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Association of Guilt with PTSD - discussion

Discussion in 'General' started by cookie, Sep 30, 2006.

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  1. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP


    oh, thank you. i have trouble with this one, especially the weakness. i often wonder if other people can go through these things without ptsd, why couldn't i, and why after so long? what waas i doing before, that i'm not doing any more, to let this in? it makes you feel like it is something you just "gave in" too because you are weak. it helps to see this in this light.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2015
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  3. seeklife

    seeklife New Member

    Anthony, thanks for this posting. I feel "less than" in so many areas. Many perople around me contribute to this. My rage if I let it out would not be a good thing. I don't feel at all the same as others. Guilt and anger seem to be my primary emotions. It is just that I become so passive, that I don't respond to peoples comments if I'm scared of them. Life becomes smaller and smaller because I'm afraid to be with other people and their comments. I wonder if I will able to really enjoy being able to be with people without worrying about what they might say or do that might send me into a suicidal spiral. Knowing that these emotions are normal for people with ptsd, but I feel the constant pressure to defend my self and yet don't have the guts to stand up to anyone. I fantasize doing awful things to them but haven't acted on it. (thank god) I wonder someday if I will just lose it and act all my rage out. That scares me. Thank s for listening.
  4. Ravenari

    Ravenari New Member

    A significant factor in PTSD is the guilt one obtains because they believe they have failed somehow, somewhere, in that they now believe they have become weak to obtain such an illness.

    So true. While the analogy is a good one, I sabotage myself like this:

    - Person One is cut by a knife, they bleed everywhere! It's horrible. They go to the hospital, get the stitches, and then they go home and make a joke about it and get on with their live.s

    - Person Two is cut by a knife, they bleed everywhere! It's horrible. They think, for a second, that they're going to die. They go to hospital, get the stitches, go home, and have repetitive nightmares and develop an avoidance of blood and knives so strong that they can't live their lives properly anymore. They end up letting others down, because they can't resume their previous activities.


    Okay, so, while I completely understand that sometimes people have a worse event happen to them, or interpret something differently - I have problems when I see other childhood rape victims living very fulfilling lives, without needing years and years of therapy, or seeming to have ever had the sorts of flashbacks I have.

    Now, I know I just sound like a whinger, (we all need our moments I guess), but logically I find it difficult to understand how I am not 'inadequate' because I literally have not processed an event (or okay, years of events) that others handle with far more grace and aplomb.

    I find myself asking if I'm just defective.

    Now, I know logically that I'm not. Everyone handles things differently, that's what makes us unique. But that seems so well rehearsed, and so difficult to believe.

    I wish I knew why two people can have the same thing happen to them, and react so differently.
  5. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Rav, you sabotaged yourself because you added more to the statements than what I originally said. Don't add anything, because you took a logical statement and made it illogical, by adding people, trips to the hospital, stitches, etc etc.... none of which has anything to do with the point. The point is about guilt, and how if enough pressure is applied to an object, it will break eventually. Nothing more, nothing less. You are complicating a very easy statement, thus confusing yourself from its purpose IMHO.

    Why are you thinking for others? Why are you pretending to be a mind reader? Did you ask any of these rape victims who you perceive to be living fulfilling lives if they haven't attended years of treatment? Have you asked any off them if what you see isn't really what their life is like? You are making a statement, or asking yourself a question, and answering it all at the same time. I have only one suggestion for you Rav, and that is you need to go read [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread171.html"]unhelpful thinking styles[/DLMURL], read it again, again and again, and really look into the thinking styles. Don't try and turn them into something there not.

    Why do you expect too? Why are you comparing yourself to someone else? Why are you comparing your recovery to anothers? Each person is different in how they recover, each person is different in what they have experienced.

    No, you just have PTSD and you sound as though your beginning to pull out that pity pot and sit on it. Put it back away Rav please... and lets look at things in reality, realism and logic.

    So its not an understanding problem, but more a self ignorance problem. You tell yourself one thing, then you counteract it with another. That is PTSD... you have to change PTSD thinking, and train yourself to think rationally again. Two people react differently because no two people are alike. Even identical twins, different in so many aspects. Little features, DNA slightly different, brains different, etc etc etc... no two people are alike, and then.... the big one... is each person has a different life experience before getting PTSD. It depends how you where raised, what you have experienced in your life, how you handle and cope with emotions, violence, confrontation... the list goes on. No two people can every be completely alike, thus no two people can ever have the exact same reaction to an event.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  6. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

