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Forums / Staying well / GUILT the tormentor

Topic: GUILT the tormentor

29 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9216 posts
    11 October 2017

    Guilt in my opinion originates from a factor in our childhood. I dont think its hereditary but if our homelife includes generations of narcissistic behaviour then it could feel like its passed down.

    I know its not passed down because although I am a child of a narcissistic mother (and a nurturing one) I stopped the flow on to my children by refusing the trend of becoming a controlling parent. If hereditary I couldnt have succeeded. So why did I end up suffering guilty intrusive thoughts?

    As my father worked 14 hour days 6 days a week, our mother was our prime parent. She didnt work. Outsiders never knew. Its what went on behind closed doors that scarred us forever.

    As a young child, there is a huge difference between control and guidance. As teenagers there is a gap between a parent with recommendations and domination. As we arrive in our 20's we cant deal with our bossy parent any longer and fight back against what is by now manipulation and a gang mentality...even emotional blackmail.

    The narcissistic parent is clever. They'll use any means at their disposal to control. In my case turning our loving father and relatives against us. They can be possessive of your friends and even try to coerce you to choose a partner preferring one that can be "moulded" into their deputy...more control.

    If you've read this far you might also be a victim. What can you do?

    Im 61yo. Right up till 54yo I tried everything but nothing worked. My sister and I broke off all contact, put "return to sender" on letters from our mother and as she had ruined my first wedding in 1985, got a court order so she couldnt ruin my second wedding (her threat)

    It is highly unlikely a relationship with a narcissist of little contact will work as the control they lust for isnt with them, its with you. How dare you control your own life!

    So guilt forms in ways like being told- they are never wrong, you are at fault, you make poor choices, if you do that I'll do this, if you do that I'll ruin your life, etc

    Add to that some anxiety if the narcissistic parent is a "yeller". The expectations are too great as to your immature capacity to "be a good boy". You are their robot.

    I attended a psychologist. I'll never forget his words at the last session "do you think you need her permission to live without fear?"

    That was the light that sparked me realising her hold was a firm grip.

    Demand to yourself the basic right to mental freedom. Walk away, get help to repair the guilt wound ..into a scar.

    Tony WK

    3 people found this helpful
  2. Ggrand
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    11 October 2017 in reply to white knight

    Hi White Knight.

    I know this feeling only too well. First both parents and older brother they were always right (they couldn't do anything wrong) and I was the cause of all trouble I was to blame. Then an extremely dominating abusive husband who was a perfectionist everything had to be 100% correct. Oh yeah he could do no wrong I was always wrong. Living for so long within this atmosphere a seed gets planted deep within your brain at a very very young age there it grows with every single wrong thing you say do or told you done until it grows so large that it is the way you are. You Then live your life afraid of a simple thing like talking to people if you say the wrong thing and they get upset well then you are constantly feeling ashamed (guilty). Then avoid that person again. You're afraid at what to wear in case it offends someone a simple meal gone wrong when and if you have visitors over again your feeling bad (guilty) it never ends I even feel guilty that hubby died and I'm still living it's there always planted deep down inside the brain

    I'm thinking it's not heiredetory that your not born with it but it's like teaching a young child how do do maths or read once a young child learns his timetables they never forget it's embedded into there mind I think this is how guilt is Once put there at a very early age and your living with people who make you feel guilty for over 55 years it remains there to destroy any and everything you do and say and your constantly walking on eggshell it's not a good way to live

    sorry White Knight I had to get that out that's my understanding of what guilt is

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Ggrand
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    11 October 2017 in reply to Ggrand

    Oh my goodness White Knight something I read just triggered so many emotions when I wrote that post just disregard it.. i should have tried to settle myself first..

  4. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    11 October 2017 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Ggrand

    Yes I've known about your guilt and members like you prompted me to write about it. Unfortunately many of our members suffer from it.

    We went to our neighbours last night for dinner. The lady had one dessert in the oven and one outside the oven. Both apple pies.

    After main meal she realised she burnt the first one so put the second one in. I asked her why she had two "because I'm always forgetting about the oven, burn the pie AND FEEL GUILTY...so I have a spare pie. If I didnt burn it I'd freeze the second one.

    It sounds silly but it worked. There are ways to cushion guilt.

    At gatherings I used to feel guilty not having asked others how they are. Instead I'd waffle on about myself. So, when people first arrive I spend at least 5 minutes asking them how life is going...no more guilt.

