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A 20-year old guy who feels on the Brink of Suicide...Help...


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Hi every user here, I saw that there was a similar topic of a young pedophile on this board that got many pages of posts and responses. I'm not sure whether those were helpful responses, as I didn't read it since his situation was slightly different than my own, but I was hoping that I may get a similar volume of responses because I REALLY need to discuss what's on my mind and besides the anonymity of the internet, there really is no way to do it.

This is going to be a looong post, most likely, as I do have a lot to say, but I just want to start by saying please - Be Honest. If you read all this and decide you hate me or that you think I'm scum or you have a crippling hatred of anybody who feels an attraction for children be as MEAN as you want, literally you can curse me out, wish me death, etc, etc, that's fine with me...but I want to hear honesty. I want to hear how a non-biased crowd would judge me and not just those who are positive while the negative guys back out of the topic in disgust. I need to be "judged" I guess, as I'm biased for obvious reasons. I've always considered maybe talking to a friend about this. Maybe I should reconsider...but we'll see how this topic goes.

The other thing I would request is that before posting, please read this whole post. I don't know how it's going to turn out as I'm just typing as it comes to me, but I'd imagine it'll be long. The reason for that is I really want to express all the details of the situation and give a glimpse of who I am. People hear the word "Pedophile" And I think they often jump to certain conclusions...some Boogey-man style sex monster, a predator who preys on innocent child victims, grooming and manipulating them - sly and sociopathic and snake-like. That has always caused trouble for me because my identification as a pedophile seemed so opposite what I really actually was. If I identify as a pedophile does that make me one of THOSE people? But then how come I don't feel like one of them? AM I one of them and I just don't know it? I hope to give at least a glimpse into who I am....for better or for worse.

Now let me preface this by saying...I would never touch or hurt a child. I never have even considered it. Just because I have this attraction does not mean it changes who I am as a person. It's not that I resist temptation it's that there IS no temptation. I mean that quite honestly. I have never felt a desire to touch a boy inappropriately, much less taking things further. My attachment to them is very very much emotional....I simply like them better than adults. Here comes the red flag, I was a camp counselor for four years...and while people might be outraged about that it wasn't because I wanted to stare at boys, or get close to them, or put myself where I can "stalk" them, it's because I genuinely liked, appreciated, and cared for them. I don't think I care for my real friends half as much as I care for any one of my campers...But the thing is I think I care for them too much. Appreciate them TOO much. I get close to kids in a way that I am realizing is just not normal. To me, these 8-year-olds are as good as any one of my same-age friends. But before we get there, some backstory....

So anyways, history time I guess. My life was pretty unremarkable. Mom..Dad..etc. No tragedies, no abuse, no traumas, no anything. Just a normal childhood, with the one difference I suppose being that I was always immature for my age. Emotionally, I mean. Intelligence wise, I was usually well ahead of the curve - I've always been smart. But as far as emotional maturity goes that wasn't so good. I actually refused to be potty-trained until I was four, stubbornly insisting that I would not give up diapers until I was four, and then doing so right on my fourth birthday. I also stubbornly refused to give up pacifiers until I must have been six or seven. My mom did reject these things, to be sure, she didnt just let me do whatever I wanted, but she did kind of "coddle" me....or baby me a bit in that she did such things as brush my hair for me and make my bed and buy/lay out my clothes all throughout my life, which would continue through high school. For the most part though she was a loving parent besides maybe being way too controlling.

I suppose I've always had some bit of fascination with kids. My favorite character in any cartoon show was almost exclusively the youngest character (For example, Goten and Trunks on DBZ) and I would always be much more interested in what they did than anybody else. This must have honestly even been when I was 9 or 10. Things really got weird when I was 11 or 12 and I began to discover that I had a diaper fetish. Well I didnt know it was a FETISH of course at first. But just a fascination with diapers that made me start looking them up on google-search. I was still in elementary school at this time. Even before that references to kids wetting their pants or wetting the bed on TV shows always fascinated me and I would remember these scenes well into my older life. I can even vividly remember two stories of my friend not even WETTING his pants but just TELLING me about when he wet his pants from SECOND GRADE...yet I can still replay the whole conversation in my head. It stuck with me that much for years. Why I couldnt tell you...when the diaper fascination turned to fetish I don't really know, but at some point it did, though it wasn't all "sex" and a lot more about emotion.

If there is one thing I'm sure of it's my desire to wear diapers and be treated like a kid. ever since I started looking up diaper things online Ive always wanted to wear one, wet it, etc...to be treated as a little kid as well. why I couldnt tell you but it's always been my fantasy. The first wet dream I ever had was when I was 12, and it was me getting a piggy back ride from a cartoon character before peeing my pants on his back. (Embarassing story anyways so might as well just fill in the awkward details...I was Billy from Billy and Mandy and I was riding on Grim. As far as I know the choice of characters was 100% random lol). Of course at first i THOUGHT I merely wet the bed because of the dream, which I had done for a couple years till I was maybe 9, but I soon found out what a wet dream was and what I had had.

Now Ive always as I said, been pretty immature. I actually slept with stuffed animals up till middle school until my parents pressured me into stopping. I never grew out of video games, cartoons, kid shows, etc. I never grew out of my childlike fears of the dark, of thunderstorms, etc. While my fears would dull in high school, for the most part I always have felt like a child in a grown-up's body....a frustrating feeling to be sure, but less so in grades 1-12. It gets much worse (and I know we're time jumping here) when college begins and I get to a good school and have to start worrying about "real life" and having a "career" and all that stuff.To me, I just honestly don't care. I'm smart enough to do it but I don't have the drive or the maturity or the responsibility. Some of my childish aspects have dulled, but they really haven't gone away entirely and while my peers seem to outgrow me, I feel kind of stuck behind, not able to grow up and not really willing to. I don't; think these things are direclty tied to the diaper thing and the eventual pedophile thing but the three aspects all fit so tightly together I don't know that there isn't SOME kind of relation...

