Writing for our children
By derek
11/9/2006 2:11:01 PM
Jacob 4:2 — But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers--
This verse of the day is very thought provoking to me. I am on my 3rd journal notebook since I began my recovery in May. I don't really write about life too much - just about the scriptures and the 12 steps. The thing is, these journals are becoming among my most prized possessions. They are a record of a period of my life in which I am learning about the Savior and about myself,and the Lord's plan for me. A time when my wife and I are growing closer than I ever thought would be possible before I took my walls down. A time when my confidence is beginning to "wax strong" before the Lord. Often I have felt inspired as I wrote, or I have written about thoughts and impressions I had during the day. In a way, my notebooks are my very own private scriptures. I have mixed feelings, then, when I think of this verse. Are these things that I will ever be able to share with my children? My oldest is 6 and has no idea of what's really happening in his parents' lives right now. These things are a very real part of who I am now. But do I want my children to have "a small degree of knowledge concerning [me], or concerning their father"? Often I refer to my problems and addiction and how the scriptures relate to it. Is this something that I will ever be able to share with them? Because let's be honest, most of the people in the world who haven't experienced this problem either think it's not a problem or think that anyone who's involved in it is a major pervert. I don't want my kids thinking their dad was just some pervert off the street. "Dad did what?"

On the other hand, maybe they would be able to see the man I hopefully eventually become and simply look at these writings as what they are - a record of my conversion - and hopefully not look at me differently for who I was in the past. Perhaps my children could actually USE the thoughts and impressions I write for their own benefit someday. I hope to somehow be able to head off this problem in my boys so they never have to deal with it. But what if they do? What if my daughter has to deal with an addicted husband? Perhaps my writings could be helpful to them.

Anyway, I'm rambling and not really going anywhere with this, except to express those thoughts and say that I am grateful for the gift of writing. Whether for my own benefit or for that of my wife and children, I am grateful for the power and spirit which I feel reading all of your writings and for the spirit which I often feel as I write. Truly, writing is a powerful tool to help us grow.


talking to kids    
"I've debated about whether we should tell our kids about their dad's addiction when they are older.

If we don't, is it because we are ashamed? Or are we just not airing dirty laundry. I don't know.

My husbands parents never talked to him about sex or dangers of the internet. I wonder if they had, would he have ever got started in the first place?

I know his mom has felt responsible for her son's addiction, and we have talked about it. I don't blame her any more than I would blame myself. Parents do the best they can with what they have. It's the "what they have" that troubles me. I have more information today on why it's important to talk to your kids about sex, about the internet.

It was really hard for my husband to talk to his family about his problem. When he finally did, he discovered that he was not alone, and they have been able to help each other in trying to overcome their addictions.

We have information about the dangers of pornography. I hope that when our kids are a little older, we will be able to find a way to share with them our knowledge to help make their lives a little easier."
posted at 15:00:05 on November 9, 2006 by sophie
Someday my kids will probably know    
"I've thought a lot about this as well. As I first started attending the meetings and keeping a journal, I didn't ever want anyone to read it except for my wife - it was pretty much for me only. As I've progressed and realized how precious some of the experiences I have recorded are to me, I've become less concerned about others reading it later. I guess I've become less private about the whole recovery process in general.

