Alex's Answer

I'm not a horrible person

Your Question

When I was 12, nearing 13, I had a friend- they were nearing 12. They kissed me once and I didn’t think much of it. Several months later, I kissed them- I don’t know why and I don’t know how the thought entered my head, but I did it. They kissed me back, so I thought ‘okay, they don’t mind.’ This occasional kissing occurred for several weeks, sometimes even they were the one to start it. We eventually stopped completely and it wasn’t brought up until several months later, and I was told that apparently they weren’t okay with it. I didn’t know this, and felt horrible. I talked it through with my friend and apologised. They said it was okay, and we left it be. Several months after that I apologised again- I felt horrible about it, truly. It’s been almost two years since the incident and still, it’s in the back of my mind every single day. I don’t know how to live with myself knowing I did this, even if at this point, I can barely remember it. I’ve apologised and they’ve said it’s okay, but still, I feel that I need to find closure and assure myself I’m not a horrible person; am I a horrible person? Was this my fault all along? Is an apology not enough? Do I need to do more? 


Hello there, welcome to Ask Alex,
Firstly, we want to commend you for reaching out and expressing your feelings about this situation. It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge and reflect on things we have done in the past, especially when they cause you upset. It’s clear that you care deeply about your friend and the impact your actions may have had on them.
It’s important to remember that you were both very young at the time, and it’s not uncommon for young people to explore and experiment with their feelings and actions. However, it’s also important to recognise the importance of consent in any kind of physical interaction. It sounds like there may have been some miscommunication or misunderstanding between you and your friend, which can happen, especially at a young age. Here is the link to a very good website which gives ‘The facts…not a lecture’ on consent and relationships
You’ve already taken a positive step by apologising to your friend and discussing the situation with them. They have reassured you that it’s ok, which suggests that they understand your remorse and have forgiven you. However, it’s understandable that you still feel guilty and are wanting closure. It might be helpful to continue talking about your feelings with a trusted adult or counsellor who can provide support and guidance as you process this experience.
Remember, you are not a horrible person. You made a mistake, but you have shown remorse and taken steps to make amends. It’s important to learn from our mistakes and continue to grow and develop as individuals.
If you ever need someone to talk to, remember that Childline is here for you, 24/7, confidentially and non-judgmentally. You can always reach out to us by freephone at 1800 66 66 66 or through Live Chat at We’re here to support you, no matter what you’re going through.
Look after yourself, and know that you are not alone, ever,

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