Friday, 02 January 2015

An Open Letter to My Porn-Watching Dad

This daughter’s letter to her father is heartbreaking, but every dad should read it.

(Some time ago, a teenage girl contacted us, after finding her father's pornography collection. You can see the ensuing conversation as well as practical suggestions by Rabbi Twerski and others, on this site.

What you will find below, is a letter of a grown woman, years after making a similar discovery.

Whether you identify with the father or with the daughter, appropriate help is available on GYE.)  

by Anonymous (See all authors)

To My Porn-Watching Dad,

From Your Daughter

Dear Dad,

First of all, I want to let you know that I love you and forgive you for what I am about to write to you. It is difficult to talk about but it I must say it: I had known that you’ve been watching porn since I was about twelve.

And so, I wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to me. You may think that this effects only you, or maybe just the relationship between you and mom. But it has had a profound impact on me and all my siblings as well.

I found your porn on the computer just when I was starting to become a young woman. Firstly, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. As a result, your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing.

Secondly, because of pornography, I realized that mom was not the only woman you ever looked at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for their perception of women as “eye-candy”.

As for those “modesty” talks, you tried talking to me about how my dress affects those around me, and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions, however, told me that I would only be truly beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Of course, as I grew older, the culture we live in had only reinforced this message of beauty belonging exclusively to someone who looked like “them”. These meaningless talks, in fact, just made me angry.

When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as an object in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life.

And so I learned to trust you less and less, as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for who I am and not just for a pretty face.

I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was whether he struggled with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hadn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had our struggles because of my deep-rooted mistrust for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

The bottom line is this: porn didn’t just affect your life, it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you ever realized. It disturbs me to this day as I ponder the hold porn’s far-reaching, greedy hands have on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and how it affects far more than those who use it.

As I said, I have forgiven you. I am grateful for the work that God has done in this area of my life. It is still something I struggle with occasionally, but I am thankful for both God’s Grace and that of my husband. I pray that by now you have left this behind, and that the many men who still struggle will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter