Sarah’s journey to hell and back (part 4)

Here, thanks to ForHerAddicts, is the final part of Sarah’s personal journey with pornography. Having inadvertently run right into what she was desperate to avoid, Sarah realised it was time for change …

The lack of honesty and communication, from both sides, was increasingly separating us. The more that was happening, the more he wanted porn and porn-like sex and the more I couldn’t live up to it. We were at the point where the truth of his secret world, whether he admitted it or not, was exposed, but we were unable to openly discuss it with each other. Of course, he denied it all, told me I was crazy, over reacting, etc. You know, the usual crap!

We battled and inside I died that last little bit but also finally realised I couldn’t sweep it away any longer. He became increasingly verbally and emotionally abusive, and I knew a big part of that was the porn and the thought of facing the truth of his ‘harmless little pleasure’. It was finally time for me to stop lying to myself and running from my past. Running from my fear of abandonment. I hated who I’d become. I had to save myself.  I knew I couldn’t change him and his views (after a lot of trying), but I could change what I allowed in my life and how I acted. I’d inadvertently run right into what I so desperate to avoid. In abusive relationships (from both sides), with men who led separate sexual ‘fantasy’ lives; stuck in glaringly hypocritical situations with ‘partners’ who would never accept their own behaviour the other way around, yet were unwilling, or, perhaps, unable to comprehend what real equality actually was.

However, my own porn use didn’t stop there. It got a lot worse. I became addicted to his addiction. I got into his head, into his sexual world, into the millions of regular porn users’ world. What I discovered about it, him, myself, these people, was a massive wake up call. Triggers were everywhere for me. Porn and pornified images of women are everywhere you turn. Literally everything made me think of him and every time I thought of him the memories would go back to porn and these women. Back to the pain of living a relationship and in some ways an entire life of lies. I watched the things he wanted, the women he liked and chose over me, the industry that had shaped his mind and sexual beliefs from his early teens. I would fixate on the little things. I would cry and hate myself every time I relived the pain and rejection, but I got off to it, repeatedly.  I couldn’t stop.

I’d tell myself no more, but the next day I would be back there, hurting myself all over again. I couldn’t not use it as I had NO sexuality left of my own. It was all porn. For years I had objectified myself, but now I had began to objectify other women in the way the men in my life had. I watched only ‘perfect’ women, women I thought he would’ve liked, even down to the fine details. The men didn’t even come into it. Most of the time you don’t even get to see their faces. And in no way did I fantasize about any of them, anything they did; they were horrible, robotic, self-centred and, more often than not, abusive. But then, so were many of the women. Verbally and physically abusive to themselves and other women. Promoting a very distorted view of women’s and men’s sexuality. If I’d actually been engaging in the sex I was viewing, I would’ve been VERY disappointed!

The reality of mainstream porn is that it’s solely about the women and their ‘act’. It’s like a veritable buffet of women waiting to service your every need and exploit whatever repressed desire you may have. The more I watched, the more it skewed my own sexual fantasies and preferences, the more I realised how much I had been allowing myself to act like these women. I had reached the lowest, most painful, point of my entire life and I was completely alone. But, I was determined not to let it win. Even if I couldn’t stop hurting myself for now, I would use the experience to educate myself.

I learnt everything I could about this world. I was immersed in his addiction and it was unbearably painful, but it also made me open my eyes to my own ingrained problems. The more I learnt about addiction, codependency, the psychology of our relationship choices, our unconscious sexuality, the onslaught of porn propaganda, etc., the more I realised how dysfunctional I and others were, and how the industry is designed to manipulate and capitalise on that. The more I came to terms with how much I used to loath myself and how sex, love, orgasm and emotional pain was part of my long-standing desires, habits and beliefs about my life.

I finally came to grips with this not being just a harmless bit of fun but a societal sickness and a very powerful drug. An entire world and community online that hooks onto your secret desires, that changes your brain and beliefs. A ‘fantasy’ that is shaping our reality. An entire world you can completely lose yourself in, get swept along with and no one else would ever know. Especially if you’re male. How could anything in reality ever live up to this? Well, it just can’t. I guess this is one of the reasons the world is warping into one big porno!

COPYRIGHT ForHerAddicts and Porn Recovery UK 2012

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