When people learn that I travel full time, one of their first questions is “So what made you live in an RV?” A very good question because who in their right mind would sell their 35 years of belongings, home they built, and acreage for life in a box? That would be me. And let me tell you why my husband and I sold our life to live in a camper.
In all honesty it was out of survival. The world I knew blew up before my eyes in one day – the day I found out Jon struggled with sex addiction. Now, granted I went into denial for two years because I loved this man to the core and because I dealt with sexual anorexia – a term I learned through my grueling therapy work.
There we were, two people who had loved each other since we were eleven. Two people who had secrets they had stuffed deep inside. Secrets we had even hidden from ourselves. Once they were exposed, the amount of pain was unbearable. It was in that grief we decided to choose healing. (More about Sex Addiction is Our Story)
It took us a few rounds of counselors to find someone who took Jon’s addiction and my pain seriously. There are so many therapists who view looking at pornography and more as a guy thing. They told Jon to “just stop it.” Some religious figures counseled couples we knew by telling them to get rid of electronics or to change careers. As with any unhealthy way of coping, cutting off the external behaviors does not heal the core wound. If you don’t heal the core wound another unhealthy behavior will pop up. That is why many will stop drinking to start gambling. Stop drugs to start uncontrolled eating. It is a never ending cycle until the wound is discovered and healed.
I Thought Sex Addiction Was Made Up
I hear this so often from the general public. Wouldn’t that be nice. I wish sex addiction was made up along with all of the men and women who suffer from it, along with their spouses/partners. Sex addiction is the fastest growing addiction in this country. It is a secret and soul destroying addiction because it has its grip on a person’s very being, their sexuality. And one can’t just be sober and never feel sexual again.
Sex addiction is real and not just an excuse to have an affair. Dealing with sex addiction means that you cope with things like sadness or loneliness by using sex to feel better. It is a drug to deaden the intense pain just like one may use alcohol or cocaine. The more you cycle, the more shame there is to propel your next hit. The end of the shame cycle for sex addicts ends in suicide.
The tricky part is that just like food addiction you can’t stop using it. Sexuality is part of your being like food is necessary for living. It is a difficult journey to travel.
Why We Chose to Live in an RV
After two years of intense therapy work, Jon and I determined we needed a clean slate. Our family needed some time away from what we knew and the small communities we grew up in. We needed time to focus on healing ourselves, our marriage, and our parenting. We decided to take all of the money from our house sale and use it for a year of healing. All of it.
The hope was that along the way we would decide where we wanted to start our life over. Somewhere in our home state of Minnesota? The beauty of Oregon or Colorado? Another location that called to our spirits?
Jon quit his job to be fully present with the family as we took the kids on various adventures. Soon our family system switched from surviving to thriving. Core wounds began healing as we used what we learned from therapy to change. We grieved. We talked. We celebrated.
When the year ended and the money was all gone, we were at a crossroads to settle back down or continue on. It was a difficult decision to make as we had no idea what lay ahead. And financially it was not responsible to choose an unknown path instead of one of the jobs Jon was offered in our hometown. But, who finds happiness by doing what other people say is the right way for you to live?
Thank goodness we followed our hearts instead of our heads. This is one amazing life. We are grateful we took the leap.