Sunday, August 21, 2011

How a Father's Porn Addiction Changes His Children

A sobering article.
My father was a porn addict
BY MICHELLE VANLOON

My father taught me how to ride a bike, the value of a great punchline, and what a woman was supposed to look and act like.

My dad was a great guy with a bad habit.

When we consider relationships negatively impacted by a pornography addiction, most of us first consider the addict’s spouse or girl/boyfriend. It is not just the adult partner who is affected by a porn habit. Even if the addict believes he or she has the habit under wraps, porn’s toxicity leaks into other relationships in an addict’s life.

When I was growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, porn made its way into our home in the form of Playboy magazines on our coffee table, next to copies of my mom’s Redbook and Ladies Home Journal. My parents had come of age in the Mad Men era, when Hugh Hefner’s magazine was a signpost of cool in the same way that other sophisticates of their generation smoked cigarettes in the doctor’s office, slow-danced to Sinatra, and imbibed a dirty martini before dinner.

The coffee table reading was only the tip of the iceberg in our home. I can still remember the shock waves that hit me when I discovered the cheaply printed hard-core erotica stashed in my parents’ bedroom. I was 11 or 12 when I discovered a stash of the stuff in my dad’s dresser drawer and nightstand. Whenever my parents left the house, I pored over each plain-wrapped volume. I didn’t fully understand what I had read, but I knew that I’d been initiated into the world of adulthood at an age when I barely understood the mechanics of how babies were made. Continue Reading.

1 comment:

14610dac-cda8-11e0-b303-000bcdca4d7a said...

It isn't only the immediate family members who are affected, either. My own parents never partook, were absolutely clean of it, but still I was first exposed to it by the children of close family friends.

That family had the appearance of being super-Christians, always giving us (lame) Christian books as gifts, but the father was a closet alcoholic with an enabling wife, was a reckless driver, and was apparently a porn addict.

I guess his marriage was an unequal yoking or something. The wife was the more Christian, but merely tried to hide the husband's alcoholism, keep him well-functioning in his high paying job and keep him from drawing shame to the family. They even lived out in the country and he commuted to work. No neighbors. The kids had EVERYTHING.

But the kids were totally aware of their father's habits. I would thank God to find out if any of them is Christian today. I know the son I was closest to then went seriously Goth in high school after I hadn't seen them in a while. They lived a ways away but I think when I was young in my faith I thought it was best to quarantine myself from people with problems whereas now I wish I had been there for them, despite them living so far away.

Such hypocrisy in Christians is enraging to many outsiders. It never really occurred to me to question Christianity, though. The gift of a Christian CD from them was one catalyzing agent that helped bring me to God.

But yes, the porn is something that their kids shared with us once or twice, unfortunately. I really wish porn hadn't been a part of their marriage.