son watching pornography
November 11, 2017

When the Walls Come Tumbling Down: Porn and A Parent’s Grief

by Mary Muller, author of The Guardians of Innocence: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Children from Pornography

Sometimes you don’t see or recognize the signs of pornography use in your child (or in my case, my grandchildren) until the walls of a family unit and a child’s life come crashing down around them. Then, you witness the unbelievable secrets hidden behind those walls: a quietly concealed, vicious monster that had literally blown dark holes in their minds and filled their innocent lives with ugliness, self-hatred, fear and pain.

In my family, it started with the pornography addiction of the father of my grandchildren.  I knew about the addiction, but did not voice my opinion or watch the family any closer than a normal relative usually does.  To me, at that point in my life, my thinking was it was his personal problem, a problem that was common with men and would be contained within the confines of his own thoughts and desires.

When those walls came tumbling down, I was to discover that the sins of the fathers are indeed visited upon the heads of the children. Our enlightenment came when my husband walked into their home and found our 8 year granddaughter performing a shocking sex act on our 10 year old granddaughter, her sister.  Right there, in the living room, in front of a television flashing children’s cartoons.

It took a while for the debris to clear sufficiently to even see the tip of the iceberg.  The father’s adult porn addiction (which had embraced some nightmare fetishes) had descended even lower, down a slippery slope, to child porn.  He had not only shared the vilest of images with his own children, but had sexually abused them.  The older children had then perpetrated these abhorrent acts on the younger children.

Thank goodness for the child abuse hotline.  But heaven nor the criminal justice system cannot save us from the free agency of a child predator who was bred and fueled by pornography.  The damage in the wake of these events goes on and on, as does my grief.

Every time a child walks out your door, he or she is faced with the possibility of coming across pornography. Nine out of ten children with access have viewed the vilest of images.

However, the time to protect my children from the abuse and images that were indelibly imprinted into their still-developing brains has passed. Some of these kids, though damaged, will heal and be functional, but some will not.

The_Guardians_of_InnocenceI wrote my book not only to educate the uneducated such as I had been, but also in part as a penance for being blind to the emotional damage that had come upon my children.

Please, parents and grandparents, indeed all adults, the innocence and quality of our children’s young lives, and their future struggles, is in the hands of our present knowledge, education, and actions.

Educate yourself, for the sake of the children.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.

Further Reading