I'm so excited about what you are doing at XXX Church. I've got to share
my story. It's amazing that I am even sharing it, because I lived with
my "dirty little secret" for 11 years. That's right, I struggled with
porn addiction for ELEVEN years. And what’s even more surprising, I am a woman.
My parents gave their lives to Christ when I was four years old, so I grew up in the church. I never missed a service and was the “perfect” little church girl. Growing up, I was very insecure and tended to enjoy attention from any guy I could get it from. When I was 17, I started attending college which opened me up to the “real” world – no longer was I sheltered girl. My addiction started in the computer lab of the school library when no one was around (which was a lot believe it or not). It started as harmless chat with guys, which then turned sexual, and I was so naive of what was beginning to happen. Soon sexual chat turned to pictures of porn, and then to videos of porn, and then I was caught. My porn addiction grew as I got my own computer and internet connection in my bedroom. I was 18 years old, and I guess my parents were totally oblivious. Soon late nights at home were filled with a horrible secret that I kept completely silent. I still maintained the "perfect" girl on the outside and even was involved in ministry at my church. I was a musician, I was a youth worker in the youth group, and was involved in several other ministries in the church. The shame and guilt of my addiction was with me DAILY. I thought something was terribly wrong with me. Porn addiction was for men only right? I was terrified that someone would find me out, and my life would be over.
My porn and sex addiction even bled over into real life. At 19, I lost my virginity and began a stream of promiscuity that led up to my marriage – all the while still attending church and still keeping my “front” up. NO ONE KNEW – or so I thought. I even tried attending a Bible college, but my porn and sex addiction caught up with me when I was caught sleeping with a guy and I was asked to leave. I returned home ashamed and embarrassed.
You would think that was my bottom, but no – there was more to come.
At 22, I met the man I married. I sure lucked out, because he was a Godly man who must have seen something inside of me worth loving – I don’t know how, because I was such a broken person inside because of the secret sin I had now been hiding for five years.
I thought my porn addiction would go away when I got married. After all, sex was available to me any time I wanted it right? I was so wrong. It got worse. Soon, it began affecting my sex life with my husband. I thought he had no idea what was going on – but he must have.
At 24, we had our first son. I would say the porn addiction laid dormant for a little while and I thought I had it beat. Of course I hadn’t, because I had never dealt with the issues that kept me going back to porn. So soon after my son was born, I started the porn again. My husband must have been praying, and he one day asked me, “Something has me worried about you and computer and I can’t figure out what it is.” Of course I lied and TOTALLY covered it up, and even gave up porn for a short while because I was terrified he would find me out. But eventually, it came right back.
We moved to a new church, and got involved in ministry right away. The porn was like a cancer eating me alive. It has totally infiltrated my marriage totally unaware to my husband, and I finally hit rock bottom. The day came when my son – who was four at the time - walked in on me viewing porn. Although he did not see anything, he could have. I had to stop this cycle of addiction and sin. I had since had another son, and every day was just a gamble on whether or not I would get caught.
I decided the “dirty little secret” had to come out. The shame and guilt were so strong, I was so afraid of someone finding out – I kept this secret at ANY cost. And the cost was going to be my marriage, and my sons. First, I decided to tell my husband. I thought he would be so angry and leave me, or expose me to the world for the rotten person I was and had become. But he didn’t – he had such a forgiving spirit and told me that I needed to share my story with others. I decided to start an Addiction Group at church and decided that I wanted to help those like me, but in turn I was helping myself. Through this group (which only consisted of two women and myself), I shared my problem, and one of them ended up having the same problem as me. Weeks and weeks we worked through the issues which made us turn to porn, and slowly God had begun to heal us.
Something definitely had been wrong inside my heart, because I was not afraid of God being able to see all that I was doing. But just because people weren’t, somehow I made that okay in my mind. A few other people came my way – and I shared my story. Men and women alike opened themselves up to me sharing that they had the SAME problem! I was amazed at the number of women though, who struggle with porn addiction. I was not alone. With every person I shared my testimony with, my shame and guilt melted away and I felt like God was showing me how this could be used for good. Eleven years of struggling with porn was finally turning around – and it was making a difference one person at a time.
It has been one year since I have been porn free. Do I ever have temptations? SURE, we all do. Thoughts sometimes enter my mind….but I have made myself accountable with the X3 Watch software and now have two accountability partners who check up on me.
I hope my testimony helps someone else out there. God has called me to share it to help the unlikely addicts of porn – WOMEN. You are not alone, you just have to get past the shame and fear, and reach out and open your mouth and talk about it.
I have already gone to our pastor about Porn Sunday, and my burden to
share my testimony. Some in our church think that’s it’s too shocking of a topic to deal with, but I am living proof of the need – even in ministry.
XXX Church, don’t stop what you are doing. This must be talked about. Silence is what kept me in addiction for so many years, and now that the fear is gone, there is such freedom!
29 years old
Wife and Mom