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Messages By: freetha

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August 25, 2008, 8:27 am CDT

The Obsession With Success

There's an old Icelandic saying that "Seldom is one the cause when two argue" and it applies here as well as in a lot of other cases. Yes the young man might not be taking care of his own life as much as he should but why should he chase the level of success that others desire?

My personal reply to "I need 20$" would be "go earn them then", but at the same time, if he is happy working a low income job then who the heck are we to say that he "aught to" be making payments on a car so he can go to school and get a better job.
I am a low income, part time worker in a spiritual store myself, and I have no desire to become a doctor or a lawyer or anything else requiring a university degree either, and it hurts me deeply when my own family insinuates that I am not good enough through critizising my choice not to pursue the highest level of education available. After all, the world still needs ditch diggers!

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August 25, 2008, 8:36 am CDT

Understanding Addiction

Quote From: chriskramar

I am tired of the media making internet addiction a joke.


My first marriage was destroyed by internet addiction and its associated ease in pursuing pornography addiction and online sex chat.


My ex husband was hospitalized for depression in January 1997 when his internet life where he was telling people in online local chat that he was getting a divorce and had a much more lucrative career than he actually did collided with the fact that after 4 years of trying to get pregnant we finally were expecting.  He had not paid any of our bills for 3 months and had used the money to entertain new friends he had met online.


He was in the hospital for 1 week, then had inpatient day-care for 2 weeks while I had to figure out how to get our bills paid. There was tremendous pressure on me from that day forward to make sure that he never got too stressed and I lived in paralyzing fear that he would kill himself and I would have to explain that to our children.


I identified this as the problem when he was in the hospital but his doctor and social worker dismissed it. I was offered the opportunity to discuss if I wanted an abortion, but neither would listen to how obsessed he had become with going online from the time he got home from work, until 2 or 3 the next morning.  I later learned that he had started sneaking chat at work and had been on the verge of discovery up until he went in the hospital.


When he got home he was only able to stay off the computer for about 2 weeks then slowly came up with reasons why he needed to get back on.


Fast forward through 6 years of catching lying about long distance phone calls, mystery computer purchases, and sex chat logs I discovered.  He would in turn threaten to kill himself and get his medications changed.  He was on Trazadone, Zoloft, and Effexor but no one talked to him about obsessing over the computer.


I could not count on him to help me with anything around the house or to watch the kids.  I had to take part time jobs after the kids went to bed because he was entirely irrational with them expecting that they make no demands of him during his computer time. Most of the time when we visited family it was like the lights were on and nobody was at home.  I was so embarassed of him that he would make a beeline straight to the computer in any house we were visiting so he could check his email and get back onto chat. At family gatherings he was always at a computer. We had multiple notices and fines from our home owners association because he would not get off his butt to mow the lawn or do maintenance.  I was tremendously embarassed by our situation. 


I had trusted that he was visiting parenting websites and sharing information about being a father.  I learned instead that he was trolling a highly trusted national parenting website and looking at the pictures Moms had posted.  He admitted to starting to private message the "cute" ones and this is how the online sexual relationships started.  He later faked business trips to go meet 2 women in person. He lied to me and said that because he was new in a job that he did not have vacation or sick time.  He took one of these trips when our youngest daughter was only 4 weeks old after taking no time off for her birth. I have seen the chat logs and these women were online with him for at least 8 hours a day from work or home, so obviously they have an addiction too. But when you see that your husband is in a parenting chat you don't immediately think its about sex.


The final draw came when he was terminated from his position with the Federal Government for posting to message boards, online chat, and viewing pornography. He was so obsessed with this that using the software provided on his computer at work was not enough that he installed his own unauthorized programs and even tunneled through the firewall back to his home computer. Again, he was hospitalized for the depression that resulted in his life from his two worlds colliding. I left him to live with my parents and divorced 6 months later after attempting marriage therapy and learning that he had no understanding of the impact of his actions.  The adultery was acknowledged by the marriage therapist, but would not go into the impact of being a widow to his computer addiction. 


Even more infuriating was that the psych unit he was on had internet access! So while I was in deep grief over what was happening, he was allowed to go online! He never stopped his second online persona the whole time he was hospitalized. When he got visitation with the kids I caught him that he was posting to a pornographic website while the kids were in his care!  Despite having a court order that he is to stay offline when the kids were in his care, during their last visits the kids reported that Dad made them fly 3 hours to sit in his apartment while he typed on the computer!


I kept hearing over and over that well this is what he does for a living, so obviously it must mean that he gets a free pass or something to be on the computer 22 hours a day and neglect the rest of his life.


Today he is still addicted.  I can do a google search for his known monikers and see that he is still posting to several message boards. From the time date stamps I can tell he is still up to doing this while he is at work.  He has been fired from other jobs since the divorce I suspect for his online activities.


He has not seen his kids in 2 years, he does not pay his court ordered child support, and claims that all he can get is a part time job at a motel.  But I think he has that job because he can sit at a desk all night and post to the internet waiting for people to check in.


 His life is over until he has control over his desire to be a legend in his online mind. I am sick that he posts about being a father to kids he has not seen in two years.  He wants to do online chat and email with the kids and I have firmly said NO. My children will not be multitasked, I insist that their interactions be intentional and with a purpose.  He does not talk to them on the phone because you can tell he is distracted and typing away.


The only people I feel sorry for are my two kids age 8 and 11 that their father chooses to be an online narcissist versus the man I married years ago who once had real goals and a direction to his life.


     What gets me in your post is "their father chooses to be an online narcissist".
When someone is addicted they don't just "choose" to continue to pursue their addiction. They are driven towards it with a severe "need".
You don't say that an alcoholic "chooses" to stay drunk, nor would you accept that an alcoholic is allowed "one beer" and "only on saturdays".
One can not take a person who is addicted to the internet and "allow" them to use the internet at all and expect them not to feed their addiction.


Message Emote
August 25, 2008, 8:44 am CDT

When is it an Addiction and when Not?

  Here I go, using myself as an example again.
Most people speak of how many hours on the computer when they talk about the addiction, but few are bothered enough to look at the whole of the situation. Yes, as some have mentioned here so far, there are clear and obvious addics out there and I do not mean to lighten that situation. However, I'm a 25 year old with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Finding the energy to get up in the morning is enough to render me exhausted for most of the day. I work a few hours a day, I work on my art, I eat right and make sure I keep moving, but after all that I have no drive left to "go out" and socialize. My computer "is" my social life because I have no where else left to go at the end of the day that I have any energy to go.
Couple that with working on my book and playing music through the comuter while I work on my art and I'm raking up an enormous number of hours on the box each week. Does that alone make me addicted? No.
I can leave the computer at home when I do leave it for a few days, but I'd rather not as I feel disconnected from the people I would call my friends.

And to those that would argue that people on the internet are not friends I'd like to remind you that just because you're talking to a friend on the phone or online, doesn't make them a different person. Every nickname, every online alias, is somewhere, in the real world, a real human being, as am I.
Each person you speak with through the means of your keyboard is Still a human being.


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