You Wear Guilt

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You wear guilt like a noose around your neck. There it hangs, just waiting to be yanked by me and the tightening ligature around that slender neck will bring you back into line. I can then allow the noose to hang about your neck once again, ready to be used as soon as I decide that it is necessary. You do not even try to remove this noose, you would, of course feel guilty if you tried to do so and as a consequence it will always remain with you, on you and about you.

There is no slow squeezing when this noose is called into action. It is immediate, painful and chastising. It allows the sudden and instant exertion of control. What better way than to achieve this than relying on something that is intrinsic to another person. This noose burns, it constricts and it chokes and you know that it is not going to anywhere. The only way to deal with it is to comply and then the noose will slacken but it will not grant you release.

You have carried this noose for a very long time. Once upon a time it was only a few strands thick, yet for all of that apparent fragility, it could not be cut nor broken, neither snapped or torn. As time went on, the strands multiplied so that the thickness increased until now it hangs about you, sturdy and effective. Nobody else wove those additional strands into it. You did. You brought it all on yourself because of the twisted delight you have to wear this noose. You regard it as an obligation. It is part of who you are and whilst the pain it causes you is something that you would prefer not to have to suffer, you know that when it makes you suffer, you gain comfort from its presence and effect.

You know that not everybody has such a noose. There are those who do not even have one. You wonder often what that must be like. Not to have the yoke about you which weighs you down, restricts you and governs you. What must such freedom feel like? Then there are those who have such a noose but they seem to be able to lift it off and leave it behind when it suits them. Others still find that the noose is weak and it snaps apart when it seeks to apply pressure against its wearer. No such release for you.

This is the noose that has you always compliant. Sometimes you fight against it, hoping that you might perhaps once, just once, be able to exert such strength that causes it to break, but it never happens. No matter what resistance you exhibit or how much you strain to tear it apart, you fail and have no choice other than to comply so that the pain recedes. It leaves its mark about you. There is no doubt about it. Even though the searing pain may have lessened, you can feel that tight grip still and you know that others can see where it has left its mark. Not all have this ability to recognise the mark of the noose, but a certain group do and they always want to exploit its presence. Oh there have been times when you have sought to hide this noose, mask its presence in the hope that you escape the attention of those who recognise it. Even if you manage to conceal the noose, the mark that it has left about your neck is like an indelible stain. You cannot remove it and it is the stamp that tells those who know these things that you carry such a noose.

You may not realise that it is you who has added those additional strands over the years, causing the noose to thicken and strengthen. Those strands are bound together, layer upon layer, wound about one another, so that they become more than the sum of their parts. The strands which are fashioned from your pervasive, deep-seated guilt, are added to because of those things which you say and do. Each time you think a certain way, which you cannot help but do because of who and what you are, another strand is added, then another, until soon the noose becomes thick and heavy. Each time you think the following

 

It is my fault; I did not listen.

I need to do more to help.

He cannot help it.

I need to ensure I understand.

If only I could be stronger.

If only I knew what to do.

I should be getting home; he will wonder where I am.

I should not be doing this.

I should not speak ill of him really; he is my husband.

I should not think these things, I do love him, I just feel so weak and this is when I have these thoughts.

I ought to have realised.

I must listen more.

I have to keep trying.

I owe it to him to help.

He isn’t as bad as people say.

If I just keep going it will become better.

I have to try because if I don’t, who will be there for him.

It is my duty.

I made my vows and I shall abide by them.

I must be doing something wrong to make him feel like this.

I just seem to say the wrong thing and the wrong time.

These thoughts and words, plus many more, cause the noose to become stronger. Thus it tightens and I yank it, pulling you in my direction so that you remain under my control, bound by this guilt to serve, to support and to fuel. An ever present burden which you add to yourself each and every day. A method by which you are manipulated, cajoled and coerced to fulfil my needs.

This noose is not there to hang you. No, there is no desire to being about your demise. You are more effective to us functioning. Your guilt will not bring about your end,  but instead it acts to maintain your imprisonment.

You make the noose grow.

I make the noose control you.

Can it be escaped? We think not. It is for life. Even though it may not tighten or constrict for some time, even years, it is always there and with the mark so prominent, another may come and utilise the control that the noose affords even though we may not be able to.

We will not lift it. It matters too greatly to us.

We will not lift it because it is your burden, perpetuated by you.

But it can be lifted. It is not simple or straightforward and we ensure we do not allow you the opportunity to address this chance to relieve yourself of this noose of guilt. It can be done. It is quite the task to achieve but for you, that journey begins by answering one question.

