Below is an email I sent to my therapist when I was really distressed. He doesn’t speacilizd in OCD but has enough knowledge to diagnose is and he concluded, even after sending him this email which I was sure would cause him to diagnose me with pedophilia, said that I was still suffering from OCD. I know this should give me reassurance, but this all feels way too real for me for this to be OCD and would like some second opinions espdcially because I know there are a lot of pddofiles on this forum. I know it is very long, but I’d appreciate if you’d read as much as you need to make a judgement.
Hi Chris this is Nathan and this probably goes against some sort of guideline because this isn’t a part of a standard session but I am really distressed and need help. I don’t think the pedofile thoughts pertain to obsessional thinking anymore.
I already told you that this all started when I was watching a news report about a pedofile one day and then I had the random thought “could I be a pedofile?” and I had a major panic attack accompanied with extreme persistant anxiety. Even though I knew the answer was no as I had never been attracted to kids before ever in my life, but in my mind I had to be 110% sure that I wasn’t a pedofile. That same day my normal labido tanked, I started obsessing and trying to solve this question trying to prove that I wasn’t a pedofile, I started getting horrifingly disturbing intrusive thoughts about me doing sexual things to children which freaked me out, I searched for reassurance online to confirm that what I was experiencing was just anxiety and that I wasn’t a pedofile, and I started doing checking rituals which I’ve already told you about. In the beginning I would be checking 20 maybe 30 times a day. It was all encompassing and each time nothing would happen but sometimes I felt like there was a slight movement and then I would keep obsessing about it. I would ruminate about this question every second of the day, and there was no way I could stop thinking about it. Eventually the more I checked the more these groinal responses got worse and worse. It felt like each time there was more and more movement which would cause more paralyzing anxiety. Whenever I would see a child I would get extremely anxious and start doing certain compulsions like repeating a phrase over and over again and trying to diffuse the anxiety by thinking about evidence for why I wasn’t a pedofile. At this time I had no idea what this was. I was hoping it was just anxiety but I felt like I was a pedofile and was just in denial. In the beginning these obsessional periods would last for a week and then they would stop for a week and everything was normal but then it’d spike up again. However, as this condition progressed these periods of rest became less common to the point where it is now where I’m obsessing about it every second of the day.
Then I started analyzing any small movement in my groin which caused these groinal responses to get even worse. They became instantaneous and what’s even worse is that I began confusing symptoms of anxiety for symptoms of arousal. I started obsessing over my heart beating faster, light headedness, clumsiness, and hot flashes amongst other things whenever I would get panicked by a child’s presence. In tandem with these very very mild groinal responses it seemed so real to me. When I was around a child I would constantly be thinking “what if I’m attracted to them? Does this feeling mean I’m attracted to them? What does this groinal response mean?” along with other racing thoughts.
This was really scary to me because I had never experienced an instantaneous arousal like feeling before especially because I’m not an agressively sexual person; or maybe I just don’t remember because I’ve been struggling with this for 2 years. I had always fantasized about girls and checked girls out and I would be aroused by that but it wasn’t as instantaneous. But at the same time I KNEW I was attracted to girls. As soon as puberty hit I KNEW I was attracted to girls and even started fantasizing about girls when I was only 10-11z My old friends said that I always fell for girls way too easily and ON TOP of that I had a crush on a girl that was one year older than me for 6 years. But despite this evidence, this instananeous arousal type feeling that acompanied the intense anxiety from questioning whether I was a pedofile or not nullified those past experiences in my mind.
Then, the obsessions died down. In the beginning I used to alienate myself from all kids because I was constantly thinking “what if I see a kid and I’m attracted to them?” which caused me great anxiety of course. The more I exposed myself to kids however and the more I stopped giving attention to those thoughts the anxiety and groinal responses started to fade. I felt so liberated and thought that these shackles that were this disorder had finally been removed. However, only 3 weeks later I started obsessing over my little cousin who’s 4 years younger than me. During a family beach trip, I had glanced at her when we were all swimming and I instantly started thinking “Did I just look at her in a sexual way? Do I find her sexually attractive?” The anxiety hit me like it did that first time: sinking stomach, heart racing, sweating, all of that. This obsession would follow me throughout the beach trip and for months after that. She became the focus of my checking rituals and I was filled with dread after I was done checking. Then this expanded to my other little cousins too. I was being constantly bombarded with what ifs surrounding my cousins and was checking all of my bodily reactions to them whenever I thought about them. This lasted for months.
