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