Hi,If you're the target audience for this letter, then I'd like to start by saying that I'm glad you're here reading this, and not in any of the countless other places you could be, that will wind you up in a situation like my own, or worse.Although there are exceptions, chances are you're a male, aged between 12 and 15, and not so long ago, you experienced the single most horrifying moment of your life. That first moment where you thought to yourself, "Am I really a pedophile?" If that is a question you've had to ask yourself, then please read on.I am writing this letter to you, because I went through that exact same situation and went on and made all the wrong choices. Now I'm quite a bit older and I can never undo what I have done. But there is one thing of worth I can do in my life, and that is to try and prevent others from making the same mistakes I did; because I can tell you with certainty at least, that first moment of horror does not have to be everything you think it is right now. You didn't get to choose to be or not be a pedophile, but believe it or not, you do get to choose what that means for you and your life, and you do get to decide if that makes you "evil", or if it is just a highly unfortunate and difficult, but potentially harmless burden.It's not unusual for people of your age to start questioning their sexuality, straight, gay, bisexual, trans, other. A simple search can show countless pages discussing these topics and offering all kinds of advice and support. But what happens when the thing you are questioning is not one of the acceptable sexualities, not one of the harmless ones, but one where simply thinking the thoughts you think could turn the world against you if known, and certainly acting on them could make you the worst kind of person?Well if you're reading this, you probably already know what happens if you search for help on this topic. You find whatever you want to find. If you want to justify your feelings as natural and acceptable, there are groups for that. If you've already given up and decided you just want what you want, there are groups for that. If you hate yourself and want to die, there are groups for that too. But none of those lead anywhere positive. There are also places that promote abstinence from doing harm, and that is certainly a step in the right direction. But at least in my experience there may be support and sympathy, but not much in the way of something you can do to improve your situation. And if you're anything like I was at 13, when I first had that thought, then right now you're likely desperate for anything you can do, and even suicide may seem a good alternative. For obvious reasons there are no statistics for suicides of teens for this reason, who kept the reason hidden to the grave. I have no doubt the number isn't zero. So in this letter, I want to give you some things you can do and some things you can think with, that I wish I knew when I was going through the same thing.Let me first tell you how I went wrong. I want you to understand that I am not putting myself forth as a good example in any way. I am not the worst there is, but you will see I have done unforgivable things and becoming like me is exactly what you need to avoid. But I am also willing to give myself at least some credit, that I did stop, and have stopped for many years now. And that I am doing what I can in life to make up for some of the harm that I did. Many would say I should just kill myself, and perhaps I should, but so be it.I was a relatively normal kid until the age of 13. There's nothing really standout to say. I had good parents and my brother was and is, a perfectly decent person (though ironically he believes the same of me). Then in the same year, puberty hit and I got my own computer with Internet access. An amazing present from my parents, that did not go in a way anyone could have predicted.I was not a very sexually aware kid by any means and although I'd heard about masturbation, I never really thought to try it. I knew others in my year were into pornography, but I'd never even seen any before. But the Internet being what it was and is, it wasn't long until I came across ads for porn on sites I was visiting for games and music. After my first glimpse, I wanted to see more and started searching for it, just typical adult porn at first, but then on those sites I saw links for more hardcore porn and within a week I went from bikini pictures and soft porn to bondage and rape. On the one hand I felt guilty about looking at these kind of things, but on the other hand, once I experienced ejaculation, I just wanted more.Shortly after I found another source of porn online, which I won't name and may not exist any more, but it had seemingly endless amounts of new content, with more constantly added, all neatly categorized by fetish. Within just a few weeks of first looking at porn and first masturbating, I saw a category titled "preteen" and was surprised, but curious what I'd find. It never occurred to me to look for girls my own age, as I "knew" porn was meant for adults. I was aware that children did get sexually abused, but I never thought it would just be right there to download. I figured I was only 13 myself, so it made sense to look at girls my own age. I also knew it was illegal, but I thought given my own age it shouldn't matter.What I found was far younger and more extreme than I expected. Most of the images I found at first were of girls around 4 or 5 years old and were extremely violent, including one particular series. My first reaction was to quickly close out of what I was looking at and turn off my computer. For days I couldn't go near my computer again, but I also couldn't get the images out of my mind. I couldn't sleep and felt sick, to the point I actually started having what I assume would be called an "anxiety attack" (sweats, shaking, diarrhea and vomiting), which my parents and doctor put down to a virus. I had this horrific conflict that part of me wanted to see the rest of the pictures and how the series ended, and part of me never wanted to look at porn or masturbate ever again.After a week or so though of not masturbating, to be blunt, horniness overcame sickness and I