I loved my Dad. He was my hero. My Pal. I admired and respected him. He was the ultimate family man. As a family we loved him and he loved us. I grew up in Rexburg Idaho. On a beautiful clear morning on June 5, 1976 I heard on the radio that the Teton Dam had broken and a tidal wave of water was rushing towards our quiet little town. We fled to a hill that overlooked the valley to watch as we lost everything we owned. Later, as we worked hard to dig what was left of our house out of the mud and debris we could see my dad wasn’t feeling well. We thought it was the stress of having lost a lifetime of work. However, one month after the flood my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and one month later he died. He had stopped smoking 15 years earlier. It was the most difficult thing he had ever done. Tobacco killed my Dad. I hate tobacco. There is only one purpose for cigarettes — to regulate the amount of nicotine in an addict’s bloodstream. People who sell tobacco do so for money at the expense of many lives; the lives of the addicts themselves, but also the lives of the ones they love most.
Pornography and sexual addiction are just as damaging as tobacco. Pornography is insidious — proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects. When people are addicted to pornography it infiltrates their lives and leaves a shell of a human being left. People who are addicted to pornography lose their motivation, time, self-respect, joy of living, connection with others, and free will. They have to sneak to hide their activity in isolation. They become depressed and anxious, irritable and withdrawn. They eventually become out-of-control, but can’t really tell anyone. They hate pornography and themselves, but as often as they try to quit they often fail, thereby increasing their desperation.
I remember the account of a fourteen year old daughter and her friend walking in on her dad viewing pornography. She was horrified, embarrassed, ashamed and disgusted. Her friend never came over again; her mother wouldn’t let her. This fourteen year old daughter asked her mother, “Those girls that Dad was looking at weren’t much older than me! Does Dad look at me like that?” Their relationship has never been the same; it has been two and a half years.
Countless marriages have been destroyed because of pornography. Families have been torn apart and children deprived of the stability of a two-parent home. Immeasurable pain, guilt and suffering have occurred. I have seen the effects on families who are left when a father or brother have committed suicide because they can no longer carry the burden of a pornography addiction.
I am a Psychologist and I know better than to blame the addict, who is a victim along with their family. I hate pornography! I hate tobacco! My Dad died abruptly, but with dignity and honor. Pornography is worse. It is easy to understand a tobacco addiction; it is difficult for loved ones to understand a sexual addiction. It is insidious. It is devastating. It takes away someone we love.
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