Hello, everyone. My name is Josh, and this is my confession. Its rather long-winded, so please bear with me.
I was first exposed to sexual matters at the age of five, through one of the most despicable behaviors imaginable: a grown man somehow convinced me to perform oral sex on him in the shower. To this day, I don’t remember a face, but my suspicions have involved a few members of my family. They’ve denied it, so I don’t know who or what to believe.
I was raised in a very religious home, by people who called themselves “Christians” but acted more like legalists. They knew tons about God’s law but rarely mentioned His love or grace. My childhood was very isolated; with the exception of church and school, I never got out much. My elders would send me outside, but often I’d simply go around to the back porch, and sit by myself until evening. The few “friends” I did have were more like acquaintances, since I had real trouble with empathy and understood things non-literally.
I first discovered masturbation around the age of eleven and used it primarily as a sleep aid. For some reason, my previous abuse remained dormant in my mind until I was older, so back then it didn’t bother me much. However, that all changed once puberty hit. By the age of fourteen, I was “admiring” the models in the lingerie sections of department-store ads; by sixteen, I was staying up late to watch erotic movies on late-night cable. The latter mainly started as research, because even the word “sex” was never spoken of in my home. I didn’t even know the proper names for my anatomy, so understanding teenage slang was out of the question. All I knew was that something very fascinating was being kept from me…so I dove in, never expecting disaster.
Sometime in my mid-teens, my mother caught me masturbating; I don’t recall her words, but the general idea was that such things were shameful, especially for those who wish to honor God. I tried to stop for a short time, but the feelings kept coming back, and I didn’t know what else to do. I saw my first issue of Playboy at age nineteen, and quickly became fixated on it. Like most addictions, it soon spiraled out of control; I’d feel such highs, followed by extreme lows that often made me wish I were dead. I felt like a traitor, to God, myself, and my family.
At age twenty, I wound up at a homeless shelter following an argument with Mom. The experience only lasted five weeks, but it felt a lot longer. While there, I met a woman named Michelle, four years my senior. We quickly became friends, and I soon feel in love with her. Looking back, I realize one reason was that unlike my legalistic family, she was very open about discussing sensitive topics. Sometimes she’d laugh at my questions about sex, which would make me cry from embarrassment…but she still answered them anyway. My heart had become so cold by then, filled with self-condemnation and a thirst for vengeance. Being around Michelle made me feel like I wasn’t a monster. To make a very long story as short as possible, she became my first sexual partner, and to this day (15 years later) has remained the only one. We broke up several times until she finally moved on with her life about ten years ago. The first time she left, I became so heartbroken I actually renounced God, which made me feel horrible…but I just wanted to be whole. Time after time, something would happen where she’d come back; I even moved out of state to be with her for six months in 2005.
What finally ended it for me, was my mother’s death from lung cancer this past March. By then, Michelle and I had been estranged for quite a while, but I felt honor-bound to keep her aware of Mom’s condition via Facebook. In the end, her response was simple: complete and total silence. I was angry at first; then my heart turned numb. I’d just lost the one woman who’d meant the absolute most to me, and the only other woman who ever came close was refusing to offer even a single word of comfort. Just writing about that makes me feel bitter, but I’m trying not to give Satan any leverage.
I’ve been free of porn for nine years now, and I’m very thankful to God for that…but trusting Him with my loneliness and my sex drive is a constant battle. I’m living with members of my Dad’s family now, and this part of my life has really been draining me dry. I first discovered Marriage Heat through a Google search, desperately trying to keep my mind on something even remotely God-honoring while remaining celibate. Often, I resist masturbation for days or even weeks, praying almost all day sometimes for Jesus to help me with the lust I feel. I once heard a minister on TBN refer to masturbation as coming from a spirit of homosexuality, which only stressed me out more and increased the condemnation I encounter. I thought if I kept my self-stimulation focused on married sex instead of anything else, it would be a lot easier…but instead, I often find myself envious of the folks who have posted here. I miss my Mom, and I miss Michelle…but most of all, I miss the days when belonging to Jesus seemed so much easier. I know God exists; he saved me from a suicide attempt in 2002, and has given me great people to comfort me about my Mom’s passing. There’s a part of me that truly loves Him, but there’s also tons of pain and anxiety, too. I’ve screamed in prayer many times, begging God for a wife so I don’t have to live like this anymore. I don’t want to destroy anyone else’s marriage; Michelle’s infidelity with me contributed to hers ending. I just feel so lonely, angry, betrayed, and trapped; please pray for me. Due to the nature of this site, I thought perhaps you guys were the only people who’d understand. Thanks.