What I Want You to Know is a series of
reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their
personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the
unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to
this series,
click here. Today’s guest posts is by anonymous reader.

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What I want you to know is that men aren’t the only ones that struggle with pornography.

I
was six years old when I stumbled upon my first bit of pornography. I
was playing in the woods behind our house and found a stack of adult
magazines. There was nothing that my parents or anyone that cared about
me could have done about it. It was just a very unfortunate accident. I
didn’t understand exactly what I was seeing but from that moment on it
was something that I knew I would like to see again. I’ve heard it
described as a switch that gets turned on in your mind. I don’t know if
that’s an accurate statement but it’s certainly how I felt.

It
would shock my parents to hear it but growing up pornography was readily
available in our house. Not because they subscribed to any magazines
but because we had a satellite dish that had no parental controls on it.
A friend taught me how to find the ‘bad’ channels pretty much as soon
as we got it. I was eight. It was never anything my parents thought a
child would be interested in watching so they didn’t think they needed
to monitor it.

When I was twelve I started reading romance
novels. My Mom knew about it but she had no idea how adult the content
was in them. Pornography is a bit like a drug. What excites you the
first time doesn’t necessarily excite you the next so it wasn’t too long
until I had worked up the courage to buy truly adult books that they
sold at the local bookstore. Apparently, there were no rules about how
old you had to be to buy them.

Because I believed that only men
were interested in pornography I felt like there was no one I could talk
to about my struggles. I felt like if I came clean I would be seen as a
pariah and someone to be avoided. So, my life then took on a circular
pattern that would involve me seeking out pornography and then feeling
incredibly guilty and ashamed about it.

When I was in college the
Lord really got a hold of my life and it was then that all of my
problems with pornography magically disappeared. Er…not so much! It was
absolutely still a struggle!

After listening to
a really powerful sermon by Matt Chandler I began to ask myself the
following questions: Why was I seeking this out? What void was I trying
to fill in my life? What did my heart truly desire?

What I once
saw as a ‘head’ problem I now saw as a ‘heart’ problem. What I mean is,
that I used to try to control my desire for pornography by saying “if I
get this filter on my computer I won’t look anything up” or “if I only
go to the bookstore when it’s crowded I wont be tempted to buy
anything.” While these things are definitely good they didn’t deal with
my heart. So, they never worked in the long term. Internet filters are
good and useful. If you have kids you absolutely need them. But they
couldn’t change my heart.

What I want you to know is that even
though I’m a woman and a Christian I still sometimes struggle with
pornography. What I want you to know is that as parents we can’t control
everything that a child sees but we can control what they see at our
own houses. What I want you to know is that even if this is something
you’ve struggled with your whole life you can find freedom from it.

What I want you to know is that if you struggle with this you are not alone.