Tuesday 23rd January

 I don’t know what to do. I told them that I had thoughts of sexually abusing my children, so they took them away from me. When I say ‘them’ I just mean people. I told lots of people because the thoughts were so bad. I told the wrong people. I thought they would understand, but they didn’t.  When I say ‘they’, I mean Social Services, who came to my house this morning and stole them. The police came too and they have arrested me. I don’t know who told them, but it was one of the wrong people. I wish I’d told the right person. I would never have hurt them. I know that now. I knew it then, but I didn’t believe myself. Or did I? Sometimes I still don’t. The thoughts are abhorrent, but I can’t stop them.

Thursday 25th January

They talked to the children. They asked them questions. They showed them dolls. They asked about daddy. I feel filthy and disgusting. I don’t know what Gill thinks as she won’t take my calls. She must know I wouldn’t hurt them? They’ve let me go now as they’re happy that the girls haven’t been abused, but I’m not allowed to see them and I’m not allowed to make contact. I think they’re worried that I might, but I wouldn’t.

Friday 26th January

 I miss my girls. I miss them with all my heart and soul. I want to hold them in my arms, but I would be too afraid to do that. What if I did touch them inappropriately? I don’t want to, but what if I did? What if my thoughts are telling the truth? The thoughts that make me feel sick. The thoughts that have made me sick. The anxiety has made me retch and it has made me feel wretched.

Sunday 28th January

 I went for a walk this morning. I was going to cut through the park, but I saw a small group of children, celebrating a birthday with a very large cake. Thoughts of vile acts came into my head and I worried about shouting something inappropriate or obscene. I wondered if I would actually shout expletives or sexually explicit remarks at these pure and innocent children, even though I didn’t want to. There’s nothing inside me that makes me actually want to so why am I so frightened?

Sunday 4th February

I haven’t been out this week and nobody has visited me. I just wish Gill would call me so that I can explain. Explain what? I don’t really know. I don’t know why these repulsive thoughts come into my head. They’re getting worse and they won’t go away. I can’t replace them, however hard I try. When I think of my perfect angels I see myself touching them in my mind’s eye. I’m disgusting. I’m repulsive. I feel so ashamed. I don’t deserve them. I deserve to die.

Tuesday 6th February

A close friend came to visit me today and he believed me, or at least I think he did. He told me to get help, so I’m going to try. I told him that I hated my thoughts with the most amount of hate that was available to me in the world. I told him that I have no desire to touch them that way, but that the thoughts consume my every waking moment. I told him that I’d tried to stop them and think happy thoughts about my girls – playing, dancing and singing as they do so often. I promised that I would ask the right people for help. Who are the right people?

Monday 12th February

I have a very understanding GP ,  although I didn’t know it until today. She believes that I have a form of

obsessive compulsive disorder and has come across something similar before. I have medical insurance so I won’t have to wait too long for treatment. I breathed a full breath of air for the first time on my way home, and then my chest tightened once more.

Monday 5th March

I have seen a psychiatrist, who referred me to a cognitive behavioural therapist called John. I met him today and I like him very much. The first time we met he told me he would trust me to babysit his own children (not that I would!). I felt the pain in my heart disperse when he said those words. He explained that the thoughts only

bother me because I findthem so abhorrent and he assured me that I would never act on them. I am due to see him on the 15th to start my treatment when he gets back from his holiday. I wish I could start it now. I don’t remember driving home. I just remember the chaos in my head. It felt as if somebody had made a jigsaw puzzle of my mind and thrown the pieces in the air.  I’ve got to put them back properly this time.

Monday 12th March

I had hoped that a diagnosis of a real condition would make things easier , but this week has been horrific. The thoughts haven’t left me alone, and I feel as if my mind is being bullied by a vile thug. I can’t seem to rationalise the situation even though I understand it. My brain feels as if it is split in the middle, and the two halves are constantly arguing. The psychiatrist has filed a report on me and I’m going to be allowed to see the girls on Sunday, but not on my own. I feel like a criminal. I wish I’d told Gill my thoughts, because I still don’t know what she thinks. I so wish I had told the right people in the beginning, but how could I say such things to my own wife?

Thursday 15th March

My treatment started today. The therapist told me I would have to expose myself to uncomfortable situations (and then he laughed and asked me to excuse the pun). I didn’t laugh. We talked about the meeting with the girls and he explained that I should let them sit on my knee if they wanted to. I haven’t let them do that for a long time. He also told me that I must write down and then record myself saying my thoughts (even the most feared ones), until I stop being afraid of them. There are sentences that come into my head every time I see a small child and I must even say them out loud. I’ve also got to allow myself to deliberately visualise my most feared thoughts and rate the anxiety on a scale of 1 to 10 each day. My heart was thumping so loudly this morning that it felt as if it was going to explode. When I saw my girls they ran up to me and hugged me. The working side of my brain wanted to embrace them, but the obsessive side tormented me with vile images. I did what John said and I let them sit on my knee. We read a story together , but my mind was elsewhere. I wanted to push them away and run out of the room, but I stopped myself. Gill gave me a half smile when I left, but she couldn’t really look at me, nor I her.

Saturday 31st March

I’m going home for the day! I owe my life to the psychiatrist and John. I feel such a mix of excitement and apprehension as I know I’ve got a long, long way to go. Gill came to my appointment yesterday. I don’t think she completely understands, but who does? NOt me! I can’t bring myself to ask her if she ever believed that I could hurt the children. Maybe we’ll have that conversation one day, but not now. My exposures are going to be introduced gradually, and I’ve been put on medication as John says this will help. Yesterday I had to sit in the park and watch the young children play. I have to sit with the anxiety and not run away. I mustn’t avoid news items about paedophiles or close magazines if I see articles about them. Instead I must watch or read them until the end. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to win this battle!

Saturday 7th April

This morning I sat in the park and watched children play. They were having such fun. I sat for ages listening to my thoughts and allowing any obscene images to enter my mind. They didn’t seem as bold and strong as before, and at times they were even replaced by pleasant distractions. John calls it ‘the pink elephant syndrome.’ Try not to think of one and it will come into your mind!

Monday 11th June

I’m still seeing John, and life is getting good. I wouldn’t say normal, because I no longer believe in normality! Gill and I are happier than we’ve been for a while. When I look back I realise that it all started when Rosie was born. I thought it was women who were supposed to be affected! John told me that a lot of people don’t ask for help because they are too ashamed. I wonder how many people there are in the world who are too afraid to ask for help. Last night the girls both sat on my knee and we read the first chronicle of Narnia together. They’re growing so fast. As we paused at the end of the first chapter an abhorrent thought came into my head, but I left it there until it floated away, without travelling to my heart with a thump at the end. It didn’t return. I’ve even watched a whole documentary about the dark web on Tuesday. It repulsed me, but the lying part of my brain only had a small say in the matter. There is no such thing as a bad thought. There are only thoughts. There is such a thing as a good heart, though, and I think I have one of those!