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Drastically afraid of being a pedophile (A bit of venting)

Mr Jackie xoxo

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Um, honestly, I’m not sure where to start. I’m not even sure if this a good place to do this; I just don’t know where else to go. For the last 2 months, I have been struggling with the fear of me being a pedophile. It started when I read the words “repressed pedophile.” My body instantly went into a panic after reading those words, and I couldn’t shake the anxiety. I managed to go to sleep and was fine the next day. Two days go by and I’m laying down about to go to sleep. Out of nowhere a thought popped into my head. The thought consisted of sexual acts with a child. Couldn’t tell you the age. I instantly tried to block it out, but I just couldn’t get it to go away. I began to panic and tears followed. I broke down after 2 hours of trying to get the thought to go away. I cried so fucking much. I just wanted it to go away. Eventually, I got on my knees and begged God to help me. I felt immediate relief and managed to fall asleep. The next day I woke up feeling the exact same. The thought still present; and since then, I’ve been scared that I’m a pedophile. The thought has gone away now but I constantly am scared I’m going to look at a child and find an attraction. I’m constantly filled with anxiety and worry when I’m around children. I’m afraid to look at them. I’m afraid to interact with them. I’m just so fucking afraid that I am a pedophile. But my biggest issue is that I’ve never felt an attraction towards a child. Not once have I ever looked at a child and said “I want to fuck them.” Nor have I ever been emotionally attracted to a child. In all honesty, I find them extremely annoying. I can’t stand it when they cry and scream. So I don’t understand why I can’t shake this fear, and it’s truly ruining my life. I’ve become very depressed—well, I was depressed before, but it’s drastically worse. I just... I’m honestly so scared of being a pedophile. I fear that one day I will enjoy masturbating to children or be attracted to children so much that I contemplate suicide very seriously  everyday. I would rather kill myself than be a pedophile. I don’t want to be that way. And I’m also scared because I’ve looked at lolicon and enjoyed it, but now, it turns me off. I don’t enjoy it anymore,  and I feel really disgusted that I even looked at it to begin with. Even when I did look at it, it was more of an in the moment type thing. I never thought to myself “hey, I want to look at lolicon.” Also, lately, when I watch porn: if the girl looks really young, it turns me off. I can’t explain it. It just bothers me. I don’t know... I think a lot of this worry is coming from the fact that I know most pedophiles are pedophiles because they were molested when they were young. Now, I’m not sure if I was molested; but when I was 9 or 10, my brother(12 or 13) made me perform oral sex on multiple occasions. Now, I won’t lie and say I didn’t like it. I was 9. I thought it was fun. I thought we were playing. Now that I’m older, I understand that it was wrong, but he knew I liked it, and that’s the most fucked up part. He would always say “if you do this, we can play later,” and that would always get me excited and I’d get angry when we didn’t do it. He always said he wanted to practice.  That went on for about a year or so, and nothing ever happened again. As I got older, I knew that it was wrong and I honestly just tried to suppress it. When I was 13 or 14, he asked me if I remembered. I told him yes, but I don’t care to much for talking about it. He agreed and it’s never been brought up again. I feel like he regrets doing it, but I think it definitely has affected me psychologically. Whether I’m aware of it or not. And I also feel very ashamed for having sexual fantasies about my sister. I don’t have them now, and I never actually wanted to live out those fantasies, but they were still present. This gave me grief for a long time. I would always pray to God to forgive me. I still do to this day sometimes. I’ve also had sexual fantasies about my cousin. These weren’t like the ones I had with my sister in the sense that I actually wanted to act on these fantasies, but I know it’s wrong so I didn’t. This has also brought me a great deal of stress, because I feel like I’m a sick fuck for wanting to have sex with family members, but I also think that the interactions I had with my brother have had some kind of subconscious affect on me. Perhaps maybe the reason why I even had these sexual fantasies to begin with. I just... I’m afraid that one day I’ll look at a child and have a fantasy about that child. I’m just so fucking scared all the time.  I mean, I’ve been talking to this girl(she’s 21), and I really like her. She genuinely brings me so much joy, and that confuses me. If I have such a strong attraction to this girl, why can’t I make myself stop being afraid of becoming a pedophile. I guess I’m just looking to vent, honestly, and for some opinions. 

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I’m in the same boat as you. I didn’t have to even read all of the post after a few sentences because I know exactly how it all plays out. What I find simillar about both of our experiences is that it started out very malign and indisputably false but then excalated to become “true” in our misguided, irrational minds. For me it started just by asking myself “Could I be a pedofile”. The easy and obvious answer was no, there was no evidence that would support that I was one. But here’s the thing, both you and I we kept thinking about it until it spiralled out of control. Something I try to remind myself to bring me out of these dellusions for a little bit is that before all of this I would have NEVER considered that I was a pedofile because I NEVER exhibitted any traits of one. I did occasionally have fantasies of my cousins, like you, but those were VERY RARE and earlier in my teens and at that age you can really get off to anything. I’m here to reassure you that you are not a pedofile, but that reassurance will not last. I’d suggest nipping this in the butt before it gets really bad. I’ve been struggling with this for almost a year and a half. I can forsee everything that will happen to you if you don’t start taking steps to getting better. Trust me you have not experienced the worst of this awful, awful disease. Do something before it gets really bad. Whatever it takes. Talk to your parents. Send them articles about POCD. if they love you they’ll help you in seeking help. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Get help.

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From your description, it seems to me you very probably suffer from POCD - what do you think? You may learn more here https://moodsmith.com/pocd/ or here https://www.intrusivethoughts.org/blog/monster-overview-common-features-treatment-pocd/ or you can google POCD and see more info.


