Constantly thinking about crime committed 10+ years ago

Postby Dragon453 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:19 pm

I committed a crime when I was 14 years old. I didn't know it was a crime and it is a more serious misdemeanor, I was never caught. I'm not going to go into detail because I suspect I have OCD and am not supposed to seek reassurance.

About a year ago, something triggered the memory and since then it has spiraled out of control, its the only thing I can think about generally 8 hours a day or more, and there hasn't been a single day go by where I haven't thought about it. Thinking about it generally consists of unconsciously going over every detail to see if it fits the requirements for a crime or whether or not it is normal behavior for someone that age.

Sometimes I will obsessively seek out information to find people with similar stories or who had done the same thing, and found some, the responses were generally positive, but since no cases are exactly the same it fuels the obsession more.

I know intellectually that its unnecessary to be thinking like this and I personally know felons and people who have done much worse things who are happy, respectable people, and regardless of how bad the crime really was, its obviously really silly to have it take over my life like this, but I can't control it.

The only reason I am posting on this forum is because I am desperate for help at this point, it has been over a year of this and has seriously negatively impacted my life. I am a productive worker and I can play and write piano music and draw, but my progress on those hobbies has been seriously delayed since I often just sit in my bed for the entire day.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:53 am

Okay, two things...

Dragon453 wrote:I committed a crime when I was 14 years old. I didn't know it was a crime...


You didn't commit a crime.

I was a police officer and I can tell you a basic legal concept required for a crime to be committed is a mental threshold called "culpability".

A 3-year old cannot commit murder. Why? Because a 3-year doesn't have the mental capacity to understand murder. They can't be culpable. And it doesn't matter that when the 3-year turns 18 that they can finally understand what they did 10+ years prior. It still doesn't make it a crime.

The 4 states of culpability are; intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or criminal negligence.

Teenagers are sometimes but rarely charged as adults if it can be shown they are culpable. This requires demonstrating one of the 4 mental states by a prosecutor.

You claim you didn't know it was a crime. Therefore, no crime was committed. It doesn't matter if your 24-year old self now knows.

So your OCD is founded on a lie you tell yourself. You are using this "crime" that you had no idea you supposedly committed as an excuse to avoid something else. You are using it as an excuse to avoid something today.

Again...it is a convenient excuse.

"I can't do X today because 10 years ago I did Y."

It's mental hogwash.

What are you afraid of accomplishing today? A job you can't keep? Establishing a healthy relationship? Dealing with parents? Going to school? Probably it is any number of things you just want to avoid, so you use this mental scam you have told yourself to justify your inaction.

Dragon453 wrote: its the only thing I can think about generally 8 hours a day or more...I am a productive worker and I can play and write piano music and draw, but my progress on those hobbies has been seriously delayed since I often just sit in my bed for the entire day.


A productive worker? Another false belief. Another obvious lie you tell yourself. There is no way you can reconcile (1) eight hours a day focused on hogwash and (2) sit in my bed the entire day, with (3) I'm a productive worker.

Who are you trying to kid? Yourself. That's who. The question is why? Again, what are you really trying to avoid in life?

My guess is there are any number of things you are either trying to avoid or you have the luxury of avoiding. My guess is you don't have any real pressing worries, serious worries in life. You are fortunate and lucky in that you don't need to worry about where your next meal will come from, how you will pay the electric bill, or where you will sleep tonight. You don't need to worry if you will be alive tomorrow morning.

No. Life is good for you. You have a piano to play, a bed, tools for drawing. You have hobbies. Hobbies are a luxury. You have at least 8 hours a day if not the entire day to just sit in your bed. And you obviously have access to electricity, at least one digital device, and the Internet. What a fortunate life of luxury you have.

Apparently able to have plenty of luxury time you choose to spend it avoiding life. Why? What do you fear?
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#2

Postby Dragon453 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:23 am

I appreciate that your feedback is not simple reassurance. I should clarify that I am not nearly as productive as I could be, when I said that, I basically meant that I have a job and pay for myself.

The crime is not the only thing I will think about, but it's the main thing.

I'm curious if you think medication would be a good idea or not, as I fear the symptoms will return. I have been to a counselor before but I didn't like him.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:32 pm

Dragon453 wrote:I'm curious if you think medication would be a good idea or not.


Medication is a crutch. It isn’t a solution. It isn’t a good idea.

Don’t misunderstand. When a person has a broken leg a crutch can be of temporary help. An aspirin can provide relief from a headache.

The problem, especially for people that want the easy way out and spend their time lounging around in bed all day, is that the medication becomes less than temporary.

Your problem is too much luxury. You lounge around wasting life. You have spare time, lots of it, so you use that time to get trapped in your own thoughts.

The question is why?

You didn’t answer the question. You didn’t answer what it is that you fear. You didn’t answer what you are avoiding.
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#4

Postby littlebrowndragon » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:33 pm

Dragon453 wrote:
The only reason I am posting on this forum is because I am desperate for help at this point, it has been over a year of this and has seriously negatively impacted my life. I am a productive worker and I can play and write piano music and draw, but my progress on those hobbies has been seriously delayed since I often just sit in my bed for the entire day.


I did reply to your post over an hour ago. I came back to edit that reply, as I realised I had not made myself clear on certain points. I must have forgotten to click "submit" because my previewed reply has completely disappeared! So, here goes again.

It sounds to me as if there is an emotional response here. Are you experiencing guilt, perhaps? Or maybe fear? Anything of that nature?

One potential action you could take to quieten your mind of those intrusive thoughts is to do relaxation therapy or meditation. They should help. However, I have another, additional, suggestion.

Find a change of perspective with respect to your "crime". For example, for many years I had a real anger problem - and I mean a serious anger problem. I was out of control. I knew I needed to do something about it, but what? Then a friend of mine said something which was an instant release for me. She told me, correctly, that people in this world generate anger for themselves and each other. So, one feels anger when the plumber doesn't turn up when s/he says s/he will. One feels anger at that extra bit of paperwork one now has to do for work and which one didn't before. One gets angry at other drivers tailgating your car, or following through when one is overtaking another car etc, etc. Junk mail. Spam. Cold calling. The point is that my friend's advice gave me a different perspective on my anger i.e. that there was a reason for it. This relaxed me sufficiently that I was able to start to deal with and reduce my anger response to life's difficulties.

I also committed a "crime", at least a "crime" according to my then employer and one which earned me a disciplinary hearing. My "crime"? Merely to speak my mind at work, instead of parroting my employer's politically correct lines that I was otherwise forced to recite. In fact, I had committed no real crime other than to claim my freedom and self-respect in the face of oppression. So by committing a "crime" against my employer I was, in fact, regaining my self-respect and pride, both of which are required to remain mentally healthy. Perhaps your "crime" was of that nature i.e. a response to oppression. If so, that could give you the change of perspective needed to allow your memories to loosen their grip.
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