So, in early October of 2017 I was suffering from intrusive/homicidal thoughts. Basically, I wanted to shoot up my school. I told an ex-friend about it and now I regret it. I’m so afraid she’s going to tell my school or someone in general and the fear is ruining my life. To clarify, I do not have these thoughts or urges anymore. At the time I was extremely obsessed with school shootings (for example: columbine). I think it is what encouraged me to think these things but what also encouraged me is the fact that I hated myself. I’ve always been insecure. I have never been good enough and it caused me to want to take out my anger on others. My home life is good and I do not get bullied which makes me feel worse about having these thoughts. I feel selfish and stupid. A girl on Instagram even messaged me at one point, asking me if I wanted to participate in carrying out a school shooting and I said yes (I never went through with it and I told her no later on). I just felt like I had nothing to lose. I had anger towards myself which led me to have anger towards others. I regret ever having these thoughts and this haunts me every day. I feel like I’m carrying around this huge secret and it’s ruining me. I feel like if everyone knew they would resent me. This whole situation has also caused me to self-harm again after being clean for a while. I hate myself for ever wanting to hurt anyone. The pain I’ve felt from this is unbearable. I’ve thought about suicide but I’m determined to feel better. I want to forgive myself, forget, and move on. Your advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.I Regret Having Homicidal Thoughts
I Regret Having Homicidal Thoughts
A. You were going through a difficult time. You struggled with strong emotions. You were suffering and searching for a way to relieve your pain. You had thoughts of a homicidal nature but they were no more than thoughts. You realized they were wrong and are now regretful. Thankfully, nothing happened.
You did not carry out any horrific events. You resisted the intrusive thoughts. You didn’t do the things that you were thinking about. We have the freedom to think anything we want but what matters is whether or not we act upon them. You had a choice and you chose wisely. Perhaps that is the difference between good and evil, right and wrong.
It’s been nearly a year since you made those comments to your ex-friend. If she were going to report you, she probably would have done so by now. The same is true with the Instagram girl. Perhaps they didn’t take you seriously. Perhaps they weren’t serious.
In many ways, it is you who “dodged a bullet.” In other words, you contemplated engaging in a crime of extreme violence that would have ruined the lives of many people, including yours. School shooters often die at the scenes of these crimes either because they are killed by police or via suicide. Those who survive the ordeal, go to prison for life or receive the death penalty. Many are probably immensely regretful, still their lives are effectively over. Thankfully, that did not happen to you.
None of that happened. The thoughts passed and you are trying to move on with your life. You must do everything in your power to ensure that those types of thoughts never return. The solution is counseling. It will teach you more appropriate and healthier ways to express your strong emotions.
To date, your methods of coping have consisted of self-harm and suicidal and homicidal ideation. It’s evidence of immense suffering and a lack of coping skills. Counseling can fix these issues. People go to counseling to learn the requisite skills for dealing with the inevitable problems that arise in life. It will also help with your insecurity and self-esteem issues.
One final thing. To anyone reading this, who is thinking about harming people, realize that you are very mistaken if you think it will help you in any way. No good is going to come from doing something wrong. Not only does it ruin the lives of many people, it will destroy your life beyond repair. Strong emotions can falsely give the impression that what we feel is accurate and must be acted upon but clearly that is not true. Strong emotions diminish and often go away entirely. Just because you feel something is true, doesn’t mean that it is true. Eventually, you may come to see that how you felt was not an accurate reflection of reality and thus not something to be acted upon. The writer’s story is strong evidence of an averted crisis. Learn from it and apply it to your own lives. Feelings pass and situations change. Don’t do something you will later regret.
If you feel that you might harm yourself or anyone else, it’s imperative that you seek help immediately. Mental health professionals can guide you through difficult emotional times and help you learn better ways of coping with strong emotions. Get help now.
Dr. Kristina Randle