I didn’t understand the seriousness or intricacies of what was going on, but I did know that I wanted to keep it secret. I was ashamed and felt dirty. When teachers at church would tell me how much God loved all his children I was sure they didn’t mean me because they didn’t know my secret. I could barely look at myself in the mirror, it seemed that there was something irreparably wrong with me. Keeping my secret became such a practiced behavior that by the time I reached a youth class where we were encouraged to talk to the bishop about sexual sin, I felt that it was something I could not do. Despite specific guidance from church leaders about the destructiveness of these things I rationalized my behaviors, convincing myself that what I was doing to myself wasn’t really a sexual sin, that pornography wasn’t against the major commandments, and I wasn’t hurting anyone.
How wrong I was.