Safe Inside: Struggling for Identity When No One Knows Who You Are

For years, everyone thought everything was fine. Mallory was a normal teenage girl with normal teenage troubles. She didn’t have many friends, but never went long without a boyfriend. Her mom did her best, but was nearly always at work. Her step dad had little to do with her when he was home, besides barking orders and assigning her chores. She was lost and lonely, but she would never let it show.

If you asked anyone who thought they knew her, they would say she was a strong, independent young lady. She was smart and stoic, a little shy, but no worse for the wear. No one knew she was dying inside. They didn’t see the scars or the fresh cuts each weekend. She hid them well. After three years, she learned the places to cut where no one would ask questions, not that they did, even when the wounds were left uncovered.

By 17 she had learned she was only safe inside herself. No one understood her pain. No one believed how alone, unwelcome at times, she was in her own home. To her family, she was a drama queen and just needed to calm down. By 20 years old, she had been through four men and even more boys, sexually. Her parents never would have guessed and certainly wouldn’t have approved. It wasn’t a life she was proud of living, but at least she was in fact living.

With the last guy, the cuts subsided and eventually stopped completely. They were replaced by new addictions. Her evenings were spent smoking pot and having sex. Weekends were filled with alcohol.But at some point, everything changed. She felt the need to get healthy and change those habits. She felt protective and she didn’t know why. She told Brandon she couldn’t be with him anymore because she knew she couldn’t marry him and raise a child in his lifestyle.

They parted ways and two months later, she found she was pregnant. Brandon wanted to get married, but she believed it wouldn’t be best for her child. They remained distant until the distance was nothing but a memory. He never met his child even. Mallory had a daughter who was very smart and beautiful. She raised her in church and instilled a love of God in her that was far from easy.

Her child was perfect, but did not cut the loneliness. At 24, she had two children and was still desperately lonely. Her mother demeaned her search for a husband and felt that she should focus on her children. Her father sat back quietly, as was typical of him.

She began to change her focus from a man to herself. She looked into different activities that she might be interested in. She soon discovered that all this time she was looking for something, she never once realized she was looking for herself. She dedicated herself to God. She began finding joy in art, crafts, photography, writing- things she had loved to do as a teenager and a child, but she had lost sight of when she got into the real world.

Once she had figured herself out, she found an amazing man. They were able to communicate in ways she never thought possible. While their relationship was far from perfect, she couldn’t have asked for more. Truthfully, if she hadn’t become so close to God and in turn, found who she truly was In Him, she never could have had such Joy!

God provides eternal peace that we can never find on our own. Mallory spent her life lost, running from God, because she thought He was too far removed to ease her loneliness. When she finally gave in and worked toward a meaningful relationship with the Lord, she found that, not only could He relieve the loneliness she felt Himself, but that He also provided her someone who could be there physically and support her and her children. 

How many of you are fighting God because you don’t know who YOU are? In Him, we can find our true identities as sons and daughters of Christ- sons and daughters who are perfect for the purpose He made us.

A Drop of Honesty: 25 years and counting

I wanted to share a story/poem that I thought a lot of girls might be able to relate to.

Here it is:

Once there lived a girl, whose name we needn’t know.

Her purpose was to be a mother, at least she believed it so.

It was all she ever wanted and by 17 she thought

If she only had more money, a man, and a job

She would have all that she needed to make her perfect life.

She would be a perfect mother and strive to be the perfect wife.

She packed all of her things and drove 3000 miles away.

She met a boy and fell for him on that very day.

Six months passed. She had a job. There was little left to want.

So they made plans, but they split before she found she was pregnant.

She kept the baby and believed she was as ready as she could be,

But started having doubts just before the baby had turned three.

25, she now believed, was the perfect age.

Up until she hit that year, she hadn’t set the stage.

Somewhere between 21 and now, she should have had a chance

To look inside herself and catch more than just a glance.

Just months before she was 25, the ache really sank in

“I know that I’m a mother, but other than that, I don’t know who I am”

She never got to travel, to question or to explore.

She never really had to the chance to look for something more.

She lost her shot at many things she wished she could have done,

And though she wouldn’t trade them for her daughter or her son,

If you’re this girl and wondering if you are ready or not,

Look inside and ask if you know just who you are.

Even things you don’t think you’ll miss, someday maybe you might.

If she could just delay this chapter, her whole story, she’d rewrite.

