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The Testimony of a Man who Overcame his Pornography Addiction by Anonymous
I was 12 years old the first time I viewed pornography. It was 1972, long before cable TV or the internet and no one in my family ever had a Playboy or so much as a Pin Up calendar in the garage. My introduction was by way of hardcore porn (even by today’s standards) discarded in a common restroom in a medical complex. I was there with my mother for a doctor’s appointment and took the half dozen glossy pages torn from a magazine. Later that night, by the dim nightlight in my room, I masturbated for the first time. I was hooked. Right there, right then. Instantly. It was not a steady progression borne out of prepubescent curiosity or a path I was led down by an uncle or cousin or neighbor but a way to feel good if only for a few minutes.

Feeling good, accepted, was something I had longed for over the two previous years. My father had left, abandoned our family, leaving only a note for us to discover as we arrived home from school. It left a large hole in my life, my spirit, which needed to be filled. And it would be filled. The question was, with what? Even though my father had returned a few months before I stumbled on those few fateful pages, I was still reeling from the fact that my life and family had been torn apart and such a large crater had been left in what a few years earlier was a “perfect Christian family.”

Anyway, I hid those pages in my room and returned to them nightly. I had no idea the damage I was causing to my heart. The calluses I was putting on my spirit. The separation I was implementing between me, my family and my God. I was setting myself up for disaster but couldn’t stop. I wanted to. I prayed and asked God to forgive me and help me stop. I even threw away those cherished pages, but it was too late. Those images were forever etched in my mind. To this day I can recall them if I choose to and sometimes even if I don’t choose to. Over the following months and years I found more and more porn discarded in trashcans, along the road in the proverbial brown paper bag. I also discovered that, even though the law required me to be eighteen to purchase such material, the clerk at the convenience store did not. Sexual acting out became an obsession and I lost interest in almost everything else. My goals did not revolve around grades or sports or such “normal” pursuits but instead on sexual conquests - loosing my virginity became the number one focus in my life.

A few times, my father found the “magazines” hidden in my room. His only response was, “You don’t need that junk. Get rid of it.” But I did need it. Just as the alcoholic needs a drink and the drug addict needs a fix. His “confrontations” only prompted me to change my hiding spot. There was never any discussion as to the impact on my heart or the damage that was being caused in my emotional growth and maturity. I don’t blame him... I’m sure he had no idea at the time.

I had been regularly attending church my entire life…youth groups, camps, choir, Sunday school and services. I was there as many as five times a week. I had asked God into my heart several times throughout my teens but I never could shake what I now understand is my addiction. I asked Him to take it from me, to “deliver me”... but He didn’t. It just reinforced that I was a loser and unlovable. I couldn’t possibly ask for help from my youth leader, parents or pastor. I was a mess, perverted. How could they EVER relate? After all, they had it all together. They had faith and apparently I did not.

At sixteen I did loose my virginity to a nineteen-year-old pastor’s daughter from another church . . . she didn’t tell me about the pregnancy until after she had had the abortion. I carried that guilt for decades. She carried it as well. Unable to share with her parents, she shared with mine. She didn’t tell me that she had told my mother but my mother let it slip during one of our many arguments. FAILURE. LOSER. It could get no worse. That is until my mother told my father, who then went to speak to our pastor, who told his wife who felt the need to tell their high school daughters. Rejected and basically excommunicated, I turned my back on God. Looking back, I should have turned my back on that church and kept searching for God but at that age, with my “issue” without solid mentors and accessible trustworthy leaders, where was I going to look?

The feelings of embarrassment, failure, guilt and self-loathing drove me farther into my addictive cycle. Acting out within my addiction only caused more feelings of embarrassment, failure, guilt and self-loathing. And so I would act out more. Because of this, as I grew I failed to mature emotionally or relationally and kept acting out to porn and fantasy. The unreal took the place of the real. In my late teens and early twenties I took positions as a firefighter and police officer, which provided me the opportunity to move my addiction from paper to flesh. I was found somewhat attractive by the groupies that followed these professions and soon found myself able to “score” on a regular basis. This didn’t replace the collection of porn I had amassed by this point, but instead exacerbated it. This was about the time I discovered and began to abuse alcohol which became another way to medicate. Drinking and cursing the local bars became an almost nightly event. Easing pain and increasing it all at the same time.

Although deep in my heart I wanted a true, loving relationship, due in large part to the years of inappropriate fantasy, I had no idea what a healthy relationship looked like. I had no idea how to love or be loved. After all, if I couldn’t love me, how could I expect anyone else to? I did have a few long-term relationships, relatively speaking. But they would always turn physical and I would run emotionally and physically.

I felt that if I could fall in love with the right girl and get married my problems would be over... famous last words. At 26, I met a beautiful young lady and we dated for several months, the longest relationship I had ever had to that point. I was still viewing and acting out to porn and was unable to properly process my conflicting emotions. I loved her, I was sure of that, but as with every previous attempt to stop acting out, I could not. Fearing she would discover my secret and...  Continue reading this life changing testimony