They Do Exist.

Losing Reality: My Struggle With Pornography

Editor’s Note: Most of our stories this month are being shared anonymously, as is the story shared today. Pornography is a dangerous world to slip into. It builds upon itself, slowly taking more control – and eats at the good in our lives. Please listen to the words of this woman as she passes on what she lost in becoming addicted to sex and pornography. – Lauren

It started as an innocent Google search. I was eleven. I wanted to know more about one of my favorite singers, so I searched her name. I ended up on a fan site, which had a chat room. We weren’t allowed to chat online, but I was curious, and never got caught breaking the rules anyway. I was sneaky. I made up a name, and started talking to total strangers from around the country.

A few weeks later, I was chatting with a few people and one of them sent me a link. They told me to click it and not to worry about the part where it asked if I was eighteen, I’d like what I saw. I naively clicked and opened a porn site. At first, I was mostly surprised. I didn’t know it was wrong, my parents had never even given me a sex talk. I was curious. Something in me was shocked, but another part of me wanted to know and see more.

So I came back. Again. And again, every day. Soon I was saying goodnight to my parents then waiting until I heard my dad snoring to sneak back downstairs to the computer to watch porn. Every night, for hours and hours. I’d be quiet, turn off the sound, and clear the history after I was done.

Inevitably, I began to mimic what I saw on the screen. I started masturbating every day, several times a day. I was hooked. I loved it, it was my secret and nobody knew. I felt proud, but in a guilty, scared way. I was unsure of what I was actually involved in. I withdrew from my family and friends.

I started making excuses to stay home alone… especially on Sundays when the whole family would go out to church. I’d say I was sick, or some other excuse. I didn’t really believe in God anyway, so I didn’t care. I just wanted sex. I wanted to watch more porn, to feel better about myself. I wanted to be what I saw on the computer. I wanted that crazy sex. I wanted to know what it was like. Those secret moments with porn became my life. I literally lost reality, convincing myself that I should run away to have that sexual perversion. It got so bad that I’d go to my job as a babysitter, put a movie on for the kids, and then watch porn until the parents came back. I almost got caught more than once. But I was good at lying. My parents and family were too caught up in the busy chaos of homeschooling and taking care of the babies to notice. They never knew.

I built a world in my head. A world where I was that bad girl with huge boobs and all those guys going crazy for me. I was a stripper, a hooker, or a famous porn star. And I was good at what I did. But none of it was real.

I started cheating in schoolwork to make up for my lack of sleep and addiction. I had no desire for anything else. I became even sneakier, telling lies was my first language.

Thankfully, God radically broke in and saved me a few months before I turned fourteen. But three years of my life had been wasted, utterly consumed by my pornography addiction. I haven’t masturbated or been involved in porn in over six years now, but it still affects my life seriously. I would have reoccurring rape nightmares, and my mind is still a battlefield as I try to forget the thousands of images and filth that filled those years. It seriously injured my education, as I continued cheating through high school to cover up the time lost to my addiction, and am now seriously struggling in college as I basically missed all of my middle school studies and consequently much of high school. I don’t cheat any more, but I am barely maintaining a 1.5 GPA as I struggle through subjects I should have mastered long ago.

After I got saved, I started to look to the Church and to my parents for answers about sex. My parents never talked about it. In fact, after a youth group sermon referred briefly and non-graphically to sex when I was fifteen, my dad told me that sex is only to be discussed by a husband and wife… his reasoning for us “not being told”. We weren’t allowed to go back to youth group for a long time. The church briefly and gingerly spoke about saving it for marriage, and how it’s a terrible thing.

I needed my parents to be frank and tactful about talking to me about sex. I needed the church to be forward and truthful about sex. I needed to know that it’s a beautiful thing, a sort of a wedding gift from God. But I didn’t know. I was left in the dark, and I stumbled. I looked for answers in all the wrong places. I needed them to help me heal and work through what I had been through with porn and sex, and they didn’t. They pushed it in the closet.

Parents, please be a safe place for your kids to talk about sex. They already know much more than you think, even if you think you sheltered them. Church, stop teaching that sex is dirty and wrong and frightening. Tell the truth about sex. Address pornography. Don’t dance around the hard issues and shun those who are struggling. And women, this isn’t just about the men anymore. Speak up, tell your story. God pulled me out of my addiction, and He’s carefully healing me. He can do the same for you..


