5 minute read

True Story: Woman Finds Healing After 15 Years of Addiction

Last Updated: August 10, 2021

Moriah Bowman
Moriah Bowman

Moriah Bowman has been using Covenant Eyes since childhood. As a member of the Covenant Eyes team, she is passionate about writing and fighting pornography in the millennial generation. Moriah has a BA in political communications and plays an active role in fostering children of all ages who need a temporary safe home.

To maintain anonymity, we have removed the name of the user who submitted this story and replaced her name with “G.” This is a true story.

“I was raised in a big Christian, conservative home (and still hold to those views and doctrines), where no one expected porn to be involved in our everyday lives. But it was. From my earliest memories, I was sexually abused. Not by one person, but by several.

My parents thought they were protecting us by leaving us ‘in the dark’ about sex and never talking about it. But instead, they destroyed my life, and the lives of several other people, with their silence on the topic. I was assaulted time and time again as a child, until I thought it was normal. I thought that’s how you showed people you loved them.

By seven years old, I wasn’t surprised when someone came into my room late at night. I knew their abuse was fueled by loneliness and the porn they were watching, so I didn’t even blame them. I found porn on their computers, found Victoria’s Secret magazines hidden under beds, and was made to watch porn while they abused me. Porn was my life, and not by choice.

When the abuse stopped, I was just about 14 years old. But by this time, I had learned that my body responded to certain things. And living in a broken home, I was alone, confused, feeling dirty, far from God, and screamed at every day. So, I turned to the only coping mechanism I knew: masturbation.

Porn can and will consume you.

Masturbation became my entire world and consumed me. Because of the anxiety and self-loathing I felt, I lost all of my friends. I masturbated to numb the constant pain I felt. As you can imagine, I was a miserable 14-year-old to be around, and my family told me so. Constantly. I went on to babysit several kids because I had a deep desire to protect them from what I had suffered through. But because of how messed up I was, I fell in love with the father of the children I nannied for.

I loved making the meals, doing the laundry, and being the person who smiled at him when he got home from work. Our home was always filthy, falling apart, and with hardly any food on the table. Their house and his friendship was a lifeline to me. A few years later, I painfully left, knowing that I would soon make a terrible choice if I didn’t get away from late nights at that house, alone with him. Again, porn cut me off emotionally from anyone around me and not a single soul knew about what went on at that house.

Then, while still a teenager, I started working a professional job where I was respected and thought highly of. I starved myself almost every day to try and belong there. Belong to someone. Anyone. To not feel so alone. Being skinny, like the girls in porn, was the only way to do that, in my mind. Instead, I fell in love again. This time, to a married man who was in his fifties. Talk about ‘daddy issues.’ It’s a pure miracle that I never kissed the man, and he never used me in “that way,” But he did use me in other ways that I didn’t recognize at the time, because I had no one to protect me. I had no way to release my pent up frustration, so I buried myself in porn and eating.

Very quickly, I gained 70 pounds and some hardcore anxiety. So once again, I was no fun to be around and had no friends. Besides him. Besides that charming, adorable, well-off, middle-aged man. I was so alone, and everyone around me was so consumed with their own problems that I kept my secret about this relationship. Again, spending late nights at their house, sending thousands of messages, and riding in the car alone to work together, killed my soul. I felt like I was dead every moment of the day. Still, porn couldn’t reject me, like everyone else had. Who wants a friend with this much baggage, at such a young age, anyway? So I self-isolated and ate. And ate. And ate. All the while being told I was fat, and ‘better hurry up and get married before no one wants me anymore.’

I went to my then pastor for help, but as the words started coming out of my mouth, I saw him look down at my chest three times. I knew right then that once again I had to leave and could not trust this person with my dark past or my future. I also started therapy while still a teenager, but never once mentioned porn or this man. A year later, I went to another therapist and did tell her. And thus began my healing journey. So here I am, mid 20’s, and trying to fix this life that I am living. I have moved across so many states to get away from that man I loved, that nowhere feels like home.”

Quitting porn will not be easy.

“My soul was once again feeling crushed as I left him, knowing I would soon sleep with him if I didn’t get out of there. A fantasy that was fueled by porn. Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Still, I’m in a new state, surrounded by people who have no clue about the pain in my heart. I’m now three months into my Covenant Eyes subscription and have an accountability partner. She is a middle-aged Christian mother and has been so helpful to me. She’s a mother like no mother I ever had.

The first month porn-free was the hardest, but I’ve only slipped up a few times, and I’m so encouraged by that. I am determined to stop this cycle before it leads to sex and drugs or another generation of sin. And with Covenant Eyes and this therapist, I think maybe there’s a chance. The pain, anguish, and self-hate have led me down a path I could never have imagined, all those years ago. But my prayer to God is that He will become real to me again, and save me from myself. If you’re reading this, please protect your babies from porn and abuse. They’re counting on you.

