Understanding my Feelings of Guilt

This week I would like to talk about my feelings around guilt and how I am beginning to understand these feelings.
There are many things that I have found myself feeling guilty for in the past things such as letting my family or friends down, stealing, my depression, not being available for someone, putting myself first and I am sure the list could continue to go on.

We live in a society of expectations in particular I feel as women, however overall we are born into an environment of expectations. These expectations begin with our parents and than spread out too aunts uncles, friends, teachers, police, the elderly lady at the bus stop, the government, benefit systems again we could go on forever. So if we are born into a world of expectations before we have even been able to develop a sense of self is it any wonder we develop guilt. Are we really going to be able to fulfil all of the worlds expectations? Recently I read something that the Psychologist Freud wrote about human civilisation and how civilisation develops the increase of Guilt.

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This quote got me thinking and helped me to understand that the world we live in puts immense pressure on us, and it seems to me with the development of technology and things such as social media that this pressure is only increasing so what do we do to cope with emotions such as Guilt? How do we manage this at times crippling emotion that develops from the worlds expectations?

My most recent bout of guilt has been about the person that I allowed myself to become.
How did I allow myself to become a criminal in a crime that fed into ruining other peoples lives?
How did I become a women that sat in front of another women knowing that I was sleeping with her boyfriend?
How did I become so materialistic that I felt, money (fast cash), and having expensive cars fed into my status?
How did I loose sight that the reputation as a professional women was my real status?
Do I blame society and the people around me at the time for this?

I became so drawn into this lifestyle that I forgot who the hell I was!!!! but did I ever know who I was or did I know who I was expected to be? Did I ever get the chance to develop my own sense of self?
The lifestyle I slowly became apart of is like a world within this world. If you are not apart of that inner world you may never understand it but let me tell you it comes with its own set of rules and expectations and it became my world, and I lost all sight of what was right! In this inner world I had a purpose.

I have spoke to you all about the type of relationship that I had which I felt was emotionally abusive, I do believe that I had many vulnerabilities that where preyed upon by that person and that, him preying upon those vulnerabilities meant that I met a need in his life.

Well today I would like to discuss the role that I played in that relationship and look at what needs I was getting met when I was apart of said relationship. This concept of me having my needs met was initially difficult for me to get my head around because I did not feel like I was getting any of my needs met in that relationship, I did not feel that I needed to take any responsibility for the way that I was treated.
It is easy to place the blame on others, without recognising what part you played in it. There was however a part of me that was having a need met within the relationship too. Understand that I am not in any way shape or form taking responsibility for this mans actions. I am merely exploring what made me so susceptible to his ways and what made me trade in my morals and adopt his.

What was that need in me?
Where did that need come from?

Every day I would leave my house and press the button on one of many different expensive cars. “I’m going to take this car today” I would say to Mr Man and that would be fine, which one I drove was my choice and I felt special and I felt important. I would drive around my city feeling like the people that saw me would know that I was a part of his life and this fed into my need to be seen. I told you all before that I never felt seen in my community but driving around in a car that was probably known in the community and also that was expensive was a sign of status in my head and in the inner world.
In actual fact many of his friends that were the same boys that had not noticed me in my teenage years, were now giving me the nod of the head and smiles if they saw me around my way. I would think to myself I bet you want to talk to me now! (This was not at all what they were thinking, they probably seen a missed opportunity to use me too, kicking themselves that they did not get in there first and wondering if they could still get in there).
I also remember at the age of around seventeen or eighteen I was on the phone to Mr Man and he for some reason put his best friend on the phone whilst he done something. The best friend was always with him they were together every day. Anyway I must have said something he did not like and he responded “he does not like you, do you think he is fucking interested in you? He is not interested in you”. Those words stung like a bee, he had just confirmed what I felt deep down inside but that never stopped me. I continued down this path and often as the years went by and I remained in Mr Mans life I would want to say to that best friend I’m still here can you see? He was interested in me!(I think not, best friend knew what he was talking about)

I judge myself strongly for this need to be seen, as to me it is pretty shallow, I actually just deleted the last two paragraph and tried to take it out of the blog it exposes that shallow part of me and I do not like it, but it is true! Deleting it would take me back to the place of unconsciousness. A part of taking responsibility is owning my truth the good, bad and the ugly! (this is not easy for us humans to do we often project the things we do not like in ourselves onto others). Taking the time to understand my old thought patterns and what used to drive me helps me to manage my feelings of guilt. I got something out of money and cars, which was showing the outside world that I was successful that I was no longer the underdog that nobody was paying attention to. It showed them that someone actually wanted me enough to allow me to be on their team. However none of this material stuff belonged to me. I was hyped by a fake mirage. It did not seem to matter to me that I had not earned any of this so called status I built up in my head. Trust me the mirage quickly fades away once you are stripped of your freedom, put behind bars, living in a Jail cell, than you come home to none of those friends, no money, no cars, unemployed and taking bus trips. What did you really get out of being seen in these streets?

