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The Power of Guilt


Carolyn Marie

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"Guilt: punishing yourself before God doesn't."

Alan Cohen

This is not a pleasant subject, but it is an important one, because way too many of us suffer from it. Guilt is one of the most powerful of all emotions. Those of us who are older and have spouses or families suffer from it, because of what we are doing, or believe we are doing, to our loved ones. But it isn't limited to just those folks. Young people can suffer from it too, because of how they believe they are effecting their parents or other family members, or even friends.

Guilt is a terrible thing. It's effects can include:

Depression

Changes in personality

Inability to concentrate

Stopping us from moving forward with transition, if that is our goal.

Suicide, or attempted suicide.

During my early weeks of therapy, I spent more time, and more tears, conquering my guilt, than any other issue I dealt with. It took many months, and the acceptance of my family, before I left my guilt behind.

I am not a psychologist, and I urge those of you who have a therapist, or who plan on seeing one at some point, to discuss this issue, if you think it is at all an issue for you.

There are resources available to you if you don't have access to a therapist. Here are just a couple:

If you need immediate help with a crisis caused by guilt, please talk to a parent, a friend, a Moderator, or log into Chat and talk with a crisis Mod.

Please remember that none of us asked to be transgender, and the guilt you may feel can be overcome. No matter how guilty you feel, you can conquer it, and survive it, and learn from it. It doesn't need to rule your life.

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

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A highly necessary part of recovery from chemical and process addictions is the realization of what guilt can do against you and for you. It is part of two major steps among the 12 that work so well in bringing people into a healthy and productive life. Addiction covers guilt that we feel, but it also creates the very guilt that we accumulate during our abusive phases. One of the purposes of recovery is to place guilt where it belongs, no more or no less than what it is. Amends for the reasonable and proper guilt can then be made, and healing begun. This will be a lifelong cycle or hopefull upward spiral, but it keeps us and those around us in balance, a balance we cannot posess as long as we abuse our substances our lives and those around us.

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Guest MsPerseveres

Thanks for this - I need to remind myself, constantly, that I'm not guilty for being who and what I am. It's incredibly difficult, but I need to move past the impacts of the truth, and not get trapped by them...

Brenda

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Guest Just "B"

I agree Carolyn. Guilt can slowly eat a person up. A priest who's a friend of mine put it rather succinctly. He said, "after you take a shower, do you put your dirty clothes back on?-------let it go."

And, after he said that I was able to process it and discard it.

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Guest Brandi Nichole

I can definitely say this is a subject that hits home with me rather strongly. It has caused conflicts for me and I am still working through it. I guess I will see in the end.

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Reading the effects I went in my mind, check, check , check, check, check, and unfortunately check..... While still coming to terms with being transgender and letting quite a few people in my life know about it, I realize that yes it is not my fault for being trans... but I feel that its my fault I've let it hurt my wife and kids..

What I can't yet shake is the guilt I feel for what I have let it do to those around me. No matter which way I look I still find a way to blame myself for their pain.. If I had been up front it might have gone better.. If I could have been stronger to keep it "hidden" things would be better for them... The list of self blame goes on and on... Its almost like I can come up with more ways to blame myself than a politician can come up with ways to blame someone else....

Something to still work on I know... Hopefully I can work through it sooner rather than later...

Becca

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  • Admin

Something to still work on I know... Hopefully I can work through it sooner rather than later...

Becca

Becca, if you have a therapist to help you, please talk to them. It's hard to get through this without advice and assistance. If I can be of any help, please PM me. We've all gone through it, and its tough, I know.

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Krisina

Carolyn Thanks for the topic. That hits home for me. I know that my actions have consequences and affects not only me but others. I didn't ask for this but I deal with it as best as I can and minimizing the affects on loved ones.

Krisina

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  • Admin

"Though shalt not 'should' on thyself."

The terms "I should have _________________" or "I should not have__________________" are deadly and paralyzing to ourselves and those around us. If we did not do those things we have in mind, they indeed did not and could not have happened or did happen and cannot be undone. The past is dead and needs to be kept that way or we die in the now and have no future.

Learn what you did not know in the past that prevented or caused the doing of harm and then take the new knowledge and say "I will do__________________ and then go out and do it!!

