By Christine Saah | Guest Blogger
Pornography. It is one of those things that really makes most of us very uncomfortable. To even think about it makes my skin crawl. I have heard about it, but have not really acknowledged it’s role in my day-to-day life. Sexual images are everywhere in the media. There’s really no running from it so I don’t know why I have tried to for so long. My school’s campus ministry gave out free books, and I decided to pick up a copy of Delivered by Matt Fradd. It consists of stories told by men, women, professionals, everyday people, and even very good Christian folks that have struggled with pornography. This addiction does not discriminate. I didn’t know this until I started reading it, but some of my wounds were about to be cut open. I read this book, and my soul cried out with blood stained tears. I had to stop running from my darkest wound.
I thought I was doing just fine. I am doing well in my eating disorder recovery. I struggle with body image daily, but that is normal. To me, struggling with chastity was embarrassing. I felt like it was not right for me as a woman to have this struggle. I still remember the first time I found a stack of pornography magazines in my basement. I also remember the moment I went into chat rooms and talked with strangers. We would create these fantasies, and I would feel so filthy afterwards. I cannot believe that as a 10-year-old I was doing this. I knew it was wrong, and so full of shame. I told no one, but I made an effort to prevent my twin sister from getting into this. I blocked the chat rooms. However, I still went on them. In middle school, I found myself going on everyday after school. I couldn’t stop, and no real harm came from it. At some point, I made up my mind that I was going to quit. I did, and I would say I thought I succeeded. Looking back, I realize I quit going on to the sites, but I still had an impure heart and mind.
This impurity carried me into high school. I knew that as a good Catholic (not that I had much of a faith life) I could never give up my virginity. I kept busy in my sports, SGA, and who knows what else. I was the girl who had it all. I felt completely insecure, and scared with my Mom being so sick with cancer, but I kept on faking my joy. I was always too scared to even think about dating or being close with a guy, especially after my experience in middle school. I was scared, because I hated the impure thoughts that flooded my mind. By senior year, I was fed up with life, and started to give into the world of sin. I so desperately wanted a guy to like me. I had lost a lot of weight, and knew I was now acceptable enough to be loved. Now I just had to change my mindset in order to get the guy.
I had never had my first kiss, and basically planned it with someone who was a good friend. We sat in my car, and we went for it. He started groping me, touching me in places I had never been touched, and using his tongue. I freaked out, but allowed this awkward situation to continue for a few moments more. It ended, and nothing was ever said of this incident. I couldn’t tell anyone. I then pursued this other guy I was attracted to in the most unchaste way. To make it worse, his girlfriend was one of my teammates. Every time I chilled with her, he was usually around. It made my life so difficult. I couldn’t help but have these fantasies of him and me. He was a big tease too so that did not help. Nothing ever came of this, but I had a very unhealthy attachment to him. It still pains me as I write this. I had no clue what love really was, and kept searching in all the wrong places.
My very first weekend my freshman year of college set me on the wrong path. I was already in some guys dorm room, practically giving myself away. I never had sex, but was touched in so many places that I felt so much shame. Every time there was a dance, I usually gave myself away on the dance floor and would have a public make out session. There was always a different guy, different dance, and the same old me. I felt unworthy of real love, because I did not know what it was. The problems continued as I became anorexic/bulimic. I had my eye on this guy, because he had lost his father to cancer and I had lost my mom to cancer. We were two damaged people looking for healing or love or something… He was a great guy, but his flaws were so evident. He revealed to me his past chastity issues, but I didn’t care. There was one night that I stayed over until 4 am. It wasn’t like we would have ever had sex, but our closeness was not healthy. He made me feel good emotionally and physically. I feel like I used him a lot in an emotional way. Our texts back and forth always turned the heat up between us. We eventually broke up, because I was too busy having a relationship with an eating disorder.
Where am I now with all of this? I don’t really know. I would say I have certainly changed my unchaste ways. I make sure I don’t drink too much, and even when I do I know how to stay chaste. I think I have certainly overcome this struggle, because I have built up my relationship with God my father. My father loves me so much, and only wants the best for me. I think it’s the pain from the past that hurts the most. That is why I wanted to share this. As St. Frances de Sales says, If you struggle with a virtue, make a public statement about it. It isn’t necessarily a struggle anymore, but it was for so long. This issue of chastity needs to be talked about.
P.S. You are enough.