Consuming Guilt

Note: This is the 2nd part to a continuing story about my healing from childhood sexual abuse. Please read the first part here

Guilt is anger directed at ourselves – at what we did or did not do. Resentment is anger directed at others – at what they did or did not do. – Peter McWilliams

I never thought that I would carry around the guilt that I have. What do I have to be guilty about? At times I tend to blame myself for the ruckus that I have caused. With my revelation, I seemed to have disrupted a lot of lives. At times I feel as though I am the asshole who strained or destroyed relationships. This was never my intention. I keep wondering if I could have taken one for the team, keeping the pain and mistrust inside. Had I remained silent, things would still be the same, families would be together, everyone else would still be happy and I would still have some of the relationships I once had. All would be good. Right?… But, what if in the future I found out that I could have helped prevent another person from being hurt? What if I had found out that my son was also abused by this person and I had done nothing to prevent it? I wrestle with this balance nearly every day. I know what I did was right, but dammit, it feels wrong sometimes.

So, where did all of this guilt come from? I think it started taking hold of me when someone very close to my situation told me that what I was doing was wrong. This whole “mess” was my fault, that I could have handled the situation better. It was suggested that this whole mess could be “talked out” with my abuser. All of those words cut through me and It will take a long time for me to heal from that. When I think about it, the blame placed on me by those people hurt worse than actual abuse itself.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I have put my wife through so much. The day she married me, she didn’t know what she was getting herself into. I had held my real self from her. Her strength and resolve have been unbelievable. I am not sure I would have stuck by me through all of this. I know this is how marriages are supposed to work (in sickness and in health), but at times I feel guilty by dragging her into this mess.

So how do I get over this guilt? How can I stay away from those dark thoughts? Some days, I barely keep it together. I find myself being drowned in the anxiety that stems from the worry. I need to work on reassuring myself that none of this is my fault. How others deal with this situation is totally on them. If they choose to disagree with me or think less of me because of how I have come forward with my story, then that is their problem. I need to consistently remind myself that this is my life and my happiness. I think I need to be a bit more selfish at times. I cannot control what others think of me and my situation, all I can control is me. Throughout all of my personal struggles, it is the guilt that eats at me the most. My hope is that with consistent positive growth and reassurance from those who love and believe in me; my guilty wounds will heal and my confidence will flourish.

I believe someday, I will live in peace.

953 / 1000 KMs walked | 42 / 50 blog posts | 16 / 10 books read

3 thoughts on “Consuming Guilt

  1. You are an amazing man, loving and caring of both your wife and child. YOU are not to blame for any of the “dirty mess” … you were an innocent child that should have been protected… I know your wife she is a very strong woman who loves you and admires you for what you have “survived” most of us probably would have have made it to this point as well as you have … (((((Hugs))))

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