Now I know we're still not even up to the point of what is surely going to turn out to be practically a novel but just bear with me here. That development was going on of course, but that wasn't everything important in my life. Ive talked about events but not really my personality. I had friends, though not many...I tended to form close friendships rather than be a blossoming social butterfly. Still I wasn't a shy loner or anything. I had my group of friends and we were very close. I continued doing well in school and doing extra-curricular activities, and etc etc. I'd say my defining qualities were kind of being a bit of a clown, and a bit awkward, and a bit of a mess, but a likeable one. I was nice and honest to a fault, I literally almost cannot tell a lie, and I always tried to do the right thing. I seldom fought with anybody, and especially in middle and high school I had a decent network of friends though I was probably always looked at as a "nerd" and a bit "weird", not in a totally terrible way. I'd say I was about mid-tier in my school if that makes sense. Kinda nerdy and not in with the popular kids and jocks, but not somebody people would be embarassed to talk to and avoid at all costs, and relatively cool with a bunch of people.

Of course I do have trouble making new friends that go BEYOND aquaintences. I blame this on my times at sleepaway camp where I was bullied pretty badly. I was never really a sports guy, more into pretend play and video games, and I didnt really fit in with the other kids at those camps who mostly were into sports and more traditionally masculine. I got picked on pretty bad and it did terrible things for my self-esteem and kind of gave me a bit of social anxiety. I said I was cool with a lot of people in school but seldom got close to them, and the more time went on the more I kind of closed myself off. Three summers at camp, and all three times my friends were always younger than me, while the kids my age picked on me. I still think this had something to do with why I am nervous around kids my age.

Anyways....moving on once more...now to the important part. I hung with the neighborhood kids a bunch when I was at home. I must have been 14 at the time, they were around 12, but one was around 8. I didnt know him well at the time but I got to know him little by little. Eventually he sat on my lap for some reason for like five minutes, and the feelings were so confusing. It wasnt like...an erection or anything...but it was just confusing as hell. I found myself thinking about him. A lot. I don't remember how or what led me to it but somehow this led to me looking up pedophile on google....I dont remember when my realization came but I realized I "liked" him. I realized I liked little boys. Okay....now back to the present.

I mentioned I was a camp counselor, and that I maybe liked the kids too much. The other counselors would always kind of treat the kids as well...most adults treat kids. It wasn't the same for me. I'd know everything about the kids in my group...what each kid liked and disliked, what was going on in their lives, etc. For a fun game we were doing trivia about each kid with the counselors guessing stuff just within our group and the higher-up was impressed (in a positive way) of how much I knew about them - I could answer what activities they liked best, what foods they liked best....I knew all this stuff. I can honestly say I considered each and every one of them friends. It helped that I'm still majorly into pokemon and nickelodeon cartoons and other such kids stuff. My same-age friends don't exactly like talking about that stuff, but I actually have stuff in common with my campers. I could have tons of conversations about this stuff, and about video games etc, but none of the other counselors really had this kind of more equal comraderie with the campers that I did (which was why most of the campers tended to like me best.)

There was one kid in particular I was insanely close to. Let's call him C. C was just an awesome kid, and though he wasn't the best kid in the group, and sometimes could act up majorly, we just kind of connected. We knew each other so well. He constantly told me I was his favorite counselor, but besides that we just got along. We bonded majorly (and no I don't mean a "relationship" kind of way..to me C was a hybrid between a little brother and a friend.) When I went to college soon after camp he was the first and only kid to really sincerely wish me luck...still only going into second grade but just a great kid. I had him the next year too, now he was 8 ( he was 7 first year) and we were just as close as ever....

I cant explain my feelings..but Ill answer questions. The thing is I dunno how "physical" it is. I mean...I never looked at child pornography. I did look at pictures of kids, (fully clothed, but sometimes in bathing suits) and did participate in message boards for "boy-lovers" but eventually I feared being found out and stopped these things. And to be honest, I have felt no desire to start up again. I'm not burning up to look at more kid pictures, as they never really did THAT much for me unless a kid was insanely cute. The sites were good when I was 14 and needed to be accepted but as I grew older the way they talked about some boys there got me pretty uncomfortable being around them. Made me really think "Oh my god who am I talking to?" but I can't change who I ALREADY am.

I sometimes wonder...AM I a pedophile? I dont want to have SEX with kids, but I do form special bonds with them. I do find them more physically attractive than anybody else. They wont give me an erection to look at them, and I don't want to see them naked (I could have..being a camp counselor and all as they change right in front of me, but I faced no temptation and had no trouble looking away, and the times I got a glimpse by accident it did nothing for me, which was admittedly a bit of a relief.) Still though, when I see a boy sometimes I just have to look and stare at him, and i dunno....kind of like the feeling when you see a really cute puppy but more intense. It doesnt feel like what lust or sexual attraction SHOULD feel like but naked women completely gross me out, and though naked men doesnt gross me out I cant imagine finding it appealing at all. Boys appearence in general gets me a lot more......its not an uncontrollable lust (I dont even masturbate to be honest, my releases come from wet dreams if anything, but those dreams involve me wetting my pants or being in a diaper rather than anything with a boy...maybe once or twice it was a boy wetting his pants but Ive never had a dream that involved me doing things with boys...and my wet dreams arent frequent.)

But yeah...I dont know....the fact is I visited the camp a couple days ago...I hadnt seen the kids in a year - and these were the kids I had had multiple times, now 9 years old. I spent the day with them, and had an amazing time. Joking around with them, and I was just reminded of how awesome some of these kids are. Not just C, but a bunch of them. I joked around with the funny ones, had great convos with the video-game fans, and just...I dunno I felt such a connection with each and every one of them. I didnt work there this year because its time I start thinking about my career, but as I drove away from there I felt nothing but a crippling depression which struck me down and hasnt left since. I miss them so much. It's crazy but I do. I love each and every one of them, probably way too much since I can't imagine the other counselors being depressed at the prospect of not getting to spend time with those kids, but man I appreciate them and consider every one of them my friends.

I want to hang out with C again, wish that I could have hugged him when he tried consistently to hug me (didnt officially work there, just visiting, so didnt want to get in trouble - not to mention counselors arent even supposed to do that which IMO is a little ridiculous but whatever) and just honestly can't imagine never seeing him again. I felt a connection with him which I havent felt with anybody my age. I'd miss my friends if I could never see them again but not the way Im missing these kids right now. It makes me mad because society is in a way where an adult just cant be friends with kids. Everything Ive said up here would be shot down by everybody, and Id be viewed as a sicko. I just never really understood it. Age is just a number they say, so why cant a 20 year old hang out with a couple 8 year olds even if in a mentor role? Because he just cant...but it doesnt help me because I miss them so much.

