stayfaithful, most of the struggles you’ve referred to, I strongly relate to. I am not experiencing any of them at the stage of life I’m at right now. Right now, my struggle is against pride. My battle is to become humble. Right now, though, I feel like I’m being led through a sunny plain. It’s a very good time for me, full of joy and peace and blessings. I know it’s only the preparation for a much harder time ahead- God has made that extremely clear to me. That’s where I am now, though. I know what you’re talking about, though, very keenly. Life is full of great battles and small ones.
When I was converting to Catholicism, I had a lot of arguments with my family. All my family and friends were Protestant, so it was an extremely rocky transition. I was told my beliefs were the spirit of the anti-christ and the spiritual experiences God and the Virgin Mary gave me to confirm my journey were demonic. I felt extremely alienated, every day harassed by doubts and fears that I was going against God’s will. I prayed so much during that period for help, and received it every time, in the form of some new special sign from God that this was from Him and I should keep following Him as I knew I should. Jesus was my strength, and He saw me through.
Pornography I haven’t directly gone through in the way you have, but I fell really badly once, reading from a strongly graphic rape scene in a book when I knew I was doing wrong. I deliberately defied God’s will when I did that, and consequently for years after that I had to battle against dwelling on sexualized images in my head. Sometimes I experienced this as a demonic presence. It had a grip on me and it took years of fighting before the Lord finally made it leave me.
Battling the demonic has been the hardest fight I’ve had to engage in. I really think evil spirits were attacking me while I was converting. I could feel evil very strongly at that time, the evil of the heresies I was abandoning, the evil of the world I was leaving, and I could see with incredible clarity the beauty of the Catholic Church I was joining. I could sense in my soul and see clearly with my inner eyes the great darkness and the light, and yet I was constantly being attacked and needing God’s support.
Coming into a relationship with God in Protestantism (before my conversion to Catholicism) was an even harder road for me, because I didn’t know God at all then, didn’t appeal for His aid anywhere near as often and didn’t feel His constant support. During that time, I was filled with hunger so strong I sometimes even felt as though it was physical and considered eating more food to try to fill it. It was like having a second stomach, and the second stomach could not be filled. I began praying for union with God, and as I did a demon attacked me in the most painful experience of my life. For many months I was overwhelmed by these compulsive inner pressures to murder my family members and/or myself. Several times I nearly gave in. I was teetering on the edge of a cliff, and I nearly became a murderer. But God’s Spirit, I am convinced, protected me from ever going quite over that edge, even though I nearly did.* The inner compulsion to murder was in no way a natural part of me. I had great relationships with my family, my life was going great, and those feelings just began hitting me as soon as I started praying earnestly for a deeper relationship with God.
Finally, God answered my prayers and revealed Himself to me, and He filled my life with joy. I finally told my parents what had been going on (I’d kept it to myself because I thought I might be going insane and I didn’t want to be sent to an asylum), and they concluded it was a demon. They laid hands on me and prayed for me, and for a few days I was demon-free. But then it came back.
It came back at night while I was sleeping. I dreamed that a door swung open and red ants came pouring out in a great stream. Amongst them was one of particularly enormous size. It was like a lobster in size, with many pincers and claws. It came at me but was knocked over on its back (my parents’ prayers), but then it righted itself and charged straight at me.
I was horrified and jolted awake, and then I was even more horrified because I saw the monster in my dreams right there next to me on the bed. I saw it with my waking eyes. I jumped back and saw it skitter down the bed and vanish into thin air.
I got up out of bed and went into the living room and sensed it powerfully, but this time could not see it. I sensed desperate hatred and the longing to murder and kill.
I prayed, dedicating myself to Christ and appealing for His protection. Then I prayed against the spirit and banished it, and it fled the room.
The next few nights, I could sense it prowling around outside the house, but finally I appealed strongly for the Lord to send me His angels and I sensed them. They filled the house with peace and a strong presence of holiness, and I never sensed or saw that evil spirit again.
Later, since converting to Catholicism, I was attacked by evil spirits again. That was last Lent, during one of the top three spiritual turning points of my life, as I came into far closer union with God than I’ve ever had. The top three spiritual transformative points in my life were the beginning of my original relationship with God in Protestantism, my conversion into Catholicism, and last Lent, when my spiritual journey really began taking me into my own soul and into transforming the inner life. Each of those times was one of my closest experiences with God and simultaneously included most of my closest encounters with the enemy.
I think that the reason the enemy is attacking you so much right now is that you are coming home to the Catholic Church. Wear the Brown Scapular and pray the Rosary, those are my recommendations. Also, perhaps, you may want to get access to sacramentals. I’ll remember you in my prayers.