Thank you for being here and sharing about what you did in the past.
I can only speak for myself, so take it as it is. I’m a woman. I was sexually abused in the past, by men. I’ve read your last topic and I didn’t feel offended at all. I respect you. I respect your honesty. And I think it takes a lot of humility to talk about the things you did. Sure, you expressed your own frustration too, but that’s part of the range of emotions you have the right to feel, and to express. That’s what this place is for, as long as it’s done respectfully.
I personally believe that the worse thing for someone who was abusive in some way is to give in to shame, guilt and self-bashing, because it feeds the violence itself. Shame is a double-edged sword, and our responsibility, as individuals, is to turn it into accountability. Most of the time though, we need others to do that.
When we find it difficult to face ourselves, to face what we did and take the responsibility of it, we’re more likely to keep hurting others again and again. The less constructive attitude would be to remain in constant denial, and that’s not what I see in your message right now. You are aware that what you did was wrong. Period.
Now, what are you going to do with this awareness? I want to encourage you to not let yourself drown by the thought that you would be disgusting. Because unlike what you said: you are able to change. But to see this, you’ll need to learn to see yourself differently. It’s the only way to learn from what happened. Otherwise we create self-fulfilling prophecies. “I’m a monster, so I have to remain hidden because I’ll keep hurting others”, is one of them.
Learning, bettering ourselves, progressing is inherent to our human condition. You are not doomed to repeat the same actions over and over, to perceive women the same way for your entire life. But it’s indeed up to you to work on it, at your own pace. Being vulnerable and honest about it is part of it. It’s a first step.
Talking about something wrong that we did doesn’t mean we are proud of it. I don’t believe that’s what you conveyed in your posts and I don’t see any reason to ask for forgiveness - at least right here.
There is a balance to find between internalizing the shame or turning it into something more destructive. Between those extremes, there is a possibility for inner peace, but it’s a long and difficult process. It sounds to me that you’re looking after this balance in your life, and I understand that it might be a painful task to achieve when, deep inside, you feel torn between anger and shame. But I believe you can get there, at your own pace.