I am the daughter of a porn addict.
My father thought his secret life only affected him, but hearing and seeing porn, going to strip clubs and other places for his voyeurism, and using me as bait to seduce women – affected me from a very young age. It also trained my brother to sexually abuse me for years.
The fallout from my father’s lifestyle of harmful sexualization nearly destroyed me.
We were a broken family limping along trying to make it look normal. We took family vacations, had nice things, were well educated and musically talented while my parents remained married.
Our home, however, was an emotional vacuum devoid of true, genuine connection, kindness, and warmth. My depressed mother yelled a lot and took most of her frustrations out on me.
My father was emotionally detached from everyone outside of anger. My brother used his emotions solely for the purpose of seduction.
It was difficult to grow up in such a home.
No one received comfort when in pain. There was no protection and no boundaries to allow people to say no. Pleasure in any form was the god of habit who ruled the appetites of everyone within those walls.
The biggest rule of thumb was to keep all the secrets under wraps so no one outside our family knew the truth.
Even though I lived under that roof for 21 years, I saw evidence there was a different way to live when I met some Christian friends.
They seemed at peace with each other. There was grace and forgiveness for mistakes. They were not hiding and their connection was unmistakable.
I wanted what they had.
The stark contrast of what I had in my home to this newfound safety and peace is what brought me to believe in Jesus as my Savior.
For the past 21 years since my conversion to truth, I have trusted Christ to show me a different way of living. Although Jesus instantly helped me walk away from my promiscuity with others more than two decades ago, it took an additional 15 years to become able to walk away from my masturbation and fantasy.
But now I live out a Redeemed Sexuality.
My thought life is still a work in progress, but God’s grace says that He is with me no matter what.
They say that people die as they lived. And that was true for my father. My mother passed away after she remained faithful to him for almost 50 years. Yet, he continued to seduce women, some of them many decades younger than him.
But when the chaos of his choices caught up with him in the nursing home, they asked him to leave. I confronted him about it and as he continued to talk about pornography, girls, and strippers to me, I said to him:
“Dad, you need to stop sleeping with these women or the people in charge are going to make you leave.”
“I can’t,” he said.
He was 74 years old.
We got him in his new nursing home and he only lived an additional 10 days. He had no access to all the women he had spent the past two years grooming to do his sexual bidding.
I prayed for my father’s conversion for two decades. He never changed, nor did he want to. And he asked me specifically never to talk to him about it, either. I dutifully respected his wishes.
But God had changed me.
And I desperately wanted to show him a different way to live. When the path of life through Jesus’ forgiveness changed me, I wanted to tell him that he had access to:
A path that didn’t require constant time and energy on pornography.
A kinder way to relate to people of the opposite sex as people, not objects.
A deep, loving connection to make heart to heart conversations possible.
A true commitment to a spouse that was fulfilling and close.
A fantastic relationship with the God and Creator of the Universe, His Son & the Holy Spirit
I forgave my father.
I pursued him and never gave up the hope that he would someday love me, choose to connect with me in a healthy way and make time so we could have a true father-daughter relationship.
That day never came. And I grieved and wept deeply when I saw his body in the funeral home.
Those words were never spoken to my father because he never wanted to hear them. But maybe those words were never meant for my father to hear.
Because maybe, just maybe….
….those words are meant for you.
If you have questions about any of the things we covered here, be sure to check out Office Hours and submit your question so we can answer it in an upcoming session.