“I was hooked. Most people here are talking about drugs and alcohol, my addiction wasn’t any different. When I wanted to do it, I just wanted to do it and there was nothing else,” Kevin recalls, sharing about his battle with sex addiction.

Growing up in the small suburban town of Bardonia, New York, Kevin lived a wholesome life. He went to school, spent time with his friends, played sports, and celebrated the High Holidays with his family. Despite his strained relationship with his father, Kevin felt he had a close-knit family that provided him with all the support he needed to thrive.

Kevin’s “normal life” quickly started to crumble late into his junior year of high school, when his parents sat him down and gave him the news that they were filing for divorce. The divorce quickly turned ugly with his father putting a padlock on the master bedroom and not showing back up for weeks at a time. To make matters worse, his mother was diagnosed with cancer that same year. “You would think my father would have laid off a little bit, but he didn’t,” Kevin says.

“My mom was like my best friend,” he explains. With his older sister away at college and his father no longer present in his day-to-day life, he was left to take care of his mother. He no longer felt the comfort of the strong family support system he was afforded in his younger years. Although Kevin’s mom tried to shelter him from the reality of how bad her cancer was progressing, it was apparent to him that she wasn’t doing well.

A week back into his college career, Kevin got a call from his aunt telling him that he and his sister needed to come home. His mother was on her last legs and only had about a week left to live.

After his mother passed away, Kevin felt completely alone. He didn’t feel he had the time to properly grieve, because with his mother’s death came new financial responsibilities. When he finished college, he immediately started working as hard as he could to tackle those responsibilities.

Unfortunately, there was another career budding and before long Kevin found internet chatrooms, where he could have cyber-sex. He quickly took to the release it gave him. “I was really kind of hooked on them, I could be anyone, I could lie, I didn’t have to be myself,” he relates. Not long after, he was introduced to massage parlors that offered happy endings.

Once Kevin started down that road, he couldn’t stop. He didn’t see many negative consequences at first, he got married, had kids, and was still maintaining a strong work ethic. Kevin shrugged it off as a bad habit that he would eventually shake when the time was right.

As the time passed, his addiction grew stronger. He moved to Los Angeles and quickly sourced call girls out here that he could see. Visiting these massage parlors started to consume him. He wasn’t being the person he knew he needed to be at work or at home. He was pushed out of a very successful career for it, his marriage was shaky at best, and his mental wherewithal was depleting.

After receiving help from a treatment center in Arizona his wife gave him another chance. He felt he got a lot of work done on himself, but on February 9, 2018 he slipped and visited an erotic masseuse. He told his wife, who quickly divorced him.

Although Kevin hasn’t seen an erotic masseuse since that date, his life continued to fall apart. He invested heavily in a business venture that ended up burning down, putting him in debt. His depression started to get the best of him. He started to contemplate if his kids would just be better off with the trauma of losing their father rather than having one that couldn’t function. He was unemployed and living off of savings he had. He needed help.

Realizing that Kevin was suffering, a close friend from college came to his aid and helped him secure a bed at Beit T’Shuvah. Since his arrival he says his main focus has been to live in the present moment and not dwell on the past or stress too much on what tomorrow might bring. He has learned to open his heart to the community. Within a very short time of being at BTS he shared his story and struggled late in the night at Shavuot, inspiring a roomful of residents, staff, and community members to do the same. Going from a man who hid himself behind a keyboard to a man willing to bare his soul to a loving community is a feat that should be applauded.

Spotlight on Kevin L by Jake Schw.

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