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Author Topic: Can someone please quell this intrusive, serious thought?  (Read 365 times)

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Offline justagirl7

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Can someone please quell this intrusive, serious thought?
« on: March 12, 2014, 02:37:36 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've battled with intrusive thoughts that cause me a great deal of anxiety and guilt, but recently, something came up that increased it by tenfold. An older friend of mine who has been dealing with PTSD and hasn't had the ability to receive professional services came out and told me something that has been haunting him. About 35+ years ago, he committed murder of a stranger in what he describes as an act of self-defense when hitchhiking. He describes it as something he never would have done if he didn't feel danger in the situation and not as something he wanted to do. He also told me he's never confessed this to anyone before. I also know he is someone who would never harm anyone presently.

My intrusive and anxious thoughts are centered around this: No matter how ill-intentioned the victim was that facilitated the crime in being committed, someone out there who loved this person (i.e., family) never found out what happened to them. I feel so much guilt, constantly -- all day -- that I know a piece of information about someone, somewhere regarding their fate. And I know the person involved in it. SO much guilt.

Here's how I try to calm myself down: I know nothing about this person that I'd be able to share with law enforcement, even if I wanted to. All I know is that it happened. My knowing of the incident just means that: I know about it only in minor detail. I don't possess any actual information that could help lead to their discovery. I also know that my friend, who I couldn't imagine harming a fly prior to this revelation, states he acted in self-defense and suffers a great amount of emotional distress years and years later.

But I can't stop that nagging thought that I am a horrible, evil, vile person for not sharing what I know. I feel TREMENDOUS responsibility. I feel like I can't talk to anyone about it in my life, and the thoughts are causing me a great deal of distress. I think what might help resolve it is if others, outside of myself, were to tell me their thoughts on the matter and help me see it more objectively. I need to know that I'm not doing anything wrong (if indeed I am not doing anything wrong).

Please help.
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Offline GoldenFalcon202

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Re: Can someone please quell this intrusive, serious thought?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 03:54:24 PM »
I honestly think you should go to the police about this.
Even if you don't know much about him, the police would still be grateful to know. They could piece together the details-When did he go hitchhiking? Is that around about the time so-and-so died? That's him, then-and offer some closure to the family, who like you said, have no idea what happened. If it was really in self-defense, the police may be able to offer him help and therapy, whilst trying to see if the guy had any mental illnesses or something that could disturb your friend.
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Offline bluecanary

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Re: Can someone please quell this intrusive, serious thought?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 01:18:15 PM »
I have to agree with GoldenFalcon202. The information you know, even if you think it isn't important, is eating a hole in you. You'd be surprised what law enforcement can do these days. Even if this person that you know was acting in self-defense, he needs to come forward and explain himself. He burdened you with this information, and it's unfair to ask you to harbor this secret. I don't know where you live, but many cities/states have "Crime Stoppers" tip lines and such where you can report information anonymously, so you don't have to worry about any recriminations. By telling someone about what you know, you're no longer keeping this bottled up inside yourself. Whether or not law enforcement can investigate or do anything about it (there is no statute of limitations for murder, regardless of the motive behind it) is immaterial; by doing this, you'll be relieving yourself of bearing that burden, and you'll start to feel better. You may even be doing your friend a favor - by what you've said, it sounds like he's having a hard time dealing with the aftermath of this event, and would probably benefit greatly from professional help. I don't know how the law works in this regard, but it's quite possible that if the police discuss this with him, they may be able to help him find some resources for support. Keeping this secret is not helping anyone - reporting it can only be helpful to everyone involved - for you, your friend, and the family of the person who died.
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