Why do I say Im suicidal? Its not just because I hate what I am. Its because for some reason Ive been wired to only truly appreciate the connection I have with being close to these kids, and I dont have any opportunity to BE close to kids like that again. The older I get the more people stare, and the less chances I have. But my friendships with adults just arent the same to me, it doesnt do it for me like my friendship with them. I can only imagine this is related to pedophilia, but I dont want to have sex with them. I just appreciate them more. I cant deny a physical attraction and an intense emotional attraction, but it isnt SEX based. I do know however that a normal guy does not connect with them in this way, and would much RATHER hang out with people their own age both as friends or in general with significant others. The pain I feel after losing C is so similar sounding to the pain my friend talks about when his girlfriend broke up with him, that I guess it has to be at least related somehow.

I dunno. I dunno if its because Im childlike or what, but I just feel nothing but despair to be kind of honest. It was such an eye opener to realize Im never seeing those kids again, and the strength and bond I had with all of them? That wont be replicated again. Its a massive hole in my life that never will and never CAN be filled by anybody else. And that was the last time I felt truly "alive". The more I think about it the more "camp" me feels like the "real" me and that me is now gone. Replaced by "corporate" me, "business" me, "grown-up" me....I hate it.

And so what AM I? These articles talk about pedophiles. They "stalk" their prey. "Groom" their victim. Yeah I got closer and closer to C and formed a bond. I listened to him when he talked, and was there for him when he needed me. But does that mean I was "grooming" ? My end goal wasnt sex...my end goal wasnt building trust. My end goal was just to help him.....I got closer to him because I bonded with him, not because I was trying to trick him.

Well I don't know what else to say. I'm sure Ive forgot stuff but I'll tailor it all to the answers I get. Im sure I can better explain things when either clarifying or disputing the responses...please write back, Im dying here. I feel like I'll never be happy again and like maybe I don't deserve to be. Like the one thing that's killing me, depressing me, is the one thing that NOBODY will understand. It's pain people can't relate to and if I explain it in the vivid emotional detail I feel it in people will think I'm psycho. But the pain is real . This world clearly wasn't tailored for me. I was given needs that can't be satisfied socially. That's what makes me the angriest. I feel like a fish out of water in the adult world unable to go back to where I went at home. I can never hang out with neighborhood kids anymore, etc.......Ill never get the experience I had at camp again, and never be truly satisfied as a result. I feel so much of a hole in my life right now. Gahhh please respond

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Welcome to the community, Frenzy. I’ve got just a couple of comments in general:

1. It seems as if one of your main concerns is what other people may feel or think about you because of your feelings, not because of any overtly inappropriate acts on your part. This is, IMHO, partly an artifact of our time – that we are looking for psychological villains of various sorts whom we can then demonize. 200 years ago you might very well have been just a young man eking out a living on the family farm, who enjoyed mentoring younger boys – teaching Sunday School, for instance. Nobody in the community would think anything about it and you might not be concerned about it either – it was just something you liked to do, were good at, and made a contribution to the community.

2. Because life was hard back then, there would have been expectations placed on you at an early age, and in all likelihood you would have adapted. For instance, your mother probably would not have had the time to lay your clothes out for you. I could make similar comments about the diapers but it’s probably unnecessary.

3. Adolescence is a time when we all feel unfamiliar urges and feelings and part of that period of life is learning how to adapt to those feelings and what is socially (and/or personally) acceptable to act on and what is not. Few adolescents have adults in their lives these days who spend much time with them and who can help them through the process. It’s really too darn bad but that’s the way it is.

4. Have you considered seeing a counselor? That IS common these days and seems like it could be good idea – I would definitely recommend that you see a man, because sounds to me you mostly need some help with item (3).

5. Lots of people have different opinions on this website. Take what you like and think might be helpful for you and the life you want to live and leave the rest.

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Yeah, it's too bad I was born in THIS time :( lol.

And it is true that I don't really have any adults in my life that I trust to help me and I never did growing up. That seems partly to be part of the problem I'm having as well, albeit from the other hand. Besides relatives, other older mentors for kids are too worried about what people think to make a big difference in somebody's life. I can't imagine I was anything but a positive influence for C (especially because my more calm nature was always trying to soften his more vindictive and eager-to-fight side) but can't get too close or else.

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Hello, FF, welcome,

I don't have much time now, so I wrote only some remarks and I'll come back later to write more:

But then how come I don't feel like one of them? AM I one of them and I just don't know it?

You can't feel like one of them, because you certainly are not.

Just because I have this attraction does not mean it changes who I am as a person.

Yes, this is a right way to see it, I think :).

But the thing is I think I care for them too much. Appreciate them TOO much.

But who (and why and with what authority?) could say what is "too much" and what is "just right"??? I'm not sure if I understand why you think that this was "too much". Where does this feeling of "too"/excess come from?? You compare yourself to the average? But why should we all be average? There are many people who don't like children and are bad too them or can't relate to them - those are could be a danger for them, not those-ones like you!

desire to wear diapers and be treated like a kid.

This sounds to me like a sign of refusing the adult life. There probably is something hidden that makes you avoiding your maturity - partially probably your genes (as this is how you've always been). But what if there are other reasons that you don't yet realize? I'm sure this is also something that a good therapist could help you with: To understand it, to discover the fears related to adulthood, to re-live all the warm feelings you're longing for supposing that only a child could receive them, ... and to help you to focus on your present and future and find a way of satisfying your needs by an "adult" and healthy way, without the feeling the wish to be a child. (To me, therapy (2 years) helped me to become much more "mature", so... that's why I'm sure it's possible...)

Sorry, I have to go now...

Take care!

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Alright, so the first thing I want to tell you is that you're not a pedophile. Exactly what is going on may not be very clear, but if you were to have pedophilia, you would know for a fact that you were very sexually attracted to children. Like other people have pointed out to you on Psychforums, you come across as emotionally immature, and I don't mean this as a bad thing. Truthfully, it seems like you just want to be in touch with your inner child. Your obsession with diapers is actually not that uncommon, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. It sounds like you suffer with infantilism, and that does not mean you're a pedophile.

