This Is My Story…
It begins with a thought, which leads to a click, then to a video, then comes the guilt and shame. Addiction. My addiction. I had deceived everyone but myself and God, letting them all think I was this warm, obedient Christian which was an act. My parents and siblings knew I backslid but they did not know to what extreme or perhaps that this addiction had been there long before. You know that feeling where you want to stop doing something that you know is bad yet you keep doing it? That was the epitome of the cycle which became my life, it became my every consuming thought. I promised myself and God, probably a million times that the last time would be the last time but no surprise there, it surely wasn’t the last time. But let’s backtrack a bit to when this all began.
I was about 9 years old, and I was with my 2 older sisters. The oldest was showing my sister a website and I just so happened to peek and get a look, even though they were telling me to go away. I saw 2 naked people. A male and a female engaging in sex. I was intrigued, I had never seen anything like it. From that day on, I hadn’t known but this curiosity later evolved to create my addiction. My sisters just brushed it off and viewed it as utterly disgusting, but I didn’t look at it like that.
So fast forward to the next year where I was over a friend’s (which was a female) house with my sister (which is 2 years older than me). We were bored and there was a computer, so we did what any group of kids would have done and started surfing the net, searching for a cure to our boredom. Then there came thoughts in my mind. “What was the name of the website that my sister showed me? Wouldn’t it be cool to show my friend? I’m sure she hasn’t seen anything like this. Okay. I’m gonna show her.” So I told my sister what I was gonna show our friend and she was hesitant, but I convinced her it was going to be “epic”.
There we were. 3 underage girls. Viewing pornography. Staring blankly at the screen as we freely gave away our mental innocence. Our friend was heavily interested in gay porn (male on male), she kept insisting that she wanted to see “ 2 guys”, I thought it was weird but then again, I had no place to judge. We were on that site for an hour or so, just watching and clicking on graphic videos. The earthly stigma on pornagraphy is that it’s “normal” but I can guarantee you, there is great damage being done not only spiritually, but also psychologically.
After that day, my curiosity began to only strengthen. The urges got stronger and stronger. I would use whatever device I could to feed my addiction. I didn’t have a phone of my own, so I would use my mothers. Her phone was old- fashioned so you couldn’t watch videos. That is when I discovered that there was such thing as “erotic stories”. I would read and read and read.
If only I would have had a burning urge to read the Word of God rather than pornographic tales, imagine where I would be on my spiritual journey loll. But I understand now that we find ourselves in some horrible situations but in the end it will be used for the glory of God. So if you find yourselves in a place of addiction and brokenness, give it to God and He will use it to not only strengthen you but to also demonstrate to you that He is in control.
So as time progressed the more severe my addiction began to me. I would have to get my fix atleast once or twice a day. I would lock myself in my room and either read stories or watch videos. I would feel such an extreme amount of guilt yet, the result never changed. My mother is a strong woman in Christ, extremely strong woman in Christ. Yet how was I turned out this way? I knew she prayed for me so what went wrong?
I would go to church twice a week with my mom constantly dragged. I was relieved the minute it was time to go back home so I could feed my addiction. There were conferences, youth conferences that I would go to. I would go through the motions, feel like I made a radical change and make another promise to God and myself that I would stay away from pornography.
Yet, the results were the same. I was insane. By the very definition of Albert Einstein who said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, yet expecting different results.” I was losing my mind. I was in no control over it. The enemy had me in the palm of his hand and what made it worse is that I willingly gave myself to him, over and over again. I would occasionally get caught, I would forget to delete the history from mother’s phone, and she would question me asking if I was the culprit that had made this explicit photos appear on her phone.
I would lie. I was digging myself into a hole, every time I would feed my addiction, I was adding more dirt on my coffin. I was practically dead. My spiritual life was in shambles. I knew God was calling upon me to stop and I heard His beckoning yet I chose to ignore him because I was not prepared to give up my earthly pleasures.
As years passed, I would make resolutions that I would give myself completely over to God. They would last for a day or so, maybe even a week if I tried hard enough (keyword: I ) but it was all to no avail. I was tired. I was so tired. This cycle was weighing on me so hard, yet I continued to give in to the enemy. This is how he would get me. I would be usually alone but not always.
