View Full Version : Guilt

12-10-2011, 02:42 PM
I had an argument with my boyfriend yesterday - I suppose it was coming, but the gist of it was that I've been trying to make him live up to these unattainable standards, and expecting him to be perfect instead of just letting him be who he is - the same exact thing that I do to myself. I know I do this more (to him as well as myself) if I'm stressed out or in a bad mood. That doesn't mean it's fair - it's actually a pretty terrible thing to do and not fair to him at all. I just get irritated by little things that he does, especially moreso if I've got a lot on my plate - and then feel like that's not normal, that that's not "supposed to happen" and then try to make him change even though whatever my unattainable standard of "perfect" is changes from day to day and he can never live up to it and neither can I. ugh.

I didn't realize it, but I think depictions of relationships in the media have had a lot to do with this - not that that's really an excuse, but they've contributed a lot to how I view things. Like everything has to be "perfect" in a relationship or it's all bad. Or if I don't get my own way all the time that everything's irrevocably fucked up. Or if something small is wrong it means there's a huge relationship flaw. I feel like I'm constantly waiting for something to go wrong or for it to end in catastrophic failure even though I know that if I just LET GO of this need to control everything and this anxiety it would be a hell of a lot more relaxing and better and for the most part I have a pretty healthy relationship. It's just my own insecurities and fears that seem to fuck everything up.

With other people, if I'm upset I usually just isolate myself from them. I can't do that with him really - he's the one person I count on most, talk to most, and trust the most and yet I feel so awful that he's also the one person that I can be most horrible to. He has needs too, and I feel like I'm not doing a good enough job at addressing those when I can't even figure out how to take care of my own.

I don't know how to let go of this and just BE. To take things as they are and just let little annoyances and little problems slide instead of blowing them up into something bigger than they need to be.

My default reaction to all of this is to run away and hide and to beat myself up over it and tell myself I'm a horrible person who has caused all this and doesn't deserve anything. I just feel...guilty, most of all. Guilty that I can be a bad person and do bad things to people. Logically I know that no one is "good" all the time - and there's a lot of black and white thinking going on here. Either I'm all bad or I'm all good. Either it's all my fault or all his. Either I get my way completely or I cave and deny that I have needs. I know not ALL of this is completely my fault - the argument started over something sarcastic he said to me which I got upset about, but became about a bigger sort of issue that's been going on the past couple of weeks.

I was doing so much better awhile back - what happened?!!! Now I'm back to neglecting myself, being so harsh on myself (and, by proxy, others) and being really negative and assuming the worst a lot of the time. I just am having such a hard time letting go of the feeling that I need to punish myself for being horrible, for hurting myself before anyone else gets the chance to do. I'm so bad at taking criticism or accepting the fact that I have the power to hurt others - and when this happens, I hurt myself a thousand times worse through my own negative self talk.

12-20-2011, 01:49 PM
Hugs. I'm sorry you're going through this, noparenthesis. It sounds really hard. But you also seem like you are noticing what is happening, in your mind and in your relationship. And you're even noticing the self-judgment that is happening, which so often goes unperceived.

I'm no expert on relationships, but one thing I know is that one needs to let go a little, and trust. Trust that when your partner says I love you, they mean it; trust that they won't hurt you; trust that the relationship will take its course without needing to maintain vigilant, utter control over it.

I think you already know what you need to do: embrace the grey area. Reading your post, you're already giving yourself clues of what you need to do, you just need to believe you're capable, and trust yourself.

Please be kind to yourself. Don't even beat yourself up for beating yourself up! Hugs.

12-20-2011, 01:56 PM
Thank you. I didn't realize how deeply ingrained all this negative self-talk really was - it's something that I just perceive as totally normal, so it's taking a lot to have to tell myself to be easier on myself and other people - I'm learning to catch it now though.

I think letting go is both the hardest and most important thing I have to do; you're right though, that I need to trust myself. It's amazing how much one's perception of oneself can impact relationships - I know there's the old adage that "you need to be able to love yourself before you can love someone else," but it's amazing how utterly true that is. When I'm able to be kind to myself and just "go with the flow," my relationship is a lot better, too.

12-24-2011, 05:40 PM
The most important part is that you are realizing what you are doing. Recently my boyfriend of ******** years left me because my eating disorder took over my personality and caused me to be a horrible miserable person to be around. PLEASE learn from the fact that I didnt have any idea what I was doing until I was out of the situation. He now wants nothing to do with the person I became or the person I was before my eating disorder. Would love to chat more about this but promise you it is worth looking inward to yourself and reflect on these issues before its to late!

12-24-2011, 07:03 PM
Thank you. I've been recovered behaviors-wise for several months, but the thought processes and feelings that created the ED in the first place- those are largely still there and creating a lot of problems at the moment.

I know they say acknowledgment is the first step, but the rest of it feels really daunting, too.