I Feel Like I Am Only My Mistakes

I feel as though I am seeking attention by making another post only three or so days after my last one (Retriggered P.O.C.D. & Z.O.C.D: Part II), but there were other guilt-inducing, P.O.C.D. and Z.O.C.D.-triggering mistakes I made which did not come to mind whilst making said post that I feel the need to talk about now:

One was when I was a young teenager and I sent a picture of my private parts as a joke to someone I thought was my age or very near it whom I had been talking to on my PS3 and via Kik.

Another one was when I made a sexual joke to an underclassman when I was a sophomore or a junior that pertained to the characters in Stranger Things’s first season.

The final one, which I made recently at the age of twenty-one, was seeking reassurance that I was not a zoophile for being into anthropromorphic characters by looking up pornography of one that maintains animal-like proportions but acts, thinks, and speaks like a human adult to other humans.

Although I have since recognized that each of these mistakes is atrocious, I feel worse about them every day because I did not face any or enough consequences for them, as well as since I wonder if there is any other detail or interaction like them that I have forgotten about, making it so that I question if I repeated horrible mistakes or made worse ones.

I am sorry if this post feels rushed, insincere, and repetitive, but I wanted to get this all off of my chest here as soon as possible in the hopes that someone could help me sort through and deal with it since I could not live with myself otherwise, as I feel like a predator/groomer who deserves to be locked up.


One thing I haven’t really shared much about is when I was younger I did some sexting and sending of images that Im sure are floating around somewhere. To say if Im not proud of it or regret it, I don’t actually know anymore.
We live in an internet age where it’s easy to get caught up doing those more risque kind of behaviours.
We all learn things and recognise things in ourselves and in our own lives that we can acknowledge perhaps weren’t the wisest of choices, but we have grown and learned from.

You’re now understanding that sending an image or saying a joke wasn’t in that moment appropriate. Everyone including myself has said a joke that just springs into mind. Do we have to hold ourselves accountable to no end? I don’t think so, and chances are because we feel this remorse around it, we are the only ones who remember that.

I think the guilt and the judgement you hold over yourself has been consequence enough. Not that I believe you did or do deserve any.

If your mind perhaps bring too unkind to yourself? You’ve acknowledged your emotions about it, how it’s making you feel. Can this be a learning process for you to move forward into the future?
If you had a piece of paper and you wrote down all the things your inner critic is telling you, I’d imagine it would look similar to this. If you turned over that page and wrote our a self compassionate response what would that look like?

That inner critic is like a tape that just plays on repeat. “You’re a horrible person, you nade too many mistakes”. It can be hard to shut it off all together, but sometimes it is possible to start by pressing pause on them. That could look like self care in whatever form you enjoy- walking, reading, exercise, gaming ect
That could look like grounding techniques- breathing, meditation, repeating a self love mantra ect.

You are not your mistakes. There is so much that makes up you and mistakes feel like that can add shadows to us, but we don’t always see the light others do


Thank you for opening up about parts of your life to me in an effort to help me deal with mistakes that I have regretted for years.

I just worry that I hurt someone with what I did or said more than I knew of. I don’t want to make anyone else a victim of anything I do or say, and the notions that I have done that, done it in the past more times than I remember, and could do it again greatly disturb me, as does…

…the idea that my mistakes crossed too many lines to not eclipse any light that there may be within me. So…

…I struggle with figuring out how to move forward without becoming my worst fears. While you did kindly share with me some next steps that I can take, finding the ability to take those steps is difficult for me to do.


When you’re a young teenager, then that makes you a minor and a child.

there is a difference between a worry about your sexual preference and your actual sexual preference.
Does it feel like you worry about what others have told you that you are RATHER than thinking about what actually makes you feel sexually aroused?

You are NOT determined by what others say, especially when you were younger and people said unkind things to you. “looking like a this or a that” DOES NOT mean that there is some thing about you that they saw.

I don’t want to minimize what you’ve been feeling for a long time, but I do think your brain wants to keep making you feel guilty and keep you trapped in a state where you feel you need to punish or atone. That kind of thinking is hard to break out of, but we need to do so. We can choose how we want to act, even if we have troubling thoughts.