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Dorothy Lynne

Carolyn: For me I don't feel the guilt for being who I am today as much as the guilt from denying who I was and deceiving others and myself by living up to a false image of what other people thought I should ne. How many others were hurt emotionally becausee they didn't understand why I pushed them away instead of loving them as my gender dictated and imprisoned them into a married life I felt outside of or a romance that left me cold and wanting to feel the emotional attachments of a woman and not a man. As a young man feeling the softness and warmth of intimate contact and desiring these as my own skin, hair, breasts ect. all the way down to my innermost romantic desires. I now wonder if I loved the woman I was with or simply coveted the eotional and physical being I was with at the time. Looking back there are questions I dared not ask mtself then but am exploring with my therapist and comming to grips with. Guilt is used to control people to conform to ideas not ideals. I feel little guilt now I know what and maybe who was controlling those guilty feelings. The old adage of ; you have to love yourself before others can' should be changed to you have to understand your love of others before others can love you . Just a little rambling from Dorothy

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Laura LaB

So true, I lived with guilt for most of my life and now need constant reminders not to let that control my life again, thanks for another reminder. "Just B" I like the visual the priest gave you, thanks also for sharing.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Jennifer T

I agree Carolyn. Guilt can slowly eat a person up. A priest who's a friend of mine put it rather succinctly. He said, "after you take a shower, do you put your dirty clothes back on?-------let it go."

And, after he said that I was able to process it and discard it.

Oh wow!! Very wise words.

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  • 8 months later...

I think this is one of the reason I have a hard time telling my best friend is because I feel guilty for leading him to believe I'm someone else. When in reality the day I tell him who I truly am it may very well be the thing that ends our friendship. But I'm either going to have to tell him or just quit communicating with him and give no explanation. Still not sure what I should do because I'm an extremely sensitive woman and I crave the acceptance of others very much so.

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Guest Wanda Michelle

Wow! This really hits home. The guilt can eat at you. Beth, your post is truly inspiring! Thank you sooo much sharing.

Love and Warmest Wishes,

Wanda :)

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  • 3 years later...

Very important topic :)

I wish I could give up my guilt...  and my shame.  So far, it has not been easy.  Worse, I fear for MORE guilt in the pain I may cause if/when I "come out", which I have not yet done.  Right now, I feel guilt/shame over the pain I have ALREADY caused.  I feel guilty and SELFISH for not being just satisfied with how I was born.  For not being honest and upfront with my wife, before we were married, how much my "issues" would dominate our relationship, ultimately destroying it.  I fear terribly how my "coming out" could negatively impact my children, and their perception of me.

The list goes on...  It's easy to say, "Just let it go..".  In practice, it's a shade more difficult than that.

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17 hours ago, Steffi_Memmel said:

Very important topic :)

I wish I could give up my guilt...  and my shame.  So far, it has not been easy.  Worse, I fear for MORE guilt in the pain I may cause if/when I "come out", which I have not yet done.  Right now, I feel guilt/shame over the pain I have ALREADY caused.  I feel guilty and SELFISH for not being just satisfied with how I was born.  For not being honest and upfront with my wife, before we were married, how much my "issues" would dominate our relationship, ultimately destroying it.  I fear terribly how my "coming out" could negatively impact my children, and their perception of me.

The list goes on...  It's easy to say, "Just let it go..".  In practice, it's a shade more difficult than that.

My guilt has nearly destroyed me several times. My wife agreed to sell the home she thought she would die in and to leave her friends and family behind to come with me 3/4 of the way across the nation so that I could become a woman and we would be seen as a lesbian couple. If that wouldn't cause you guilt, I don't know what would. How do I deal with it? I don't. At least not right now. I have too many things to do. I figure that if I can make things work out then it'll all be good and I won't have to feel guilty. At least that is what I hope anyway. It's a bit of faith and a bit of optimism, which is difficult for me because I'm usually a pessimist. But I got nothing else.

Hope this helps Steffi, but I think we all deal with guilt. We just can't let it stop us from living our lives. Love and light darlin'!

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Yes it is, but it is such a relief to get there, especially when I realized 90% of my guilt came from not who I was but how others reacted. Something I have no control over, and really should be their problem not mine. 

