Tag Archives: false guilt

Is False Guilt Leaving Survivors Stuck in Perpetual Abuse?

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

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One of the feelings people who are abused or have survived abuse may live with is false guilt. A mix of questions swim synchronized in the ocean of one’s thoughts.  These include, what do I do wrong, how did I disappoint the abuser this time, and what will I do next to cause harm and not know it. 

The idea may arise that one is a catastrophe walking.  A new belief forms,  I am what is wrong.  If this mindset is allowed to fester unchecked, a lifetime of trying to fix scenarios and relationships may keep an abuse survivor doggy-paddling in false guilt and anxiety.  It could lock a person in a cycle of false thinking;  I caused it, I must fix it.

Do you see how this can lead us into one abusive situation after another? Until 20 days ago, I was certain such negative automatic thoughts were conquered and no longer my struggle. Instead, what I discovered is that in the presence of an abusive attitude, I do shrivel up again a little bit.

After telling a young man I care about to leave my home twice, I still invited him back.  Why? Because maybe his words were true. Maybe I am the problem. Perhaps It was my job to help him at all costs.  

NO, ladies and gentlemen abuse survivors. We do not have to accept more of the same. I was bewildered by my response to what was clearly harassment. Old assumptions blinded me, and until I could see I swam again in the dark.   I am guilty of making him feel bad – NO.  It is my responsibility to help him feel better – NO.   His accusations are true – NO! 

Oh how easy it was to sink into old thinking patterns! I am grateful for the knowledge  passed to me that allowed for challenging those thoughts sooner. Let’s keep in mind that when a person disrespects you and continues to cross your boundaries, it is their problem  to fix.  They are acting poorly. You have the strength and right to say, “Not again.”

Today’s Helpful Word  

Romans 13:10 

“Love does no harm…”

 

**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

 

 

 

 

Compassionate Boundaries: Refuse Blame (Seventh of Series)

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, and abuse (c)2013  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry 

SONY DSCStanding on Chelsy’s doorstep was her new acquaintance, Kaye. “May I borrow $20?” Kaye said.

“Ummm, sure. Just a minute.” Chelsy rationalized that Kaye must need the money or else would never ask her. She handed over the cash.

“Ill pay you back!” Kaye said as she ran to her car.    

Months later, the debt yet unpaid, the two women stood in the church where they had first met.  Chelsy heard Kaye say,  “Over there are some visitors. Fresh meat.”

Kaye wandered toward the unsuspecting couple. She regaled them with her sad story. “I’m divorced and have no car. My landlord evicted me because I can’t pay rent and feed my children too.”

Awkward replies of sympathy preceded Kay’s inevitable question. “Will you lend me $20?”

Chelsy watched in horror. She too had once been “fresh meat.” Since then, truth had found its way to the top of Kaye’s heap of lies and exaggerations. Turned out, Kaye will not seek work because she did not like her old job. She totalled her car driving recklessly. Her children attend private school on a benevolence scholarship. The  eviction was due to destruction of property, not overdue rent.

Kaye returned. Chelsy’s $20 loan clearly forgotten, she said, “They wouldn’t help me out. Some people just want to keep you down, you know?” 

One healthy boundary is refusing to take blame for another person’s poor choices.  Most people understand that, and hence Kaye’s need for “fresh meat.”

Discernment about when and how to become involved in a person’s life grows out of knowledge and insight. There’s no need for mindreading; all we have to do is ask.  Financial boundaries for example, probably have black and white bottom lines. In the same way, we can develop policies of sorts to help us avoid emotional responses to false guilt.

Nothing much in this world will fall apart because we take the time to pray and think before deciding  to become involved. 

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Other posts in this series: Friendship (1) ; God’s Example (2)Values and Family (3) ; Self-Care (4) ;  How to Say No (5) ; Motives Beware! (6)Refer to Experts (8)  ; How to Say Yes (9)

__________________

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.