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17 Responses

  1. jen s.

    parents of young adolescents also really need to be careful about how much alone time their kid has on the internet :/ way, way, way too much internet alone time at the ages of 11-13 severely damaged me as well, and i just wish my parents had cared enough to check up on me.

    thanks so much for telling your story. it's so important that we break the cycle of sex being a taboo topic in the home.

    November 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm

  2. Liz

    I couldn't believe how many aspects of her story mirrored my own. Except my addiction came in the form of sexually explicit fanfiction and so called "romance" novels. It may not have been video, but it was just as effective in taking me out of reality and feeding me false emotions. I think its equally important to realize that pornography comes in many forms and all cause us to separate from our support system. It wasn't that my parents didn't care (I even found a book on how to talk to your kids about sex in my mom's dresser years later), they just didn't know how to bring it up, and pretty soon it was too late. If I had known what sex really meant, and what a beautiful thing it is, I would have seen the cheapness and emptiness of these stories alot sooner.

    Thank you for sharing your story and for helping women all over the world, including this woman, in realizing that they are not alone!

    November 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm

  3. It's such an insidious lie our addictions tell. So grateful God broke in with powerful truth, and so glad you've shared it here.

    November 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

  4. Kayla006

    Thank you. Friday night I was so down. The night before I had reached my lowest low. For years now, I had been masturbating on an on and off basis. Knowing that, what felt great, felt wrong, yet, I honestly didn't know how to stop. All this while being Christian. The worst is how it impacted on my opinion of good, myself and my relationship with God. Thursday night, I watched porn on my computer, which is something I had never done (watch it on my computer that is, I had stumbled upon it on tv and recently managed to view pics on my phone). I have a helluva story, which I hope to one day share, but first thank you. Because for the first time in years, I'm ready to really rebuild my relationship with God, and on that, I want to tell you how God is talking to me through the Good Women Project. So, thank you, I have to go pick up the pieces now.

    November 6, 2011 at 2:12 am

  5. MlT

    Thanks for sharing this. My story is extremely similar, though it spans over about seven years. Maybe longer. And I'm still struggling with masturbation, and recently watched porn again after about a year or two of not. It's ridiculous how hard it can be sometimes.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm

  6. women are speaking up all around me! i am so thankful for God's redemption & to see how He is using such strong women to address this issue, it has consumed so many of us.

    growing up when sin was addressed in our youth group it was boys-porn & girls-gossip. having strong christian women leaders is going to help preserve the innocence of generations to come.

    thank you for being bold. thank you for sharing!
    and for others out there share your struggles-not in a way of boasting but to draw the attention to Gods Grace & redeeming love!

    November 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  7. Sarah vandenberg

    hey my name is sarah, im 17 and i have'nt watched porn in about 2 months however when i was about 7-8 i started to use a vibrator and stopped for a while till i have started to use it again. im finding it really hard when i told my close friend and she told others now im a laughing stock. can someone please help me stop using it? its slowing killing me on the inside and i need some advice. ive already tried to stop about 5 imes but im really not that strong and its pulling me away from God. if someone has advice can you please help me? if you have a facebook my facebook name is sarah vandenberg. thank you so much for your stories :)

    November 17, 2011 at 1:13 am

  8. Ajushi

    This is why we are supposed to find partners young and fight for the gift of life together. I hate porn and everything about it, but the fact of the matter is that a person without bread will steal it if that is what they need to do to get it, and I have stolen plenty of it myself. The sex drive and associated needs (physical touch, intimacy, attachment, etc) are needs exactly like food. If a person is deprived of the only Godly and wholesome way to meet the need (that is, with a spouse) then it WILL be met in ungodly and unwholesome ways.

    Sex, human attachment, intimacy – these are beautiful and sacred things. They are the most blessed, precious, fragile, and crucial aspect of human well-being, and so this is why God wants us to handle them with care and reverence. But in mainstream society, and a lot of the christian religious environments also, these things are totally meaningless and to be handled with the utmost reckless flippancy. It has gotten so bad that those of us who DO get it actually need to argue and defend and explain our stance to the others who handle these things with the kind of care with which I handle a piece of toilet paper. I have even had to try to defend my stance with a believing woman from church.

    It has become incredibly difficult for men to find and keep partners in American society, with the misdirected priorities and values, deranged sensibilities and expectations about relationships and gender roles, and unhealthy standards of all manner of consumption. The society no longer supports men in the work place, much less marriage. Our men have become emasculated and beat down to the point of dysfunctional.