Because you are not really attracted to anyone, I would say that you're asexual. Still, I realize there is a little sexual attraction to children. However, because you cannot honestly enjoy masturbating to fantasies involving children, it is safe to say you are not a pedophile. My advice to you would be to check out infantilism videos. Possibly, you may find that you can have sexual and emotional attraction to other adults who share the same interest.

Your genuine care for children is very admirable, and I have to say that's the one thing I actually like about being a pedophile. Why exactly are you suicidal?

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Me again with an update...

So after talking on IM to another member here (Musicman) for a long time he said that he really thinks I'm not a pedophile. That if I was I'd want to have sex with them...that I'd know if it was sexual attraction. I mean I really don't know for sure if he's right. Maybe he is...I NEVER think about having sex with them...I don't picture them naked...I mean I think I said up there that I as a counselor would have them changing in front of me but I never felt tempted to look...never felt a curiosity to, never felt a desire or need to....or really want to. At the same time I would often really want a hug from like say my favorite camper or for a kid i really like to sit on my lap....that would kinda warm me up a lot. as in, make me feel good emotionally not give me an erection or anything, but the degree to which I wanted it seemed too much, as well as the closeness i felt with them and also the amount of time I spent thinking about them.

I mean the kid I was closest to, C I called him up there in my first post, I was REALLY close to....and I think at a level that most adults aren't with kids.....at least not with one that isn't a family member or something...even then.

So even if I was asexual, even if I wasn't a pedophile...I really don't know. A thing the other member I was talking to brought up was how in a lot of ways I am kind of emotionally a child.....I mentioned it a couple times up there and it is true...in some good ways and some pretty bad ways...I don't really know why I am the way I am though. I never really fit in with other people my age...and I really feel out of place talking to them. We just don't "mesh" or whatever. I do have some close friends. And they all do appreciate me. One of them, my best friend, does kind of roll his eyes at my more childish tendencies/quirks and interests (like cartoons and stuff) but at the same time he does sort of appreciate me for it I think. We are really close but still I dunno I still feel different.

The guy I was talking to from here said maybe my bond with kids is just based on that. In many ways Im emotionally a boy so of course Id be close to them...not because of sexual attraction but because I connect with them emotionally. I dunno if that's possible or if thats true or if thats me just looking for an excuse to not be considered a pedophile. I will say when I'm around them I feel a lot more like "me". At my internship I felt like I was putting on this role that just wasn't me...and I hated it. When I visited the camp I felt like "me" again...talking to the kids about video games/TV shows and just joking around with them I felt happy and like me again. So maybe its true. Maybe all this worrying about pedophilia has always been all wrong. Maybe it's just me being close with them because I connect with them...maybe Im closer to them then most people are because I don't view them as most adults view eight year olds but more like mixes between little brother/friend.

Some people above kind of called attention to the whole diaper thing coming out of desire to be a child, and how something may have happened to make me resist maturity. I really don't know. Like I said I always was that way. I sucked on pacifiers at night until I was like...I dunno...six? My mom tried to get me to get rid of them, but I resisted...they helped me sleep and I didn't care that they were baby things I wanted to keep them. Eventually my mom had her way, and then I had beanie baby dogs (like twenty of them) I slept with every night and played with until eventually my mom got me to get rid of those but by then I must have been in like 8th or 9th grade. Probably would still have them to this day if she hadn't stepped in and if I felt shame-free. What makes me this way? I don't know...could something have happened? I doubt it cause like I said I even resisted potty training and then I was like three. So Ive just always BEEN this way...does it make sense? No...I don't get it either. At sleep away camp I remember I never made new friends my age, or fit in with them...I would always make friends with the younger kids and just get picked on by the older. My whole childhood I was mostly immature, and its just kind of how I've always been....I do think the diaper thing came out of all of this somehow...its weird how that stuff happens. But for whatever reason I just never grew out of a ton of stuff, my friend jokes that I haven't changed since third grade. I still like the same stuff and am in many ways very similar to how I was then. I have changed in a bunch of ways too, but a ton of core things are still there (including fears and phobias unfortunately....) and it'd probably be worse if embarrassment hadn't finally taken over for some stuff that I gave up not because I grew out but because I felt self-conscious about it.

So yeah, maybe all that has to do with why I connect with the kids...maybe its not pedophilia at all, maybe I just interpreted it that way because I knew I had bonds with them that other people didn't have, or that I was close to them in ways that others weren't. Does that really answer why I would think about them a lot, why I would want to be near them a lot or why Id value a hug or something so much or hearing them laugh or having them sit on my lap? Probably not...I don't know...maybe some of it was based on me psyching myself out about the whole thing...thinking I was a pedophile and then getting sucked down into those thoughts.....maybe I really am just asexual, and my bond was simply that in many ways Im emotionally their age.

But okay...it doesn't really help me either way because I still don't know how to deal with all this. I miss those kids so much..I feel like I lost some of my best friends as stupid as it sounds, especially C. And Im so depressed about it which I know is weird but I can't help it...I realized that Im closer with C then pretty much any friend my age BESIDES my best friend, and that I like all those other kids more than almost anybody I know as well...theyr'e really such awesome dudes. And the thing is I can't talk about it. If i reveal the extent to how much I miss them people are going to turn heads, and its because Im not missing them in the socially appropriate way to miss a kid. Because Im closer to them than that.....

Gahh...maybe I AM a pedophile. Maybe Im not...I don't know what I am.....its fitting cause I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. I feel too immature for the "adult" world...I don't connect with people my age and have a strong tendency to look at them as older than me even though Im TWENTY.....but I don't fit in with kids either....not fully and even if I did Im not part of that world anymore. But I don't feel part of this one either. Im just kind of locked between worlds or something.

All my feelings are confusing I dunno what the heck is going on all I know is I miss C and the other guys and its really tearing me up inside and I don't know what to do about it gahhhhhhhhhhhhh

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I feel too immature for the "adult" world...I don't connect with people my age and have a strong tendency to look at them as older than me even though Im TWENTY.....but I don't fit in with kids either....not fully and even if I did Im not part of that world anymore. But I don't feel part of this one either. Im just kind of locked between worlds or something.

