Oh, The GUILT!

arobot

New Here
Oh, the guilt!

I'm in AA. I'm doing a lot of 'stepwork'.

Alcohol, for me, is a great way to procrastinate dealing with my feelings. I've heard that procrastination 'makes easy problems hard, and hard problems harder'.

Anyways, I didn't know I did this. I had no idea, but my brain scans everything for reasons to feel guilty. I guess I've always used this as a way to try to keep myself in check. I scan the situations I'm in for any responsibility I have. I feel guilty because I am not perfect. I look at it from as many angles as possible. I look for things that I may not have been aware of. I look for things that I was aware of but how I may not have handled properly, things that I've overlooked. I search it up and down. Backwards and forwards. I turn it over, look at the sides. A million differnt angles. I am obsessive.

Every social interaction. Every nuance in my speech. Every nuance in the people around me's body language, shifts in tones of voice, lack of those shifts. I carry it around. I use it to try to not become the things I've lived through. To not become the people who have done me harm. To not become a person that causes harm to others.

I am, very much, a 'fixer'. I don't want other people to know what 'low' is. I want other people to not feel it, if they do know. I try to predict a person's emotional response. I try to 'fix' situations before they can get to that 'low' emotional response. I overshare. I tell my secrets. There's a saying, in AA... 'secrets make you sick'. I do not want to be sick anymore! I want that very, very much. Not with Alcoholism. Not with Addiction. Not with cPTSD. I want to be healthy.

I share secrets, now. The guilt is a lot bigger than I am. It is my best friend. It tells me things about myself, horrible, warped and distorted things. It makes me not want to exist. It makes me feel more guilt, giant shame, because I know anyone at all. Because anyone at all cares about me. Because anyone at all might also feel the giant, clausterphobic, air thickening guilt that I feel, constantly and all the time.

I put this in a different thread about feelings. The thread was from 1998. I waited awhile. Then I made this one.

I am scared that if I read the stories on this forum, I'll see myself in them. That my guilt and my shame are right. That I am a wicked, cruel, black god in someone else's narrative. That I just need to read the right perspective of another to see it.

People tell me I'm sweet. People tell me I'm kind. They thank me for my thoughtfulness. They make an effort to include me. I don't feel I deserve any of those things.

I am like an aneroxic with body dysmorphia. (Lol, I suffer with eating occasionally, too, I do have a little body dysmophia, I have facial dismorphia, but that's a different topic, for a different post, at a different time).

But instead of body dysmorphia, I have some weird dysmorphia with my self-image. With how I might be percieved by those around me. I know what it's like to not share anything negative with anybody, because I think my feelings are as contagious to others as theirs are to me. This isn't what people experience when I ask them if they do.

I want to spread positivity. Light. Love. Great things. Happy things. I do not feel like I do that. People tell me I that I do. People say very, Very kind and positive things to me. This isn't what my best friend, the huge shadow of guilt I've made my God, wants me to focus on. I can't focus on it. I live under that black God's thumb. I make so many mistakes! At the end of it all, all I really KNOW about myself, is that I AM a mistake. The shame of it all! The river of shame that I bathe in. The constant attempts to gulp for air, only to be overwhelmed and choked by that shame. To constantly try to catch a breath. I am unable to. Even when I probably do breath in something differnent, I bury my head back under the black putrid water of my shame. I drown in it.

I'm going back to therapy. I do not want to have to do that. I do not want to tell my story to yet another therapist. I've made several attempts to fix myself. I have reached the conclusion that I am unfixable. Now the goal of therapy has become to learn to cope with it. I am great at not feeling what I feel. I am great at blocking it out. I am great at ignoring my intuition.

I feel horrible for my therapist. I haven't even met them yet. I know they'll try to teach me. I do not know if I am teachable, anymore. I can understand a lot of concepts, some of them I cannot. I feel like an unteachable student. I wonder how frustrating it is, to teach the unteachable. I have been in relationships where I have tried to make another see my trauma, to understand the dark side nature of people who have abused me. They go deaf when I speak. They do not want to know, or are incapable of grasping what I say. How it affects every shattered piece of who I am. They do not see ME. It is very, Very lonely. I do not want that level of loneliness. I do not want to wake up one day, and realize that I've surrounded myself with people who make me feel all alone. But I have already. I do not want to make others feel all alone. But I do.

