CW Should he hate himself for how he behaved in high school


Not looking for “support” we want unfiltered honesty

Over a decade ago
He was 15
She was older than us she was 16

Women who know about it tell him not to beat himself up because they know he has changed but still
He wants me to ask

He pushed her boundaries repeatedly
Never raised his voice threatened or involved drugs or alcohol
But he pushed (not physically i mean her boundaries)
They had sex a lot
She told him shed do anything to make him happy
He brought that up for more sex
They broke up months later
He tried holding some belongings for more sex (but they did NOT have sex)
She told him off and he deserved to be told off
She got her stuff back (Repeating that they did not have sex)
We figured out it was manipulative
He worked for years to change
But then the memories came back to him
I know that he changed
but he wants to hurt himself
I think shes okay she got married etc

Should he still hate himself for this today if he never did it again


Hi @WaitingForTherapy :slightly_smiling_face:

From what you’ve told me, it’s clear your friend has been doing a lot of self-reflecting based on his passed actions and as a result of this, he feels full of remorse and guilt. It’s important to remember that mistakes are common, especially during teenage years, when they are still developing and learning about the ways of life :relieved:

For starts, he knows what he did was wrong, and has done a lot to change his ways. This shows that he doesn’t want to remain stuck in past times, and has instead opted for growth and maturity. He needs to be given the space to forgive himself and focus on becoming a better person :blue_heart:

Self-forgiveness is difficult. He is likely to be feeling high levels of regret, and likely hates himself for past mistakes. He seems to have committed himself to become a better person. I strongly believe everybody deserves the opportunity to change and grow :heart:

I hope this is helpful :heavy_heart_exclamation:

Thank you for being here and sharing a bit about what’s happening. Sounds like you’re worried about your friend, would that be right?

I think guilt can be a very sharp stake that causes us the most pain.
When we do the wrong thing and have that moral compass moment that makes us aware of just how wrong it was, the guilt can tend to build and build. I think partly because we are aware of the hurt we caused and because we can’t change the moments that have taken place.

I think working towards change is such a huge huge step. It’s okay to reflect on the things we have done wrong and work towards being better. The trap that ensues is revisiting that moment and allowing all the guilt to be louder than the lesson.

It’s always going to be a journey for self acceptance, it’s always going to be a journey to learn to forgive self. Sometimes professional support can help to work through the self doubt and guilt.

I hope your friend allows himself to embrace the present and to reach out for that support

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Should he still hate himself for this today if he never did it again

I would think personally that he deserves forgiveness - and first and foremost self-forgiveness. He has acknowledged what was done wrong, he has understood why it was wrong, but to learn from it he will certainly need to release the guilt and shame he feels. Guilt imprisons us and can prevent us from truly learning from a mistake or an act of failure. It is useful at a given time, but it can’t be our last destination, or something we let ourselves be stuck with. Otherwise it may lead us to do the opposite of what we want - to keep hurting others because we would believe that we’re just a bad person anyway. He shouldn’t hate himself forever for this, because this is likely to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, a wrong narrative about himself, and he deserves to see the person he is beyond his faults.

Beyond guilt, there is a need for closure, and he deserves to find that sense of closure within. It’s a hard work, it’s ugly, it hurts. But it’s also part of recognizing that we are humans, and that *through the guilt we can make sure to learn to never repeat the same. I think he recognized something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and now he deserves to embrace this as being part of his life and something he learned from, something that helps him be the person he actually wants to be.

I think he has made a lot of progress over time already and may be on the edge of finding some closure from what happened. And I believe he has the strength/full capacity to get there. :heart: