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Guilt about racist past

srenz5821

srenz5821

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Florida
Hi,

As I write this I am in tears and incredibly disgusted by myself. My hands are sweaty and I feel close to puking. I'll just get to the point as quickly as possible. I've never been diagnosed with OCD, but I am certain I have it. My sister has been diagnosed with pure O. In the past, I've been obsessed and deadly afraid of developing schizophrenia and spent hundreds of hours researching it. I've had obsessions relating to fitness and fears of dying due to cardiac disease which led me to viciously count calories and exercise and check my heart. I've had other strange obsessions too that don't matter for today's discussion. Now, I am guilty and obsessed over something I wrote in the past. This guilt and shame has been going on for about 9 months and was sparked by the events of 2020.

Basically over 5 years ago I created a group chat named the nword with the hard ending. I was 21 years old. It included me and my siblings. They immediately called me out on it saying it was racist, and I just said "how?" because I was trying to be edgy and funny. I am a latin person, so i do not have the right to say that word. I don't know why I created that group and named it that. I was trying to be edgy and create shock value. I thought it was a joke. But there was no joke there. Really, I was just being a damn racist and perpetuating a word that has terrible meaning with violent historical consequences.

I've never said that word to a person of color. I do want to say that I do not hate anyone of any race. You can still, however, be racist without hating people. I was racist by what I did. My best friends are black, and they would probably be ashamed of me and leave me forever if they found out I wrote that. Back then, they gave me the "nword pass" probably because I am latin and close to them. They used to jokingly call me beaner and wetback, so we used to have a joking relationship with race. But that doesn't give me the right to write what I did.

Now, I am terribly afraid of that group chat being published by one of my siblings onto social media calling me out. I am going to have a somewhat prolific and public career, so I would be immediately ostracized. I would lose my job and be stuck in tons of debt. I would lose my reputation. And in today's world with cancel culture, I'd seriously be done for.

In 2016, I realized that I need to stop saying the nword even if my friends were okay with it. I made a vow to never say it again and check myself. Since then, I haven't said the word once and cringe at my past self for the stupid things I used to say. I consider myself a liberal, and have a person close to me that is transgender. I fully support that person and have helped them during surgeries, etc. I guess what I'm trying to prove to myself is that I am not "one of those" conservative hillbillies. During the George Floyd protests, I joined them and supported the movement. But what good does that do if I used to say despicable things?

Now, I am incredibly guilty of that stupid group chat I created. I wake with fear at 2 AM checking to see if I have been called out publicly by my siblings. I constantly check their social media. I constantly think about what I did. I feel guilt all the time. I punish myself. I read and follow people of color's social media accounts to try to purify and learn/educate more about race and racism. I've read books on race now. My siblings are somewhat social justice warriors, so they would hate someone like the old me. I reached out to them a while ago and confessed that I used to be racist and I am deeply ashamed of myself. They told me that it was good that I decided to grow as a person and realize my wrongs. But I cannot overcome my guilt. I am going to a therapist soon, but can I confess this thing I did in the past? Or would they be disgusted by me?

While many people in this forum write things like "Am I a bad person?" - most of the times the answer is no because their mental illness is controlling them. But in this case, I objectively wrote something disgusting and I am a terrible hateful person. I don't know what I'm writing on here for. Is there any way for me to stop obsessing with this?
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
2,806
Location
Canada
Hi, welcome to the forum. Yeah, obsessions are annoying for sure. I have them over stuff from years ago too. It's an anxiety disorder.
 
srenz5821

srenz5821

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Florida
Yeah, obsessions are annoying for sure. I have them over stuff from years ago too. It's an anxiety disorder.
Do you think my guilt is warranted, or is my anxiety making me repeat it over and over again? I'm trying to make things right by donating to BLM, spending time reading about Black perspective, and such. No matter what I do, I can't shake my feelings. And I don't know if that's warranted or not.
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
2,806
Location
Canada
No, it's of benefit feeling so guilty, it's just the obsession causing that in my opinion.
 
DanL15000

DanL15000

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
1,742
Location
United States
Tell your friends what you did. Own up to your past and you will be better off.

That will be the end of you looking over your shoulder all the time.

I must say though, it's concerning to me to read words like, "Cancel Culture", and "Social Justice Warrior" in your post. Not exactly the kind of thing that makes me think you are "over it" just yet.
 
