Victim of sexual abuse afraid of molesting others


Victim of sexual abuse afraid of molesting others


your avatar   Art, 16-year-old man

I know I'm underage but I need some advice. Please.

As a child I was sexually abused by a neighbor who I considered to be a great friend and I went to therapy for this. It's been almost ten years since that and now I'm starting to get the urge to molest my 10-year-old neighbor. I've never thought about anything like this before. In fact I just considered her a friend that is helping me live the childhood I never got the chance to live; up until last week that is. Last week I noticed that she is entering puberty because I noticed her breasts are starting to grow and for some reason I got the urge and now I can't think about anything else.

I know how it feels to be sexually abused and I don't want to ever make anyone feel that way but I don't feel that it's a mental thing; it's an urge that my body has. I have a problem with impulse control and I'm afraid I might not be able to contain the urge much longer since it's growing more powerful.


Why do I want to sexually abuse my neighbor? What can I do to stop myself?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Art, I have good news for you. You are not going to sexually abuse your friend, and never in your life will you do anything to hurt children. This is because your terrible past has taught you a lesson. You know what it is like to be hurt in this way. You are inherently a decent, moral person - this comes through even in your brief note: the idea of damaging your friend is horrifying to you.

Why did you have this urge? Because you are 16 and male, and noticed the attractiveness of a person who sexually excites you. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with this.

There is EVERYTHING wrong with acting on such a thought. So, accept the sexual attraction. It is fine to feel it for any other person. Action is inappropriate for almost all of these people. Every male has urges and imaginings involving sex with people whom they should not approach. Decent people like you leave it at that.

As you go around your world, you will come across relatives, friends, teachers, absolute strangers like shop assistants or people walking down the street, and will feel sexual urges about them. But imagine if just because a guy felt attracted to a girl walking down the street he'd go up to her and started groping or worse?

There are people who act in uninhibited ways like that. They are sick, or on drugs (including alcohol). Most people don't.

The Tenth Commandment in the Bible says: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife..." Well, you are coveting your neighbor's daughter. But I disagree with this being wrong. You did not decide to have these thoughts and urges and feelings. Therefore, you are not responsible for them. You are responsible only for what you DO.

The Commandment should say, "Thou shalt resist the temptation to covet thy neighbor's wife" etc. You are resisting. That makes you a moral person.

Now for the last part of your question: why does the urge get more powerful? Because you are fighting it. A thought, urge, memory or other inner event gets stronger if it is given attention. Do NOT think of the word "hippopotamus." See what I mean? You'll end up thinking about it anyway.

You noticed this girl's breasts, and this gave you a bit of sexual excitement. Because your history has sensitized you to child abuse, you misinterpreted this as an urge to abuse her. Then this made you feel terribly guilty, so you tried to NOT think of doing sexual things with her. Right? So, when you accept my interpretation and relax about the issue, accept it as normal for any teenage boy, then you will stop trying to banish sexual thoughts about her. This withdraws attention from the urge, and it will wither away.


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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