Published On: June 7 2015
A dark Journey into the light is the true story of a man who, for sixty years, led a double life.
Josef is lost in a secret world of sexual gratification, a true-life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, unable to halt the “roller coaster of conflicting emotional extremes that never stopped long enough for me to get off.”
“I gave myself to that sexual playground completely, and loved every minute of it when it was happening. It was only afterwards that spikes of shame, guilt, and self-¬loathing would be driven deep into my heart.”
He traces the beginnings of his obsession to his childhood, where his natural innocent curiosity and need for exploration were at odds with his Catholic upbringing and the view of his extremely repressed mother, both of whom regarded the human body as ‘dirty’ and ‘shameful’.
For sixty years, Josef lived a secret double life. The only people who knew about this other life were the professional mistresses, trannies, and prostitutes with whom he indulged every conceivable sexual fantasy. No one in his ‘other’ life had any idea of who he really was or the things he did.
Yet his secret life claimed a terrible toll. The failure of his first marriage. The loss of his son. The loss of his beloved second wife.
Only after extensive therapy was he finally able to see and feel the light of compassion, and allow the healing energy of forgiveness to begin taking away the pain.
In his journey, Josef explores an astonishing variety of topics. In addition to sexual addiction and the hidden world of BDSM, he delves into the burden of guilt of the Catholic Church, fear, political correctness, non-¬judgment, love and loss, philosophy, the soul, spiritual awakening, and healing.
This is the journey of an ordinary man lost in an extraordinary secret, dark world, who ultimately finds his way out of the tangled mess through the power of love and forgiveness.
Note from the Author
This is the story of my life. It has not been fabricated, exaggerated, or embellished in any way. It’s the raw truth and I’m not really sure why I’m writing it, but my therapist thinks it’s a good idea, and I can understand her reasoning about that. Writing down my life’s story might simply be a part of the healing process, so I can finally move on with my life and live it like a normal person. All my life I’ve wished for nothing more than to just be normal, as I’ve looked around and envied other people’s untroubled lives. At least that is how they appear on the surface. We can all be quite certain that most people harbor some secrets in their lives. Those secrets might be just some small things they regret, or feel ashamed about. I wish people did not need to have secrets, and live in fear and guilt about their lives. Most things people hide from are not worth the stress, but I guess I’m the same. Maybe I should be able to shout from the rooftops, and tell the world I’m not afraid or ashamed of my life, but in my heart I know many people will stand in judgment of me. At the same time, I know that deep down a lot of people would applaud my courage to do so, even if their own fears prevented them from supporting me out loud. Therein lies the problem. If you stand outside society’s norm, you stand alone, through social judgment and fear. Maybe I should just include it all in the category of fear, and leave judgment out of it, considering that all judgment has its roots in fear to begin with.
Fear; the prime mover for almost every expression in our lives. What would it be like to be free of fear?
I know everyone has their problems, and people go through a great deal of pain and suffering in so many ways. I personally know people who I would not trade places with for anything on Earth. We all go through the “run of the mill” issues which plague people; things like marriage breakups, financial problems, health issues, and everything that goes with living on this planet; trying to coexist with a whole lot of people, most of whom we have almost nothing in common, except a pattern of closely similar reactions that maintain a reasonable level of “sanity” in society. And it is all bound in fear.
It doesn’t sound like much of a way to live, but if you question someone about their lives and propose the idea that they live their lives in fear, almost all of them will disagree. Some will even get angry, and possibly violent, if you dare to start a debate with them on the issue. The irony is that they won’t see, even then, that their reaction to the idea that their lives are based on fear, is in itself a fear based reaction. So why would I tell people about my life? Why would I stand up, step out of the shadows that society creeps around in, and put my trust in people to accept my life? Simple. People cannot be trusted. Everyone knows this because everyone has a secret. The only variable is the size of the secret, and mine would attract a massive excess baggage fee if I packed it in a suitcase and boarded a plane.
I’ve had, and have, all those problems I spoke about; divorce, health and finance, to some degree. I’m not saying my life is difficult in the main, and in fact I often count myself lucky, and give thanks for my life, and the many things I enjoy. Unlike some others, at least I have my health, in that I can walk, talk, eat, see and hear. I also have a brain that works well enough, which gives me the opportunity to make something of myself, and do something with my life. I really cannot complain, so what makes my life so different that my therapist thinks that writing it down is a good idea?
I don’t think the aspect of my life in question is in anyway unusual, or different, to a large percentage of the population, so I guess it just comes down to a question of degree and scope. When I consider those factors I can’t help feeling my life has been a little unusual, to say the least, and a lot unusual to “say the most”! No doubt it could be expressed by a lot of people with words like sick, deviant, gross, fucked-up, pathetic, abhorrent, disgusting, depraved, and so on. These words are not new to me. I’ve tarred myself with every one of them over the years, and nobody else could project the depth of feeling in those words more strongly to me than I have against myself. That projection in turn evoked feelings of shame, guilt, unworthiness and self-loathing that cannot be replicated by imagination. Even if I told you that you cannot imagine the things I’ve done, and then gave you a hint, you would not cover the depth and breadth of my life experience.
I’ve written about this in a way that tries to depict how I felt at the time and how I feel now, and can only use words or terms that make that possible. This book is not for the prudish or faint-hearted, so if you like your reality painted over and sugar-coated, then this is not for you, and I suggest you make a nice cup of tea and watch re-runs of Days of Our Lives instead.
I’m not complaining about my lot, and in some strange way I have even come to appreciate it after all this time. All I want to do now is find some understanding out of it that might possibly enrich the remainder of my life, and maybe even help others with theirs.
It all seemed to begin harmlessly enough as a young child in primary school, but when I was a young teenager, an innocent conversation with my mother raised the idea in me that this turbulent, obsessive journey had actually begun when I was just a baby. In time I had no doubt about this, and it has often led me to wonder – is this some kind of karmic load I am unloading, or am I building a karmic load that will crush the life out of my soul? This is the question that would plague me through the decades to come. Whatever the explanation for it, I was powerless to do anything about it. All I could do was hang in, and hang on, as I plunged headlong through a chaotic world of sensory self-gratification. Where do I even start, to give anyone an idea of the duality of the life I have lived for as long as I can remember? There is that old clichéd crap about starting at the beginning, and they may be right, but let’s just skip ahead for a moment, because honestly, if I’m going to write this down, then I don’t have time for norms or clichés, and don’t give a shit about them. Skipping ahead will give me a clear reminder of why I’m writing this, and what I’m writing about. I’ll come back and try to join some dots, so this might become a clearer picture of what it always felt like to me: a life unlived. Is that too dramatic; to call it a life unlived? I lived something, didn’t I? We all have some notion of what life should be like, or what we wish it was like, and in my mind and in my heart my life never measured up to any of my wishes. It just never felt like living. It always felt like a crap life; a bum deal. It is what it is.