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#412747 - 10/11/12 01:31 AM Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault??
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Aside from feeling like the abuse was my fault, I often feel like everything else is too, even if its stuff that happens to other people that I had nothing to do with. I am left carrying alot of guilt and a feeling that deep down I am a bad person, for no good reason. Could this a form of transference, like because I feel at fault for the abuse that it makes me feel that way about everything? Sorry if I'm not making sense with this. Responses are appreciated.
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#412769 - 10/11/12 08:33 AM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: jls]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2614
Loc: Central PA
Makes a lot of sense to me.

I don't know the whys.... I just know I have the same issue.

When the kids act up... and the wife starts yelling.... I feel like a little kid and like I'm in trouble.... even though I have utterly nothing in it. Like I'm at fault somehow.

Something upsets my wife... yep I feel like I'm the one that did something wrong.... even when I know better!

I too have always felt like I was responsible, not matter what it was.

#412771 - 10/11/12 09:10 AM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: jls]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 747
Loc: VA
jls & JustScott:

You're both making sense to me--though I'd describe the feeling as more like "unworthiness" or "unreal-ness." This means I feel like I'm not quite a genuine person, deserving of the same space and consideration as "real" people, certainly not as good as "real" men. In fact, I've been told that repeatedly through the years, mostly by family members (not the sexual abusers). When I was a kid, I sometimes wondered if I was a robot, i.e., not as good as a real kid. I don't recall whether I had that thought Pre-Rape, meaning before age 7.

Anyway, there's clearly a major ingredient of negative self-image in the post-CSA stew of problems. I've realized that I have spent a lot of my life trying not to be noticed. The few times I've stepped out of that shell (e.g., when I conducted a training session at work, and once when I performed a humorous rap number before a crowd of about 30), I found I enjoyed it and wanted to engage with an audience again. They didn't seem to notice that I'm not "real." I had a few brief moments of... Peace!


#412772 - 10/11/12 09:27 AM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: jls]
ACRoberts Offline

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 242
Loc: New Jersey (recently moved fro...
Wow! I can really relate. I took on the role of being responsible for EVERYTHING at the age of six when the abuse started. It seems I attract this in my life.

I feel isolated and alone especially since my wife was the victim of a pedestrian hit and run four years ago that left her disabled with a significant cognitive deficit. She focuses on herself and her needs and the only time I am considered in her thoughts is when it relates to her needs. Of course, I feel responsible for her care and it is my fault when things go wrong.

I really wish that someone could take away this curse we seem to share of feeling responsible!
WOR Sequoia 2011--it has changed my life!

#412780 - 10/11/12 11:01 AM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: jls]
Blue1966 Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
It's hard to not feel like we are somehow "tainted" and thus the cause of much, if not all of what goes wrong around us but, we really aren't. 90% of it is not our fault, just as the abuse was not, is not and, never will be our fault.

I think part of it is the whole own what's yours, take responsibility and Ts going there too soon. We go overboard and own the abuse and anything we can find to own, even id it isn't ours. Sure we need to own what is truly ours but, not everything else too. With T going there before we really get the two separated, we own too much.

Yes T can bee good but, not always and, yes I have had some bad experiences with T so, might be a bit jaded on it.

#412785 - 10/11/12 12:00 PM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: jls]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4009
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
i think the feeling of guilt and the sense of shame are very close to the same thing. at least i have a hard time telling them apart. the distinction that i see is that guilt relates to something that i have done and feel bad about because it is my fault. but shame is feeling bad about who or what i am - not necessarily related to a specific action that i am responsible for.

most of us feel like the abuse was our fault - and therefore feel guilt - or rather false guilt - for that. that guilt causes shame - which is a pervasive atmosphere that permeates our entire existence. i often feel guilty whenever something goes wrong - even when i had nothing to do with it. i think it is because i am so conditioned by my shame to feel like i am bad, inferior, worthless, and a problem - that the guilt kicks in. that is partly explained by the fact that i was cast in the scapegoat role by the step-father and as an outcast by my peers at school and scouts. both of those roles are very similar too. as a result, it is natural for me to take the blame almost unconsciously and automatically for everything.

but i am coming to recognize the lies of the false guilt that was forced upon me and to replace it with truth and reality. it takes effort - but can be done.

does that make any sense?
"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"

#412799 - 10/11/12 02:02 PM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: unhappycamper]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Someone in my csa support group said that he came to feel that he didn't have the right to exist as a result of the abuse. This made sense to me, given how much of my own humanity I had to sacrifice as a kid just to survive the experience. I can see now how this lack of a right to my own existence would make me feel guilty for simply trying to live my life like I'm deserving of it.
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#412801 - 10/11/12 02:19 PM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: jls]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3438
I think we take on guilt and shame. Feeling responsible for everything that has happened. I think this allows others to see this weakness and us it to transfer blame to us--even if it is not our fault. In a way we become the whipping boy.

#412969 - 10/13/12 03:16 AM Re: Why Does Everything Feel Like It's My Fault?? [Re: jls]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
I've been contemplating a reply to this thread for a couple days.

A lot of it for me is residual paranoia from interactions with my adopted mother and her third husband. Well within earshot, they'd talk about me in the third person, even sometimes to my face as if I wasn't there! Nor were they discreet when in another part of the house, knowing full well I could hear their "discussions" about what was wrong with me.

So, my issue has been not so much that people are talking about me, but that they're thinking of me in a negative way.

I'll turn this around a bit with a mixed success story. After several months' successful work on a client's projects, often a high volume of work, he suddenly went Mel Gibson on me. A rambling email even included, "YOU CAUSED THIS" in the same caps. Naturally my first reaction was that it was My Fault. Then I really read the entirety of the email. It was all bullshit and had nothing at all to do with me or my performance. This guy was either drunk or having a complete meltdown of some sort. I decided, income be damned, I wasn't going to tolerate that treatment. I fired him.

LOL...of course I second guessed myself for the next few months and had to talk it out with a couple good, patient friends when it came up, but a year later I can say I'm glad I'm free of the bastard. He's even been advertising on Craigslist. Seems he can't keep anyone around.

I suppose what I'm saying is that confronting the guilt/shame that's become second nature sometimes requires a gut-wrenching leap. But, mygawd, what a difference it makes.

#412976 - 10/13/12 03:53 AM . [Re: jls]
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (01/12/13 09:33 PM)

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