This is a huge thing to talk about, shameful even. Last night I read an article about porn destroying relationships. I have read I lot of articles similar to that. The Fight the New Drug campaign is raising awareness about how harmful Porn is. I have a story that I think should be told, regardless of how ashamed I am of it.
I grew up pretty innocent to the world. I knew a little about sex from some videos we watched, but I hated ever trying to talk about my curiosity with my parents out of embarrassment. So when I was twelve or thirteen, with the internet now at my disposal, I wandered into a world that changed my life forever.
At first, it was pure curiosity. I have to admit that figuring things out is probably fairly normal. Things went wrong when reading story’s and seeing pictures turned to video. Knowing very little about what sex was, these videos were truth. They showed me not only sex, but what a relationship between a man and a woman was like in private. This is why several years down the road, when I was in an abusive relationship, I perceived it as normal.
I became obsessed with this idea that my worth came from what men thought of me. It started out with just wanting to be liked. When I perceived a man liked me, I became open to him. Then if he ever did something that I now realize no man should do to a woman, I would accept it and move on.
The result of this was abuse and eventually the first time I was raped. You would imagine the after all that, I would see reality, but unfortunately, as Porn still continued to be I my life; I would constantly see unhealthy relationships. I would crave the attention of a man, but I was unaware of how to actually obtain it.
Fast Forward a few years. Now I am in the pit of an aweful bout with depression. My faith in God (the only thing I held onto during my college years) was failing. My life was deprived of its meaning. I needed a way to feel better. I was completely and utterly desperate.
That is when I turned to men. When I talk about my years of fighting mental illness, many are surprised when I say that my ‘rock bottom’ wasn’t even when I attempted suicide. That is because, it was in this period of my life that I actually felt dead. Death would have been a lesser evil than the things I experienced.
So rock bottom started with this. Turning to the online dating app Tinder, I searched for love. Instead of love, I found desperate men. Some were straight about wanting a one night stand. Others were more subtle. Like the first guy I invited over while I was home alone. (I’ll mention that at this point I was living with my parents as a way to control my environment to keep me from suicide.) All he said he wanted was to dance, I guess I was to blind to realize he insinuated so much more from those words. He started kissing me, pulling on the bed. This progressed quickly and before I even had a chance to understand it all, he finished pulling off the condom and drove away. I was so unsure in that moment how I felt. We had sex, that meant he liked me. I was on top of the world. That is until, I tried to message him on tinder later that day and I realized he had blocked me.
After that, I quickly turned back to the thing that made me happy to try again. The next couple weeks are an unforgettable haunting blur of hooking up with someone, being happy, then getting crushed to a new low when he left. I started giving my body in exchange for attention. I was a prostitute. One after another, different men drained me of any true happiness and destroyed me. Nobody even knew the trouble I was in because on the outside I was happy.
It wasn’t until a vey scary night in a sketchy motel room that I realized I needed help. I arrived and he looked nothing like his picture. He had a thick accent to which I still can’t place. He reaked of whisky. The moment I walked in he locked the door. He started undressing me without even a hello. That’s when I realized what was happening. He grabbed my arm so tightly I was bruised. He held me so I couldn’t move. He spat on me and degraded me. I was fearing my life. After two rounds with me I was able to escape when someone knocked on his door. I cried the whole way home.
I told my friends who were very concerned and I got help. My parents had to find out at the hospital, I could hardly face them. I was angry they knew. I was angry at myself. I was angry with God.
Once I got out of the hospital a week later, I knew two things: I was lucky I didn’t get pregnant or have any STDs and more importantly, I was lucky to be alive.
Now, a few years later and I still know I’m lucky to be alive. I think back to how I thought sex meant love and how that ultimately drove me to do extremely stupid things. Now after lots of healing from Jesus, therapy, and friends. I can now tell the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship. I’m able to look at my boyfriend and not fear him because I know the root of his love is not surface level. I’m able to praise God for freeing me from what could have been my death.
So there is my story. I dislike Porn for many reasons, but the way it destroys lives is why I believe we as a society need to fight it. My story as horrible as it is, could be considered tame in comparison to many others. I don’t want my future children to live in a world where a ten year old can access it. That’s why we need to fight it.