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Porn and What No One Is Talking About  

Some people consume pornography and are okay with it. Others with the same inclination hate it. This article is about the latter.

Why do we do what we do? 

Why would someone do something they hate to do? Good question. Ask a person who struggles with bulimia, or who hopelessly remains within an abusive relationship or within a cycle of using drugs. Ask a person who knows how awful it feels to powerlessly collapse to some tendency that haunts them and that they know will cause harm to themselves and/or possibly others.

What could be at the root of such tendencies? Many things. What could be connected to any one of those roots? Some inclination to enter into self-abuse. This is not to create an “excuse” for people to behave in certain ways. Rather, it is brought up to challenge how we interpret things – including the horrid scourge of pornography that is ravaging so many people and destroying so many relationships.

Why Self-Abuse is Relevant
If entering into pornography was rightly seen as a form of self-abuse, then it would be easier for people to connect the use of pornography to the topic of trauma. If that connection could be made, then more people would consider trauma-informed approaches when dealing with pornography addiction/compulsion. This could lead to a whole host of more compassionate responses to persons who struggle with it. Further, it could lead to helping people understand that trauma-informed approaches/responses are needed in this area, just as they are needed when counseling people who are caught in physically abusive relationships with others.

It might also further help people detach from the idea that a man’s descent/backslide into pornography is because their significant other is “not good enough.” Rather, it could help people realize that this type of descent/backslide could be connected to a person returning to the “scene” of prior trauma. It seems to be well-known that persons abused by others often have a difficult time departing from that environment of abuse. Likewise, it would only be reasonable to postulate that persons who suffer in the cycle of self-abuse would follow a similar pattern, at least to some extent. Thus, if we want to lessen the damage to relationships caused by pornography use, we ought to strive to temper our responses according to circumstance.

Our Responses Matter
The idea that it might be helpful to understand one’s broader circumstance, which may include a person’s tendency to compulsively return to prior traumas, should behoove us to strive to get to know one another better! It should behoove us to strive to foster healthier, holier, and more intimate relationships overall (with intimacy here being connected to the intimacy of holy friendship). If we do not strive for this, we put ourselves at risk of responding in ways that further erode relationships – and which may inflict further trauma.

Fostering a greater degree of intimacy-in-friendship, however, will help us understand one another’s circumstances with greater clarity. This will have the good effect of us being able to respond more appropriately to where someone is at, which should correspondingly decrease responses borne out of a sense of anxiety of not feeling good enough, fears of being unchosen relative to others, and or rage on account of feeling like bonds of trust have been broken. In fact, what we should trust is that persons who have not begun to process and healthily move on from their traumas will remain relatively closely tied to the cycle within which they are already trapped.  Thus, growing in a trauma-informed approach is absolutely necessary!

Difficult to Accept 

I realize that this might be very difficult for many women to accept, especially if they have been traumatized by their boyfriend’s/husband’s backslide into pornography. And I accept and acknowledge that many women feel a crushing sense of betrayal on account of this. However, I wonder how some mountainous degree of despair, especially among women, might be prevented/alleviated if our whole culture began to talk about the compulsion to escape into pornography as being possibly connected to deeply rooted trauma-wounds that have yet to be addressed, or at least not addressed to a sufficient degree.

It is my hope that this angle may be explored with a heart of charity by all.

God bless you all.

___________________________


Hudson Byblow is a Catholic speaker, author, and consultant who lives in the Midwest where he has a career in education. He has presented at National and International conferences in the United States and Canada and also presents to clergy, schools, and parishes. Additionally, Hudson serves as a consultant to various Catholic agencies, speakers, and educators. His website is www.hudsonbyblow.com and he can be booked by emailing info@hudsonbyblow.com.

 

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