December 21, 2011 9:13pm CST
This is kind of an odd discussion to start, because I risk sounding like a total nutcase. I guess I'll just say the magic words, and then explain them afterward: I believe I have pedophobia. Okay, that's out of the way. I've been child-free my entire life. The first time I proclaimed it, I was seven years old and told my mom I didn't want kids because I realized that all the parents I knew were either stressed or miserable. To make a long story short, there are tons of reasons why I don't want kids. The lack of a maternal feeling toward anything other than animals, the financial aspect, the world population aspect, and simply because I wouldn't want to raise a kid in today's world. Kids are having sex at ages that are years before I even knew what it was. Besides all that, I also have odd health issues when I'm around kids. I begin to have panic attacks, and in one particularly bad case, I was at my husband's family's house (his dad's side of the family has eight to twelve small children at Christmas depending on who shows up) and couldn't breathe when I was asked to spend time with a child and didn't feel right refusing. I had taken the child upstairs to play "dress up" and found myself unable to take a breath. I panicked and left the room before pacing my father-in-law's empty family room until my husband came upstairs to find me. I also felt extremely violated, and wasn't even sure why. There was also once where I saw a woman breastfeeding in the food court of my local mall. I became violently nauseous and had to hurry to the restrooms. I've always been physically repelled by pregnant women, almost as if my body can sense it before I see them (to be clear, I have nothing against those who want children, so it's not a hatred for these women that causes this). Finally, I have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder my entire life, but never had the "germophobe" side of the disorder...except when it comes to kids. After family get togethers when I was a child myself, I would go around with Windex and a paper towel and clean everything I'd seen my younger cousin touch. Another case was when my aunt's granddaughter wore a pair of my heels when I was a teenager (just because my aunt and mother thought it was cute), and I could never touch them again. The very thought scared the living daylights out of me. I apologize for such a long post, but there are many different aspects to this situation of mine that I felt I had to share, in the case that anyone else has experienced only one of them. What about the other child-free people out there? Do any of you experience this (I know most child-free people can be around kids, and some even work with them on a daily basis, so I know my case is rare)? Do you know anyone who has? Does anyone have any sort of research or experience in the medical and/or psychological industry, and if so, can you tell me if you think this is pedophobia or something else? Or am I just crazy?