Are these actions upon waking, sinful?

I married at 18 because I “had to” However my husband has been impotent for the past 30 years and I still struggle with sexual feeling. Often coming partially awake in the night realizing I have just done what will send me to hell. Am I culpable for these actions and must I go to confession every time. I don’t purposely do this and am truly sorry. Very ashamed and can hardly face going to a priest. I need help for I have thoughts of giving up.

Dear friend,

When you are asleep, since you are not conscious, you cannot sin. Even upon waking, one’s will is highly impaired. Even though one feels in control right after waking, one is not. You have not been sinning and have no need to mention this in the confessional. There is no need to be ashamed of actions one did not freely choose. I’m sure that the Lord is pleased with your years of fidelity to your husband and therefore, to Him in this matter.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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