This testimony comes from a woman currently enrolled in our Group Leader Training. One of the exercises in the curriculum is to write out your story. I am so excited that she’s allowed me to share her story here. May you be inspired, encouraged and moved by her words and her life.
That Back Closet—Laurie Comes Clean
It was 1974; at age 15 I found pornography in my house from my dad’s hiding spot. It was shocking, taboo, and exciting. I found myself checking it out frequently. The family suffered a divorce and all that goes with it, so I mimicked what I saw as coping by being in sexual sin for years, like the woman at the well.
From age 16-late 20’s, I partied a lot at discos and nightclubs; I used sexuality as a way to get attention in the wrong way. I was a walking wounded person, and very numb. Using pornography or the images that I kept from way back was a false comfort, and false intimacy. It was hard to keep a relationship, and I went for the ‘high’ of being in and out of shallow and short lived relationships.
I hit my bottom when (keep in mind- the 70’s, no porn on computers yet) I found myself going to rent movies at a video store that contained porn movies. I knew and felt out of line, and sick. After one or two times, I was convicted to cut up my membership card. That was the beginning of my recovery, but did not stop there. There were hidden issues I needed to work on overtime, although I no longer viewed it, there were enough images catalogued in my head for decades to come.
After raising a child and becoming empty nested, I realized some things were triggers, and I now had the time to really look at them. The Lord was drawing me near to clean out that ‘back closet’ in my life and I did not want to see that there was a problem, but things would still be in my head.
In my marriage, we invited the Lord to be a part of our relationship. God showed me that the images in my head needed to go, and I needed to learn how He views sexuality, because after all, He made it; it was His idea. I realized that “R” rated movies are rated R for a ‘reason’, and that I needed to refrain and guard myself.
I learned that porn was like using lighter fluid on your intimacy, but God wanted the coals to burn ‘slow and steady’ in marriage by what His word says.
I sought recovery for the things that happened that lead up to that, the divorce, rejection, low esteem, all the wrong turns. I was in a recovery meeting for women where someone talked of sobriety from ‘sex with self’. I never thought there was an issue, but God wanted to clean house, so I am learning what God says is okay, and what is not okay.
Just a couple of years ago, I was surfing the TV channels in a hotel room on vacation; a mild porn movie was on a TV. I lingered just a little and went into a full-blown panic attack. It was like I was physically drowning. I belonged to God and I did not want it, but in two seconds I was there and being pulled by the enemy and it was warfare! I thought I’d have a heart attack. I could hardly breath, I got physically ill.
In the months to come, after working recovery on other issues, the Lord reminded me about that “back closet”. The pastor’s sermons kept relating to those ‘hidden’ issues. I am not drawn to seek internet porn, I know the computer damage it can cause (both physically, and mentally), and the way it can be tracked, so I would not fool anyone.
Right here in our own lives there are a lot of people, both young and old, with this stealth addiction, that struggle every day. It is very addictive like a drug. It is not just a male issue, but also females and children are affected. There are images out there enough, in the media, advertising, and movies. I found a ministry for women who have been affected by pornography (DGM). They were having online training for those who’d like to one day mentor other women in the same bondage.
God is showing me the way out of the darkness of the past. They say “We are only as sick as our secrets.” I found a female Christian counselor and confessed my things out loud. I had such deep torrents of tears, to verbalize and admit my past. It was like flushing out a cesspool. God said- “this is what it’s about my child, come closer to me,” and He held me in his arms. He is carrying me through cleaning up this back closet of all the junk of the past.