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Does one mistake define me as a person?

Hey guys! I'd would like to hear your opinion on the following. 

 

It's something I've never talked about.

It happened when I was 16 years old. 

 

I was invited to a friend's birthday party and my boyfriend asked me to have sex with him in the bathroom. He was sure nobody would notice. I was pretty drunk, so it seemed like a good idea. 

That's the worst mistake I've ever made. I still blame myself for it. 

 

The friend of mine who's birthday party it was noticed that I was in the bathroom with my boyfriend. She told everyone.

I remember opening the bathroom door and everyone who was invited to the party was standing in front of me. Everybody was laughing and calling me a "slut". It was embarrassing.

 

I remember leaving the party and crying. Crying because I did what I did. Crying because I was embarrassed in front of everyone. Crying because she told everyone and I really thought she was a true friend. 

Crying because I felt like everything that they said to me is true. That I'm a slut. That I deserved everything. That it's all my fault. Or isn't it?

 

I think that's the worst that could possibly happen to a 16 year old girl who's only trying to make things right. I've only wanted to be accepted.

I've never meant to hurt someone and always tried to be there when something was wrong and she needed me. 

 

We never spoke again. 

 

She's still telling everyone this story when someone mentions my name. 

 

I still don't know how to cope with the things that happened. I feel like it controls my thoughts and my emotions. 

 

Does one mistake define me as who I am as a person? 

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Re: Does one mistake define me as a person?

Hi there @Kourtney and welcome to ReachOut,

 

Thank you for being so open and brave in sharing your story with us. It sounds like the events at this party has had a strong impact on your life. 

 

What happened at that party is in no way you're fault. You are not responsible for how other people act, and their behaviour to tease and insult you is not okay and absolutely untrue. People make mistakes all the time, and one mistake does not define you. We have a great article about moving on after making a mistake with some tips that might be helpful to you. 

 

Have you ever spoken to anyone close to you, such as a friend, family member or even a professional about what happened for support? Reaching out to someone and talking about it can help you cope with what happened. Something else that can be helpful is taking some time for yourself and doing self-care (which you can read more about here) Is that something you'd be interested in?

 


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Re: Does one mistake define me as a person?

Hi @Kourtney. Welcome to the forums, and well done for being brave enough to post.

 

No, it doesn't. 

 

For a start, you're responsible for the decisions you make, and your decisions only. You did agree to have sex. It may not have been the best decision at the time, but it didn't actually infringe on anyone else's rights.

Basically, it was none of their business. They chose to laugh at and insult you. That was their decision, not your fault. They chose to do something that they knew would be hurtful, and you shouldn't be blamed for that.

Re: Does one mistake define me as a person?

Thank you @Jay-RO for replying. I didn't expect somebody would actually try to help me.

 

I've never spoken to anyone about it. That's why I decided to write a post on www.reachout.com because I didn't know what to do anymore.

 

I wasn't able to face it. I've always denied the truth and told them it never happened when someone asked me about it.

 

I need to take responsibility for my actions and I won't deny it anymore. It's something that happened in my life but it won't define who I am today.

 

I'll get through it. 

Re: Does one mistake define me as a person?

Thank you @Tiny_leaf for replying to my post.

You're absolutely right. I need to take responsibility for my actions. I won't deny the things that happened anymore.

I've always struggled to be authentic. It's time for me to face the truth.

Re: Does one mistake define me as a person?

@Kourtney that's really brave. 

Keep in mind though that it's still your choice who you speak to about it. If people ask questions you don't want to answer, you're completely within your rights to let them know it's none of their business. 

 

I hope that the forums can give you a place where you feel safe to be yourself, if that's what you'd like to get from them. 

Re: Does one mistake define me as a person?

Hi @Kourtney! Welcome to the forums! I think you're really brave to share your story with us. Heart I used to get bullied in school and it really struck a chord with me.

Things like that are never your fault. Expressing your sexuality, even when drunk, is nothing to be ashamed about. Thousands of people around the world are probably doing the same thing at this very moment. You're not alone. Nobody is perfect either.

It must be really upsetting being constantly reminded of what you did. Smiley Sad The people who spread the rumours and called you names are the ones being immature. It is never okay to slut shame someone (by the way, you're not a slut). I'm sure they've had some moments that they regret as well. In my experience, people sometimes criticise others because they want to feel better about themselves and deflect attention from their own negative qualities. Eventually, they will grow up and learn to mind their own business. It's rare for adults to still care about what their friends and classmates did when they were 16. There are more important things to focus on. This may seem like a big deal now, but you can ask yourself whether it will really matter in years to come.

Whether you come clean about what happened that night is your choice and your choice to make only. It doesn't define you as a person. In your life, you'll go on to do a lot of great things that you will be remembered for. You aren't 'the slut'. You are a person with a name and identity of your own. If anyone asks about it, one way of responding could be to say, 'So what if I did or didn't?' Changing the way you think about what happened could also be useful. Sometimes, seeing a psychologist can help with this. Can you think of any positives or anything you've learned from your experience?

There are also lots of resources in the Tools and Apps section of the ReachOut website that might also help you find ways to cope with your experience and give you some self-care ideas.