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I’m a cradle-Catholic. The middle child of 7 born to a Catholic mom and dad in the Midwest. Indiana, to be precise.

Growing up, Catholicism was everywhere. We went to mass almost every day and, if we didn’t, it usually meant hell was freezing over. I was homeschooled K-12 and we used Seton Home Study School, which means I was more literate in my faith by age 10 than the average Theology graduate from Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Most of my childhood revolved around school, mass, and other church events. I served at daily Mass from the age of 7 and I was closely involved with the priests at our parish. My family was well known at the parish and I was one of the “chosen ones,” destined for the priesthood. At least, that’s what all the old ladies thought.

I share none of this to complain about my childhood, I enjoyed being involved in the church and I’m grateful for the rigorous Catholic education I received. It has served me well in life. I share all of this to paint the picture of the sort of young man I was perceived to be.

If you had suggested to anyone who knew me or my family that I was a porn addict at age 9, they would have laughed in your face. “You mean Tom and Stacy’s kid? No way, that boy’s a saint.”

The thing is, my story isn’t all that unique. It’s the story of many Catholic adults, men and women, who grew up in a world that their parents did not understand. I discovered porn on my family computer through a google search. We had dial-up internet. My parents had no idea what I could get into.

Fast-forward a few years. I’m 26 years old. I’m still a porn addict. I’ve had good times and bad times, I’ve made it stretches where I was winning, but I ended up back in the trenches. At this point, I’m farther along than I’ve ever been, but the progress is slow. Very, very slow.

Read more at Those Catholic Men

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