19 Jan My Story
by Lauren Taylor, writer for GAPHT
Society has this stereotype that guys are the only ones addicted to pornography, but that’s actually not the case. I was 17 when I first started watching porn and became addicted. From a Cosmopolitan survey quoted by Medical Daily January 20, 2013, 70% of 18 to 34 year olds use porn at least once a month. And in this day in age, kids are being introduced to porn younger and younger. I hope that my story helps other women and men chose to free themselves from their addictions.
My entire life everyone called me the goody two shoes; I never had a boyfriend, never kissed a boy. I kept my heart guarded and wanted to stay as pure as I could for my future husband. I was raised in a Christian home. I gave my life to Christ when I was six years old. I was super involved in my youth group at church growing up, I volunteered with the homeless and with the children’s ministry, I sang in the youth groups worship band, I went on mission trips. I was an avid believer in modesty I never wanted a guy to stumble for how I was dressed. I was the poster child for all parents, I never drank, never smoked, but no one’s perfect.
In high school my friends took it upon themselves to educate me on sex and relationships saying that when I got a boyfriend I would need to know these things. Telling me what different positions were and what all they’d done. They told me I needed to know my body and what I liked. I tried to not listen and tell myself that God would handle everything when I got married someday, but that door was no longer closed it was now cracked open.
I started getting curious, I was too embarrassed to ask questions or talk about it so I found myself turning to the TV and computer for answers. I wanted to know what some of the things they told me about were. I didn’t want to look like an idiot when I did have sex for the first time. But watching the “Notebook” just didn’t answer my questions so I found myself watching raunchier and raunchier movies. I started looking up videos on what an orgasm was and how to get one and started trying it. Somewhere along the way it stopped being about curiosity and turned into an addiction. I stopped just watching for education I started watching for pleasure.
I would wait until everyone left the house and lock all the doors and close the blinds and turn on an “after hours” movie. Immediately after I would be in the worst moods, I was snappy, and angry, and of course I couldn’t pray. Why would the God that created me and wanted a relationship with me want me, a filthy sinner, I just knew even though I was saved I was going to hell. How could God ever forgive me for something so disgusting, especially when it wasn’t a one-time thing? I knew I was going to hell.
I got more and more consumed in it, movies didn’t go far enough anymore, so I turned to different websites. My house turned into a living hell for me. I wanted to stop but my body didn’t want to. I would try to stop because I didn’t want to get caught or because I didn’t want to go to hell, but I continued to do it. I would say to myself just this one more time, one more time, I probably said one more time to myself a hundred times.
All this time I was still going to church, being involved and trying to hide the fact that I had a major problem. I felt that I couldn’t tell anyone, for one I was a girl and that wasn’t acceptable at all, because guys were the only ones allowed to struggle with pornography. Second of all would they still let me come to church? It was a small church and word traveled fast there, how badly would people judge me? I was sure they wouldn’t let me volunteer anymore. It would wreck my reputation and my families, I couldn’t tell anyone. I thought my parents would disown me and not love me anymore. I thought my friends would think I was disgusting and never talk to me again. I could see it clear as day “Sweet little Christian girl a fraud, how repulsive” all over my Facebook. I was imprisoned in my own mind. I ran from the Lord, I acted like if I hid from him he couldn’t find me and know how awful I was.
It took me 3 years to finally break free from my bondage of pornography. I would try to stop but then I would find myself alone at home and bored again, or frustrated from a bad day, or just seeing a raunchy commercial on TV or a song, and it would start all over again. I was so ashamed of myself I quit going to church, I quit hanging out with my friends, I withdrew from everyone I cared about because I didn’t want them to find out who I really was. I was letting Satan win and throwing myself a big pity party in the process. I was so lonely and so ashamed of myself, who was ever going to love me, who would still want to be my friend when they found out what I had been doing. I didn’t even like myself so why should anyone else like me?
One day I was home alone and took my computer into the bathroom to watch porn and masturbate but a crazy thing happened my computer quit working. It apparently had too many Trojan horses on it. I was pissed! How could I watch porn when other people were home without my computer? But that was the start to the break in my addiction. My mind and my body told me I needed to find a way to please myself some other way, but my heart whispered the verses I had hid away so long ago.
Matthew 18:9 ESV: And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
I knew my computer probably broke because of all the sites I had been on but I didn’t want anyone to know so I said someone tried to download a movie and that’s what did it. I ended up having to throw that one out and I decided enough was enough, I wanted my life back! My mind raced saying God didn’t love me anymore; I was a dirty hypocrite who was going to hell anyways so why stop. I cried out to the Lord for help and remembered the verse that had been driven into my mind since I was a little girl,
1 John 1:9 ESV: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I’m not saying it was a one-hour come to Jesus time and I was free forever with no temptations ever again. Ha if only! But God is so faithful! I got myself a calendar and would mark every day I went without watching porn. Yes I did fail time and time again but I would get out that calendar and start over my slip-ups became few and far between and now have been almost two years clean. It took me down on my knees every day to trust that God could get me through the temptations.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV: No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
I knew I couldn’t just pray for God to take away my addiction and not do my part as well. So I wouldn’t stay at home if my family went out, I would go to the park or go sit at the mall, anywhere just not where I knew I could back slide. I would only take showers never baths and only when my family was home. I wouldn’t take my new computer into the bathroom with me. Instead of listening to R&B and rap music I would listen to worship music in the shower. I wouldn’t get on my new computer unless my door was open and someone else was home. I started holding myself accountable and not making it so accessible to watch pornography and masturbate. But I still didn’t want anyone to know. I thought that I had broken free from my bondage but I really just added more baggage to myself. The guilt of what I had done overwhelmed me. I had gotten back in church, I had graduated and started a new school, Even though it was now in my past I was still so ashamed of it and no one could ever find out that I was actually a sinner. Gasp hello we all are!
The one thing that is so crazy about addiction and sin is that it’s like being at a concert with earplugs in and your eyes closed, you feel like you are all alone and its dark and you can’t hear anything. But all it takes is for YOU to take out the earplugs and open your eyes and you realize you are surrounded by tons of people just like you. Satan tells you that you are alone and no one knows what you are going through and if people knew what you were doing they would shun you and you would forever be an outcast. But that is a LIE! If you only take away one thing from my story take this: you are NOT ALONE! I have been where you have, I have felt that hopelessness, and hatred toward yourself.
The freest I have ever felt was the moment I uttered the words that I had been addicted to pornography. It just took the courage to tell one person, and you know what they did? They loved me anyways. They didn’t stone me in the streets; they told me I was loved and was precious in the eyes of the King of Kings. There is so much freedom in just speaking the words; it takes away their power. It reverses the downward spiral of lies that yell at you and it breaks you free.
So stand in the light of freedom with me. Step out of the shame and guilt and burden of pornography’s trap and accept forgiveness and forgive yourself. This is not a story about shame it’s a story about grace! I hope my story helps you and inspires you to help yourself. If you have any questions about my story or just need someone to talk to that understands you can go to the Ask Us section (to the right hand side of this page), and just contact us!
*Picture: by Mike Licht, “Blog Girl”