I’m Olivia, 35 yrs and I have an addiction.
This thread is my personal random checking in rambling thing. First and foremost I want to help myself and hopefully someone who happens to be reading, too. Welcome.
Trigger warning: sexual abuse, porn
This is my story
I suppose closest label would be a love addict with pmo. There’s an ocean of different issues behind it, obviously, and yet, they’re all ‘textbook’ stuff:
… I was exposed to porn way too early, maybe as a 9 y/o.
… I was bullied from 1st to 12th grade, girls excluding me and boys sneering and taking the piss out me every chance they got.
… Emotionally unavailable parents.
… Sexually abusive and controlling boyfriend (he was 21, I was 15…)
… No one to affirm or cheer me on in any way.
… And the list goes on…
All that manifested as non-existing self-esteem and self-confidence. I was 100% convinced I’m unlovable, unattractive, faulty, uninteresting, not worthy of any kind of friendship and total failure as a person. My self-hatred was seething and growing in excruciating loneliness. In the midst of this I had to find a way out, any way! So pmo became an escape. I felt desirable even if it was just a counterfeit. I was also certain that a committed relationship would redeem me. I just wanted to be loved. Nothing else mattered.
I tried the ‘Sex and the City’ dating style and was left in ruins. I was only 19 yrs but already done. There were too many other things getting f*****d up at the same time in my life. Looking back, I’m sure I would have become suicidal quickly if I hadn’t found Jesus and become a Christian.
My moral code started changing but unfortunately I didn’t find healing for my broken heart and mind for a number of years. However, I decided to stop clubbing and having one nighters. Those never had fulfilled me anyway.
Reaching 30 yrs I was finally in a place to start counselling with most my issues still unresolved. I hated myself even more. There hadn’t been any man take any interest in me since my early 20s and those I had dated were either abusive and/or manipulative. My truth was still what the boys from high school had told me: unattractive, failure, not enough etc. I believed I was invisible to guys.
Counselling has been very good but not easy. I took a massive step back in early 2018. I have had undiagnosed periods of depression in the past and this time it got worse as I became suicidal. My mind told me a family will be beyond me forever and my friendships won’t last. Since love was the only thing that mattered, I concluded this world has nothing more to offer. I had a plan but didn’t follow through. For most of that year I wanted to die, I saw no reason to keep on going.
I have had therapy regularly to treat depression but it was only in Aug 2020 that I started to talk about my addiction for the first time ever. I confided in my therapist and some of my trusted friends. As a part of that process I found TS and others with pmo issues. Besides being addicted I obviously struggle with self worth and acceptance. I strive to change in my thinking because if I don’t it might cost me my life. I’m no longer in the pit of suicidal depression but in many ways still in recovery.
Pmo leaves me hollow and disconnected. Having a crush on some guy or daydreaming is an obsession. I hate it. I’m learning how to morph it into a natural and healthy longing for a romantic partnership.
Thanks for reading, that was a lot