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  • 4 months later...

I'm new here so bear with me. I'm 70 yrs old soon, and I transitioned at 15 socially and surgically at 28, in 1976. I have seen a LOT! And I struggled with guilt and identity issues for almost 38 of my 40 years as "real". Are we real? Take it from me, we are very real. I have never met nicer people than my 'kind' of people. We are generous to a fault, loving, and patient to a fault. We are a stepping stone to a different kind of human, I think. Who know. I am real, because my pain and my courage MADE me that way. As for our Path, we were born this way. I was born with A.I.S. Type 2. 

I found that our VOICE has a LOT to do with how we handle pain and how the feedback of our OLD voices continues until we change our voices. If we do it properly — using Andrea James for help, Melanie Anne Philips' course, some others out there — they are free or virtually free. But they demand daily commitment to achieving a natural female voice. When you "get it", you'll have the happiest day of your life. 

When your VOICE is a woman's voice, you will change in ways you never imagined. It will change reality from a dark blue to a feminine yellow. It's like Music. It's like Magic.

I've watched other women turn their lives around. It takes work. Sometimes 6 months to a year. But it is worth every moment you spend, learning to speak in a sing-song way, learning that, when you are happy, you sing major chords! 

Becoming a woman is more than a few operations. It is like moving to a foreign country, and, until you can speak with the natives in their own tongue, undetected, you will be alone or subject to restrictions.

The truth is that VOICE is the single biggest indicator of gender. You can tell a person's gender by their voice alone. You can even "not pass" visually, but you will pass as a woman when you open your mouth and speak.

This is not to sell anything to my beautiful sisters. It's to help with the guilt, which seems to me to evaporate when Voice is firmly in place.

Finally, hello, and my best wishes to everyone here.

Peace and love
Jessica

 

Edited by Carolyn Marie
Deleted attachment containing personal medical info.
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  • Admin

Thank you for that valuable advice and information, Jessica.  I think you're right about the power of having a feminine voice.  I also want to welcome you to TransPulse, and encourage you to post something in our Introductions Forum and help us to get to know you better.

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

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  • 4 months later...

Some have mentioned 'shame' along with this idea of guilt. I think what may help some (and seem like splitting hairs to others) may be to take the idea of guilt out of the equation, and simply look at shame.

I spent pretty much my whole life (thinking) I was "guilty" of something... but I could never reconcile the small fact that guilt must have a judgement, and one must be guilty of something. Then I read something about how MtF's have to deal with a male ego. At first I rejected that notion, only to realize that it is the source of my, not guilt, but shame. I am shamed that I can't "be the man" I am somehow supposed to be. Shamed that I don't have the strength to be my true self.

Luckily, as the girl grows stronger, the shame, along with the false male ego, starts to ebb. I don't think I could have understood this if I focused only on guilt, because I could never figure out what I was supposed to be guilt of.

If you are struggling with this guilt thing, taking a closer look at shame may be of help.

Sabine.

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  • 8 months later...

Thank you for posting this. This is something I struggle with because I know my mother will disown me when I come out and I will be barred from seeing my 12-yr-old sister. At the same time, I know I cannot let my life revolve around my sister's happiness, even though I plan on trying to stay in contact with her. I know I need to let her grow up and move on, but I helped raise her since I was 16 years old (I am now 28), and I'm not ready to let her go. 

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  • Forum Moderator

I'm sorry you are facing this Mochi.  Don't forget your sister will grow up and remember the love you share even if your mother doesn't accept you.  Only time will tell how it works out so please don't hurt yourself with guilt now.  I lived with it for too long and dropping that feeling has opened my life.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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20 hours ago, Charlize said:

I'm sorry you are facing this Mochi.  Don't forget your sister will grow up and remember the love you share even if your mother doesn't accept you.  Only time will tell how it works out so please don't hurt yourself with guilt now.  I lived with it for too long and dropping that feeling has opened my life.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

 

Thank your for advice. I greatly appreciate it, and continue to pray that my sister will be the same loving, accepting person I raised her to be after I come out. 

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  • Forum Moderator

You've done what you can do.  The rest is up to her.  I have a feeling you won't be disappointed. 

 

Jani

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