Thursday, November 5, 2015

An Open Letter to the Young Man Who Introduced my Son to Porn...

An Open Letter to the Young Man Who Introduced my Son to Porn…

I know who you are. I know the circumstances. You viewed them as an initiation into high school. You thought it was funny to see the looks on all those “Mormon boys’ faces”. You thought it was funny to talk about women as property, as sex objects, as items to be “had”. You had your entertainment.

You weren’t there to see the private struggles my son has gone through. You weren’t there as he bared his soul and bore the shame of discovery at school. You weren’t there as he sat in the principal’s office as I – his mother – was called, again. You weren’t there, seeing this broken young man sobbing the words “Mom, I think I’m addicted. I think I need help.”

I’ll admit, two years ago, I failed my son in not getting him the help he so richly deserved and desperately needed. I failed my son in my teachings and examples. I failed my son in so many ways. I thought if he went to the bishop, he could be directed through this. Sometimes, it’s not that easy. I should have been more involved, more concerned and as such, I failed. But, I’m here now and he is an amazing young man.

I’ve struggled with forgiving you. I even laughed and got a perverse satisfaction in your struggles and failures. How could I forgive you?

I almost immediately forgave my son. He’s a great person. He is, after all, my child. But you? I’ve struggled to find a way to forgive you. How can I? You put filth in front of my son! You convinced him it was “just a picture. You can look. Once won’t hurt.” But you were wrong; it did. You were the instrument that brought about my son’s addiction. He made the choice, but you put it there for him to grasp.

I fought with myself and finally went to my best friend and cried on her shoulder. How can I forgive someone who has hurt my son so badly. In her immense wisdom she asked me how much I loved my son. “I’d die for him. You know that.”

“And you love him so much that you’re willing to drive over 100 miles every week to take him to the Addiction Recovery Classes.”



“Because he’s worth it.”

“Exactly. And the other boy is too. He is worth your forgiveness. You don’t know what his circumstances are and were. You have no clue what his family life is. You don’t know if HIS mother loves him enough to help him through his addictions. Be grateful that this happened to your son at this juncture. He will be so much stronger. He will be able to reach people that no one else can because he’s been there. He’s struggled down the path of addiction.”

I sat in shock - dumbfounded as she continued.

“If you were sitting in the Celestial Kingdom with your family and you saw this boy walk in, what would you think?”

“He shouldn’t be there.”

“You’re wrong. YOU shouldn’t be there. If he has walked into that room, that means he has repented, made amends for the wrongs he’s committed. If he’s there, Christ has paid the price for his sins as well as yours. If you feel he shouldn’t be there, then you haven’t dealt with your issues. You have failed to forgive.”

At this point, I was sobbing. My family is worth any sacrifice, any price. “How?”

“Pray, honey. Give it to God. He’ll figure it out and soften your heart.”

I have worked very hard at forgiving you. Some days are so much better than others. Sometimes, my forgiveness train totally derails and I cry as I pick up the pieces and put myself back on the right track. I’m not a perfect person and neither are you. I pray you find someone who loves you enough to help you find peace and direction. I pray you find someone who loves you as much as I love my own son. Then I remember, God loves you more than that. HE will help you through everything you need help with. He will put people in your path to direct your steps, soften your heart. I pray for you as I struggle through this with my son. I hope beyond hope that you find peace, love and success.

With all my heart,

My son’s mom

Struggling with Inner Demons

I've really struggled with this post. It affects so many people. I don't wanna step on toes. I don't wanna put anyone under the microscope. I don't wanna upset anyone. Finally, last night after much prayer and discussions, I decided to share at least a small part of my journey as I struggle with the Inner Demons of my soul.

It's been almost a year since this leg of the journey began in earnest. We had been unknowingly spiraling downward until there was a rock bottom - or at least a ledge that we landed on.

I got the dreaded phone call from the school. My son was in trouble - again. We had battled with this issue for two years. And I was blissfully unaware of just how deep the crevasse was. Completely blindsided by the depths we would need to crawl out of, inch by inch. My son, crushed and broken, uttered these simple words. "Mom. I think I need help. I think I'm addicted. I've tried. I can't stop. Please...."

He broke off and we both cried. That look of utter despair is never one I want to see on one of my children's faces ever again. We discussed options. We prayed together. I finally saw a ray of hope brighten his young face.

I've never been so proud of this young soul as I was that night. I knew he had character. I knew he had charisma. I knew he had compassion. But this issue... this addiction almost broke my soul apart, and his. He thought of himself as a failure. He thought of himself AS his addiction. He is NOT his addiction. Yes, it is a part of him. He, as a young teenager, admitted to a problem that most grown men will never allow themselves to admit is a problem. This young man, my son, is so much bigger than most grown men. This young man is a superhero.

He has stepped up and taken ownership for his problems, his addictions. He has willingly and happily attended the LDS Addiction Recovery Classes with me almost every week for a year.

As I prayed for guidance in how to handle this situation, I was prompted to send a text. "Call me when you get a minute. I need your help." Those simple words broke a dam within myself. I had asked for help and I received it. I received a list of LDSARCs in the area. None of which felt right. So we expanded our search. Overwhelmingly, Preston became our focus. Preston was where we needed to be.

I was able to rearrange my work schedule to accommodate the class. I was able to discuss options for my son with his coaches who wholeheartedly agreed that his mental and spiritual well being was so much more important than sports. So, one night each week, he is dismissed and we drive.

We talk, we laugh, we eat sandwiches, we sing along with the radio, we discuss future plans and goals, we learn about each other, we have grown so much closer. I LOVE my son! I'm so thankful for what this challenge has given me - and him. This challenge, this addiction, has brought me my son. It has brought me closer to Christ. It has given me so much MORE! More blessings than I could ever have hoped to receive. I'm posting a letter I wrote (in a separate blogpost) that has helped me with my recovery. I pray it will help others who may find themselves struggling. Hugs and Prayers Always & Forever.