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I feel like I had done something terribly wrong

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I feel like I had done something terribly wrong

Postby Ineedhelp300 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:07 am

Hello. I am new here on the forums. I decided to make an account so I could make this post, but I wasn’t too sure which sub I should post under so I decided on this one. If what I am about to talk about belongs in another sub feel free to move this.

So I am writing this post at a 21 year old gay man who lives in a country where the legal age of consent is different depending on the specific jurisdiction you live. Where I am, the legal age of consent is 16 years old. Therefore, I want to stress that what I am about to share is not in any sort of violation of the law. Regardless of all of that it is something I am still thinking about and obsessively worrying about whether I made a huge mistake. I honestly have been feeling like I don’t really deserve to live over this particular situation and that I must be a very terrible person.

About a year ago, three months after I turned 20 I was involved in a romantic and sexual relationship with a 17 year old. Looking back on it, and after reading a lot of posts by people on different forums and websites saying that this is gross and disgusting I have pretty much decided that all of those people are right and I am a sick piece of $#%^ who should just die. I am scared that while I was in the relationship that I could have caused that significant other damage or harmed them in some way which at the time I might not have been aware of. Also, a few months after this, I was involved with another 17 year old. We were not in a relationship nor did we have sex but we were pretty flirtatious with each other and would kiss and be touchy. I can definitely say that I do not have a sole attraction to people who are younger than me or who are teenagers. These are the youngest people I have ever had any sort of sexual or flirtatious contact with in my life. Looking back on all of it I feel truly disgusted because I feel as though what I did was potentially damaging to those people and I’m scared I might have taken advantage of them. I also want to make it clear that In both cases everything was consensual. Legally, both of these people can consent. However I do not want to sit here and try to potentially victim blame or divert any sort of wrong doing.

I am not too sure what you guys think of this, but I honestly am seriously beating myself up over it and cannot stop thinking about it and how I deserve to die.
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Re: I feel like I had done something terribly wrong

Postby Snaga » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:58 am

I've moved this to Remorse- the forum it was posted to is not for this kind of post, at all.

I think you're way overthinking this, for what it's worth- there's only three years' difference, they were the age of consent, and you didn't even have sex. How many of us at 17 wouldn't have gone out with a 20 year old, if given the chance? I think you're beating yourself up far too much.
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Re: I feel like I had done something terribly wrong

Postby sprock » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:17 pm

For what it's worth, this is very similar to my own experiences/actions as a 21-year-old, which I posted about back when I started on this forum. Over a decade later I would say that I still feel daily guilt, but have learned to look myself in the eye, largely due to having done voluntary work and activism and a lot of meditation. It's not that I feel differently about what I did per se, but that I feel differently about how I feel about what I did.

Ultimately, 17 is an odd transitional phase of one's life. At 17 in some ways I was an adult and had adult rights, in other ways I was still a child. Society doesn't deal well with liminal in-between states. When you consider that the mean average age to lose one's virginity is around one's 17th birthday, there are going to be millions of functioning human beings who had sex around this age and millions of people who have had sex with people of that age. While this doesn't mean it is right, it does mean that when the topic is argued online, most people commenting are going to have skin in the game. Some people calling for folks like us to commit suicide will have done exactly the same thing themselves! Some people write very strong sentiments online and don't even really mean it... or wouldn't if you asked them the same question the next day. In short, you cannot take such comments as impartial or even sincere. In the absence of God, random internet commentators should not be taken as God!

Ultimately my behaviour was worse than yours, yet when I posted about it on a forum years ago asking if I should commit suicide over it, only 10% of people said that I should. People who respond angrily on such posts are ultimately self selecting and do not represent the majority voice. The internet easily becomes a very black and white echo chamber.

I honestly recommend you spend way less time online and more time doing useful things out IRL :)
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Re: I feel like I had done something terribly wrong

Postby m00m33mii » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:37 am

Please give yourself a break, this is such a non issue. From what I can tell you haven’t broken any laws or done any harm to anyone.

The idea that as soon as you turn 20 you’re a million miles away from when you were a teenager and suddenly have heaps more experience and power is ludicrous. Would you feel the same way about the situation had it occurred the three months prior when you were 19? I doubt it. Is it realistic that those three months gave you a huge advantage in power and knowledge over someone marginally younger than yourself? No.

I’m guessing you’re trawling forums and stuff with people talking about abuses of power based on age, and you’re falsely equating your experience to those your reading about. For me, it would start to become a bit icky/off had you been 24/25 or over, but again that’s just a perspective and a feeling based on the possibility of imbalance, rather than a knowledge of the exact circumstances.

Would we have a raised awareness around relationships where there may be a power imbalance based on age? Yes. Does any difference in age at all automatically mean in imbalance in power or an abuse of power? No.

