The Three Letter “S” Word That Changed My Life

My story starts off pretty nicely: I was raised in an amazing home, parents were great, siblings were awesome (some days), and I was loved on by so many. My parents always told me right from wrong, good from bad. My parents always told me how friends could truly shape your life for the best or for the worst. I didn’t really listen to them ,and I didn’t really grab hold to it either which plays a huge part in my story.

Fast forward to middle school. In middle school, somehow I got wrapped up in sexual desires. I don’t know how, but one day it hit me. I kept seeing it in movies and on TV, and I got curious. Next thing I knew, the curiosity killed me and I was waist-deep in pornography. I didn’t know how to get out of it. All I knew was that something felt different. I went from one website to the next trying to fill my desires but something was always missing. I just didn’t know what it was.

Fast forward to high school. High school is where my life took a real turn. I went from a sheltered private school to an un-sheltered, everything-in-your-face public school. Those who were considered the “cool kids” (people who thought tons of things made you coo)l quickly drew me in. One of those things was sex, and I didn’t really know how to handle it so I tried to back out of it, but I quickly found out that backing out of it only made it worse. The curiosity was back and I was about to dig deep into something I couldn’t handle. It started with one girl, and then on to the next, and then the next.

In the moment, everything was good and afterward,s life was like a bad dream. I knew I had done wrong and I knew that I needed to stop, but I continued. It got so bad that I would cheat on girlfriends to get the “fix” I needed in that moment. I went through a period where I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. The person I saw, because I knew I was so much better than what I was doing, disgusted me. Deep inside I always heard a voice telling me to stop and to go the other direction but I always ignored it. For so long I thought, “How could anyone ever love me? How can my life ever change?”

I couldn’t see my life getting any better at this point so I continued finding pleasure in sexual desires, but what came next was not what I was expecting.

I had been in a relationship with someone for almost a year. Sex was a huge part of it, and by huge part, that’s basically all that happened. I knew I should’ve walked away, but I couldn’t give it up. Then one day, I got the dreaded “I’m pregnant” text. My whole life stopped. At that moment I tried to pull myself out of that situation, but I was already in too deep. I couldn’t turn to any of my friends because I was too embarrassed and I was so ashamed of myself. I didn’t know how to handle the situation, so I ignored her and just cut her and the pregnancy out of my life.

A few weeks after this happened, I got a call from her. She had gotten an abortion.

Everything I was doing in that moment seemed so irrelevant. I fell to my knees and screamed for help, but the help I needed was nowhere to be found. I had unintentionally abandoned friends for this relationship and now those friends weren’t there when I needed them. For two years I hid the abortion from everyone I knew. I didn’t want anyone to know my pain, I didn’t want anyone to experience what I had to experience. The pain I felt was unbearable, and at times I would just sit in my room and think “God, why me?” I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. So I did what I should have done long before this and I finally sought out love, genuine love, the kind of love that could only come from close friends and family.

After turning to the ones I really needed in my life; my life was never the same. I look at how things are now and how things were then, and I can see where loved ones replaced the bad with the good. If you are going through what I went through or have been through what I have been through, let me just say that you are so worth the love: Nothing and no one can break you from that. You do not have to suffer alone. The things in life may be hard and unbearably painful, but the strength that you find when others surround you with genuine hearts is a strength that cannot be explained through words.

The healing process will be a painful one, but I urge you not to deal with the pain alone. Don’t do what I did and hide these things. When I was going through the healing process, most of the time I found myself in my car just driving for hours just to be alone.

One night while driving, I began to cry because my heart was so broken. In that moment I felt a peace and that peace told me, “You are healed. Your pain is gone, but first you must let go.” That was the hardest thing I had ever had to hear and do. I didn’t want to let go; I didn’t want to let it out in the open. I fought and fought and fought and then finally gave in and told my closest friends.

Once I finally told my closest friends what had happened in my life, everything seemed so much easier. The pain went away faster and then what seemed to be an alarming struggle, which it was, became a situation that made me into the person I am today. Struggling alone isn’t the answer when you go through what I just described. Struggling with others around you who understand that community brings healing IS THE ANSWER when going through what I just described.  They may not always understand what you go through, but the constant love they will show will be all you need to know that you are worth loving.

So if you’re reading this, please be bold and let others in to help you. Don’t let the three letter S word do to you what it did to me. Yes, sex happens but it doesn’t have to hold you down forever. You can come out on top with genuine love and with those around you. Always remember that you are healed, your pain is gone, but first you must let go.

Much love,

Preston Gant