Can I get your advice?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by tottenhamhotspur, May 20, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. tottenhamhotspur

    tottenhamhotspur Active Member

    This event has been bothering me for years now. It happened almost 4 years ago and has been bothering me almost 3, almost all day and night.
    I obsessivly post it on Yahoo Answers, trying to find the 'right answer' to my question, but all I get it either rude or well meaning people whom give me a few lines of an answer. I need help. I have posted it here before, too- but I just need someone to talk to and with about this in detail and with meaning untill I can get back to a therapist.

    Please take the time to read the post and tell me what you think.This is the exact question i began posted over 2 years ago now.

    Hey Everyone. Sorry that this is so long, but it’s been bothering me and I have to get it off my chest, and see what people’s opinions are so hopefully I can put my mind to rest. Here is my story as I best remember it and as truthfully as possible. About a year and a half ago I got drunk at a bar with a friend of mine. Sometime while he was up and away or after he left, I was sitting on a patio with a woman about my age (21) and I wanted to make a move on her, so I kissed her ( it must have lasted for a few seconds, and I tried sort of using the tongue, but I am still rather timid and pulled away after a bit so it’s not like I really have her a chance to respond to it) . She didn’t say anything or ask me to stop, she seemed fine with it, maybe a bit surprised at most. Later I put my hand down in her pant and touched her bottom , though as we were both sitting down so I don’t think I got down too far ( not that I was trying to, I’m not sure what I was thinking other than I was an idiot.)

    She never asked me to stop or seemed disrupted ( after all, if someone just leans over, kisses you full on with tongue and all, you’d say something right?, and then I’m sure if she had a problem with my touching she’d of said something.) anyways, when my friend came back and went to leave, some of her friends ( she was with others- she was not alone) said I should leave with him ( because he was asking me to walk home with him) but I wanted to stick around to talk with this woman. At the time I thought that they wanted me to leave with him just to be nice to the poor lad ( after all, I abandoned the poor guy for a 20 minute walk home - and yes, I have apologized profusely for my behaviour to him as well that night.) Later on in the night, I was walking, about to leave when a girl starting talking to me and said something along the lines of ‘hey, weren’t you the one who tried to stick your tongue down my friend’s throat?’ I was offended by her way of saying the question,

    and likely embarrassed by my behaviour, and said no, to which she shook her head vertically , saying ‘yes, you did! Yes you did!”
    but I don’t recall her being particularly rude about it. She may have also said ‘I think you better leave” though this might have just been me demonizing myself later, as I have no solid recollection of that happening, and I would assume that I would. (read below)
    So here is my story NOW-

    More than half a year ago, I remembered this event and it started bothering me. Did this woman feel violated by my actions? Did I sexually assault someone? I became very harsh on myself and forgot to remember that it was a stupid thing I had done- but I didn’t force her to, and I would have stopped had she asked me to. I have been obsessive about the event and I am now taking meds for my depression. Though the meds have helped and my quality of life is returning, the questions still bother me - Is this woman alright? What if she had never kissed someone before and I violated that for her? Will I ever accept myself and be able to forgive myself and move on? I would never do something to hurt or violate another person, and I feel like I’ll never be able to fully forgive myself.
    At the height of my depression I did not want to live and considered myself the worst, most vile scum on the planet, but I am starting to come around to realize I made an honest mistake and didn’t mean any harm by my actions. Please weigh in with your thoughts and answers to any of my questions. Your help will hopefully help put my sadly depressed mind and heart at ease.
  2. tottenhamhotspur

    tottenhamhotspur Active Member

    I just feel like a horrible person. I am very interested in working in the feild of corrections, personally, but feel more like I should be the one who is getting help then them. I realize my intentions were not to be offenseive and definatly not violent, but I still see myself in the worst segment of society. I feel like my innocence is destroyed and I have nothing good to offer any more.
  3. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Do you want someone to tell you that she is fine and dandy and that you did nothing wrong? Because that's not what I wanna tell you.

    People tend to do stupid things they likely otherwise would not do were they sober. Yeah, it was an honest mistake, but also a terrible one. You forcibly kissed and intruded into another person's physical, most private space. No one should have to tell you to stop. No one is able to say whether or not she felt uncomfortable with 100% certainty but the victim herself, but I'm willing to bet she probably did in some capacity. If her friends were upset about it, chances are that she let them know at some point that she wasn't feeling good about it, and they acted afterward accordingly.

    Either way, it's in the past, and you feel great regret and remorse over it. The important thing is that you realize what the mistake was, and recognize that you could have had a profoundly negative impact on this person because of your actions. You can't change the past. Other than that, it's normal to feel this way, especially because you don't know how to find this woman, so have not had the opportunity to address how you've felt about it with her directly, to make amends.

    To answer the questions briefly:

    Did the woman feel violated by your actions? The only way to ascertain this is based on her friend's reaction. There's no way to determine how she felt about it if she wasn't able or willing to say anything to you herself.

    Did you sexually assault someone? You may not have known it at the time, but you realize it afterward enough to ask this question, and technically, yes, you did.

