pair of pantyhose / tights that I am pretty sure were mine. I couldn’t believe it, I still can’t believe it. Why? How? What the hell?
All the voices inside my head, what is God trying to tell me? What could it hurt to wear panties or nylons just for a day? It’s only clothing! Why is there even any distinction between what men and women wear particularly when it is underwear? (insert Casting Crowns East to West) All those voices in my head are in reality only three. There is me and then there is good and evil. Looking at it honestly, I am the powerless one, almost standing on the sidelines while God and Satan declare battle within my mind. I am swearing out loud, questioning what is going on? As I take these items of my fetish and lay them out on the floor of our bedroom in front of my dresser, the devil or devils are almost yelling and screaming. “Go ahead, indulge yourself” It is times like this that make me feel insane. I also feel called to pray, a much much quieter voice. It is hard to say if I actually heard it or just felt it. I don’t know….. Did I say insane??? This was nuts. I was sweating, literally dripping perspiration, (gross) my hands were shaking, I didn’t know what to do or what I was going to do. I almost reached out to a friend who knows about this stuff in me, but I didn’t.
On top of my dresser is a picture of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, and almost every day as I am getting ready to begin my day I kneel and pray for my kids, family, others that need prayer. I also pray for help and guidance for my day. I knelt, I prayed, I bitched, I complained. I survived at least that battle. I ended up folding these items together, wrapping a rubber band around them and putting them back where they came from and left for work as quickly as possible.
As I type this I am in my basement, and I can hear (really I must be crazy, clothing cannot speak) I can hear this stuff calling to me from the bedroom. I am not going to respond to these relatively mild urgings today. (compared to yesterday) They will be discarded in some form or fashion soon.
I still ask WHAT THE HELL? This was not some freak coincidence! I don’t believe in coincidences, so what am I supposed to learn from this? Sure, God won out on this battle, Thank You Lord! Where is the next one going to be? I’m getting tired. The first year of trying to holy and pleasing to God was kind of easy compared to the last few months. I am well aware that because I am only five weeks away from having to give a witness at a men’s renewal at our parish, that I will continue to be tempted, to be attacked until and after the renewal weekend. I also know that by doing the Spiritual Exercises, by trying to get closer to God and following His will for my life, I am pissing off the dark side. These things I know and it all just really sucks.
I have tried to write this in order to send it out in multiple directions, because each of you are a part of my support system and I am in need of your prayers. And so that when those “voices” or temptations start talking in a confusing manner to you, try to listen for the quiet one.
I guess that is all I have for now. Through the love of Christ, I have confidence in today and I look forward to tomorrow in Faith, Hope and Love!
So, now the rest of the story: Common wisdom would have had me immediately discard these items of temptation. I felt that I needed to “face it” , to shine the light of Christ on to this situation in order to declare that this sin has no power over me. Sunday was a nice 50 degree day, so I began gathering up sticks to start a fire. I built the fire, got it going pretty good then proceeded into the house. While in the house I grabbed the bundle of underwear and talked to Wifey Dearest and invited her out to the fire. When she came out I told her that the fire had a purpose, that I needed to get rid of some stuff. I proceeded to tell her the story that you have just read. One by one each item went into the fire and melted away. My wife listened with a concerned heart, which I am grateful for.
Victory feels good, even when it is not my own. Christ won this battle for me, I truly believe that. How I was able to hear his voice and feel his presence, in the midst of this epic battle, I don’t know. All I know is that he was there for me and he is there for you too, whatever battles you face.
Your brother in Christ