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March 10, 2016

I'm Guilty, You're Guilty, Everybody's Guilty

It’s ironic that after being abused we're the ones that feel guilty, and half the time we don’t even know why we’re full of guilt. 

After my mother sent me out into the world when I was only 16 at knife point, there were so many days I felt guilty.  I was convinced I was the one who had done something wrong.

I used to think that maybe if I had been a better daughter, or if maybe I had listened to her more, or if I had worked harder to convince her that I wasn't evil, then maybe she would have loved me more.

When a person has been abused over a long period of time it becomes engrained in us to believe that we were the ones doing something wrong.  It’s probably the most powerful trait of an abuser, the ability to make a person feel they are at fault for not meeting the abuser’s expectations.

The further I traveled along the path of healing, I had to confront one of my biggest obstacles, the deep rooted guilt I was carrying, especially when I admitted to myself that I did not love my mother. 

I overcame the guilt the same way I healed from the horrible pain she left me with.  I faced my guilt, felt it, and through analyzing the source of my feelings, I set it free.

I spent time asking myself questions as to where my feelings were coming from.  What grounds did I have to love my mother, and the only answer I could find was that I loved her for bringing me into this world and providing food, clothes, toys and a roof over my head.

I couldn’t say I loved her for loving me, nourishing me, giving me comfort, encouraging me, teaching me, because she didn't do any of those things.  In fact, it was my brother who gave me everything that my mother should have.

I spent time asking myself questions as to why I didn't love her.  She made me feel worthless, ashamed, stupid, unloved and unwanted.  She was cruel, didn't care if I died, made me feel that she would have been better off without me, and she made me feel terrified to see her instead of happy.

After analyzing my feelings for her, and where they were originating from, I was able to rationally understand that my feelings were substantiated, and the guilt I was feeling was irrational and a product of my abuser making me feel that I was the guilty one instead of them.

If you're carrying around any guilt toward your abuser, chances are good that those feelings of guilt are irrational and unsubstantiated.  One of the main components of healing is analyzing our emotions and whether they are rational emotions or a product of being abused.

If a boss has been abusive and has left you feeling worthless even when you know you did a good job, then feeling guilty for not doing more is irrational.  If a bully has left you feeling ugly or stupid or worthless, when you know all those things are not true, then feeling guilty for not meeting their expectations is irrational. 

If your spouse has been abusive and has left you feeling worthless or incapable, even when you know you were a good wife or husband, then feeling guilty for not being a better wife or husband is irrational.  These negative emotions of guilt are the product of negative actions taken against us.

If you have feelings of guilt as a result of being abused, you must acknowledge the emotions and thoughts behind the guilt and then analyze where the thoughts and emotions are coming from.  Once you do this you will discover that the feelings of guilt are irrational, which will give you the power to set the feelings of guilt free.

When you set yourself free of irrational feelings of guilt, you set yourself free, and the path to healing is that much clearer.

I often found that it helped to write down how I was feeling and what I was feeling guilty about.  Then I would make a list of things I was made to believe about myself through abuse, and a list of things that were accepted as normal behavior.  After comparing the two lists I would see clearly that what I was feeling were emotions programmed into my psyche through abuse.

I have said it before, and I will probably keep saying it, the first step, and most difficult step is accepting that we have been damaged, and accepting that we are not mentally and emotionally functioning in a normal and healthy manner.  It’s not easy sitting down and admitting we’re screwed up, but it must be done in order to heal. 

The most important thing to remember is that it’s not our fault.  I did not ask to be born into an abusive family.  Spouses don’t ask to be abused.  In fact, spousal abuse usually starts slowly, like baby steps where we think we can help our abusive spouse, then it gradually gets worse, and finally we wonder what happened.

We can say we’re stupid for staying with an abusive spouse, but in reality, by the time the abuse has reached a dangerous level, we don’t even know how it got to that point because the small things the abuser began with didn’t seem so bad. 

Abusers aren’t stupid people.  They are master manipulators.  They know how to start slowly and finish with terror.  Usually we never even know that we’re becoming nothing more than empty shells of human beings.

I once felt like an empty shell walking the earth, lost and never to be found.  But I did find myself, and I did heal.

I’m a result of being determined to become an emotionally and mentally healthy human being, because I always knew that if I ever gave up my abusers would win.  I was never going to allow that to happen.

I’m a huge advocate of the mental health profession.  I always urge people to seek counseling and therapy to help with their healing.  The ability to openly talk to someone who understands and who you feel safe with is amazing.

Counseling and Therapy is like any relationship.  If you meet with a counselor you don’t connect with, don’t give up and blame yourself and become convinced it’s never going to work.  Try another counselor until you feel a connection and feel comfortable.

Dig deep within yourself and stay positive and surround yourself with positive people.  Healing is difficult, but it’s the greatest gift you will ever give yourself.

Your abusers may never pay a price through the judicial system, but through healing you have made certain they lost.

The greatest revenge is to be happy and healthy, making your abusers nothing more than a whisper in your memories.




3 comments :

  1. the blog is really very nice. thank you for sharing the blog with us. please keep on updating.
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  2. the blog is really very nice. thank you for sharing the blog with us. please keep on updating.
    DOTNET TRAINING IN CHENNAI

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had such a hard time reading these blogs. It made me sick in the pit of my stomach. I then thanked God that you are so enlightened by what was done to you and that you are helping so many people. God will see that justice is done, but you are one strong, gifted and beautiful. Thank you for sharing and may God cause His light to shine on you always.

    ReplyDelete