4 minute read

Ashamed, Alone, & Addicted to Porn: Lauren’s Story

Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Victory Stories

Every day at Covenant Eyes we hear inspiring stories of victory over porn. Here are just a few of them.

Where my story actually began is still a mystery to me. I don’t have a clear memory of the first time I was exposed to pornography or masturbation or even the idea of sex, but it was probably around the age of 8 or 9. All I really know for sure is that as a highly imaginative child I was unhealthily intrigued with romanticism, fantasy, sexual images, and marriage. I daydreamed a lot, about things that I knew nothing of.

This imagination was as a gift from God but was ultimately distorted and corrupted by society’s obsession with sex, and eventually distorted by the traumatic experience of being raped at the age of 18.

Coping with the Pain of Rape

My rape was the catalyst that threw this distortion of sex into overdrive. Like many abuse and rape victims, I chose to take the experience of sex into my own hands and coped with the pain by becoming extremely promiscuous. Having been a virgin at the time of my rape, my view of sex was altered significantly, and I desperately wanted to regain that romanticism from my youth. My sexual encounters with men, while short, temporarily filled a void and gave me some semblance of control.

This act of taking control was not without conviction. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew that God had more beautiful things planned for me, but I couldn’t find a way out. Being completely ashamed by my actions and worried about the physical ramifications of my new lifestyle, I  stopped having sex for quite some time.

It was during this period of abstinence from men that I first remember actively seeking out pornography.

In a desperate attempt to numb the pain from my rape, pornography and masturbation became my primary coping mechanisms for the remainder of my college years, and even seeped well into my twenties. I justified my behavior by convincing myself that it was better then sleeping with random men and that no one else was being affected by it, only me.

Addicted and Alone

I knew little about the dangers of pornography, and like many women, I thought I was the only woman who watched it. I couldn’t tell anyone and so silence became my best friend.

Related: If You Think You’re Alone in Your Struggle, You’re Wrong.

Pornography and masturbation quickly turned into an addiction. Whenever I was in relationships with men and getting my emotional and physical needs met, pornography and masturbation generally weren’t a problem. But when I was lonely, fearful, overwhelmed, and feeling empty, it was just what I needed to get me through another day.

Eventually pornography was no longer enough, and I returned to a life of acting out sexually with men. Some days I used both behaviors to cope. It was on one of these days, where no matter what I did, the pain wouldn’t go away, that I began to realize I had a problem. Still I remained silent.

Related: Resources for Women Who Struggle With Porn

Thinking I had no resources, that I was the only woman to struggle with these addictions, and under the assumption that my friends would reject me if I revealed my problem, I kept my mouth shut. It wasn’t until one day I picked up Shellie R. Warren’s book Inside of Me that God revealed to me I wasn’t alone. I began to take action: praying for God to release me from this sin, putting filters on my computer, pledging to stop sinning sexually, etc. But none of it worked at the time–I had no community, no accountability, no one to help me.

There Are Other Women Addicted to Porn?

It wasn’t until my late twenties that an Internet search for “Christian Women and Pornography” led me to Dirty Girls Ministries. I found the online community, I signed up for leadership training, and the rest, as they say, is history. I finally had accountability. I finally had someone who understood. I finally found hope.

Related: Can Accountability Really Change a Heart?

This recovery has not been easy. I don’t know any addict who wouldn’t agree. I’m currently approaching the 13th anniversary of my rape and Satan is chomping at the bit to get me to turn back to my old ways. And to be brutally honest, I’ve given in at times. There have been moments when I no longer have the strength to fight, and I choose momentary defeat. There have been moments when the passion to beat this once and for all has taken over, and I’m renewed with a vengeance. It’s the ebb and flow of life, the seasons, that are the most frustrating for me. But I’ve come to realize that God is in it all. He was there with me in the darkness, nudging me, sometimes forcing me toward the light. And He’s here with me now. Telling me that I’m here, in this exact place for a reason and that my recovery is taking the exact amount of time it needs to take.

You see, it’s not about getting rid of the coping behavior. It’s not about abstaining from sinful behavior (although, believe me, that is important). It’s about wholeness. It’s about no longer feeling the uncontrollable need to cope. It’s about filling that God-shaped hole with God alone. That is what recovery is about.

As it was with my story, I believe shame and silence are the biggest barriers for many people struggling with pornography and sex addiction. Satan lies to us and tells us that no one will understand, that people will think we’re perverted if we reveal the truth, that we’ll be rejected or shunned. And while I understand that some people have had this experience when revealing their addiction, that was not mine.