just felt endless compulsion to see the rest of those pictures. I went back to the computer, looked at the whole series and masturbated while crying and by the time I was done I had to rush to the toilet to throw up. And that was the point I had that thought, "Am I really a pedophile?" The answer was of course obvious, but I certainly didn't want to believe it. How did it work that I found something both utterly horrific and yet extremely arousing at the same time?It took another week to physically recover fully, and from there I had to work out what to do next. Normally I'd ask my parents for help, or a teacher, or a friend, but who could I ask about this? I wasn't religious myself, but I thought maybe a priest, but then how would I know they'd keep it private, how could they even help? At my age I certainly couldn't go and hire a therapist, and now as an adult knowing that even professional therapists really have no idea what to do about this kind of thing, it likely wouldn't have helped anyway.So I turned to the Internet. Forums, chatrooms and so on and what I encountered was a lot of grown adult pedophiles excited to talk to a 13 year old boy (or assuming I was just role playing as one), not what I was looking for at all, so I quickly learned to pretend to be an adult. All that happened though by putting myself in that environment was that I was surrounded by the opinion that what we were looking at, trading and doing, was totally fine, for every excuse under the sun. Apparently somehow we were the victims in this.This is the point where I wish I had something else to look at, or think with, or do, some way I could have planned out a different future for myself, before it was too late. Because the one thought I never considered when I was 13, was that despite the things I had looked at and despite the fact I wanted to look at those things, at that stage I hadn't actually directly harmed anyone. Yes I had evil thoughts, and certainly looking at and then trading such material IS harmful, but thoughts aren't actions and if a person is judged by their actions then at that stage, I was a 13 year old kid who got caught up briefly in some porn I shouldn't have.I also didn't consider that every day, ordinary people think about illegal things. They want to punch the person who cut them off on the road, they want to slap the ass of the hot girl at the bar, but they don't actually DO those things usually. It didn't even occur to me that if I just think something and don't act on it, it simply doesn't matter.Instead, I knew at that point what I was. I knew that no one could ever know, any friend who knew would drop me in an instant, at best. If my parents knew they'd probably kill themselves out of guilt and shame for creating such a monster, or me for being the monster, or both. I knew I'd never have a girlfriend, never have any real friends again, never have a family and would one day likely end up in jail or worse.And so for 6 years, I just went with it. I would get all the porn I could, and sometimes I would try to contact other kids/teens online and usually pretend to be a slightly older guy, convince them to send me topless or nude photos of themselves, then blackmail them to doing more for me, without them ever knowing my real identity. Factually most of the "kids" I spoke to were adults role playing, and they would send pornography they had that vaguely matched what we were talking about. But there were several actual kids/teens over the years as well. Most that I talked to just told me to fuck off, but there were 6 in total who were definitely kids/teens and who did send me real images or video of themselves. Often I didn't know if the person I started messaging was a real kid/teen or an adult pretending until well into the conversation, which allowed me to say to myself it was just a role play, while also feeling like it could be real. And then when it was real, each time I was horrified and yet excited at the same time.Everyone in my life noticed something was wrong with me, but it was just put down to puberty. I lost hobbies, friends, grades in school and so on, and when people asked me what was wrong, I just gave vague and uncertain answers that somehow got me by. The only thing I cared about was my next "hit", but instead of drugs, of the next image or video I would get, or the next conversation that could be real.This went on more or less unchanged until I was 19 and I won't share the graphic details of what I did, as I understand for you reading this in my situation, talking about it too much could get the kind of reaction that is not helpful right now. But when I was 19 there was one final thing that made me have to change.Again I will avoid the details, but in short, all past situations with real girls tended to involve a handful of conversations over a few weeks before I'd tell them I'll leave them alone now and move on. That was terrible enough, but I somehow always managed to brush it off with all kinds of excuses why it was "okay". But when I was 19 there was one particular girl who was only 11 years old and I abused her increasingly badly every week or two for months. I don't have anything to say to justify or defend this. It just is. At the end, she broke down completely live on camera saying all kinds of things I don't want to repeat and at that point I just sent her a message saying "Sorry, I'll leave you alone now," and that was the last I spoke to her. To this day I don't know for sure what became of her.Unfortunately that was the first time I had the simple thought, that if 6 years ago I just didn't start hurting other people, everything else actually wouldn't have mattered. It was the first time that I actually realized that while me being what I was, was just the way things were, it was my own decisions on how to respond to that which actually caused me to be an evil person.And that comes back to why I am writing this to you. It would have been infinitely easier to never start in the first place than to stop after the addiction took hold. I was able to stop directly harming children immediately and eventually weaned myself off the worst types of porn, then lesser and lesser porn, to the point were I would hesitate to