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Overwhelming False Guilt
May 7, 2002
12:12 am
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Jammes14
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Throughout my entire life, I've always had this sense of guilt. Even as a small child, when I had never done anything wrong, I felt guilty, though I knew I had done nothing. Now, at age 16, my mind revolves around every incidident that I caused that hurt someone else. My clearest memories are painful reminder of those I've hurt, even if it was practically nothing. I can't get them out of my head, and I've tried focusing on them, repressing them, and self-mutilation, but nothing helps. I've never told anyone (personally) because that would hurt him/her to know I'm suffering. Actually, I know that I've never actually done anything really terrible, but my subconscious just keep repeating those memories over and over, which causes extreme mental pain. Does anyone have any advice or strategies on how to combat this?

May 7, 2002
12:14 am
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gypsygirl
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sounds like religion. Are you catholic?

May 7, 2002
12:23 am
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Jammes14
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No, I'd say I'm more of a Protestant/Methodist (It's a mellow church). I don't think that religion has much to do with it, since I've asked for forgiveness, prayed, and I haven't noticed much change.

May 7, 2002
3:20 am
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Jammes14
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Actually, my parents are pretty fair and respecting. Their punishments are always light, they never yell, and are really laid back. I have an older brother, and they treat us both pretty equally. I don't blame them for anything, this condition has been with me from my very very earliest memories, so it feels as if its organic (born with it). I have no memories of anything traumatic happening that could have caused it. I've had a really easy outside life, so its a wonder why I feel this way...

May 7, 2002
8:23 am
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nikka
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hey Jammes: let me suggest -- talk to your parents about this. They sound like they would be concerned and probably have resources enough to get you to a psychiatric professional to see if you can get to the bottom of this. -- I doubt you'll be able to get much deeper than that here. -- I know that part of your guilt may kick in if your parents become concerned, etc. But I think that's the way to go -- they love and care for you and sound wonderful from your description. Trust them enough to share this with them and have them help you seek some professional assistance in finding the source of your guilt. Best wishes to you and to yours.

May 7, 2002
9:31 am
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julie2
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I'm extremely sensitive to other's feelings as well as my feelings. My father could look at me with sternness and I'd cry, even if it had nothing to do with me. My mom took me for psychological testing in the 3rd grade to figure out what was going on that year...can you believe this...I couldn't grasp the why's of math and I really freaked about it. I can't comprehend math concepts to this day...I just memorize the facts and functions and don't ask why anymore.

From that point on, my parents were extremly gentle with the way they corrected me or suggested that I do something. I put enough pressure on myself to do good in everything and always be nice and polite. Although I didn't receive professional counseling at the time, I wish I'd been given some techniques for being aggressive, since it's not in my brain to be aggressive at all.

Trust your parents, as Nikka has said. Also, you might check with your school counselor or a favorite teacher...he/she might should be able to recommend a professional counselor who can help.

May 7, 2002
1:36 pm
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Molly
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I have a different thought on your situation, not that you shouldn't talk to parents, or counselors butttt----- How does this thought process serve you ? What do you get out of the guilt thing ? Many people start out with a thought, and turn it into a thing, a story a act, an excuse, something to identify with, reason to dis engage ? Is there stress that you are transfering to something in the form of guilt, because you can't or don't want to identify what it is ? Being 16 is really hard to day, there are so many pressures, your peers, your parents, school, society, and the future with all the choices that are comming your way, fit in, don't fit in, hormones, girls, guys, fun ? to drink, to study, to do drugs, to act out or to be straight.
I can't imagine an organic cause for guilt, not that some one couldn't get a research grant, and come up with a new pharmacuticle for it, but being a teenager, is reason enough to get an MD to put you on some sort of RX today. Why don't you write in a journal, see if you can get a pattern in your thinking, post here if you want, but then again, I think your parents know more about you,and since you sounded like you have a good realtion with them, might be a better source for immediate results than a bunch of us.

May 8, 2002
12:28 am
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Jammes14
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I have been keeping an online log for about a year, but I haven't gotten much results. Its only led to crackpot theories and bizarre paranoid ideas. As for the idea that I'm just directing a different pain to this, that's a good idea, but I can't find anything that called for any pain before I was 4 or 5. It's just always been an unexplainable feeling I've had. I have come to the conclusion that I'd probably get help after I move out, which should be in just a couple more years, so that I could do it in private.

May 8, 2002
10:43 am
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nikka
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So at that point you'll be two years deeper in to the problem & two years later in moving toward resolution -- resolve -- to focus om until clear. --Why are you waiting. Private is available now. At your age I would think couch confidentiality would defintely apply. -- Trouble w/ privacy is our lives are never private -- isolated. We are intertwined w/ all other lives, a dance. -- Look deeply and see what is causing the avoidance for real. -- I just do not believe it's privacy fears.

May 8, 2002
12:02 pm
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Molly
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You avoided the question regarding your gain with this issue, and agreed with your self to wait to more years to seek treatment ? Why do you want to hold on to it ?

May 9, 2002
3:00 am
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Jammes14
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Talking about this to friends and family is like a phobia that I can't overcome. It's more of an issue that I'm afraid of hurting them. Realistically, I know that its probably no big deal, but my subconscious really exploits it and I can't seem to control it. There is no benefit to this, that's why I want to get rid of it. I realize that I'll never summon up the strength to tell anyone about this anytime soon, so I'm just looking for techniques to cope with it. Nikka, what do you mean by couch confidentiality, do you think I could still get real help without letting anyone know about it?

May 9, 2002
9:34 am
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nikka
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What I mean is that patient/physician confidentiality should apply. If you are comfortable in discussing this w/ a therapist and no one else, even if Ma and Pa are paying, they will not be privy to what is talked about in the sessions. -- Also, now that you've said more. - What I find in my experience is that fears I cannot overcome are truly fears that I do not want to face and resolve -- resolve: to make clear, to bring into focus -- I have no idea if this is true of you as well. Good luck, Jammes, but my recommendation is the sooner the better. God go w/ you.

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