I am literally hard of hearing. I literally do not hear when others share big trauma with me. Instead of saying 'What?', 'Huh?', 'Can you word that differently for me?' I read their body language. I read their lips. I misinterpret and obsess over their gestures. I follow their thought process. I can predict what it is they are going to say. Sometimes I am very, very right, and it's like I can read their mind. Sometimes, I am very, very wrong, and I make horrible mistakes in my predictions. They might not even be horrible. But I am So GOOD at guilt. I am SO well versed in shame, that all of the mistakes I make ARE horrible. They are all proof. They are all very validating. They build up my God of Guilt. They make Shame his holy spirit.

OH, THE GUILT!!! It is my blood. It is in my BONES. IT SCREAMS. It is deafening. It is MY EVERYTHING. It is the only feeling that I really, REALLY KNOW. I wear it like a cape. It's superpower is in everything I do. It colors all of my experiences, interactions. Because of this, positive emotions are a lot harder for me than negative ones. I know I 'deserve' the negative ones. I know that NO ONE ELSE 'deserves' the negative ones. My world is black and white. I am the center of that world. I am the blackest of all the things and people and situations that I know. I am so incredibly black, that I am a void, a black hole that sucks the light out of others, and reflects into them something darker, warped, distorted, that I really believet that they are now forced to carry with them like a parasite, slowly eating and sucking away at the good things that they have in themselves.

I can't keep doing this. It WILL KILL ME. It has made attempts. Very good ones. Nearly successful ones. I do not know what to do with it. I do not know how to stop. When it pops up, I want to tell it to stop. I can't do this, with the guilt.

I'm really struggling with it right now. I fell in love with someone after we shared our traumas with each other. It was intensely intimate. I wanted EVERYTHING from them. I wanted to give them EVERYTHING. And then my behavior around this person became performative. I wanted them to see my worst character defects. I wanted them to see how I try to help people, to understand how this is not a safe thing that I do. They were nice. They were encouraging. They didn't try to stop my behavior. They participated in it. They took on the same sick, self centered need I have to fix the people around me. My attraction to them died. I can't force myself to be attracted to them. And I really wish I could. It would be a better relationship than any I have had before. Now I think they're going to harm themselves because I quit talking to them. I really, really think that. Their feelings are my fault. Their emotional experience- My fault. Their self-image also. I know the weight they carry. I left them to carry it, alone.

Sometimes, when I'm anxious. I'll say to that anxiety, 'You're just trauma, I am safe now, I don't have to feed you'. But THE GUILT. I am afraid that if I do not feed it, I will grow into something horrible. I will become unaware of the way I trample other's experiences. I am scared to be unresponsible for the emotional life of any body that I talk to. I do not want to be what I've been taught by my life experiences. I do not want to be the ones who made those experiences possible.

OH! HOW DO I GIVE UP MY BOTTOMLESS FAITH IN THAT GOD?

OH! THE GUILT!
 
I interpret my sensations of remorse through a few different lenses. What separates guilt from remorse is intention - remorse calls for action, it is intended to spur you into the process of justice. Guilt is purely self-gratifying. What purpose is your guilt serving you? For me, when it becomes a cycle of ruminations and obsessions, that ties into moralizing OCD - with compulsions and all, to confess my "sins" and shit. But remorse is what allows me to say that I am entitled to healing so I am able to participate in society as the best citizen I can be.
 
I interpret my sensations of remorse through a few different lenses. What separates guilt from remorse is intention - remorse calls for action, it is intended to spur you into the process of justice. Guilt is purely self-gratifying. What purpose is your guilt serving you? For me, when it becomes a cycle of ruminations and obsessions, that ties into moralizing OCD - with compulsions and all, to confess my "sins" and shit. But remorse is what allows me to say that I am entitled to healing so I am able to participate in society as the best citizen I can be.
I think my guilt makes me a better person. That if I feel guilty, I can correct my behavior and prevent mistakes.

I am aware that it is self-centered fear. The neuro-pathways in my brain now all take me to it.

It hasn't made me the source of light, hope, love and happiness that I have tried so hard to be in other people's lives.

I was unaware of what remorse was. I googled the definition. The biggest wrong I commit is against myself. My thought patterns.

I like the way you worded what remorse does for you. I do want to heal. I do want to be the best citizen I can be in society. I hope to use what you've said to try to replace guilty thoughts and feelings with remorseful ones. Remorseful that I have patterns that keep me sick. remorseful that it prevents me from being that better citizen. Thank you.
 
Mod Note:
I put this in a different thread about feelings. The thread was from 1998. I waited awhile. Then I made this one.
I’ve removed that post so your discussion can continue here. Please don’t duplicate content in multiple parts of the forum! If you have any questions, hit us up at Contact Us.
 
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