C

Carolmicheals73727

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
100
Location
Washington D.C
Hi,

As I write this I am in tears and incredibly disgusted by myself. My hands are sweaty and I feel close to puking. I'll just get to the point as quickly as possible. I've never been diagnosed with OCD, but I am certain I have it. My sister has been diagnosed with pure O. In the past, I've been obsessed and deadly afraid of developing schizophrenia and spent hundreds of hours researching it. I've had obsessions relating to fitness and fears of dying due to cardiac disease which led me to viciously count calories and exercise and check my heart. I've had other strange obsessions too that don't matter for today's discussion. Now, I am guilty and obsessed over something I wrote in the past. This guilt and shame has been going on for about 9 months and was sparked by the events of 2020.

Basically over 5 years ago I created a group chat named the nword with the hard ending. I was 21 years old. It included me and my siblings. They immediately called me out on it saying it was racist, and I just said "how?" because I was trying to be edgy and funny. I am a latin person, so i do not have the right to say that word. I don't know why I created that group and named it that. I was trying to be edgy and create shock value. I thought it was a joke. But there was no joke there. Really, I was just being a damn racist and perpetuating a word that has terrible meaning with violent historical consequences.

I've never said that word to a person of color. I do want to say that I do not hate anyone of any race. You can still, however, be racist without hating people. I was racist by what I did. My best friends are black, and they would probably be ashamed of me and leave me forever if they found out I wrote that. Back then, they gave me the "nword pass" probably because I am latin and close to them. They used to jokingly call me beaner and wetback, so we used to have a joking relationship with race. But that doesn't give me the right to write what I did.

Now, I am terribly afraid of that group chat being published by one of my siblings onto social media calling me out. I am going to have a somewhat prolific and public career, so I would be immediately ostracized. I would lose my job and be stuck in tons of debt. I would lose my reputation. And in today's world with cancel culture, I'd seriously be done for.

In 2016, I realized that I need to stop saying the nword even if my friends were okay with it. I made a vow to never say it again and check myself. Since then, I haven't said the word once and cringe at my past self for the stupid things I used to say. I consider myself a liberal, and have a person close to me that is transgender. I fully support that person and have helped them during surgeries, etc. I guess what I'm trying to prove to myself is that I am not "one of those" conservative hillbillies. During the George Floyd protests, I joined them and supported the movement. But what good does that do if I used to say despicable things?

Now, I am incredibly guilty of that stupid group chat I created. I wake with fear at 2 AM checking to see if I have been called out publicly by my siblings. I constantly check their social media. I constantly think about what I did. I feel guilt all the time. I punish myself. I read and follow people of color's social media accounts to try to purify and learn/educate more about race and racism. I've read books on race now. My siblings are somewhat social justice warriors, so they would hate someone like the old me. I reached out to them a while ago and confessed that I used to be racist and I am deeply ashamed of myself. They told me that it was good that I decided to grow as a person and realize my wrongs. But I cannot overcome my guilt. I am going to a therapist soon, but can I confess this thing I did in the past? Or would they be disgusted by me?

While many people in this forum write things like "Am I a bad person?" - most of the times the answer is no because their mental illness is controlling them. But in this case, I objectively wrote something disgusting and I am a terrible hateful person. I don't know what I'm writing on here for. Is there any way for me to stop obsessing with this?
Listen, you are not a bad person. In fact, you are not racist. You are young. You were young. You did not have malicious intent when you created that group chat, you didn’t make it to publicly discuss your hate for black people. We have all made mistakes in the past and you have learned from yours, which is so much more than any Neo Nazi can say. I promise you, most of the social justice warriors you see on social media have said it in their lifetime. Most likely regret it, too. Also , your friends would never not talk to you because you said it. Maybe if you called them the n word out of pure hatred for their life. But no, if you came to them and said “listen, I said this. I feel awful and it makes me sick to think about. I just want you to know I am not that person.” They are still going to love and respect you as much as they do now. What you’re dealing with is a mental illness. You are not a despicable person. No matter what your brain tries to tell you, no matter the tricks it plays on you, you are NOT a racist person. Do you think anyone who has said the n word with the hard r ending out of absolute spite has any regret?? You have acknowledged your mistakes and have corrected them by doing what you do now. There’s not a racist person in this world that would participate in racial justice protests and donate their savings to racial justice causes. Even if you didn’t do that, you still wouldn’t be racist. The counselor will help. Please tell them your fears and be specific. Nothing bad will be said and you will make it through just fine. You are going to get through this tough time.
 
srenz5821

srenz5821

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Florida
I must say though, it's concerning to me to read words like, "Cancel Culture", and "Social Justice Warrior" in your post.
I don't know how else to phrase the public "erasure/shunning" of a person through social media. But perhaps you're right. Maybe I'm not over it yet. Maybe I have to keep on working on it. Is a therapist an appropriate avenue for this? I've never seen one for mainly money reasons (I'm an uninsured student) and I don't know if this type of conversation is appropriate for a therapist. I have been trying to read books, change my language, and participate in current protests and such. I haven't just been sitting back in regret.

