Editor's Note: Today's story is being shared anonymously. Pornography is a dangerous world to slip into. It builds upon itself, slowly taking more control – and eats at the good in our lives. Please listen to the words of this woman as she passes on what she lost in becoming addicted to sex and pornography.
It started as an innocent Google search. I was eleven. I wanted to know more about one of my favorite singers, so I searched her name. I ended up on a fan site, which had a chat room. We weren’t allowed to chat online, but I was curious, and never got caught breaking the rules anyway. I was sneaky. I made up a name, and started talking to total strangers from around the country.
A few weeks later, I was chatting with a few people and one of them sent me a link. They told me to click it and not to worry about the part where it asked if I was eighteen, I’d like what I saw. I naively clicked and opened a porn site. At first, I was mostly surprised. I didn’t know it was wrong, my parents had never even given me a sex talk. I was curious. Something in me was shocked, but another part of me wanted to know and see more.
So I came back. Again. And again, every day. Soon I was saying goodnight to my parents then waiting until I heard my dad snoring to sneak back downstairs to the computer to watch porn. Every night, for hours and hours. I’d be quiet, turn off the sound, and clear the history after I was done.
Inevitably, I began to mimic what I saw on the screen. I started masturbating every day, several times a day. I was hooked. I loved it, it was my secret and nobody knew. I felt proud, but in a guilty, scared way. I was unsure of what I was actually involved in. I withdrew from my family and friends.
I started making excuses to stay home alone… especially on Sundays when the whole family would go out to church. I’d say I was sick, or some other excuse. I didn’t really believe in God anyway, so I didn’t care. I just wanted sex. I wanted to watch more porn, to feel better about myself. I wanted to be what I saw on the computer. I wanted that crazy sex. I wanted to know what it was like. Those secret moments with porn became my life. I literally lost reality, convincing myself that I should run away to have that sexual perversion. It got so bad that I’d go to my job as a babysitter, put a movie on for the kids, and then watch porn until the parents came back. I almost got caught more than once. But I was good at lying. My parents and family were too caught up in the busy chaos of homeschooling and taking care of the babies to notice. They never knew.
I built a world in my head. A world where I was that bad girl with huge boobs and all those guys going crazy for me. I was a stripper, a hooker, or a famous porn star. And I was good at what I did. But none of it was real.
I started cheating in schoolwork to make up for my lack of sleep and addiction. I had no desire for anything else. I became even sneakier, telling lies was my first language.
Thankfully, God radically broke in and saved me a few months before I turned fourteen. But three years of my life had been wasted, utterly consumed by my pornography addiction. I haven’t masturbated or been involved in porn in over six years now, but it still affects my life seriously. I would have reoccurring rape nightmares, and my mind is still a battlefield as I try to forget the thousands of images and filth that filled those years. It seriously injured my education, as I continued cheating through high school to cover up the time lost to my addiction, and am now seriously struggling in college as I basically missed all of my middle school studies and consequently much of high school. I don’t cheat any more, but I am barely maintaining a 1.5 GPA as I struggle through subjects I should have mastered long ago.
After I got saved, I started to look to the Church and to my parents for answers about sex. My parents never talked about it. In fact, after a youth group sermon referred briefly and non-graphically to sex when I was fifteen, my dad told me that sex is only to be discussed by a husband and wife… his reasoning for us “not being told”. We weren’t allowed to go back to youth group for a long time. The church briefly and gingerly spoke about saving it for marriage, and how it’s a terrible thing.
I needed my parents to be frank and tactful about talking to me about sex. I needed the church to be forward and truthful about sex. I needed to know that it’s a beautiful thing, a sort of a wedding gift from God. But I didn’t know. I was left in the dark, and I stumbled. I looked for answers in all the wrong places. I needed them to help me heal and work through what I had been through with porn and sex, and they didn’t. They pushed it in the closet.
Parents, please be a safe place for your kids to talk about sex. They already know much more than you think, even if you think you sheltered them. Church, stop teaching that sex is dirty and wrong and frightening. Tell the truth about sex. Address pornography. Don’t dance around the hard issues and shun those who are struggling. And women, this isn’t just about the men anymore. Speak up, tell your story. God pulled me out of my addiction, and He’s carefully healing me. He can do the same for you.