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Is this OCD or actual feelings?


Sz23
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Hi!

I am new here and for a couple of days ago i had a really disturbing experience, wich practically bothers me to no end and i would very much like to get some opinions on this. This post is going to be quite long but please bear with me.

The enitre thing started on the morning when i was on the bus, travling to the university i attend. There were a lot of people on the bus, both children and adults, and everything seemed normal to me untill a young girl moved close to make room for new passengers. She didnt touch me or anything, but when she got close i got these sudden feelings of arousal, nausea, and i desperately wanted her to move away. Bear in mind i had no erection from the arousal but this experience made me extremely disturbed. I got off the bus a short while later but i felt completely horrified, and confused by the way i reacted an i could not really find any reason for why i did react like this.

Then the thought came to me, am i a pedophile? i was, and still am extremely disturbed by this thought. I have always been attracted to girls at the same age as i am (23), and attempted to convince myself that i can't possibly just cange my orientation like that. Unfortunally i just didn't manage to let it go either. On my way home a child sat down by my side on the bus, i did not feel the same way this time just very uncomfortable.

When i got home i attempted to figure out why i reacted like this which eventually led me to find information about groinal responses. This seemed sort of logical yet i don't feel reassured i have no history with anxity or OCD, but i also have no history of being attracted to, or liking children more than adults.

I did eventually do a really stupid thing though. wanting to comfort myself i checked up on some nudist photographs, of wich one had a child in it. I felt no attraction but have since felt utterly disgusted and guilty by the fact that i DID check. I try to calm my self by telling myself i had to to know otherwise i would never have calmed down but it just feels so extremely wrong that i did check it, now i am really disturbed by it and don't feel like doing that ever again, somehow this almost seem to disturb me more than the earlier episode.

As mentioned earlier I have never had any sexual fantasy, or special interest regarding children, and so i feel somewhat reassured i am not pedophile but i can't get rid of the feelings of guilt and shame for the response and the checking, and i really don't feel entierly certain i am not a pedophile. It is alway the tought in the back of my head telling me, "but what if you are, you just never have noticed?"

This is bothering me to no end right now and i don't feel like i can discuss it with my family, it is just too shamefull really, especially after i did that idiotic checkup, but i was just so afraid i might just react, god i do really feel like a fool right now, it feels like it pulls me down to the level of people that would usually and actually do that sort of things for the kick of it. I do seriously considering talking to my doctor about this but it have only been a couple of days and i wonder if i should wait and see if it blows over, but i am not certain. Any opinions or advice would be greatly appriciated right now!

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Hello, Sz23, welcome!

What you describe really doesn't sound like pedophilia, but rather like an obsession. It doesn't matter that you don't have a history of OCD or anxiety; everything has a start at some point. But I'd like to point out that it doesn't have to be OCD, it can be just a temporary obsession due to the surprise/shock that your feelings in those moments caused you. What about trying "to let it go", believing that there's nothing wrong with you, and not continuing the useless effort to "figure out how that could have happened", as wel as the observations of your current feelings in "similar" situations? Strange things happen sometimes, new, unknown feelings can sometimes surprise us, but it's up to us to decide how much we want to pay attention to them. If you start obsessing about it, you might create a problem of it. If you let it go, you might see that it won't happen again. If the same happened often, then it would be appropriate to begin to "figure out what's wrong".

What do you think?

(Sorry, I moved this thread to this sub-forum because of readers who don't want to read about pedophilia and related topics...)

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hi and thanks for your reply =)

What you say does make sense, and normally thats what i would have done, but this time i find it difficult just to move on becuse of the nasty feelings that surfaced. I think i will give it some more time and see if i can manage well the next couple of days, if it dosnt get better then i guess i will get a appointment with my doctor and see if he can direct me to a therapist or something.

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I'm tempted to be didactic, so I hope I don't end up being annoying, but I think it's important to be clear on the words:

All feelings are "actual". What's difficult is the interpretation, sometimes.

For instance, you describe your reaction as a combination of arousal and nausea, and I'm not sure how often those actually occur together. I tend to agree that you're looking at something more like OCD than pedophilia; in particular, the "testing" and your emotional response to it seem more typical of the former. Still, it's not really within our purview to offer you a diagnosis, so I would advise keeping the idea of a therapist in mind.

The reason that I wanted to be clear on the reality of feelings is that we're all too often tempted to deny we have them, at least in certain contexts. I would bet we have feelings at least as often as we have thoughts; it's just harder for many people to put them into words and bring them to consciousness. But when they're pushed back under, into the unconscious, they can tend to burst back out in ways that seem inappropriate, particularly to the consciousness that stuffed them under in the first place.

So, for instance, I would say quite honestly that I love children, and that I find them beautiful (a friend of mine claims that all people are beautiful; I reserve judgment on that mostly because it would include me). What I don't find in children is anything sexual. I think that if a person is too vigilant about the sexual aspect, it's remarkably easy to mistake caring and beauty for lust.

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Hi!

I see your point and i do agree on your post =).

The core of my issue is the spike of emotions that occurred on the bus and to be frank, i am horrible at letting things like this go. I have always been the kind of person who need to know why i feel like i do, and when something as unexpected as this happens i just can't stop searching for a reason until i am convinced i know. What i truly fear is exactly that i may have been repressing this dark side of my sexuality, subconsciously for my entire life and that it is first now it is spiking up. It might seem silly i know, but it is just hard to let go of this possibility, even if i normally don't feel anything special about children.

That aside the search i mentioned in my post also keeps bothering me. It does feel like i, in my despair for reassurance, forgot and violated every single principle i have by searching this up and it really shames and disgust me now. I know logically that i wanted to sate my fear and gain some reassurance that i did not feel attracted by this, but at the same time it now feels like i have fallen to the level of those people that actually looks at these kind of things because they like it, and it frankly makes me feel like i am torn apart. This is constantly on my mind now, and i do feel like i should tell someone, but i just feel it would make them, rightfully disgusted about it, and i do not doubt that they will judge me for that stupidity, perhaps rightfully so too. I am at least judging myself for it now, and i know i won't stop doing so anytime soon, i just feel that i should have known better.

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it now feels like i have fallen to the level of those people that actually looks at these kind of things because they like it

I hope that when you think of it deeper, more logically, you can see that this is illogical. How could you be "on the same level" with those who looks at it because they enjoy it, when your aim was very different, you know that, and also your feelings about it were different?

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I can honestly say that i didn't feel much more than anxiety and fear, and thought "i need to know this for sure" when i looked it up, and my feelings about it when i looked at it, were akin to "i don't really feel attracted to this" so i guess it was more a feeling of reassurance and relief at that moment than anything else. What i do know is that i still find women my age attractive and see them a potential partners and i just can't imagine a child as such, even so the feelings of doubt linger in my head.

It still feels plain wrong to knowingly have searched up such a image just to satisfy my need for reassurance, and i feel i have broken several norms and principles in doing so. I do know i tend to be too concerned about doing the right thing, and that i do have a strong conscience, which let me obsess over things that i feel is wrong, sometimes to the point of stupidity.

As such i really can't stop judging myself for it no matter how much i tell myself i just wanted to feel safe again. The worst thing is that i linger on "what would my family think of me if i told them?" i have a strong bond with my family and the worst thing imaginable for me is to have them see me as a monster or a potential pedophile, i really don't feel like one, but i can't feel certain and so my mind just won't let it go and now this adds to my guilt and shame. God do i feel like a fool =(

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