All my feelings are confusing I dunno what the heck is going on all I know is I miss C and the other guys and its really tearing me up inside and I don't know what to do about it gahhhhhhhhhhhhh

I'm sorry thing are so tough and confusing right now. :( I'm just a random internet person and don't have a lot of knowledge about what your difficulties could be -- but if you don't FEEL your age then it seems entirely reasonable that you would miss the guys whom you connected with as friends, doesn't it?

If you found the right person I really think you could benefit from counseling. And take it from an old lady, when you grown up you don't have to leave your "kid" self behind. It comes with you. So maybe that can be a little reassuring?

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I'm sorry thing are so tough and confusing right now. :( I'm just a random internet person and don't have a lot of knowledge about what your difficulties could be -- but if you don't FEEL your age then it seems entirely reasonable that you would miss the guys whom you connected with as friends, doesn't it?

If you found the right person I really think you could benefit from counseling. And take it from an old lady, when you grown up you don't have to leave your "kid" self behind. It comes with you. So maybe that can be a little reassuring?

I guess :( I dunno if Id feel comfortable talking to anybody about this anyways......at least to a real person in real life...online is way easier when its anonymous........I think it MIGHT be reasonable (i know I'm jumping around but i mean the end of the first paragraph now) but I don't know for sure....it makes sense I think but I dunno because nobody else is like that so I don't know....

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Hello again,

I hope you don't mind I decided not to write the second part of my reply - when I saw that you had got in touch with Musicman, I decided to wait for "the result". And I'm glad to see that your conversation was insightful :).

You really don't have a reason to fear that maybe you're a pedophile - not just because some people say it to you here on the web ;), but because pedophilia has a strict definition and what you described, doesn't fit that definition. Maybe you'd begin to really believe it only when an authority in psychology reassured you (?) - that would be an additional reason to consult one.

You say that "nobody else is like you are". How could you know? You only don't know anybody like you, but... I suppose it's pretty probable that you're not alone in this. Of course, this type of problem may be rare, but... - Another thing that a professional could bring you: The info that your "condition" isn't something unique, never seen in anybody else. (Would it feel better to you, btw ;)?)

I dunno if Id feel comfortable talking to anybody about this anyways......at least to a real person in real life

Would it help to know that therapy/counseling in general is mostly about talking with a real (and unfamiliar) person about something that we would be unable to tell anybody else? I've been two years in therapy and so I know very well how hard it can be, how long it can sometimes take to become able to express some things, to reveal some issues, ... But I know also how great effects it can have. People change, learn, and "grow" in therapy and learning to overcome the shame and embarrassment is one of the important things that the process can bring.

BTW, although I didn't have a problem like you have, there was something a bit similar in my case: I was 27 when I began therapy, married, with university degree, ... But my therapist told me, after few months, that he perceived me to a big extent like a little girl trying to please him, to be a good child ("for him"). Firstly, I didn't understand it much, but then... He became for me, more and more over time, like a father which I've never known. I felt to some extent like wanting to be like his daughter, ... and after some time, I identified the childish elements in my attitude and also understood them. After some more time, he told me something like: "I really perceived you like a child in many ways when you came. But now, I see you like a woman." It was a powerful sentence and I understood and felt the differences which underlaid it. My case was different from yours, my childish traits were very different from yours (yet, they were, also in my case, emotional). However, they were really childish and the therapy (mostly thanks to the strong relationship with the therapist) changed me in this regard very effectively. So... I can't, of course, make the conclusion that "it means you will be changed by therapy, too" ;), but I can use this example at least as something increasing your hope for the possibility of change.

To make it clearer: I don't think you'd need therapy/counseling because of any reason related to pedophilia. The reason is that you're in emotional distress and have difficulties in your relationships. Believe me, please, that it's a valid reason for getting help. And ... no need for shame of any kind... ;)

Take care!

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Thanks for those messages Lala and everybody....I still dunno if I could really do a therapy session and talk about all this and the worst part is I don't even know whats a problem and whats fine.....

I dunno like...right now whats most upsetting me is honestly just that i miss them so much, like i said...that ill never see them again or whatever since i was really close to them....but then it also upsets me because I can't really talk about that with other people...I can't talk to my friends about it to get some help or to feel a little better because they're just going to think its weird. Even if its just something like I'm not a pedophile just being emotionally immature means i bonded with them as friends more at their level, thats still weird. Like I think of C as a mix between like a little brother and also a best friend....but thats not the kind of stuff people would ever like understand so even if I wasn't a pedophile they'd still think its so weird so there's no way I can talk about it.

I dunno....I just feel so down about all this and Im just confused about what the problems even are......I dunno if a therapist would get it either......I wish I could change the way things were in the world instead of having to change me :(

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You say

the worst part is I don't even know whats a problem and whats fine.....

and here is the answer:

right now whats most upsetting me is honestly just that i miss them so much, like i said...that ill never see them again or whatever since i was really close to them....but then it also upsets me because I can't really talk about that with other people...I can't talk to my friends about it to get some help or to feel a little better because they're just going to think its weird...

Unfortunately, most people would really probably think it's weird. However, there are sadly many people who consider weird also those with depression, anxiety, OCD, ... or other conditions, which are very common. You'd be surprised how some people still have absurd prejudices about all mental disorders. But does that make those who suffer from these disorders weird, "worse than others", ...?? Of course not. Moreover, you'd be surprised (me too ;)) what "strange cases" are already described in psychology textbooks. There are many "strange" problems which appear unique and maybe sometimes non-understandable to us, laymen, because we didn't study psychology or psychiatry. When you say this

I dunno if a therapist would get it either......

it makes me think about this analogy: Imagine you have a car and it gets broken. You examine everything, but have no idea what's wrong, what should be changed. Would you, in this situation, doubt about going to the service and say that the mender probably won't be able to find and fix the problem either? ;)

Look; we here are not professionals, so we can't tell you info like... how frequent is this kind of "adultness avoidance", what's your prognosis of change, ... but even without these info, we are able to relate to you somehow, offer some view from a different perspective (than yours), ... We are able to imagine this kind of emotional "stagnancy" in childhood and the consequent nature of the relationships which you described makes perfect sense in this concept. You see; we can "get it" even without the education which professional have - so it's logical to expect that a professional would have even deeper understanding for it.

