Written by “Elliott”
“Elliott” is a non-offending MAP in his 40s.
My hope in writing this is to help at least one person.
July 26 2007
Think about that date for a moment, what does it mean to you? Was it the day that you got engaged or married, was it the day someone you loved passed away? Or was it just a normal ordinary day for you, having your coffee, going to work?
For me it was the day that my world got flipped upside down, it was the day I told my parents and my brother that I was a pedophile and was addicted to “child sexual exploitation material.”
To fully understand the gravity of what that meant for me you have to go back 10 years before. By 1997, I had been dealing with my “Minor Attraction” for a few years and it was confusing andfrustrating for me but I tried not to dwell on it since for the most part I told myself things were going good in my life.
I was graduating from high school, I was dating my same-age girlfriend for two years with thoughts of proposing to her later that year….
Then everything came crashing down.
First, early in the summer my grandfather (whom I was close to) finally succumbed to his cancer and passed away, then just as I was starting college two huge bombs hit me; 1) My parents finalized their divorce and, 2) my girlfriend broke up with me saying she felt guilty for cheating on me.
I thought my life was over. I didn’t know where to turn. In hindsight I realize that the place I turned to was the worst decision of my life.
10 years of Hell
Summer of 1997: I got my first computer, I used it for everyday normal things, news, entertainment, sports scores, etc… but I also started trying to do research on my attraction. So I began doing searches for key phrases in relationship to being a pedophile and what that meant.
For the most part I came across what you would suspect; that all pedophiles were monsters that deserved to die, “pedophilia” is a mental health sicknessand the like. But then I came across my first pro-contact webpage and it gave me whole new set of keywords to search for….
Further down the rabbit hole I went.
It took me about a month to discover my first image of child sexual exploitation material. The first time that I saw it I had about a million different emotions running to my head; I knew it was wrong, I knew I could be arrested for viewing it, but I also knew that because of my attraction it was something I kinda liked.
I was still dating my girlfriend at the time and later in that day (after seeing images) we were hanging out. She could tell something was definitely wrong with me so after some prodding I told her what I saw, although I told her that I just accidentally came across it and how much it bothered me. She didn’t question me any further and felt bad that I had to see it. We never talked about it again in our relationship, but from that day forward the spark was lit.
Over the next few months the arguments began with my girlfriend, I could tell she was pulling away wanting to have her own life outside of our relationship, which was extremely difficult for me because I made her my way out of the life I was dealing with in my head. Looking back everything I did to try and keep her only pushed her further away. With all the emotions I was dealing with I tried to escape my reality by turning to the virtual world on screen.
Once she finally broke up with me I stopped becoming the person I was going to become and packed my bags to live almost exclusively online. Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, months turned to years. I was living a double life “Doctor Jeckll and Mr. Hyde.”
I knew from the very start I never wanted to act on my attractions and that in doing so I would ruin a child’s life, but for some reason I was able to still view other people in images who were abusing a child. At the time, I convinced myself that what I was seeing wasn’t really happening to a child, that it was just all pretend like a movie or tv show. I also never purposely looked at any violent abuse, I would seek out things where it looked like the children enjoyed it. I know now that they don’t enjoy it and are victims of abuse.
The years went on and each time I viewed the images I felt guiltier and guiltier, especially since at the time I became a serious role model in a younger male cousin’s life. Anytime I was with him he would never leave my side, wanting to include me in every aspect of his life. I witnessed how innocent he was and how much he enjoyed life. I could never think of harming him in anyway, and could tell that sex was the furthest thing in his mind.
So why couldn’t I stop looking at CSEM? I didn’t know at the time that “Porn Addiction” was a real thing. I didn’t understand the science behind how sex stimulates the same areas of the brain that alcohol and drugs do. Speaking of which eventually I turned to alcohol as well to numb the guilt I felt about my “Porn Addiction.”
Everything was falling apart for me because I couldn’t concentrate on normal every day responsible tasks I had to take part time jobs, barely could ever aford my bills because my money went to fueling my alcohol addiction. I wished and also at the same time dreaded someone discovering my secret because I wanted out of this hell and had no clue how I would find a way out. Little did I know that my prayers were about to be answered and that takes us to the Summer of 2007.
