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My Struggle with Porn

Published:
January 9, 2024
July 5, 2019
Addiction-to-Porn|Addiction-to-Porn-Comparison|Addiction-to-Porn-Square

Christine Chu is a college student from Malaysia. She was a good student in high school, a leader in extracurricular activities, and regularly attended Mass, yet she was secretly struggling with an addiction to porn. Here she describes her journey toward the light.

It all started with curiosity — simple as that.

I remember times when my father would fast-forward certain scenes in some movies, and there was always this curiosity in me. I wanted to know. I wanted to see. I was curious, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask. As children, we were told not to look, so obviously it couldn’t have been anything good.

I should have let it go, but I didn’t.

One day, curiosity finally got the better of me, and I found out for myself what took place in those forbidden scenes. Immediately, I felt this thrill and pleasure coursing through my body. My sexual desire had been awakened.

Curiosity turned into hunger.

I tried to suppress my desire for more, because I knew that it was wrong to feed that hunger. It was wrong — it was bad. But why was it bad? How was it wrong? Why did I even have these desires and hunger?

I tried seeking answers — as subtly as possible, of course, because I didn’t want anyone to know what I’d gotten myself into. It was too shameful, and I didn’t want to disappoint my parents. I feared being judged, being rejected, being a disappointment.

I was a very proud kid.

I posed these haunting questions to my parents and even my parish priest, and they all had something to say about it. I was told that "pornography is bad, for it harms the soul and pollutes the mind;” that "watching porn is a sin;” and that "it’s addictive, so young people must stay away from it.” Their responses were mostly well-intentioned, but they did little to help my case — everything just seemed so superficial.

Eventually, I gave in to the hunger, despite my protesting conscience. I came to think that perhaps porn wasn't so bad or wrong after all. At this point, my consumption of porn became more and more frequent. I went from nudity to graphic sex scenes, and from that to violent, aggressive videos. Sexual fantasies crowded my mind, and I couldn’t shut them out at all.
Hunger turned into addiction.

A part of me was still trying to stop, but the truth was that consuming porn turned into a vicious cycle. Every time the hunger came, I fooled myself into thinking “it’s just this once,” and “it’s not like I’m hurting anyone” — I tried to tell myself that my actions weren't that bad.

Then after the hunger was fed, guilt and disgust took its place, and I told myself, “No more of this rubbish.” Later on, though, I came to realize how this hunger could never be permanently satisfied — but I still went on telling myself, every time, that it would be the last time.

I felt so weak and pathetic — I just didn’t know how to fight it anymore.

Things came to a point where I would no longer think twice about viewing porn. This was the scariest part — it was as if my conscience was slowly fading away. I found the feelings of guilt and self-disgust growing weaker day by day, replaced by a large sense of numbness.

The thirst for porn became insatiable, pushing me for more and more and more. I stopped rationalizing my sin and accepted that this was how it was meant to be. I saw no point in fighting the temptation anymore. So I let myself indulge in lust while keeping up my façade — going to Mass, being a good student and strong leader at school, and setting a good example for my younger siblings at home.

My life felt like a joke. What if this was all there was to me — that my future wouldn’t be any better than the sinfulness and pretention I felt?

I felt like a lie.

And I felt so trapped because almost everyone believed that I was doing okay. They didn’t suspect a thing. Yes, I was that good at masking myself. I wished I wasn’t.

Pride was my biggest problem.

One day, something just snapped inside me, and I came clean about my porn usage. I guess I was tired of being stuck in desolation, and I wanted to show myself that I was capable of more. I told my mother, I told my faith community, and I finally went to confession. Most people didn’t even know how to react, but at least I got the sense of release I wanted.

For a while after that, I was able to stay away from porn, so I thought my prayers had been answered. This was it. I was free.

But it all seemed too easy — way too easy.

Pride brought about my relapse. Once I fell into a false sense of security, the temptations returned. I remembered the problems and the brokenness that came from porn, and was determined not to let myself fall back into that trap, but the temptation found a different way in.

The temptation to porn couldn’t prey on my insecurities, so this time it took my self-assurance and used it to full advantage. Instead of magnifying the seriousness of the sin as before, the temptation reduced it to nearly nothing, convincing me that watching porn wasn’t that big of an issue anyway, and that I could easily deal with it later.

The cycle started again, and I slipped back into despair and hiding, continuing the struggle from where I left off. This time, I felt more ashamed than before.

I thought I’d won the battle. How could I fall again?

It took some time for me to see through all the lies, and realize why I got stuck with porn again. Pride held me back from confession, and I was focusing too much on myself — especially on my porn addiction. Unknowingly, I'd let it define my whole identity. On top of that, I was trying to fight temptation — all on my own. I relied so much on myself that I was burning out.

It was time to turn back to God for help, so I did just that.

Then came a moment of grace: I realized how blinded I’d been. I saw that my pride and shame were keeping me away from God’s love and mercy — but it didn’t need to be that way. That’s not who God is — God had not forsaken me. I recalled Jesus and how His death on the cross proves the depth of God’s love for us — for me.

So with newfound courage, I confessed my sins and asked for forgiveness again, telling myself that I was doing this for myself, yes, but an even bigger part of me was doing this to respond to God’s love and mercy. I’d rediscovered a new source of strength and faithfulness.

But the story does not end here, for the battle goes on.

For a very long time, I’ve been hiding in the shadows alongside my secrets, but that’s where the Devil dwells too, working his schemes. I see, now, that I’ve been seeking refuge in the wrong place. I understand that my struggle with porn may be a lifelong battle, but if I want to win this fight, I have to humbly cling to God for help.

So now, I’m bringing my struggle out of the darkness — into the light.

Creators:
Christine Chu
Published:
January 9, 2024
July 5, 2019
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