    There are many occasions my guilt overflows while speaking on the phone. So I use text more often and re read it before sending.

    I have an older cousin, my mothers favourite nephew. He used to make me feel guilty about how I treated my mother. In the end I had to say "I dont get involved with you and your mother, back off " my mother would load him up with how bad I was and he felt obliged to attack me. Needless to say I dont see him anymore either.

    Disowning some opinionated relatives is part of the safety process.

    Google

    Topic: fortress of survival- beyondblue

    Thanks Ggrand

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Elizabeth CP
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    11 October 2017 in reply to white knight

    Guilt is not only the product of bad parenting but can develop for other reasons. My parents were very loving & supportive. They celebrated my successes regardless what they were. My brother left school early as he hated school but my parents celebrated him getting his first job. The goals I set were my own encouraged but not pressured by my parents. I sometimes feel guilty when I read or hear others stories thinking I have no excuse for not coping as I was brought up by good parents.

    My problem was bullies at school & feeling unwanted outside of my home. This has left a legacy of feeling not good enough & needing to be productive or useful to feel I have any purpose in society. If I can't keep up with my own standards I feel guilty & useless. My psych today commented that I have a bully inside my head constantly providing negative comments including guilt.

    3 people found this helpful
  6. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    11 October 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth cp

    Fabulois informative post

    "My problem was bullies at school & feeling unwanted outside of my home. This has left a legacy of feeling not good enough & needing to be productive or useful to feel I have any purpose in society. If I can't keep up with my own standards I feel guilty & useless. My psych today commented that I have a bully inside my head constantly providing negative comments including guilt"

    Great info

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  7. randomx
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    2767 posts
    11 October 2017 in reply to white knight

    l suffer from a lot of guilt , always have.

    lt seems when anyone else just walks through life not feeling a thing about anything or even noticing, for some reason l'm still always feeling guilty and usually it's not really even my fault anyway.

    lt reminds me of the scape goat in a family ,l was in another thread where people were complaining about being the scape goat. Always got the blame even if the weren't even there or in china at the time haha.

    Growing up in a huge family , 12 , l was in the middle. l think that's where l learnt to yell louder but l always seemed to end up the guilty one , even if l was on the moon at the time.

    lt's taken long enough , early 50s now , but l think l've worked it out.

    Most people are basically just selfish underneath and so if your the one with a heart - it's like opening the welcoming mat ot scape goatusm and they pick it up , believe me , l've watched it. Ad they jump on it.

    Cure , just be selfish yourself , seems to work wonders.

    Save your good heart for those that deserve it , like your women or your kids .

    2 people found this helpful
  8. randomx
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    2767 posts
    11 October 2017 in reply to white knight
    Or those few extra special people you might be lucky enough to know or come across, that have a heart too.
    1 person found this helpful
  9. randomx
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    2767 posts
    11 October 2017 in reply to randomx
    ps , that second post is a follow to my first but l think they're still checking the other one
    1 person found this helpful
  10. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    12 October 2017 in reply to randomx

    Hi randomx,

    Thete is merit in your conclusion to develop a defense from people by acting like them which involves a level of ruthlessness. If not they will run over you by capitalising on your vulnerability.

    Its covered in

    Topic: fortress of survival- beyondblue

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  11. randomx
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    2767 posts
    12 October 2017 in reply to white knight

    Yeah , l think so wk, although l don't feel it in a defense way more just a kind of,.

    [ hey, to myself , don't waste your damn time save it for someone who cares] type thing. Works wonders for me haha because sadly the average person or even family member , just don't deserve it .

    3 people found this helpful
  12. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    23 October 2020 in reply to randomx
    Its been a few years but this thread popped into my mind today.

    See, a lady in a 4WD car didn't give way to us in our small country town and nearly crashed into us. She pulled over and was crying so much I had to see if she was ok. She apologise a dozen times. All went ok.

    At the supermarket we bumped into her. She continued to apologize...her guilt was clear. I had to stop her and reassure her that all was ok and there was no need to feel guilty. Then she said

    "I'm so useless just as my father always told me"

    And that my friends...told me all about her life.

    We left her company knowing we'll meet again in our town and talk some more.
    TonyWK
  13. Elizabeth CP
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    24 October 2020 in reply to white knight
    This example shows how important it is not to judge. We all make mistakes. But also how important it is to do our bit to encourage people who are feeling guilty. I'm sure your words helped
    1 person found this helpful
  14. randomx
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    2767 posts
    25 October 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    For sure.

