HEALING FROM TRAUMA

In Kindergarten and Addicted to Porn

February 28, 2017

Addicted to porn (Main)

In the Open Letter to My Sister, I referenced the damage caused by being exposed to certain things under my sister’s care. My nephew and I were two peas in a pod growing up. We were six months apart and functioned more like brother and sister than aunt and nephew. During the weekends I spent at my sister’s, there were periods of time where we needed to entertain ourselves because my sister was busy with company. Sometimes we were allotted the living room as our dominion, but other times, we were sequestered to the bedroom (which we preferred because we had access to the TV). My sister happily benefitted from illegal cable (aka “the chip”) so she enjoyed way more channels than I had at home.

As a kid, I didn’t get to binge on TV. In my home, the belief was I needed to be learning or doing something “constructive” if I wasn’t in school or at swim practice. So, being at my friend’s or sister’s house was always like a mini vacation for me. My nephew and I generally appreciated the same TV shows so there were never any arguments about what to watch. We’d go from the beginning of the channels to the very last channel in search of something palatable. After a while, we discovered a few channels that never quite came in all the way. They were extremely fuzzy, which is why we’d skipped past them every other time. But, one day we caught the glimpse of a naked body part, and this sparked our curiosity.

From that day forward, we were determined to find out what these channels were about. Even at such a young age, never having had any sexual experiences, that graphic was arousing to me. It awakened my sexual senses and I was never the same. Our persistence eventually paid off. We were absolutely beside ourselves when we turned to one of the channels we’d committed to memory, and it was unobstructed. We’d caught fragments of body parts and scenes before, but to see it free and clear was an entirely different experience. We were hooked. Our code name for it was “Action Theater.”

I didn’t realize it then, but my exposure (and subsequent addiction) to porn destroyed my innocence. My thoughts as a child were consumed with sex. If I wasn’t replaying the visuals I’d seen, I was fantasizing about what it would be like for me to engage.

This led my nephew and I to begin experimenting with each other. Thank God we could never figure out how to make our parts fit. I actually carried significant guilt with regard to experimenting with my nephew until I confessed it to a bunch of college friends, and one-by-one, they all acknowledged having had similar experiences with cousins and such.

I believe where my exposure to porn haunted me the most was in the fantasy world that I’d escape to. My desires or cravings had no limit. They continued to grow bigger and more depraved. I’d convinced myself that the only acceptable way for me to have sex (given I was still a child) was to be raped. Sad right? I then became fixated on this. So, you can imagine the load of shame and guilt I felt when I was actually raped. I thought I willed it and thus had no right to feel wronged. I was well into my adulthood and journey of healing when I pieced this together.

Viewing and fantasizing about pornography continued to serve as an escape for me until I started learning the connection this had to my distorted view of sex and sexuality. The more I learned about the long-term effects of consuming porn, the more I opposed it. Even though I knew intellectually all of the reasons why watching pornography was wrong such as: the ways it alters the brain’s neurological processes (the flooding of dopamine and subsequent diminishing return of this as the addiction increases- which results in a higher appetite for the stimulant), erosion of the ability to experience true intimacy, and the breeding of secrecy and susceptibility to sexual addictions or deviance; it took a little while longer for me to be able to completely relinquish the behavior.

I essentially had to unlearn everything I’d learned to that point about sex and my sexuality. There were so many layers to my distorted thinking in this regard. But one-by-one, I shed them as I surrendered them to the Lord and allowed Him to reshape my views of sex and sexuality. This process was solidified with my vow of abstinence until marriage.

A friend of mine references the process of abstaining from sex as being sober-minded. The more sober I became, the clearer my vision. I was finally able to experience and enjoy true intimacy not only in my dating relationships, but also in my friendships and relationships with family. I learned intimacy is not sex. Rather, intimacy is the reciprocal exchange of trust and vulnerability–something I was unable to experience while I was addicted to porn!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Shaliss February 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Girl… I must say you reeeeally know how to get to the root of an internal issue! lol I laugh because it is impressive and so so honest. THAT is where healing happens. And the part about becoming “sober” is so true. God did/does the same for problem areas of my life when I decided to give over my struggles to Him. Abstaining + looking to Him for guidance/spending time in prayer and the bible will open our eyes to things we didn’t see/get when we were consumed with sin. ……There were so many layers to this post but I’ll end up writing a page long response if I don’t stop typing now.

    • Reply Veronica February 28, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Ha ha funny you mentioned my knack for getting to the root of internal issues. Someone suggested recently that I stop putting so much emphasis on understanding root causes and just make necessary changes. This seemed like such a foreign concept and I don’t really feel like it’s well suited for me at all. I mean I get it but this is the way I’m wired. The other way for me seems to only tackle things superficially. This is how I know (like you said) what to hand over to the Lord. Right, so many layers. I actually have been sitting on this post since I launched. I was soooooo nervous about releasing it. It was starting to feel though like I was being disobedient so, I finally relinquished control over what the response would be and hit the submit button.

  • Reply Shaliss March 1, 2017 at 11:36 am

    To me, acknowledging the root of an issue is the way to make sure you don’t return to that behavior. I think it also helps you get to know yourself better. It is healthy self evaluation, in my opinion. I get why you were nervous but this topic is not foreign to most, at least in my experience. Most people just don’t want to shed light on it publicly. You are helping someone with your openness!

    • Reply Veronica March 1, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      I totally agree with you. Get to the root and extinguish it or at least know what to continually surrender to the Lord. And grow. Oh my goodness…yes, GROW! It’s impossible to stay the same. Yep a hard topic for sure. Thank you for that! I pray that this post will free others to tackle their struggles boldly.

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