(This is an excerpt from Karen Broadhead’s book, Momma Trauma. CLICK HERE for a copy.)
You just found out your son or daughter has an addiction to pornography, and you are in tears. Your child is in chains with a gaping wound like you have never seen before and you have no frame of reference or training on how to handle this. You need help! You need answers! You need to know what to do to help your fallen child. Everything in you wants to run for help, but you can’t. Where would you go?
Your child has the kind of addiction that a mother must hide in order to protect them from even more danger and pain. If anyone were to find out your child was addicted to pornography, it would ruin them and affect their future. If anyone knew your child had an addiction to pornography, what would they think of you and your parenting?
No one can find out.
So, even though you feel like a death has taken place and you are in such great trauma, you have to show up in your life like nothing is happening at your house. You are feeling like you can hardly breathe with the weight of this shaming secret your son or daughter has kept from you, and now you must also carry it.
You are isolated and alone.
You become a policewoman, consumed with controlling the situation and frantic about making sure there are no more “slips” (hereafter called lost battles). You are hyper-vigilant about noticing everything and anything your child is doing so you can be there to protect them. You sleep in their room, stand by the shower door, monitor how much time they are alone and wonder how to manage yourself and all the stewardships you have with other children and activities that are part of your life.
You are exhausted and numb.
You are a woman who cries a lot and you want to scream when you see acquaintances out in public who ask you, as they always have, “How’s it going?” with optimistic smiles on their well-meaning faces. You say the only thing you can say, “Good, how about you?” But deep down you want to yell and say, “How’s it going??? Well, it’s going and gone my friend! Over the fence and into the stratosphere!! I am in a mess of such proportion that it can’t be described! I am disgusted, tired, exhausted, angry, depressed, lonely, hurt, betrayed and completely lost…how about you?”
You are angry and hurt.
You know you should be turning to God and finding your faith. You are going to do it tomorrow and then tomorrow comes and goes. You just can’t seem to approach God and you can’t figure out if it’s because you are angry at Him or know that He must be angry and disappointed in you. How could you let such a horrible thing happen to a child He trusted you to teach correctly and keep safe? Feeling hollow and stuck, there are endless questions about how you got here and why.
You are embarrassed and ashamed.
You keep wondering how this happened. You were doing all the right things, checking all the “this is the gospel in action” boxes. “Aren’t there promises associated with obedience and faithfulness? Isn’t the Spirit supposed to warn me of danger when I need it? Where was God and where is He now? I don’t deserve this and neither does my child.” So, you decide the best thing to do is keep walls up all around you because now, even in an arena where you were supposed to be safe and expect help, you are hurt and alone. It just doesn’t make sense.
You are losing your faith and confidence.
Your son or daughter needs help and that is your focus. But you need help too. You are wounded at a level you have never experienced before. You are withdrawn and feel like you might lose your mind. You know your heart is broken because it physically hurts and sometimes you are having difficulty breathing. You are wounded and need healing. You are all alone with nowhere safe to turn.
You are in Momma Trauma.
Momma Trauma is real and difficult to avoid in a day where we are literally parenting our children in a war zone against the adversary! Our enemy, Satan, is determined in his destructive cause to take us out of our purpose and thwart God’s plan for each of us. Satan’s greatest filthy lie is pornography. Even the best of our youth has fallen and continue to sustain severe wounds. Some of our noblest warriors (our youth) have fallen prey and become prisoners of war. Our children are all warriors in this war against the adversary.
When you have a child in addiction you can experience so much shame, go through a mountain of negative emotions and feel like you have completely lost your footing and sense of direction. This sense of powerlessness can crack your internal compass and leave you in a place with far more questions than answers, feeling a complete loss of hope. What is a mother who is experiencing Momma Trauma to do?
I was in that darkness and feel great empathy for mothers in their own version of the same. In writing this book, I am extending a safe and courageous hand to kindly invite you to consider LIGHT. You wouldn’t be in the dark unless you believed it was a safer place to be.
You are meant for light! You are meant to have peace and purpose.
There is hope, healing and help for you and your loved one. You are a “Mother Who Knows.” You are a warrior of light, ready to stand against the darkness of this world. I want to help you learn to fight and come out of the darkness and overcome those feelings of despair.
There is free support and training to assist you one step at a time. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV).
All mothers are welcome in Warrior Mothers Who Know, a free training and support group especially for mothers. If you are not able to attend live, all trainings are recorded and posted on our website.
Also, join us in Mom Power Training. Free for all mothers who are a part of Mothers Who Know or who have a son in the Sons of Helaman, a therapeutic program for helping young men overcome pornography challenges. We also offer programs for young women struggling with any kind of addiction, anxiety and depression or any self-harming behaviors called Daughters of Light. If you or a loved one are participating in a Life Changing Services program, Mom Power is offered to you at no charge.