Until I found Covenant Eyes, I thought I was the only one living in such shame. I’ve spent almost 15 years completely isolated, without a single person understanding me. I’m hoping that changes now.”

Remember, you are not alone.

G’s story is hard to read. The trauma and abuse she endured—mentally, emotionally, and physically—have changed her life forever, and after 15 years of suffering, she is still struggling to break free.

What makes me even sadder are the countless other stories similar to the one received from G. So many people are affected by pornography—men, women, and children alike. And, like G, so many people feel like they are alone in their struggles.

G and I are here to remind you that you are never alone. You will never be the only person on this earth struggling with pornography or sexual addiction. Human nature is sinful; we all struggle with sin in our own way. If you’re feeling ashamed of your pornography addiction, I want to offer you three pieces of hope, inspired by G’s story.

First, do not expect perfection in your recovery journey. G admits that she has slipped up in her fight to live porn-free. This is reality. The majority of those working to overcome addiction are going to experience bumps in the road. There will be a great temptation to let this discourage you. You may even want to give up, but please, don’t! Turn your mistakes into opportunities for growth, and you will find yourself better equipped to be victorious against pornography.

Secondly, know that Covenant Eyes is here to help you along your entire journey. G’s story is a testament to the success of our services. Screen Accountability does work; it is changing lives worldwide. Aside from believing in our product, we believe in you! We firmly believe that accountability is an essential part of addiction recovery, and we want you to believe in it as well.

Finally, be at peace, knowing that Jesus saves. Overcoming a pornography addiction is more than just accountability. Anyone can ditch their devices or say that they’re going to quit. Recovery requires a change of heart that only Jesus can instill in us. When we acknowledge that we are lost sinners in need of  Savior, Jesus saves. He can save you from your addiction Turn to him as your only hope!

Have you overcome porn addiction? Has Covenant Eyes made a difference in your life or the lives of those you love? Share in the comments below!

  • Comments on: True Story: Woman Finds Healing After 15 Years of Addiction
    1. Ardishae on

      I just want to give G a long hug. And tell her that she’s beautiful. Worthy. Loved. Your pain doesn’t make you unloveable. Your mistakes don’t omit you from happiness.God sees everything and he loves you, loves you so very much.

      Reply
    2. J. Smith IV on

      I see you, G.

      Be encouraged.

      John IV

      Reply
    3. Sam on

      “I went to my then pastor for help…” That was the bravest moment, being willing to ask for help. I thank God for granting her that bravery, and for the people he put in her life to help her into freedom.

      Reply
    4. N.A. on

      Thank you for your story, G. Truly. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like. I’ve never been raped. I’ve never been abused. I’ve never been molested. I’ve never been touched. I’ve never been pushed past my limits or sexualized. I’ve never even had sex. But I’m here anyway, in the same place, with no tangible reason as to how I got here. I started masturbating at 4 to violence and I just never stopped. I know these stories of recovery are meant to encourage me, but they’re mostly distressing me. They’ve made me realize that I’m the problem. I’m everything wrong with me. There’s no hidden hurt to point to, no creepy uncle or college boyfriend. Just a loving home and with a horrible daughter. Everything evil that I’ve done, that I’ve wanted has come from me. I’m my own abuser and the source of all my problems. I almost want to have that traumatic moment, to point to an instance that started this, to have a secretly repressed memory that turns on the light and explains why I am the mess I am. But I don’t (and believe me, I’ve tried to find one) and admitting that means admitting I’m the worst person in the world all on my own. I crave violence and rape like some sort of psychopath when all I’ve received is love and respect. Someone like that doesn’t deserve to recover. She barely deserves to live. I’ve been on a recovery journey for about nine months now, but every time I hear about someone being loved through an abusive and horrible past, I feel like I don’t deserve to be on the same path as them. It’s more than feeling like I’m alone: it’s feeling like I should be alone, quarantined, that it’s only fair and just. I got myself into this, what right do I have to ask God and good people for help getting me out?

      Reply
      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi friend,

        Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Please know that your story is not beyond hope. In Christ, we can find healing and forgiveness, regardless of what we have done or endured. We are all a mess. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. You do deserve to recover, and you CAN recover.

        1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
        Isaiah 1:8 says, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'”

        Scripture is full of verses like these that attest to Christ’s amazing love, mercy, and forgiveness. I pray that they are an encouragement to you and give you hope.
        From a practical perspective, have you considered counseling? I would encourage you to reach out to a Christian counselor or therapist. They will have great wisdom to impart to you!

        I am praying for you. Be strong, and cling to Christ. Only he can change your heart!
        Blessings,
        Moriah

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