Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Pre-Occupation With Past Guilt #amsosa
If GUILT is a major part of your life and you can attend one of our DAY
WORKSHOPS here in Swindon, we can help you leave behind the Guilt, Shame and
Blame that continues to hamper your recovery
Before you read any further down the page, please avoid getting confused
by levels of GUILT, SHAME OR BLAME, because they are all inter connected and all
of them lead to increased levels of BLAME, SHAME AND GUILT.
So having read that, please consider this.......When you look back at your
previous behaviours, and look at a violation of your, or societies moral
standards, your basic belief has to be:
"I shouldn’t have done that”
This leads to your thoughts being occupied with
“I should have known better”
“I should have stopped myself “ etc., etc....
If you are still spending time thinking “Why”, “I’m a bad person, “Evil
person” etc, the only answer I can give you is that you are still pre-occupied
with an event that has been put in the past - purely by time.
By that I mean that the previous events has passed into time, left behind,
and often forgotten by others, yet you still dig it up and feel bad about it
If you had the knowledge that you have now, you may have been able to prevent
the guilt, the memories and the shame you feel now.
As you did not, a possible way forward is to:
1. Acknowledge, and accept that you acted and behaved in a way that you now
consider to have been wrong.
2. Identify, challenge, and then accept your guilt-creating demands, e.g.
that you shouldn't have acted the way you did, and that you are basically a bad
You're not, and never were!
2. Realise and accept that what you may have did was based upon the situation
you were in, at that time, & the knowledge you had at that time.
You know differently now, but still feel that you should be guilty for an
event that happened, and has been finished with by almost everyone else but
What you are doing is living the past, and in doing so, creating more guilt
that you can cope with.
To continue inflicting pain, caused by the behaviour created by yourself,
others or perhaps both, is not only harmful to your development as a person, but
also to any further relationship you may be in already or looking to find in the
You need, and have to forgive your actions, even though it may seem
impossible to do so, otherwise the guilt you may feel now is nothing like the
guilt you may have felt at the time.
To explain that better, consider how you felt as a child, and feel now as an
adult, with far more insight and knowledge of what really happened.
With time to consider your actions, and with some recovery behind you,
coupled with the questions and answers you’ve possibly received, has anything
enabled you to see the reasons why you behaved the way you did.
Is there a possible way forward, and give yourself space and time to consider
that you are not as bad as you originally considered yourself to be.
Look at why you feel guilty, is it due to something that you had control over
at the time, or due to an abusive history that you had no control over?
Were you able to handle situation differently, but chose to behave the way
you did, regardless of the circumstances?
Is there a realistic way of resolving your guilt feelings?
e.g. can you honestly make amends, or do you have to accept that the
problems caused at the time are beyond redemption, and therefore finished?
You really need to stop feeling that guilt, otherwise you will lose the
ability to think logically, and will be back where you started, perhaps even
worse than before, having acknowledged the guilt you’re carrying with you!
Having considered the issues of guilt, and having re-experienced it all
again, maybe it would be a good time to explore those issues.
I have to say that this isn't a cure for the guilt you carry, but can enable
you to look at those areas of guilt in a different light, and maybe, just maybe,
forgive yourself for the shit you have caused or been through
As always, the choice is yours,and you need to decide what you do with it
now, before the guilt reappears.
NEW RULES TO LIVE BY
NEW RULE 1.
It's very scary for your inner child to break the old rules, especially the
“no talking” rule that has been imposed upon you since being abused.
You, and only you, must now decide to give yourself permission to feel what
you want, and re-teach yourself that feelings are not right or wrong. You also
need to have clear guidelines on expressing those feelings.
It order to do so, your inner child needs to know the difference between
expressing a feeling, and acting on a feeling. It will save you a lot of grief
if you spend some time now, and learn how to do this in the future, when it will
become second nature to you.
NEW RULE 2.
This new rule counteracts the "toxic shame" related to your needs and wants.
Your inner child doesn't believe that he has the right to want anything, but you
can reclaim him by listening carefully to what he needs and what he wants.
You may not always be able to give him what he needs and wants, but you can
learn to listen to and give him permission to want it.
Without any form of desire or want, your inner child gets crushed. In
addition, you need to teach your inner child that your feelings are part of your
personal power, and is the fuel that moves you to get your needs met. They also
signal danger, when you are being violated and when you have lost something of
value to yourself.
NEW RULE 3.
This new rule counteracts delusion and lying that occurs in dysfunctional
families. e.g. you heard your parents fighting, but when you asked what was
wrong, you were told "nothing". Messages that convey the wrong image can cause
you to doubt the validity of your parents.