    Is the woman alright? There's no way of knowing for certain.

    What if she never...? Don't speculate.

    Will you be able to forgive yourself? I hope so. You can't change the past, but you can recognize the mistake, and make sure it doesn't happen again.
  4. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    It always damages the conscience to know that you harmed someone in the past, and not be able to make amends with them or find out what their condition is. You'll always speculate on whether or not they were permanently changed by your actions. If there's a way, maybe you can try to track her down through people you remember meeting or knowing at the bar that night. Even if it doesn't yield any progress, it could make you feel better that you tried to find out.
  5. tottenhamhotspur

    tottenhamhotspur Active Member

    I have certainly tried my best reasonably to find her, though clearly this is quite difficult. I even posted on craig's list local thing to try to find her. I got alot of responses of people who had been through simmilar things, but no who I was looking for.
    Pretty much your answer confirms why I am thinking about this all the time and that its likely the right thing to be doing. How can I forgive myself for doing something like that?
  6. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    I'm still trying to forgive myself for wrongful things I've done as well, and it's difficult. I don't know how to, either. It's a struggle to live with such a guilty conscience without willing to accept that past is simply past, especially when it's still inside you in the present and affects your future.
  7. tottenhamhotspur

    tottenhamhotspur Active Member

    well I'm sure its not as bad as this...
    Its been almost 3 years straight now. How long am I to live like this?
    I understand I made a mistake, but certainly it is understandable-
    I didn't do anything that was meant to harm or hurt anyone.
  8. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    The biggest part of acknowledging the mistake is to not sugarcoat it by saying "but" afterward, or try to minimize the act. You were drunk and you sexually assaulted someone. We know you think you didn't intend to hurt anyone, but that is what happened as a result of groping someone in your drunkenness. What happened could have been much, much worse... That's what you have to accept, not try to fight, rationalize or justify.

    You feel bad enough about this. The longer you dwell on trying to get a happy answer to your questions that minimizes the damage, the longer you're going to feel suffering and get worse.

    And I'm gonna be honest with you; a lot of people here who cannot relate to being a victimizer, will not sympathize with you. If anything, it could make you feel worse. But I hope you can find a way to get some peace with this and find a way to forgive yourself. I'm sure that this woman has probably found some way to forgive you, considering the circumstance, although there's no way of truly knowing without seeing her again.

    Find something positive to get into to make yourself feel better.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2010
  9. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Putting it out in the open about what you did and being able to accept it as wrong, is a big step. :hug:
  10. tottenhamhotspur

    tottenhamhotspur Active Member

    I accept that what I did was wrong, but I still think in part that my reaction is overblown.
    I think that when you put the situation, context and intention together you can't just paint a black or white 'guilty' or 'not guilty' as I am trying so hard to do. It's hard for me to also accept, while saying 'What I did was inappropriate and not the right thing to do' to also say 'look at everything surrounding the issue- the situation, your intention, the surrounding circumstances, and the fact that nothing like this has happened before or after, nor was it meant at the time to be that way.
    I'm sure I'm not the only person who has went out, male or female, who has tried to kiss someone at a bar they have just met and it hasen't been a wise choice.
    I think my problem is that I can't accept the fact that I did something wrong- but that doesn't make me a violent, mean or terrible person. I am not being dishonest about the situation, and I wish I could move on so I could start a meaninful, loving relationship and go to school and study.
  11. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Well, until you're able to accept that your forceful, physical actions made another person feel uncomfortable, I don't see how that's going to move you forward. And if you truly believe you didn't do anything wrong, then it wouldn't be haunting for years that you actually did. You can't deny another person's emotions or determine whether they have a right to feel that way. But you can acknowledge that you made them feel that way.

    I think you want someone to validate what you did as being acceptable to make you feel better and less guilty about it, so I won't offer any kind of support in that regard.

    That doesn't make it right nor more acceptable. Men do things to women that make women feel uncomfortable every day, and think that just because it's something of a norm and everyone in the bar or club is doing it, that it makes that behavior more acceptable and has no effect on the person. It's best to err on the side that it does, particularly when you do that with someone who is unwilling and without their consent.

    The fact of the matter is that you didn't try to do anything. You did. You put your face into someone else's and put your tongue into another person's mouth without her permission nor regard. You groped her private body with your hands and speculate that, in your drunken state, you couldn't tell whether you reached her butt cheek and most private, covered areas, so couldn't move as far as you did intend. Because her lack of response to you in her mouth was not enough to indicate her lack of interest, you presume that this justifies the assault; many women and children, too, who are put in this position have problems saying anything because they are shocked, or too afraid, or whatever it is, they can't speak for themselves in the moment.

    But you still cannot accept that this is wrong? Stop thinking about whether you think it is right or wrong, and think about the affect you had on this person, which seems to have been enough to strike a nerve with her friend to tell you to leave before you had the opportunity to go further. This isn't meant to make you feel worse, but you have to understand that this was the gravity of the situation that you want to believe isn't real and didn't exist. This isn't something that happened where you woke up the next morning laughing it off and forgetting about it; this was something that you took seriously and have carried with you for nearly half a decade. You will never, ever forget this until you can gain knowledge of why you cannot get over it, accept the whole situation for what it was, and learn that it's not something to do again.

