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Am I a Pedophile?


Kaira L
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     Let me first start off by saying that I am a 16, almost 17, year old girl and all I've ever wanted to be since I was a little girl, is a mom. I love children. I love holding and caring for them, I love cuddling them and reading them stories, I love holding them and making them feel safe. I want to protect their innocence from the dangers of the world. But what if I'm what I've been trying to protect them from all along? I have been dealing with fears that I am a pedophile since I was about 11 or 12. I don't know how or when it started and I'm a little scared to know why. I believe the first thought I had was about my cousin who was 2 at the time, I was very upset and disgusted with myself and put my thoughts through my mental paper shredder. Turns out that the mental paper shredder only gets rid of them for about 2 seconds. There has not been one day, ONE DAY, that I have not had these thoughts. I can sleep, eat, breathe, walk, run, laugh, and cry but the thoughts are always in the back of my mind. This has not stopped me from being around children or babies, I have a child development class and I see all of my sweet little cousins, I watch and hang out with my little buddies.  The absolute last thing I'd ever want to do is hurt them and the thought that I might makes me feel like a completely terrible person, it makes me feel worthless to myself. The fact that I may have OCD (I haven't been diagnosed yet) is what keeps me going. I'm so scared that I don't have OCD. How do I know I'm not a pedophile who just simply doesn't want to be a pedophile? I also mean no offense to pedophiles, just putting that out there. Thanks in advance

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Hello, Kaira, welcome! :)

I'm sorry you've been struggling with these fears (and possibly OCD) for so long :( ... From what you describe (and it sounds genuine), it seems obvious to me that you're not a pedophile. It seems to me that you don't distinguish well between "loving children" (as you do) and being physically attracted to them and feeling tempted to some sexual behaviour (feeling tempted doesn't imply acting accordingly, of course). I wonder if you're able to remember when it started: Was there a sexual feeling that triggered your fear, or was there an information (hard or read somewhere) that "there are such people as pedophiles"? Unfortunately, you might have forgotten the real trigger - for instance, hearing somewhere something about pedophiles; an idea which later suddenly came back to your mind in a moment when you felt "love" for a child and your brain "combined it" and created the fear that "this might be pedophilia". This might have happened, just as one of "crazy / stupid (=uninformed)" thought children often have, but it was so scary that you haven't been able to get rid of it since, it's been haunting you - not because it's a true idea, but because it's scary and you've been unable (as a kid, not sharing it with a "knowledgeable" adult who could explain it to you) to get rational evidence against it.

What do you think?

You say you might have OCD. Does it mean you also have some compulsive behaviour or you only think this because of the obsessive thoughts?

May I also ask you if you've ever felt sexually attracted to anybody? Was a it ever a child, younger than you? (In any case; you're still in an age when your sexual identity/preferences may be still more of less confused...)

I also wonder if you also consider yourself to be somehow "childish" - close to children psychologically, not wanting to become an adult, ... (I'm just curious because a former member of this forum, also worried about being a pedophile, although he obviously wasn't one, was like this - very close to children psychologically, ...)

Take care!

 

 

 

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     Resolute, 

Thank you so much, it seems like a wonderful community so far, everybody seems so nice and that refreshing to see.

     LaLa,

I think I might have OCD for my obsessive thoughts. I also have dermatillomania and I maladaptively daydream (which I will probably make topics on their own), and from my research I've learned that both are linked heavily to OCD. I also did a lot of research on POCD and I have what I HOPE is a groinal response. I get feelings of being turned on but I don't feel emotionally turned on to children if that makes any sense to you. It's gotten to the point where I sometimes re imagine my thoughts to assure myself that I don't like children. I do feel urges to touch them, I'm not gonna lie, like my mind is telling me to do it to just stop the thoughts but I don't want to and it causes me a lot of anxiety and it makes me feel disgusted when I think about it. The weird thing is, I don't have urges when I'm around children, just when I'm alone with my thoughts. When I changed my cousins diaper it didn't go through my mind at all and I didn't feel any urges to do it. If I feel urges does that mean I want to do it and I'm going to do it? I couldn't imagine myself actually doing it because I don't want to and it doesn't feel like it's something I'm capable of.

I'm also going to talk about something I've only told two people in my life. I don't know for sure, but I think I might have been molested as a child. I have a lot of memories of me pretending that someone, an old man, was touching me and I didn't like it, I was saying "no" and things like that. I used to touch myself and feel really guilty after too. Sorry if this is off topic, I just wanted your input on this, lets get back on topic.

