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?
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3