My one shame, letting go of snooping

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    Hi all,

    This is so hard to write. I began snooping when I was young, after seeing my father’s affair, my mother’s snooping, accidentally coming across explicit material on my mother’s laptop at age 9, and having my mother show her compulsive lying to me as a secret to keep. My trust was horribly bruised many times due to neglectful parenting and sexually-abusive siblings.

    I have always worried that others hate me, and I found myself (age 23) snooping on my roommate’s personal journals (skimming for my own name) to see if they dislike me (because I knew there was some immaturity in the house (obviously, on my own part as well)) and also because my previous roommate broke into my room and stole from me, as well as berated me, unfounded. I also snooped in my partner’s phone to see if they would cheat/hurt me some other way (neglect wounds).

    I admitted this issue to my partner and he forgave me, such a wonderful feeling. And he knows why I struggle with this. I am dealing with it in therapy and am happy to say I am well into remission. I can tell him when the urge comes up, and our communication is great. I am crying out of the joy of this, I feel so incredibly lucky to share this love with him.

    The guilt is. I wish I had never done this. But, I feel like I can’t tell the roommates, or anyone. I haven’t done this terrible act in months now, and it feels great. The secret, however, is complicated. I know that I do much to meditate on this, on the fact that anything I may find in those journals is personal, not for me to interpret, and was a mistake on my part. As a result, I feel like keeping this a secret protects those people from pain. I am not very close with them, and I also truly believe, to any extent that they would notice, I do not let the shame of my act seep into my relationships with them. I have extensive methods of dealing when the urge to see if I’m in danger by snooping comes up- I breathe, do a mental practice of containing it, journal, leave the room I’m in and get fresh air, and it really works! Of course, in addition to the therapy and talking with my partner and some close friends about the old habit.

    I wanted to tell others. To try to find relief. In my heart, I know that I don’t have malicious intentions, that my sad childhood developed this fear of betrayal, and this sense of listlessness. I don’t have any other secrets I keep, so I feel overwhelmed. I feel like this situation is hard to find information on. But, if you are reading this, and struggle with the same, know this- you can overcome it. I have and the relief is enormous!


    I hope you are well<3


    Dear (now) Anonymous:

    You are welcome to return to your thread under a different account, if you change your mind, and would like my positive and empathetic (I promise!) reply.



    Hi Anonymous

    I think it’s amazing that you got therapy and managed to overcome this behaviour. I’m glad that you have such a supportive partner.

    I think that you should have compassion for yourself. As you said this behaviour was rooted in a painful past.

    Bad habits are bad habits and when we stop doing them we no longer have bad habits.

    Did you ever hurt anyone with your snooping? If, so feel free to apologise to them. If you didn’t hurt anyone, you can apologise for the behaviour to yourself.

    I don’t think guilt is very helpful because it perpetuates self-hatred. It is part of a cycle of negative self-talk. If you can find it in your heart to forgive yourself the feeling will resolve. Sometimes the hardest thing is to forgive ourselves. Everyone makes mistakes though.

    The important part you have already done. You learned the lesson, you got help. You stopped. Commit to never doing so again. That is really all that needs to be done.

    What would you say to a good friend if they were in a similar situation?

    If you have difficulty with feeling like a bad person. Consider what you truly believe a bad person is like and then consider the good things you do.

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

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