Your inner child doesn't believe he has the right to want anything, so listen
carefully to what he needs and wants, but also be aware you might not be able to
give him what he needs or wants.
Messages that covey the wrong meanings can cause you to doubt what to
believe, or listen to in the future, & will cause you to doubt your own
It can also cause you to doubt your feelings or even shut them down
NEW RULE 4.
This one is about playing and having fun. Playing is a way of just being.
Learn to take time out to play, regardless of what you're doing. Go fishing,
play football, go for a swim, or just no nothing in particular. Even that helps.
Another good form of play is sexual play. The best form is when the adult
self shuts out the parent self, and allows you to let your natural child out to
play. As the child, you will enjoy touch, taste, smell, and will be able to
explore yourself and your needs fully. No, I'm not talking sexually, that's down
to you to work out if that's what you want!
NEW RULE 5.
This might be the most important one so far. Early in life, your natural
inner child learned to adapt in order to survive. Your inner child therefore has
the ability to prevent you from growing, by thinking thoughts that violate
reality and distort the truth. The delusion and denial will jump straight back
into play is not watched. Your inner child is also shame based, which also needs
to be confronted and corrected.
NEW RULE 6.
The needs of your inner child are immense. All children want what they want
now. Part of growing up means learning that you have to wait sometimes, and
delay gratification that sometimes helps reduce life's pains and worries, but
only for a short space of time.
Since being abused, your inner child has had a harder time to prove his
worth, so maybe you, as the adult, compensated by buying things you didn't
really need, maybe being intensely jealous of friends or lovers, feeling
isolated, or believing you were dirty, unclean, not worthy of love or respect,
NEW RULE 7.
The key to inner happiness!. So much human suffering comes from within, and
becomes increased by the inner child's unhappiness.
You need to face the full consequences of your child’s behaviour. By
reclaiming the inner child, you will be able to see that the damage done is
recoverable and that you, as the adult, is capable.
Most of your inner child's responses are not true responses, but a
conditioned response to actions previously known or suspected. A true response
results from one's true feelings and a conscious decision.
NEW RULE 8.
How to teach your inner child a healthy sense of shame and guilt.
Toxic shame forces you to be far more than human (perfect) or far less than
human (a slob).
Healthy shame allows you to make mistakes, which is human, and allows you to
see that you can be fallible. Making mistakes allows you to also grow gently,
and allows you to be more spontaneous in actions.
An example; if your inner child is always aware of having to watch for fear
of making a mistake, he is never going to be free enough to say or do what he
Therefore, he may never ask you for help or say that he hurts, or loves you.
NEW RULE 9.
The golden rule. It asks that you teach your inner child to love, value and
respect other people, and to love, value and respect yourself too. It comes back
ten fold to you in the process.
It will also allow the inner child to know hen he is violating this rule. He
needs to learn accountability and healthy guilt, which is moral shame.
NEW RULE 10.
Learn to like and then love who you are now, as opposed to whom you were
Maybe, just maybe, you were unlovable, but how do you think you survived this
All you’ve gone through, all that has happened to you think how much strength
that took, and how well you’ve coped with the shit that life has thrown at you.
That has taken considerable strength.
You had to be what you were then, in order to become who you are now.
A far better person by far, and no arguments either!
..that in Britain alone...
...37 babies under 1 year old (26 male, 11 female) were murdered in 1997. The
majority killed by members of their family.Source: Home Office (1998)
Criminal Statistics, 1997. HMSO.
"...the current cost of dealing with child abuse to statutory and voluntary
agencies is in excess of £1 billion a year". Sadly, most of this money is
spent dealing with the aftermath of abuse rather than its prevention.Source:
Childhood Matters (1997). The Report of the National Commission of Inquiry into
the Prevention of Child Abuse.
....some 15% of a nationally representative sample of 998 children aged 8 -
11 years said they would not talk to anyone if they had a problem.Source:
Ghate and Daniels (1997). Talking About My Generation. NSPCC.
...3% of a national sample of 1,350 young people aged 12 - 15 years old (2%
of boys, 5% of girls) had experienced an incident of sexual harassment that they
considered to be a crime. They had not reported the majority of these incidents
to the police.Source: Aye Maung, N. (1995). Young People, Victimisation and
The Police: British Crime Survey Findings On Experiences and Attitudes of 12 to
15 Year-olds. Home Office Research Study 140, HMSO.
Copyright Steve Bevan, AMSOSA UK