A Month Before
The beginning of summer of 2007 came with an invite to a friends wedding. It was to take place on a beach. There was a deep down feeling in my mind that I should not attend this wedding. I still wanted to have a vacation that summer so when the opportunity came to go visit my brother in the city he was living in I jumped on the chance. This in hindsight was the universe working in mysterious ways.
So at the beginning of July I visited my brother. Because he wasn’t around me every day he noticed that something was definitely wrong with me. I don’t remember what it exactly was that he noticed. It might have been my immaturity or that I was going through some sort of withdrawal from my addiction that he might have noticed I wasn’t all the way there mentally.
After the week was over he decided to take it upon himself to help me anyway he could. This began with me totally being oblivious to what he was doing. He began asking his therapist various questions on what could be possibly wrong with me.
So after being given some advice on how to proceed, he informed my parents on how he was planning on helping me. This was all being done without my knowledge.
The Week Of
My Dad and I at the time had a long-standing tradition of meeting up to see a movie and have dinner. This particular week at dinner my dad started asking me some totally out of place questions such as, “Do you think you were ever abused?” “Have you ever viewed some questionable images on the internet? These questions were completely out of left field and of course I denied all of them. Then the same night I got home my brother called me and asked me the same questions.
I was beginning to get freaked out and tried to figure why they were asking these questions and also at the same time trying to figure out if this could be what I was asking for?
I was at work and my dad called me to see if I could meet for lunch and I told him yes. During lunch my Dad asked me the same questions that he had before he also let me know that he had discovered something on my computer that he found questionable. Again I denied everything and then went back to work.
I got home from work and my brother instantly called me. After going round and round for a while he said something to me that let me know that it was finally time to tell the truth. I really wish that I could remember what he said or how I exactly phrased what I said in coming out to him but it’s all a blur. All I know is that at the last thing I remember him saying is, “We are going to get you help.”
I went over to my mom’s house and waited until she got home and that is when the dam finally broke. I began telling her everything about my attraction as well as the past 10 years of my inner world. Looking back I wish I would’ve waited to reveal certain things until later when she was ready to hear them. This was true for what I revealed to my brother as well. My advice to anyone who is brave enough to come out to someone who does not have proper training to hear such things is: DO IT IN STAGES.
From Then On
Starting about a week after me coming out I began therapy with the therapist my brother was seeing at the time. Because she already knew why I was there I felt I could be completely open with her. This was a huge help!
From there, time flew by pretty quickly to get to where I am at today. Everything wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There were some difficult times, ups and downs within my family. It took awhile for my mother to believe that I never acted on my attraction because she didn’t initially understand the words: “Attraction does not equal Action.”
Being in counseling helped me increase my self-confidence and self-trust enough that I moved cities and in living there found an amazing therapist and a support group for pornography addiction. Unfortunately I had to move back home and don’t have much support and that is why along with my mom having an online community of support for “Minor Attracted People” that are anti-contact like me is so helpful. I am an anti-contact pedophile.Today, I am sober from all pornography including CSEM. I believe viewing CSEM is harmful to children since those minors in CSEM are victims of abuse.
This Present Moment
As I sit here typing this blog I realize that this summer will be 12 years since I came out, so in writing this it has been very therapeutic for me.
Every year on my anniversary date I always like to look back and think what if I never had been brave enough to come out how my life would look? I think to myself: would I had eventually abused someone and to that question I honestly don’t think so. My stance has always been the same about that and has never wavered, meaning, I don’t want to ever harm a child.
The next question I ask is: do I feel like eventually I would’ve been caught and arrested for view CSEM? I don’t know.
Do I regret coming out? The answer to that is no. The road hasn’t always been smooth, including that my brother chooses not to have me in his life, and there are times still when my mom and I will have a heated discussion about a particular topic related to my attraction. But the life I was living beforehand was a nightmare!
So in closing I want to say this, if you are a MAP and reading this please know that you are worth living, you are a loved and you are not a monster. If you decide to be brave enough to come out to someone, please make sure that they are a trusted supportive non-judgmental person. Be prepared for some ups and downs in the relationship after that and know that unless they are trained in how to deal with these topics/issues you won’t always be understood.
To the supportive family, friends and loved ones: if your son, daughter, friend or relative has chosen you to come out to you should feel honored. Please don’t break that trust! I know it’s hard to discuss, if you need to find your own support, do it but please, talk to the Minor Attracted Person in your life beforehand so they know too.
I want to thank everyone who read my blog post.