2 hours ago, Mr Jackie xoxo said:

I think a lot of this worry is coming from the fact that I know most pedophiles are pedophiles because they were molested when they were young. 

You don't have to worry about this at all; it's a misconception - you can read more here, for instance:


and also:

https://theconversation.com/the-causes-of-paedophilia-and-child-sexual-abuse-are-more-complex-than-the-public-believes-94915 - an excerpt:


Research increasingly suggests that a paedophilic orientation is innate. But this does not explain all child sexual abuse, because not all paedophiles act on their sexual interest in children, and many child sexual abusers do not have paedophilia. 

There is some truth to the cycle-of-abuse explanation too, but again the reality is more complex. It is clear that most victims of child sexual abuse do not become perpetrators. Most victims are female, while most perpetrators are male, and there is no direct link between victimisation and perpetration.

You also experience a lot of shame associated with early sexual experiences, while there's no reason to be ashamed for what you did as a kid - it wasn't "bad"; kids don't know the meanings of such "games" which (-the meanings) adults attribute to them, and they cannot "break (moral) rules" when they are not even aware of them. 

Here are some articles about shame some parts of which might be interesting for you for different reasons:





Here are some proofs that you're not at all a pedophile (and they're just from a short text - if we knew your life, we would have much more of them) :

2 hours ago, Mr Jackie xoxo said:

it turns me off. I don’t enjoy it anymore,  and I feel really disgusted that I even looked at it to begin with. Even when I did look at it, it was more of an in the moment type thing.


2 hours ago, Mr Jackie xoxo said:

if the girl looks really young, it turns me off


2 hours ago, Mr Jackie xoxo said:

I’m afraid that one day I’ll look at a child and ...

What you suffer from is fear, not an attraction / orientation. That's why I suppose you have POCD. I hope you'll find soon a good therapist who'll help you to process all your disturbing childhood experiences and to overcome this phobia / obsession.

Good luck and keep posting!

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I’m sorry if I’m doing this wrong. I don’t use these forums often. Actually, this is my first time. I just want to say thank you both for replying. What you said has helped some. It’s just going to take some time for me to figure stuff out. I really do want to seek out a therapist but I’m not exactly sure how to go about it. I live in the middle of nowhere, and I’m pretty sure the therapist sucks. Only reason he has a job is because,well, it’s in the middle of nowhere. I also don’t want people to misconceive why I want to see a therapist. I’ve told my parents and my sister about the intrusive thoughts. Hell, I broke down in front of my mom and dad. Was crying like a baby. I feel like crying now, honestly. I truly, in my heart, know that I’m not a pedophile, but I constantly have to fight my brain. I don’t know. Just thank you so much for listening and replying to me. I needed this

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I feel you man. What state (assuming you’re in the US) do you live in? Do you think you’d be able to get a therapist out of state?


Here’s a nice resource that’ll help you in finding therapists in your area (out of state is probably the best option for you). I understand your apprehension in getting help. Many “old school” therapists may be unaware of POCD and may give you a false diagnosis. You don’t need to rush into things. Start by emailing a therapist you can trust. They’ll be hard to find but I was able to do so and recieved a formal POCD diagnosis and guidance on how to start getting help. Hopefully this has helped :) you’re doing the right thing by starting to seek help. Stay strong!

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I live in Louisiana. Claiborne Parish. And I’m not sure if I would be able to get a therapist out of state. We’re not the wealthiest family. My parents are fairly understanding, though. So I may discuss this with them. I just...honestly, my anxiety has spiked tremendously since doing this. So I’m not sure if this was a good idea. I was doing okay for a good two weeks, but this week has been tough. I just don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me, and it pisses me off. Ughhhh. Fuck. I don’t want to be a pedophile. I just could not live with myself if I was. I truly couldn’t. And that’s what’s eating me up the most. I just want to go back to normal. Go back to two months ago. I was fucking fine. Now, everyday I have to deal with this bullshit. I just can’t take it anymore. 

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I see it's being very hard for you lately :( . Mental illnesses can be very distressing and painful :( ... But they can be treated and even cured! OCD has a relatively high rate of successful treating, as far as I know!

I'd recommend you to see a psychiatrist to learn about medical treatment options. OCD fears can be well managed by some medication. But medication itself isn't as effective as its combination with psychotherapy.

And there's nowadays the possibility of on-line therapy, via Skype! It's exactly for people like you, who cannot access a therapist in person. And ODC is usually treated by congnitive-behavioral therapy which is more suitable for this than, for instance, psychodynamic. You can google it, the offer is quite broad and I hope it's possible to choose someone with good recommendations!

Therapy via Skype has some inconveniences (as lack of eye contact, possible technical problems, ...), but it's much better than the one therapist near to you whom you can't trust.

Here's one account from a therapist about this experience and you can find more if you'd like:


It's great your family is supportive! (There are parents who reject their children due to their mental health issues or deny their existence!)

I'd suggest to focus on the fact that you suffer from fear and intrusive thoughts (/ OCD), not from pedophilia. Yes, it's scary that one would suddenly turn into a pedophile. But it's not what's happening to you nor what will happen in future. You "only" need to cure the phobia and the intrusive thoughts and it's possible. 

12 hours ago, Mr Jackie xoxo said:

I’m sorry if I’m doing this wrong. I don’t use these forums often.

You're not doing anything wrong! I hope you can relax - stop worrying about "the right way" to use a forum - and just try to get here what you need. (If you wander, there are some rules: Posting nude pictures, graphic descriptions of violent or pornographic nature, hate-speech are all forbidden ;) .)

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