    My partner is always thanking me for things l don't even know what half the time and it dosn't matter what to me l just adore that heart of hers , it's not the thanking that matters to me just that it's so important to her that she wants too, that's means more than any words to me.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. white knight
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    6 January 2021 in reply to randomx
    Hi all

    Guilt! An evil thing. My experiences of guilt increased in my 20's. I'd joined the RAAF and I'd get weekly letters from my mother.

    One example was when my older brother had a head on accident in a mini. He was seriously hurt. Her letter described the turmoil and at the end "of course had feel better if his brother was here". I was 1500kms away.

    Emotional blackmail was her specialty. "If you don't break off that relationship with that Catholic girl in going to pack my bags and go off on a holiday"... to which I replied "can I help you pack" (I was 27yo!)

    I haven't seen my mother for 10 years. I don't intend to. Discarding her is like being released from 54 years in jail, a relationship where calm was never present, manipulation as often as meals and revenge a dish served at will.

    But guilt was the symptom that took longest to erase. I am guilt free now at 64yo, but it took forever.

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Jo8049
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    712 posts
    7 January 2021 in reply to white knight

    Thank you WK . You have just opened my eyes to another part of my life I could not work out . Self destruction in everything then the guilt . Being told you are a failure and worthless from earliest memory and not somehow being able to build a bridge and get over it always seemed illogical . I think I get it now . Thanks again .

    Peace love and happiness to all , Jo

  17. white knight
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    7 January 2021 in reply to Jo8049
    That's wonderful Jo

    Can I ask you if it was one parent or both, perhaps another adult that dominated you.

    No pressure, I just have interest in these things

    TonyWK
  18. randomx
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    2767 posts
    7 January 2021 in reply to white knight

    Oddly in my family - which is huge , only one sister and myself ever seem to feel any guilt about anything.

    l've been amazed at the others over the yrs , things l'd been riddled with guilt about hadn't even crossed their mind . l remember a few yrs back l told one l'd felt really guilty for yrs over something and she says oh God , what , why would you feel guilty . We''l l'd been tortured with guilt actually but ha , so much for that..

    Ps , sorry jo, no child should ever have to grow up with that.

    2 people found this helpful
  19. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    7 January 2021 in reply to white knight

    I see guilt as being something who came from many generations of people who felt guilty. My parents didn’t make me but I saw my mother feel guilty she had not been born a boy as she was youngest of three girls, my father felt guilty his mother was sad when he was engaged at age 27 and that is a start.

    so they didn’t make me feel guilty I just did because everyone else did.

    I broke the cycle as my son told me ,one day , “ that guilt does not work on me,”

    2 people found this helpful
  20. white knight
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    7 January 2021 in reply to randomx
    Random and Quirky

    Perhaps like one child in a family of 4 children has red hair, one has guilt?

    Perhaps the younger siblings are more prone to guilt as they are pressurized differently by a parent? Or the older kids have more expectations placed on them?

    Lots of questions here. I do believe guilt is instilled into a child when there is excess criticism and/or lack of praise. That would impair confidence.

    TonyWK
  21. randomx
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    7 January 2021 in reply to white knight

    Well , it def can be but nah not in our case . l probably didn't explain it in the right way but our guilt , my sis and l both, comes from the fact that we both have good hearts . We're both very loyal people and we'd both do anything for a loved one. So lf we mess up or let somebody down , or family down , we'd feel guilty. Where as the rest of them are so self absorbed and so unaware , they wouldn't feel a thing , if they even noticed letting someone down or wronging someone at all.

    That's why my other sister was so amazed l'd flt guilt , she'd never feel guilt for anything. That particular sister and l were once involved in a real estate deal. She just pulled out one day, costed me and my ex w 1000s , and weeks and weeks of work l'd done on it , didn't even apologize, it didn't even cross her mind. She felt nothing , never even considered or even thought about any of that, totally oblivious. Well the rest aren't much better.

    My parents were both very good hearted people that would do anything they could or give someone in need the shirt of their back. My dad would've been apologizing 10yrs if he let me and my ex down like that and he'd be do he's best to make it up to you, so would mum. Dunno what happened with the rest of them and most of them are millionaires but my sis and l are the only ones like mum and dad.

    rx

  22. randomx
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    2767 posts
    7 January 2021 in reply to randomx

    ps

    many times l've thought your actually better of being like the rest of my family, so much of the world is these days , it's a safer bet in self preservation that is for sure.