When we lose the ability to control our behaviour based on our thoughts, then some external agent has to intervene and help us.
Again, I am so prod of you for being here and sharing, and trying to work through this.

You deserve to forgive yourself for your past and move on from it. You were young and yourself a child. We have age of consent for a reason - a child cannot consent because they are not able to make an informed decision. For this same reason, you should identify that your actions, as a child, were short sighted due to your age, and you weren’t trying to get another child to do anything.

A predator actively grooms or tries to engage a younger person. It’s what they thoughts and fantasies are. It’s not an isolated event in their past, it’s not determined by a comment years ago. It is who they are.
But even they have the choice to act on their thoughts or refrain and remove themselves from a situation where they may be tempted to offend against someone.

Life is a series of choices. Thoughts are distressing, but it sounds like you’re worrying about what you could be and not really about what you are, and that is something you could start to reframe or rethink about

(havent had my coffee yet, this is a bit of ramble. If I got some stuff wrong, please do let me know!!!)


Have you ever heard the distinction between guilt and shame? Guilt is that immediate feeling you get when you mess up. It doesn’t feel good, but it can be a powerful teaching tool. Shame is when you hold onto the guilt, rather than learning from it and moving forward wiser. Shame keeps you stuck right where you were when you triggered the initial guilt response. Shame is a waste of guilt.

It may seem silly to say “things were different back then” because it wasn’t that long ago, but culture today moves so fast! 15 years ago, things I said to one particular high school classmate would get me arrested today. 10 years ago, things I said would have gotten me cancelled. Moreover, teenagers say dumb stuff because it’s funny and/or they don’t understand the full implications of what they’re saying. Locker room jokes like “no means yes” got a lot less funny when I started hearing about my peers getting raped. We’re not born with that perspective, it comes with age and spending time out in a broken world. We reserve the right to get smarter. Today I understand how fucked up the things I said were, I don’t say or believe things like that anymore, and I can confidently say that I’ve grown. Feeling ashamed of things I said 15 years ago serves no one, least of all me.

That’s not to say I’m perfect. I carry plenty of shame with me, surrounding who I believed myself to be. When we carry shame with us, a lot of times we feel like it’s an act of penance. “Why should I forgive myself when I’ve done such awful things? If I forgive myself, doesn’t that cheapen the impact on those I hurt? If I forgive myself, doesn’t that make me an unrepentant deviant?” You’ve felt the guilt. You know what you’ve done wrong, and you know how to avoid it moving forward. Shame is stunting your forward motion and doing a disservice to the rest of the world. Shame hurts, and we tend to avoid that pain with self-medication that is destructive in other ways.

All that said, it’s not as simple as saying “don’t be ashamed anymore!” Shame as engrained as yours sounds to be has become a part of your self-identity. I know it has for me. That healing takes a lot of HARD work. I’d highly encourage you to start with a therapist. Neither you nor I nor anyone else knows how to free ourselves from shame on our own. All we see is the valley of shame, we don’t see the path out. All we know is what we believe about ourselves, and we’ll never develop other perspectives if they’re not presented to us.

You are not your past. You are not a bad person. You are not a freak or a deviant. You are contrite, and you have certainly paid your penance multiple times over. It’s time to free yourself from the burden of shame. It’s time to become more than your past. In time, when you do that, you will learn to be proud of your growth, and you’ll be able to use your perspective to help others.


Man, that’s hard. It’s hard to feel scared and worried that you’re going to hurt someone or even have the memory or thought that you’ve hurt someone in the past.
I wonder if since you’re aware now that you don’t agree with the actions that took place if it feels like you’re hyper cautious of it taking place again? Forgive me if that isn’t how you’re feeling I can only speak from my own experience and thoughts and would hate you to feel Im placing those words in your mouth so to speak.

I know that figuring out how to take steps forward is hard and confusing, but I just wanted to say that I can see by the way you’re approaching this That you’ve put a lot of thought into reaching a better self (for lack of better wording). And I do think that is a progress in itself.


That is how I am feeling, in addition to feeling that I can never be accepted by anyone again due to the taboo nature of the above mistakes and the ones that were described in previous posts. In spite of the amount of support I have received here, only something I do as a result of said support can ultimately improve things. I hope that what you say is true and that I have progressed in some way already, making further steps forward possible.