She would never give them up, but she keeps wishing she had waited,

So if you’re walking in her shoes, let your child’s birth be belated.

Maybe when you’re 25, you’ll look back and thank me

Because before you know yourself, it’s very hard to be

The mother you want to be.

Now I don’t feel this is the case for every single person, but a lot of women, between 20-25 really get the chance to find themselves and become the person they want to be. Before 18 at least, most people don’t have the funds to explore all the lifestyles and hobbies they may be curious about and even if you have, many of our interests change once we really reach adulthood and start to take on responsibility for ourselves. I would highly suggest waiting until at least 25 to consider having a baby. Even if you are like the girl in the story, who knew from childhood, that being a mother was the most important thing for her to do in life, just wait. Had she waited those 3-4 years, she would have been a very different woman. She would be more confident and more well-rounded. Her parenting might change and many things in her children’s lives would have changed. Again, I can’t say across the board that no one is ready to be a parent before 25, but I would highly suggest some major planning and SOUL SEARCHING before having a baby at any age! It’s A LOT of work and not something you can ever give up on or take back!

Addicted to Sex and Porn: A True Story

Tonight I read “Your Brain on Porn” A short downloadable book from CovenantEyes.com

It covers the effects porn can have on those who view it as well as some advice for escaping the addictive spell porn captures us with.

As a teenager who had little to turn to for comfort, I became very familiar with the porn world. I also became familiar with the online community surrounding porn and some real life people that were all too eager to talk sex with an underage girl. I was told by my father at a young age that a man will always want sex if they think it’s up for grabs. I took this to mean that sex dictated my worth to men. From 5th grade on, I desperately believed this and wanted to be “sexy”. It hurt to be called cute or even pretty because I felt that meant I was lacking.

Every opportunity I got, I reached out for sexual attention on the web. Starting around the age of 12, I was having ridiculously inappropriate conversations with men, or boys, that I knew nothing about. That turned quickly to looking at and searching for sexual material and eventually, turned to sending pictures of myself to people I had never even met. Eventually, I even took it further. I began meeting people from the internet in person and although I remained a virgin until the age of 17, I would still consider my actions before then to have been promiscuous.

Touching each other seemed like nothing to me. The activities that peaked my interest got more and more out there. At 17, I began dating a boy that I truly fell in love with. At the time, I was certain I was going to marry him. There was no reason to wait. Except HIS morals. We talked about sex and I continuously pushed the limits. Eventually we both gave into temptation. He told me several times that he regretted it and although I mimicked his words, I never truly felt that regret. Part of me believed he was testing me to see how much I really enjoyed having sex with him. I pushed for sex with many boyfriends after he and I parted ways and I even met people from the internet solely for sex.

Looking back, I wonder how I stayed safe and I know God was protecting me. Many times, a slight instinct stopped me from meeting people or convinced me to take extra precautions. I know now I am lucky to be alive. I thought for awhile I was lucky to have come out of that fire unscathed. There are two flaws to that thought though. One– That fire is still raging and sometimes I still get too close and can feel the heat. Two– I am realizing I am anything but intact.

Most of my relationships failed based on two things– my fears of abandonment caused by my own insecurity and a complete inability to trust. I firmly believe these were both directly caused by my addiction to pornography and sex. As I read the speculations of the effects of pornography, they hit a little to close to home: “Watching Porn Decreases Our Sexual Satisfaction... Watching Porn Disconnects Us from Real Relationships... Watching Porn Lowers Our View of Women… Watching Porn Desensitizes Us to Cruelty… Watching Porn Makes Us Want to Watch More Porn”.

I am very personally connected to a few of these effects. I am a woman, but my view of women is very low. I have always felt that women are first and foremost sex objects. This has created problems in relationships for me because I am easily threatened when a woman seems interested in my boyfriend. I think lowly of women and believe most of them will flaunt their sexuality to gain worth in men’s eyes and they will stop at nothing once they have set their sights on a man. Even when I trust the man I am with not to fall for any old woman’s schemes, I always feel that there are women who sex themselves up and really put the pressure on men to avoid their own feelings of insecurity. They CANNOT fail at getting any man they want. Every man is human and can only say no to a certain point. My addiction to porn has definitely lowered my views of women. I believe that the sexualization of women in the media has the same effect. It makes women feel like that is what we have to compete with and makes men and women alike think that is realistic. It also desensitizes us to sexuality, causing us to need more stimulation. A “pretty” woman can no longer really arouse a man because he has been bombarded with bombshells that 90% of Earth’s population could never compete with.