You don't have to start therapy knowing already "what's your precise problem". Finding out the major problems, often hidden behind some unclear symptoms, is a part of the therapy.

(Another example from my life to illustrate it: I started therapy because I had become unable to work and was too often preoccupied by suicidal fantasies. I hated myself but was unaware of the "real" reasons. I even didn't realize I was overly anxious! Only when I started to take an antianxiety medication, I realized the huge difference and recognized that my former feelings were not... "necessary" / "appropriate for the situations which triggered them"! So... you can sometimes recognize the "real" problems (or also: discern between symptoms and causes) only in therapy.)

I wish I could change the way things were in the world instead of having to change me

This reminds me a similar sentence I wrote in my diary several years ago (2 years before starting therapy) ;). As DD already suggested implicitly, maybe you don't have to change too much. Maybe it would be better to see it like learning how to live better (-without so much emotional pain) with what you have and how you are. Of course, some changes are always necessary. But you only do them when you're prepared and motivated - therapy is also about finding this motivation and getting prepared.

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but I dunno if a therapist will help me the right way. I dunno...should I change who I am? I don't really know...part of me doesn't like parts of who I am but at the same time I kinda like who I and don't want to change.....I guess I just need help making sense of and dealing with it all.....I don't know....but Im worried a therapist will want to change me too much. But maybe I SHOULD want to change. Or maybe NOT wanting to change is part of the PROBLEM...gahh its all so confusing :(

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:) And this is exactly what therapy can also help with - the confusion.

(When I was considering therapy, I hated myself and thought that - at the same time - "I'm unable to change and I even don't want to change some things about myself", but also "I'd be able not to hate myself only if I was completely different" - can you see the confusion? ;) )

A therapist won't change you. You could change yourself thanks to the interaction (sessions) with him, when you'll come to the conclusion "this is what I want to change about myself (because it's causing me more negative than positive emotions / ...)". You don't need to know in advance what needs to be changed and how.

There is a nice way to describe what a good therapist is doing: He's supporting (motivating, helping, ...) the client to become the best person - in the client's eyes - that (s)he can be. The word "best" is meant mostly in the context of the way of life - not causing suffering to oneself and others, having fulfilling relationships and occupation, ...

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I know Im getting off track from the discussion, but...

Im still so upset right now :( Im trying to sleep but I can't. I keep thinking of C and it gets me so depressed and I want to fall asleep but I can't get him out of my mind. Like I said up there I just wish I could see him again so bad.....I miss all the kids but I bonded with him like none of the other ones. He was like I said like a mix between a little brother and best friend, and I dunno if it makes me a pedophile or not one to think back on all the times he'd just like hug me and stuff but Ill think about that and kinda feel like a hole in me from him being missing now forever..........

Is that pedophilia I don't know...I do know with him especially theres no physical or sexual attraction....I never think of him by appearance or of doing sexual things...but I think of him by personality and things he did and said and think of spending time with him.

I keep replaying the day I visited a couple weeks ago over and over again in my mind. He was the first kid there and he ran over and hugged me yelling my name the second he saw me. He kept talking about how I was the best counselor ever (Which he always did last year...I thought after a whole summer he'd have picked a new favorite counselor, but it was still me) and begged me to stay all day or come back the next day or next year. In the middle of the day when I had to leave (really not supposed to stay that long since just visiting) he came to me and begged me to stay all day. He wanted me to say hi to his parents again and stuff. Anyways when I finally was gonna leave all the kids hugged me and stuff and I said goodbye to all of them, they finally got on line to go to the next activity but he hugged me for longest and was just saying "cmonnn i want you to stay till the end of the day, you have to say hi to my parents" and stuff like that, but i had to say I had to go. I told him to say hi to his mom for me, and that he was awesome and to go because I didn't want him to get in trouble for not lining up, so he went and I got out of there without looking back...and I get such a lump in my throat just thinking about it....it wasn't the best goodbye to give my favorite kid ever as a counselor after two years....I barely hugged him back cause I was awkward with the other kids counselors and even the guy in charge of overseeing counselors of this age group there.

Ive been thinking of all of the things I WOULD and SHOULD have said. I always was the fair counselor being equal to everybody and I dunno if he knows how much he meant to me...I mean he knows we bonded, and we knew each other well but I dunno if he knows that I really appreciated him like he did me, since I know he was kinda insecure and sensitive sometimes....i can't sleep just thinking of how the perfect ending would have gone, with me telling him privately he was always my favorite camper and thanks for all the great memories.

The year before we DID kinda have the best goodbye possible. We were just messing around, he came up to me with a cup of ice cold water, and told me to throw it at him since I deserved it "Go ahead." he said "You deserve it" I guess because of all the times he's caused a bit of trouble for me (he's always getting into fights and stuff since he's pretty sensitive and also pretty big for his age (8 at the time, 9 now)). I smiled and threw it at him, and then I gave him one to throw at me for all the times Ive had to yell at him or take away something from him when he acted up. He was a little hesitant but did it finally and enjoyed it. Then after throwing the ice cold water at each other to get our deserved even-steven at each other, we each took a cup of ice cold water and teamed up to trick my co-counselor into getting splashed by BOTH of us :) Then after that we sat on a bench, I kinda put my arm out to grab something on the other side of him, but it went across his shoulder when I did it, and when he felt my arm on his shoulder (even though it wasn't really intentional) he leaned his head sideways kinda like resting on my upper arm...now I don't mean any of this made me feel like sexual in any way, but definitely felt emotional so I kinda just said "you're a great kid C" and he just said "you're a great counselor...". He already said he'd miss me. Anyways then at the end he was the first to sign my shirt (a lot of counselors get the kids to sign their shirts) and he wrote "You're the best counselor ever. I'll never forget you. -C" and then he left.