When I was younger my mom was paranoid that I would be molested or raped, and she still is. When she was my age, 16, she was sexually assaulted. Ever since I could remember I knew what pedophilia was. My mother made sure of that. I also do feel myself afraid to grow up, but I'm sure it's scary for a lot of people right?

I'm going to leave off with this one question that's a little off topic; Do you think it's possible to have lived with anxiety for so long that you become numb to the feeling?

 

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Hi again,

I don't have much time, but I'd like to write at least some remarks:

 

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The weird thing is, I don't have urges when I'm around children, just when I'm alone with my thoughts.

I suppose this "principle" is normal and probably rather common. For instance, it was the same for me in several cases when I was ("platonically") enamoured with somebody: I had different temptations in my daydreams but usually not when I was around that person.

 

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Sorry if this is off topic, I just wanted your input on this.

It's OK; you're never off topic when you write about something you'd like to "discuss" ;-).

Well; it's hard for me to give some input. Sometimes, memories are false, but... as far as I know, it happens mainly when another person suggests you that "this might have happened" and then you imagine it and begin to feel that you "remember" it. If in your case there wasn't anybody who "triggered it" like this, then it seems probable (that it happened to you). Although; your mom's "paranoia" might have influenced you to such extent that false memories appeared; who knows. In any case; it would probably be beneficial to talk to a psychologist / psychotherapist about it. Not only about this, of course; I think all the problems you mentioned could be a reason to enter psychotherapy. What do you think about this option?

 

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When I was younger my mom was paranoid that I would be molested or raped, and she still is. When she was my age, 16, she was sexually assaulted. Ever since I could remember I knew what pedophilia was. My mother made sure of that.

This has probably been very hard not only for your mom, but also for you :( . It reminds me of the fact that when in a family, food, eating, and dieting are always a somehow "special, recurrent topic", it's a child is in higher risk to develop an eating disorder (although, for instance, "body image" doesn't need to be involved; just "too much talk about eating"). So, your problems may be partially a result of the fact that you've been exposed to such topics too often and it impacted even your unconsciousness. 

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I also do feel myself afraid to grow up, but I'm sure it's scary for a lot of people right?

Yes, I suppose it's rather common. (I was asking about a particular desire to be a child; that's different and less frequent.)

 

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 Do you think it's possible to have lived with anxiety for so long that you become numb to the feeling?

 

Yes, I think so. Numbness is one of possible "coping mechanisms".

 

 

 

 

 

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Don't worry too much on it Kaira. You're so young and don't need something like this to make you feel like shit. As human we're sexual animals and it's quite normal to have socially taboo desires. What's important is that you don't act on them and I have a feeling you won't. Are you attracted to adults too? Is the potential paedophilia a secondary desire? You'll be okay :)

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     Thanks so much for all of your responses. I am attracted to adults and I wouldn't call the thoughts something that I desire. They are more or less something that I absolutely hate with every fiber of my being. I hate all of this, I don't want any of it, but I'm scared. I feel like my mind wouldn't come up with something like that if I didn't want to have it. Then again, thats what OCD is about right? I don't know, I just want to be a mom and I just want children to be safe with me.

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On March 3, 2016 at 4:14 AM, Small said:

She doesn't need therapy. She's a young woman with normal desires. Don't need some therapist encouraging her to ostracise herself from society because of a socially geared movement of bs. 

That would be a bad therapist, but I meant a good one. I don't think the need for therapy is anyhow related to her "desires". I suggest it only because she's suffering from anxiety, fears rooted in some bad experiences (probably in the influences of her traumatized mother) and perhaps even OCD. Such problems don't "require" psychotherapy, but when the therapist is good, it's much better to have his/her help and to ged rid of the suffering faster, more effectively and probably for a much longer time (or even forever).

 

Kaira, if it's really necessary that your mother agrees with therapy, then you should probably wait for being legally an adult, which isn't so far away. I hope, however, that you'll find some good ways of coping with your problems in the meantime. The starting point is to realize that you're not "bad" in any sense, you're never going to intentionally do anything harmful to anybody, so you can be with children without any fear. When your obsessive thoughts come, just "let them be", they'll go away and very probably they'll go away faster when you won't "fuel" them (unwillingly) by emotions - by your anger at yourself, fear of being "bad" etc.

Take care!

Edited by LaLa
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