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I have seen countless elementary school aged kids who are addicted to porn. I remember one little boy who was out for recess playing softball on a spring morning. There was a group of boys huddled in a group on the other side of the field. After the game he went over out of curiosity. They were looking at pornographic pictures that one of the boys had snuck from his Dad's collection at home. This innocent, sweet little boy related to me that he was intrigued and then quickly addicted. He kept one of the pictures and carried it with him and hid it under his mattress at home. He searched for other pictures. He was in the second grade. A few years later, when he was 11-years-old, he molested his sister and was removed from his home and placed in a residential treatment facility for over a year. What a childhood this sweet innocent little boy experienced after he was introduced to porn and became addicted.
I will never forget a mother who came into my office ten years ago, eyes swollen and red. She related a story about her 24-year-old son.
He was the Valedictorian in High School, popular, affectionate, loving, a leader. He was a spiritual young man and loved going to Church and participating. He had even gone on a mission to share with others the love he felt for the Savior. After he returned from his mission he went on to college and was on the high honor roll. Just the week before I met her, she had come home after shopping at the grocery store. She saw that his car was in the driveway so she knew he was home. She and her son had always had a very special bond and relationship. He was the kind of son who would say to his friends, "Of course I'm a momma's boy" and he was proud of it.
After setting the groceries down she called his name and went downstairs to his room to find him. The door to his bedroom was ajar. She knocked, but when he didn't answer she opened the door and found her beloved son lying in a pool of blood. He had shot himself in the head. She screamed and held him in her lap. She lost consciousness. It was too much for her to bear. When she came to she was covered in her son's blood. Hundreds came to his funeral. They were confused, shocked. How could someone who had so much talent, life and enthusiasm have taken his own life? He had left a note.
"I am sorry. I can't go on. I am so ashamed. Please don't blame me. I have been struggling with pornography for years. At times I have gone months without viewing it, but I always fail. I am so ashamed. You know I respect women; I can't believe that I can't quit. I hate what I look at. I hate I can't quit. I can't take it anymore. I hate myself for what I have become. I love you. Please understand. I would rather be dead than alive and living with this horrible secret and repulsive craving for something that disgusts me. Your Son."
In despair, shame and desperate hopelessness he killed himself.
Since then I have seen many Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters and friends who are left heartbroken after a suicide. Whenever I hear of a suicide, I always wonder if it is from someone who has struggled with a sexual addiction alone. I have seen many, way too many.