Reflections on years of guilt, through the lens of Teshuva.

Photo by Jan Canty on Unsplash

Teshuva, depending on how one experiences it, can be something as uncomplicated as a spiritual balance sheet where debts and the way to repay them are as clear as math, or, to some, it can be more of an infectious undercurrent that captures us as it passes through us.

Guilt needs to be rationalized in order to be dealt with, that’s why it’s effective: you can’t shake guilt as a feeling very easily until you figure out what you did to provoke it. What I did was survive, while a lot of other people didn’t, and quite a bit of my success was due to unearned privilege.

I spent several years figuring what I should and could do after realizing that, and committed in all ways that are effective to an antiracist lifestyle. I had a lot of conversations with my family and ultimately came out as queer, because I couldn’t stand the guilt of deceiving or the threat of being exposed any longer. I became the advocate I wished I had back when I was first diagnosed. And you know what? All that bullshit guilt pretty much just faded away. But, some remained — to which I am accountable — and I need to make some amends:

I can’t go back in time, and even if I could, I’m not certain I could make different decisions considering the gravity of the consequences I would face. In fact, and probably what feels most terrible is, I trusted that people would understand that something wasn’t quite right with me, that’d I’d been compromised somehow, and would try to make amends later.

This is that later, and I hoped that it could be more, but it’s the most that I’m able to compile without repeating other mistakes and making brand new ones. I don’t want anything out of this but the space for it to exist, and for those that harm found because I failed to deflect or caused it, my sincere regrets.

I’ve forgiven me, I hope they do too, but what matters most to me is it’s all finally said to the point that it can be. This post was written in coordination with someone that’s been helping me cope, and I really appreciate them.



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Tim Post

Tim Post


Developer & Developer Advocate. I often write about disability issues in tech, Javascript, Linux & More!