After our request for people to submit questions for Sister Beck we were not only inundated with comments, but with hundreds and hundreds of emails.The majority of the private emails came from women who were in a lot of pain. Their lives were not turning out how they had envisioned them as a Young Woman and they did not know where to turn for hope.
Sure, the primary answer is "read your scritpures" but over-whelming those women stated they were doing that, but they still were not finding their much needed hope. For lack of a better analogy, the little piece of hope they are looking for is that straw that they can put in their nose to keep from drowning from life's problems. They know life is not meant to be "easy" and they are doing everything-- attending Relief Society, Women's Conference, Time Out for Women, reading their scriptures -- looking for that piece of hope to help them keep from drowning and they just aren't finding it.
As I read and re-read those private emails, my heart ached for these women. They opened themselves, looking for hope where they felt as though they were getting none. They know they can look to the scriptures and pray, however the pain was being caused by others in their lives and the choices they were making, which cannot be "fixed" by these women. Overwhelmingly the private emails dealt with women in abusive relationships and spouses and children heavily involved with Pornography.
These women felt shame, horror and embarrassment because of the choices their loved ones were making. They hear the voices of our prophets and apostles telling them to "stay away from Pornography, it's the plague" and to "fight fight fight for their families", and yet the plague is in their homes and they have no clue HOW to fight.
It's super easy for those of us who do not have a loved one using Pornography to say "it's not your fault" or "you should feel no guilt" or "you should feel no shame because it's not about YOU" or even worse "clamp down and take away all privileges and passwords."
Not helpful at all. And these good women feel ashamed; They feel guilt and they are very, very sad.
This is a silent burden that these women -- our sisters -- carry. They want to fight they just don't know how, where to turn or even whom they can trust. They love their family members that are ensnared, and they don't want you to think badly of them when they confide of their "hidden sorrow that they eye can't see." So they carry this burden alone. And because of that, they truly ARE alone in their fight to save their family.
After seeing all of the emails that came through-- some from women whose husbands are in prominent leadership positions within the church -- I feel as though we need to band together and fight this horrid battle together.
Our humanistic instinct when faced with these kind of problems is to Fight or Flight, however after interviewing several prominent therapists, I have come to realize that we may be fighting in ways that only furthers the shame and pushing the use of pornography further underground. Becoming control freaks does not, in anyway, actually fight the problem. It makes the woman the warden, and her spouse the prisoner and that is not a healthy environment for healing or marriage.
One thing the therapists that I interviewed all had in common was that we needed to take the "taboo-ness" out of Pornography, and healthy marital sexuality in general. We need to make it less about shaming and more about healing and understanding. Why? Because we can't effectively talk about it or support our sisters that are fighting this battle if our heart-beats accelerate when we hear the word PORNOGRAPHY. We can't support them or help OUR loved ones --who may be hiding because of shame -- if we are in denial that it is even an issue "in our community."
That is why I was so excited with this film project. They want to educate about the effects of pornography and take away the "taboo-ness" of this subject so that we can more effectively support each other. And fight.
I have also partnered with Michelle from Mormon Woman and we have been gathering articles and a very large network for women to rely on and go to for help and support. I am excited about the things that she is working on and ways that we can come together and support our sisters who are carrying this burden alone.
She has a wealth of information on her site with regards to this subject. She has met with wives of men who are in recovery, as well as men and they have shared their stories with her. LDS.org also has a wealth of information with regards to pornography as well as MANY trained therapists at LDS Family Services who are versed in how to fight this battle.
We can fight this battle, if we fight it together and this is our Call to Action.
If you want to help fight, consider embedding this video on your blog or Facebook page and then if you feel compelled, donate money to this fantastic cause. They can't make this movie without us, and frankly, we need more information like this available for people who are not only struggling with Pornography, but for those who love them.
I realized as I read those hundreds and hundreds of emails is that what these women
Together we can populate the Internet with Hope. Won't you join us?