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?
17 thoughts on “You Wear Guilt”
I’ve been offered the collar of guilt by others but declined it on the basis that it clashed with my tasteful outfit of pride and self-respect. It is a garish and unnecessary accoutrement offered by those who refuse to wear one themselves. Why ever would I wear it for them then?
Laughing, that’s such a you thing to say x
My guilt is like a tsunami. It’s quiet, building up from internal vibrations until it’s a wave of mammoth proportions crashing into the shore. Once the wave of destruction recedes there is silence, and it’s gone. That’s how it feels. I know I just have to ride it out, It’s quick, and then it’s gone, leaving no trace. Nothing.
Who put it there in the first place?
In my case, my N. Father, and all the other Narcs in my past life to begin with.
And my mother, the enabler. She made it acceptable.
No contact and LT makes the noose looser, softer and longer.
Maybe in time be lifted.
I cut the noose, before I had the knowledge. Now that I have the knowledge provided by HG I can emphasize that I am done. And I am not looking back, the thought makes me sick.
I already have a ‘mark’ on my neck, from when I was 19…… a scar, made with a knife. It was the 3rd ‘slice’ I did. The other two are more prominent. On both my wrists. That one night. A failed suicide. Muvver should have stayed in her room and not invaded mine. So, nobody, should ever Question me. Nobody. A supanova moment that would not have happened and should not have happened. It did. Because of her. Years of abuse. Years of not being allowed to breathe. So, no-one is putting a fkg noose around my neck – ever again. Never. Fk that. Crossing my line.
To aid your understanding Asp Emp, that is not a super nova moment.
Ok. Thank you for saying so, HG. She’d come into my room – throwing all my stuff onto the floor at 1.30am. I was in bed & felt the anger building up until I snapped. I hadn’t planned anything. Wasn’t thinking it. Literally saw the ‘red’ mist as I stomped past Her into the kitchen. It was not fear, it was pure anger. After that night, I was sent to attend therapy sessions – absolutely rubbish – waste of my time.
Narcissistic trait of anger surfacing owing to reduced emotional empathy occasioned by the external stressor of your mother’s behaviour.
Right. I think I now get it. Having done some thinking & ‘processing’ and also the further reading (links). Interesting. If a narcissist don’t know what they are and my almost ‘permanent’ narcissistic streak of anger (from childhood) – the unaware narcissist gets confused (or rather, ‘more confused’). Maybe it is this narcissistic trait that made me doubt myself – I suppose a ‘dirty’ empath is better than not being an empath at all. Lucky me! It’s my ‘defense mechanism’ and also where my ET can be ‘flicked on & off’ quite quickly (probably impacted further by my aspergers). Triggered (also) when I instinctively feel that my ‘shield’ of ‘vulnerability’ (or someone else’s) is being removed / stripped away by the perpetrator. It’s about me ‘recognising’ when this is happening…..
Thank you so very much, HG, for providing the ‘tools’ for me to analyse this. Another one up in the face of the ‘so-called-professionls’ – well done, HG.
You are welcome.
Thank you, HG.
I would like to add – where I talk about ‘vulnerability’ – I can also understand where it applies to a narcissist – why their ‘fury’ would come to the fore when (in the eyes of a narcissist) is being ‘criticised’, ‘wounded’, or even when their ‘control is being threatened’. So, regarding this and taking it into consideration – this is where a narcissist ‘accuse’ the empath of being the ‘perpetrator’ and the narcissist is the ‘victim’.
Hmm. Also with my narcissistic streak of anger, this can be ‘provoked’ by a Greater (if they are aware I have this trait) in order to provide ‘negative’ fuel.
Asp I’m very pleased to read that you haven’t harmed yourself again since. It is never right to take out the failings of others on yourself. why give yourself more pain?
Thank you. It’s about understanding oneself & why they act the way they do. That can only be aided by also understanding the other person as to why they did what they did…….
“Who put it there in the first place?”
Seriously?!?! What happened to “empowerment”?
I think I put mine there.
Don’t remember when why or how exactly.
I don’t think you can isolate a single aspect like guilt and remove it cleanly. I imagine it more like a tumour embedded into the tissue that is the remainder of you. To remove it is to cut into the rest. Not worth the risk. Most people carry a scar of some description. Sometimes those scars help us to relate to others, support others. Guilt usually has a valid reason. Not always, but it’s there for a reason.
If the point of the article is to remove guilt about the relationship with the narcissist, that’s fine, I can accept that. That’s doable. To remove a tendency to experience guilt, or the motivator which is guilt, then that’s an altogether different thing.
I think this remains my favourite article.
Thank you for your input.
Interesting that you don’t know about your “noose” or “guilt”. Not everyone has one (as per wording in article).
In my view (my experiences as a child) I am not actually ‘guilty’ in the sense of the word. I suppose it depends how a reader understands the meaning of the article. I see someone (more often than not, a Co-D empath) being controlled by a narcissist that is aware of what they are and to a certain degree, I can actually understand why the narcissist would do this – when their control is being threatened (especially criticism & wounding).
Good to know you have one favourite article – I cannot specifically choose one…..