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benster

A taboo struggle

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I have been dealing with an issue that has created a very lonely life for myself and has put distance between people that I care about. I pretty much realized that I was attracted to underage children when I was 14 and accepted myself as a pedophile by the time I was 17 years of age and by the age of 20 I realized that I had no sexual attraction to adults at all and I could only get aroused thinking about young children.

I have never been active sexually with a child but I think about them non stop and I feel like I am very much obsessed by them. I get excited seeing children on tv or in movies, I get excited when I am around children and mentally undress the child in my head. I masturbate to online stories and also masturbate to childrens clothing. I am tired of being this way and want help but I cannot afford to see a therapist so I came here. I looked around and it seems I am the only one struggling with this.

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You're not the only one dealing with this by any means. The reason that no one is talking about this is becuase there is no subject more taboo, more violently emotional than sexual abuse of children (which is how all pedophilia is viewed), and people who have pedophilic urges are rightly afraid to talk about it (IMHO).

I share the taboo and feel that revulsion, by the way, as will most all the people reading this thread. This is very difficult stuff to talk about. Unless some very strict rules are followed by all participants, we may not be able to talk about this at all. I ask for your strict adherence to these rules or I may need to cut off discussion.

If we learn that you have abused/touched any children, we will immediately ban you from further talk here in this community. The same ban applies if we learn that you are intending to abuse/touch a child in the future.

Detailed talk about sexual fantasies involving children is not appropriate here ever. It's okay to say that they are occurring, but that is as far as you should go.

What is appropriate to talk about here is your emotional state.

I have to tell you that in my experience, the view from the practicing psychologists's perspective (in as much as I may lay claim to understand that viewpoint) is that pedophile equals sociopath. The view is that however someone ends up being pedophilic, that experience makes them act in ways that are dishonest and untrustworthy. In the cases I've consulted on in the past, uniformly the view has been that you can't do therapy with someone who is a pedophile. it is only when they have been caught and are mandated into a treatment program that anyone will work with them. The element of cohersion is thought necessary for effective treatment to occur. I'd like to think that not all people with pedophilic urges are sociopathic about it, but at the same time, the thing that pedophilic people desire is so monsterously abusive and so unfixable (for children if abuse should occur) that I know why therapists are generally so resistant to working with such people. They don't want to be responsible for believing someone who lies to them and then goes out and harms a child.

Talk in this community is not therapy. Sociopathic or not, people who have pedophilic urges are still struggling with those urges; there is a lot of shame and a lot of emotion and a lot of pain. I've been around enough to know that much. If you want to talk about the pain and the shame, that is okay with me, and I hope it will help you. If you make any excuses about whether or not sexual contact with children is ever appropriate, you're out of here.

Mark

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I like to think that I am not like the typical pedophile and honestly feel that I am not a sociapath. I have been around children and won't even have a sexual thought about them but when not around children I do. I find that to be very strange and cannot explain why that is that way. I have no desire to talk about my fantasies or talk about anything that would try and come off that I am promoting adult and child relations because I am not in anyway.

I think its rather scarey and sad that a pedophile like me can only get help by a therapist if I abuse a child. I guess society views us like we dont want to change or even prevent ourselves from acting out with a child. I honestly feel like that I will never ever do anything with a child but that doesnt mean the attraction won't be there and that I won't struggle with those desires. I so much wish that I wasnt this way but I dont know how to get help if I can't get it unless I do something stupid. Its like telling a murder that you can't get help because you have murdered someone and you will always be a murder or any type of crime.

Anyway I hope I didnt say anything to ban me from this place

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I'm setting the rules out in front so that the risk of that is less. Participating here won't work for you if you try to use this place to justify or excuse pedophilic behavior. I will delete such posts.

Use this place to talk about loneliness, distress, grief, remorse, self-hatred, depression, anxiety, etc. Lots of people here will be able to relate to emotions like that. It's not always important why you might feel the way you do; sometimes it's just nice to know that you are not alone in feeling a particular way.

Don't make it all about your own issues. Talk to other people about the problems that they are having and make connections that way; don't wait for people to come to you. Give a little in a productive supportive way, and you may get back something.

