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terrible guilt....



Former member
i just joined the forum today in the hope someone can help me see clearer through my guilt.
i am crippled by it...every second of every day.
i hate myself for having too many casual relationships in the past (i'm 31 now).
i hate myself for allowing people to use me. i feel cheap.
when i'm single, it doesn't matter cos i guess i don't think enough of myself to care.
but now i have met the man of my dreams and this guilt is destroying us both.
i am obsessive about it. i fixate on a memory from my past....someone i've been with....and i take a full blown panic attack thinking about it. my breathing goes, i get an upset stomach, i become disassociated and can't think on anything else.
the only way to alleviate the symptoms is to confess to my boyfriend. it's got to be him (talking to friends/family/therapists doesn't work). cos the bottom line is, i feel like i don't deserve my wonderful boyfriend and i need him to know what a terrible person i've been. if i don't tell him, then i feel like i'm deceiving him into loving me.
i can "confess" up to 10 things in one day. i can't stop myself. i have to tell him all the nitty gritty of my past sexual relationships. it looks like i'm rubbing his nose in it but i'm NOT. i need to know he accepts me...warts and all.
confessing gives me this incredible release...but within 10 minutes i'm having a panic attack about something else and the cycle begins again.
i'm getting CBT but it's not working.
i'm on prozac - which has stopped me self harming - but the anxiety is still off the scale.
i've been off work sick for 12 weeks.
can anyone help me?
i can't stop punishing myself for stuff i can't change.
thank you for reading.


Former member
It is hard to come to a deep level of acceptance of ourselves & the past.

I don't know what to suggest. :hug:


Former member
Hi Weechatterbox

Goodness I could feel myself getting as anxious as you are by the time I got to the end of your post! It is obvious that you are in an extreme state of anxiety right now.

Okay. I understand how you feel. I felt the same way about my (now) husband about other things that had happened in my past.

I guess I came to realise that my husband loves me for the person I am now. Not the person I was then.
However my past helped create the person I am now. Therefore we shouldn't be ashamed of that, whatever misdemeanour we may have done in the past, it created us to be the people we are now.

I used to be the same as you, I got fixated on one small thing, and obsessed about it, got upset about it, panicked about it and refused to let it go, however much other people told me I did the right thing or was in the right or reassured me. In my head I could not let it go.

For me the only things that helped me with this was 1) Radical Acceptance. I could go on forever about Radical Acceptance, but it is about accepting things you can not change, like your past. Every time you regret something in the past, continually saying to yourself, 'it is in the past, there is nothing I can do about it, however much I wish it to be different, there is nothing I can do. However I can change and influence my future, and that is what I will concentrate on'. You will find that your mind keeps wandering back, but every time you notice that happening, repeating that sentence to yourself. And radically accepting that for whatever reason you did what you did and you can not change it. It is difficult but after some practice it really helped me.

The second thing that helped me was learning mindfulness. Mindfulness is about living purely in the moment.

You know most of human misery is actually caused by regretting the past, or fearing the future. It is very rarely about the moment we are in. So when the panic and thoughts take hold, remind yourself of the moment you are in. For example if panic took hold of me now, I would say to myself 'well right now, I am at home, I have a roof over my head, I feel warm, I am talking to understanding people on the internet, I am sat next to a wonderful husband who loves me'.....etc etc. I remind myself of the moment we are in and completely immerse myself in it, because anything else, is about memory or imagination, it's all in the mind. The moment we are in right now is the only reality we have.

Mindfulness can go so much further than that, there is a lot about it on the net, but it is such a valuable skill to learn.

This site explains these skills in more depth. The ones to look at are mindfulness and distress tolerance.

You might find some more of the skills on there useful to learn.


