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 Post subject: Is it normal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Is it normal to feel sudden guilt and shame when you have reached a new acceptance about things? Like, I have been with a married man for 5 years, and it didn't dawn on me that it could destroy MY life and MY family not just HIS if we were ever found out...and that what we were doing was already destroying MY life...
I have been overidden with guilt and shame for the first time in 5 years. I have left him many times. All times in some kind of wierd happy place that I was going to be ok, or moved on to anothe relationship to replace him. I feel SO ashamed and SO guilty!! I was so overwhelmed with it Saturday night, I almost took my life. I didn't...but I have never even almost before. I did a radical acceptance on this relationship on Saturday and WHAM. That's when it happened.
What do I do with these feelings? Where do they go?


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 Post subject: Re: Is it normal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:19 am 
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Quote:
Is it normal to feel sudden guilt and shame when you have reached a new acceptance about things?

I think any feeling you could possibly have that is in direct response to you accepting the reality of a situation is 'normal'. It's what you do next that will determine what becomes of you and these feelings. In my mind, there are no 'abnormal' emotions......emotions aren't always or even usually logical, but looking at a situation realistically and logically can help you determine how you REALLY, honestly feel about it. Emotions aren't good or bad or anything really, they just ARE. It's just an emotion, the action that follows is what matters and with that-- you always have choice. Bravo! for recognizing your feelings, for accepting your situation and for wanting to deal with it rather than run. Seriously, these are big steps.

Quote:
What do I do with these feelings? Where do they go?

Perceptions about our surroundings (subtle or otherwise) beget thoughts about the situation beget emotions about the situation beget action. Knowing this cycle helps.

Emotions don't go anywhere, IMO, they just ARE. What you choose to do with the feeling and about the feeling is just that-- a choice. Much of the time, I choose to meditate, mindfully become aware of and just FEEL the feeling through and through. I question if my values and actions-- my decisions-- leading up to the feeling are in true line with my Authentic Self. If not, I choose a different decision (action) that is more in line with my values. If it is in line with my values......well, then it's usually a good feeling I don't mind having.

So, it seems like you are at a crossroads. Please, if you have any more suicidal thoughts, take action to keep yourself safe first and foremost. But remember, feelings are temporary things.....I like to think of them as guides along my journey. The choice of what I DO about it comes next, and is yours alone to make.

What action that you could take is in line with your Authentic Self?
What action that you could take is not?
Which do you prefer? What will cause you to be healthier and happier for the long run?

I will also say that we all do things (normals too) that cause us to feel shame and guilt. But there is usually an action behind those types of feelings, usually one you can choose to change or not. Self-forgiveness for things gone past is absolutely essential for my healthy, happy living. I can't always change the past, but I choose the NOW. With a lot of this, I've had to forgive the mistakes I made in the past (sometimes in the present with recovery,lol) and choose the path I wanted to take from there. Remember, you always have choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it normal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:37 am 
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For whatever it's worth, I think it's great that you've reached a place where you're seeing the impact and potential consequences of your actions on your own life. By focusing on the potential impact on his life over the last five years, I'm tempted to think that maybe you were looking at it as "this is power, his life could be ruined in an instant" because it made you feel strong. By doing the radical acceptance and finally allowing yourself to accept the whole thing - not just the parts you wanted to focus on - you allowed your subconscious awareness and understandings to break through to your consciousness, which resulted in the deluge of emotional grief.

So yeah, I'd say that's probably pretty normal, though it doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun.

Those feelings will pass / move on of their own accord if you allow them to. If, instead, you choose to cling to them and obsess over the guilt & your past actions and wallow in the grief they bring up, things could get pretty ugly fairly quickly.

You have this new insight and understanding of the scope and depth of the consequences you could face. This seems like a perfect opportunity to use The Five Steps to determine what action you could take. Actions almost invariably help feelings move on because we change the situation. Leaving the situation stagnant (without change) encourages the emotions and feelings to remain stagnant as well.

Btw, out of curiosity, when you said that it could destroy your life and family, are you married as well?

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 Post subject: Re: Is it normal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:32 pm 
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Thank you so much for your insightful replies! I will go back and reread them tomorrow with a fresh mind and reply in detail, but you have already given me much to think about. No, I am not married, divorced...and this relationship started on the tale end of a divorce. Maybe even caused it. Not sure if I have accepted that reality yet (what actually ended my divorce...that is a whole other radical acceptance that I think I want to do with others around me. I don't think I should be alone for that one.)I don't have kids. But, my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews all love me very much and it would hurt them very much to learn of this. It certainly would hurt my reputation in my community. But, I ended it, so now I am just dealing with the feelings. Gosh, I have to turn my mind over to this over and over...but it helps so much...
Ok..I will reply more in depth to your replies tomorrow...goodnight and thank you so much for caring so deeply!


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 Post subject: Re: Is it normal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:47 pm 
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Ash wrote:
For whatever it's worth, I think it's great that you've reached a place where you're seeing the impact and potential consequences of your actions on your own life. By focusing on the potential impact on his life over the last five years, I'm tempted to think that maybe you were looking at it as "this is power, his life could be ruined in an instant" because it made you feel strong. By doing the radical acceptance and finally allowing yourself to accept the whole thing - not just the parts you wanted to focus on - you allowed your subconscious awareness and understandings to break through to your consciousness, which resulted in the deluge of emotional grief."


You are so right about this! It is hard to admit that, though. Very hard. But by doing so, it allows more of "me" to shine through, rather than this anxious, sick creature that I have created. Need I say more? It still really hurts, though. It's hell, actually.



I am taking this one step at a time. My emotions are going crazy. I am on meds, thank goodness, and seeking therapy. Glad you guys are here. I will still write more as I continue to process. Thank you for being there.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it normal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:54 am 
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It's hell - you're right - and it's a hell that you created for yourself. On some level, you knew it would reach this point - the tears, the fear, the guilt - and you've reached that place now, after five years. It's a good thing that you're facing it head on, no matter how scary, because it's something you need to do, it's something your subconscious has known you've needed for some time.

You WILL get through this and you'll be stronger for it.

FWIW, I also had "post affair" issues to deal with. We were only 'together' for less than a year but it took me a good two years to fully get over him. And it wasn't so much HIM as it was a matter of me working through all the things I had brought into the mess. I had all sorts of self-worth issues to deal with post-break-up. What's 'funny' is that I have a clear memory of thinking to myself "This is going to end in a LOT of tears for me" before I dove into the relationship fully. It was something I think I knew I needed to go through, something to force me to really examine who I was, what I felt, how I saw myself.

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