Recognizing abuse at 31, wish it happened at 15

When I was about 14 years old, I became active on some boylove forums that were popular then. I really enjoyed them. I am a member at one that I still frequently visit. The forums are nice because they offer a way for people who have had similar experiences to come together. But in the mid-2000s, it used to be on these boards that there were separate sections where people who were comfortable with adult-child sex could talk, and people who were not comfortable with adult-child sex could speak. So they were different spaces on the same forum. I recall being most active in the sections for people who were not comfortable with sexual contact with children. I remember seeing that there were Christian boylovers and being blown away by that.

Unfortunately, I inevitably looked at the forum sections for people who supported sexual relationships between adults and children. I was very young and did not know what I was doing, and I’ve always carried immense guilt for this. I was led to some AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) chat rooms, Freenet and Tor. In exchange for pictures of myself, I was offered links to pornography, photographs, and videos. For years this happened, and it tore me apart. I still have awful memories of it.

For my entire life, I thought it was my fault that this happened. That I should have been punished for this. When I was in the military, I had a challenging deployment. I was exposed to violent imagery; some were sexual, and I was regularly around combat (though I never found myself in combat). I developed PTSD while I was deployed and almost killed myself. I reported my actions to my leadership and was medically evacuated to a mental health care facility. My doctors asked me to tell them everything that was bothering me, so I told them about my experiences while deployed, my experiences growing up, and the sexual attractions that I had developed. The military doctors diagnosed me as a pedophile and reported me to my command because they felt that I was a risk. In hindsight I have mixed feelings about this, I held a very high level clearance, so the fear of some risk may have been legitimate, I just don’t think my command were the right people to tell. My command initiated an investigation against me, all of my electronic devices were taken. No evidence of sexual misconduct was found. My command court martial-ed me for minor misconduct (like being late to work). I was given a severe and prolonged sentence in federal prison. The prison was informed about my sexuality, and most of that time was spent in solitary confinement. I have read on the UN human rights page that what happened to me was torture ( OHCHR | United States: prolonged solitary confinement amounts to psychological torture, says UN expert).

I have an attorney who has helped me get my military discharge upgraded, and the VA now gives me disability. It has taken me 10 years to get to where I am now. It is still difficult for me to work. When I received disability at the beginning of this year, I felt like I could finally talk more openly about what happened to me and became active on the forums again. However, I was terribly afraid that if I tried to talk about what happened to me while appealing my characterization of service, the military would use my words against me and that as a result, I wouldn’t get my discharge successfully upgraded. While my discharge upgrade was being processed by the military, I graduated at the top of my class from one of the best universities in the country. I completed a graduate degree, I am published and successful. However, until very recently, I had always thought that the pornography issues when I was a kid were my fault. However, I am starting to realize that this was actually abuse. I am not sure how to process this realization.

It has been an emotional roller coaster for me. One that many on MSC have witnessed first hand. I have spoken to my wife about these issues, and she is very kind and patient. She listens and gives me hugs and never judges me. I sincerely wish I could have talked to someone when I was 15 about what was happening to me without fearing being put in prison or separated from my family. I wish I could have had the realizations I now have at 31, when I was 15 instead. I desperately want that for future generations. Also, I want people who have similar experiences to me to access resources that can help them cope with this kind of trauma. I have had a lot of success using the VA VetChange app. I wish there was something like that for us. VetChange | VA Mobile

I also wish that the internet companies would be held accountable. I feel like they should bear some responsibility for what happened to me because they didn’t provide my parents with any information about what the internet could do. The only thing they did was report kids to the police, who were often re-traumatized by the criminal justice system. It doesn’t seem right.

I also feel like the Feres doctrine needs to be revised so that people like myself can sue the government for damages to know they did something wrong. My attorney agrees and is the one that recommended that I write my congressman with this recommendation.

I am worried I am rambling, but I just wanted to put more of my story out here on the internet. I know bits and pieces are in various places. There is more here for example: https://www.reddit.com/r/BlockedAndReported/comments/pizqp0/comment/hbxnzo1/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

I have a post on VirPed, too, about my experience in prison.