Related: Where to Find the Boldness to Share Your Porn Struggle

When I finally came out and said who I truly was and accepted my brokenness, I was met with such love, such grace, that I was finally able to start seeing the light in the darkness. Brokenness is who we are. Every time I tell my story or every time God brings further realization into my heart, I am comforted by the fact that I grow stronger in Christ.

There is no secret too buried, no past too dark, no confusion too deep, no sin too ugly that is above the enduring and ever-present grace of God. Nothing can separate us from our Father’s love. There is no struggle He cannot cease. If you receive nothing else from my story, I pray that you receive this.


Lauren JacobsLauren Jacobs is the Community Manager for Dirty Girls Ministries. Lauren lives in Long Beach, CA, where she was born and raised. She is involved in The People of the Second Chance ministry at Mariners Church in Irvine, CA, which encourages men and women alike to be honest about their brokenness and search for healing. Visit her blog, BeautyInBreakdown.com.

  • Comments on: Ashamed, Alone, & Addicted to Porn: Lauren’s Story
    1. Brent McNamara on

      Hi Lauren! Just wanted to touch base with you. I am a recovered porn addict as well. I am the author of “No More Hiding, No More Shame: Freedom from Pornography Addiction”. I am also a pastor, counselor and a Care Guide at Lighthouse Network. Lighthouse Network is the premeir Christian Helpline in the U.S. We take hundreds of calls each day for addiction, alcoholism, psychiatric disorders, etc. We refer these callers to the most appropriate facility or program. I would love to know more about your program. We get tons of calls for sex and porn addiction. You can reach me at 877-562-2565 x123. Check out our website when you get a minute. It’ll give you a better idea of the scope of our services.

      God bless!

      Brent McNamara

      Reply
    2. Sarah on

      Lauren so love your testimony, it brought tears to my eyes. Throughout all your pain and hardships God has brought such healing and redemption. I know you from DGM and love your vulnerability and your truth. This is one of the hardest addictions to kick and I will be praying for you as it comes up to the anniversary of your rape. You are somebody and you are God’s child and Satan you have lost this battle because Lauren has chosen to speak out and no longer has to hide her addiction. For me i have chosen the same path as you and it’s so freeing yes it’s hard sometimes but accountability is awesome. God is awesome and so forgiving. Thank goodness otherwise we’d all fail miserable. Thanks again for sharing your heart and I pray this post touches other women who feel like there is no hope and no answers.
      Sending you a big hug
      Sarah

      Reply
    3. Annoymous50 on

      Hi laureen.I’m a 14yr old girl that’s addicted to porn.I started watching and looking @ porn pics @ the age of 12.I don’t like doing this it hurts me.I burst in tears almost everyday.I’m a Born Again Christian and I’ve prayed to God about this but I get so tempted easily.When I was 4yrs old I was raped by my own cousin because he had problems @ his home.He’s now gay and he’s 21yrs old.Sometimes I think am I addicted to porn because I was raped.I told my mother about the rape issue earlier this year.I told her I need a pshycologist but she wants Christian ones but there aren’t ones @ church.No one knows I’m addicted to porn and I can’t tell my mom because she’ll take my phone forever.I can’t tell my bestfriend because she might think I’m a horrible,pervertic ,disgusting girl.The worst thing is I’m addicted to lesbian porn.Please Lauren help me.I’m tired of Satan using me.How can I say to everyone I’m Born Again but I do all of these crazy stuff.I need help ASAP please.

      Reply
      • Lisa Eldred on

        First, remember, you’re absolutely not alone! Many people are struggling along with you…and many have found a way to win the battle. There is hope!

        Next, I think you need to tell your mom about porn. It’s true, she may take away your phone and computer privileges for a while, and it will hurt you. But sometimes you need to cut off access completely to break the habit.

        I’d present her with a different option, though. Ask your mom to install Covenant Eyes on all of the devices you use – your smartphone, your laptop, your iPod touch, whatever, and ask her to receive your Accountability Reports. That way, she can see what you’re doing online and ask you questions like, “Was there something else going on that made you turn to porn?” (For example, maybe you had a stressful day at school and turned to it to relax.) That way she can help you in your healing process.

        Is there an adult woman at your church who you trust and can confide in? Maybe your youth pastor’s wife or a Sunday School teacher? Your mom loves you and wants the best for you…but sometimes her love for you will make her react badly when you slip up. She might sometimes be too close to you to not take your sin personally. An older woman at your church, on the other hand, will have the emotional distance to give you sound advice without feeling like she’s to blame for every time you struggle.

        As for getting a counselor, it sounds like it would be helpful to you, for both healing from your rape and your current struggles with porn. Keep asking your mom for one. If you aren’t homeschooled, your school may offer counseling. Your pastor may also be able to recommend one. If you’re asking someone for their recommendation, remember, you don’t have to tell that person all of your history. Just say that you’re looking for a good Christian counselor, and that you only want to talk about it to a professional counselor. Some people, like your parents, have a right to know what’s going on, but that doesn’t mean that every adult in your life needs to know.

