POCD: The “What-Ifs”

Last Friday, one of my clients from my job, gave me a hug and his face was super close to my face. I freaked out because I thought he was going to kiss me, which is 1.) a violation of boundaries and 2.) would have been terrible for me. He didn’t, thank goodness, but the hug caused me to obsess about the “what if’s” throughout the weekend.

The first “what if” I had was What if he did kiss me? How do I explain that to my supervisors or work? Will it be my fault or will it be his fault? Will I have to write an incident report?

The second “what if” I had was what if they blamed me and they fired me? What if I get put on a list of people who’ve hurt children? It would ruin my chances for other jobs and a career!

The third “what if” I had was what if I wanted to kiss him? What if I kissed him as an automatic response?

For me to fight these irrational thoughts, I have to go through a step-by-step logical process.

  1. Even if my client did kiss me, it was in a public setting, and there was another adult in the same setting as me. The other adult could see that I didn’t initiate it.
  2. If a kiss did occur, then I could write it in my notes for my supervisor to see and ask her to include it in his Behavior Intervention Plan.
  3. My job is not so extreme that the directors will immediately take one side over the other. They will listen to both sides, and they will come to a compromise.
  4. The last thing I want to do is kiss my client. I have more control over my actions than what my thoughts are telling me otherwise.

This obsession is under Pedophile Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (POCD). I hate this type of anxiety because it causes me unbearable distress. I can’t focus, and I can’t give my all to my relationships and my job. These obsessions annoy me because I work at a job that involves children. I can’t tell anyone except my therapist and my quasband because they are the only people who grasp my irrational fears. Others either wouldn’t understand, or they’d think I’m a pedophile, which is my worst nightmare. It’s hard to write this type of post because pedophilia is a taboo subject to talk about and that POCD is a rare form of OCD that is rarely brought up.

I know I’m not alone in suffering from POCD, but it sure feels like it at times.