First of all let me start off by saying, I gave my
life to Christ when I was 14 years old.
I grew up in a household with an abusive father.
He was not physically abusive, just emotionally and verbally
abusive. I lived as normal
of a life as I could, the typical teenager over at a friend s house
and finds a porn movie or magazine.
You and your friends start to giggle and hope not to get caught.
This is my earliest recollection of porn.
The enemy (Satan) picks his moments very carefully.
I joined the US Army right from high school.
It was an escape from my father.
I was stationed as far away from Ohio without leaving the
continental United States, Washington State.
I was not on base for more than 2 days when I started getting the
thoughts of loneliness. So
I went to the local convenient store on base and picked up couple of
pornographic magazines. For
some strange reason, I did not feel lonely any more. This was Satan planting the first of many lies.
As my time grew longer in Washington State, I
started to make friends and the loneliness went away.
My buddies all had porn movies and magazines and it was no big
deal. In the back of mind,
I knew it was wrong. I
started to rent movies on my own, about once a week.
I was hooked. No
girlfriend or acquaintance could fill my desire.
It was not a need, it was a want/desire.
I would go long periods without renting porn or purchasing
magazines, but always went back to the habit.
Then it was time for me to come back to Ohio.
I have been back in Cincinnati for 8 years now.
Six of those years I have had Internet access.
This only threw gas on the fire.
Porn was easily accessed and if you knew where to look, it was
free. I thought when I got
married the porn would stop. Well, it stopped for only a few months. I thought when I had my first child it would stop, again for
a few more months. With my
second child, same thing. My
anger only increased. I
snapped at everything that moved. I
started to exercise my faith and get involved more at church.
I repented for my sins and started to feel better, but kept
coming back to the same habit. My
addiction was affecting my worship.
I chose this point to use the word addiction because it was
so hard for me to come to grips with it.
It took me 6 years to realize I had a problem.
I went to a church service earlier this year (2003) and heard a
sermon on sexual purity. God
convicted my heart and told me that it was time for me to listen to him
instead of him listening to me. Satan
planted many lies in my head like, No one will ever know ,
It s not hurting anyone , What makes you think God will listen
to you , and finally Go ahead, you can ask for forgiveness when you
are done . The last lie
put me over the edge and I told my wife for the first time I had an
Internet porn addiction.
I sought out professional counseling with a local Christian counselor (member of the Christian Counselors Association). Over the next few months, my life changed dramatically. I learned through a process lead by the Holy Spirit, that anger and pornography had been in my family for many generations. When I was healed from this dangerous addiction, it was like God ripped something from my body. God let me know the truth, I am not in this battle alone , I am here, just call upon me , and I sent my son Jesus to bear all of your sins . I have been set free!!!! But just because I had been set free does not mean the sins of the flesh do not reappear. When inappropriate thoughts enter my head or I am tempted, I ask the Holy Spirit to take the thought captive and be bound by the authority given me by the blood of Jesus Christ. Amazingly, the thought is removed, I praise God and get on with my day.
YOU ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE. IT MIGHT FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE TO COME FORWARD AND CONFESS TO YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE, BUT IT IS THE FIRST STEP IN OBTAINING YOUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT. THE ABILITY TO WORSHIP THE LORD THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE. I DID NOT TIP TOE THROUGHT THE TULIPS TRYING TO FIND A SOLUTION TO MY PROBLEM. I WANTED A RADICAL MOVEMENT OF CHRIST AND I GOT IT. I WANTED MY 2 YR AND 9MO OLD GIRLS TO KNOW THEIR MOM AND DAD STAND FOR SOMETHING. THEY KNOW WHEN YOU GIVE THEM ADVICE AND YOU ARE NOT LIVING BY YOUR OWN SUGGESTION. MY KIDS WILL KNOW THEIR PARENTS WORDS HAVE MERIT AND TRUTH. There are a multiple of resources for you to get help, your church, CCV, and similar organizations. I hope and pray my story can impact you.
Porn is no longer confined to the seedy areas of town as it once was, in smelly buildings with men who don't dare make eye contact with one another. It's in our homes and living rooms now, and a porn addict can spend hours upon end online with his addiction and never spend a single cent. What are called "tgp's" refresh their pictures daily and compete for millions of hits from middle aged porn addicts with computers. They don't require any money at all. I once told a minister that
I could give him a search word that would keep him in free porn for the rest of his natural life. I also told him he didn't want to know what that word was. He didn't ask. I have been one of those porn addicts. I have fought porn addiction for most of my teenaged and adult life. I was molested at three and beaten and punished severely for my subsequent curiosity with neighborhood girls. A vacuum on correct sexual information and not having any sisters of my own created a mystery and insatiability to my views of the female body and the sexual world. I have been married for 25 years. It doesn't matter. Until one comes to know the dreadfulness of his sin nature, there is little hope of giving up such a strong compulsion, and one must also come to know what women truly are in the eyes of God to even begin recovery. Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. So it is with sexuality. But porn promises never ending variety and stimulation. If a nyarea of our lives is vacant or unsatisfied, the lust for porn has room to take up residence. It is a terrible compulsion and there are indeed victims and consequences. I used to measure my time away from porn as I do my sobriety time from alcoholism, which is now 12.5 years. One can live without alcohol, but not without food and affection.
