I’ll go ahead and say this like taking a band-aid out: I’m a 25 year old guy, I’m a spiritual guy, I am married, I have a college degree, and I’m also attracted to minors, or put in psychology terms, I’m a pedophile. I’ve never harmed a child. My wife knows it all about me.
I’m no medical or mental health authority, but what I write in here and the conclusions I arrive to are the product of at least thirteen years of daily self-analysis. I’ll be analyzing my emotional experiences, how is it like to be living with attraction towards children, how it affected me at first and how after reaching out I’m mentally healing and able to analyze and understand this in ways that wouldn’t be possible weren’t it because of the fact I live it. And this is what you’ll have from me and my blog.
I can tell you how body and heart makes me feel good whenever I feel a crush on a boy, happy inside, when it is about the boy’s personality. How it can go further than that and make heart skipping a beat or two, time slowing down and me getting all shy and trembling inside, and how sometimes I even feel arousal, when seeing or thinking about a boy I find attractive. This is true.
Then I can tell you how my personality, and how moral compass lets me know another truth: That waking up a child’s sexuality early in life is unacceptable, and that no thought current, no philosophy and no feeling of mine will ever have the right to change that. That these feelings are not to be acted on.
This creates a war inside indeed, so throughout my life I’ve felt how one part of myself receiving the wave of feelings I receive (who doesn’t like finding someone attractive, or seeing an actor or celebrity he or she likes?), and the other one creates feelings that have come from the years I’ve been silently living this: Feelings of shame, self-hate, guilt, and lots of confusion when it comes to dealing with my most personal feelings… Feelings that I’d always been keeping for myself for fear of being pointed at and judged as evil (because, what is it that we see on TV, in the news, played out in movies about people liking children? That they’re molesters, right? Really bad people, so the inner conclusion arrives… I can’t tell anyone about this, I’m a bad person…)
These feelings, both of them, make me unique indeed, and I feel as if I had to live my own version of the ying-yang, two truths that co-exist within, apparently contradicting each other, but — when looked upon closer — being able to exist inside when properly handled.
What has guided me in life then? What has been the guide of my actions? I established in myself the principle of never doing anything that can cause regret or hurt a child.
Human nature is amazing in that sense, we have the freedom to choose what we do, even with these feelings inside of me (as whatever feelings anyone can have), I still have the power of self-control and power to choose what I do and what I don’t do. This war inside of me, these options I’m presented with in life have ultimately made me able to grow.
About the choice of growth PhD psychiatrist and writer M. Scott Peck said in his book The Road Less Traveled: “We do grow. Despite all that resists the process, we do become better human beings. Not all of us. Not easily. But in significant numbers humans somehow manage to improve themselves and their cultures. There is a force that somehow pushes us to choose the more difficult path whereby we can transcend the mire and muck into which we are so often born.”
It has been a difficult path indeed, it isn’t easy to have to go against my own feelings, it’s really hard to choose what I know to be better, it gets confusing and it hurts at times, and so this is where I thank how a year and a half ago I found VirPed, a community where I could find people with my same struggles and with the exact same commitment to never offend as I had all this time.
I have never molested, abused, or even looked for opportunities to touch a child sexually. And as the VirPed community, I can tell you that I’m opposed to any of this, and I defend the purity and innocence of children as a basic human right that must always be respected, and that no law in any country or any place should ever be flexible in their policies to allow anything sexual to happen between an adult and a child.
My goal with this blog is to raise awareness, that is is a struggle that a lot of people live with, and most will never talk about. That the fear and ignorance that exists around the topic of pedophilia has created a taboo, a taboo that creates hate around it, and when hate exists on a real problem people live with, there’s no hope to understand that pedophilia isn’t the same as child molestation.
I want to stand as a testimony that this is possible, that living with pedophilia does not lead to any kind of abuse, that our moral compasses still work, and whomever has to live with pedophilic inclinations can also choose to defend childhood rights and to keep children unharmed. It is a path that’s rough, where overcoming self-hate and improving self-esteem are the way to better understand ourselves and thus being more capable of controlling our emotions. To grow into healing and understanding.
M. Scott Peck also reminds us in his book: “Those who achieve growth not only enjoy the fruits of growth but give the same fruits to the world. Evolving as individuals, we carry humanity on our backs. And so humanity evolves”.
That’s why I’m stepping out to speak about this from a personal level, to evolve as a person and hopefully help others around me. I want to break the silence and let people know about this. I ask from the reader’s mind willingness to understand, not judge quickly, but analyze what I’m saying here and see this isn’t bad.
If more people (specially mental health professionals, but also society in general) know this is something real, something that real people can live with, then we can begin to grow in the sense that fear and ignorance will no longer be our guide on this path, and we can begin to evolve knowing that abuse can be prevented by listening and helping those who, like me, are attracted to children.
By Stepping Out Sam originally published on Medium April 11, 2017.
Exported from Medium on August 22, 2018.