This letter was written by one of the members of Castimonia on the request of his therapist. Please take a moment to read this, it is very powerful.
I have longed for this day for over 20 years. I’m writing to tell you ‘goodbye’. Sure, I’ve said that before, but before you mock me, I have a few things to say. I’ve been reflecting on our time together lately. I don’t remember when we met; it seems like you’ve always been around. But we really grew close the summer I found that adult magazine. What a rush! I had never met anyone who could make me feel as good as you could. As my companion, you knew the pain I felt as a boy, you understood it better than I did. You were such a comforter, bringing images to mind to take my thoughts away from the pain and uncertainties of life.
I understand how we grew so close, but I couldn’t see how you were changing me. You changed the way I viewed the world, the way I saw women, and the way I viewed myself. You changed my priorities and passions, you changed my fragile boundaries, and you changed the very structure of my brain!
I thought of you as a friend, but you were anything but a friend. You brought harm to every part of my being; mind, body and, spirit. You also harmed countless people around me; from people I didn’t even know to the people I loved the most. You destroyed relationships with my family and closest friends. You cost me a marriage, a ministry, and my reputation with my home church. You stole tens of thousands of hours from my work, family, and from life giving pursuits, not to mention the thousands of dollars from my bank account. You took my integrity, confidence, and self-respect. Weren’t you satisfied with all of that? No!
You drew me away from my God and demanded that I worship you! You took His place in my life, but you were a poor substitute old Familiar One. You never left me nor forsook me, even though I begged you to. I sacrificed the most sacred things for you, but you always wanted more. I feasted at your table, but your food and drink left my soul ravenous and parched. I faithfully listened and obeyed your words, but nothing turned out as you said…NOTHING!!! There were times, it’s true, you brought me comfort, happiness, and wholeness. But your gifts were a mirage, a momentary fix at best. In the end, they brought shame and guilt, which deepened my despair. In all things, you promised life but delivered death.
I know this wasn’t ALL your fault. I am to blame, too; I went along, I said “yes”. I invited you in time and time again. I fed you, entertained you, gave you a safe place to reside, and went to all lengths to protect you. I’ve given you far too much power, influence, time, attention, and energy.
Five months ago today (9/11/14), my loving Father intervened and opened my eyes to see how toxic our relationship was. I severed our relationship because I saw the destruction you brought to my life. Though the scars from our ventures will never go away, your influence will be felt for years to come. Yes, you’ve altered my life forever. But I am a better man without you. My family is better without you.
I’ve asked my Heavenly Father to take your place and to show me a better way. We’re on a different path than the one you travel. I know this will make you angry, and you will lurk in the shadows seeking to enslave me once again. But I’m getting stronger by the day old ‘friend’. I know your voice and will be vigilant to watch for you. So it’s time to say a final “goodbye” to you Familiar One, you and your destructive ways are no longer welcome here.
PS: I’m telling other men about you; I’m exposing you for who you really are. I only hope that I can destroy as many of your relationships as you have of mine.
No longer your slave,