You Wear Guilt
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 go 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 at 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 bring 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?
19 thoughts on “You Wear Guilt”
mommypino: you too with a matrinarc? I wonder what percentage of mothers are thus. Did you ever see that well made movie, Mommy Dearest? If so, did it resonate at all with you? She even wrote her daughter out of the will, the daughter found out after the mother died. It seemed that of the 4 children, she and her brother were left out. So deceitful. I am glad the daughter found such a masterful attorney. I just checked about the real life story just now, and the daughter successfully contested the will. Yay!!!l: “Despite a short rapprochement in Joan’s later years, both Christina and Christopher were written out of her will, which stated the decision had been taken ‘for reasons which are well known to them’. Although she successfully contested the will, Christina has never been able to shake off the suspicion that the book was revenge for her disinheritance, nor, when I ask her about it, does she entirely disabuse me of this notion. ‘The attorney told me that the language in that will went way back to the Sixties, and every time the will was rewritten that language was carried forward absolutely intact. So none of the later years had had any impact on her emotionally whatsoever. All the efforts I’d made had been for nothing, and I decided that was enough, and I was going to tell the truth as I knew it.’“ https://www.theguardian.com/film/2008/may/25/biography.film. and she was a perfectionist: https://youtu.be/e0ksk_ko_6g. Documentary regarding the will: https://youtu.be/XmG64XDYN9o.
Dearest HG: Who says they have never sinned? Have never hurt anyone? Who says that their sins do not have endless repercussions? Whether seen or unseen. I was taught to feel guilt. I felt it and I feel it. I was not taught how to manage it, though. That is a great problem. Now I have my own SECRET way to manage guilt. My neck became too weak to carry it all any longer. I loosen that noose more and more when I reflect upon what type of guilt I am dealing with, at any given time, and who put it there, this time. Especially when I feel I can no longer go on. That is the emergency sign for me that the rope is way too tight. I can not remove it completely, and maybe I will never be able to remove it completely, but that is who I am, and maybe that is okay.
I almost completely skipped this article because it didn’t seem “juicy” enough…
I’m not guilty of introducing my noose. Various components and interactions of my upbringing did.
Looking back—and even looking at right now—I can see how I make my noose-wearing quite public. I can visualize all the yankers.
Time to loosen the noose and take up responsibility.
Lisk. Upbringing is so important to create who we are. I do not know why so many people dismiss it so much. It is a major influence whether or not we accept our upbringing or reject it, or divvy it up.
This does not apply to me.
I do not feel any guilt.
I have done nothing wrong.
I am pure as the driven snow.
How many of the readers here feel guilt?
What is the readers’ level of guilt in general from 1 to 10?
Hi Sniget, I’d say mine is about a 4. As with any other reader, it would probably depend on who is tightening the noose as to the guilt response, or who has bought it about.
That is interesting. Do you mean he was tightening the noose on you and made you feel guilty? A score of 4 is fairly high. You live with guilt on a daily basis?
I wouldn’t say a daily basis, no. Just when certain Ns I’ve encountered use that manipulation with me. Usually it’s in response to them asking a specific question or making a statement to manipulate those thoughts. Obviously I’ve recognized it some Ns when they do this but others, those closer, not so easy to spot.
You are in charge of your thoughts and if you detected a manipulation then are you still being manipulated if you had the chance to counter it? Do you feel guilty for allowing yourself to be manipulated and not doing everything you could to protect yourself?
2. Only if I saw it coming and that would conflict with my sense of integrity, so yes.
I think Carolines question (below) helped make the distinction, something I was thinking when I saw your first post. Ie The people pleaser and the conflict avoider is an attribute of mine however guilt can surface should I not team this with the flip side of my truth seeker and authentic self. I won’t bend over backwards for someone if it goes against my core values or beliefs. That being said, some people will play those values against you, should they see fit to get a reaction.
Do you mean guilt over actual wrong doing… or false guilty feelings, as in needlessly beating yourself up (people-pleasing type behavior), when you’ve not done anything to warrant it?
Hi Sniglet, I do feel guilt. Not because I think that I was bad but it’s more coming from my tendency to self-flagellate. I have been trying to think about this and I think it’s because I grew up with a matrinarc who castigated me with verbal and physical lashing every time I made a mistake to ensure that I understood that I was wrong. When you grew up being told that you made your mother angry, you made your mother make a mistake, you made your mother have a bad day, you made your mother’s work harder, you internalize that you are highly responsible for how other people feel or their circumstances. My guilt gives me a sick feeling inside like my stomach is churning.
Hi MP. I see what you are saying. It is almost as though they required perfectionist tendencies and when we slipped up they were ready to pounce.
Yes Narc Noob. And then you start to require that about yourself even when you are not with your narc parent anymore. And I can feel guilt even when I’m not being manipulated. I remember one time I went to confession and I confessed so many sins and the priest cut me off and told me that I didn’t need to confess about each minor thing that I have done because there are other people waiting to confess too.
MP, oh my, that is kind of funny and sad at the same time, the confessional, I mean. I understand how it sets us up for failure, even when we remove our-self. We still have the inbuilt mechanism that was told repeatedly that we aren’t good enough. Basically they were just repeating what they had been told.
Narc Noob, you’re right, the priest story is funny. I did notice the long line behind me when I got out of the confession booth. His impatience and boundary assertion though made me realize that I was off the deep end even for the priest’s standard so it made me more aware of it and I try to be mindful and remember that priest when the guilt strikes again. 😊
A 10 squared.
Hello, H.G. Tudor.
Certainly, it was me who placed it. And obviously the only person who can break this one and set it free is not you. Again this belongs to me. And they are my faults, my lack of limits, my absurd justifications, my lack of self-esteem in synthesis. Work these and you will be free from this rope.