Who put it there in the first place?

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36 thoughts on “You Wear Guilt”

  1. For those of you out there feeling the noose of your narcissist, no matter who put it there, I give you the hope and a model to follow: Take your noose and turn it into Wonder Woman’s golden lasso like I did.

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  2. The house is spotless. So am I and kids. He has control over finances , my freedom etc. He can’t do no more harm… we live in different worlds now, mine is called domestic prison. …

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  3. Nicely put, HG.

    Indeed, where did the guilt originate from? It is each and everyone one of our own lessons to learn, we were programmed early to feel it and we have to deal with it. Fair or not. Simple fact that we have to radically accept and move on…..my ex was very good at tapping into my guilt. No more. Palm up, “boy, bye”.

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    1. Hi Indy. I hope you don’t take offense. I was asking HG what his noose was and I didn’t address him and it seems like I angered him. My mistake. It could be my guilt projection. That said, I’m glad you answered and yes…recognizing it is huge. As recently as Thursday, I know I still wear the noose. I know who I need to address. I made myself invisible. I tried to phyically make myself invisible.

      You mention self care. That is a term that has been shared quite a bit this weekend in places. Thank you, Indy for your calming insights..

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      1. You didn’t anger me 1jaded, I hadn’t realised you were asking the question of me. I thought it was aimed at Indy. I have no noose since I feel no guilt. I have chains instead.

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      2. Hi Jaded1,
        No offense taken 🙂 Plus, it allowed me to process out loud something that I sometimes avoid(my noose), so thank you for that!
        Hope you find the self care you need! It takes rigorous practice to practice things that seem so easy to others, such as making time for self (no ifs, ands or buts).

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    2. Thank you, Indy. You are strong. I’m glad you are able to process it. It is difficult…I sometimes…or most times feel like I’m at square one.

      You are a breath of fresh air.

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  4. This…this is what I should have said when N2’s mandated T asked why I stayed with him when she said it didn’t appear that I needed him. Deep down I didn’t feel like I did. It was my own noose that caused me to stay and to some extent causes the pull, especially this time of the year. He would have had my head.

    Thank you for your last observation in a question. It is most illuminating.

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      1. Hi Jaded1,
        Is your question for HG or me?
        My noose of guilt came from my upbringing and culture. My needs we not first in my mind I had to put others first or I would feel guilty. Came from being raised in a rural conservative part of the US, as a woman we are often told to be caregivers, as a Catholic, and my mother had severe depression and my dad was disconnected from emotions. They were well meaning and god bless them, but my emotional needs were not nurtured. I felt invisible unless I did something super special (achievement focused) or if I provided care for others. I was told over and over to not “be selfish” or “greedy”, both by faith and my parents. Self care was not valued. The’s, when I encountered narcissists that demanded I care for them above myself, I was in a quandary and felt extreme guilt if I didn’t. I’ve done a lot of work on myself in therapy on this guilt and it has gotten better, though it is still there like a sore healing muscle. It’s a long journey. First step is knowing the need to take this journey. Not everyone gets to this point, Jaded1! Bravo to those of us the recognize our wounds to heal!!

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  5. Bully

    It’s 8 AM, this hell I’m in
    Seems I’ve crossed a line again
    For being nothing more than who I am
    So break my bones and throw your stones
    We all know that life ain’t fair
    But there’s more of us we’re everywhere
    We don’t have to take this back against the wall
    We don’t have to take this we can end it all
    All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully
    Make another joke while they hang another rope so lonely
    Push them to the dirt till the words don’t hurt can you hear me
    No one’s gonna cry on the very day you die you’re a bully
    Think it through you can’t undo
    Whenever I see black and blue I feel the past, I share the bruise
    With everyone who’s come and gone
    My head is clear my voice is strong, now I’m right here to right the wrong
    We don’t have to take this back against the wall
    We don’t have to take this we can end it all
    All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully
    Make another joke while they hang another rope so lonely
    Push them to the dirt till the words don’t hurt can you hear me
    No one’s gonna cry on the very day you die you’re a bully
    It’s 8 AM, the hell I’m in
    Your voice is strong, now right the wrong
    All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully
    Make another joke while they hang another rope so lonely
    Push them to the dirt till the words don’t hurt can you hear me
    No one’s gonna cry on the very day you die you’re a bully
    All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully

    -Shinedown

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      1. B, I have just one song that reminds me. “Jar Of Hearts” by Christina Perri. Have a listen. 😉

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  6. This is a great article! Helped put this problem in perspective big time. I know what to do now. Its a mental thing. With a previous partner, I had an invisible umbilical cord to him. It was all about control and he continually pulled me closer and closer to him, because of his insecurities. That invisible cord got cut one day with my invisible scissors. It took time achieving it, but the job did get done. I will do the same now, with that noose. One strand at a time if necessary. Thank you HG. Thank you for this insight.

