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Unagie posted 8/24/2013 09:29 AM

Okay here goes. Something has been absolutely killing me for a week or so now. When I was around 19-20 I played an online game. I was one of few women and the guys liked to tease and flirt and I admit and have confessed to flirting on this game. One of the guys stated he was 16-17 at the time. Now let me say this the flirting was through chat, no pics, no numbers exchanged, nothing beyond the chat in game. I felt so crap about the flirting I stopped doing so soon after it began. In reading a some posts here a week or so ago I had this memory pop into my head and I felt not only ashamed but completely disgusted with myself due to the age difference. At the time I don't think I even acknowledged the age difference, it was all about the ego stroking. The very thought of talking flirtatiously with someone that age now is revolting to me, in fact its been revolting for years as I've seen news stories of teachers taking advantage and its always made me a little sick to read. Now I feel like this disgusting person, I do not know how to stop or if I should feel disgusting. Just looking for thoughts.

UnexpectedSong posted 8/24/2013 10:01 AM

It's not a big deal. I think you are looking for reasons to feel guilty. Like your default mode is to feel guilty.

Unagie posted 8/24/2013 10:14 AM

UnexpectedSong that's what I thought but I didn't want to think I was minimizing or anything. I spoke to a free counselor this morning and I said during the call: "it's like I've had so many emotional hits and everything around me is going to shit that I need it to be someone's fault. I decided it would be my fault so now I'm trying to make myself out to be a disgusting, horrible individual because then all of this might make more sense. All the pain might be justified as a punishment for my actions."

Counselor told me to calm down and think about this. Stated at the time I was barely a young adult and certainly not emotionally mature. She said I have grown up since then so of course as an adult I would find the thought of those same actions revolting. Then she told me I have taken so many hits lately that I might be on emotional overload and if my go to is to always take the blame but I've had no blame in the recent emotional hits then that's why I am thinking this way now. I am trying to find a way to take the blame again because its what I'm used to.

UnexpectedSong posted 8/24/2013 10:52 AM

I don't think you're looking for punishment for your actions. I think you learned growing up that everything was your fault. So when you can latch onto blame and guilt, that makes you feel comfortable - that's home base and that fits your world view. Someone taught you that long, long before your A.

badchoice posted 8/24/2013 10:58 AM

US, I think that is a great observation.

I know I used my unhealthy coping skills because they made me feel comfort, felt familiar.

I think when you start to look at things through healthy perspective, it doesn't look like that way, and I think that is the key part in changing old, unhealthy behaviors and coping skills.

Unagie, I think the work you have been doing is helping you and will help you get through all of this.

[This message edited by badchoice at 10:58 AM, August 24th (Saturday)]

Sal1995 posted 8/24/2013 11:25 AM

That's not a significant age difference and is in no way similar to say, a 30-year old teacher taking advantage of a minor. You and that boy could have attended high school at the same time, at least for a year.

You seem like a nice person who's being too hard on herself, Unagie.

Unagie posted 8/24/2013 11:42 AM

Thanks guys. I need to figure out this need for guilt. It doesnt feel like something I grew up with but rather something I developed in my 20's. Then again really thinking about it my mom was a pro at guilt tripping. She could make me ashamed of my actions to a point that my brother and I were very well behaved because we didn't want to disappoint her. She is an amazing woman but this might be what started me down the path.

UnexpectedSong posted 8/24/2013 11:49 AM

Maybe it's your mom, maybe not.

something I developed in my 20's.

What happened in your 20s to make you feel guilty for everything?

WoundedOpus posted 8/24/2013 12:31 PM

Without opportunity to begin recovering from psychic and emotional injuries that were implanted during infancy and perpetuated throughout childhood, shame and guilt often remain entrenched and implacable. These archaic core sensations powerfully influence our sense of lovability, and literally set the stage for undersatisfying and painful romantic selections; "if I don't believe I'm worth loving, how could You think I am?" which is continually ratified by our unconscious attraction to narcissistic or borderline disordered partner...

(Paragraph from an online article), Resonate at all?

Some of us have a very hard time not taking the blam for everything. I've always been this way, and it's just gotten worse after 12 years with my FWH, I think maybe this is what's happening with me, it is NOT always our fault! Sent you a link, I think it will help to read.

There is nothing at all wrong with what you posted, minor age difference. If it had been a 16/17yo girl and 19/20yo boy, I doubt you'd think twice a out it, don't b so hard on yourself.

Unagie posted 8/24/2013 13:10 PM

Thank you for the article and advise. Honestly nothing crazy happened in my 20's other then this relationship with my SO. The harder I tried and the less I succeeded the more I blamed myself until it got to a point where I always took the responsibility.

[This message edited by Unagie at 2:54 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

YoungMistakes83 posted 8/24/2013 14:20 PM

As someone who made my unhealthy choices before the age of 21, I can tell you that this instance of flirting online with a boy is not something you should carry around guilt for. Just don't do it again now that your older :)
I also know what it's like to try to look at past infractions from a mature point of view. It can be very hard to figure out the right amount of quilt to feel.

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