I look back at that so fondly...it almost makes me wish I never visited. But Im happy I did cause I was so happy to see him and the other kids, and he was happy to see me. But after having that memory it makes me kinda sad cause that was what a goodbye should be not a hug begging me to stay and me kinda not saying anything but just getting him to let me leave......he meant a lot to me and i knew him when he was 7, 8, and 9.....i dunno how we bonded so much and his goodbyes are always like so mature...even when he was only seven on my last day (i was leaving early for college) he was the only kid to kinda shyly and sincerely wish me good luck in college which stuck with me forever....I was nervous about college, and just hearing him so sincerely and softly wish me luck and show he cared made me feel really good. I think somehow we just relate on some level......we're different in a ton of ways but similar....I always understand how he feels cause its not so different from how I feel.....

Anyways this is all long but it's leading up to something...Im thinking maybe I should send him a letter. Is that creepy or weird? Is it normal for a camp counselor to send a letter to a camper? I just want a better goodbye. And I don't want to wait until I MAYBE some time run into him in a year or two or whenever. I want to say goodbye because he meant a lot to me. Im worried however that his mother will think its a strange thing to do, and also Im really bad socially and pretty childish so Im worried Im going to do/say something that's really inappropriate....and I was wondering if people here could tell me if this is a terrible idea or if it's okay...

I'm going to do this in December or something if i ever do it....give him time so it isn't weird and I can bring it up by saying I saw the old card he made me or that I saw the camp shirt he signed....Im gonna write one to his mother and one to him. I hope this is okay....anyways....I can't sleep until I write it down here whether I end up using it or not.

(BTW as I said, C isn't his name, but a random letter to replace it just cause of the nature of this topic)

(Also italics are obviously notes to you guys not in the actual thing)

First potential letter...to C's Mom

Dear (C's mom),

Hi, I'm hoping you remember me, but this is (My name)...C's former camp counselor. How have you been doing lately? I hope things have been well. C wanted me to say hi to you when I visited this past summer and although I wanted to, I couldn't stay until the end of the day. Anyways, I was going through my stuff yesterday, and came across all of my old camp thank-you cards from summers past, including C's hand-made personal one that he wrote for me a year ago. It got me thinking about camp, and the kids, and especially C.

Even though life's taking me to different places now, and adulthood is well in progress, I'll never forget the great memories of the last few summers. I enclosed after this a letter to C, just because I was thinking about him and thought that he would appreciate it. I hope this isn't too weird, but I just wanted to write because although I've moved on to other things I was looking back fondly on my time as a counselor, and throughout all those years C was probably my favorite camper I ever had. My visit there this summer was rushed, and I just felt like after the last two summers he deserved a better goodbye. (I guess now that I'm not a counselor any more I can say he was my favorite camper without being unfair, though I think in my letter to him I better at least say 'ONE' of my favorite campers just in case the word gets out).

Anyways, I hope C has been doing well in 4th grade, and that he's keeping himself out of fights (Im sure that he was happy when (other kid in the group that C fought with) didn't come back this summer, and I'm sure his counselors were too). I'm sure he's been doing fine though, you raised a great kid. I remember two years ago, the first summer he was in my group, I had to leave a day early to start college. I was saying my goodbyes to all the kids, and besides just saying goodbye, C actually wished me luck in college. He was not even in second grade yet...for some reason it really stuck with me. He really is a great kid. (okay and now here I was thinking MAAAYBE a sentence about if he ever needs a babysitter or something or if he ever wants to talk I don't mind giving my number....but that might be really weird so maybe I Shouldn't and also anyways this IS supposed to be a goodbye message so maybe it should stay that way. If I don't add that though I need to think of a way to end this paragraph otherwise.)


(My Name)

Second Potential Letter....to C

Dear C,

Hey man, what's up? I was going through a bunch of old camp cards yesterday, and I saw the one you made for me yourself a year ago on the last day of camp. Remember? You said you wanted to make your own card for the three of us and wrote and drew it out on paper yourself. Anyways, It got me thinking of you. I remembered that I had to leave pretty quickly when I visited this year, and I thought you deserved a little more. You always used to say that I was your favorite counselor, and I wanted to tell you that that always meant a lot to me. To be honest, when I visited this year I was thinking you guys would have all forgotten me, but you still said even then that I was the best counselor you ever had.

I'm not so sure that I'm the best counselor ever, but I just thought you should know that you were DEFINITELY one of the best CAMPERS ever. I was a counselor at (the camp) for five years. I had four groups (since I had you guys twice), and that's a LOT of kids (trust me). Still, now that I'm not a counselor anymore, I think I can tell you that out of all those kids you're one of my favorite kids I ever had (no telling (other kid at camp) though...please). I was a camper since I was your age, so that's gotta be twelve or so years at (the camp). Still I think those last two years were probably the best ever, and you were a huge part of that, dude.

I have tons of great memories with you for those two years, and I'm sure you do as well (I still haven't forgotten how to do figure skate spins, by the way...thanks for that.) A year ago you wrote "Please don't forget me." in that card you made me. I don't know if you're still worried about that (you said it more than once)...but I promise there's no way I could ever forget you. I'll definitely remember you and both of those awesome summers forever. I wish I could come back to (the camp) again for another year, but I'm going to have to do other much much much more boring things now. Still I know that in fifteen years I'm going to turn on my TV and see you winning the gold medal for the USA in (sport he plays) at the olympics. Either that or winning American Idol.

Well anyways, I thought you deserved a better goodbye than what I was able to give you in August. Great luck in 4th grade, and all the other grades that come after too. Hope you have fun at camp next summer (and that you don't beat TOO many kids up...just kidding). I'll be thinking of you guys. Mostly, I just wanted to say thank you. You already thanked me a bunch of times in your cards at the ends of the summers, but I just wanted to thank YOU. Thanks a lot buddy, for two great great summers, and thanks for being such an awesome kid. I wish I could stay at camp forever, but since I cant, at least I know that nothing will be better than my last two summers at (the camp)

Your Counselor/Friend

-(my name)

Okay so was that just totally the weirdest thing ever? I had to get all that out there I guess just for myself...would it be terrible if I sent it or something like it? I don't want to be creepy but I just want to give him a good goodbye and let him know he was important to me. I would have got more sappy with it but I held back because I'm worried about making his mom think it's strange.