Some people do seek out legal but younger partners to have a one up on life experience/knowledge and utilise that to control their partners, and worse. Is that what you were doing? Doesn’t sound like it. It’s also often the case that two people can just genuinely like each other and be a decent fit for each other. Doesn’t sound like you sought out and exploited an imbalance. Sounds like you liked someone and had a mutually beneficial and consensual exchange.
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I feel like I have done something terrible (pt.2)

Postby Ineedhelp300 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:26 pm

I have been thinking back on the last post I made in this forum, and replaying the situation over and over again. The more I think about it I feel like a sick disgusting awful person. A part of the story I forgot to mention is that one of the 17 year olds I was talking about lived with me in my apartment for a short period of time because his parents had kicked him out. Although we never had sex he had made sexual advances on me multiple times which I had declined. We had a little bit of a flirtatious relationship but I never wanted to allow it to get passed him touching me, kissing, or cuddling with me... I also want to emphasize that every time these things happened he had initiated it (I am not trying to victim blame him at all but I would never have felt comfortable doing those things on my own)... We ended up getting in a lot of fights when he was living here because he would have a bunch of his friends over without my consent and would throw parties and trash my apartment. I also caught him in a huge web of lies. He stole a laptop from a girl at Uni and tried to give the laptop to my roommate. He even stole my roommates ADHD medication and when asked about it he lied and said he didn’t. Come to find out later on from someone who has him on Snapchat he was trying to sell that same medication to ppl on his story...

His parents eventually told him he could go back home but he told me and them he wanted to continue living in my apartment which at first I was ok with because we were still friends at the time but then I said no because I felt like it would be best if he went home because his behaviors of lying and using me for my apartment were starting to be more clear. He also would constantly ask me for money or for me to buy him gifts on Christmas which I did because I saw him as a friend and I always try to go out of my way for my friends or help them. We ended up getting into one final huge blow up fight where I had to kick him out of my house because he decided to up and leave all of this belongings at my house while he went on someone sort of bender for 5 days. My roommate (who he stole the pills from) was coming back from vacation at the time and I felt that the dynamic was really off putting and tension-riddled with the fact that his pills went missing and we had suspicions at the time it was my friend (we didn’t know for a fact that he did it at this point). I was very upset with my roommate for a while while he was gone because my friend had also convinced me that my roommate was bad mouthing me and saying awful things about me to him. When my roommate came back I confronted him about it and we ended up putting the pieces together and realized my friend was manipulating and lying to us... so this set me off and I texted my friend and told him he needed to come get his stuff and get out of my house or I would be calling the police and telling them about the stolen laptop. My friend ended up coming and grabbing his stuff the next day....

A few nights later I received a very long text message from my friend telling me that he was just using and manipulating me the whole time so he could use my house to have parties and said that I was so “easy, naive, and vulnerable” to use. He also started throwing massive low blows at me about things I had confided in him. He also said he didn’t feel about about using me because I am “crazy” and saying that while he was living with me I made him feel unsafe and that I blamed him for all of my problems... when he said this to me I felt a lot of guilt and it made me think that I might have been the one in the wrong this whole entire time or that maybe I was manipulating him or being a bad friend? This also made me go into an even bigger spiral about whether I possibly was “grooming” him by letting him stay at my house... I personally have really terrible boundaries and I have had awful friendships like this in the past where people have admitted to using me but he was also younger than me so there is a part of me that feels guilty or as if I was also using him or being inappropriate. I never had any of those intentions in mind when I allowed him to stay at my place but he would also frequently compliment me on my looks and tell me I was “sexy” and “hot” and would slap my bottom or grope me. One time he even tried to initiate sex with me but I said no because he has just come back from a party and he was drunk and I did not want to take advantage of him. I had just come out of a very mentally abusive relationship before this and it left me vulnerable and wanting attention and validation and I think my friend knew this... but I also feel responsible because he was younger and I should have enforced those boundaries. That’s just something I have had a difficult time with is boundaries. I also forgot to mention I have been diagnosed with BPD and part of that is just having a terrible history with friend ships and not being able to pick really good people to be around. I feel like saying these things is putting me in a victim position and I do not want to paint myself that way but I also feel a lot of guilt and self blame for this situation... what do you guys think?

-- Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:20 am --

I’m terrible I feel like I should end everything
Last edited by Snaga on Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: merged into existing thread- no other edits
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Re: I feel like I had done something terribly wrong

Postby sprock » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:21 pm

It sounds like you have been more manipulated than manipulating. While it might not have been wise to have 17-year-olds/ minors in your flat, it sounds like you were pretty conscientious and that this "friend" effectively assaulted you on multiple occasions. Despite being a minor, him groping you was still a crime on his part, not yours. I definitely do not believe you should end it and I feel confident in saying that very few people, if anyone, would say that you deserve to die or that it would be helpful. I do strongly feel this is something you need to be discussing in therapy however, not with potentially judgemental or hypocritical random strangers on the internet! :)
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