Pondering the above question, I can tell you now that it left we with more substance in my character than I have ever had before. More understanding of who I am and what drives me to behave the way I do. I understand that what was driving me in the past was unhealed wounds from my childhood that I chose to put a plaster over. The wound of not being loved in the way I as an individual needed to be loved. I have learnt that in order for those wounds to heal they cannot just be covered over. The wounds we have need to be cleaned properly with antibacterial, they need to be exposed to air and allowed time to scab over. That scab needs to fall off to allow fresh skin to grow. It is not enough to just cover our wounds they become infected and turn into gangrene if they are not treated. That will eat away at the rest of your body and this can end up destroying you. (My unhealed and untreated wounds certainly destroyed me)

It is really important to me that I take responsibility for my actions and apart of doing that is understanding what the reason was behind those actions. I have to go back to those wounds rip of the plaster and start cleaning them up one by one. This is my responsibility and no one in this world but me can go back, clean those wounds up and give them a chance to heal.
There are so many factors that feed into why I have experienced the things that I have, and why I chose to live my life in the way that I did. It really does blow my mind, at times I feel like my head is going to explode with it all. Trying to articulate what has happened weather that be written or verbally at times is really difficult. This is defiantly one of those times, and this blog has been even more difficult because many of the things I have done in my past I am extremely ashamed of. I am embarrassed to admit and accept the person I was, the person I was willing to become.

I must however remember that people can change, the reasons I have been able to identify why things have happened in the way they have are not excuses. At times my mind and negative thoughts tell me that they are excuses but rather than an excuse it is an understanding about what makes me as an human being tick, what influenced me to behave in the way that I did. I have a history of enabling peoples behaviours because I want them to be happy, I want them to like me so if I don’t tell them that they are wrong than I will not upset them and they will stay in my life. It makes me feel that I am accepted and loved. (yet another need and unhealed wound I need to be loved and I need to be accepted) As I have looked at previously this comes from my childhood needs not being met.
My mother was not always emotionally available to me in the way I needed her to be, but we cannot change our past, we cannot make people love us the way that we need to be loved. We can however love ourselves the way we needed to be loved and accept ourselves flaws and all.

Healing and loving yourself will change not only the way you see yourself in this world of expectations but it will change the way the world of expectations sees and responds to you. The healed me will not look for love and acceptance outside of me and this reduces my vulnerability to be preyed upon.

Today the only thing that I urge you to do is look at the reasons why you act the way you do. Take responsibility for your part in this world of expectations, what expectations do you have of others, your children, your friends, your parents (big one, they cant change what they did not give to you), your partner (another big one he or she cannot give to you what your parents didn’t), your employer again the list can go on and on and on.
Don’t just look at what the world and his dog has done to you, instead think about what unhealed wounds are you expecting the outside world to heal?
Dig deep and look at what might be unconsciously driving you to act the way you do!

So in response to what I really got from being in these streets? I got myself back and I now have less covered over and rotting wounds than I did before. I am now free enough to clean up the remaining rotting wounds left in my subconscious. This may take some time but I understand myself enough to know that the responsibility lays in my hands only. I do not need to feel guilty about who I was I need to be accountable and responsible for who I was. In order to begin managing these feelings of guilt we have to start understanding why we do what we do.

Don’t let guilt cripple you and keep you stuck, accept yourself fully warts and all.

I hope you all have an amazing week keep healing…. and thank you for reading.

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11 thoughts on “Understanding my Feelings of Guilt

  1. I’ve been on a bit of a path of self-discovery myself these past couple of years after having to cut off several family members. It’s been good to clear my head but it did lead me to being diagnosed with both severe depression and severe anxiety. I take each day as it comes and try to focus on my kids and where I would like to be with my goals – finally giving myself permission to think of myself for once.

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  2. Guilt, even for the smallest of things can completely take over your brain can’t it? So glad you’re able to start processing and letting go of some of it x

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  3. Guilt can so quickly take over your life and consume you, leaving you almost paralysed. It’s so hard to then come out of that and begin your journey of self discovery. Sometimes, yes, it does mean you need to take a closer look at yourself and think about how your own actions effected circumstances. Taking each day at a time is the only thing you can do and one day, everything will seem much better and you’ll feel this whole weight leave you.

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  4. Guilt is everywhere but I like how you are examining your part and only by doing that can you change the way things are for you. I have had to do the same with my own life but it’s well worth it to acknowledge your own wrongs and makes changes to fix them. Keep speaking your truth!

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  5. This is such a brave and honest post. I’m so glad you are beginning to move forward from the more difficult times in your life. Wishing you luck on your journey of self discovery.

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  6. I couldn’t agree more: feeling crippled by guilt doesn’t help you move forward, especially after you’ve been in a toxic relationship. You’ve got to love yourself first so then you can allow others to love you. It sounds like Mr Man is not a particularly pleasant person, and cars might be nice and luxurious, but they certainly would never replace genuine human relationships.

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