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F, your letter for C evoked tears to me... :o:)

Your friendship is so touching and it would be wonderful if everybody had such a good friend - at least for some time (some months or even weeks of such a friendship can make a difference in one's life - I believe it - although then it's so very hard to say goodby and the missing is difficult to "bear" and to "process")...

So now to your questions:

I don't know C's mom, but I hope she's a "normal" person and so it's probable that she'll be OK with both letters (I supose you'll put them both in one envelope, so that she could read both without opening a special envelope that would be "just for C").

I hope you'll receive also others' opinions here - mostly from at least one mom (I'm 30 and have no kids) ;).

And... I think there's no doubt that C would be happy thanks to such a letter :). (Wouldn't you be in his place? ;) I certainly would!!)

There's only one thing I don't like, but that's just my personal opinion - you know C much better, so... But I'll mention it anyway:

Still I know that in fifteen years I'm going to turn on my TV and see you winning the gold medal for the USA in (sport he plays) at the olympics. Either that or winning American Idol.

It seems to me that this might pose too much pressure on him, I'm not sure if that's a motivation. What if he doesn't succeed? Won't he be too ashamed and disappointed that he didn't fulfill your expectations?

And your offer of babysitting etc. ... Well, I don't know. I think that... they'll have your address - written on the letter - so in case if C wanted to contact you, he would have a possibility: mail (or he may find out your number - I suppose that's possible also in the US when you know the name and the address of the person). Maybe phone number is "too private" in some people's eyes and could be seen as a little bit weird in such a letter.

One remark in the end:

I know Im getting off track from the discussion, but...

:D This is your topic and it's not supposed to be "a directed discussion" - you may write about anything you want ;).

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yea that was stupid to suggest putting a number or offering to babysit. it was also 4am when i wrote that....I was just thinking I wish I could let him know that I wouldn't mind catching up every once in a while basically....since then it wouldn't have to be goodbye forever lol. now I'm embarrassed about it.......well the whole letter really but that part was definitely stupid. But i can't believe i wrote that all here lol. well still i guess its not so bad even if I'm embarrassed i wrote it....I dunno I'm still like on the fence

as for the other part about the gold medal I was mostly kidding...he IS really good at the sport though (the american idol thing was a joke because he's always singing but you can't really put a smiley face in a letter can you? well I guess you can.) I don't think he'd take it that way. but maybe I can change it a bit. id probably change the whole thing a bit....i wrote it really really tired and like really really sad about it all so id probably fix it up again.

It wasn't so bad though? Like I said I feel really embarrassed I ever wrote that here....

(Edit; Oh and yeah both in the same envelope so that she gets a chance to read it first and "Approve" it I guess)

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From my point of view, there's no need to feel embarrassed :), really. I consider it to be a very good idea to ask some people about their opinion when you're so unsure about something you'd like to do. You don't have to do what they/we say, but you can use their/our feedback.

(This reminds me one thing that made me feel quite embarrassed about a year ago: I posted here (on my blog) something I wrote for my therapist - very personal. It was nice to receive the feedback, but... I also felt embarrassed that... "those words were only for him - it wasn't right to put them here so that others can see...". Well, now I can relate to your embarrassement... However, I suppose there's not a good reason for it in any of these two cases (yours or mine) ;)...)

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I guess you're right :)

I just hope more people reply....I really want a lot of opinions. I would post it on a more general forum that's really active (not specifically tailored to like mental stuff...but it doesn't have to be...I can just say like would this be appropriate to send, and can mention that I'm not so good socially and really immature so not sure if I'm making a good decision here.....that's not THAT bad to say that I would be too embarrassed to post it on a more general forum)...the thing is I'm worried that somehow this topic will be found, and somebody will say like "Oh hey, look what he REALLY said here" and show like the topic about me thinking I'm a pedophile and stuff which I would have left out.....I don't want like attention being called to that. Especially because a lot of the active general forums I go to people who know me IRL go there too. And the worst thing ever would be posting this there and either they or somebody else calls their attention to this topic which has info which is MUCH More private then I would EVER like found out...........

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I see... BTW, I was thinking that it would probably be better to re-name this thread and remove it from the "sexual issues" to "general coping", because this has really nothing to do with pedophilia nor with sexuality. What do you think? What about "A 20-old man who feels on the brink of suicide..." as a new name? (I could do it as I'm one of the moderators of this site.) (I hope I understood you well - when you said "a more general forum", you didn't meant another forum ("cathegory") on this same website, but another website - not related to mental health.)

I'm not so good socially and really immature

You know what's a bit strange? That you don't sound like an immature person to me from what - but mainly HOW - you write here. I don't know to what extent it's only an illusion. But I wanted to tell you this personal impression.

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I normally wouldn't respond but you said you wanted more opinions. I would say it depends on if you already know C's mother. If not, then it's a little creepy IMHO for her to receive a personal letter from one of her son's former camp counselors. I know the letter is primarily to C and going through his mom so she can decide whether he gets the letter or not is appropriate. However the tone is deeply personal and if she doesn't know you then that is where it might be coming on too strong. I'm not a parent though so I'm just trying to put myself in her shoes and trying to see it from the parent's perspective. What I would suggest instead is to introduce yourself formally and explain your reason for wanting to send a letter to C is that you didn't get a chance to say a proper goodbye at camp. Then again I am known for having an overly reserved demeanor so that could just be me.

Secondly, if you think you are a pedophile you may be doing yourself and C a favor by simply not sending the letter. From what you have written I am not sure - on the one hand you have stated numerous times you have no sexual attraction or fantasies regarding kids, so that would make you not a pedophile. Yet your posts continue to send the message that the question is not settled for you, mostly based on the much stronger bonds that you form with younger kids than with people your own age. I am concerned there may be things you are not telling or possibly even hiding from yourself, and until you face these deeper issues you can't really know for sure if you are or are not. On the other hand, I think it is in general easier for any adult to bond with young kids (4th grade and younger) than with people their own age. This is based on my experience as a volunteer with Junior Achievement, where most of the volunteers became extremely attached to their kids in 4th grade and below, while in grades 5-6, not so much.

I'd say your case is more extreme than others, possibly driven by social anxiety, but again just my opinion. Since this is apparently bothering you a lot, it would be better to have the help of a professional than to try and sort it out yourself or from uninformed internet opinions such as my own.

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