I am a pedophile. Notice how the word itself twists your mouth, twists my mind. Reflexion always drives you over the limits of the socially acceptable, on this matter. Blocking my imagination from overstepping its rights, from showing the ugly I cannot manage anymore.
Before deepening any further, what am I?
Asking our Greek roots, we translate “paîs” and “philos” to “children lover”, passionate about children. However, the original “philos” does not sound vicious or disgusting in philosophy or philanthropist. How did one of the Greek words for love earned such a gross signification?
“Pedophilia, also spelled paedophilia, psychosexual disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child of the same or the opposite sex,” says Encyclopaedia Britannica. My preference understandably goes to Wikipedia’s definition: “Pedophilia or paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children, generally age 11 years or younger.” As you remarked, the second one specifies an age and separates attraction from action. It also allows the child-lover to be attracted to other human beings, closer to his age; “experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction.” Unfortunately, none of this approaches the reality of paedophilia and its implications. Virgin at 26 despite consuming desire for action; sentimental and sexual blossoming yet remain forbidden to me. My therapist convinced me to add “yet”; I’m a work in progress. Indeed, as I précised earlier, part of my feelings managed to stay uncorrupted: I could fall for a girl my age. Unfortunately such a thing never happened during the last 26 years.
At age 15, surrounded by buzzing classmates in quest of unholy fulfilment, I started to understand. The only lovers I cherished belonged to my childhood memories. Soon-to-be grown up bodies, faces, behaviours simply never rang a bell inside my disturbed brain. My desires never grew up with me; my eyes still crave for soft young skins, untouched by the premises of facial hair adolescence brings, innocent legs, high-pitched voices, virgin smiles. To this day, I could not manage to find satisfying answers to these illegal attractions. I fear myself, I fear to feel and above all I fear I might cede the temptations. Imagine a world in which you wake up to unacceptable desires, in which your love for a man or woman, illegitimate, threatens your liberty instead of pushing you forward. Imagine a world I face every day. In which I strive not to demonstrate signs of excitation when people introduce me to their offspring.
At age 21, I finally confessed, came out of the closet to my parents. One should never have to observe his parents’ facial expressions go from disarray to brutal pain when answering the question “Why haven’t you had any girlfriends so far?”
Five years of psychiatric treatment still haven’t helped me figure out the answer.
This text represents one more step towards healing, acceptance of my condition, made impossible by the rules of our society. The life’s struggle of a pedophile shifts from searching fulfilment to fighting against it, from acting out to find love to blocking, distorting the natural yearnings you were born with. I’d like to end offering you this magic sentence I dream to use, one day, as more than an advice; “Be who you truly are.”
This article is a work of fiction meant to raise awareness on the delicate subject. Most pedophiles never act.
P.S. Hear a young pedophile’s interview: https://soundcloud.com/this-american-life/522-tarred-and-feathered-act-two-help-wanted
By: Alexandre Barbier