“Dean, can we talk for a second?”

I sat glued to my chair, frozen looking at the TV. I couldn’t bring myself to look over. I didn’t want to know what he was about to say. There was a more than decent chance that it wasn’t going to be good.

My dad wanted to talk to me; of course it wasn’t going to be good.

“Dean,” he said again. I had a feeling I was supposed to respond. I swallowed hard and turned my head to face my dad so he knew I understood him. My father sat across from me, looking more serious than I had ever witnessed.

“Dean, your mother and I know.”

My parents are smart people; they know many things. I tried to play ignorant, hoping if I looked innocent perhaps this conversation would end right away. But the tears that began welling in my eyes betrayed me.

“Dean, we know you’ve been looking at pornography.”

Several years following the moment my dad said he was disappointed in me for playing a woman’s instrument, I now sat here facing a new level of disappointment from my father. I was trapped in a terrible porn addiction.

Worse, I was caught by my parents in a terrible porn addiction.

I had no idea what he was going to say next. Legally, he couldn’t kick me out of the house.

Would I be locked in a room for the rest of my life? Was I going to be sent away to one of the middle of nowhere camps to work the fields while memorizing the book of Proverbs?

I simply turned my stare to the ground, bracing myself for whatever came next. And then, my dad shocked me.

“I want to help you, Dean. I want to help you overcome this.”

Is this really my dad? I was bewildered. I didn’t respond or look up or anything. Yet my dad kept talking. He told me that this happens to many men, that sin is a part of being a human. However, there is freedom; there is a way out.

“I want to help you with this. I want to help you find freedom from this addiction. I will be here for you to talk with you about this and walk through this with you.”

I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t going to die. I was actually going to get help with my pornography addiction!

I finally looked up at my dad, tears pouring from my eyes. I got up and hugged my dad and thanked him.

I was so excited to start a new chapter with my dad — a chance to get past the disappointments and hurts of years past.

Here was the new beginning for my father and I.

And then my father never spoke to me about pornography use again. He never even mentioned the fact that I was looking at gay porn.

I feel like that’s something that would stick out to you as a parent. And yet the homosexual nature of my pornography use never came up in the conversation with my dad. Not once. I don’t know what happened.

I should have seen it coming.

Years later when I told my parents about my struggle, they said they had no idea about this. And yet I don’t think you just forget about your son’s gay porn addiction.

I almost wonder if they really knew and just decided to scare me into purity. Or if they found the wrong stash of porn. I honestly don’t know. It’s not a topic I really want to bring up either.

Here is what I do know: my dad had failed me. Again.

And I was more alone than ever in my struggle.

Has your dad ever failed you in a significant way? Did your parents discover your gay pornography usage, or did you come clean to them first?

* Photo courtesy Johnny …on and off, Creative Commons.

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