I have always been an anxious person. As a kid, I had separation issues and have always had social anxiety to some degree. As I've gotten older, I have been able to subdue my anxious feelings with relative success. It's never gone away fully but it is not nearly as debilitating as it has been in the past. However, recently anxiety has taken a new form that I have never dealt with before.
I am a father of two sons whom I adore with every fiber of my being. A few weeks ago, we found out that we are expecting our third child. As happy as I am to be a dad again, a tremendous sense of anxiety has risen up inside of me ever since we found out my wife is pregnant.
Suddenly, I began thinking through past occurrences of unwanted thoughts and wondered if I was a monster for having thoughts that absolutely horrify me and make no sense to me in regards to why things like that pop into my mind. I hadn't thought much about these thoughts prior to the news. Again, I do not know why it has started now and not before.
One incident in particular that I cannot get passed in my mind happened a few months ago. My son likes back rubs when going to bed for night time. For whatever reason, one night I was rubbing his back and the thought of a woman's backside entered my mind. I didn't think much of it, as rubbing my sons back was ABSOLUTELY NOT sexual or arousing to me in any way shape or form. In no way was I responding physically or wanting to do anything with myself or to my son. I was caring for my boy and thoughts of women enter my mind frequently, so it wasn't unusual to me in it of itself.
This happened five or six times over the course of a few months until I realized that it was becoming a pattern that I DID NOT want that to be associated with caring for my son. Realizing that these thoughts were occurring more than once while rubbing his back bothered me, but it was enough for it to not happen again. I hadn't thought twice about after that.
Forward to the day we get our new baby mews. I almost immediately began feeling overcome with anxiety. The back rubs and the thoughts I had came back to me. Since then, I have been absolutely horrified at the idea that I may have used my son to have thoughts about women's butts. Again, I hadn't thought much about it when it first happened since thoughts of women pop into my mind all the time.
The fact, though, that it happened more than once while rubbing my son's back has me locked in an extremely painful cycle of anxiety and fear that I molested my son or used him to get sexual thoughts. In no way have I ever ever ever ever had a desire to hurt my children or anyone else's. I love my boys very much and the thought of doing something like that makes me sick to my stomach. I literally cannot stand the thought of it.
I don't know what to do about this. I want to talk with a counselor at a local office about this as well as other anxiety problems I have dealt with, but I don't want to be interpretted as a predator or as someone who is dengerous to my kids and then taken away. I'm not a pedophile and I have never hurt my children or wanted to.
I just want to be released from this. I've never felt so paralyzed in my life. The fear and walking through everything over and over in my mind is unbearable. I want to be a good father. What did I do? Did I hurt my son? Am I going to lose everything and go to jail?