Thanks for reading my post,
-Zurc

PS: Some things that have been helpful for me:
-Forgiving the people on the internet, whoever they were
-Forgiving my parents for not setting better boundaries with the computer
-Forgiving the military
-Forgiving myself
-My marriage
-Medication (I take venlafaxine, which I love, but make sure you understand what you are getting into before you start it)
-Teaching, I work with kids and teaching them how to use a computer has been really rewarding for me. I even run classes on safe internet use. I noticed some people do not take it super seriously but I take it very seriously, and I think it means a lot to the kids to see someone like me who knows a lot about computers taking it seriously.
-Mindfulness, using that VetChange app
-Getting involved on the forums
-Understanding that my sexuality isn’t going to change, but that I have complete control over my actions
-School has been helpful because it has given me access to therapy and stuff I wouldn’t otherwise have access to
-Church/Spiritual Health I go to church and am active in my community and it helps.
-Therapy has not been very helpful but it has helped me “build my case” which has led to many positive outcomes

oh: and boychoir music, very therapeutic.

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“My command court martial-ed me for minor misconduct (like being late to work). I was given a severe and long sentence in a federal prison”

Holy fucking shit…

I unfortunately have nothing to offer except my deepest condolences. A lot of us here on this forum have been harassed and treated with prejudice because of our attractions. But what you’ve gone through makes all that look like a trifle.

I’m honestly speechless, I knew things like this must have happened but hearing a real victim’s story is still a little bit surreal.

Edit - I also find it pretty incredible that the Feres doctrine put into plain English is essentially the state saying "We declare ourselves unaccountable to ourselves. Oh we committed a wrongdoing against you? Tough shit…"

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Hi, thank you for your words of support/kindness. I want to grab some people and shake them and be like: “this happens in America to regular people who are not bad people” - our criminal justice system is so messed up and the problems are only amplified in the military.

There are some details I glossed over too…. Among the worst, I was given very high doses of a stimulant and Zoloft while in prison. But at the time when you were kicked out of the military you didn’t get any care from the VA. So I was put on a flight and had to come off Zoloft at over 100mg/day and a stimulant medication cold turkey while basically homeless.

This after I went to a combat zone with notions of defending my country.

The military can try and claim that it was not because I was have minor attraction but at the hearing for my discharge they asked invasive questions about my sexuality in front of my parents and wife. Then again at the hearing for disability they asked if I had pedophilia even though: (1) it had nothing to do with why I was asking for disability (2) Minor attraction and pedophilia are different, I don’t experience any anxiety about my attraction, I experience ptsd, anxiety and depression because of my time in a combat zone.

The military knows full well why this happened to me. It is madness. And frankly, the stigma is a national security issue. I know I was not the only person in my unit that struggled with minor attraction and we all had very high level clearances.

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Antis after reading this thread:

“Are we supposed to feel sympathy now??? We need to protect kids, not pedophiles. A ruined life of a child is worse than your sob story. Also STOP WORKING WITH KIDS.”.

It’s amazing how dumb people can be. I wish you the best.

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You’ve got their shtick down pat, I was a little taken aback at first.

But yeah, it really is just deflection and whataboutism.

It’s almost as if they think MAPS and children are literally at war with one another and helping one necessarily hurts the other. Their view of the situation is cartoonishly reductive.

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Yes my reaction to this is: I don’t know why you are surprised that there are adult men that experience sexual attraction to kids working with kids. Is that not obvious? Would you prefer for me to not get help and tell no one and keep it a secret to myself? How do you think that story ends?

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“DID YOU JUST ASSUME MY GENDER?”

Would be a classic here.

Are you implying that all pedophiles feel anxiety about our attractions?

Perhaps he meant pedophilic disorder

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Oh yes thank you, that’s right. There are definitely people with pedophilic disorder, my understanding is that these people are worried they will actually offend, and experience anxiety about that…. I mean, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s just really unlikely. I have no desire to actually act on the thoughts. I didn’t choose to have a sexual attraction but I can choose my actions.

