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Confused over guilt

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  • #381151
    j
    Participant

    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>A few months ago when I was 19(F), I met up with a guy I met on Tinder. He picked me up and we went back to his place, where I drank a lot of alcohol and got high with him. I don’t say this to imply that because I was intoxicated I wasn’t responsible for my actions, but I wanted to provide context. We eventually started messing around consensually. I can’t remember everything exactly, but I know at a certain point I was asking to have sex and he had said no, however I kept asking and I even laid on his bed to try to get it to happen. I’m sure I guilt-tripped him or badgered him to try to get him to sleep me with me and upon reflection I know that this was sexually coercive. We did not do anything despite the fact that I kept asking and I know if we did, this would have been sexual assault. I got upset, called my at the time friend to pick me up, got upset with my friend and asked to be dropped back off at the guy’s house. I tried to convince him to let me sleepover because I didn’t want to go home, which I also think was forceful and coercive and he eventually drove me home. I apologized the next day for my because I knew I was acting messy and bitchy. I asked him if I had forced him to do anything that he didn’t want to and he said no, he was more upset because I was talking about dating other people. He told me he still liked me and asked me if I still liked him and said he liked hanging out with me, and he didn’t seem upset about me being coercive as much as the fact that I was talking about other men. I didn’t respond to his last message and let months pass.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>I’m in a relationship now, and I recently saw a post about how if you guilt-tripped somebody into having sex with you that makes you a rapist, and I agree because it means consent was not given freely. But it brought up a lot of thoughts about what I did. I’ve talked to other people and they agree what I did was bad but they said all I can do is learn from it and move on. Today I sent him a long paragraph apologizing and taking responsibility for my actions, and telling him that I understood if he wanted to press charges. He has not responded yet and I know he is under no obligation to do so. I suppose what I’m trying to ask is how should I act with myself now? I feel as though I am not allowed to have friends if they don’t know what I’ve done. My first instinct is to isolate myself because that’s what I deserve. I feel like I’m not allowed to enjoy things because I’ve shown a pattern of problematic behavior and it would be wrong of me to feel happy. I know I did a bad thing, and I feel immense guilt and shame over it. Even now I feel like I’m making things sound less harmful to make myself look better and I worry I’m not reflecting properly.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>What complicates things is that I have Pure-O OCD, and one of my compulsions is confessing. I know that making this forum post is somewhat of a compulsion but it’s difficult for me to separate what is an appropriate amount of guilt because I’m constantly wondering if its my OCD making me feel this way,</p>

    #381159
    anita
    Participant

    Dear j:

    You are 20, just out of your teenager years, suffering from Pure OCD: a form of OCD marked by obsessions that are usually not accompanied by outward behavioral compulsions (ex., turning around five times one way followed by five times the opposite way).

    A few months ago a guy you met on Tinder picked you up, took you to his place where the two of you drank a lot of alcohol and got high. You then messed around consensually. At a certain point you asked him to have sex with you, and he said no. You did not respect his no, and kept asking, guilt tripping and badgering him. The end result was that the two of you did not have sex beyond the initial consensual messing around. The next day, you asked him if you “had forced him to do anything that he didn’t want to (do)” and “he said no”. Months later, you sent him a message apologizing and telling him that you understand if he wants to press charges.

    “what I’m trying to ask is how should I act with myself now? I feel as though I am not allowed to have friends if they don’t know what I’ve done.. I feel like I’m not allowed to enjoy things because I’ve shown a pattern of problematic behavior… I feel immense guilt and shame over it… it’s difficult for me to separate what is an appropriate amount of guilt because I’m constantly wondering if its my OCD making me feel this way”-

    – my comments: (1) From what you shared you did not rape or sexually assault the man because there was no sex between the two of you (following the consensual messing-around). You can’t reasonably question whether or not a sexual contact was consensual when there was no sexual contact.

    (2) From what you shared it is true that you have “shown a pattern of problematic behaviors”: going to a man’s place the first time you meet him in person, getting drunk and high with him, badgering him to have sex with you, etc. These behaviors need to be addressed- preferably in the context of psychotherapy.

    (3) I think that you are “allowed to have friends”: friends that will help you be a better person as you help them be better people.

    (4) I think that your shame and guilt are about your problematic behaviors, as you termed them, and not a product of your OCD. As you work on #2 above and make sensible, reasonable choices time and time again, after a few weeks or months- your shame and guilt will lessen and you will feel that you deserve to enjoy things.

    (5) If your OCD is severe, I suggest that you see a medical doctor (if you haven’t so far) and consider medications.

    anita

    #381164
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear j,

    since you didn’t have sex, there is no basis for him pressing any charges or considering you a rapist. None whatsoever. But in your mind, you feel guilty, exaggerate your responsibility and believe you deserve to be punished:

    I feel as though I am not allowed to have friends if they don’t know what I’ve done. My first instinct is to isolate myself because that’s what I deserve. I feel like I’m not allowed to enjoy things because I’ve shown a pattern of problematic behavior and it would be wrong of me to feel happy. I know I did a bad thing, and I feel immense guilt and shame over it. Even now I feel like I’m making things sound less harmful to make myself look better and I worry I’m not reflecting properly.

    You might have exhibited some problematic, rash behavior, under the influence of drugs and alcohol. However, when you say “I know I did a bad thing, and I feel immense guilt and shame over it“, you believe you actually coerced a man into having sex with you, which isn’t true at all. You even think that you’re trying to sound less harmful here on the forum, and that in reality, your misdeed was much bigger. So you’re having an unrealistic picture of what happened – you’re harshly accusing yourself of something you didn’t do.

    That’s a part of your OCD, it seems – having a compulsion to confess things you haven’t done and feeling guilty for things you haven’t done.

    This could be related to your childhood. Were you condemned a lot as a child, and often told that you’re guilty for various reasons?

     

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