    Another thing most of them have in common is a total insensitivity or awareness of peoples feelings or a situation , or saying something , seeing something. They'd miss it all , straight over their heads,

    rx

  23. JacintaMarie
    JacintaMarie avatar
    94 posts
    23 June 2021

    Hi

    I saw Elizabeth CP's post and that resonated, I had a loving home life but outside the home, I feel useless & need to do stuff, so I don't feel guilty.

    I see things on the media as well and I feel bad or read stuff, I try to do the right thing to alleviate the guilt but there are always people worse than me, like the people in India, Africa & other poor countries, we are so lucky when others are not. I give money when I can, I wish every country could get better, be better, so no one needs to be a refugee. And the environment, I hope the planet can do better, I am trying to help the planet.

  24. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12428 posts
    23 June 2021 in reply to JacintaMarie

    Jacinta I feel guilty because of the privileges I have having a house and food to ear when so many in Australia and the world are homeless or living on rubbish tips.

    Like I know I have many advantages vans wish everyone was safe house and fed.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    23 June 2021 in reply to JacintaMarie

    Hi JM

    Excess guilt is common. General guilt makes us aware of our responsibilities and be considerate. So it's excess guilt that becomes an issue and it can be debilitating especially the source which is sometimes hidden in our upbringing.

    The fact is, guilt needs therapy. Forums or any fruitful discussion is helpful but unlikely to have the effect needed to recover. Rebellion can also help. In my case I rebelled against my over domineering mother and haven't seen her for 10 years. It has helped as she is in denial of the things she did to us so that being an ongoing edge was best to disconnect.

    Do you think your guilt is from your childhood?

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  26. randomx
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    2767 posts
    23 June 2021 in reply to white knight

    For me nope not at all.

    Few basic things shoulda coulda stuff that many would look back and wish they'd done differently but that's life you were growing up no way to get it all right.

    l have guilt's about ex w, guilt's about ex gf . Over the yrs with ex w as we talk a lot for our daughters stuff and a few things along the way pop up here and there so it's been a chance to apologize . Also wrote her a letter once too and l know she's appreciated it.

    Personally l've tried to bring up with different people at times if there was something and apologized or explained too.

    l could really suggest if it's someone your in touch with or see , bring it up one day and talk about it lightly and apologize, lightly as in not dwelling too much. ln all my experiences it's really paid and they've appreciated it or else didn't even see it as any problem to begin with so either way it gives you both peace .

    When guilt really tortures me is when l don't get that chance or know l never will.

    rx

    1 person found this helpful
  27. JacintaMarie
    JacintaMarie avatar
    94 posts
    24 June 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony

    Maybe, it could have been, but my family was good to me, I had a loving home, a very good childhood though my grandmother may have used emotional blackmail to me & my particular personality listens to it, she also uses it on her children, my mother & Uncles. Now, I feel sorry for her as she literally cannot help it, I think she has an undiagnosed mental illness.

    At work I try to do what I'm told, if I don't people seem to be annoyed if I don't do it (I mean little things, that they could do but they are too busy) so I do it or I feel guilty if I don't though this is my head that tells me that.

    I proberly repeat myself as it seems that they didn't hear me or I keep on talking at the wrong time.

  28. JacintaMarie
    JacintaMarie avatar
    94 posts
    24 June 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Qurrkywords

    Thanks, I even feel guilty at work, that my metabolism is better at keeping me warm then the others at work, as l'm the only one, I feel guilty for that, & I feel bad that I'm tired of their complaining! (It has been 5 years) what a selfish person I am!

    I try to make them feel happy so they feel warm, I have Googled it & there are lots of factors as to why people feel cold. And plus too it's virtually impossible to warm every where in an office.

    I do get told it's up to them but they only have one way they want or it's the highway.

    I'm probably obsessing over this, so I'll stop now

    1 person found this helpful
  29. randomx
    randomx avatar
    2767 posts
    24 June 2021 in reply to randomx

    As in with ex gf.

    l asked in the new love thread if l should write to her . When we split l said things and she said things , but l'm still riddled with guilt about what l said . And l know she will carry things l said with her for yrs and yrs now, but l didn't mean them like that and they came out all wrong.

    A letter to her l could explain , and then she'll forever know, and l will too , and so the guilt will be gone and she'll have peace too. But l've ran it by a few people and no one thinks l should write the letter , they think l should leave it and look forward and move on.

    l can't really work that out , but all have said the same thing so maybe l'm missing something.

    rx

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