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So, you’ve just realized that you’re a pedophile, and that no matter what you do, you can’t make it go away. What do you do now? Do you kill yourself? Or do you risk life as a pedophile?
Sadly this is a torment that many of us face. We didn’t choose to turn out the way we did. After all, who in their right mind would choose to be attracted to children? Yet here we find ourselves, with an almost unbearable burden. A burden of shame, secrecy, and isolation.
Suicide for us can seem like the only way out representing a finality to all the turmoil we find ourselves in. We feel some pain, and then our pain is no more. On one hand suicide is a barbaric rage – spitting in the face of life itself, since life has already spat in ours. “Why should I go on living? If life is nothing but pain, screw it. I quit! I’m not playing this stupid game! Go to hell for all I care!” All the while screaming through a veil of bitter tears. On the other hand, suicide is a sad resignation – a remorse for the life that could have been. Why couldn’t I just be like everyone else? Why did it have to be me?
As we think on our lives, and their termination, suddenly we can find ourselves brought back to the immediate: “What will mum think? What will my friends think? How long until they find me? What if I botch it up?” Needless to say, the certainty of death is a sure way of escaping the uncertainties that come with being a pedophile. “What if I offend? What if everyone finds out about me?”
For those of us who have offended, the temptation to suicide can be especially strong – a way out of all painful futures – a way to express our sorrow – a way of redemption. This way of thinking is completely understandable. Life is unbearable, and it certainly doesn’t seem to be getting better any time soon.
Unfortunately, when we’re this far down in the pits, most people, including Christians tend to be unhelpful. The sad truth is, most people don’t know how to handle a conversation about suicide. They can say all the “right” things and quote all the “right” verses. But chances are, they just won’t get it. Thankfully, this isn’t everyone.
Scattered throughout our world are people who know what it’s like to despair. Maybe they’re not in your immediate family, or on your football team, but they do exist. You might want to spend some time thinking of who you might want to reach out to. As always, be careful in how you reach out. Test the water before you go jumping in mentioning the ‘P’ word. Things like: “I struggle with unwanted attractions” are generally a good start. You’re also more than welcome to reach out to us if you need to, but unfortunately we can’t offer the face-to-face you might need.
When I was going through my depression and suicidal thoughts, I also found Psalm 88 to be a comfort to me. Oftentimes, psalms will end on a positive note about faith in God and his ability to save, but psalm 88 doesn’t do this. Neither does it offer any kind of quick fix encouragement. It ends on a grim note which I found incredibly refreshing, and real. Sometimes we go through times where we can’t see the goodness of God and all we can see is darkness, and it’s okay to feel this way – that depression is not a sin, but a very real cry of the heart – that we, and the world we inhabit are not how they should be. Psalm 88 shows us that this is something which God understands, making himself available to us as comforter and healer should we choose to confide in him.
Lastly, please don’t give up. I know things might be unbearable at the moment, but I have found that in the long-term, living with pedophilia is something that gets easier with every passing year. The storm doesn’t last forever. The seas do settle eventually. Just keep doing the next right thing, and God will bring you through.
As always, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you.