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Understanding Infantilism (.org)


By BitterGrey

By BitterGrey

Far too often, our cages are of our own making. Sometimes the fear of rejection and of the unknown keep us in bad situations. Some times, we simply need to leave.

About Predestination - and Not

When I was in college, I got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ, it was a non-denominational (mostly Baptist) Christian organization that focused on students at major universities. It assigned paid counselors to meet with the students about once a week. Those counselors would then be supported by the students after graduation. In one of these meetings, I told my counselor about how my studies of the Bible had led to a belief in predestination.

In case you would care to know, predestination is basically the belief that the future is already determined: The course of the universe can be thought of as a book that has already been written. This is a critical but unpopular doctrine. It holds that we are mere characters in that book. It was also, as I'd found in my studies, heavily supported by the Bible.

That counselor reached over and simply wrote "no" on my notes. He offered a few verses that could be interpreted either way. I'd been through them, and found the verses supporting predestination both more explicit and much more numerous. He couldn't counter the evidence I found in my studies, but that didn't matter. He had judged me. I was disappointed but not surprised.

In hindsight, one reason why I'd developed such a heavily supported conclusion was that I was seeking acceptance. I was seeking acceptance for the conclusion, but also seeking acceptance of myself. I was an infantilist: I wanted to wear diapers and act like a baby. However, I was also afraid. I believed that the Christians would never accept me because I was different. This rejection seemed to confirm that fear. Needless to write, I didn't tell him about my infantilism then.


When I went on to graduate school, my world changed. I found a vague, secondhand reference to "infantosexual transvestism." Soon after, a typo lead me to usenet and alt.sex.fetish.diapers. I was not alone! (My love of Linux might be partially due to this experience, which was on an IBM AIX workstation.)

Emboldened by this, I took a chance. I had boiled down those study notes into a short handout. By that time, it was so hardened and fortified that it was barely readable. I gave a copy to one pastor at a local church. He too wasn't swayed by the evidence, but he didn't conclude that I was wrong just because our conclusions were different. He showed tolerance and, by reading through that dense handout, a great deal of patience. I told him about my infantilism. He shared some reasonable reservations, but didn't condemn.

Now letting the new pastors know is routine. Most have had questions, but were tolerant or accepting. The predestination handout isn't required reading anymore. They don't have to accept my beliefs as their own, but they do need to accept my beliefs as valid.


Eventually, I did tell that Campus Crusade counselor about my infantilism. He said he didn't want to talk to me again. Protestants never developed the ability to excommunicate properly: I still get mail from Campus Crusade, asking for donations. (In the counselor's defense, he had left Crusade for an associated organization, presumably with independent mailing lists.) I think his intentions were good. He didn't mean to be ignorant and destructive.

In hindsight, I regret not telling him sooner. Yes, he would have cast me out, but the effects would have been manageable. Then I would have connected with some better Christians sooner. They might not have accepted my infantilism, but they might have accepted me. Together we might have helped each other develop.

Perhaps it is best not to dwell on hindsight and might-have-beens. They serve only to remind us that the things we dare not change are perhaps the things that most need to change.

- Updated:12 April 2012  1st:12 April 2012     

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  Reader Comments:
  • Pilou asks: "After reding your 'Leave' article, I am wondering if you are still holding the belief of predestination now?" Yes. While I no longer make clergy wade through my beliefs on predestination before discussing infantilism, I still believe in predestination, and sometimes still get flack for it.
  • An anonymous reader wrote: "...Your posting titled 'Leave' was of particular interest as I am a Christian who believes in the doctrines of Grace/Election/Calvinism, whatever you know them by...and I was encouraged. It's an interesting thing navigating life in a way that glorifies God and somehow works diapers into the equation. Finding that balance between relaxation and idolatry is a toughy. I can't say I've figured it out totally but God is at work...and diapers have a place somewhere. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your years of input into the community and to encourage you as we strive to be more like our Savior. And I will pray for you as often as you come to mind. Many thanks BitterGrey!