Hello all. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.
I’ll try not to make this too long. I was never taught while growing up, especially in my teen years, about sexual purity and sins related to. My parents never even told me about sex and i learned all about it in all the wrong ways (movies, internet, non-catholic friends, magazines, etc). I didn’t even know the now obvious genital differences between males and females until i was a young teen. Essentially, i grew up having quite impure personal habits not ever actually knowing i was doing anything sinful. I sometimes suspected they weren’t quite “normal” but never thought they were sins. I always thought it’s my body so how can it be wrong? So now I’m 27 years old, FYI.
I committed a lot of various sins against purity from the time i reached puberty til even now while i still struggle a lot with my lack of purity. I go to confession pretty much every other week now. I always tried in my Teens what i thought was my best to deal with those things in confession but i never was able to put them to rest and put them in the past. For the past few years it’s felt like these sins have followed me everywhere i go…into my friendships and past failed dating relationships. And now i live with this fear that i just haven’t properly handled and dealt with my sins the numerous times I’ve been in the confessional. Basically i never feel satisfied or at peace that I properly and thoroughly confessed all my sins. I usually only made general confessions in my teens believing at the time that i was making good confessions. (saying “i committed various sins of impurity” to refer to many different actual acts i didn’t want to do into details of. Or i would say “masturbation” or “impure sexual act with myself” to refer to anything involving impure touching or impure action) I talked to my pastor a few weeks ago (who is a very good, orthodox, holy man, and great priest who i should have every reason to trust) about it but he told me i had no need to confess those sins of my past again. This would be true, i know, provided I really did make good confessions. He said, i quote, “I have full confidence you’ve confessed those sins. I have no doubt about that.” So basically he didn’t want to hear about them. He made that clear. He said The past is in the past and i need to trust Jesus rather than trusting myself that i’m forgiven and absolved. That only temporarily released me from the strong anxiety and fear i had/have about my past sins. He said the only sins i NEED to confess (since absolution removes all venial sins not spoken) are Mortal sins i KNOW I committed and have not confessed. But i ask myself…what about those i feel like i didn’t confess well enough or sins that have come back into my memory.
So my question is this: When i made those general confessions, not being completely explicit in describing every one of my sins but rather being a bit vague and leaving room for interpretation (implicit, or species of sin VS kind/type/specific act) did i botch all those confessions and invalidate them one after another? I struggle with not knowing how specific i have to be considering embarrassing factors and not wanting to be too graphic while speaking to the priest. My pastor urged me to be at peace about it and continue taking Communion but I can’t seem to have peace about it and always feel after going to confession that if i had just completely “spilled my guts” to the priest one last time this would all be behind me.
What am I to do? I know there is scrupulousness at play here too. I realize all the parts of this subject that i’m probably over-thinking but i can’t help it.