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Who Should You Tell about Your Infantilism?

By BitterGrey

I've started to consider telling my parents about my involvement with infantilism. I'll be moving out in the next year or so, and communication will get worse between us with the distance. There may not come a better time for cleaning out closets. However, it won't be easy, and (at the moment) I am not sure I should.

On the internet, there are both wonderful experiences and horror stories relating to this. The best general advice is to carefully consider it beforehand. The decision of whether or not to tell your spouse is more clear: most agree that they should be told as soon as appropriate. (This is definitely before the wedding!) Some married infantilists have shared their insights, such as LilJennie.

Listed below are arguments, thoughts, and considerations. Those that I haven't herd from sources more reliable than myself have question marks. Most of these don't apply in any particular case. Also note that these are thoughts: I am not in a position to give advice. This also isn't intended to deal with wives or children.

I would greatly appreciate any experiences, advice, or comments you have to offer. Also, I would like to thank those who I have contacted over Email for their support and ideas.


Isolation: The secret may be part of a wall of silence, isolating you from them. You may be able to discuss the weather, or sports, but not what is important. (I should be happy; the silence is the worst thing there is in my family.)

They may already know: Diaper use is inherently hard to hide, and many of us were less careful and given less privacy when we were younger. In addition, sometimes parents just know. They might not say anything out of concern for your privacy, but may feel hurt because you don't trust them. They may also have assumed it was a physical problem. (I was caught once or twice up to about age twelve, but my parents probably did not understand. They may know that I continued, but they haven't said either way. On some apparently unrelated note, my father commented "Don't be too eager to grow up - you can never go back.")

Omission: To not tell may be a lie of omission, you are hiding their son from them. (It just doesn't feel right that I freely discuss something with 5-10 thousand that I can't tell my parents about.)

Costly secrets: You are troubled by fear of getting caught, have lied to conceal your activities, or are using too much energy trying to keep them from being found out.

Family problems: Some problems that may underlie or compound infantilism, such as poor communication, alcoholism, or child abuse, are passed down through the family. If you don't deal with it, your son may have to. (Poor communication here: I can't recall that father-son chat about the birds and the bees, and I didn't hear about my sister's wedding until after the honeymoon...)

Damage control: Your parents may know something is up, and assume the worst. To those who don't know any better, infantilism may look a lot like pedophilia: who else would have so many children's catalogs but no children?

Self-Worth: It is difficult to take pride in yourself while trying to hide who you are.

Bonding: Sharing something so intimate may help to develop close bonds, but this may be risky. (My brother still thinks I'm one of those narrow fundamentalist Christians. I think there may be something he's not telling me, too.)

Community: To be publicly accepted, infantilism must become known by the public. The first step of this involves infantilists becoming public, one by one.


They may blame themselves. (I get the felling this will happen no matter what.)

It would shatter their illusion of their "normal" family

They would then be 'in the closet,' with a secret to hide from their family and friends.

It may be best kept "private." Consider, if there roles were reversed, can you imagine your father telling you the he wore diapers? How would you react? Some things aren't wrong, but discussing them may be inappropriate. (I never discussed with my father about what shouldn't be discussed, so it tends to be a lot.)

They may be unable to accept your infantilism.

They may think that you want to be permitted more open practice, or even to be changed by them. (It's one of those things that we all think about but never want to discuss = danger.)

They may become more suspicious about your actions: Before they may have heard your diaper and thought it was a plastic bag in your pocket. After, they will hear the bag, and may think its a diaper.

They may blame you for forcing the above onto them.

They may misunderstand and think you are a queer, or child molester, or...

It would be irreversible: You can tell them tomorrow, but you can't ask the to forget what you told them today.

Other considerations:

What do you hope to gain by telling them? And is it worth the likely outcome? (I hope to improve communications, and to let them know about the part of my life that I had kept hidden. That in a sense, took their son away. Of course I risk misunderstanding, and fear silence).

Will there be adequate time to explore the issues and re-develop the relationship? (If I start in the next month or so. Otherwise it will be long-distance.)

Are they elderly, in poor health, or under stress right now?

Do you have materials on hand to refer to (no personal adds)? (But of course!)

Are you ready for a lot of questions? (As ready as I think I'll ever be.)

Can you refer them to another who was in a position similar to their own? (I'd like to, but I don't know any parents of infantilists.)

Can you put them in contact with a knowledgeable third-person, an intermediary? (Nope. But if anyone wants me to do this for them, just ask.)

What if they want you to go to counseling?

Are they Religious? (I'm the religious one in the family.)

What if they demand you to stop?

What if they try to "cure" you?

What if they accept you on the assumption that it will go away or can be treated? (Unlikely, but with my family, it would never come to light until the tension snapped.)

How many people are you going to tell? Or permit your parents to tell? (Most of the extended family doesn't know my major and current campus. Just my parents for now, plus anyone they feel they need to tell.)

Would it be better to wait until you move out and/or or get married?

What if they reject/cast-out/disown you?

Are you also gay?

- Updated:20 March 2011     

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