The only good thing about this period is that one night when I was seeking reassurance online I found out that this was actually a theme of OCD and I found many communities online with this same theme. I related to everything these sourced (international ocd foundation amongst other psychiatric professional) were telling me. For a little while, I thought I had found my answer. But of course this didn’t last. My OCD started questioning this too and I began posting on these forums seeking reassurance that I wasn’t a pedofile on a daily basis. In a year I would be doing this 4 times a day.
Then my obsessions started to focus on my little brother. This is one of the most horrendous themes of my obsessions and marked a really really dark turn in this disorder. Because of this transition I was obsessing less about my little cousins and eventually all the anxiety surrounding them dissipated like the anxiety over all little kids did. But, the unique thing about the obsessions over my brother is that I couldn’t escape him. I lived with him, so I was constantly having intrusive thoughts and what ifs surrounding him. The checking rituals got more extreme, and each time I would do this ritual, you guessed it, the groinal responses they produced would get worse and worse. It got to point where I had to avoid my brother as I was constantly confusing anxiety for arousal and the groinal responses were grtting progressively worse. A breaking point for me was when we went on a cruise during spring break. After months and months of checking and testing and feeding this obsessional thinking through various compulsions the groinal responses became near erections. I couldn’t be around him. These groinal responses were so real that I was convinced I was a pedofile. I saw nothing sexual about my brother NOTHING, these were so extreme and the intrusive thoughts and the anxiety was so exteme that I was convinced I was a pedofile. The worst part about this is that this theme lasted for the majority of my 1 year relationship with Beza. I loved her so much and being around her reminded me that I wasn’t a pedofile. That my feelings for girls were so so strong. That no one could ever replace her and that she was the one thing thoughout this whole condition that made me happy and filled me with joy. But, around 8 months into our relationship, when this theme started getting really bad, I started becoming really distant. I’ve already told you about this, but it devestated her. This disorder invaded this one person who took all the pain away from my life. Whenever I was with her I started thinking “Do I really love her? Am I really attracted to her? What if I’m mire attracted to kids?” My checking became comparing mental images of my brother to mental images of my Beza and eventually whatever groinal response to my brother became more instantaneous. I was still aroused by her whenever I was with her but what happened during checking confused me and drove me further into this obsession. Then it got worse, when I was checking I would think of sexual scenarios of Beza and then compared it to sexual scenarios with my brother. The former was extremely enjoyable but the latter filled me with dread and I could only entertain that image for a few seconds before stopping and then crying. I would do this around 50 times a day, and each time I would push myself to think of those scenarios of my brother for a longer period of time. Of course, the groinal responses to these scenarios got worse and worse. I never lost my arousal to my Beza, but the questioning was always there. And at some moments, regrettably, I would panick and start to masturbate but would never finish. This tore me apart and I couldn’t live with myself. It began to feel like something I HAD to do. This questioning and anxiety even affected intimate moments a few times which only fed my obsession. I was totally convinced I was a pedofile, and it was getting tok intense for me. I couldn’t tell if I loved her anymore, so I broke up with her. She cried on my arm for half an hour and after she left I experienced a feeling of regret was more intense than any other time in my life. I knew I loved her, and I let this disease win.