I hope that helps in some way :)
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Former member
Hi guys.
Thanks for the replies.
Sapphire - i'm sorry to hear you've been through a similar thing but it's kinda reassuring to know i'm not the only one! sometimes i feel like i'm going mad!!!
i find it incredibly frustrating cos i KNOW i'm wasting my energy with all this panic. but once the physical symptoms take hold, all rational thought goes out the window.
i guess it's almost like giving up an addiction. i am addicted to confessing all my thoughts to my boyfriend. it's the only way i can get rid of the panic. i need to find another way though before it destroys my relationship.
my boyfriend has put up with so much. i know he loves me. if he didn't, he wouldn't tolerate this. we live a couple of hundred miles apart. :-(
but we speak on the phone several times a day. and EVERY time, i confess at least four or five things from my past that i'm ashamed of. they are all to do with previous relationships, and i know that must be VERY hard for him to listen to.
i couldn't bear to hear about all his exes!! i admit this is a very selfish thing. i confess to stop my own panic attacks. even though it must be hurting my boyfriend, who i love more than i can say. i hate myself for that.
it sounds like you have found some good techniques whiich i will definitely try.
how are you now?


Former member
Hi weechatterbox

I am much better now. I have no urge to confess anymore, and have learned to try to tolerate my feelings and anxiety before I take any action

I'm not saying i'm perfect, there are still the odd occasions where I am consumed with panic and go over and over a conversation or past memory, but I have also learned to distract myself and get involved in something as equally absorbing which is where the mindfulness skill comes in.

Perhaps writing your confessions in a journal, might be a better way to get it off your mind. Then physically putting it away on a box, so you are almost shelving that confession in your mind. It is over and done with, it is in the past, and you have let it out of your system.

All these things are much easier to say than do, and take practice, but yes it is possible.

I hope you find the skills on that site are helpful, they pretty much changed my life after I committed myself to practicing them. :)


Former member
Hi Sapphire,
I am definitely going to try the techniques you mentioned.
As part of my cognitive behavioural therapy, i was told to write things down then set fire to them.
to be honest, it didn't work for me.
my problem is, i HAVE to confess to my boyfriend. nobody else.
cos it's HIS acceptance that's so important for me.
i need HIM to know all the things i've done in the past, otherwise i feel i'm not worthy of his love.
so writing it down doesn't really help, cos my boyfriend STILL doesn't know the things i feel ashamed of.
but i liked the stuff you said about living for the moment. it makes a lot of sense.
may i ask how long it took you to change your mindset? how old are you? i'm 31.x


Jul 25, 2013
Guilt feeling/depression

Hi! What you described is very similar to what happens to me.I saw this post if from 2009,but I wanted to leave you a message.
I also suffer from it and I came to know some family members felt that too.

When I was a child I felt I had to confess some bad thoughts to my mother.That was embarassing and it was about her,it trapped me and made me tell her many things I thought.It was about dumb things but it had a heavy weight upon a child,a real opression.

Later during my teenage years it was worse and related to sex thoughts and feelings,making it unbearable to resist.The guilt would consume me as I was a criminal.
I am very isolated due to a socialphobia I have since my childhood.I avoid relationships! If I like somebody this feeling comes back and it is exatcly as you described.You feel you have to expose things to the person you like,you feel actually inferior to others...but the main problem is that I want acceptance from the girl you like and I feel inadequate.As you mentioned we feel we don´t deserve that person and we have this delusional thought that we are inferior to them.

I think if you feel that guilty,you are a good person.There are many people who do very bad things and don´t feel anything.Some do that to their partners on their backs.The point here is,no matter what you did you are worth of confidence more than the majority,I would say.I know how it hurts and make us weak leading to depression,anxiety and even thoughts of suicide.

We live in a time where they teach us we need no rules and we can jump from one relationship to another but they hide the bad effect it has upon our minds.
You must give you credit for busting out of that bubble and know that people make mistakes,much more when they are younger and vunerable without knowing the real consequences.It happens a lot with people,the problem is we feel this enormous guilt feeling.It´s good to feel guilt but it can´t destroy us.

You are not alone although you feel like that.That I can assure you.I know it is a mental torture and I read many cases here on that subject.I thought yours was very similar to mine!
When we like somebody hell breaks loose and the pain is horrible.I read this guilt feeling is common in people whi suffers from dysthymia which is my case.I´m 36 now and I started suffering again just because I like this girl.

Let me know if you are better!Wish you the best!