Something on Guilt…..


What if we talked about something that I know each of us has felt or is feeling right now, let us talk about guilt? I will give you the defintion of guilt and then perhaps we can talk about why this haunts us so much, or I will say why it haunts me so much.

Guilt:

Noun

1. The fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability: He admitted his guilt.

2. A feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.

3. Conduct involving the commission of such crimes, wrongs, etc.: to live a life of guilt.

We will also look at guilt from this definition.

Guilt:

Guilt, in psychology, a term denoting an unpleasant feelingassociated with unfulfilled wishes. Sigmund Freud initially contended that sexual drives produce sense of guilt in the superego, the moral conscience of the mind. He later maintained, however, that guilt was associated with aggressive impulses. Freud felt that guilt was often confused with remorse, the formerbeing an emotion signaling the presence of aggressive wishes, thelatter a self-imposed punishment which occurs if the aggressivewish is fulfilled. Individuals suffering from various neurotic disordersmay experience feelings of guilt and remorse even when they havenot acted on their aggressive impulses. The term guilt is mostcommonly used in traditional psychoanalysis, as a way ofdescribing unconscious processes which may lead to neuroticreactions. It is also used in criminal law, in cases where adefendant is found to be responsible for the crime for which he is on trial.

See L. Wurmser, The Mask of Shame (1981).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.
Licensed from Columbia University Press

Ok the formatting is a little crazy but you can get the gist of what I am trying to do, I don’t want this to turn into some boring blog on the true definition of guilt, what I want to do is give us a base to work from, if we can understand what guilt is perhaps we can use it to explain to ourselves why we feel guilt, or we may yet to be able to define the guilt within us. I know that I feel guilt a lot, and a lot of the guilt I bear is anger and shame. It is in the words I use, the actions that I do, and it whiplashes me back into a state of depression and self blame. Why did I do that or why did I say such and such.

I have found and been told that we hurt the ones we love the most, that is to say for me I get really angry with my wife, now it may not even be her that I am mad at, it may

the never ending cycle goes round and round and round, never stopping always building, bigger and bigger

be something that doesn’t even have to do with her, hell I could and will if you want me to, give you a list as long as the earth is round of things that I am mad about, but I won’t. But the reason I get angry at my wife is because she is a safe place for me to let what it is that I am feeling go free, and yes it hurts her, and yes it leaves a mark on her, not physically but mentally. She is my safe place the one person I can go to whether I am scared, hurt, angry or sad. If I need to cry I go to my wife so that she can hold me and tell me it will be alright. So why would I use her as my lashing post per say? For that same very reason, she is my safe place, and sometimes being that safe place means my anger gets directed towards her, I have made that last statement more than once and will use it again and again until I understand it. She may have done nothing wrong and yet I may perceive that she has, by not talking to me or notice when I walk in the room or the fact that I am mad and she doesn’t notice that, any of these things and a million more could and will set me off, and like I said once before I may be angry at something else entirely but I take it out on her, and she sits there dumbfounded, confused wondering what she has done to deserve the rage that is directed towards her. Once again it probably isn’t anything that she has done. Repetitive is what this is and I understand the point I am making to myself now, let’s see if I can work forward and see what I can change about my behaviors, well probably nothing at this point, can I make a more concerted effort to look at what I am angry about before lashing out, probably not, will I stop before hand and realize that it is not her that I am angry at, probably not. By now it is an autonomic response and until I can control the anger, I cannot control the outburst as they are now. Wow I really am a dick to my wife and yet there she is still right beside me, of course now that she is on oxygen she has way of escaping, lol. And what I just said is as true as rain is wet, I am a dick to my wife and have yet, well yes I do know why she stays with me, because she loves me and sees in me something I do not see in myself, she is always encouraging and positive about me and she is always finding ways to help me out, both mentally and spiritually and sometimes physically when I piss her off enough, she has damn good aim with whatever she has at hand to throw at me, I aint kidding that woman can aim, glad she doesn’t own a gun anymore, but she still has cast iron, and so far I have been able to dodge them. I know it isn’t funny but it can be sometimes. I know my guilt is based on my actions and reactions to certain events, but what I am not able to do is separate the reason and the event, does this make any sense? The reason and the event are two separate things, and usually the reason is, is that I am angry about something or even ashamed of something and thus it brings on the event, as in getting mad at my wife for no other reason than the reason, ok now I am not making sense to myself, ok I am mad at the world and I then take it out on my wife, I should not take my anger out on my wife I should take my anger out on the reason I am angry? Still does this make any sense? I don’t know, not yet anyway, seems I have lost my way here and need to find my direction again. Let me go back to my definitions that might help. Ok so you know what the definitions don’t really explain guilt the way I thought they did, they are kind of fucked up and don’t really describe guilt as I feel it, perhaps I need to find a better definition for guilt, instead of those two, damn what a thinker Freud was, yes?

Guilt:

Guilt and its handmaiden, shame, can paralyze––or catalyze one into action. Appropriate guilt can function as social glue, spurring one to make reparations for wrongs. Excessive rumination about one’s failures, however, is a surefire recipe for resentment and depression.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/guilt

Ok so now we have this one here and while it does tell me more about the reactions of guilt, what does it really say? It gives us a positive about guilt as far as reparations and gives us a negative in what will happen if we obsess over guilt. But so far I am not finding out anything about how to cope with guilt or why I take out my anger on my wife. Or have I figured that part out and know need to find a way to cope with the guilt I have created for myself. Could there in lays the answer, so off I go again to see if I can’t find away to help me cope with the guilt or how to help me with my guilt over my wrongs. Well I don’t have much hope for this one, do you? Ok I am not going to copy / paste the entire statement I have just read so I will put the web site information here for you to peruse at your convince.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/11/27/5-tips-for-dealing-with-guilt/

I understand the concept of guilt and the reasons that we have guilt but how does it fit within my particular situation? When I find myself not able to express my anger in the correct way and I take it out on my wife instead it is a bad thing and I know it yet even now I continue to do it, knowing full well that she doesn’t deserve it, and yet still doing it. Yes I know my wife is a safe place or person, but you would think that after hurting her for so long and seeing the damage it dies to both her and I that I would figure this thing out right, no. I still do it and it seems to be a lot lately. And all I seem to be able to do is get even more upset with me when I have done this to her, so starts the cycle of self blame and recrimination.  And the never ending promises that I won’t do it again and the apologies that follow, both of us knowing it will happen again. Am I trying to make her leave me? Is it some subconscious desire to see her hurt, I mean if it is that it is fucking wrong on my part, and once again I could sing the praises of this woman from on high, and yet still rage at her for nothing she has done. So show me the way to stop this madness and I would give you your weight in gold, if I had it. So it seems I am right back where I started with this post no closer and I feel like I am even farther away form the answer.

With much gratitude and devotion,

Dan Kline

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5 Responses to “Something on Guilt…..”

  1. […] Something on Guilt….. (whattodoaboutme.wordpress.com) […]

  2. SPECIAL KAYE Says:

    i think you both will…..and i will help. 🙂

  3. Sometimes, yes – I do have a subconscious desire to see her hurt, her who seems so impenetrable and strong, how dare she stand tall when I am crawling like an insect? It is wrong, it is sick; but it is a part of my redemption to acknowledge this, to own up to it – and to take the steps to never do it again. I slip – oh, I slip – but each time I am renewed in my resolve to never hurt her again.

    One day, I might actually make it.

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