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PTSD - How Does One Deal With the Guilt?

Discussion in 'General' started by reallydown, Aug 1, 2006.

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  1. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    guilt is a large part of my problem--i mean...i survived...i didn't get killed, shot, step on a landmine (though there was a close call on that one--instead of me ...somene else died from that particular one...),i didn't get raped by soldiers etc...and yet i often feel like i should have died...on top of that i have (extended) family who are constantly "guilt-tripping" me because my parents made a decision to leave when we had an opportunity...

    anyway...just wondering if anyone has any tips on dealing with guilt?
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  3. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

    I can tell you what I have started to do this past month to the "guilt trippers" (and yes, family are the most famous for it)

    It took alot of reading... and working on my "boundaries" for me to even start to feel this way.
    I was at the point where I couldn't say "no" to anything without having a guilt ruin the rest of my day.

    Now, I'm thinking... I am an adult... how dare I let a person make me feel like shi*t for doing/not doing something.
    Why are they so concerned with me anyways?.... I don't try to run their lives!

    And how dare your relatives make you feel guilty for being alive!
    Would they of preferred your parents to have delayed until it was too late?
    It doesn't make sense to me...
    you did what you had to do to survive.
    I'm sure anyone would do the same thing in that situation.

    Sorry for the outburst....
    it's just that I feel that guilt trips are so unfair.
  4. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    don't worry about the "outburst"...i feel the same way about guilt trips...
    as you said, it doesn't make sense that they'd do that...i guess the thing is...they're pissed off that we got out and they didn't?!? i just don't have any other way of explaining it...or...they want me dead??? (not likely...but ..eh...you never know)

    btw, i'm in Canada too :)
  5. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

    I think some people assume they know what it feels like to be completely powerless. Most people don't know. Those of us that do, know that we have already punished ourselves with questions of why?, who?, and more why?. We have already suffered with guilt...no need for someone else to add to the insult! I don't know if there is a solution except to accept the incident. It is so hard to embrace it as your past, but when that time comes, peace is easier to attain.
  6. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Guilt comes inline with self esteem. Have a look within the [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/forum20.html"]interpersonal skills[/DLMURL] forum, and you will find self esteem and character building information. Accepting that it is not your fault, is part and parcel with your own self esteem, and as mentioned above, knowing that it is not your fault, not just trying to think it.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  7. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

    Yeah!!!! Another Canadian on here!!! Welcome neighbour! lol
  8. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    Thanks!!! I'm glad I found this place :)
  9. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    I just saw a new thread on guilt so I figured I'd bring this one back. I'm still having problems with htis..especially on the bad days...I can tell myself that it's not my fault all I want bu tI truly have yeet to internalize that...
  10. BassistKara

    BassistKara Active Member

    I have a similar kind of problem, i can tell myself it's not my fault, and tell myself i'm a survivor till i'm blue in the face, but there is no emotion or anything connected to it, it's like they're just empty words.
  11. Mercy

    Mercy I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Maybe it would help to know that all children, traumatized or not, take on guilt and credit for what happens around them. They are naturally the centre of their own world. This is healthy and normal. For traumatized kids, we soak up the guilt more deeply. Sometimes we are taught it is all our fault. ' If you weren't alive, I wouldn't have to do this or that' We believe what we are taught by words and actions by the adults around us.

    It seems to me what I can do to relieve that kind of guilt is to recognize the lies and the act to counter them. I have learned never to call myself any names at all and to never swear at myself. It has taken a few years to make this a habit but it has really hepled me a lot. Those old words are all lies. They are not true and they do not describe who I am. They are poisonous like snake bites, we have to suck out the poison and spit it out again and agin until we are free.

    Here is a funny/sad line my step-father once said about my mother. It really affirmed what I knew-probably the one truely good thing he ever did for me.

    J*C*t, Jenifer, you're so G*d vicious if you bit yourself, you'd probably die."

    Still makes me smile.
  12. redtriskell

    redtriskell Member

    I must be a weirdo. I do not, for the life of me, understand why anyone who has ptsd feels guilty. I didn't do that stuff to myself; my parents should feel guilty. If you missed the landmine, then it clearly wasn't time for you to go. It's sad and scary to walk around with Death's arms around you all the time- this I know. I lived 7 years not knowing if I would be killed in the night. Anyway, I am not trying to minimize anyone's feelings- I just don't understand. I guess because I believe we're all here for some purpose (even if that purpose remains a mystery to us) and guilt over survivorship just seems... I don't know. Ungrateful, maybe? Pointless? A trap too many of us get stuck in? Hell, I don't know. Again, I'm just thinking aloud, as it were, and intend no offense to anyone or their feelings. I don't feel guilty. I feel grateful. Confused, sometimes, as to how I didn't die. I should have- many times over. In rather horrible ways. But I'm still here, trying to be a better person. Guilt seems like a waste of my all too precious time. I'd rather spend that energy on lessening my anxiety or improving my concentration or something. red

    PS- upon re-reading this post, some of it sounds harsh or unfeeling. I just want to be clear that I respect everyone's feelings and viewpoints, whether I understand them or not. And now I think I just need to shut up. :think:
  13. ANCHOR

    ANCHOR Active Member

    I posted about this on another thread...

    I posted about this on another thread and I am just not sure I can say it better...sometimes you just get in a zone when you write...but here's the title of the post: [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/post111029.html#post111029"]Try this: THAT GUILT DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU... [/DLMURL]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2015
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