Afraid of becoming sex offender


Afraid of becoming sex offender


your avatar   Yuna, 19-year-old woman

When I was around 8 I was sexually abused by my aunt's brother. The first time I recalled that anything like this had happened must have been when I was 14 and it all came back to me in a flash. I never told anyone when I was 14 and I suffered in silence feeling dirty and guilty all the way until one day, I decided this wasn't going to beat me and I took the route of "just get over it".

Years passed and I thought I really had gotten over it and it never affected me anymore. However, now I'm in university. I finally decided to tell one of my friends what happened to me and with that came all sorts of problems.

I see the same abuse happening to every single child I walk past in the street but there's a new twist to it that rips me up inside. The abuser is me or at least I think the abuser is me. I'm now more than a little scared that I'm going to carry out the abuse I see in my head and I really don't want to. This has come with other problems as well. I'm currently on anti-depressants because it's way too much for me to deal with and now I'm worried that I'm sexually attracted to children and the thought sickens me.

My head also plays tricks on me and tries to convince me that I WANT to do those awful things to other children and this fact causes me to break down into tears or puts me in a horrible mood. This whole thing has made me hate myself and has made me believe my future is going to be me a sex offender. The whole thing is just horrible as my dream career use to be a primary school teacher so this whole thing has basically ruined my life.

Please help me.


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Yuna my dear,

You are NOT a sex offender. You are NOT a child molester. You are a young woman with high morals who is horrified at the very thought of hurting children this way.

The problem is some thoughts, images and urges that torment you. If you were a wicked, evil person, you would simply do those things and maybe even feel good about them. But in fact your whole cry for help is because your morals tell you that doing so would be wrong.

So, actually, you can be proud of yourself.

It doesn't really matter how this terrible problem started, but I have a theory. At one time, you saw a small child, and the thought of wanting to cuddle her came into your mind. There is nothing wrong with that - I often feel like cuddling little kids, and what's more when I have the opportunity I do so, without any sexual overtones. However, because of your memories of the sexual abuse against you, you misinterpreted this desire as being sexual. When that happened, you were horrified, and tried to banish the thought.

Fighting a thought gives it energy. To prove it, DO NOT think of "hippopotamus" for one minute. Of course, the more you focus on not thinking it, the more it intrudes into your mind. And this is what you've been doing with your thoughts about little kids. You have interpreted them as terrible, and this led you to fighting them, and the more you've fought them the stronger and more frequent they became.

Therefore, do the opposite. When one of these thoughts comes, treat it as inner noise. It's not real until you glorify it with belief. It gains power by being fought, argued with, and treated as important. You didn't ask for the thought. It just came. You can't turn it off, you can't banish it, but you don't need to listen. Have you ever been in the same room with a TV that has images of people on the screen, and voices coming from it, but you are paying attention to something else? If someone asked you what the show was, you might actually not be able to answer.

Treat any unwanted thoughts, images, memories, urges, moods, emotions, even physical pain sensations in your body, in the same way. They're there, so what. This may take a little practice, but it is very powerful.

You are not what you think inside. That's only noise, unless you believe it. You are what you DO. So, that should handle the immediate problem of how to deal with your feelings of guilt and horror at yourself. There is nothing to feel guilty about. Therefore, you can go to your doctor and get weaned off those nasty pills.

However, you can and should do something about the childhood sexual abuse against you. You can have free access to a psychologist. Go to one who is competent at dealing with this issue.

And my dear, have a good life. You can.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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