    Women are finding their needs for family met often by becoming a single parent. Ironically, that brutal struggle of single parenting, for which we empathize with women, is actually a blessing to them because it meets their needs for family, companionship, and something the fight for – while the men go on surviving alone without love or anything to wake up to. These factors are why as we enter end times, life is becoming increasingly brutal for the elect. We have replaced love with isolation and pornography and I have survived quite a few years of it myself. Still praying daily for God to deliver me from the whole nightmare and bless me with love and a family.

    Also, if you are struggling with a 1.5 GPA in your twenties, then watching porn from age 11-14 is not the cause. I watched it from about age 10 to still struggling with the nightmare in the present day and I had an almost perfect GPA at university. There is only so much we can blame on the sins or trials of our past. The rest is on us to grow a set of balls and do our best. A 1.5 GPA does not come from a distant history of teenage masturbation.

    Another point I want to add – self-denial and self loathing is not the solution and is not necessarily going to find you a spouse or win you favor with God. Hating yourself for masturbating is one of the most self-defeating and absurd notions that ever got vomited out of christian religion. Religious Christians have been beating themselves up for centuries over having a sex drive and needing an outlet. Here is a news flash: You are a human being with basic human needs, and that goes ESPECIALLY for things like intimacy, touch, sex, and attachment – which are needs far more important than water or food. So why this insanity over porn and masturbation? Since you will of course steal food when deprived of it, why are you disappointed or surprised that you are masturbating while you are single and deprived of natural love? If you are forced to steal food, you will feel convicted about it, and rightly so, but you will not war with yourself and expect yourself to stop stealing it – you will instead just deal with it while trying to find a way to eat without having to steal. Each time your prayers are not answered and you are defeated and unrewarded in your positive efforts, you will become more despairing and more complacent, but you keep on trying.

    In fact, it is much easier to go without food than to go without natural love (that's a mother Theresa quote by the way), so this is even much more of a clear issue where intimacy, sex, touch, and attachment are concerned than it is with my food example. What we need are partners to share that with, and the sooner you find one, the better. We should all invest more time and energy into encouraging that for others and finding it for ourselves, and less into warring against our own basic needs. The same people who act indifferent towards marriage and set irrational and insane expectations around it are waging war against porn.

    December 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm

  9. Pingback: Pat Robertson Thinks Pornography Is 'Boring,' Shocked Women Consume Porn - Christ.Culture.News

  10. bbb

    Much as I get what you mean about porn addiction destroying your life, I feel like you have gone totally the other way.

    You can't also completely repress your sexuality. There is no harm in the occasional masturbation, in fact it helps you relax and has a lot of positive effects on your health and well being (just search for positive effects of masturbation).

    Even married couples will take time out to masturbate by themselves, even though they are married. It's just something people do, like an exercise. Too much exercise is bad, just the right amount of exercise, good!

    November 14, 2013 at 12:11 am

  11. Julius Mays

    Sometimes I wish I was a girl. I honestly cannot even fathom any christian girl masturbating or watching porn. I just can’t. Porn to me I think is a “guy” issue. Guys are far more visual than girls. I have never in my life been to a church with any female struggling with porn ever! Girls are more smarter, careful, and pure in the christian faith than guys are (due to the fact that girls rule and boys drool). I am a christian guy struggling with porn and masturbation, but if I was a girl, I wouldn’t even get 1% of excitement from any porn video. I probably would’ve been a better person in school, church and in my faith. Girls just don’t understand the struggle I have to face until I die. I live in a area in Ohio where every christian girl is pure perfect. If only I was a christian girl and not guy. Besides, porn has more girl videos than guy videos. Girls can’t be sexually attracted to girls. It’s impossible. I would be better off being a beautiful christian girl with no problems or thoughts with sexual urges.

    March 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

  12. Julius Mays

    Please ladies forgive me if my last comment offended you in any way (if you read it that is)! I was just severely filled with depression that I decided to type whatever came to my head. I know that there are women (and young girls for that matter) who professed their life to Christ struggling with this issue. I was listening to a Christian lady who shared her testimony on Youtube. Please forgive me.

    April 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

  13. Thanks for sharing this. My story is extremely similar, though it spans over about seven years. Maybe longer. And I'm still struggling with masturbation, and recently watched porn again after about a year or two of not. It's ridiculous how hard it can be sometimes.

    June 17, 2015 at 7:12 am

  14. Thanks for sharing this. My story is extremely similar, though it spans over about seven years

    August 21, 2015 at 4:40 pm

  15. I understand what you are saying. These days pornography is everywhere, even on twitter accounts.

    September 10, 2016 at 5:05 pm

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