What do I need to confess?

This is going to be a very long post, so I will begin by apologizing in advance…

I grew up in a very nominal Protestant home. My parents were both employed outside the home and I was the “typical suburban latch-key kid” of the early 1980’s. I am by no means trying to blame my very poor choices on the budding “MTV” culture of the time, however it greatly influenced my life, along with tacky romance novels, so I had no real moral compass. While I remember hearing quite often how pretty I was as a young teen, and although I had all the “right” clothes, I was never able to catch the attention of any of the boys I liked. When I was 16, I became friends with a gorgeous “wild child” in a few of my classes. She never had trouble meeting guys, in fact, she had no problem getting attention of the “popular” guys from neighboring high schools. She “fixed me up” with her current boyfriend’s friend (18 and senior at neraby high school). We began dating and I finally felt “accepted”. Well, one night, when my parents were out of town, he came over and I ended up losing my virginity. It was a horrible experience and I was surprised to find a few of his friends had arrived to meet up with him and go out. I really, to this day, can’t explain what came over me, but when one of his friends asked “how it was”, I replied, “not good”. He then purposed I try it with him and God help me, I don’t know why, but I did. After that, I had to have been under some spell (no alcohol or drugs in my system), but I slept with the other two, as well. For the months that followed, I became increasingly more promiscuous and these guys pretty much terrorized my life. Our phone number was changed, and eventually, my parents ending up selling our home. They never knew the real reason this went on, I told them that he was obsessed with me and had his friends stalking me. After a few years, I met my future husband, repented, and eventually became Catholic, after a short stint in a non-denominational church, where I was baptized. Now, over 20 years later, I had a near run-in with the “original boyfriend” in my physican’s office. I live in a large city and this long-ago ex lives far, far out in the "burbs, but obviously sees a doctor in the same specialty practice I do. When I saw his name on the patient sign-in sheet, I truly had a panic attack. There was no mistaking the very ethnic name (Euro-Catholic) and by the time the assistant had me in the exam room, I was in hysterics with a ridiculously high blood pressure. She asked me what was wrong and I told her a brief story about a psychotic ex-boyfriend, but I did flat-out lie about the details, adding something that never occured with him (an abortion). I managed to get out of the office with her checking to make sure he had left, but I still “bore false witness” against him to several people regarding an abortion that never happened. I guess in my freaked-out state of mind, I’d rather have the MD’s staff thinking I was upset over an abortion than a complete loss of morals at age 16. Anyway, (yes, I’m wrapping this up), I got to thinking that the panic attack had to be from unconfessed sins that have left an indelible mark on my soul. But, considering I was baptized as an adult, long after this sin occured, wouldn’t that have washed it away? Now, there is a small chance that I was “Christened” as an infant in my parent’s church, but when I called about this years ago, they were unable to find any record of it. So, bottom line, can I just confess severe sexual immorality as a teen and a chance encounter last week with one of my many indiscretions led me to tell a few lies about him? I don’t really think the priest needs (nor wants) to hear my drama (sorry you nice folks had to), but after a time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament today, I know something needs confessed, but I’m not sure exactly what. Thank you in advance for any charitable suggestions.

Angie, I’m so sorry you have all this sadness in your life.

I think you’re right on track with your summary of your sins. I would tell the priest that some of them occurred before your adult baptism, but that you are not a hundred percent sure you weren’t baptized as an infant.

Also, you may have to let your physician know that you did not actually have an abortion. That false fact could find its way into your medical record and lead to errors in treatment down the road.


Being raised Lutheran we tend to be slightly less about counting the sins and more about confession of that which needs to be confessed.
Here is my personal rule, if you realy feel it any way upon your soul confess it. Theology about absolution of sin in baptism asside you are still wearing this on your soul and you need to talk to someone you trust spiritually about it. If you aren’t really comfortable with your confessor then start with your deacon or a nun you know and if you just really can’t think of who to go to, then make an appointment to see your parish priest and tell him. He is there to be your spiritual father. He is there to hear your drama if that is what you need guidance on. Print out what you wrote and take it with you and if you can’t seem to get it out or you find yourself not feeling truthful or what not then just hand it to them. If you don’t go and get spiritual guidance on this or if you just mark it off as a I lied time to do 10 hail mary’s it will come back.

For those that replied (both here and PM), thank you so much for all of your great advice and for your prayers! I will be going to confession this week and have been praying about how to sum this up, making sure the magnitude of what I have done is relayed in my confession, but without going on and on…you can see my tendancy to do that when you read my OP. I appreciate your continued prayers.
God is so great and merciful to poor sinners.

**If you confessed your indiscretion before, there is no need to confess them again as they were already forgiven. The guilt comes from self-unforgiveness rather than anything else. And, yes, I would confess to the story you made up about your ex-boyfriend because it was still a lie. The fact is, too, that, at 16 years of age, you may not have known what you were doing and were confused over what was occurring. **

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