Jack Dawson January 2020
Though I have no children of my own, I have seven step grandsons! Boys every one! I often smile at the thought that god (who I don’t believe in) is having a gentle laugh with me – giving me seven boy grand kids to delight in, though I spent my early manhood as a non-offending boy-attracted paedophile.. Thank you, imaginary god, for so warmly supporting me with your trust and sense of fun.
My oldest step grandson Joe is just coming up 13 and is well into his adolescent transformation. I’ve known him all his life. I drove his mum (Liberty) and her mum (my partner Liz) down to the midlands when she was ready to deliver him. She began her labour in the car whilst I drove steadily down the M1 through the afternoon and my Liz supported her. I parked up in the hospital car park and slept in the back of the car there, whilst Liberty laboured through the night and through much of the next day, supported by her partner Bob and my Liz.
I was the first family member after them to see little Joe, all wrinkled and tiny, wrapped up in his mum’s arms. I felt so privileged.
That privilege has continued. Liz, with me in support, was in loco parentis for little Joe for most of his first year, whilst Liberty worked through a difficult living situation, then came and took Joe back full time. That gave us both an extra bond with Joe which has continued right up to the present. We spent every Saturday with him, and still do, and a weekday evening too.
I did for Joe, of course, all the things a grandparent does, dressing and changing his clothes and helping with toiletting and bathing. I’ve looked so many times at Joe’s little boy body and thought how wonderful it is to delight in him with not a trace of the sexual feelings that filled me when I was a young paedophile. How odd, how extremely rare, how against all popular belief, is my untroubled pleasure in his developing boy body.
One christmas day just passed I stood in Liz’s kitchen and admired a new photo of Joe which his mum had put on her christmas card. His voice is breaking and he’s shot up all gangly and tall, and you can see the beginnings of an adult beauty which will make him eye candy for many of his adult peers. I remarked on that to Liz – “How handsome Joe’s becoming – I bet he’ll break a few hearts”. Liz countered, as she sometimes does when I make these kind of remarks: “Why do you harp on about people’s physical appearance?”
Why indeed? Liz is right, and I do do that. I do sometimes remark on children’s beauty to her. I don’t do that much about adults, but I occasionally do it about children.
I confess I do it is because of my never-ceasing sense of wonder and celebration at my liberation from my long-gone paedophilia. I do it because I can. I can’t expect Liz to fully realise what delight I feel every day to be ‘normal’. I’m a bit like those survivors of a near-death experience who live the rest of their lives in a much more up-beat celebratory tenor. I sit on a bus and watch a young parent talking with her little child and I smile to myself – and sometimes to them.
I don’t have to look away. I don’t have to avoid them, for fear of revealing in some small way (eye movement, fixity of interest) my sexual interest in her little boy – for it was pre-adolescent boys I was attracted to. That stuff’s all gone so long ago.
Though it is now 45 years since I achieved total cure of my paedophilia (at the Portman Clinic, the only psychoanalytic NHS clinic that offered that curative treatment) I still appreciate every day the freedom that that NHS treatment gave me.
I am ‘NORMAL’. I could sing that from the rooftops! I am not sexually attracted to children! I can have fun with my partner in the knowledge that she knows all there is to know about my paedophilic past – and has let it all go, just as I have. I can delight in the company of my young grandchildren. I can have fun and lift them up on the crook of my arm on country walks to spare their wearying little legs. I can take their little boots off and help them out of their muddy leggings. I can cuddle up with them and nanny on a windy hilltop under the trees whilst we munch nanny’s lovely cake and swig apple juice whilst the apricot winter sun sets in the west.
I AM NORMAL !!!!!!!…and it’s good to be alive!
And I want that for all my brothers and sisters who still have the dog of paedophilia on their backs ruining their lives – for all victims of child sexual abuse (as I was, too) and all who live and struggle with the awful desire to abuse.
I want a world free of abuse. We CAN achieve it.
TO READ MORE OF JACK’S JOURNEY CLICK HERE