Regarding therapy for your issues, I am not saying that no one will work with you. I'm just saying that in my experience, it will be harder for you to find a therapist who wants to take on someone who is struggling with issues of pedophilia. What that boils down to, I think, is that few want to run the risk of aiding someone who might very likely go out and abuse a child. And, few can get past their revulsion to find a way to find something they'd like about the person. Also, sexual reorientation interventions don't work very well. They never worked very well when they were applied to 'treatment' of homosexuality, anyway. I know very little about how someone would work with pedophiles in a mandated sex-offender group, but what I do know suggests that a lot of what is done has to do with trying to grow empathy in the minds of offenders. Some of the therapy is trying to get offenders to see their victims as people who have been harmed so that they are less likely to offend in the future. Valuable as that may be, it is not a way to alter orientation. It just makes that orientation less palatable. Another way of saying that is that it doesn't take away the urge, it just trys to govern the urge.

If you were to go to therapy, what do you think you'd want to talk about (besides the obvious urges you are struggling with)?

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So I guess I should pretty much stop worrying about trying to see a therapist to vent about my struggles and just deal with other issues to prevent myself from ever acting on any desires. I guess a major reason that I never have acted on my desires was the fact that I Do Know how a victim feels because I was abused as a child for a very good portion of my childhood and I am not sure if that plays into who I am now. I just have never been comfortable with adults on alot of levels and maybe I am still a kid trying to have a normal life. I wouldnt want that to happen to anyone and thats how I know for a fact that I will never act on anything, yet for some very weird reason I want to get rid of the attraction because I would live to relate better with adults and not be so preoccupied with other things. I feel sad alot because I feel bad that I have those Desires and feelings and wish that I didnt. Heck suicide has been in my head for the longest time and think about it weekly. People act like people like me are proud to be this way but we struggle just the same as everyone else. Anyway I hope to find a non therapist way to get over these feelings since thats the only way that I can.

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I guess a major reason that I never have acted on my desires was the fact that I Do Know how a victim feels because I was abused as a child for a very good portion of my childhood

You were abused. You feel suicidal on a regular basis. We can definitely talk about these things, if you want to.

It's hard to talk about pedophilia becuase of the baggage that comes with that idea/concept/way of being. Because you were yourself victimized, you know how it can affect children. If you lead with "I've got these urges", immediately people, including myself, will assume the worst. We've dealt with people who have been compulsive about pedophilia before and we've been lied to before (or have heard cautionary stories). We are cautious and prejudiced as a result. We don't want to support or enable a behavior that we know is abusive. We do, however, want to support a human being in pain.

it's perfectly reasonable to talk about being abused, and it is equally a part of who you are, you're saying. This community is just getting started, so traffic is low still, but if you look around here, and on other communities, you will find that many people want to talk about the experience of having been abused. Many people want to talk about the experience of having suicidal thoughts on a regular basis. People can relate to abuse. You are not alone in having been abused.

Mark

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benster,

I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through. I know a lot of people would judge you just for your urges, but I commend you for your strength in talking about such a difficult subject. I don't have any advise to offer, but wanted to let you know that, while I haven't been through what you're dealing with, I do know what it's like to be suicidal, and I hope you can get better. I'm sure there are people in your life who love you and need you around, and a feeling you would never act on isn't going to change that.

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perhaps the matter may be dealt with indirectly. Perhaps solving the problem of abuse and other issues will solve the presented issue. perhaps the presented issue is a function of other issues. One hopes that method will get tolerable results.

There does remain this matter: the issue that is tormenting the client is a matter that cannot be discussed. A work around is possible, if a work around is desired.

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I do not feel disgust or repulsion over what you are feeling. The way I look at it is that it is not your fault. As a society, we judge way too much, and we need to learn to accept and help people who are asking for it. But...there has to be honesty, and the strength not to act on urges. When I think about my little boy when he grows up, I think "what will his struggles be?" And it makes me sad that we are sometimes born with no control over what our brains are telling us. This is why parents of murderers and rapists etc,.usually still stand behind their children, because at one time, they were their little boy or girl. It upsets me right now, that if my son was asking for the help and felt these feelings and no one listened or cared to take him on, than what hope is there for him? Is it societies fault as a whole because they failed to treat him as a human being and treated him like a monster? Or is it his fault for being born that way? I applaud you for wanting to want help of some sorts, and I hope you get it. Yes, little children are innocent, but you were one yourself before and you deserve long-term treatment to deal with the emotions that come with that. Too many people have suffered because they have to do the crime first before they are treated. That is not the way to live life. Where is everyones empathy?