    Until you are able to accept this, I don't see how you can move forward or maintain a relationship with anyone having this on your conscience.

    Or, just forget about it if you think it's just something blown out of proportion. There's a reason why alcohol is considered to be a perception-altering substance, so remember that what you perceive things to be when you're drunk, is almost always not as lighthearted you perceived it to be. :i'm sorry:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2010
  12. ballinluig

    ballinluig Well-Known Member

    all can say is that if u dont forgive yourself then the torment will eat u from with in.

    u cant find this other woman so why keep beating urslef up?

    i was once sexually abuse when i was about 13/14. it happened when i went into a city with a friend and visited an indoor market. this old bastard decided to rub himself up on me and breathe on me but at the same time just look somewhere else. when he eventually masterbated enough to...... then he just walked away. i couldnt move, say anything i was so so frightened.

    i never told any one till last year. it was so horrible and i always thought it was my fault. but once in an AA meeting i told this to my sponsor and he said lots to me. if i didnt let it go it would of always been in me to stew over and over.

    perhaps im on the other womans side and saying she coulndt say anything, she was too frightened, i dont know. I just know that if u dont let this go it will go on and on.

    all the best for u donnax:Leiaha:
  13. tottenhamhotspur

    tottenhamhotspur Active Member

    I don't know what to say anyone.
    I don't want to go on knowing I did something that makes me into some sort of monster.
    In no way am I trying to sugarcoat or make it seem better- I acknowledge that what I did was wholly wrong, however I think that rationalizing it, not to say that what I did was okay, but to say to myself that I am not a monster or horrible person, but a person who can accept that he made a mistake, and stil have good qualities.
    I see what you are trying to say that I should accept what happened and move on, but without putting it into perspective there is no way I could see the good I still posses.
  14. Eld

    Eld Member

    It is very brave of you to open up and tell us what happened. I think for your frankness, you deserve some frank opinions. I am not here to judge you, only to offer some advice.

    First of all, there are two sides to your problem: one legal and one moral.

    On the legal side, sexual assault consists a series of criminal offenses are well-established. Only a court of law can say if you are guilty or not, and a court can only render a judgment based on facts.

    Here, facts is the problem: you don't seem to have remember the details of that night very clearly. You remember that some physical contacts had occurred and that you did not receive any verbal consent. You remember another person implying that she did not give consent, and that person was possibly her friend. What is missing is her description of the events. Perhaps there were extra details and non-verbal signs you missed; perhaps there were not, we don't know.

    The facts simply do not go far enough to support a conclusion that you have committed a crime. Further, it does not seem that the woman has made any attempt to pursue a legal action against you. So as far as society is concerned, you have not done anything illegal.

    What's left is a moral problem for yourself. It seems that you clearly believe that what you did that night was something below the standards you have set for yourself. There can be a number of explanations. It could be that you actually did something more that night. It could be that your standards are too high. Or both. We only know of your conclusion, which is that you felt that you did something wrong.

    But we have already established that you have only your own version of events of that night, which can be unreliable. So in end, you are projecting a scenario in your mind while filling in the details, in order to justify a conclusion that you are wrong. You said that maybe the woman had never been kissed before and you had violated her. What if she simply remembered it was an awful night?

    I feel that you won't find any much by speculating what the woman actually felt and the impact of your actions on her life. How can you forgive yourself when you have already hypothetically condemned yourself in your own mind? Perhaps forgiving yourself is not the issue here, but why you want to judge yourself based on that one event happening so many years ago.

    People make mistakes, of all sorts. However, I like to think that there is a difference between the mistakes. A murder is for example usually more serious than theft. In a way we are defined by our mistakes, and through them, our own character is shown. For example, using the murder/theft comparison, would you morally condemn a mother who murders her violent drunk husband to protect her children more than you would condemn a corporate bank manager who has been stealing savings from honest customers for decades?

    Here, I like to introduce you to the concept of "enduring moral character". The idea behind it is basic: do your mistakes affect your integrity as a person? It is the difference between a bad man and a good man doing bad deeds. To put it in context. Do you believe that the way you behaved that night with that woman actually showed that you are really not a personal of moral character? Or was it an honest mistake on your part that will remind you to be more careful in the future as to not do it again?

    This is the question that I don't think anyone here can answer for you. You have got to make that decision. If it turns out that it is latter that you honestly made a mistake, then perhaps you should feel proud of yourself for being able to recognise your own mistake. There is nothing you can do to resolve a mistake, except to learn from it, and to better yourself as a person from the mistake. You have to be fair to yourself.

    The reason that I have said all the above is that you seem to genuinely regret about what had happened in the past and that it have tormented you for a time. These are the signs of a person who is trying to make amends, someone with a moral character. The least you deserve is a chance to find the right answer, and that chance you have to give to yourself.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.