George N. Collins

Your Porn Addiction Secret

teen depression, tunnelWhen you’re the only one who knows about your porn addiction, it’s a scary and lonely place. You become filled with shame, self-doubt, criticism and anger. You respond to these negative feelings by trying to soothe yourself with more porn, which of course only starts those feelings up again in a vicious cycle.

 

In fact, you have to remain isolated to engage in your addiction. Porn watching is not a social activity.  An addiction to porn will make you do everything you can to stay alone and isolated. I know this story… I lived it.

 

 

George’s Story

George N. Collins

George Collins — Director Compulsion Solutions

 

If my family was going out, I’d make an excuse to stay home and watch porn. If a friend wanted to go to a movie or the mall, I’d decline saying I had homework to do. Then I’d stay home and watch porn. It goes without saying that I was the only one who knew what I was doing. And anyway, who could I tell?

 

As I grew up, my sex and porn addiction developed. I didn’t even realize it was an addiction at first. Without anyone showing me the important differences between sex and intimacy, I settled for the lowest common denominator: porn, which I found in my father’s briefcase.

 

My parents were alcoholics. As a result, they weren’t thinking clearly about being parents.  Their response to the stresses of parenthood was to turn their abusive attention on me and my younger brother.  I understood at a young age that my parents were crazy, and that’s a terrifying realization for a child. I knew that I had to make my own decisions, because they could not be trusted not make them for me.

 

There was no peace, no loving attention, and nearly no supervision in that household.  I was left to figure things out on my own. I had nobody else in my life — no authority figure to model loving relationships, or even to give me “the talk.” With abusive, alcoholic parents running the show, it was up to me to figure things out on my own.

 

I craved some kind of connection, because I wasn’t getting it at home. Approaching girls in school was difficult to say the least. My low self-esteem left me feeling terrified in the face of real human intimacy, so I took the easiest route.  At the time, porn for me was mainly in the form of print media (at first it was National Geographic and the Sears catalog, and later Playboy and Penthouse). Now, most guys find their first porn on the web.

 

Sure, I had my girlfriends. The problem was that they only existed in print, on film, or on videotape.  They were all beautiful, they couldn’t talk back, and they were there any time I wanted them. This was decidedly different from my mother’s intrusive, incestuous behavior.

 

At the time, porn just felt like a safer route. I couldn’t be rejected by porn. I got to pick and choose, and I didn’t have to feel embarrassed while trying to navigate all the subtleties of normal relationships.  I could just open a magazine … or press “play.” The problems began when I pressed “play” or watched porn more and more in an effort to avoid real connection.

 

 

The “Aha” Moment

 

I rationalized my addiction for a long time. I resisted change, because my behavior, at some level felt so good.  I was acting out in a way that provided a release and a chance to cope with my life, and it was impossible to deny myself that.

 

But as I got older, I began to notice more and more people holding hands, or touching one another in loving ways.  As I was pondering the relationships and marriages all around me, I realized I had a massive collection porn tapes. That’s when it clicked. Real intimacy was something I hadn’t experienced, because my addiction kept me from it. My addiction told me I didn’t deserve real intimacy in my life. It was just out of my reach.

 

False Starts On The Road To Recovery

 

I made a phone call, realizing that I needed some help.  Even though that was a positive first step for me, it still took me over a year to follow up.  My mind was a worthy adversary. I kept having resistance. I was great at sabotaging any kind of recovery that I could muster.

 

Every now and then, I would get fed up with my addiction, and try to just white-knuckle my way out of it. I would “quit” by throwing away all the tapes. Actually, I did this many times. But somehow, within a week, they would always reappear. I had no plan, so I wasn’t recovering.

 

I Didn’t Know There Was A Better Way

 

In my work as a counselor, I talk to men daily who are just like I used to be.  When they first call me, they are the only one who knows about their addiction.  And just like me, when they speak their addiction out loud, a huge weight is lifted off their backs.  They’re so relieved to know that they’re not suffering from terminal uniqueness.  It’s not terminal, it’s not unique, and you don’t have to be the only one who knows.

 

If you are living a socially isolated life and think you might be addicted to sex, give me call. I’ll help you find your next right step, working with one of us here, or finding help for you online or in your community. You don’t have to be alone in this.

 

compulsion

Comments 4

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      Author
  1. My wife doesn’t like my looking at nude photos and saving them to the computer. Some are just weird and aren’t a reflection of what I want with my wife, but she doesn’t believe me. I can’t convince her I’m just looking at the variety of the female form.

    1. Post
      Author

      Tom, How would you feel if your wife was looking at nude photos of men and saving them? Give us a call at Compulsion Solutions and/or read my book, “Breaking the Cycle.” This needs to be explored further.
      Best, George Collins, Director

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