How do you guys deal with the guilt?

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TurkeyGirl

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How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« on: December 23, 2019, 07:33:39 AM »
Hi everbody,

It's almost Christmas (the best wishes to you all), a time in the year in which social contact is very present. That's still something that costs me a lot of energy, and by which I lose control over my thoughts entirely.

The fear and obligation are a little more absent (thank god), but the guilt is still as present as ever. I even noticed I can feel guilty for someone else doing me wrong. If they forget to buy me a present, I feel guilty that they have to feel guilty over me (if that makes sense). It's super irrational, and I can't seem to get rid of it. It consumes me, all year long, but is more present if I see and speak more people (like at Christmas time).

Do you recognise it? And do you have tips or tricks for me? How did you get rid of it? 'Cause I can't seem to (it's been four years). Thanks in advance :)

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clara

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2019, 12:00:39 PM »
Taking on guilt isn't the same as feeling guilty.  Often, we're taught to take on guilt because then the other person(s) is absolved.  It becomes a habit and can be encouraged by people who don't want to take responsibility for their behavior.  So, I think it's important to examine what you feel guilty about and why.  You have to ask yourself why you immediately go for guilt, rather than some lesser, less damaging, emotion.  Does it somehow benefit you to feel it?  Is someone else encouraging it?  Maybe talk with a therapist who can get it sorted out to where it makes sense, or I'm sure there are books and even youtube videos about this subject, because I think it's fairly common.  In the meantime, to get you through the holidays, maybe just write down the incidents that caused you to feel guilty as soon as possible after they occur, then when you have time to think and reflect, when you're removed from the situation, really read what you've written.  But don't carry the guilt around with you.  Put it somewhere else for the time being, which acknowledges its existence (rather than be in denial about it or pretend not to feel what you do) but keeps it at a safer distance. 

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countrygirl

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2019, 01:26:57 PM »
Hi Turkeygirl, Countrygirl here!

Yes, what you're feeling really resonants for me.  I think Clara has really given you excellent advice, which I am also going to take.  But I wanted to write and say that I hear you, and especially at this time of year! 

Good luck to you in dealing with the guilt  And have very happy holidays!

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TurkeyGirl

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2019, 05:50:35 AM »
Thank you both so much for your kind replies. I'm taking you up on your advice, Clara, to write it down. It'll not only help me understand better, but it'll also let me have an evening where I'm not constantly reminded of it.
And as for Countrygirl, thank you for you kind words. It helps to feel you're not the only one.

I wish you both the bestest of holidays.  :bighug:

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p123

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2019, 06:07:32 AM »
Took me a LONG time. Years and years to be honest.

I just remind myself of things my Dad has done, not just to me but to my family. I remind myself of the chances hes had, the way hes behaved, the way hes upset my family. I remind myself of the ways hes made me feel, the apologies then doing the same thing a week later.

This year, hes on his own Xmas day. In the past, I would have felt guilty - this year not one iota. He made xmas day hell for me for almost 20 years.

In the end, the "Im old" and making allowances for this wore a bit thin. I realised he did not need to be like this. He was chosing to be like this and it was all about him and no-one else matters.

OP - its difficult but I think the trick is to think "have I behaved fairly here and have I been a good loving person?" and then, maybe, "has this person had the opportunity not to behave this way". If both of these are true then no worries.

At the moment, I could honestly stand before the Pearly Gates, and tell St Peter that what I did was justified.

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TurkeyGirl

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 12:04:19 PM »
p123, I never replied to you, but thanks for your response. I'm glad to hear hard work pays off, and I think you can be really proud of how far you've come. I can only aspire to do the same :) Thanks again!

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p123

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 07:16:55 AM »
p123, I never replied to you, but thanks for your response. I'm glad to hear hard work pays off, and I think you can be really proud of how far you've come. I can only aspire to do the same :) Thanks again!

Turkey - its hard and I'm still rubbish at it. small steps.

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LifeInTheFog

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2020, 05:20:05 PM »
Highly recommend the book by Andrea Mathews called Letting Go of Good.

I spent years trying to shoo away my feelings or suppress them which always makes things worse.

Before you do anything, pause and ask yourself - should I really be feeling this? If it still doesn’t go away then there’s another way I am using to heal.

It sounds counterproductive but learn to sit with the guilt when it comes up and feel it sitting in you. Imagine yourself surrounding that energy with self love and feeling it dissolve, as you breathe in and out.

When we suppress guilt, it builds up and ends up controlling us because it becomes so overwhelming.

Obviously reading up on PDs is helpful too but I find both strategies are good in tandem. Our subconscious minds have a lot of programming that they need our help with! Just takes time and practice so be patient with yourself and learn to not be afraid of the guilt, just understand it as part of your past programming.


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TurkeyGirl

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Re: How do you guys deal with the guilt?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2020, 06:26:48 AM »
Thanks, LifeInTheFog! Sounds very helpful. I've been doing yoga and mindfulness for a while, but mastering 'observing' your thoughts and emotions can still be difficult for me. I'll keep trying :) This encouragement helps.