Porn is a terrible enemy. Its grip is especially powerful when it’s connected to deep wounds from childhood. But people are finding victory over porn every day. Everyone’s victory story is different. The journey it takes to find freedom is different too. Richard and Sarah both experienced horrific abuse and trauma as children and became hooked on porn. Both found victory and freedom. Here are their stories.
Meet Richard, a husband and father in his mid-40s. His story begins almost four decades earlier. “I was introduced to sex at age five. I am a survivor of sexual abuse from my biological father. He showed me everything I should not be.”
The abuse he experienced from his father scarred Richard deeply. “He mastered my nightmares.” The abuse Richard experienced shaped his view of sex and primed him for the lure of porn. “I’ve been enslaved to porn since I was ten or eleven years old,” Richard explained.
When he became a father, Richard determined that the childhood he suffered from his father would not define him, saying, “The day I held my firstborn child, [I] realized I had the chance to get it right, to undo the damage I had as a child.”
Being a parent also made Richard see the humanity of the women he was tempted to look at—porn actresses are someone else’s daughter. However, despite this determination, porn kept a strong grip on Richard for many years. “That didn’t stop me, only slowed me down.”
Richard finally experienced victory when he got in what he calls a “caught-plea-for-help situation.” He had some starts and stops in his journey to freedom before he began using Covenant Eyes. He explains, “Almost two years into Covenant Eyes and the accountability that it has helped instill has brought freedom roaring into our marriage. It’s not perfect yet, but with the Holy Spirit, my wife’s voice, and Covenant Eyes, it’s getting much better!”
Richard still slips and falls from time to time, but he doesn’t let that deter him. He owns his mistakes and presses forward. “I had a 15-minute look at images over two days last week that my wife and I are overcoming right now. But freedom isn’t far away. Please don’t quit working on your freedom from bondage, those chains are heavy. Your success is determined by your own honesty!”
Meet Sarah, a woman trapped by pornography. Like Richard, Sarah was abused by her father. The wounds of her past made her extremely vulnerable to porn. When Sarah realized this, she began her journey to freedom:
“I realized that why I fell over and over again was because I had unresolved issues of unforgiveness in my heart. I hated my dad for hurting me as a child. I endured all kinds of abuse including being kidnapped as a baby, me and my brother, and taken to Ireland. Life was awful and horrible and I was starved and so many other things. I carried this hate in my heart and it was slowly killing me. To numb out I turned to pornography for comfort but it gives you false comfort and just draws you into it more and more.”
Sarah recounts the life-changing moment when she began to experience victory:
When I went to visit [a friend of mine], we walked and talked in the wilderness and we knelt down in the dust of the high desert and we prayed. I always wondered where God was when I was a child when I cried out to him and nothing changed. As we prayed I saw that God was right beside me. In the darkness he was there in the light holding me or being beside me. I forgave my dad and stepmom for all the hurt and pain I had endured. I also forgave myself for using porn as my escape. I asked God to forgive me for turning to porn when things were really difficult. After the prayer I felt different I felt freer and I no longer felt hate in my heart. Since that day I’ve been free of pornography and being able to live in Freedom.
Sarah shares her story to encourage others who have gone through abusive or traumatic experiences that have led them into porn. Childhood wounds do not have to determine the end of your story. Sarah shares her story because she knows that victory is possible for others as well. “If you feel like you will never get out of this that’s how I felt. You can be free. I still use accountability on all my devices. I have an accountability partner I trust and I walk and live in freedom every day.”
I can relate to both stories, my own sexual abuse trauma led me to watch porn. I spent so much time feeling and trying to quit when the answer was learning to heal my own trauma. Childhood take time to heal. I pray to look back at my scars one day when I make it.