Best way for that would probably be manga if legal in your place. You can really let it out with other anime fans and nobody cares

Nvm

I honestly can’t stand that stuff it grosses me out hahaha but good for you on that. I am married so most of my sex is with my wife and occasionally fantasizing about cute kids on Instagram. Just want to be clear, this is my private thing and I’d NEVER actually do anything with those kids that’s sexual in anyway.

It’s just fun, the kids on Instagram do all kinds of cool stuff. It’s really impressive.

I bet you that there’s people that’ll be grossed out by this, but to them I say: go forth and follow the kids yourself and when you get a chance take a look at who is following them. It ain’t a bunch of kids LOL!

I also say: I want you to go take a look at the pictures that fell out of Alan Turing’s books and his response when the other faculty saw them :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Kids are cute, everyone knows it. It’s to our advantage in our communities if there are men able to manage their actions/attractions and emulate healthy masculinity/maleness.

Your wife knows about your attraction, right? Good to see that she still loves you. I wouldn’t care at all tbh. I would be happy if my fiance tells me sth. like that should it apply to him. That’s what I call trust.

I wouldn’t call myself a MAP tbh. I never felt anything for minors.

Yes she knows, she knows about everything. I like to say there are two entities in the observable universe that know literally everything about me: My wife and the government.

I don’t give her in depth descriptions of my fantasies because she doesn’t want to know — which is completely reasonable. But she knows the gist.

I have a friend who casually says he is attracted to teens and nobody cared. I think it’s much easier for hebephiles to come out. Probably also since AoC is one of the lowest here, who knows (I don’t support the low AoC just to be clear). I definetly didn’t judge him for admitting this.

Haha, sure, I completely agree. I have a sexual attraction to prepubescent and early teen boys. I hate the word attraction because to me it’s what electrons and protons do, not human beings, it’s a gross over simplification. The reality is, I love boys (platonically, with boundaries, etc). Seeing them learn and successes is my pride and joy. I would have it no other way.

I will say, I think there is a lot of history behind relationships between boys and men. There is also a lot of research suggesting these relationships have incredible long term outcomes.

Historically speaking, it has been at times common for there to be a sexual component to the relationship between boys and men. My argument is this:

  1. that component was not necessary
  2. that component was harmful
  3. that relationship would have had even better outcomes if the man had modeled healthy and appropriate self control.
  4. we shouldn’t pretend it doesn’t exist lest we repeat the mistakes of the past

Additionally, I think the prison sentences and SOR are the wrong way to address this issue. I also think that the victim needs to have more of a voice in outcomes and I think human beings should always be treated with dignity and respect by our criminal justice system. May God have mercy on those that perpetuate solitary confinement.

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I strongly disagree with the DSM-V and its conceptualization of distress/shame/self-hatred over one’s pedophilia as constituting a disorder. Equivalent to calling internalized homophobia or racism a disorder. We shouldn’t pathologize the results of stigma and blame it on a disorder.

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I don’t have much of an opinion on the DSM V but it is kinda nice being able to say that I don’t meet the criteria of pedophile. Now that it’s in my medical records it’s actually been really difficult to navigate that…. Fortunately I have a letter from the doctor saying the diagnosis shouldn’t be shared between providers because of the stigma. Unfortunately, the military is dumb as a bag of bricks about this sort of thing and shared it anyways. Alas, it has not ended up affecting my life too much because I haven’t been charged or convicted of any crime and I also have several doctors who disagree with the diagnosis. It’s a hot mess.

I really think in the professional circles the stigma is shifting because of work being done by groups like prostasia. I don’t agree with Prostasia on everything and I try and stay away from social media on this, but I have so much respect for them. My wife and I both. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t show her some of the materials they’ve published. It’s incredibly meaningful. Also work from pedophiles at groups like VirPed and MSC. It’s amazing. 15 years ago the situation was so much more bleak than it is now. It’s sad to hear the doom speak, and I recognize that the public is getting more conservative about this issue…. But I really think that the professional communities understand the situation and agree change needs to happen.

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DSM-V explicitly states that the distress must come from yourself and not from stigma and disapproval of society tho.

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It doesn’t. [filler words]

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