It’s a kind of a mindfuck, being guilty of something where you can’t know the consequences. I suppose the closest comparison would be repeatedly drunk driving and not knowing whether you’d ever hit anyone. Though it’s somehow both far worse and much less direct than that. On the one hand, it’s hard to believe that what I’ve done had any real effect on anyone else. I can construct chains of causation where my actions played a role in ruining someone else’s life. But it’s hard to take them seriously. It’s all hypothetical. I don’t really feel the guilt. What I feel is closer to shame. Or ‘pre-emptive shame’, since so few people know. I’m feeling ashamed in advance, in case somebody ever finds out. I’m ashamed to be the kind of person who has done this disgusting thing. I don’t feel guilty or remorseful for the harm caused to others. I can’t know what harm it caused, if any.
Maybe if someone was to come to me and say ‘because you did this, this happened to me’, then the guilt would fully hit. Perhaps then I’d do the honourable thing, and finally end it.
Possibly I’m in denial. Maybe the causal link is far clearer, and I just don’t want to see it. Or perhaps an act can be irredeemably wrong, regardless of it’s effect on others. It’s hard for me to judge myself objectively. If the majority of sane compassionate people tell you you’re a monster, then chances are you’re a monster.
I could’ve done so many good things in life, if that part of me had never developed. In theory I still could, if I could somehow just forget it. But I can’t. It separates me from society, from everyone around me. And I can’t tell myself that they’re wrong, that I’m innocent. That I never hurt anyone. I don’t know, and I can’t know for sure.