It’s been likened, quite disgustingly, to the warm, wet feeling when you pee in the swimming pool (a practice I strongly advise against, people); only you can feel it, and you really can’t tell anybody because you shouldn’t have peed in the first place!
I guess the point I’m belabouring here is when you’re told something, or find something out that you really have no business knowing. It’s when you know something you’re not supposed to know, and that knowing keeps you up at night, consumed with wishing you didn’t know and wondering how you can forget what you now know. I didn’t want to know. I feel like this knowing has violated me, tainted my mind in a silent and forceful manner. I can’t pretend I don’t know, when I do. And I can’t say I know, when I shouldn’t!
“O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.” (49:12)
I guess this warm, wet, icky feeling is my penance. Only time can tell at this point.