He would plant a thought. Why don’t you pick up that phone? I would casually do so, not aware of his strategy. I would just be looking at normal things such as Facebook, Twitter and such then another thought would come. Isn’t this boring. I know something that you would have much better fun looking at. I knew well enough what he was talking about but that didn’t stop me from obeying.
Then I had God on the other side whispering, You do not want to do this. You know better. You know My word. You know that this is not pleasing to Me. Make the right decision. Every time before you are about to act in sin there are always 2 voices, one from the Lord and one from the enemy. The devil.
I would slowly but surely make my way on to the pornographic site. However, this one time. I decided to try something different. Something that would take things up a notch. I was told it would bring me greater pleasure. I began to fall into the sin of masturbation. After every time I did I felt so disgusted. The voice that once was my encourager became my accuser. You are worthless! You are disgusting ! You should just kill yourself. God will never take you back. You will forever be in bondage. No one is coming to free you. I believed every word the enemy told me. I mean after all, when you have fallen into an addiction for years, the thought of not being addicted anymore seems impossible. It seems crazy how I would continue to do something that would leave me more broken than pleased at the end but that is how addiction controls you. Porn and masturbation addiction is something that isn’t really addressed heavily in the Church because of how those that combat with it, feel so ashamed. I pray for God to give me the courage to testify with no fear in my heart.
I was trapped. There seemed to be no way out. Yet one day, I made a turn around. 360. I gave up my addiction and thought I would never look back. My walk with Christ was strong. I was in 8th grade, I believe. It was during this time that I received alot of backlash and was viewed as the Jesus freak. My friends knew how dedicated I was. However there was this one boy in my class, he was a Muslim. He was very sweet and kind. Everyone was mean to him and I’ll be honest with you. I wasn’t exactly demonstrating to him Christ-like behavior. He would often say to me “We worship the same God. Wasn’t so different about us”. He was wrong, we didn’t worship the same God. I made every effort possible, to remind him of this. I had this “holier- than thou “Pharisee complex. (I realized shortly afterwards in 8th grade summer where I was wrong and asked him for forgiveness, he forgave me and said that it’s okay. I felt horrible but he showed me mercy. I am now a high school senior and he likes my photos on social media and will tell me he misses me every now and then).
I was amazed how he easily forgave me with no hesitation as if I had done no wrong at all. I now realize this is a demonstration of how Jesus forgives us and wipes every evidence of our sin as if we had done no wrong. I was often criticized for my views on gay marriage and being pro-life, I was suprised how I was looked at as someone who was full of hate for voicing my opinion. Nonetheless, I moved forward. I had daily devotion with God. I kept journals (I now have no idea where they are, I pray I can find them one day !) I would think I was doing well right? I was being obedient to my parents, my mom was beaming with joy. We would often pray together and have discussions relating to the Bible and God. I realized that your walk with Christ isn’t your parent’s, and theirs isn’t yours. You have to seek God for yourself. My addiction at the time was for the most part, dormant. I had tempting thoughts appear from time to time but God gave me the strength to fight.
I was in the car one day waiting for my Mom to leave work. There was a preaching on the radio. I would gladly go on long work trips with my Mom and we would enjoy hearing the sermons together. The sermon that day was about The Parable of the Prodigal Son. He was teaching about how overjoyed the father was when he seen his son come from miles away and how in heaven God and the angels begin to praise and filled with joy when a lost soul comes to Christ.
I at the time was pretty sturdy in my walk I would say, I began to cry. I felt like I was the other son. Not the prodigal one but the one who stayed with his father the whole time. I was in the car thinking that God would love me more if I was lost and then came back. I was envious of the lost son. I guess I forgot the shambles where God found me and took me out of. Shortly after, I was granted my wish. I began to lose my way. It didn’t happen in a day though, it was gradual. Yet nonetheless, deadly.
I prayed so hard during the summer that I didn’t have to go back to that school, I was so worried about being lonely. Little did I know of what God had in store for me. I began to start my freshman year of high school, my whole entire clique of friends all were distributed high and low to other schools. Yet there I was. Alone. Or so I thought. I began to become close friends with people that I barely even spoke with in middle school. It was this year, where I began to backslide heavily. Everyone noticed the change. My family, friends, and those who knew who I was before.
