A Life of Delusion

The great world of idols, fashion, and the lifestyle hyped by the media never gave me what it promised, and what I wanted so badly!

I grew up in a time when the topic of sex was taboo in the family, in school, and even among friends. When I started to come to maturity, I started to notice that my body was changing, that I was changing. The things that were happening to me were frightening to me, so I started looking for answers to the questions that tormented me. I wanted to find myself in a new reality. The first source of information that I happened to come across was various magazines, such as Bravo, Girl and Popcorn. It seemed to me that that was where I would find the answers to my questions. I tried to find myself in their Q&A’s, which now appear to me to have been fictitiously created to suit the needs of the magazines. They wrote about my feelings, emotions, and dreams, about the things to do to always be open to reality, things that were no longer taboo. However, the answers had nothing to do with the good I expected would follow, and led only to egotistical deviance. These magazines promoted a world of unreal dreams, and a constant quest for fictitious love. They lacked everything that could help a person make their way through that difficult time of growing up. In the pages of those magazines “authorities” like the psychologist, sociologist, and many others, even famous people whom I idolized, offered advice on how to get along in life – or rather how to harm yourself. But I believed them, because I thought they were telling the truth. Anyone who spoke or thought anything other than what I read in my Bravo, I regarded as an enemy.

There in Lagiewniki I offered my entire life to God through the intercession of Sister Faustina, requesting that she ask Jesus for the grace of conversion for me

It was the time when I was entering high school. I followed the advice of the psychologist in the magazines and started masturbating, because she contended that “this is the best way to calm your sexual needs at this age and prepare yourself for an active sexual life by practicing with your own body…”.

Masturbation became everything for me. I fed my imagination with erotic stories where everything was fabulous, without and feelings of shame, loneliness, or anxiety. I did have pangs of guilt, but I stifled them. I repeated it like a mantra: everyone does it, so it’s okay. Only at times, when the clamor of the world died down and I was alone with myself, did it start to feel bad. It finally occurred to me that I was causing myself pain. This was when enormous complexes started growing within me – thoughts like I wasn’t important to anyone and no one loved me. I lost any feeling of self-worth, and couldn’t accept myself as I was, as simply a young boy with freckles. Little by little the avalanche of many internal and external dramas began.

At a certain point it occurred to me that I was living in a world of illusion. I understood that that kind of life would not be a colorful story with a happy ending, but that it was a struggle for my life and my soul. I determined to break with the habits I had developed up to that time, so I went to confession. I thought that I was starting a new chapter in my life. I really wanted to be different. But I couldn’t hang on for even one day, so for a year I went from confession to confession, but nothing changed for me.

Day by day I found myself all the more indifferent. I took advantage of everyone, not offering anything to them – but then what could I give?

I continued to fall into the next stage of self-abuse, as though I wanted somehow to punish myself for being a nobody. I also started to attack the Church. I rejected everything that She offered me. I turned to pornography, and with it, I went through another drama. Magazines, the internet, my own fantasies… Slipping slowly into unreality became a mad rush into pleasure, just to kill the feeling of rejection and loneliness in me. I so badly wanted those feelings that, day in and day out, I plunged myself into my addiction, and the disordered world of emotions became for me the straight path to ultimate collapse. Day by day I found myself all the more indifferent. I took advantage of everyone, not offering anything to them – but then what could I give?

I had badly injured myself and others. The wounds that I caused myself were proof that the great world of dreams of love which doesn’t require anything of us and gives us everything we want is a fraud and doesn’t exist.

I asked myself the question: Why is this lifestyle promoted? Why do we drag ourselves and others further and further into this illusion of love, that for many it becomes too late? What kind of a life is this – full of anxiety and pursuing a stability that we’ll never achieve? What kind of a life is this in which it is all “take” and no “give”?

Ultimately these happy faces, all these articles in Bravo – articles about happiness, joy, and satisfaction – told a different story. And I, wracked with addictions, experienced despair, loneliness, and filth! I knew that I couldn’t live like that, that I didn’t want to live like that!

On April 2, 2005 I went on a pilgrimage to the Lagiewniki Shrine in Cracow. It was 9:37 p.m. when the priest shared the information with us that the Holy Father, John Paul II had gone to the home of his Father. There in Lagiewniki I offered my entire life to God through the intercession of Sister Faustina, requesting that she ask Jesus for the grace of conversion for me.

Little by little the evil feelings and desires in me began to dissipate. Enslavement was changed into many days of purity and grace. I once again believed that Jesus was not just for the chosen, but also for me. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is my chance. He let me begin my life again, which – I hope – will remain with Him forever. For many years I had been looking for some way to live; for my place in the world. The great world of idols, fashion, and the lifestyle hyped by the media, never gave me what it promised in the slightest, and which I wanted so badly! Jesus made a new person of me. He rebuilt in me new faith, hope, and charity. He gave me back the respect for myself and others that I had lost. He gave me back my home and family. He helped me to forgive my father for his absence from my life.

A reader