      • I know the pain on

        Anonymous50, I know what you are going through as I went through and continue to still go through a similar situation. I am now in my twenties and I hate myself sometimes for my sins. My advice to you is to talk to an adult that you really trust. I know that can be very hard as so many people are judgmental and quick to tell others of ones downfall, but pray to find someone and ask God to help lead you. I don’t want you to continue on through life and making mistakes and looking back with a regretful stare at the things you have done it will truly eat you up inside especially as you begin to feel the shame and guilt. Even walking into a church you can feel like an outsider among friends and fellow Christians because of your sins and you don’t want to feel like this becuase this is what Satan wants. I bestow blessings upon you and ask that you pray for me and I will pray for you.

        Anonymous friend in Christ.

      • Becky W on

        A great resource for you is on ARPsupport.org ARP stands for Addiction Recovery Program. There are lots of addiction recovery programs, but this one is centered on bringing you closer to Christ and really accepting everything He has to offer. The program is 90 days and brings you through all 12 steps of addiction recovery. You are assigned a personal mentor (female), who you meet with via phone every week and who you are accountable to. I know that the program is really helping me and it will help you too if you are willing to commit to it. I hope that helps.

      • Mary on

        Hey , I’m hoping that this will still reach you , but I actually went through exactly the same thing . And I want you to know that I felt the same sick feeling and shame , but God doesn’t judge , we can be honest with him and he will give us the strength to overcome . God with us . Amen

    4. KT on

      My Precious Plead for Help

      I am in need of prayer also. I have been going through the urges of watching porn also after several months after being diverged through being raped by 6 males and 1 female after being drugged and kidnapped at the age of 22. I never had this problem until almost about two years from the day I was raped on July 5th of 2012 Thursday. I am in need of all your prayers to be delivered out of this horrible weakness. I first find myself looking for videos to prove I was raped to the police. Then before I knew I began to watch and fantasy to the point that I wonder if I never got rape. I simply was able to give my virginity to my husband instead of being robbed of my innocence I try so hard to keep for my husband whoever he may be. Now that I have forgiven the seven rapists I am hoping I can forgive myself for allowing myself to fall in a trap because of their ignorance, wrong doing and satanic ways.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi KT. I’m so sorry to hear about all of this. Have you spoken to a professional counselor about your problem. I highly recommending searching this database of counselors to find one in your local area.

    5. Briana Dugger on

      Lauren, truly I want to thank you for those kind and tender words of wisdom. I have wanted to pull out of every ministry I’m in because of me watching porn once or twice a week. I feel so embarrassed to communicate with those around me because they make their Christianity seem so perfect. Although, I know this not to be true its just they walk around like everything is ok. The most they will talk about are this such as the following: telling a fib about eating pasta when they were suppose to have sald…things like that. I mean its like they refuse to deal with the topics that are really bother people. They wait until the pastor talks about it and that is all. It hurts so bad because I was molested at eight and nine by both male and female. The place I was molested at is where some of the adults would have sex while we as children were in the house, play movies with sex scenes, or even dance inappropiately in front of us. I am currently 23 and just beginning to deal with this issue. I went to a service one night and thought I was completely set free, however, it was not until two months later I revisited that wound. Now, I just feel like a complete loser, hypocrite, liar, prostitute, and so much more. I prayed to God for him to take it all away from me or just bring me home to glory because its so much to handle and deal with. However, I love the Lord with all my heart and soul and there is nothing I would not do for him except die to myself in this area. There are a lot of things in my life I have overcome, but this continues to knock at my door. I love to serve the Lord through serving others but I feel like I can no longer do so until I have overcome this spirit of sexual immorality. I just desire to have a sister in Christ to hold me accountable and talk about these things with because I refuse to live in a world where things are perfect all the time.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Briana. I think it would be really helpful to you to get into counseling so you can heal from the sexual abuse you suffered as a child. While it’s true that there can be specific healing experiences like you describe–I really do think those happen!–the reality of life is that complete healing is a long, slow road. You might think of that specific healing experience as a necessary surgery, but after every surgery you need recovery time, physical therapy, etc. You were deeply wounded sexually as a child, and for that wound you need healing. Healing takes time, and often it helps to have some expert care as you heal. Accountability is helpful, for sure, but often that’s behaviorally oriented, and you really need to dig under the behavior into the pain that drives it all. I would suggest that you find a therapist who specializes in sexual abuse recovery, and who can support you in your healing. Blessings, Kay

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *