I’m a registered sex offender. No, I won’t tell you where I live or nothin. You trolls can kiss my ass. I get your reaction. I get you’re mad at me. I get you wanna do all sorts of things to me. But please hear me out, cuz I think this matters.

I hurt a child I cared about. Yeah, I know, if I cared so much, why’d I hurt the kid? Lemme get there. I wanna tell you why that happened, cuz I think you can learn from it. I wanna share it, because I hate what I did, and I don’t wanna see it no more.

A normal childhood

…whatever the hell normal means, I’ve got no idea. But I went through special education and was eventually “mainstreamed” to be included in normal classrooms both with and without an aid present. I saw therapists throughout the entire time, and psychiatrists who prescribed lost of medication to try to help me. They all said I had ADHD, then it was ADD. All I know is, it’s hard for me to sit down and write something like this, and writing it took over a month.

No, I don’t remember no abuse in my childhood. I always wondered if I did, what with having pedophilia and all, but no. No memories, nothing shady running in the family, none of that. Not sure why I have pedophilia. That’d be the sexual attraction to kids, not th abuse of one.

I had loving parents who had their flaws just like y’all do, I enjoyed many of the interests a typical boy likes — frog-catching, space, science, sea critters, climbing trees — and I went to the same schools you did.

My parents divorced and moved when I was 9, but there’re lotsa kid from divorced families. I was bullied for not liking sports and for being in special classes for my ADD, but I had some support with that. I had issues with my mother and the people she dated, but many people have issues with their parents for one reason or another. My parents eventually remarried, and I didn’t really like both step-parents. They both got on my nerves in different ways, and drove me nuts with trying to win my trust and shit. But everyone has problems when their parents are divorced. Ain’t nothin’ special about divorce.

Recognizing I had pedophilia

About the only thing that was weird was I noticed a sexual attraction to little boys, which I didn’t realize as such until I was 16 years old or so. While ya’ll were going through puberty and you were liking what you like, my brain was developing attraction to boys. The signs were there as early as 12–13 years old, but I didn’t have words to describe what was happening, even if I had understood it. The first few years, it was not a big deal. I did not see it as a problem, because I never thought I could or would act on it. I mean, to me, being sexual with a person was marriage, and no way could anyone marry a child. So… okay, who cares? Nothin I did to choose it, nothin I can do to change it. These days, I accept it, cuz’ there ain’t much else I can do.

“Help” from clueless folk

So, when I was in high school (senior, I think it was), I was discovering that people didn’t like people that liked kids, and it was dawning on me what that really meant. To me, liking kids was a good thing. Who wouldn’t want to like kids? Kids are great, and working with them is a blast. But there were them other words in the news reports about the church thing, like “pedophile” that had me thinking, cuz’ people use that word to describe abusers, not just people with an attraction. Now, like a good Christian, I went to a Christian high school and a Christian college, and I tried to sort this shit out.

It was dawning on me with the Boston churches that was covering up abuse that when people talk about liking kids… that ain’t really what they mean, they mean sexual-like, you know, being a pedophile. I started thinking… maybe my sexual thoughts are something I should get help with, some guidance from a mentor. Well, long story short, that guy I asked for help from had no idea what he was doing, didn’t pause to figure out where I was at in how I thought, and basically, he saw me as a risk to children. That was final year of high school, and it didn’t help one bit.

The mentor I ended up with, and his friend who were self-described experts in helping men of faith with sexual shit, decided that I would blow up and hurt the people around me. He labeled me a ticking time bomb. A lot of other things happened, but I stuffed everything I was talking to them about, primarily because of their reaction. I stopped talking to people about it. I kept it a secret, and it festered for years until I was in college, trying to manage school, a job, staying fit, and working with kids all at the same time.

Where’s that lead, you think?

It leads to a long series of shitty thoughts and decisions, duh. I had no support, I tried to hide what I was struggling with, and it became an issue that started taking over my thoughts. Why? Because I let it take over my thoughts. Before, I thought that was beyond my control, but looking back, it was a choice, even if I saw no other choice than to figure it out on my own.

I started looking at child porn, to have an outlet that was “not really harming a child.” to my mind. But I was convinced that I was doing the right thing for the right reasons. To me at the time, it didn’t hurt nobody, but it was hurting me an’ kids too. I only realized that years later. Cops here knew about all that, but never charged me, thank God. I guess they thought convicting me of sexual assault of a minor was good enough.

The real reason for the porn were for meeting needs I was neglecting (I will get to those needs in a moment), and I was spendin lotsa time on it, more and more as college went on. As a result, they was slowly changing how I saw being sexual with a child. My thoughts and beliefs on being sexual with a child went from it being an utter impossibility, to possible and even permissible with the right child who was okay with it. I became a pro-contact pedophile, cuz’ I thought it was okay in the right situation and the right kid.

What was once a pebble was now becoming a mountain.

OVERWHELMED an’ alone with a boy

By this point, I would spend hours every week on downloading new child porn to view, because I thought it was helping me (thank God they never charged me with that shit). I was in a situation where I was constantly neglecting my needs and trying to ignore what I needed in regards to my ADD: Quiet, less time around people and distractions, all that shit. No, my highly social job, weekly exercise classes, and going to church were the opposite of what I needed. They didn’t help me focus. Too much distraction, too much going on.

Spending time with an 8-year-old boy, whom I knew through his older brother at my exercise group, ain’t what I needed. I was piling social activity after social activity on myself when I needed more alone time and quiet, less distraction.

I couldn’t even feel how overwhelmed I was, and my belief was that I needed to help people, which led to ignoring my feelings more. My needs didn’t matter, cuz’ I needed to help people like a good Christian. These issues were building and building, and putting me in a place where I was totally overwhelmed, and I had no idea that I even was overwhelmed. That frog analogy, where the frog jumps out if the water’s boiling, but stays in if the heat gets turned up slowly? I’m that frog. No one suddenly decides to just abuse a kid. It’s a process. Least, it was with me.

Eventually, I began sexually abusing that 8-year-old boy, because I convinced myself that it would help him learn more about himself and about hygiene. I asked him, that first time, if I could put lotion on a rash he had on his groin. I deceived both him and me into believing my touching and looking at his penis was about him being healthy. Even if he was willing at first, it was still undeniably child sexual abuse. He had no way of properly consenting, which makes it child rape. Now, some folk don’t think I should be calling it rape, cuz’ there was never penetration, but what else do you call it? Mo-lestation? Bullshit. Where I’m from, if it ain’t with permission, it’s rape. So yeah, I raped a child I cared very much about, because my decisions had put me in a really dark place.

I was trying to meet some needs by shit that wouldn’t ever meet them: Needing to be alone more, needing less noise so I could focus, needing to feel comfortable in my own skin, needing to pay attention to how I was feeling, self-care, looking only at the shit I can control, all that stuff. One of the constant phrases we repeated while in treatment was, “Our best thinking got us here.” That was very true: My attempts to solve my own problems, without support, led to five years of bad decision-making starting when I was 16 asking that stupid mentor for help that led up to the sexual abuse of a child I cared deeply about.

Whoa… a child molester who doesn’t minimize?

Yeah, a child molester who fully understands the gravity of his actions and regrets them. My actions were confusing to the boy I hurt, and were not helpful, as I deluded myself into thinking. I don’t care for my stupid behavior, and my pledge is that it ain’t never gonna happen again, because where I used to think that I was out-of-control, no, my behavior’s a choice. I have become an anti-contact pedophile because of my choice to sexually abuse a child and the aftermath that choice caused.

So then what?

So, I realize I’m jumping around here, but I actually manipulated the boy into telling. He was the kinda kid that would do the opposite of what you told him if you told him to do somethin he shouldn’t. So I told him not to tell anyone what I was doin. He told a teacher, the teacher told the cops, and I got a call from the family wanting to know what was what. ‘Bout a week went by, very depressing week mind you, and I had a dream where I was hurting another kid, and I just lost it. I tried to off myself with a bag over my head, and it didn’t work, so I called the cops. Yeah, real fucking smart, but I had noone else I could ask for help. That’s how shit hit the fan.