Pornography also desensitizes us to real relationships. Sexual satisfaction is readily available, literally at our fingertips. It requires no compromise or effort on our parts. We can get what we want with the click of a mouse. It is not necessary to feel vulnerable. Many teenagers and young adults have a tendency to shut down at the first sign of vulnerability. I believe my generation has more problems with alcohol and drugs because of this. Casual sex becomes very attractive because we needn’t invest, therefore there is nothing we can lose. However, we become blind to the fact that there is nothing to gain either. We go through this cycle in which we seek a partner to fulfill our emotional needs. At the first sign of imperfection we feel vulnerable and pull away. This makes us need more and we give into sexual temptation because it is the easiest way to feel connected without giving any part of our true selves. Unfortunately, this leaves us feeling empty and emotionally needy, so we go back to the start, shutting down further and delving deeper into emotionless sex.

Finally, porn lowers our sexual satisfaction and in turn, makes us need more porn. Being exposed to the same things over and over makes us crave novelty, while being exposed to some variant of something familiar peaks our interest to see other variations. Someone who watches enough porn may eventually lose their ability to become aroused at all as they build up a tolerance, or a boredom, of the same material they expose themselves to. Sexual satisfaction is hurt by our expectations that sex will be amazing every time. We expect that our partner will always be as eager as we are. We expect that things will go as planned and we will never be disappointed by a single sexual experience. These are only a few of the many lies that porn tells us.

We also learn to crave multiple partners or something and someone new each time. We delve deeper into the world of pornography and sexual immorality until there is no safe place left to go. We may become numb and reach even further into outright cruelty and sickening acts to satisfy our cravings for something new and different.

I urge any young ladies or young men stuck in the muck of pornography to stop now. Yes, it offers an instant and effortless gratification that is rarely available in a human partner, one that you shouldn’t make available before marriage anyway. But there are so many downward slopes that aren’t worth the benefits you think you are getting. It is so much more rewarding to commit yourself to one loving partner who will be able to satisfy you so completely if you do not taint your expectations with porn. The security and trust that pornography steals from you is something you cannot make up for with any “50 hottest tricks to try tonight”. Trust me, I’ve tried more times than I care to admit. As a woman, I can tell you, girls, that pornography will lower your self-esteem, even if you don’t think it is affecting you. Take it from someone who knows all too well, it seems like you have nothing to lose but you do. We need to recommit ourselves to loving God and, just as importantly, loving and respecting ourselves.

Don’t get trapped like I was and don’t let the world fool you.

Check out

Covenanteyes.com

They provide you with software to help you be accountable for your internet activity and offer great resources for breaking that addiction or coping with a spouse addicted to porn.

An introduction to me and my inspiration.

Hello. I’d like to give a little introduction to myself and my main inspiration for starting this blog.

I am a young mom who was raised in a Christian home. Sexuality was not something we spoke of, although as I reached adulthood, I found it was something we all struggled with. As a teen, I was sexually active, although I was also still doing my best to be active in church and in my relationship with God. I was riddled with guilt and frustration because not only did I believe a Christian should have a handle on these things, I also believed that this was not the sort of thing a LADY lusted after.

At 23 years old, I had 2 children, one born out of wedlock, and one whose father I did not stay married to even a year. In the midst of my divorce, the church I was then attending did a sermon on lust. I was excited to hear the message as the pastor invited his wife to come up and talk about the lust that women feel. As soon as she opened her mouth, I was appalled. “Now, I know what you’re thinking, ladies. Women don’t lust like men do. But we do lust… after shoes and diamonds and pretty clothes”

REALLY!?!?!?!? Did she REALLY just tell everyone that women do not have any sexual lust?! And does she really BELIEVE that?!

I am here to share a very different message.

Women– and girls– of all ages: you are normal. You are as God created you and yes, you will feel desires of a sexual and non-sexual nature. Each of us have different desires but all of those feelings are normal. I do not want any girl to feel ashamed that she has sexual desires or to feel ostracized or like she is not normal because she has a high drive. I wanted to share my story because I know so many other girls have felt the way I do.

There’s nothing wrong with you and you are not alone.