“I Would Spend a Whole Weekend Indoors Binging on Pornography,” Woman Narrates Struggle with Porn Addiction

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Ruth Njagi, 34, has battled an addiction that many women would find hard to confess. She speaks to Daily Nation correspondent Joan Thatiah about her struggle to stay her path, and what that has taught her about herself.

 

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“I was about six years old when I was defiled by three pre-teenage boys from our neighbourhood in Kirinyaga County. We had been playing at their house when they attacked. I ran home for safety but unfortunately, there was no one home that day. It all happened very fast and I pushed the incident to the back of my head.

“It was only years later, when I got to high school and heard girls talking about sex, that I realised something had been taken away from me. I sought refuge in books. I would read every chance I got. Like any teenager, I began with mushy romance novels; I enjoyed the fantasy. Then curiosity led me to the more hardcore, sexual readings.

“Things began going wrong the year I finished high school. I was home alone all day and with all this time on my hands. I began watching pornography. A year in, I discovered Internet pornography. I still remember the first time I walked into an Internet café and logged on. I remember the weird looks I got, I guess because I was a girl.

“In 2002, while in college, Jesus found me and I gave my life to him. This didn’t stop me from engaging in my guilty pleasure every chance I got. In 2005, I learnt to masturbate from books I read. By 2008, I was an addict.

“Like many addicts, I learnt to hide my addiction. At first glance, I was a regular young adult. I had a stable job working as a counsellor and a sexual purity educator. I went to church every Sunday. I loved Jesus. In secret, I watched pornography and masturbated. The more porn I watched, the higher the dose I needed to get satiated. I would spend a whole weekend indoors binging on pornography, only leaving the house to attend church service.

“Then, one time in 2008, I realised that I couldn’t stand myself. I needed to tell someone my secret. I decided to open up to my housemate who was also a Christian. I remember listening to her sharing that she was struggling with pride, and thinking to myself that that was such a glamorous struggle compared to mine. When it was my turn to share, I couldn’t even say the words. Instead, I gave her my journal to read.

“Opening up took the burden off my shoulders a little bit but I still couldn’t resist the urges. I still indulged. In 2011, I came out with my secret during a sexual addiction training session in church. For the first time, the defilement was addressed. I was taken back to that moment. I remember feeling very angry at my mother for not having been home that day. Then I shifted the blame to God and then the devil before I decided to not carry it with me anymore. I decided to forgive.

“I had one less burden on my shoulder but I still hadn’t addressed the issues behind my addiction. So I fell off the wagon easily. I remember walking to a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting in Nairobi and thinking that it wasn’t for me. I knew I needed something deeper than a forum where I would say my name and confess my sins then come back a few days later and repeat the same. Soon after this visit to the anonymous group, I met a couple of missionaries who sent me on my journey to recovery. They walked with me, gave me books to read and most importantly, they loved me.

“I began dealing with issues. How I saw myself began changing. The hardest part was forgiving myself, letting go off the self-blame, realising that my addiction wasn’t who I was.

“Even with a renewed will to stop, it was a challenge. When you are a pornography addict, the Internet is synonymous with porn. At least it was for me. I remember getting a panic attack in August last year when a friend asked me to stay at her house for a while so she could travel and I realised that she had left the WiFi on. I relapsed. I have had two more episodes since but I have picked myself up every time. Recovery is a journey but I am well on my way there.

“I have learnt not to run, I face issues as they come. This year, I published my book, Love Unlimited: Set Free by a Greater Love in which I share my story. I also run A Second Chance Consults, an organisation through which I hand-hold others walking the same journey as me.

“I came out to my parents two weeks ago. I knew that eventually, they would find out and I wanted them to hear it from me. Of course they were shocked but they were very warm and supportive.

“It has been seven years since my last relationship. It was a nasty break up and I was reluctant to get into another relationship because of the heartache. Then I got onto the self-discovery journey and there hasn’t been space for anyone else. But I think I am now ready. I will know Mr. Right when I see him but I know that I need him to love God.”

Ruth Njagi’s book ‘Love Unlimited: Set Free by a Greater Love’

Source: Daily Nation- My Story

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