© 2020 - Motyv. Shayden J. Bertagnolli. 435.315.2520. shayden@motyv.org. 2485 Grant Ave. suite 315, Ogden, Utah 84401

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  • Shayden Bertagnolli

Dear Porn User,

To whom it may concern, 


I recently wrote your spouse or loved one a letter concerning my thoughts on their experience with you using pornography. I feel it was well received, however, sometimes I fear it is you who is also very misunderstood. I partly believe your misunderstanding comes due to the misunderstanding you have of yourself. This because the shame and addiction is often blinding and foggy. 

First off, I believe your porn use/addiction is often not a porn problem, but is a shame problem. Let me explain. What once might have peaked your interest (looking at a naked someone) created an incredible sensation. However, after the sensation wore off, you were left with a feeling. Likely, if you have morals and a value system, which invites you not to view pornography and/or masturbate to it, you felt guilt. Guilt can often lead to discussion with someone else of what that guilt is from or why you are feeling that way. That's where the first dead-end was created. Who do I tell about my guilt of using pornography? Who will not look at me like a pervert? Who will not look at me with disgust and judge me immediately? Who will think I'm a child for doing such a thing ("Doesn't he have more control of himself?")? This use of accounting to someone would have saved the habit from forming, but instead created a secret only dealt with on a lonesome battlefront. Problem is, guilt also only lasts so long, and this too wears off.


Once gone, and "feeling" a little better, the opportunity presents itself again and a repeat offense occurs. Over time, the indecision to tell someone trustworthy creates a false-debt, which only you think exists. This debt, which was mentally created from you choosing below your values, has to be paid. However, when this debt is dealt with solely, there is only one bank account from which your debt might be paid...your self. And when I say self, I mean self-actualization, self-worth, self-affirmation, any and anything that might suggest you are a good person. So, overtime, you begin delve into areas in your life you feel are worthy and good and no longer accept them as such. You use powerful negative and disgraceful self-talk to explain yourself out of your own goodness. However, this also creates a serious problem, you cannot and will not allow others to see how worthless you now feel. Instead, you being to create a way of living and interacting with others that is artificial to what you really are and feel inside. This would be great and acceptable for sure, as you are probably really good at gaining others' acceptance, but it's exhausting; absolutely exhausting.

Overtime, relationships change and so do you. You begin to forget who you used to be when your life's purpose wasn't to hide the thing you are ashamed of. You used to be ashamed of using pornography, but now you are simply and sadly ashamed of yourself as a whole. Even pondering of starting anew is scary and daunting. It seems impossible. Instead, you now get stuck in a cycle of trying to stop. 



This is my invitation to you. Stop trying to start anew. Stop trying to stop. Stop waiting until you feel you will never 'do it again.' Trying to stop only constantly reminds you of what you are trying to stop, which only invites you to think more about porn, which then leads to looking at porn. Instead, find someone you trust or someone you could trust (which could be me as your therapist if needed...hint, hint) and begin being honest with them. This will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but the most relieving. Your fears are certainly that those you tell (wife, friend) will leave you, or judge you as unacceptable. I promise they won't, and if they do, it's because they are also stuck in the same cycle--looking for others' mistakes in order that they might aggrandize their self-worth, due to inner conflict that they are also not in harmony with their personal values. It's the old adage, "misery loves company." The only difference is, the miserable one is trying to hide they are miserable, as you have been doing. 

I do not hide the fact that I know Jesus Christ knows your misery and already owns the misery and garbage you are trying to conceal. He just wants you to stop hiding it. 

I empathize with you, my friends, because it feels like the entire world is judging you, when in all actuality, it's only you. It is impossible for us to think others think of us any differently than we think of ourselves...impossible. 


I love you and yearn to help you,  

Shayden

P.S. My wife and I have now moved from Alabama to Utah. I am in practice in South Ogden, Utah, and am accepting clients. Feel free to call if you have any thoughts or questions. 

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