My story isn't typical. Most don't survive. In fact, it's quite remarkable. Not because I'm some dude who comprehended the complexities of life with answers to solve them. In fact, I'm the one who created complexities and strife for everyone around me. To count the amount of times my choices caused pain to those whom were important figures in my life, would be exhausting.
The real heroes in my story are those who I had given every reason to walk away yet stayed. Friends who believed me even though truth was far from me. Loved me with no guarantee I would make it back from the dark places where the absence of love was obvious. My beautiful loving and faithful wife who became accustomed to my manipulation, blame and unfaithfulness on a catastrophic level. The pit was deep, dark with little wiggle room. Even though I tried, there was no one to blame. The handle of the shovel had conformed to my hand perfectly.
I certainly couldn't blame my upbringing. Church was the norm. I attended Sunday school, church camps, youth groups, played in Christian bands and did "Christian" things. There was however always another life that I wanted to live. It was rooted in the loss of innocence at a young age that birthed a desire and lust driven appetite without the ability to satisfy.
My betrayal of all that was good in my life began to unravel in early 2004. I was married with three outrageously gifted kids, had a good reputation as a home builder, and volunteered at my church. Everything seemed in order until I got the phone call from my wife. Her words were few but they altered the course of my life forever. With each question she asked, the depth of my deception unraveled. What took years to build turned to rubble in the matter of hours. Everything I worked for was gone. Every relationship was shaken. All were impacted by my choices.
My personal foundation could not withstand the pressure of deception, lies and shame that I had created.