Thank you so much for writing. That’s an important first step. You have punished yourself for whatever you did for years now. It’s time to find forgiveness and peace.
Please consider that at 13 or 14, your judgment wasn’t the best. As you said, you have changed for the better. The person you are now isn’t the girl you were then. You are now in a position of strength to deal with whatever your younger self did.
Therapists don’t judge. Our job is to help our clients find new ways to understand themselves and to make the changes they want to make in their lives. Talking to a therapist is different than talking to family and friends. We follow a strict code of confidentiality. That’s why talking to a therapist can be a relief. You can get something off your chest knowing that everything you say stays in that office.
I do strongly suggest you follow your own good instincts and make an appointment with a therapist. If you could handle this by yourself, you would have done so long ago. To help you get by your resistance to talking about your problem, I suggest you write down everything you’ve been bottling up inside. Take that paper plus this letter and response to your first session and ask the therapist to read them. She or he will know how to help you begin to talk about it.
At 21, you have most of life ahead of you. It’s unfair to yourself and to those who love you to be so wracked with guilt that you can’t be all that you could be. With the support and guidance of a good therapist, you’ll find ways to put the past behind you and to embrace life again.
I wish you well.