I also have young kids (7,6,5 and 2) and I certainly won't be talking about it with them anytime soon - they're still much too young to understand. But I anticipate the day will come when they will learn about it. It's not like I feel like I have to tell them someday, but if it comes up I'm perfectly willing to share my experiences and journal with them, and I imagine it will likely come up someday. This has been a huge part of my life, and I feel like many good experiences that I would want to share are without context if you don't know about the addiction, so I don't see how it could not come up eventually."
posted at 22:23:09 on November 9, 2006 by josh
"I agree Josh, that's how it ought to be. My husband has become less concerned about who knows about his addiction. I think it's all part of letting go of pride."
posted at 14:36:21 on November 10, 2006 by sophie
Be careful...    
"I think talking to our kids are important, but so is letting go of the things we've repented of. As a wife of a spouse with these problems, I have really learned what I need to watch for in my husband, signs that will tell me what kind of day he has had. I feel that I know him well enough to know if he's had a bad day. I hope I will know my children well enough to be able to do the same thing. This process has been hard, and I've learned a lot from it. I've had a lot of faith building experiences and my testimony has increased exponentially because of all the changes we have made in our lives. But I am not proud of the fact that we had to go through this process. I wish we could have gotten to this point without having been compelled. I was told by a Bishop once, that if you have committed a sexual sin, the only person you should feel the need to share that information with is your spouse and only if you feel directed to do so by the spirit. Obviously as parents, we do what we can to follow the spirit, and to lead our children in righteousness, and if someone feels like sharing their experiences would benefit their children, more power to you. I'm just saying for ME personally, I would not share this information with my children unless one of them was going through the same trials. It's late, I'm tired, and I'm sure I'm not saying this right. I've just seen a lot of harm come to families where the parents, who had really good intentions, shared such personal information with their kids. SO, go about it prayerfully whatever you decide to do."
posted at 01:21:27 on November 13, 2006 by mcr285
"I just read what I wrote, and I realized that I made kind of an error when paraphrasing my Bishop. He was talking about past sexual sins, from before you were married. Obviously sins of that nature directly affect the relationship you have with your spouse and so of course you need to talk to your spouse about it! Anyway, just felt the need to clarify that. I was reading other posts and I do like the idea of having father's interviews. I think that would not only help your relationships with your kids, but also it would help you to stay focused on things of the spirit. :)"
posted at 20:22:20 on November 18, 2006 by mcr285
Sharing With Our Children    
"I have read this blog with much interest since Derek first wrote. I have had a lot of thoughts about what each of you have written. I think that how we choose to inform or not inform our children has to be a very individual decision. In my case, our children are older--20, 18, 14 and 9. Our oldest 3 know about their Dad's pornography addiction to some extent. My 18 year old is really the one who discovered the evidence of my husband's addiction, so she innocently got involved. For various reasons my husband and I decided to let our other two children know what was going on. Our 9 year old doesn't know anything about it. I don't know if the day will come when we will tell her or not. One of the reasons we decided to tell the kids is because I had such a hard time emotionally for so long at first. They could feel the black clouds hovering at our house, even as hard as I tried to go on with things as usual. --I felt like it was important for them to know that they were not responsible for the way I was acting. --It has been interesting to see the reactions of our oldest three children who know about their Dad's addiction. Amazingly they have been very supportive. I know they have had questions about various aspects of the addiction. They have each approached me with questions, and I make sure that I keep them updated on their Dad's progress. It feel it is really good for them to learn about the process of repentance through all of this. And to understand that if they make bad choices, it's not all over like Satan wants us to believe. There is a way out, and they are learning that I still love their Dad in spite of the bad choices he has made in the past.

In some of the earliest days when we were feeling so much of the Savior's love in our family as my husband started his repentance process, my oldest daughter came to me one day and said "I'm not glad that Dad did this, but I think because of it, it has made our family stronger." I know that the knowledge of their Dad's addiction is probably a lot for them to deal with, but they are doing amazingly well.

--I truly wish this had never happened, but it is a huge blessing for me to know that my kids are there to support me. There are very few people other than them that know about my husbands addiction, and they help support me when I am having hard days. --Who knows, maybe some day my daughters are going to have to deal with this with their spouses. --I certainly hope not, but being realistic, I think the chances are high. Maybe from watching and learning from the things that we have been through, they will be more willing to forgive if this situation comes up in their marriages. --I know at first, I thought that divorce was the only answer. Then Through the amazing power of the atonement and the Savior's love I came to the realization that I didn't want my marriage to end, and that if my husband was willing to fight this battle, I was going to be by his side as he did it. It has been the hardest thing that I've ever done. I occasionally have days when I want to give up the fight. But I live for the day when his weakness becomes a strength. I know it will happen. The key is to endure to the end. I hope and pray that we all can."
posted at 04:01:44 on November 22, 2006 by Anonymous
oops !!    
"The above comment was written by achar !! I thought I was logged in, but who knows. As you can all see I'm no computer genius. --sorry!"
posted at 04:05:19 on November 22, 2006 by achar

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"Brothers and sisters, stay on the straight and narrow path. No, stay in the middle of the straight and narrow path. Don't drift; don't wander; don't dabble; be careful. Remember, do not flirt with evil. Stay out of the devil's territory. Do not give Satan any home-field advantage. Living the commandments will bring you the happiness that too many look for in other places. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006