Troubled by absurd but crippling preoccupations and anxiety

I am having the most extreme anxiety due to the fact that once upon a time in junior high while mindlessly surfing the net (not the best corners of the internet…) saw an image of such obscenity, vulgarity and most of all, of an HIGHLY illegal nature. I just remembered this last year and I am on and off of having extreme anxiety about this. I can’t deal with the fact that this happens. With the help of a good priest at church, I no longer feel irrevocably condemned with this…but nevertheless I feel like the devil has branded me with this and I carry it with me. Almost like I’ve been forgiven…but the gaping, embarrassing scar is still there. I feel like my whole life is ruined by the one short, but highly disturbing incident a few years. It never bothered me before until I started becoming fixated on emulating the life of certain famous people (writers in particular, say William F Buckley or the any of the great novelists) and my own life just seems so much like trash because of this. I was at peace for a long while this year but now I’m all screwed up again! Any prayers and advice would be highly appreciated! By the way, does any one know why this would happen and what it is exactly I am suffering?

Take a lesson from the Master in the book of Matthew when Jesus said…

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Take this matter to the Lord to a prayer closet, somewhere you won’t be disturbed then lay everything at his feet,
he’s waiting and wants you to find comfort in him…


It’s spiritual attack on one of it’s more basic and simple forms. The devil tempts you into disobeying God, then once you do, gets you to become self condemning about it afterward. Christ is about freedom, not bondage, and what you experienced, put you in a state of bondage, just as all of the evil ones tactics do.

Like sin of any sort, it always precedes with a thought, this always begins with something tiny, yet if you continue to give it attention, it will grow, and this is what you are doing, giving it attention. The first millisecond that thought comes into your mind, tackle the problem at that source and turn away from it “as in another meaning behind turning the other cheek”. You can nip this one clean in the bud if you are aware that you have full control over your own thoughts, you are not at their mercy and you are going to find it really impossible to think of more then one thing at a time, since we are linear thinkers. So…when it comes up, have a song, an image, a piece of scripture, anything at all, and put your focus on it, of course though, it’s best to place your mind and focus on God himself, especially during those circumstances. It’s just that easy, and this reinforces the previous posters quotes.

I have noticed other posts and at different forums say very similar things. I know that knowing you are not alone in this doesn’t give you a key. But it does ring true to what some one else said, you will not be tempted with any thing that is not common to man. For every temptation Gd will also supply a way out. And you will not be tempted beyond your ability. hmmm I still didn’t give you a key.:shrug:

I’ll pray.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Don’t beat yourself up, we are all sinners and God forgives. Let it go.

Rest assured that you have already been forgiven for the initial incident in the sacrament of reconciliation. If you sin again, you will need to go back, otherwise try not to think about it.

In the meantime, I will pray for your peace of mind…

I think that what you need to recognize is that you are a victim of sexual abuse - the thoughts and feelings you are having are common to sexual abuse survivors. The person or persons who put that image up are the ones at fault for this.

It is no different than if someone kidnapped you and forced you to observe them performing a disgusting act, or if someone “flashed” you in the street.

The remedy is to pray the Rosary daily, and receive Holy Communion daily.

I am praying for you.

Hello Mr F. I would suggest the word is “scrupulosity” its a type of OCD. Perhpas you need to work through what triggered this anxiety last year. Some event, thought, word deed etc which reminded you of that past event. Perhaps speak along these lines to your spiritual director. Look at what it was that triggered your memory of the visuals which upset you and deal with the latest event (in the care of a priest/counsellour) and forgive yourself. If God can forgive your sin, you not being able to implies huge pride. We need to be careful the devil implants pride in all sorts of manner. he is not particular.
Hope this helps let me know. I have dealt with this in the past and working with trigger has helped.
Ps sorry to say this but I would change your cybername dont give satan added airspace.


I’m in agreement with those who have already responded.

You were forgiven through Reconciliation. Pray Rosary and attend Mass. Adoration could help also. Seek help from Spiritual Director if thoughts continue.

Change information on Internet and/or use controls that prevent innapproriate website infromation. Spam information which is innappropriate.

Be assured of my prayers.


God chose you. He desires you as much as you desire Him. Jesus knows how easily we are tempted and how difficult this life is. Seek Him out.

Spend time with Him at your church. Attend Mass as often as you can. He has forgiven you and He is waiting for you.

You are in my prayers.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Dear Lord, who suffered on the Cross for us, I pray that you help Mr. Fausto in his anxiety. Give him grace, Lord, to get the help he needs, and to feel Your forgiveness. If it be your will, banish the ugly image from his memory, and show him an effective way to battle the evil of pornography.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit!


Still praying hard.

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