    anthony, appreciate what you've said on guilt and PTSD. Always have considered myself tough minded. Then abruptly left feeling like a terrible weakling due to my PTSD. Unmerciful with self. Easier on others -at times easier on the perpretrators, so long as the crime was against me, as I was beaten and brainwashed that I deserved this. Being a child or female or helpless or vulnerable that somehow I deserved it all. If only I'd learn my lesson and not fight back or resist, I'd be welcome. "Go with the flow" "Don't paddle against me." "Take it." I've hated self for years that I one day could no longer find the adrenaline, anger, rage that would compel me to fight back.
  7. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    thanks for that Anthony...i'm still struggling with this one...I constantly think that i have no right to feel the way i do...because i am alive...i didn't step on a landmine and lose a leg or worse...i didn't starve to death...i didn't get shot...i didn't get raped by soldiers...and many people did/do/will...it's still hard for me to wrap my mind around that...
  8. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Well, I know without a doubt how "identical" people can respond differently. What is it that makes it so? I have a identical twin. She was molested and raped by our brother for years, she had a very abusive husband who moved her a few states away before he got that way. He started to smoke crack and she was caught up in it too. He made her sleep with his own father as many tricks he forced her into doing to support his drug habit, she was able to just quit smoking it. He got in trouble with some dealers and they came to a convienence store and put a shotgun in her face to give her hubs a message from them.

    She had abusive boyfriends. One she spent 6 years with (why oh why?). She had been diagnosed with cancer and the end result was a hysterectomy, only to be pulled out of bed in the middle of the night after he was out drinking and getting drunk to punch her in the stomache because she would not have sex. Days after surgery!

    She was tossed out as a teen too. We had the same family, plenty of bullshit thrown our way... Yet her. She has issues and pushes them out of her head and copes quite well. She isn't on meds anymore for her panic attacks, she functions without problem, has tons of friends, goes out and has fun, not abusive with alcohol, loves to shop. She drinks but not like I would put them down! She has a very good and happy whole life. Me I got sucked into this shit hole. Her only scars were panic attacks that she controls on her own without issues and meds. She does not have PTSD.

    So where is the difference? My mother always said I was the strong one with a back bone and did not take shit, so how could I get it? She always refered to her as naive and a flake. Maybe being a little simple minded and carefree has benefits we aren't aware of yet. Maybe tenacity has a downside? Never know.
  9. cdunny

    cdunny Active Member

    so so true. I use to be such a strong person. I feel as if I dont even know myself anymore. Then I run into people that years ago use to look up to me, and I have no idea how to act because I dont remember what and how I did thing differently back then. I just hope that I can get past this barrier with my PTSD and at least be happy with the person I am instead of continually trying to figure out who the person I was. Thanks Anthony.
  10. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    Veiled and Cdunny, I hear you both...before all this, I was always the life of the party, I'd joke around all the time and talked so much the adults wouldn't be able to shut me up...now I'm very quiet...whereas my "quiet" sister is now very talkative...well...more so than she ever was before and certainly more than I am...and yeah, I was always thought of as the strong one too...
  11. Jet

    Jet Well-Known Member

    I do not remember a time when I did not feel this way. I remember once, when I was a kid someone remarking to my mom that I was cold. And her reply was "good, that's how I want her to be"

    All my life I was the "strong" one. The one that nothing could touch. After the last relationship, when I gave my girls up I was completely eaten up inside by the guilt. But I kept the mask in place and played the role.

    Since then, whenever I tell my story, someone always remarks on how strong I am, that they do not know if they could have made it through, or made the same tough decisions. That just made me feel even more guilt.

    The only problem was that I felt like a complete failier. I blamed my mental state for the situation with my kids. If I were thinking clearly this would never have happened.

    I knew it was not my fault that he was abusive but felt very much that I should have been able to do more to end the situation. The fact that I probably should have been in a hospital somewhere (and knew it but could not leave my kids with a monster) never entered into it. They were my kids, I was their mom. I should have done more.

    Mostly I just feel like it is all a lie. In order to be "strong" I had to completely deny my feeling/emotions. I was nothing more then a walking shell. All the time, when everyone was telling me how strong I was what I really longed for was for someone to tell me it was ok to be weak.
  12. JoannaG

    JoannaG Active Member

    I can relate to the strong and the weak. The feeling associated with both. It's kinda like being stuck on a rollercoaser you can't get off. When we're strong we're really strong.,but when we are guilty and weak you just bottom right out. My whole life is like that.
  13. Jet

    Jet Well-Known Member

    I don't think I have ever really felt strong, I just simply had to be that way in order to survive. It was all for show.

    I have been eaten up by guilt my entire life. And the circumstances that I have allowed myself to be in have only fed that guilt. I told someone once (can't remember who) that I have beat myself up more than anyone else and that is true.

    While other people have clearly done things that have damaged me both physically and mentally I have spent many more hours ripping myself to pieces for all the stuff I should have, would have and could have done.
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