My journey into unconscious shame began with porn addiction and ended with the mother wound. And here it is—the blog that ties together the two ends of a very long thread.

In the gazillion porn images I was only ever looking for healthy nurturing. The image for this blog, a stunning mosaic by Napoleon Cole, epitomises this search. Look closely—it’s comprised of hundreds of tiny fragments of porn.

I came to porn—no other phrase will do—both early and late.

Came to porn early…

As I describe in Hessa – my first experience of porn, I was exposed to porn at 10 years of age on a hillside in Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland. The event was traumatic, causing a repressed memory that took me five decades to recover.

I realise now that in Hessa, a soft-porn Nazisploitation comic, I unconsciously glimpsed the victim/victimizer dynamic at the heart of patriarchal societies—and knew I carried deep inside me that capacity to victimize.

In my teens I went into shutdown—some form of Depersonalisation disorder, where I distanced myself from the Alien lurking at the core of my being.

There were brushes with porn. Working in a New Zealand bank in 1979, I found a Playboy magazine in the storage facility where the old cheques were kept. The centrefold, spread across a sea of cheques like Demi Moore smothered in greenbacks in Indecent Proposal, made no impact.

I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the numbing effect of shame.

…And late

That lasted until the mid-1990s, when I was a frequent flyer IT consultant in America. In those pre-Zoom days, I once commuted from Auckland to Boston for a 3-hour meeting. I lived a high-income, high-carbon, high-calorie, high-alcohol lifestyle. By patriarchal standards, I’d ‘made it’.

Yet my emotional life was a wasteland. I had no relationships worthy of the name—least of all, my relationship with myself. Living out of a suitcase for months at a time, it became a high-porn lifestyle too.

I don’t know what broke the mirror, what yanked back the curtain and revealed the tetchy old wizard cranking the smoke machine. Perhaps it was the colleague who woke up dead in a Super 8 motel somewhere in the Midwest one morning.

I crashed out of consulting. With growing revulsion I understood I was a cog in a giant money-making machine. Its sole objective was to provide enough cash for all participants to anaesthetize themselves to the numbness at their core.

The mother wound

One of my anaesthetics was porn.

There’s a saying that, “once a porn addict, always a porn addict.” It isn’t true. My superpower proved stronger than my addiction.

As I describe in “Pipes everywhere” – how Process Manufacturing maps human emotions, I’d learned to analyse the processes of a specific kind of manufacturing that turned out to closely resemble human emotional problems.

I reverse-engineered my way out of porn addiction by seeing that the specific images I was attracted to reflected my psychosexual wounds. Porn is a highly intelligent visual language for portraying imbalances between masculine and feminine energy.

Unpicking and healing those imbalances led me down through the strata of my unconscious, from current-life traumas to the skeletons in my family closet. The road less travelled eventually led right back to ancestral traumas from the dawn of patriarchy—and to the mother wound, the original separation point; the point where humanity stopped nurturing itself and the planet.

Porn addiction led me to the mother wound. With every single porn image I ever gazed at, I was only ever searching for my mother.

And there, thanks to a few drops of genuine nurturing from a fellow traveller on the road, the arrested development of my mother-child process was healed. Porn addiction led me to the mother wound. With every single porn image I ever gazed at, I was only ever searching for my mother.

Break Porn Addiction

Photo: Rebecca Mosaic by Napoleon Cole on Flickr