This however, wasn’t the darkest part at all. The darkest period of this disease is the one I am in now. In french class at the end of last school year we watched a movie about a child correctional school choir. At one point, I thought the main character looked good. Through obsession and reassurance seeking I would find out that this kid was 13 at the time of filming. It was a completely innocent thought with no sexual conntation. It was in the some vain as I could admire a guy looking good eith nothing sexual in there. I only thought he looked good because of his face, and could never even imagine having sex with him or any child that age because it’s not appealing to me at all. I think their bodies are so underdeveloped and i’m not sexually attracted to them at all it’s just weird to me. I’m only really attracted to girls that are a year younger than me or older. But anyways, this filled me with dread. I started thinking “I thought this child looks good does that mean I’m attracted to him? Does this mean I have a crush on him?” I was overwhelmed with a tsunami of anxiety. Of course I confused this anxiety for arousal, and has history tend to repeat itself I started obsessing over this boy and scanning my body for any sign of arousal whilst ruminated over whether I was attracted to him or not. This theme really consumed me, because it started by me thinking that the child looked good. Naturally this replaced the obsessions over my brother and all the anxiety surrounding him went away. The same pattern repeated for this kid however the cycle came quicker and with more intensity. I was obsessing about him more than any other child this OCD fixated on. The what ifs and intrusive thoughts drove me crazy. I would be in class seekinf reassurance on my usual forums literally every second of the day. I had to sure that what I was experiencing was typical of this theme of OCD, and users on the forum who got through this theme said that it was, but that reassurance only alieved my worries for a little bit and only caused me to crave more and more of it. Then, the darkest part hit me. The panicked masturbation became more frequent. Most of the time, I wouldn’t even be aroused. The groinal responses were still very mild but the panicked madturbation became frequent enough that whenever I would check the arousal would occur fast. And then i felt like masturbation was something I had to do. I didn’t enjoy it, there wasn’t any sexual ideation, I didn’t even think about him when I did it, and I wouldn’t do it all the time. Most of the time I would masturbate to women, but every once and a while when I was checking and filled with dread and despair and devoid of all hope I would feel the groinal response and just do it. This of course made these groinal responses worse and caused my attraction to women to tank even more. I started telling myself I couldn’t be attracted to women and that I must be a pedofile because of this. This has been cemented into my brain. While I was masturbating and while I was looking at girls in class I would tell myself “It’s no use stop wasting your time you’re not attracted to them you’re just in denial”. Everything got much darker, there was no light anymore, I couldn’t see anything else besides him. I felt like I conditioned my brain to only respond sexually to him. Lauren gave me some reassurance. I felt that same feeling with her that I felt with Beza. The joy, that feeling of escape, the attraction, everything. But then she broke my heart, and for a while the obsession didn’t come back. But then it did, with intrusive thoughts that didn’t surround the kid from the movie but around the theme of all kids again. Then eventually the kid was put back into the fray and the cycle started all over again. Now a new obsession has stemmed from this one. Now it focuses on 14 year old boy that I think look good in some way, not even sexually, not wanting to do anything sexual with them. This is what I’m hung up on. It’s so specific that it must be real. I must be a pedofile. Years of checking and years of this disease have just made me this way. I am just this now. People on reddit and other forums tell me it’s still OCD despite this but it is so far from irrational that it literally can’t possibly be. I must be a pedofile. I’m not aroused by “adult sexual material” with women in it anymore, I’m only aroused by this specific group and it feels so real now. Of course, these groinal responses are precluded by and intense anxiety and a what if, but I’m acclimated now towards responding sexually to this almost instantly now. I think this is the end of the road for me.
Last year was simultaneously the best and worst year of my life. It was the best because I had a good group of friends, because I had a girl that loved me more than anyone else on this planet (she’s tied with my mom MAYBE), because of all the experiences I had with these friends and my girlfriend, because I exuded confidence and was secure of my personality (I like to use this metaphor: last year I had a quiff, one that everyone liked and that made me seem like a reall cool guy. This year I shaved my head, and now I barely recognize myself), and because during the summer I had this really good internship in DC which is the BEST city in the world and gives me that same type of happiness I felt with Beza; but it was the worst because of this POCD, and because I didn’t know it was nothing compared to the hell I’m living in now. I think it’s too late for me. I think years of checking has busted up my natural sexuality, and that my attraction to girls will never return. I think this is just who I am now. I realize this pattern. You will probably say that if I just ignored the groinal responses, ignored the anxiety, ignore the intrusive thoughts, maybe stop masturbating to anything then everything will start to go back to normal. But I think I’m in too deep. In the beginning I can easily say that this was all irrational, but it seems far too real now. If I could go back in time to when I first asked my self that question I would slap my past self maybe like 100 times and say don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. You’ve overthought everything in your past, and in many situations that’s been helpful, but not this one. Trust me. You’re not a pedofile. You know you’re into girls. Go text your friends. That’s what I would say.
I just want to go back to normal but I don’t think I can. I want to start living life again and live in 2018 again. I think I have a lot of potential and what to do a lot of things in life but I’m so caught up in this disorder that I think it will be the death of me. When this started I said if this didn’t go away in a year I would kill myself.