Guilt: A Powerful Tool of Control
There are indeed, always two sides to every story……..
Guilt really is a cancerous useless emotion. It is engulfing and fear inducing. Something I have only recently come to realize is that I am full of guilt, guilt and fear.
Utilizing my guilt has been a powerful device of control in my life, 4 years on my own and I have still been inhibited and controlled by this, not wanting to stand up to him because I was afraid and guilty. (On a side note, this is text book narcissistic/sociopathic methods of control)
I was guilty because in the 9 years of our marriage I didn’t do my best, I was a failure, as a woman and a wife and a mother. I failed. I was not good enough, I behaved badly, I got depressed, I let the house get messy, I let our children exist in all of that, what kind of woman would let her children live with all that? Just a big fat fucking failure.
But do you know what? All of it was circumstantial. A hereditary predisposition perhaps to being ‘depressed’. And of course that was constantly thrown in my face, just like your father. But I have existed and flourished outside of you. It has taken time and darkness and lots of growing and self awareness, but I am fine, more than fine. The issue was not just me and much more than just you.
And something that only just dawned on me last night, if I remove my guilt I will remove your power. What is sad is it has taken me 4+ years to figure that out. This is not about rehashing the past, this is about him still being a constant daily drama and issue in my life. And that is my fault. I have allowed this to go on, my guilt and fear of his reactions has not been resolved. Enough now, I am done.
If I remove my guilt and fear I will remove your power.
If I Remove My Guilt And Fear I Will Remove You Power.
How fucking profound. What am I honestly so afraid of? What do I feel so guilty about? I have felt like it was all my fault, that I was a failure, that I have behavioral skeletons that I don’t want people to know about, incase they judge me and see what a failure I really am. In case they see he was right, incase those labels impact on my future. I am worried about it all, what you think and what you might say.
So there are a few things to address here. Firstly, it is ever so lovely being a bit older and self secure, it is lovely being comfortable in your own skin, I actually do not care what you think, judge away my dear, how gloriously liberating. I know my truth and I know my core, anything outside of that is just vapors. Insignificant vapors that I shall blow to the wind.
Secondly, I know I am not a failure now, I now know it was not all my fault, of course I acknowledge I had a part to play, but it was not all my fault. I do not need to take on board guilt for it all. I am free, we make decisions in our life with the strength, information and consciousness we have at the time and we do our best. It is all ok. Once we have learnt and evolved past that we are stronger and we do better.
And the last thing; is that underpinning fear that one day someone may see all my dark internals, all the pain and mistakes, fear of anyone or our children knowing all of my truth. But if I am open the fear is gone, if you know my truth, If I release it all I can not be threatened by it. If it is released its power is removed.
If it is released its power is removed.
And here is the thing, it is not just me, lots of people go through dark times, people make mistakes, that is how we learn, we are all perfectly flawed human beings just trying to make sense of it all.
Removing his power by showing you my internals.
We were married for just over 9 years, lots and lots of pain and nonsense, I did not have the skills or consciousness to stand up. I just internalized all of it, made it about me, I felt it easier to handle if it was all my fault, then maybe all of the black was not so hard to handle. If all the aggression and pain was my fault it was just easier to handle.
Subsequently I got very depressed, trapped in a negative headspace and marriage I had no idea how to make better. I loved him so very much, perhaps if I just worked on me, made my self better he would love me?
If I was better than I was perhaps he would care? If I did this better or that better or was thinner or better at giving head then perhaps he would love me, then perhaps he would see me?
But to clarify, all of the black that has been a part of my existence is not solely attributed to my marriage. Childhood was not the easiest ride, and I have always been cursed with eyes that see, that see all the pain and sad and injustices. Sometimes that can be overwhelming. I felt inhibited and flightless within the religious parameters of my early adulthood. Wives submit to your husbands, I remember those verses being written down. That does not do a girl any favours.
But here is the truth, had I been given the space to do so then those are things I would have reconciled, as I am and have been doing since being on my own. But instead, all of that nonsense was built on and perpetuated and used to control me and hang over my head, see you are just like your father. Cheating? No you are just being paranoid, it is all in your head, All In Your Head Angel, all in your head.
So here is my absolute truth, judge and think what you like. I was, at different points in our 9 year marriage in a very dark place, I was depressed. Stuck in a black hole I had no idea how to get out of. Our house was a disgusting mess at times, stuff and mess everywhere, at some points our dishes would be growing mold, that is a true story. It was horrible. What sort of mother lets her children exist in an environment like that?? I was so stuck I couldn’t just get off my arse and do it all, I would get to the kitchen and just sit on the floor in despair and cry.
I had felt so very guilty about all that, but then I have thought there were two adults living in that house, two adults contributing to the mess.
I had gotten to the point where if had gotten out of bed and had a shower it was a good day.
