How My Parents Exposed Me to Porn

My parents aren’t perfect. Shocker, I know. They get it from their parents, who got it from their parents, who got it from our first parents: Adam and Eve. Yeah. Original Sin…I guess you can say it runs in the family.

I know that my parents did their best raising me, and they were and still are amazing, but there were failures on their part that have taken me a long time to forgive. One, in particular, was something I know they never intended.

Growing up, I don’t recall my parents really regulating what we watched on TV. One night, they allowed my siblings and me to watch an R-rated movie with them. The film opened with a graphic sex scene. My senses were overwhelmed by what I saw, and I didn’t know how to process it. I felt incredibly guilty. I started to watch that particular scene when I was home alone; then I started looking up that kind of material on the computer, which led to an addiction to pornography, as well as to masturbation.

It was a long time before I even understood what those things were, and how desperately I needed help overcoming them. On a retreat in Eighth Grade, I learned about chastity and the true happiness it promises. I also found hope through the people leading the retreats, some of whom were courageous enough to share their own struggles with overcoming sexual sins. It made me want to amend my life.

God gave me the grace through these powerful experiences to run to Him for healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which I would seek each time I messed up. It was a difficult journey, and I often felt like it would never end, but the fight was worth it. What also helped me overcome these addictions was confiding in my parents and close friends. That support system was crucial, as these trusted loved ones reminded me of my worth when I wanted to give up.

Finally, this process involved forgiving my parents. It is something I still have to pray for when the hurt creeps in, knowing they should have protected me, but I also understand that it wasn’t entirely their fault. As we mentioned earlier, no parents are perfect, and they can’t protect their kids from everything. However, I hope to encourage parents to have a greater awareness of the content they expose their children to, and at what age certain things are appropriate. I also recommend parents watch programs with their children and turn off the TV when something comes on that fails to glorify God and/or uphold human dignity. If a show or a movie doesn’t promote good values and morals, then it is not worth it. A child’s soul is not worth the momentary distraction/entertainment that may come from such programs. The same is true for teenagers, young adults, and full-fledged adults. Why settle for the trash the media tries to sell us when we, as consumers, determine their fate?

May we have the courage to hold each other to higher standards, which are the only way to true and lasting happiness…and may God grant us the grace to seek His forgiveness and the forgiveness of others for all the times we have failed to do so.

[For help keeping your family safe online, check out Covenant Eyes, Protect Young Eyes, and Plugged In!]
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Morgan Mueller is an engaging and inspiring Catholic speaker and founder of JoyinHope.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theology at Benedictine College in 2018. She has spent time in religious education, youth ministry, and young adult ministry and currently resides near Kansas City running her online ministry. Her passions are loving the Lord and making His love known. JoyinHope features weekly videos, podcasts, and a blog on various Christian topics for teens and young adults. Morgan travels the country speaking at retreats and conferences, sharing her love for the Lord.  For more information visit joyinhope.org or connect with Morgan on social media @joyinhope_1212.

 

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