As a woman, most people (the few who know) are very suprised to learn that I was once addicted to pornography. The truth of the matter is that there are far more women addicted than most believe. I was raised in a Christian household, and stumbled upon pornography around the age of 9 thanks to romance novels (something far too many people do not see as being detrimental). As a child I loved to read, and was able to read higher level material. Unfortunatly that material turned about to be books that were also far beyond my maturity level. I was extremely curious, and that led me deeper and deeper into an addiction I didn't even realize I was stumbling into. Within a few years I went from reading about sexual encounters to watching them being played out on television however I could. As I got into high school, my friends all had boyfriends. I, of course, was the only one who did not. That fueled my additcion. I would hear stories about all of my friends talking about thier sexual experiences and I thought I was such "a good Christian girl" because I was not giving in to the temptation to do things with guys. I look back now and realize that God was greatly protecting me from a real relationship, because I may have ended up sleeping with someone (as much as I would like to think I wouldn't have). I thought that I was being pure and that viewing pornography was not nearly as sinful as actually having sex. I also realize now that I truly did not have a relationship with the Lord as I thought I did. He was not nearly as important to me at that time as I made Him seem. About 4 years ago, I stopped watching pornography all together. Not too long after, I met an amazing Christian man. At first I tried to keep my past to myself, but guilt consumed me and I told him about it. He was extremely understanding. However, even though I was no longer watching pornography, the effects stayed with me. I started suffering from compulsive thoughts in my head where I saw everyone as a sexual being instead of who they really were. I enrolled in Christian counseling and found out that this is not uncommon. Because I was not indulging in watching pornography, my mind was satisfying itself. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life. While my boyfriend remained extremely supportive for years and helped me in every way imaginable, our relationship did not work and we eventually broke up. I know that dealing with the effects of my addiction was a main cause, among other things. I am so thankful that God allowed him into my life. God really used him to straighten me out, and to enter into a close relationship with Him. To be honest, I don't think that anyone deserves to have to deal with the type of issues he had to endure from me because of this. My ex most certainly did not. However, God is good, and I have faith that despite all of this I will someday get married. I am now in my almost mid-twenties and have not viewed, or truly had the desire to view, pornography in almost 4 years. I also do not deal with the compulsive thoughts anymore thanks to a great Christian counselor and God. I know the deep destruction that it has caused in not only my life, but the lives of others. It ruined a relationship with a man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It has caused me to be extremely careful about what I allow myself to read and watch (some people dont' understand why I won't watch almost every rated R movie or read popular magazines). I have to very much guard my heart and mind. However, God uses everything for His glory. I also think that because of this, I can help others and hopefully prevent my furture children from dealing with the same addiction. God protected me so much. I am still a virgin, which I am extremely proud of. And I will not date a man who does not agree with my morals. He continues to pour His grace over me, and has opened the door to lead a life where I don't have to look back at who I once was (although sometimes I make the choice to. When that happens He picks me back up and we continue walking). I still have much guilt and shame, but I am learning day by day that all fall short of the glory of God, and I am blessed to be out of that pit. I am terrified of the day when I find another great man who I have to admit my sin to, and risk him walking away. But God controls everything, and He will do what is necessary so that His will in my life be done. I know that He has great plans in store for me, as well as anyone dealing with this type of addiction. It is never too late to stop. God provides for every need! Anyone can be set free from this.
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