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Anxiety over reputation fears

Drubb

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
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0
#1
To put things simply, I betrayed a former friend of mine a couple of years ago and took things way too far.

I know better now. I am no longer a betrayer and I would never, ever escalate things as far as I did. It was literally the worst thing I've ever done in my entire life, and I will never be forgiven by him. I hate who I used to be. Years later, I still feel the guilt and wish I could do something to make everything right even though that's impossible.

I constantly worry about him telling people what I did and how I treated him.

I am afraid of losing my connections if they found out my secret.
I am afraid of my friends turning their backs on me.
I am afraid of family members disowning me.
I am afraid of losing my job if they found out because they don't want the negative PR. They put out a statement about firing me and then I can never find another job afterwards.
I am afraid of news outlets writing about my harassment and everybody knows, ruining my life.
I am afraid of the first page of googling my name would bring up something like this, ruining my life
I am afraid of becoming popular and him noticing me, getting mad and spilling the beans which then ruins my life.

This is baggage that I have been carrying around me for three years.

Every single day, I wonder and worry if my entire life will be taken away from me because somebody finds out, word goes around and suddenly the whole world knows what I did. Then, what I did in the past becomes my identity for the entire world and I will not be allowed to live a successful life because nobody wants to associate themselves with me.

I have not done anything even close to what I did back then and I've done a lot of good things for people, but none of that matters if they find out about this.

Logically I know there's nothing I can do but live my life. I go about every day trying to be a good person to others, but afraid that everything I've ever worked for in my entire life will mean nothing, because of what I did. I've tried many things like therapy and prescription meds but I continue to have these panic attacks over what I did and what might happen.
 
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natly

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
1
#2
I see it as your past experience shaped you to be a better person. I look up to the fact that you owned your mistake and flaw, that it's a big part of your life. But that is only one thing and you are more than that. The legal part I am not sure, but you are attempting to better yourself w therapy. Maybe write out other things about yourself, and esp good qualities like what are your accomplishments?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

Rinka

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
750
Likes
296
#3
To put things simply, I betrayed a former friend of mine a couple of years ago and took things way too far.

I know better now. I am no longer a betrayer and I would never, ever escalate things as far as I did. It was literally the worst thing I've ever done in my entire life, and I will never be forgiven by him. I hate who I used to be. Years later, I still feel the guilt and wish I could do something to make everything right even though that's impossible.

I constantly worry about him telling people what I did and how I treated him.

I am afraid of losing my connections if they found out my secret.
I am afraid of my friends turning their backs on me.
I am afraid of family members disowning me.
I am afraid of losing my job if they found out because they don't want the negative PR. They put out a statement about firing me and then I can never find another job afterwards.
I am afraid of news outlets writing about my harassment and everybody knows, ruining my life.
I am afraid of the first page of googling my name would bring up something like this, ruining my life
I am afraid of becoming popular and him noticing me, getting mad and spilling the beans which then ruins my life.

This is baggage that I have been carrying around me for three years.

Every single day, I wonder and worry if my entire life will be taken away from me because somebody finds out, word goes around and suddenly the whole world knows what I did. Then, what I did in the past becomes my identity for the entire world and I will not be allowed to live a successful life because nobody wants to associate themselves with me.

I have not done anything even close to what I did back then and I've done a lot of good things for people, but none of that matters if they find out about this.

Logically I know there's nothing I can do but live my life. I go about every day trying to be a good person to others, but afraid that everything I've ever worked for in my entire life will mean nothing, because of what I did. I've tried many things like therapy and prescription meds but I continue to have these panic attacks over what I did and what might happen.
Hi @Drubb have you ever openly talked about your past? It seems that you need some kind of absolution or atonement. I don’t know what you did and I guess you are not ready to share, which is ok. I think however, that you should talk about it somehow maybe with s professional, because the guilt seems to eat you up and is stopping you to progress in life. The thing is even convicted criminals get a chance of a new life after they have done their time. Why shouldn’t you have the same experience?
 

Drubb

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
2
Likes
0
#4
Thank you both for responding.

I see it as your past experience shaped you to be a better person. I look up to the fact that you owned your mistake and flaw, that it's a big part of your life. But that is only one thing and you are more than that. The legal part I am not sure, but you are attempting to better yourself w therapy. Maybe write out other things about yourself, and esp good qualities like what are your accomplishments?
I've really tried to. I've accomplished a lot since then and have done a lot of good for other people. I know I am a good person now, even though I occasionally mess up which is just part of being human. I never harassed anybody or betrayed anyone since this happened. But I always remind myself, "Those don't matter because of what you did and once everyone finds out everybody won't care either." I'm not concerned about anything legal wise at this point, just the fear of being ostracized.

Hi @Drubb have you ever openly talked about your past? It seems that you need some kind of absolution or atonement. I don’t know what you did and I guess you are not ready to share, which is ok. I think however, that you should talk about it somehow maybe with s professional, because the guilt seems to eat you up and is stopping you to progress in life. The thing is even convicted criminals get a chance of a new life after they have done their time. Why shouldn’t you have the same experience?
I'm not comfortable with sharing it online because anybody can come to this forum and see what I've written. I've told many people in person though and usually they show understanding of why I did what I did, even though I shouldn't have done it. Virtually everybody has told me there's nothing to worry about, but I'm always afraid I'm leaving stuff out of the story by mistake. So I elaborate thoroughly but it gets to the point that they get annoyed and don't want to hear it anymore.

They get tired of hearing the story and my fears, but guess what? So am I.

It feels like in this day and age that once you **** up and people find out, that's what you'll always be known for. I've tried to discuss this matter with professional therapists but I can't take them seriously when I see examples of somebody's reputation being destroyed over something they did years ago in the news all the time. I want to get help from them, that's why I've spent thousands of dollars on these sessions, but it hasn't worked for me yet.

Sometimes it's rightful so after it's years of abusive behavior and sexual harassment and they never learned their lesson and they just wouldn't stop no matter how many warnings they were given and I'm happy that these people are being called out.

Other times, they just did something stupid when they were 19, realized the mistake back then and suddenly out of nowhere thirty years later it's brought back up and the person is also punished, getting fired from jobs and losing friends. Google their name? First page shows articles of what they did back in the 80's. It might not have any legal merit, but it still ruins their life.

Or maybe someone had a lapse of judgement today and people reported on them being an ass. Everybody has bad days, this person just happened to be caught on camera and the timing was really bad for them, then their incident goes viral and everybody hates this person. It doesn't matter how much the person improves since then or apologizes, because on the internet, their name will ALWAYS be attached to that particular incident thanks to Google's search algorithms. Google declares who you are to the entire world as far as I'm concerned, and it never, ever forgives.

I didn't sexually harass anybody or do anything racist, like you commonly see in the headlines, and I don't think what I did was as bad as what those people did, but I still went too far and did bad things. It doesn't matter how separated they are from my experience, it still triggers me and reminds me of what could happen to me.

I apologize for ranting, but I've been tired for a very long time. I'm tired of these thoughts going through my head again and again and again. What I just told you is what I tell myself constantly and I need it to stop if I'm ever going to be happy again.
 
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