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Guest ASchwartz

Jennifer and everyone else,

I have to support Mark in his comments about pedophilia and postings on this site. Putting aside my role as a mental health professional in order to speak as a father, I find the entire issue of pedophilia extremely uncomfortable.

Having said that, I do feel empathy for the torment and suffering of those who struggle with the "compulsion" called pedophilia. My empathy with that struggle must never be confused with any kind of support.

Part of my problem with the issue is that there is a groups who support and even advocate pedophilia. To me, this is too much. Freedom and democracy, in my opinion, does NOT include the right to exploit the helpless or those who are not ready or able to make their own choices. Adults can choose their sexual orientations and CONSENTING ADULT PARTNERS can engage in sexual activities of their choice. However, children are NOT adults and do not have the capacity to make such choices. This is why pedophilia is defined as abuse.

Once again, yes, I empathize with the pain felt by some of these people. No, I do not in any way condone or agree with having sex with children.

Allan

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Benster :)

You are amazing! .. out of all the difficulties that most people have this is definately one of the most stigmatised and emotionally charged issues that has to be resolved over the coming decades. You've just come out with it ... very admirable.

Personally, my attitude on reorientation is one of stubborn support, I believe that anyone who has the capacity to develop a paraphilia inherently has the ability to get out of it. After all, if change wasn't possible, then how would a paraphilia develop in the first place? Thats one tree I'm not taking my eye off (read my post in belief in god for that to make sense)! Whilst I believe there may be a degree of 'imprinting' thats irriversable, I do believe that it can be disabled. Not 'cured' but grown out of. After all, it was grown into.

Look at the very stuff were made of, we have within us an inheritance of evolution over 100's of millions of years, it's just that it doesn't get 'expressed' ... I think the same kinda stuff happens in the brain and mind. The mind is far more maleable than a genome, it has to be, otherwise we'd be extinct.

NEVER listen to ANYONE who says you'll never change ... thats upto YOU. Anyone who trys to tell you you won't change, call them a "Phrenologist"! Responsibility isn't all about being inhibited, it's also about choosing who you want to be, it just takes time and effort.

I think it was jennifer who siad that honesty is all important, I agree. If we are all honest with each other and with ourselves, then we can be in a far better position to be responsible and a force for good.

Out of curiosity benster, do you often feel as though you have to act around adults so that you will be liked? ... I'm wondering how rewarding you find the company of other adults.

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Prehaps there is no easy way, :confused: but you can start with getting a form of therapy being abused as a child. Do you have health insurance? You don't have to tell them about your thoughts in order not to bias any potential therapist but its important to start somewhere, are you doing this?

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You have got to think! These are little children that you are so boldly talking about! Children that are to young to even know the meaning of the word PEDOPHILE! To young to even know the meaning of the word TRUST! Yet that is what a young child is doing when they listen to a pedophile!

These children don't know right from wrong at their age! They look upon adults as some one to turn to if they are in trouble, not to be abused!

I've seen what's happened, whats going on in their head, and do you know what makes this all so sad. Is the fact that the child really thinks that it's their fault! Their fault that an adult has fondled them! Their fault that the Police are involved, They believe that if they wouldn't of let it happen in the first place, then these Pedophiles wouldn't be in prison and their family's wouldn't be upset at the fact that their son has molested them. Even though they was to young to know what was going on.

These children are sooo scared, believe me! They think the worst. They start to believe what the Pedophile has planted in their head. That their mummy & daddy won't love them any more. That they'll go to hell when they die.

Have any of you seen a child that has been abused! The damaging affects to the child's mental state of mind. The horror in their eye's when they see an adult. Has anyone thought of this!

Well I've been there, done it and wore the t/shirt and believe you me, it's not very nice! The scars that are left behind are to distraught to even think about!

Paula:(

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