Recently, RDAP Dan and I had a conversation in which I told him that most people wrapped up in the crimes of CP and the like cannot usually comprehend the gravity of both their situation and the damage they are causing. I am not a psychologist, but if I had to guess, this is because those who view CP find some sense of gratification from it. No one wants to admit that something that brings them a sense of satisfaction, albeit a very temporary moment of it, wants to admit that THAT thing stems from a bad decision. I guess the same could be said for any other habit. Smoking, alcohol use, drug use and self-harm are just a few examples of things that many in our society like to pass off as being ‘ok’, as they may bring a temporary moment of relief from our reality.
I am a peace lover. I’ve never been in a physical fight in my life. I’ve never gone out of my way to hurt another human. I would readily say ‘It’s not in my nature’. Therefore, I cannot comprehend why people go out and hurt others. I cannot wrap my mind around someone killing another out of jealousy or rage. I have other ways of dealing with stress and anger. Positive ways that allow me to channel anger into a positive outcome. I learned these skills from my parents and my mentors.
Why then, did I get wrapped up in something that most definitely is viewed by society as ‘the worst of the worst’ of crimes? In prison, those convicted in sexually motivated crimes towards minors, including anything dealing with CP are viewed as ‘the worst’. And, they should be. Children are innocent and in the eyes of the law and the eyes of society, these issues should be dealt with in a manner that would dissuade anyone from repeating them. Yet in all the time that I was a viewer, I simply did not grasp the seriousness of the situation. I wish I had grasped the seriousness and impact of my choices much, much sooner in life. I wish the conversation had been open. I wish this was discussed in my church and youth groups. I wish SOMEONE was talking about not falling into the endless pit of darkness that is CP. This is not to free myself of my responsibility of knowledge of wrongdoing. I just wish the conversation, as difficult as it is to have, had been had.
I grew up in the dawn of the internet. Our family had a computer and AOL was all the rage. I made friends online that are still dear friends today. I learned many things, did my homework online, and chatted with the world it seemed. It was truly a miraculous time to grow up. It also didn’t take long for me to realize that there was a side of the internet that was ready to entice me with things that I had a hard time saying no to. Still in my youth, around the ages of 14 and 15, I was approached by hundreds of men in chat rooms who wanted me to see their most prized possessions: Photos of youth in varying situations. At first, I was disgusted. Truly. I knew these photos were not right and no one should have created them or possess them. I wish…..oh boy do I wish I had told an adult at the time. My parents, a church leader, anyone. But, I didn’t. Disgust turned into curiosity, which turned into intrigue, which turned into habit, which turned into years of viewing images that ate away at my very soul. Getting caught, however uncomfortable and embarrassing, has helped me to begin to work on giving my soul some much needed nourishment.
If you’re reading this, you too may have a similar story. Perhaps it had many twists and turns along the way which I did not experience in my own life. Still, you may have been impacted at an early age by an event that you will not soon forget. For me, it was viewing my first photo of CP at the age of 14. I want to tell you this: we cannot turn back the hands of time and change the past. Asking for forgiveness from others is easy in comparison to asking forgiveness of yourself. If my story is anything similar to yours, you can and must seek forgiveness from yourself for making the decisions you’ve made. The alternative is a lifetime of blame, regret, and self-loathing. Correct what you can correct now, understand that you made poor choices, pick up what pieces you can, and keep on moving ahead with life in a positive and uplifting manner.
If you, by chance, are in a situation where you are addicted to viewing CP or have been involved in any similar crimes, there are two things you can do right now to better your situation. The first is to cease all activity related to viewing CP. Secondly, pick up the phone and call RDAP Dan. You need to do this for two reasons. First and foremost, you have most likely committed a crime that violates local and/or Federal law. Law enforcement does not send you an email or leave a voicemail to schedule their first visit. They show up, and believe me….. they show up in force and they know what they’re doing. Secondly, Dan Wise is positively passionate about helping others lead a better life. Contacting RDAP Dan while at the same time stopping all activity related to CP are the only two things that I can recommend you do. It is a recipe that will, at a minimum, set you on a better path for the future.
These are difficult topics. Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more with you soon.
Until then, Be Your Best You.