even look at an adult bikini model these days, to avoid stirring anything up. But the things I had to go through to achieve that were, extreme. And I really don't even know what helped and what didn't, I just did everything I could think of or find.I do hope one day there is more research done into repressing or changing one's sexuality. I know these days because of the stigma against trying to convert homosexuals to being straight, that research in such things is largely frowned upon. I understand that, as there is nothing harmful about being homosexual, but I don't think research into repressing or changing sexuality should be stopped just because it isn't necessary for SOME sexualities or because the majority don't need to repress or change their sexuality.I can never take back what I have done and for the last many years I've built up my life to try to give at least something back to make up for what I've done. I know that will never mean anything to anyone, including myself, and I am well past seeking absolution, but my hope is still that perhaps I can prevent more harm in the future than I caused myself in the past.For my own future, it is difficult sometimes coping with the urges I have, but I have managed to keep myself off all pornography or even sexualized imagery of any kind, as I find any just builds and makes me want more and worse. It has been easier to avoid directly harming anyone again at least, and I have never felt a compulsion to act on my thoughts in person. I have considered killing myself, and I think I may at some point in the future. When I feel I've prevented more harm than I've caused, that would be a good time to end it. Perhaps that is just an excuse to not do what I really should do right now, I'm not sure. I know if I were ever found out, I'd kill myself in a heartbeat rather than live with people knowing the truth about me.But that same doesn't have to go for you too. For you, here is my advice if you don't want to end up like me.1) At this moment, understand that you are not yet an evil person. Your thoughts are your thoughts, but it's your actions that define you. Do you hate what you think you are right now? Well then maybe that part of you that hates what you think you are is the real you, and the perversion is just something unwanted on top. Don't let the thing YOU hate, become what you actually are.2) Don't define yourself by your sexuality. Sex is one part of life. Right now you probably define yourself as "a pedophile", what were you before you decided you were just that? What did you want to do in life? DO THAT! Close up the porn and go back to what you were doing when you were doing better and actually live that life! If you were never doing that well in the first place, then at least find something other than sex as your priority.3) Don't try to associate with "other people like you" in this way. Why make it so important? Do you really want to spend your time talking about the thing you can't do anything about? Do you want your group of friends to be people associated by the one thing about yourself that you don't like? Associate with people who are alike you in the GOOD ways. Are you an athlete? A coder? A baker? Those are your real friends.4) I won't insist you don't use any porn ever, although if you find it at all possible to abstain, I think it will help you. I will say that you need to decide what is acceptable to you and not violate that decision. If you are also attracted to adults as I am, then maybe soft adult porn is your acceptable limit. If you aren't, then maybe you can stick to animated images, or non-pornographic images. Maybe you can limit yourself to twice a week. I find masturbating without any images is enough for me, with discipline. If you can avoid doing anything illegal, that is obviously best and the less bad the things you do, you'll find the less difficult it is to hold yourself off from doing worse. Remember even viewing child abuse material at the very least tells someone that what they are providing is good and wanted, by showing demand for it, and so it encourages more of it.5) Have you already fucked up and hurt someone? Okay, you have now done a bad thing and that means you are a bad person - today. You need to get over that and STOP being a bad person. The temptation is very much there to just give up, knowing that you can never undo the past, so you may as well just be what you are. But trust me, whatever bad thing you did, you may one day find yourself doing worse. You may never get over what you've done in the eyes of others, but if you decide right now that you are NOT a bad person, then that's that, you aren't. You made a decision and you did a bad thing and you were bad, now you change that decision and make a new one. It doesn't undo what you did, but it DOES change who you are now. And if you keep that up into the future, maybe you can at least do some good in the world. Do you remember the last time you wanted to help another person? Who could you help?Maybe what you did was so bad you think death is the only option, as I am questioning myself on at the moment. I can't answer that question for myself, so I certainly won't try to answer it for you. But maybe there is something worthwhile you have left in you to contribute, maybe you should?I don't know how best to end this off. It's very strange, that I'm addressing this letter to children or young teenagers, and yet you reading this are in the middle of a horror most adults can't bear to imagine. And most don't realize that when they talk about this horror, it isn't about grown adults deciding one day to be evil, but about kids who one day realize their life and future is over. Who then grow to take away the life and future from other kids, who in turn often pass on yet more of the same abuse.So kid, I wish you well. I hope you grow to be a better person that I. I hope you can see that this doesn't have to be the end. I hope you can live your life with integrity and when you're old you can die content knowing you lived a good and decent life, against possibly the worst burden anyone could carry. I hope you can leave the world a better place for your being in it.You still have that chance.I hope you take it.