Alone in my Shame

It all started one night when I watched porn with a group of girlfriends to “make fun of it.” I remember leaving my friend’s house that day, thinking about it over and over and over. I was so intrigued by sex — even the idea of it. So, I began exploring websites and seeing vivid images and video clips that made my mind race. I loved the way watching porn made me feel in the moment. I loved that I wasn’t having sex, but that I still got a glimpse of the world my friends lived in — or I thought they lived in.

I had the urge to watch porn almost all the time. I was a busy high schooler, took my grades seriously, and I was in sports year-round. So I didn’t have a ton of time to spare — but I did make time for porn.

I became extremely good at walking down the steps quietly at night or getting online quickly before my parents got home.

I didn’t have a laptop, but my family had a computer in the basement. I would find myself sneaking downstairs whenever I knew I could get five minutes alone. I became extremely good at walking down the steps quietly at night or getting online quickly before my parents got home. My addiction lasted for two years.

Growing up, I only heard about pornography being a guys’ problem. I thought, Are there any girls who struggle with it? Am I the only one? What is wrong with me? I. Am. Gross.

When you’re caught in an addiction, your head fills with lies. Your friends are having sex and you aren’t — so keep watching. You’re still a virgin, don’t worry. Besides, it is for educational purposes. One day your husband is going to be really lucky that you know all about sex.

Lies, lies, and more lies…. And where lies exist, so does shame.

Watching porn felt so good in the moment. But the second it was over, I would be plagued with guilt. I would get mad at myself. I would be disgusted by my actions.

So, I would set up roadblocks to try to help me to stop before I started. Things like turning the computer all the way off (desktop computers used to take about 10 minutes to turn on), or writing “coded” sticky note reminders.

I didn’t know one single female who also struggled with porn.

Nothing worked. Each time after it happened, I would find myself filled with guilt and anger. I felt ashamed and repulsed by myself once again.

I didn’t know one single female who also struggled with porn. I knew guys who did. But what about girls? I wish I would have personally known, known about, or even heard about a random stranger who struggled with it. But for the entire two years I was trapped in my destructive addiction, I didn't. It felt crazy.

One night, I decided I couldn’t live like this any longer. I didn’t change overnight, and it sure wasn’t easy. The first few months were torture — almost everything was a trigger that urged me to sneak away to a computer in a room by myself and get that feeling I craved. It’s like I had an open wound for months straight. But then, amazingly, the wound began to heal.

I still live with the effects of my porn addiction. My perception of sex and love, and what it looks like between a husband and wife, is tainted. But I’m learning that pornography wasn’t and isn’t reality — it’s fantasy. And I’m slowly taking sex down off the high pedestal I had put it on.

If you struggle with porn, know that you’re not alone. And it can really help to talk with someone about what you’re going through. Just fill out the form below to connect with one of our free and confidential online mentors today. You can use your real name or a fake one. It's totally up to you.

Photo Credit: Andrew Neel