Over a few months, after spending a month in jail, I went through psych evals, a few court dates, and finally, I was sentenced to ten years on probation with a stay of imposition. They said if I kept all my requirements, I’d end up with a misdemeanor instead of a felony. So I worked my ass off to understand all the things I needed to do. Got off probation in October.

My requirements were somethin like this:

No contact with anyone under 18 for the purposes of gettin’ to know ’em

No porn of any kind

No social media or shit that could lead to contact with minors

Keep all my probation meetings, an’ first they were monthly, then every other month, then at the end I had to check in once a year

Complete sex offender therapy

Get gainful employment or make good efforts

Had to have internet use monitored to make sure I did my shit right

My conditions also notified me of my duty to register as a sex offender, and what happens if I don’t

If I just knew then what I know now…

Many sex offenders I knew in treatment constantly said they wish they knew what they learned in treatment before they hurt someone. It ain’t just some shit about how they wish they hadn’t been caught, the people I knew really valued what therapy was teaching and wish they learned that shit before they fucked up. I know this from from goin’ to sex offender treatment for near two and a half years and seeing about twenty guys who now live their lives in a healthier way, at peace with what happened, but still wishing they knew then what they know now.

That was the origin for my finding people on the internet: Wanting to make that help more available before someone fucks up like I did. I wanted to see if there were other pedophiles who spoke out about this, and I found a shit-ton. Ender, Robert, Jack, Daywalker, and Nigel over in France… lotsa people talk about it. Hopefully my story can help people too.

Yeah, there were a few guys who didn’t make it. One had a relapse with drugs and thought he needed to focus on that, not the sexual acting out he did on them drugs. Another got kicked out for pot, a probation violation. Another, because he couldn’t follow the requirements, but I hear he went back after he did what he need to. But that’s three people out of twenty, an’ from my understanding, the norm for sex offenders is staying compliant and keepin our toes in line. All that shit you see on the news? They only report the bad shit, never the good.

What is the point here?

The point is this: It wasn’t a single, sudden decision that led to abusing the boy. It wasn’t as if I woke up one day and decided to be sexual with a child. It weren’t out of a desire to cause pain to someone and get pleasure from that. It was a process that, for me, took five years. That time between the start of poor decisions and neglecting mental health and the sexual abuse of a child means that my actions were preventable. If someone had the right response and help, I woulda leapt at it. We need to know help is out there. My therapy program was connected to AASECT, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and they can help people with sexual issues. I seen a good website, www.virped.org that’s got all sortsa good shit. So, if you’re dealing with pedophilia, they can help, and they don’t judge you.

But my point is, I’m a human being, I ain’t no monster, and people liked me and cared about me an’ they still do. I wasn’t no freak in no trench coat waiting to nab a kid off the street, I was the guy everyone loved. I volunteered, I worked, I did all the shit a normal person does. If you’re looking for the monster, you ain’t gonna see me, the guy that goes to a Christian church and a Christian high school and a Christian college and helps with the kids.

Wait… human?

The idea that someone who sexually abused a child is human? Most people call bullshit. The idea that sexual abuse is not a result of what the media has caricatured sexual abuse into, but the result of complex mental health needs that could be addressed before the abuse happens? Again, bullshit to most folk.

These’re mind-blowing ideas that most people are not prepared to accept. Sorry to disturb you, but I think those ideas can help children avoid the sorta pain I caused. I think we need to be real in how we talk about these issues, even if it’s uncomfortable and messy. Why?

What I did to my victim was evil and wrong, and that is why I want people to learn what I have learned, without the pain I caused, the lessons I learned the hard way… before a child is raped, abused, or molested. No one should have to go through what I put that boy through. No one should have to go through what I went through trying to get help and being called a time bomb, and being turned away from that help. It don’t help no one, and it played a hand in me hurting the kid. I own the shit I did, but it didn’t happen in no vacuum.

Abuse is shit that needs to stop, an’ the laws we make ain’t doin that.