The one factor that lead me back to my old ways was due to the lack of communication and connection with God. I became entangled with other things, that lead for me to slowly but surely forget to take part in my daily devotions with God. Once you are slacking in the department of communicating with God then you leave room for the enemy to take control. Which is exactly what I did. I opened a door for him and he created a home. I began to fall back into my addiction and the cycle began to continue and continue. However now a new obstacle came into my path : depression.
Hurt Flowing Through My Veins
I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. All I could do was write and write hoping that it would be the solution I was desperately searching for. I once let one of my friends read a piece I wrote which described my emotions and after she read it she began to cry, she asked me “Do you really feel this way? Is this true? Why did you never tell me?”.
I lied to her. I told her she has nothing to worry about, I was just being “facetious for literary purposes”. Yet I began to cry as well. So, there we were. In the middle of math class, crying for no apparent reason. I was crying because finally there was the opportunity to let someone know of how I truly was feeling like, but I didn’t want for her to make a big issue of it and think I was suicidal (even though I was). This was what I wrote on May 9, 2015.
“Why do I feel so alone. I’m surrounded by those who love me but still I feel unloved. I hate this strange emptiness I feel inside. I’m afraid if I address it, it might end up killing me inside. I’m tired of putting this act on the outside. A young bright girl who always seems to have those around her laughing but never herself smiles genuinely. It’s all an act. Just call me Shakespeare. I’m writing my script of how I should greet my friends and family but deep down I’m still at a lost for words. No amount of kind words coming from sweet lips could ever cure my loneliness. What can? Please tell me what equation gives me the solution to my problem?
I yearn for an answer, but I never receive one. I stare in the mirror, and I see an unfamiliar person. I see someone who has yet discovered what she truly wants. She’s a girl always on the lookout for something new, yet desperately afraid to try it. I want to reach out my hand and help her, but she turns me away. She feels as though asking for help is a sign of weakness, yet she knows she’s in great need of it. As I stare longer and longer into the mirror, I began to recognize who the girl is. She’s me. I didn’t realize it at first but she’s me. I’m not exactly sure if that’s who I wanted her to be but it’s reality.
We are stuck with ourselves, and our mind that is always there and never seems to leave us alone. We are our own worst enemy, our own worst critic. Anything I do is never enough, and it never will be. I’ll never feel satisfied. I’ll never feel complete. It’s almost as me if me and loneliness are best friends. She never leaves me even when I beg her to. I plead and plead but she never complies. Someone help me. Someone save me I cry out. Yet no one hears the cries of the needy. They pretend as if they are deaf to my misery, please turn an ear. I am hurting. I am broken into a million pieces and they are scattered everywhere. I hope one day these broken pieces can turn into a beautiful masterpiece.
What is so crazy to me is how no one knows who I am. No one knows my true thoughts and desires. No one knows my deepest and darkest thoughts that if anyone knew they would never look at me the same. No one knows of those late nights. No one knows of the times I feel such a great pain that I can’t bear it and I don’t even know how I carry on. I want to tell someone, just anyone but I’m afraid if I do my shell of protection is destroyed and I become vulnerable. I hate that feeling. The feeling of having all of you out into the open, all out for people to judge and criticize.
No. I won’t let that happen to me. I’ll continue to only share 10% of my true identity and hold the other 90% captive while I await for someone to break this shell and retrieve it. I wonder if it’ll ever happen. I doubt it will but I secretly hope that one day it happens and instead of being scared I’ll be happy. Happy. Happy. That’s all anyone ever wants right ? To be happy? Yet how can I ever be that with all this baggage I carry. It’s weighing me down and I’ll always looking for somewhere to put it down but I never find one. I constantly carry this heavy baggage and it takes a toll on me. It affects me greatly. I’m not myself anymore, I’m not who anyone thought I was anymore, I’m just not the same.
What happened to the girl that always had such a vast amount of joy in her heart ? What happened to the girl that never was afraid to express her true emotions? What happened to her ? Where has she gone? I want to find her but I don’t know if she wants to be found. This loneliness has taken over her and she has been used to it for so long she’s accustomed to it. It’s almost weird not being lonely for once. They say, “she’s just 15…it’s just a phase “. I surely hope so. Yet I still have questions. When is this phase over because I don’t know how much longer I can bear this loneliness. Music only makes it worse. It causes me to uncover every nook and cranny in my heart and discover even more hurt that I never knew was there in the first place.
