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|19 Jul 2022|
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© 2018 Kirby Kendall, All Rights Reserved
- Date submitted
19 July 2022
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Digital Painting, 24" x 30"
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It all started with a moment of curiosity, this battle I have fought. I sat there in that dark room, staring at my computer screen as my hands shook, waiting to press "search," to see what was on the next page. I wish I could go back and plead with that thirteen-year-old kid to not wander down that road and start what would become my ten-year addiction and battle with pornography. If only I could tell him how far his mind would be twisted, how many hours with his loved ones would be devoured away, and how most nights, he would be found sitting in the dark, covered in shame and guilt.
I am a recovered porn addict. I spent my whole high school and the majority of my college career trying to break free from the web of lies that this addiction had spun for me. It started off small, but I would eventually find that it would take root, creeping into almost every aspect of my life. With this realization, I knew that my addiction was very real and the reason I didn't see or know the effect it was having on me was because unlike other drugs, the effects of pornography were not physical. This drug takes hold on your heart, perverts your mind, and startles your soul. I know this to be true because that is what the addiction had done to me. However, the crisis at hand is that the mainstream culture asserts that pornography isn't something that harms you but instead educates you.
It's not seen as something will kill love, but will help you find love. Many say that porn helps one deal with a place of loneliness when in reality, it just creates a deeper void that you find yourself struggling with.
When viewing Crtl-ed as a body of work, the negative effects that porn has had on my life can be understood and seen through all five paintings. However, in the piece titled, "What You Give," one is placed in front of the clearest window that allows the viewer to see, specifically how I was harmed and controlled by pornography. Serving as the painting that illustrates the starting point of my battle with the addiction, one can see that the reasoning of me turning to its offered fantasies wasn't just due to a teenage curiosity, but more so of a desperate plea for healing. A plea that begged for anything to take away the pain I face after believing the lies that said I was unlovable. Those lies bred a false reality that I couldn't overcome on my own and in tum, overwhelmed me. As, I sat there searching for numbness through a computer screen, porn offered the escape I sought after, but all for the price that I wish I had never paid. For that quick escape from the lies, pom's price was my heart and mind, along with a tighter grip with every visit. I wanted the viewer to know that porn didn't and will never ask for just one, hoping for the other to be given down the road. Porn pierced my heart and mind from the start and because of this, the addiction that I relied on to be my remedy, became my disease. Now, as one sees the paintings that follow, he or she can understand more clearly pain that I faced when paying the price I did.
Looking back, I wish I could have had something that would have woken me up and let me see what I was allowing to happen to me. Something that wouldn't have sugar coated the truth and not speak from shame, but from freedom. That is what I am doing with my work. I no longer want pornography to have a hold on me and keep me silent in shame. I want to step out, be bold and show people the real face of pornography and show the true, harmful effects of this drug. I have digitally painted five pieces, all displaying my own experiences through my journey through my porn addiction, as well as a personification of what I have come to know porn as. In my paintings, one will see a condensed narrative of my addiction, from beginning to end, all in hope to be able to be able to help those who find themselves in the same pain and hurt. All in hope that people who are fighting the battle against pornography, to not give up.
We can have freedom.