I had been so raw that I would fly off the handle at lot, scream at my children and physically drag them to a room to put them in a time out. So much guilt, what sort of mother had I become? Just a waste of space. They would be better off with out me. This is where my head had gone. But again I think, I was not the only perpetrator of anger, and a much less aggressive version. But if any mother is honest, we have all lost our cool with our children at times. (To clarify, I have never hit or physically abused my children)
Surrounded by an absolute lack of responsibility, there were often issues with money, being that we never had any. Bills never paid, debt collectors calling us, I never had any control in the beginning and never had any idea what was going on. Complete lack of security, phone being cut off, all of that had me anxious. In this situation I think I should have taken control and gotten a proper job. But I felt guilty when I went to work and left Georgia and I had in my head this stupid Christian ideal of traditional family unit. Which never worked out for me.
I went through a small phase of self harm. Yes, self harm. I felt so dead inside I just wanted to feel something, anything. It is actually very common, just enough to feel a sting. Nothing that ever left a scar, it was never about that. It was about despair, about trying to feel anything. But the guilt I have felt about all of this has been debilitating.
One of the worst times was just after I had found out I had an STD. That was from all of the extra marital sex my husband had with out protection. From here I had moved out. I had no money, none for petrol and I didn’t have a home phone set up yet to call any one, I was able to text him on my mobile and his mother found me in a bath in my underwear with small cuts on my arm and the kids asleep in their room. I was very thankful she came, very thankful. But the thought of anybody knowing all of that has filled me with fear and guilt. What sort of human being am I? What sort of mother does that? When I look at it now, I think I was a girl in an unbearable amount of pain and unsure how to ask for help and little support at the time. And now you know, there is no fear.
I have never ever tried to commit suicide, I have thought about, but never actually tired, that I have is a lie that has been perpetuated by several people. One time while he was around I tried to swallow a bunch of his morphine, but this was never about that, I am smarter than that, if I ever actually wanted to kill myself I would. This was about wanting him to care, to give a shit, I wanted him to see how much pain I was in and feel remorse. Feel fucking anything.
I decided I could not go on as I was, life had to be better than this, right? So I sought some professional help. And besides, of course you need help Angel, it is all in your head Angel, look at your family history, look at our house and this mess Angel. You do need some help. I wanted help I was screaming for someone to see me. It was all me, all my fault, all my doing, what a failure, I need some help. Please help me.
I started through our mental health system, a fucked up inadequate system to say the least, but that is a whole other conversation. After one 40min conversation with a physiatrist I had never met I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar and placed on lithium. Fucking lithium. It was a whole other type of abuse. And Bi-Polar? Fucking Bi-Polar? Never mind the emotional roller coaster I had been on in the last 7 years, or the emotional highs and lows of my husband. My dad has similar issues, so that is it Angel, yup, all our issues are your fault, see even a professional is saying so, it is all you. I wanted a formal diagnosis, you see then I would get help, it was all me, then perhaps someone would listen, perhaps then someone would see, perhaps some one would care.
To this day I stand by the fact that was a misdiagnoses, at best I had situational depression and just needed to be free of a very toxic relationship. This is proven by the fact that I have been on my own for almost 5 years and have been fine and slowly healing and I continue to flourish. I have a home I am proud of and a job I love, I pay my bills and I have not been on any mediation since the Christmas before we separated, almost 5 years. I have in that time had some very dark times, but almost all of those have been bought on by external stressors triggered, mostly by him and my own fears and guilt. But I have overcome each and every one of those times. And I am well, better than well. I am absolutely fine, I always was, I just needed to work though somethings and be free of his toxicity.
So much fear and guilt induced by my own insecurities and perpetuated by his need to keep me down and desire to not be accountable for anything. You see if it was all Angel’s fault, I have done nothing wrong, it was all her, she drove me to it all.
Of course it was not all bad or like that for the duration of it all. This was just a part of it all, but the parts I have felt most guilty about. The rest of it all is another story for another time.
Depression. That big D word: thankfully does not have the same degree of stigma attached as it used to. Some people may still judge its existence, but the statistics are this: approximately 45% of people in this country will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In Australia around 1 million adults are currently going through depression. That equates to 1 in 6 Australian adults are affected by depression. My point is this: it is real and a relatively common human experience. If we are all honest 1 out of every 6 of you reading this can relate.
It is not some big horrible thing to feel guilty about, or something someone can hold over your head. Bi-Polar or anything else is something that needs love and support to work through.
Right now that is all I can think of. There it all is, real and raw and bare, my internals. I do not feel guilty, and I no longer feel fear, you know, you will judge as you may and I don’t care. He no longer has anything to hold over my head, I have, just now, removed all your power. All you can do now is completely lie and construct a fabricated reality, which I am sure you will, have fun with that. I am now free. And alive. And blessed.
I am grateful every fucking day I am now where I am, so fucking grateful.
Thank you for getting this far, ever so.
self portrait- 2013