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Real Event OCD and guilt over past behaviour (Trigger Warning)

LostCause_ profile image

I'm feeling really bad about something I did when I was 14. It was completely out of character and I wish I never did it, the guilt, anxiety, anger and shame is tearing me up. I can't look in the mirror even and feel any peace. A few months ago I started remembering the event and recalled a detail that I had basically forgot for the last 9 years. I actually felt bad about what I did 6 months after it happened and confessed to a person thru an online helpline and felt relief but I did not disclose all the details as I felt ashamed. Over the years I had completely forgotten about it and my life was normal, I started new things and am just trying to help my parents out as they are approaching retirement. They are the only reason I'm able to pull through.

So i was at my grandmother's along with my family. We were there for over a month. My grandma's cleaner had a baby. I was always normal and played with the baby just like anyone would. However one day I acted out a sexual behaviour BUT i WAS NOT aroused, nor did I kiss/grope or do anythig of that sort. I was caressing the baby, best way to put it is say when a dog sniffs thru stuff and I think (not sure) I was making some eye contact sexually but obviously fakely as I don't remember being turned on. I was not fantasizing anything either. Maybe I'm adding some details to the memory and am suffering from false memory OCD, but some of the things I mentioned did happen. I think I was bored and just thought oh I'm just gonna act this out. It's not like I was attracted to the baby or something, All the other days were normal and I didn't do this. I didn't even do this the next day. The interaction was only 1-2 minutes. But it's come back to haunt me and now I don't think I can be happy ever again. Please note I am ONLY attracted to women, always have been as I started watching porn from an early age. I've even had a sexual experience with a girl my age when I was around 9-10 years old. I haven't had a relationship yet but have had good dates with women too. Also, I have a younger sibling and never did anything like that on them growing up. I'm quite confused as to why Iacted like that on that day.

I'm trying my best not to ruminate as much as I know it will be almost impossible to remember every detail in the correct sequence, but the uncertainty is driving me crazy. Sometimes I can delay it for a couple of days or weeks but eventually I just have to. I've been trying ERP just like with the other subtypes but this one is by far the hardest battle. If time travel was a thing I'd go back and stop myself from doing what I did in a jippy. The idea of suicide has popped up, but I'm scared of going to hell forever as suicide is a big sin in my religion. I am trying to look for a therapist but its challenging during the pandemic. If you have any advice for me it would mean the world, I know I'm not a bad person, I wish I could just lose this memory so I can live a normal life.

14 Replies

Dear LostCause,Maybe you just haven't had enough nonsexual touch in your life--cuddling babies, snuggling puppies, holding hands. We are mammals and need touch, and caressing a baby is not the same as having sex with a baby. Making eye contact is what we're SUPPOSED to do with babies. That's a human behavior, not a sexual one. I think porn at a young age and sex at a young age can make life a little confusing. I'm not saying it's bad or evil, but I think it can complicate things. Therapy would be helpful. Please get some help. You're not evil, you're just a human being like the rest of us. Take care.

Hi there. I totally agree with Elisheva99 - this is normal human behaviour. I know reassurance isn’t a good thing for OCD sufferers because it’s just all part of the loop, but I’m worried that you maybe don’t realise that how you behaved was completely normal. As a mum I can confirm, babies smell amazing, and their skin feels like nothing else! You can have that response without it being anything sexual.. And as Elisheva99 says, maybe it came at a time where you weren’t experiencing non-sexual touch, and you were accessing porn, and it’s all just gotten a little confused in your head. At the end of the day though, with OCD, you need to accept that you will never know for sure - none of us can ever be 100% certain that our memories are accurate, and so we have to learn to live with the uncertainty. It sucks but accepting that uncertainty is the only way you’ll be able to move on. Therapy would be helpful but you say you’re having trouble accessing it. There is lots of stuff online (some helpful, some less so) - my son found some of these podcasts helpful:

You are a good person - remember, you wouldn’t be struggling with this if you weren’t!! Take care & stay in touch x

LostCause_ profile image
LostCause_ in reply to Mumofhocd

Thank you for the reply, but I still don't feel good. Maybe I didn't explain right how I did the behaviour, but it's not helping my cause. I don't know if there's any way out of this no matter how much therapy I get. The memory keeps playing in my head over and over and I know I will never get any reassurances of all the details. Even that doesn't matter because I still engaged, and that's the messed up part. No way out of this nightmare unfortunately.

It sounds more like PTSD than OCD to me if the memory of it keeps replaying in your head. I also have PTSD and it's been helpful to have trauma-informed therapy. I thought I was a hopeless case because CBT didn't work well for me, but once I found someone (accidentally) who understood how to treat trauma, things went much better and I am actually improving. I'm not saying I don't still have PTSD symptoms from the past, but they are not as debilitating.

Thank you for your insights. I had a feeling it was PTSD as well, I will be seeking therapy soon. Should I see 2 separate therapists? (One for OCD and one for PTSD)

I can't answer that - talk to your therapist about what they can help you with. I am seeing one person. He thinks the OCD is really from trauma, so it helps to address the trauma.

Ok, I will do that. Let's see what the therapist says. I will keep u updated, thanks.

Hi again, Groundhugger may well be right, and that’s good advice (though I recall you were having difficulty accessing a therapist? Hopefully you’ll be able to get in somewhere). In the meantime you might find it helpful to listen to this podcast on “real event OCD” - it’s pretty long but there’s some good stuff in there. could skip all the beginning stuff & start around 12:50 - then at around 42:40 he starts talking about strategies & treatment (I know this because I listened through for my son who is suffering from this variant of OCD at the moment - for him it’s that he is haunted by something that happened with a girl his age when he was 15, worried she was drunk - they both were - and he might have pressured her, even though nothing much ended up happening.) Anyway it may sound like a very different scenario but the guy in the podcast covers lots of diff scenarios and basically although v different they do all amount to the same thing and the suggested strategy for trying to deal with them is the same. Hopefully it might be something that makes sense for you, and if nothing else may reassure you that you’re not the only one dealing with this.

LostCause_ profile image
LostCause_ in reply to Mumofhocd

Thank you for the recommendation, I'll check it out. Sorry to hear what your son is going thru, hope he pulls thru 👍

He’s doing really well, thank you ❤️ - it seems to rear its head every now and then, something will trigger it, but it passes after a few days. Or recently he had maybe two weeks of constantly thinking about it but then fortunately has moved out of it again. I’m sure it’s different for everyone and maybe he’s just one of the lucky ones that it’s not a constant for him. I would ask him what helps him but to be honest I’m a little nervous about triggering him again so soon after the last time... but if it comes up in conversation I’ll ask, just in case it’s helpful. I really hope you get some relief or some help ❤️

LostCause_ profile image
LostCause_ in reply to Mumofhocd

Thank you, If u do feel free to reach out if not no pressure. I don't want your son to have a hard time again with triggers. Take care!


Hi LostCause! Hang in there. To me, this is 100% OCD! I'm 44 and have been suffering from OCD for years. I've gotten a lot better. My OCD has changed themes many times. Recently it's morphed into the same theme that "Mumofhocd" son has. I'd recommend to reach out to Shannon Shy for peer support! He's fantastic! Also, here are 2 good articles that have helped me:

LostCause_ profile image
LostCause_ in reply to 222purple

Awesome, I will check it out. Thank u so much for sharing

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