All I ever wanted in life is to be understood but no one understands. Who can truly understand us besides ourselves? I can’t trust anyone. I don’t because I know that everyone isn’t who they say they are. I know this because I’m not who I say I am. I’m not who you think I am. I’m not like everyone else. I am different. Whether I like being it or not it’s who I am. Some days I wish I could just be like everyone else, maybe it would make these thoughts go away. I doubt it would.
These thoughts have consumed me and they have become me. My mind isn’t my own anymore. It’s been taken over by a force that causes me to think things I normally wouldn’t. They say people who are very highly intellectual they go insane. I fear that I might go insane one day. Maybe even more than I am now. I have so many thoughts buzzing around my brain, constantly buzzing looking for a way to enter my heart. They usually get in and when they do they swallow my heart whole. I become a different person.
I am not who I was anymore. I am the spitting image of loneliness. Nice to meet you
I remember to this day every single emotion in which I felt writing those words. I can only imagine how heartbroken God was to know that I chose to feel alone, even while knowing He was simply waiting for me to lean on Him and to carry my burden. God is slowly working on chisling me into becoming the person He has destined for me to be. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8. I am slowly learning to depend on God, for EVERYTHING. Not just the big things but the tiniest details. He cares about it all. It just took a while for me to see this.
My depression was masked to a perfection. No one knew of all the times I would cry in the bathroom until my eyes were bloodshot. No one knew at all. I would walk out the bathroom, wipe my eyes, throw on a fake smile, and all was well with the world. I was broken. I felt no need to exist. Yet I knew the end result of what would happen if I were to commit suicide, I at least wanted more of a chance to be right with God. That was the underlying thought, deep deep inside, and that is why the closest I ever got to suicide was placing a razor across my wrist. I was just gliding it across my veins and just thought What if?. Would anyone miss me?
Then reality came back and I realized it wouldn’t solve any of my problems, but leave me with an irreversible fate. What came hand in hand with my depression was low self-esteem. I felt hideous. I felt like everywhere I went people were discussing on how ugly I was. I compared myself to everything and everyone. I would become angry with God, screaming “WHY DON’T I LOOK LIKE HER? WHY DON’T I HAVE HER HAIR? WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LIKE THIS?” I was enraged with God and held a grudge at Him for so long. I told God that I hated Him for creating me. I yelled to the clouds. I was sooo angry at God. I was basically telling Him, he was wrong, that he was wrong and made a mistake when He created me.
I didn’t want to leave the house. I never wanted to go anywhere with my family. I was in bondage. Satan had me right where he wanted in various aspects of my life. I was told that I was beautiful and pretty by so many people but I never believed them. I just thought they felt pity for me so they complimented me so that they could feel they did a good deed for a day. I wanted to hide my face. I wanted to rip my face off.
Back to Point A
As I was trying to battle my depression and confidence issues on my own, I found myself back in the place of addiction. I was consumed by guilt after every time I participated in dancing with the enemy, yet I continued to do so. I was so good at hiding it. No one knew. No human knew, what I was doing. Which caused for me to be filled with shame. The enemy knew I wouldn’t tell anyone which caused for me to dig myself into a deeper hole. I had backslide heavily. It all began with slacking in communicating with God.
I would say “I’ll read tomorrow” or “I’ll read in a couple minutes” and somehow doze off. Before I knew it, there was nothing of God in me. Think of your relationship with God as a flower, in order for a flower to grow there must be water,,sunlight, and nutrients that reach the seed in the roots. Or else, the seed will forever remain a seed. No growth. Which is a perfect way to describe my spiritual life at the time. Distractions and flesh. They were the 2 main culprits which caused for my relationship with Christ to wither.
I came to the realization that nothing I ever do will grant me forgiveness, GRACE is a GIFT. Not EARNED.
I came to the realization NOTHING on EARTH is worth ETERNITY in HELL.
I came to the realization a MAN which loves earthly pleasures is not WORTH pursuing a relationship with.
I came to the realization, as long as GOD is on your side, there is NO such thing as IMPOSSIBLE.
I came to the realization, communication with GOD is a major key to spiritual GROWTH.
I came to the realization, ALLOW GOD TO CHISEL