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I Told My Parents WHAT??

by Amber M on April 1st, 2012 in Students

Christ set me free from the sexual addiction and the shame that came from the effects of what had been done to me and the things that I had done – I once was held captive by this secret, but now that I feel freedom, I can scream it from the rooftops and I can tell my closest friends about the road Christ has taken me down and what He has done in my life. But when it came to my parents, this was a completely different story. Telling them or even having them find out my secret addiction was my worst fear.  Even after Christ had set me free, this was still the most nerve-racking thing I could think of; I could have told any stranger about my struggle but my parents were . . . my parents.

 These were the people who raised me, who at times were the ones who loved me the most and were my best advocates.  They never knew about the secret battle I had fought for almost a decade. Honestly, I thought I had already told them, I thought they had already known and it was just one of those things that “we don’t talk about.” But I had a problem with being vague. I could tell someone that I had a problem but I didn’t… I couldn’t just tell them what my struggle was- It would be too shameful.

When I felt God calling me to XXXChurch I knew that the gig was up, and I had to stop being vague and straight up tell my parents about the things that I had hid from them so long.

Honestly I thought they already knew, but I was wrong. They were stunned.  I felt like a fish being thrown into the fryer.

My mom was completely horrified. The feeling of shame that I felt Christ cleansed me from, came back with my mother’s reaction to the news.

Brutal. My dad seemed numb and unresponsive. My heart broke. Both felt distant now. The feet between us felt like miles.

I was grilled. Questions came. Ones that I did not want to answer; I was on trial.

I felt like I disappointed them. I regretted everything all over again.

A process is something that needs to be gone through –you can’t just run from it or stop and sometimes all you can do is push through.

It has taken some time for the truth to sink in fully. Because of the shock, it has taken them awhile to be fully supportive of me. Forgiveness and healing are coming after all the pain.

When I told them, I wanted to focus on and rejoice in what Christ has done in my life and how He revealed Himself more than ever before.  Instead, we ended up focusing on every detail of my sin and what I had done. The secret I had learned to keep over the past 10 yrs.  It has been the hardest thing I have faced in my life, and some of the people I’ve been closest to had no clue that any of it was happening.

What I wasn’t expecting, was to be bombarded with questions. How do you tell them? How do you deal with such a guarded secret and the fact that they weren’t aware of the biggest struggle in your life? There are lots of things and questions to be answered—to work through—but it takes time. For almost ten years I held a secret – and out of nowhere, truth comes to the surface. So of course there’s going to be hurt and pain and even questions.

Funny part of a healing process is it hurts quite a bit until you actually feel healed. And it’s not a short, easy process at all. But it is something that needs to be done.  Rip it off like a Band-Aid.

A process that needs to be gone through so that you may be able to get to that point where you can tell your parents—If you have not already.  I feel that for each person that means getting to a different place. But it’s all part of the healing process no matter who you are or where you’re at.

But no matter how our parents react to life’s ugly truths and the secrets we have held from them. We still need to tell them. And if we trust in Christ and look to the cross and His sacrifice we can be set free from the shame has bound us for so long. As my parents were trying to take in all that I had told them, I could still cling to Christ when their reactions were hard to take. And even though I found shame again in how my parents reacted, I could still go back to the cross and leave the shame where Christ had paid for my release. For our freedom is not found in people, but in Christ.

 

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  • OneReaderSaid

    Sexual topics are often difficult between parents and children. Usually the same sex parent talks to their son or daughter if possible. This might have been something for you to tell the most sympathetic of the two first and let that parent tell the other. When things are done in a group, there can be a lot of conflicting emotions and embarrassments, resulting in acrimony rather than conversation. I assume neither parent was the perpetrator of the sexual abuse you have mentioned, and I assume that they knew what had happened and took proper action.

    In my opinion, parents who allow their children access or even potential access, to internet pornography, are guilty of criminal child neglect. When you told them after they could no longer make corrections, they still were very upset to realize their failure, but rather than take responsibility, or blame each other, they focused on you. Their apparent disbelief and implied condemnation is quite revealing. I’m not sure why a parent would be surprised that their kid is curious about sex or that, given access to the porn superhighway, that they wouldn’t take advantage of that gift from their parents. I suspect sexual problems between your parents, but that’s not our topic.

    Your circumstance there is not unlike two other scenarios: telling your spouse you have a porn addiction or telling your kids about sex. I think that one of the tips ordinarily given for the latter conversation can be applied to the talk with your parents or telling a spouse about porn addiction: “Only tell them what they want to know, when they want to know it” Yes, there comes a time with children, for example an 11 year old girl, when you begin giving them the nitty gritty details. But, when they’re little and they ask where babies come from, they don’t need to know about the details of sex, just the general concept of love and the baby grows in the mommy’s belly. Likewise, a spouse doesn’t need to be loaded down with all the details of the other’s porn habits… they can start just by saying, I’ve been feeling tempted to look at porn, would you mind helping me and talking to me about it?

    If my daughters said “Dad, I like to masturbate and I feel bad about that I can’t stop doing it”, I would talk to them about how to regulate their habits in a healthy, conscientious manner, not how to stifle their sex drive. I wouldn’t condemn them, the way you felt your parents were condemning you for doing what comes natural.  I would encourage them to not look at porn until they were older and could understand that what they are seeing could be unrealistic, a fantasy or a perversion, not normal sexual relations.

  • Roxan :)

    Wow such an encouragement… 🙂
    I struggled with this too. I didnt quite tell my parents about the struggle, however they knew I wanted to be a part of one of xxxchurch outreaches and when I made up my fundraising page for my trip to Miami, I sent it first to my parents. I told them I wanted them to read it first because it was so personal. It didnt go into all the ins and outs but it stated that I as a women struggled with porn. They never replied to my email. And so I called them to find out if they got it. they said they had and that they had read it, but they didnt ever comment on more. Its something that actually still hurts because I dont feel like they support me in my decision to do this kind of thing and I feel like they see me differently now. its not like they have ever said anything, its just that vibe you get. Its something I still would like to talk to them about someday but maybe when I go back home.  But I love this post because its a reminder that Christ has forgiven me. and Because of that I dont need to be ashamed. 🙂 thanks 🙂

  • Gomerite Disciple

    Stay strong, Amber!

  • Johnpatmos Bdd

    i too ned to tell my parents abt my sexual sin. but i’m very scared.

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