Seventeen months after my son’s first confession, he approached us. “Mom, Dad, can I talk to you a minute privately?” Words no parent wants to hear.
“Remember that thing we talked about before? Well, I never really stopped.” What!?
As I’ve mentioned, my son was scared into confessing he had been watching pornography. During that first conversation, he told us he was curious and searched the internet on his own. When pushed he stated he’d watched periodically for about a year. I believe he wanted to stop but was lured back pretty easily because he was addicted.
The second time he came clean, he had a deep desire to quit. He knew the harm it was doing to him and would do to his future wife and family if he didn’t quit. As I had in the first conversation, I asked numerous questions. One of them was, “Who introduced you to porn?” He again said no one. I specifically asked, “Did one of your older brothers show you?” He stated he didn’t want to get anyone in trouble.
By this point in the conversation it was becoming clear his addiction was much worse than we thought, and he had been involved with pornography for a lot longer than we originally believed. I told my son, “No one is in trouble, but I want to live in the light. We need to bring the details to the light. If we allow it to stay in the darkness, we cannot overcome it.”
My son proceeded to tell us that when he was around nine or ten years old he had asked his older brother to show him pictures on the computer. His brother, underage but most definitely old enough to know better, complied. Another brother did not actively participate but was in the room.
This was difficult to hear, to say the least. One more infraction to add to a growing list. Not only was I dealing with one child steeped in the grip of porn, but I also had to face the fact that two of my other children were involved. But I meant what I said about living in the light.
We cannot begin to turn from our wrong ways or heal from our wounds unless we are willing to shed light on the problem. At the minimum that means facing the issue head on and not turning a blind eye or pretending everything will be fine. It’s not fine. The first step to healing and wholeness is shining light in the darkest corners, revealing every inch of the problem. Then we can begin walking toward freedom.
My son felt better after sharing the whole truth with us. There weren’t any more secrets. And we were better equipped to establish a program of healing for him. It was a start and gave us hope.
I’d like to encourage you. Walk through the tough stuff! I know it’s difficult to ask questions, listen to the answers, and follow through with a plan. At the least it’s time consuming. At the worst it’s debilitating. But there is hope. There is healing on the other side.
What’s your story? How can I support you? Comment below . . . anonymously if you prefer. Or send me an email via the contact page. And be sure to subscribe so you know when the next blog post is available.