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I am having terrible guilt and shame about things I did in…

I am having terrible...

I am having terrible guilt and shame about things I did in my past which have suddenly come to my consciousness - when I was about 16 I was extremely sexual and ended up sniffing knickers on a number of occasions, 1 of which was a 12/13 year old friends knickers and the other was a woman, I sniffed knickers on a number of occasions and now feel extremely disgusting and shameful for my actions, I feel like I've ruined my whole life by these acts and that there's no turning back and I am abnormal. To clarify - I am in no way attracted to children, it was the "scent", I no longer do this now (I'm 25) but feel like I'm living a lie with my family and friends and girlfriend and stuff because of it. What do I do? I feel like I can't forgive myself right now, please help.

Doctor's Assistant: How is your mood? Are you experiencing regular sleep disturbances (e.g. trouble falling asleep, waking up early)?

Yes I haven't slept properly in says Days

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?

I previously suffered from depression and anxiety and it's come rushing back with these horrible memoriez

Doctor's Assistant: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that seems to make the symptoms better or worse?

I feel better when I read of other people who had similar experiences, right now I'm feeling awful have been for the past 10 days

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Answered in 4 hours by:
11/8/2017
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 820
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified

Hi, thank you for writing. My name is***** am sorry you are feeling such shame and guilt but I want to assure you, your actions were completely harmless and inconsequential and therefore, not at all worthy of you beating yourself up. Teenage brains are surging with hormones driving them to immense curiosity about sex and sexual exploration - your behavior was not abnormal, not pathological and not demonstrative in any way that your current life is a lie. Almost all of us have some memory from childhood that makes us cringe or we have regret about but 1) the past is the past and can;'t be changed and 2) most often, the embarrassing behavior was appropriate for a developmental phase and not representative of our character, our morals, or really, anything about the people weare today. So allow the past to be there and not be so burdensome - your behavior was fully "trivial" tin that it did not hurt anyone in any way yet you are allowing it to weigh on you for now significant reason.

I pose to you - if your best friend acme to you and told you the same story about his own behaviors when he was 16, what would you say? Would you think differently off him? Would you deem him to be flawed or worthy of self-hate and shame? Probably not,. right? So give yourself a break! When these thoughts of worry, shame, and guilt come up, just notice they are there and let them float on by as they are truly, just magnified and blown out of proportion therefore not worthy of your time or emotional investment. .

I do wish to know a few things - I hear you said you suffer from depression and anxiety. Do you often have things like this where a worry or thought gets stuck and you can't shake thinking about it? Do you worry a lot about many things that then turn out okay? Do you avoid certain things because of excess worry? Would your friends and family say they feel you worry too much? Are you currently being treated for your anxiety and depression?

I am here to chat more about this!

-Leah

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Hi, just checking back since this question is open due to being unrated. Can I help further? Don't hesitate to write back!

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hi Leah
Firstly I just wanted to say thank you so much for your in accepting, and kind response to my query, it has made me feel better about things. I just feel disgust sometimes and think like "if my girlfriend knew this she wouldn't want to be with me, it was only 10 years ago!?" I'm trying to focus on the present and move forward and will try and get some therapy to move forward when I get the chance.
Thank you :).

Hi, thank you for replying. 10 years ago is a long time and 15-16 is VERY young!! I honestly do think you are miscalculating over overestimating the magnitude of your behaviors. I cannot foresee that your girlfriend would think all that much of you sharing this (alhtough you certainly do not have to tell her) - she is your girlfriend after all and probably knows you like women. Being young and exploring is really par for the course of growing up. Again, no harm, no foul.

I am happy to have helped, if even a little! Do try to remember that what you have shared with me is really no big deal!

I wish you the best!

-Leah

LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 820
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified
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LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 820
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Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience

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