I have been worrying about some possible old sins that I committed as a young teenager. This is difficult to explain, so I hope that it makes sense.
Without going into too many details, they concern acts that were probably objectively morally neutral (such as hugging), but I’m concerned that I actually may have hugged the person more closely, or for a longer time, than really necessary/appropriate.
In addition, I’m worried that that I may have had impure thoughts at the time, or may have gotten some impure pleasure out of the act, or that I may have “decided” to hug them with impure intentions, despite the fact that I didn’t go beyond hugging, and did not even have the intention or desire to do so. I just remember that, in general, as a teenager, I was often physically more “sensitive” to being touched than I am now, even in innocent ways…maybe it had to do with changing hormones.
However, as this was a couple of decades ago, I can generally remember what happened - I hugged so-and-so - but I can’t remember if I had feelings of affection or something impure when I hugged these people. I’ve been trying to go over it in my mind, but I don’t think that I am realistically going to be able to remember my thoughts, feelings and sentiments at those points in time. Too much time has passed.
In addition, I’m now starting to re-think all sorts of other times in my life when I hugged someone, and I’m worrying that I had some kind of impure feelings at various points, but of course I can’t remember conclusively either way. (In other words, I don’t think that I did, but since I can’t remember things with 100% accuracy, I’m worried that I did indeed have some impure feelings that I don’t remember. And now I’m worried that I need to confess everything, since I can’t say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I did not have any impure feelings at those moments. You can probably see where this is going…I started worrying about two or three cases, and now my worrying is getting out of control.)
I have a tendency to obsess over old sins even to the point of neglecting prayer and other activities because I’m so worried and stressed that I cannot focus.
I decided that I would confess this the next time that I go to Confession, explaining the general details of what happened those two or three times as a teenager, and mentioning that while they seem like morally neutral acts, I’m worried that they were sins, and to just leave it at that.
Does that sound like an acceptable way to confess them? I don’t want to get in to saying, “Well, I’m afraid that I had some impure thoughts at the time, but I can’t really remember, maybe I felt something involuntarily but maybe not, maybe I enjoyed it but maybe not, etc…” I don’t want to minimise the possible sin, but at the same time I don’t want to turn it into something worse than it was. However, I’m afraid that confessing the sin in this way will automatically cause the priest to believe that I did not sin, when, perhaps I did. I don’t want to commit an additional sin by hiding the gravity of my sin at Confession.
Has anyone ever found themselves in a similar situation?