21 days ago
Time Spent- 2h 4m
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Deep shame

I don't know where else to turn to... Except for anonymous people on the internet.

My presence on the internet has been incredibly spotty at best. In some places i make a few friends or help someone with sonething, i know i can do good for people.

But 2019 was a dark year for me. Over the course of stress in my final year of schooling and other life issues... I made some vile comments to people. A prolific case to me is that i made some disturbing, sexual DMs (No nudes exchanged) to a 16 year old girl. I was 18. All she wanted was tips on how to play a certain class on a game and after doing so, ruined it for her. Rightfully, i was banned from a server over it. I apologised to this girl. I didn't want anything back from saying it, i know that nothing could be said to balance what i did.

Amongst maybe... Two or three other cases of stuff that are "less" questionable than this, i still hate and villify myself even after confessing what i did to friends. Even if they try to soften the self hatred of myself by saying that (using the case above as example) that two years apart is nothing or that i was just being a dumb, horny teen... It means nothing to me. I still hate myself. Nearly two years later and i still lose sleep over it. A name i grow fond of and use on the internet is tainted by a handful of people...

All of this and yet i dream of having a sort of job playing video games to an audience. Like youtube or twitch. But in this age of social media, i can easily lose it all if someone steps out and says "Yeah, before he made a career out of the name he loves and all this other stuff, he was a fucking creep."

I know i've grown. I feel remorse every day. I hate the actions i did two years ago. I know that i'll haunt myself forever and run the risk of getting exposed if i try to pursue my dream.

Sometimes i just feel like a cancer to the world that should die for my actions. The ultimate payment for what i did.

I don't know what to do.

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21 days ago

Re: Deep shame

OP here, i just wanted to add that the whole "two or three other cases" stuff doesn't relate to any other things that happened like the main case i spoke of.

One i remember that isn't wholly "cancel" worthy was that i pretty much made some poor word choices towards someone i grew to invest my care into their wellbeing with. Betrayed them somewhere emotionally i guess.

What you did was terrible and shitty, but I challenge you to take a different perspective when considering the implications of that on who you currently are.

Please take an outsider's view for a moment. Imagine that a friend tells you that a few years ago they did what you're guilty about a few years ago. You know that they deeply regret what they said back then and have grown immensely since. Would you think the same of them as you think of yourself now? I know it's possible for people to offer much less forgiveness and understanding to themselves than to others and I'm wondering if that's what you're doing now.

I know how easy it is to think of bad things you've done in the past and decide that those define you. Have you heard of the cognitive distortion called labeling? I recommend looking it up if you haven't. People are much too complex to fall under a single label because of some shitty things they've said or done. When you label yourself as a cancer to the world because of what you said as an 18 year old, your perception of yourself is distorted. Again, thinking about a friend, do you think they are defined only by the bad stuff they have done or does how they currently act and the good stuff they've done or are doing also define them?

When I was 17, I was in a very short-lived relationship with a 15 year old girl. I still have regrets about stuff I said to her after the breakup, some of which I said after turning 18. She did say that she forgives me when I apologized, but I didn't think I deserved forgiveness and still couldn't forgive myself. I hated myself for a while after that and hyperfocused on all the ways I failed and said terrible things. It took a while, but now I realize that I'm defined by a lot more than what I said to her and that mindset (which I had to work towards in intensive therapy) actually has made it easier to grow as a person and move on with my life. Some people know me as a kind, empathetic person and that defines me as much as if not more than the shitty things I said to my ex. At the end of the day, people are multifaceted.

Don't get me wrong, there are still some instances in which people can and should still be condemned for terrible stuff they have done. For instance if I knew someone who acted how I did in that part of high school, refused to recognize that as wrong, and continued to behave in the same or a similar way, I would agree that they were a terrible person. When there's a youtuber (cough cough Shane Dawson) who has had so many instances found of blackface and pedophilia and he tries to sum it all up as bad jokes I don't trust that he's actually changed.

I saw that you wrote that you dream of a job of streaming video games. I can understand how you're afraid that you would be exposed on those platforms. To give another example of a youtuber, there's Jimmy Snow. He's very open about how terrible he was during a part of his life and since there isn't any evidence (to my knowledge) that he still acts that way, people still watch his videos. Maybe you could try to reach out to a creator like him to get input about what you're worried about. Most of the instances in which I've heard of a creator getting canceled involve multiple instances over a wide span of time. I can't personally offer much more input on that topic since I don't know those platforms very well.

I know that that type of shame is difficult to look past, especially if you're not able to find much help in doing so. It sounds like your friends mean well, but I can see how neither of the responses you listed would seem compelling at the moment. I hope that seeing if your reasoning towards yourself is consistent with the reasoning you apply towards others will help you out in some way.

Take care,

An anonymous person

You are being way too hard on yourself. Try to understand what caused that behaviour. Think about what you could have done differently and then forgive yourself. Have compassion for your younger self. Definitely talk it through with a therapist,don't let it have a hold on you for the rest of your life. Life is too short.