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  7. The noose is just like the chains that you wrap around us. They become so heavy at the end. It reminds me to keep going and healing at my own pace. There was a lot involved as each thread was put on me and then when they were off my body, mind, and heart, I was exhausted. And some days I still am. We all go through such an ordeal. There’s still a lot of guilt I have to get past.

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  8. I have waited a lifetime for love
    A love I have only dreamed of until you
    The day we met my dreams came true
    I shared my hopes and my everything
    We shared countless memories
    The words, the tender moments I so cherished
    You showed me the light
    My heart was full more than I could have ever imagined
    You expressed the same sentiments
    A belief that a perfect muse fell into my arms
    Little did I know
    It was all an illusion
    An agenda you carefully crafted just for me
    A fabrication
    As the light turned into darkness
    My heart was ripped my chest
    This gave you pleasure
    I denied your façade
    I held your mask tight
    The darkness was showing
    I was a prisoner of your pain
    How could this be
    Once a perfect union
    Now a tattered mess
    I trusted you with my most precious gift
    My heart
    You exploited my innocence without a care
    With no remorse
    You are incapable of such feelings
    You envy my consciousness of true enlightenment
    My authenticity
    You have none
    Your darkness is choice
    A path to nowhere but emptiness
    My light is dim but still shines
    Yours is a candle in the wind of a hurricane
    You are not superior
    You are lost
    Devoid of ever having a life of greatness
    Your life is a perpetual masquerade ball to oblivion
    You will never touch the essence of truth
    Life, love and connection
    You are truly empty
    That emptiness is my new hope and understanding
    Thank you for that
    Once believed as a perfect love
    Has come with a hard lesson
    My love has power
    Yours has none
    My life will be full
    Your demise will end only your suffering
    I pity your life
    Sadly it amounts to nothing

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      1. Thank you CE! It was a pretty emotional day with putting my thoughts to words. HG has opened the gateway for healing …if we do the work. It wasn’t until I started reading here did I have the inner strength to finally accept “Reality”. Everyday is the opportunity to embrace the goodness life has to offer. HG helped me find that path.

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  9. Hi Lisa, “Jar of Hearts” yes I remember that song! Had to go back and listen to it again. I am positive that they do have have a jar of hearts hidden in that closet of theirs! Well I’m taking mine back! Lol.

    Music is definitely my therapy. Sometimes I feel the lyrics understand me way more than any person ever could. It’s funny how I relate the lyrics to a narcissist now, lol. Don’t know that many people who like my type of music, but hear are a few for your listening pleasure, shall you ever find yourself bored 😉

    Chalk Outline – Three Days Grace
    Words as Weapons – Seether
    Torn to Pieces – Pop Evil
    Save Today – Seether
    The Light – Disturbed
    Crash – Seether
    Snuff – Slipknot
    Breath – Breaking Benjamin

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  10. I read this and it spoke to me. The guilt I felt because he could not choose between her or I. The guilt for going out, for seeing other men when I wasn’t getting what I needed, at least physically or sexually. I thought that if I denied myself of my needs, it would all be worth it. So there I sat in that crap room by myself allowing this to happen. Never again will I let some one do this to me. This was never worth it. Its an endless cycle and it will never end unless you leave and don’t look back. i no longer have guilt or shame. what happens to them doesn’t matter to me anymore. Do I forgive??? not yet but every day it gets easier.

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  11. This is my husband – he has the noose around this neck and his mother is pulling hard so very hard. I have 2 young children who are real danger of becoming another source of supply for her. I am fighting this so hard…. But my husband projects his guilt onto me in the way of anger. I am close to walking – the noose of guilt makes my marriage like living in quick sand. But if I go there will be no-one to protect my children, because my husband can not protect himself.
    My husband opening admits what the problems are….. He just can’t cope with the guilt and we are incapable of putting boundaries around out marriage and our children.
    Would they all be better off if I left???? At least by doing this the conflict (me) would go. My MIL knows she can not control me and hates it.

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