My earliest exposure to porn was when I was four years old. I remember waking up to strange noises and walking out of my bedroom and down the hall toward my mom and boyfriend's bedroom. I knew that I wasn't allowed in their room, and had caught them in various forms of undress and activities to know that I would get a spanking if I bothered them when they wanted privacy. I could hear them making loud noises, though I didn't fully understand what they were doing. There was a projector running on a big screen, so I sat down in the hallway outside of their room to watch. I remember being bored after a while, and the things going on throughout the movie were just weird, reminded me of the things that I knew my mom did with her boyfriend. And the noises kept weirding me out. So I went back to bed.
Little did I know that I had just watched my first hardcore porno movie, without even knowing what I was looking at. This was a year before Star Wars first came out, which I was infinitely more interested in at the time, I can assure you. Nonetheless, the images are still there today. And the spiritual bondage was only just beginning to take shape.
At the age of 5 and 6, I was allowed free access to the Playboy magazines that were around the house, and I was curious about the women's bodies that men seemed to ogle so much. I was more interested in the cartoons and made lame attempts to joke with my mom about them. My mom had yet another boyfriend, and they did many of the same things that she did with other boyfriends, sometimes while I was in the same room. I remember one early morning that they were making loud noises; I really wanted to get up and go in another room, so I tried to make noises that indicated I was waking up, but they kept going at it in a manner that indicated that they hadn't heard me, and I had to patiently wait until they were done so I could act like I didn't wake up earlier.
When I was 6, I was molested by an older boy at a babysitters. I just figured that it was normal, and allowed him to strip me down and attempt to penetrate me. I told him that it hurt and to stop. The situation went unreported.
When I was 7 years old, a friend of mine was a Playboy fiend, and was drastically interested in looking at them. I remember sitting with this friend at one of my dad's parties (I moved back and forth between divorced parents much of my life) with stacks of Playboys around us. Some of the women tried to stop us, to which the men present told them to leave us alone. That same friend cornered one of the drunk adult women in the bathroom and attempted to molest her while I stood by, shocked.
Also at the age of 7, I lay with a friend and his sister, as she wanted us to simulate sexual acts with her. I had no idea what I was doing. When the older sister came home, she asked me to come into the other room so she could see my uncircumcised penis because she was a nurse. She stared at me for a while and then let me go.
At the age of 8, I was simulating sexual acts with everything in sight. I had regular dreams about being a super hero and having sex with the heroines of the movies I watched. I still remember some of those dreams vividly.
At the age of 12, I was looking at porn in books and reading the stories. I had access to a pornographic book with hardcore images that my mom had "hidden" in a cabinet that she knew I had regular access to. By this time, my definition of sex was completely distorted to the visions of pornographers. The size of my penis was made fun of when I was in the Boy Scouts during a skinny dipping outing, so I began to have a negative body image of myself, thinking that I'd never measure up to the men that had access to women.
I was circumcised at the age of 13, thinking that I had to be "normal" to be able to have a relationship with a woman. Dating was constantly on my mind. I began relationships with girls, and I was good at the making out part. As soon as they tried to go in my pants, though, I got scared and felt intimidated and shrank away. This fear lasted well into the college years, to the point that I was still a virgin though I had a handful of chances to consummate my pornographic fantasies.
I met my wife in college and we had unhealthy sexual activities from the very start. She made it clear that she hated the Playboys and pornography, so I hid my activities from her. My activities became fewer and lesser, but were still latent in my blackened heart.
We got married under less than dedicated terms, both of us not even sure we wanted to be married. Six months after getting married, I went to New Orleans, got rip-roaring drunk, and fornicated with a strange woman. This tore my wife apart. In the midst of it, we became Christians, but our relationship was never the same. We decided to become dedicated to God - we threw away our television, all of our secular music, and anything that even seemed worldly. We were dedicated to seeking out God and reading His word. For two years, I was clean from pornography. Then the internet hit us full force.
With my wife pregnant with our first child, I had hooked up our first computer to the internet and on the very first night that I had access, I looked at porn. And my wife caught me. And it killed her. That was 1997. We began an 18-year long swan song where she would try to dedicate herself to me, and I would let her down time and again. She began to hate me, and then she just went numb.
I lost one great job because of porn, my children were exposed to it accidentally, and it continued to wound my sweet wife until she was sweet no longer. And yet I still couldn't walk away from the porn. I wouldn't put into affect all of the drastic measures to completely remove it from my life.
That brings me to our current situation. I am separated from my wife and 8 kids. I am free from porn since June 24, 2015; that's 123 days as of today. It took the threat of divorce to finally realize what I was losing. Have already lost, really. My wife has little hope for our marriage. I find myself hoping beyond what faith I have that things will get better. I'm willing to upend everything to become porn free permanently. I attend Celebrate Recovery and I am counseling at my church, and I hope that my wife will join into the marriage counseling eventually. I think that she's trying. I still struggle with masturbation, but I try to focus on my wife even as I do that stuff. I know that masturbation is sin and I want to get it out of my life as well. I'm trying to formulate escape routines to get out of the house and try to stop the cycle of lust. But I need to just kill every last vestige of this beast that has ruled my life. I realize that now. And I'm willing to do anything, whatever it takes to conquer it.
That's my walk with addiction, in a nutshell. I am a new creation in Christ now. And I realize that I need to run TO Him and run WITH Him and believers now, and that this is a lifestyle of continued combat that I just need to diligently continue working at. I once thought I just wanted to be "normal". Now I realize that I don't want anything to do with the world's idea of "normal", and I want what God wants for my life, wherever that takes me.