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NOT ALONE – Woman Addicted To Porn Finds Freedom

Woman addicted to porn finds freedom
“[Pornography] just creeps into your subconscious and makes you think, ‘That’s what love looks like. That’s what sex looks like.’ And that creates a lot of fear.” (Jessica) (Image: Victory with Matt Fradd)

Today, I’ve transcribed the story of a woman named Jessica. Jessica was raised in a loving home as the oldest of 6 siblings and never thought she would become addicted to anything. After attending a chastity conference at age 12, Jessica innocently googled “pornography” to see what it was they were talking about. Curiosity kept her coming back, and before long an occasional pornography viewing habit had progressed into a full-blown addiction, to where she was watching it multiple times a day.

Jessica recalls, “It didn’t hit me that this had become my life. A simple, naive, innocent little thought got turned into a big pornography addiction.” Jessica tells that her addiction led her to feel isolated, trapped, and fearful of physical affection and relationships, which pornography led her to associate with exploitation.

A turning point for Jessica happened when she opened up to her pastor about her struggles, and then later her parents, who had no idea what had been going on with her. Jessica testifies that the love of her pastor and parents, internet accountability software, and the realization that she was not alone — that other women struggled with this issue, too — were instrumental in her healing process.

Check out the complete video and transcript below!

Addiction is not sexist. Addiction does not discriminate. It will find anybody and every time I had heard anyone talk about it, they would always say something along the lines of, “Alright, boys, listen up.” And I would immediately think, “Well, clearly I’m broken. Clearly I’m the only one. Clearly, something is very wrong with me.”

Jessica

Transcript of NOT ALONE – Woman Addicted To Porn Finds Freedom

My name is Jessica Wimmer. I’m 24, and I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I definitely live a very normal, run-of-the-mill mom life managing work, kids, home life, trying to balance friendships, have time with my husband, etc.. As a kid, I was 1 of 6. I was the oldest girl in my family. I did have a special needs sister, and I quickly adopted the identity of being that second mom. My parents raised me super well. They were so loving and so kind, and they protected us and guided us but let us experience the real world. And I just thought, you know, “I’d never be that person because I was aware that addiction was out there, so because I was aware it wouldn’t happen…”

I remember going to a chastity talk, and they mentioned pornography, and I didn’t know what it was at the time. I heard this voice in my head telling me, “If you don’t know what it is, you can’t protect yourself from it.” I did what you probably shouldn’t do and I Googled it to see what it might be. I remember not really understanding what I was seeing. I clicked on a link, and I saw a video, and I was absolutely horrified. And little by little, I would have this nudging, “Just look one more time. Just look one more time.”

The looks would get longer and longer, and then it became seeing it once a week to seeing it multiple times a week. I didn’t even realize I was watching it every day, multiple times a day. It didn’t hit me that this had become my life. A simple, naive, innocent little thought got turned into a big pornography addiction. And it just took one look and a lot of fear from looking at something I didn’t understand, and the more and more I came back trying to understand what I saw, the deeper and deeper I was rooting myself in addiction.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat very well. I felt sick very often. I got sick very often. I was extremely lonely, and I wasn’t pouring into friendships. I would show up — I could fake it really well. And I would go home and feel that nobody really cared about me anymore. And I was just extremely anxious and had a lot of panic attacks. I didn’t have very good coping mechanisms when I was stressed or anxious, and so all I turned to was pornography. And I didn’t realize that the source of my stress and my anxiety was what I was turning to to get rid of what I thought was my stress and anxiety.

I think being exposed to pornography so long — it altered the way that I viewed love. I hadn’t fully understood any kind of romantic relationship. And then you [take into account] I was 12, so you don’t think about that when you’re 12. A lot of porn is geared around violence towards women, and so the way that it makes you feel, the way that it makes you see yourself, is very different. It gives you the sense that that is what you deserve, and it makes you lose a lot of respect for yourself without realizing it. It just creeps into your subconscious and makes you think, “That’s what love looks like. That’s what sex looks like.” And that creates a lot of fear.

So my first exposure to any kind of physical affection — any of that — was a very distorted view. I remember it made me extremely fearful of the idea of falling in love with someone, the idea of holding hands with someone because I thought that any physical contact was similar to being taken advantage of. Or that anyone I would come in physical contact with would take advantage of me.

I think I hit my rock bottom when I fully became aware of how bad my addiction was and the fact that I had one. And I was very aware of how sad I was, how lonely I was. I felt like no one in the world understood me, especially being a woman dealing with this. Addiction is not sexist. Addiction does not discriminate. It will find anybody and every time I had heard anyone talk about it, they would always say something along the lines of, “Alright, boys, listen up.” And I would immediately think, “Well, clearly I’m broken. Clearly I’m the only one. Clearly, something is very wrong with me.”

I went to confession with my pastor, and he was so loving to me and that was the first moment that I realized there is a chance I can get out of this. I feel like I went from one day of feeling like I’m the only person that experiences this in the world, and I’m going to have that feeling of loneliness forever. And then the next day realizing that even if I’m alone in this, someone still loves me. That even if I have to be alone in this, that there’s still healing and there’s still hope, and I can still find happiness one day. And that hope, I clung to that hope so desperately because that was all I had. That was all I had in sight for years of feeling like I was alone.

My parents had no idea that any of this was going on. They didn’t even realize that it was an addiction. I think when I told them about it — I mean I was a scared high schooler coming to my mom to talk about it with her. And I summed up the courage to tell her. So we had a great heart-to-heart, and they really handled it very well. They just loved me, which was exactly what I needed. After that conversation, they downloaded Covenant Eyes on everyone’s software. When I had the impulse to go watching something, that would stop me, and I would have to sit and think, “Do I really want to do this? Do I really want to find the work-around?”

It was a rocky healing journey in the very beginning because I still hadn’t realized that other women struggled with this. I remember being in a Facebook group and some brave girl just posted out there, “Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this. If I am, oh well.” And I saw thousands upon thousands of women commenting that they experienced the same thing. And it was just hope and encouragement that nobody else could give me, because nobody else understood but these people. And for the first time, I realized that I wasn’t alone. That is when I knew I could find a way out. Even if I couldn’t figure out how to do that yet, there was a way out.

As of this day, I am porn-free, and I have been for multiple years now, and it’s amazing. It was all about surrounding myself with people that knew me, and that taught me that shame is not who I am. That what I struggle with is not who I am. I am not a pornography addict. I am a beloved daughter of God who was addicted to pornography. I find beauty in everything now. I see it in my children. I see it in my husband. I see it at church. I see it in our home.

I am just so grateful for my life, just overall. Grateful for relationships and people and community, and I’m so grateful that I get to love other people and make them feel that love because that’s the love that restored me. I can feel the freedom, and I never want to go back. Life is just full now.

Woman addicted to pornography finds freedom
Cornelius
Cornelius
An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of our lives. I got my B.S. from Georgetown University and my M.A. from The Ohio State University.
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