The Power of Asking Questions

“Why Didn’t You Tell Me?” was the question my Mom asked me when I first told her the story about my pornography addiction. I told her how it started when I was in elementary school by seeing some graphic images at a friends house. “Why Didn’t YOU Ask ME?” wasn’t my response, but it was what I was thinking.

Why didn’t I tell you? Hmmm, I thought about this for a while. To be perfectly honest the reason I didn’t was because I was young and it was a fun looking at those types of things, and sort of a dangerous thing to do. It felt good, and my friends all did it too, so if I told someone (especially my parents) that would have halted my fun, and most likely have gotten a bunch of my buddies in trouble. But this got me to thinking, let’s suppose I had told someone, or if someone had asked me about it – would that have made a difference?

The answer is unfortunately that I have no idea. But a part of me thinks that yes, I do think it would have a made a difference if someone would have talked to me about what I was looking at and why it was bad for me. I’m still not sure if a 25 year porn addiction that started when I was 10 could have been curbed, but at least in some respect if I had told someone or if someone had asked me (really asked me), then yes, I think it could have worked out differently for me.

Let’s face it, you can lock everything down in your house and take all steps necessary to keep your kids away from pornography, but odds are they are going to encounter it at some point. But maybe if we as parents (me included) take an interest in what our kids might be doing, and sit them down every once in a while and ask them, then discuss with them, then ask them again and again, then maybe that will make a difference. I have a son too, he’s 4, and I do not look forward to having these conversations with him anymore than you do. I do however, look forward to doing everything I have to do as a parent to make sure he does not fall into an addiction to pornography. I look at it as being my son’s hero. We all teach our kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and I think we all have a fairly solid ground on those by which to stand. The ground I’m talking about though is uncovered, and is very scary.

I’ll end here with two thoughts.

One: I asked my son what he wanted to be when he grows up and he said a super hero. Then he asked me the same question (LOL). I decided I want to be a super hero too. Super hero’s protect and save the weak. I’ve decided to be my son’s super hero. Cool huh.

Two: Pornography addiction is a lifelong struggle that affects all aspects ones entire life – career, relationships, health etc. It limits true potential. It creates a life of isolation and unhappiness. It can even lead to suicide (more often then you’d think). So, save your kids from this future, and be their super hero. Don’t put the burden on them to tell you. YOU are the parent. YOU do the asking.

*I want to be crystal clear. My Mom and Dad are wonderful people, and they were, are and continue to be great parents. There are literally millions of people suffering from pornography addiction, and it is a systemic problem in the US and around the world. My actions are my own, and I do not blame them for any of this….at all. I also want to be sure that nobody else blames them for my addiction. The choices I made were my own. This story is being used to convey a point, and is not, in anyway shape or form, being used to pass blame or judgment on my parents.

Thanks for listening,

joe@compassmen.org
Joe has been attending COMPASS meetings for over a year. He lives in DuPage County with his wife and son. 

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