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What Defines You? Richard’s Story

Last Updated: March 16, 2022

What’s up, freedom seekers! I am Richard, a 43-year-old man, just married, and father of four amazing kids. Here’s my question: What defines you?

The 30-Year Nightmare

I became enslaved to porn when I was 11 years old. I was introduced to sex at age 5. You see, I’m a survivor of sexual abuse from my biological father. He showed me everything of what not to be.

He mastered my nightmares.

What Defines My Life

Yet the start of my life did not define it.

What defined me was the day I held my first-born child. I realized I had the chance to get it right and to undo the damage I had received as a child. That’s defines me.

Cue the porn addiction.

I realized that the women I creepily stared at were someone else’s kids. No matter where their lives had gone, these were still somebody’s kids.

Set Free by the Truth

But even though having my own children was life-defining, this moment didn’t set me free from porn. It only slowed me down. Eventually, the truth unfolded to my wife. She discovered my porn addiction. I was caught, and I pled for help.

I tried an app before Covenant Eyes, but it was too difficult and basically useless. Then I found Covenant Eyes. Now, it’s been almost two years, and Covenant Eyes has helped instill accountability in my life. It has brought freedom roaring into our marriage.

My life isn’t perfect yet, but with the Holy Spirit, my wife’s encouragement, and Covenant Eyes, it’s getting much better. A short while ago I had a brief slip-up that my wife and I are working through right now.

Please don’t quit working on your freedom from bondage. Don’t let your past define you. Don’t let porn define you. Those chains are heavy, but freedom isn’t far away. Your success is determined by your own honesty! How bad do you want it?

Note from the editors: Unfortunately, Richard’s experience is a common one. Recovery expert John Fort says:

Several studies show that when people are exposed to sexually explicit content during childhood or adolescence, they have a significantly higher risk of developing problematic pornography use later on. Similarly, studies find the younger a child is when first exposed to pornography, the greater their consumption of pornography tends to be as adults.

Like Richard, many people who experience childhood sexual abuse become addicted to porn. Counselor and researcher Jay Stringer found that the heaviest porn users were more likely to have been sexually abused as children than others.

If you were exposed to porn or experienced sexual abuse as a child, we encourage you to seek out qualified counseling. Like Richard, you can find freedom from your past!

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