So now I know that my progress is not based on time measurements, but on the amount of my flesh that can be affected by sin during any given period. The only answer is the armor of God, discussed in the book of Ephesians. I was called to the ministry in 1995 and promptly swore off ever going into another adult bookstore. I have kept that vow to this day, and trashed one of the best porn collections you'd ever find anywhere. But what happens when your computer screen can bring up millions of pornographic images as a temporary cure for loneliness, fatigue, rejection, everyday problems, and anxiety? What then? The answer for me has also been the discovery of the true preciousness of women, not of what their outsides consist of, but of what is inside. I am becoming faithful with both my wife and a dear female friend about this affliction. Some day I hope to be sufficiently fit and secure that I mightshow other men the way to the same freedom I am finding, day by day. Laws against these adult websites are not the answer. Such barriers only create resentment and curiosity, just as the beatings I received as a child did. God wants us to do the right thing for the right reasons. Sex in it's blessed form is sanctioned by God, but few people even address that. If we begin to teach the masses that the human body is a beautiful and divine thing, that the women in pornography and the men who view it are equally enslaved, and that wonderful sex at its best is the product of deep intimacy and God sanctioned relationships, we might spare future generations in our brave new world the despair of the sins of their fathers. As for now, my mind, heart, and soul are clean and so is my computer.
Shame. It's an emotion we've all felt and all of us desperately try to avoid. In fact, the episodes from my life I'm about to share with you were so private and shameful to me that at one time I very nearly killed to keep them a secret. I paid a terrible price in my life for these secret shames. Unpleasant and uncomfortable though it may be for me and my family to look back at these terrible times in my life, I want to help others from having to pay that same price, to live alone with the shame of an escalating addiction to pornography.
For me, the addiction had its roots in a series of molestation's that occurred beginning at age six and continuing through an experience at a church camp I attended at age twelve. Between these experiences, the relationship of my sexual nature to my self-esteem was seriously damaged, and off-course.
When I found my cousin's hidden stash of soft-core pornography a few weeks after being molested by an older boy at church camp, my emotional ground was broken enough for those seeds to sink deep and grow quickly into a devastating force in my life.
The tragedy was that my pornography habit kept me totally alienated from any real relationship with girls. I found it difficult to relate to real girls, who didn't behave like the girls in pornography, I didn't have girlfriends, because the girls I met or dated reacted with fear and disgust to my pornography-inspired advances toward them. Pornography had taught me that the way to be accepted and loved was through sex, but in reality my obsession with sex brought me only alienation, loneliness, and shame.
It's difficult to describe my reaction to my first visit to a hard-core adult bookstore. I was deeply shocked and disgusted at the material I saw there. I was ashamed of myself and promised myself never to go into a place like that again. But the sight of this hard-core material and my shame at being there was also like a sudden injection of some incredible drug straight into my veins. In an awful way, it excited me tremendously. And in spite of my vow to myself, I found that as my relationship with my wife worsened, I went back there - again and again. Using the pornography as a drug to numb the pain of a struggling marriage
Just as it had in high school, my pornography addiction began to consume more and more of my time. I found reasons and excuses to visit the store for more, and more hours every day. My business and church responsibilities began to suffer as much as my marriage. I would hide money from my wife to spend on pornography; Finally, I was finally forced into bankruptcy. Still my habit progressed. As my mental scenarios demanded more graphic expression, I gravitated to more and more twisted and violent pornographic images. This material that once would have nauseated me, now have become my fantasy.
From there I progressed to massage parlors, and finally to using prostitutes. Just as at each step before, what was at first shocking and repulsive became easier and easier to accept. In fact, it was the shock and repulsion that gave me that "rush" I craved.
I was desperately trying to prove to myself that I really was ''OK". I would weep and cry out to God at the altar begging Him to free me of this struggle, but only to find myself within a few hours, days, or some times a few months back doing what I swore before God I would never do again.
Please don't think I was instantly healed of my addiction. It was a process, and not always an easy one. But at that moment, a door cracked open and lighted up the first step on the road to freedom to control my own life again. Step by step, God began to show me principles out of his word, principles of TRUTH that led me along the path of freedom from sexual addiction.
I am a long time porn addict. Having porn in my bedroom as a child, in my father's file cabinet. I am now over 48, born again for the last 20. Backslid for 10 of those, but for the most part of the last 6 years, serving HIM. 4 years ago, I also got onto the Internet, and found the easy access to porn, and found myself a yo-yo Christian. For the past 18 months, I have been a member of Integrity On Line. Thank GOD for this provider, for their filter has a 99% successful filtering rate. My problem is... After I found the porn on the Internet, from time to time, in my head, the porn still bubbles up and starts to permeate my thoughts. It seems to overcome me and take control. I will be praying in the morning, drowning in a perversion of thoughts in the afternoon. I pray for the LORD to kill me. For I am supposed to be a seasoned Christian, yet I (? allow ???) these thoughts to overcome me. At times, it seems that I cannot stop them. Addiction is the proper term for this, for I seem to loose my control over what I do not want... but do want! Oh how sick I feel. A grown man, unable to stop this perversion in my head. It is not like a moth to a flame, more like oxygen to a flame. I must admit, at times when I find myself in proximity to porn, all my Christianity goes out the window, and all the desire for looking at the porn takes over. Case in point, one day I was walking through a flea market and spotted a vender peddling porn tapes. A couple of weeks after that incident, I, for some ungodly reason, went straight back to that vender, just to look at his tapes. And as things would have it, a neighbor who knows that I go to church saw me. If there is something that you can help me with, please let me know. I must stop. I cannot glorify GOD in this yo-yo condition.
As a former addict, there is no question in my mind that pornography has a profound impact on a person viewing the material. It is subtle and has a latency period, not always an immediate impact, on the individual. My sexual addiction reached its height when I finally decided to act out all those images I had been taking in over the years--material seen or purchased at adult businesses. I was arrested for attempted rape. The attack was my responsibility, but there is no doubt that pornography was the fuel, the drug I used to prepare for my crime. I do not think the crime would ever have occurred without it. Former porn addict.
© 2002 Citizens for Community Values, Inc.