Am I A Bad Person?

Because I certainly feel like one.

I've twice posted about my obsessive thoughts of pedophilia, how I know I'm not a pedophile but am always afraid it will happen, or is happening (even though I am by no means sexually drawn to prepubescent children). I think I am getting to be very good at willing the thoughts away when they start to crop up.

But even though I know the truth, that I am sexually balanced, I am so ashamed of having had these thoughts at all. I know it's not my fault. But the guilt is clawing me. I talk to a religious leader about the hurt (though not sexual hurt) my father has inflicted upon me, and he enjoys talking to me and being able to listen. But if he knew about these hideous ideas that have been roaring through my conscience for about three years now? How would he feel then? I am not going to tell him, ever, but I feel like I'm keeping a filthy secret.

I am fifteen and wondering whether I have lost my innocence. Do you think I've become a bad person?



Well-known member
No way, doll! You aren't a bad person. I think it shows alot of courage that you are actually talking about those thoughts on here. And you feel an obvious guilt over it. And you're only fifteen. I'm sorry by the way about the hurt your father caused you. My advice, well if I were in your place, I think I would try telling this religious leader, I mean they aren't there to judge you, they're there to guide and help you. And talking about it with an actual person might help to stop these thoughts. Sorry I couldnt be more of a help and good luck.


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Those thoughts do not define who you are.

You don't know who you are, so do not judge yourself, don't make your own self image based on what you think or how you behave. Thats a trap, and there is psychology behind what I said.

There is something called self image, that is basically what we think we are. This self image is formed by our own judment of yourselves, for example, when you try to discover what you are based on those thoughts you have. When you start to believe you are "that bad thing" because of the thoughts you are having, it is when the problem starts.

Do not believe your judment of yourself, it is that what is causing the problem.

When people judge you in a bad way by the image you want to get rid off, they are usually helping you to think you are that thing you don't want to be. So be careful with the judment of others.

The principle behind what I am saying is that you are not who you think you are. The thing you think you are is called self image, or sometimes just self or ego. You are not that, you don't know who you are.

Take a look here.

By the way, I don't think you are a bad person.


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I agree with the other people who've replied - I don't think you're a bad person either. A lot of times the thoughts that go through our minds are just our brains trying to process the information taken in; the same way that our dreams at night are a result of our brains "cleaning up" after all our messy thoughts and feelings.

I'd say that the reason this is on your mind a lot of the time is because it's something that disturbed you when you first came across it and which your mind had trouble processing. Once you realised that you were thinking of it often, instinctive guilt kicked in and ironically the more you tried not to think of it the more you found yourself dwelling on it.

If you accept that being aware of something doesn't make you guilty of it, then I expect that over time your preoccupation with it will fade. I hope this helps you feel better. For the record, you seem like a sensitive and intelligent person, and such people are often strongly affected by the hurtful things they come across in life, the way you seem to have been.
Theres not much i can really add to what's already been said,I just wanted to say these thoughts are a product of your illness.... not a product of you if that makes any sence? If you was a bad person you wouldnt feel guilty about it like blonderedhead said... and they wouldnt bother you.Youve said yourself you actualy have no sexual desire towards underage kids,there just unwanted thoughts.

And your not keeping a filthy secret,its such a taboo subject i doubt some people would understand,and again its not like your planning on acting out the thoughts.


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I think that being a bad person is more about what you do than about what thoughts cross your mind. And even not so bad people do something bad sometimes. People are very difficult. So no, you aren't. :)

I hate to say this, but I just can't talk to the religious leader. I just can't. And, as much as I trust him, I could get into a lot of trouble for having these thoughts because this kind of OCD is common but not well-known -- many people would believe me to be a pedophile for real!


I have to tell you that your words about self image really helped.


I agree with you because I have considered that before. It definitely progressed over a period of about three years into OCD. And I think I traumatized myself at twelve by reading so much about pedophilia -- more than any child really should know.


I really appreciate the support, particularly that you don't consider it a filthy secret.


I love those words! Very well-worded.



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EmilyOlive said:

I agree with you because I have considered that before. It definitely progressed over a period of about three years into OCD. And I think I traumatized myself at twelve by reading so much about pedophilia -- more than any child really should know.
I'm glad if my thoughts on this helped a little. I've had a bit of experience with OCD (although it was milder, like having to touch everything with both hands, for instance turning off a light with both index fingers at once) and I know that the more you try to put it out of your mind, the harder it becomes to ignore. I can also relate to how reading about disturbing subjects at a young age can profoundly affect you. I remember reading an account of war crimes when I was 14 and feeling as if my mind had been raped by the awful knowledge.

By the way, there's another thread on this subject, in case you haven't already seen it:

Actually, that thread was how I discovered the site! I did a seach on Google -- something like, "fear of being a pedophile" -- and found that. But thanks, I do like to read it for reassurance. It is also interesting to see how much opinions vary on the subject, from "I don't think I can trust you if you can't trust yourself" to "Hey, it happens."



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Hey Emily,

I've read that thread and really didn't buy into the "I don't think I can trust you if you can't trust yourself" point of view, but I agree that it's always good to get the biggest range of opinions you can.

I've had plenty of moments (and I suspect everyone has) where an unwanted thought has flashed through my mind and left a trail of self-doubt and even self-disgust behind it. I'm starting to think that the main cause of our social anxiety/phobia is that we examine ourselves too closely and beat ourselves up for being human :?

Take care,