Tell your friends what you did. Own up to your past and you will be better off.
You know what? I think I'm going to do this. In person. Over text would be cowardly. If they want to punch me in the face so be it. I don't think they will, cause as I said, they used to tease me about my race as well (in a joking way I was cool with). My only question about that approach is this: Do you think it's selfish to make them my source of relief? Should I burden them just to dump this off of my chest?
 
C

Carolmicheals73727

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
100
Location
Washington D.C
Tell your friends what you did. Own up to your past and you will be better off.

That will be the end of you looking over your shoulder all the time.

I must say though, it's concerning to me to read words like, "Cancel Culture", and "Social Justice Warrior" in your post. Not exactly the kind of thing that makes me think you are "over it" just yet.
I see what you are saying about the cancel culture and social justice warrior terms, but I feel like this person may not really realize those are terms often used by the disrespectful alt-right. I actually didn’t know cancel culture was sort of a derogatory term until I heard more and more dumbasses use it. This user likely had no malicious intent behind it. Especially based on their intense fear of being racist or imperfect. I don’t think we need to speculate on someone who is obviously struggling for misusing some terms. All the best to you and it is incredibly kind of you to help others out :)
 
srenz5821

srenz5821

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Florida
Listen, you are not a bad person. In fact, you are not racist. You are young. You were young. You did not have malicious intent when you created that group chat, you didn’t make it to publicly discuss your hate for black people.
Thank you for your perspective. I respectfully disagree and think what I did was in fact racist. I was 21 years old... that is far too old to be acting like an inbred. Thank you for your perspective, anyways, your answer made me tear up. I'm not suicidal or have plans to kill myself, but I often wonder if I should just die or have a heart attack because the world would be better off without me. Your answer did give me a little hope though.
 
srenz5821

srenz5821

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Florida
This user likely had no malicious intent behind it. Especially based on their intense fear of being racist or imperfect. I don’t think we need to speculate on someone who is obviously struggling for misusing some terms. All the best to you and it is incredibly kind of you to help others out :)
I truly had no idea "cancel culture" was a disrespectful term. I've heard liberals use that term. I'll stop saying that now, for sure though.
 
DanL15000

DanL15000

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
1,742
Location
United States
I don't know how else to phrase the public "erasure/shunning" of a person through social media. But perhaps you're right. Maybe I'm not over it yet. Maybe I have to keep on working on it. Is a therapist an appropriate avenue for this? I've never seen one for mainly money reasons (I'm an uninsured student) and I don't know if this type of conversation is appropriate for a therapist. I have been trying to read books, change my language, and participate in current protests and such. I haven't just been sitting back in regret.



You know what? I think I'm going to do this. In person. Over text would be cowardly. If they want to punch me in the face so be it. I don't think they will, cause as I said, they used to tease me about my race as well (in a joking way I was cool with). My only question about that approach is this: Do you think it's selfish to make them my source of relief? Should I burden them just to dump this off of my chest?
Listen. If you are thinking about this stuff, you are already on the right track.
 
srenz5821

srenz5821

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Florida
you are already on the right track.
I'm trying to make things right. Do you think that confessing to my friends is simply a mechanism for absolving my guilt? I know guilt is an OCD theme, but I also deserve to feel guilt. I've never even considered confessing to them. But reading your post makes me want to just confess and rip the band aid off already. But I don't know if I'm being selfish.
 
C

Carolmicheals73727

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
100
Location
Washington D.C
Thank you for your perspective. I respectfully disagree and think what I did was in fact racist. I was 21 years old... that is far too old to be acting like an inbred. Thank you for your perspective, anyways, your answer made me tear up. I'm not suicidal or have plans to kill myself, but I often wonder if I should just die or have a heart attack because the world would be better off without me. Your answer did give me a little hope though.
Oh no don’t get me wrong, it was racist and ignorant. But the key words would be “was”. Those words don’t define your entire life and you are not that person. Please remember that you had no intent of being malicious or abusive towards Black people. I’m sure every single one of us have been racist or ignorant about race, class, and culture. We learn from it. We make up for it. We move on. Remember that one day in the future this idea and these words and your pure O will just be a memory. Something you conquered. I’m so confident that your counselor will help you through this and maybe some medication will help. All the best.
 
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