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Confusion and Guilt

It’s been a rough week.  I had therapy this week, and it’s the fourth session with my new therapist.  I guess you could say I downgraded from a psychologist to a regular talk therapist.  But I don’t think that’s really how it works.  I was no longer benefiting from my old psych.  She has helped me a lot with my anxiety but the therapist I’m seeing has a lot of experience with abusive relationships, romantic, platonic and familial.  I felt transitioning to her was far more important as this is where a lot of my anxiety begins.

We decided to get into the “nitty-gritty,” and I’m feeling rather down.  I understand that you have to muddy the waters to work through your own issues, but I’m feeling so torn. I struggle with boundaries, especially when it comes to others emotions and behaviors.  I take it on to myself.  I’m responsible for their actions and feelings regardless of if I have anything to do with it or not.  If someone is hurt, I automatically feel guilty or bad for them.  If someone treats me disrespectfully, I must have done something to cause it.

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A friend who I pulled back from is hurting.  I haven’t spoken to her in a while, and I feel the need to reach out.  I feel guilty for pulling away as s/he was so mentally and emotionally draining to me.  I feel like I abandoned her and may be I acted too selfishly.  S/he wasn’t kind or respectful of me, my time or the boundaries I needed.  I was often being yelled at or lashed out on.  So I walked.  Yet now, I’m confused.  I’m confused on if I did the right thing, or if these hurtful situations occurred the way I truly remember them. May be s/he was right in the situation.

This is what my therapist wanted to get into and discuss…why my need to care for or help others is greater than my need to do so for myself.  She doesn’t feel that I’m looking at the situation from a clear perspective, that I’m looking for faults to put on myself, a way to take responsibility for someone’s hurtful behavior. I’m struggling with if I should apologize, even if my departure was to put my well being first. After all, when you aren’t treated well, shouldn’t you walk away from the situation regardless of who the person is? When is it appropriate to end any form of relationship?  And when should you not feel bad about it?

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So this is what I’m fighting with. I’m unsure of if I’m doing the right thing.  If someone is hurting and I can be there for them, but choose not to, doesn’t that make me a bad person?  But, everyone says you have the right to be in positive relationships and prune those that aren’t.  To me, these are contradictory ideas, and I don’t know how to walk this line.  I’m confused and I feel like I’m hurting someone, purposely, by not being there for them.

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54 thoughts on “Confusion and Guilt

  1. Thank you for your courage in sharing. I know it’s not easy to find the right therapist. I’ve been fortunate, and I now have a wonderful therapist. I pray that you can find the relief you’re seeking.

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  2. I totally get this. Boundaries are the worst. I a struggle with this so much daily. It’s been worse since I am no longer working because all I do is sit at home and worry. It’s taken a huge toll. I am so glad though you have someone you can talk it through with and hopefully find a way to healthy cope.

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    1. Yes, sadly she’s away for the next two weeks, but it’s something she really wants to get into with me. Here’s hoping!

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  3. Wow yes I have totally been here and I get it. It’s true, you have to stop feeling guilty about setting boundaries to take care of yourself. We’re best positioned to help others when we are grounded. There’s a balance to it all and I believe you will grasp it! I appreciate your transparency ❤

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  4. I’m sorry you’re struggling right now. I am in the camp of removing the people from your life that do not benefit you. Relationships should benefit both parties and if one is reaping the rewards and not returning the efforts, they don’t need to be a part of your life. It’s hard, and I’ve totally been there, but you will be happier in the long run. Hang in there!

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  5. So sorry that you’re struggling right now but so pleased that you have hud the courage to pursue change with a someone who specialises in certain subjects more. Change can always be difficult but know that the strength and courage you have for facing everything now will benefit you so much in the future. IT’s dark now but it won’t be forever xx

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  6. So sorry you’re having a hard time.. But let me tell you – we are one in the same! I have felt what you explained time and time again. I always felt like the fault was mine, because finding something negative in myself was easier than finding it in others. It was easier to find an explanation for rude behavior in my own faults and not in someone else’s. I think clarity will come with confidence, as it has with me. I drew back from a relationship .. several relationships, because I saw I wasn’t being treated as an equal or respected as a friend. And it’s not selfish to acknowledge that you deserve those things. You can’t be everyone’s super hero – especially if you’re not your own. I don’t know where I heard this, but “you can’t give from an empty cup.” Take care of yourself first. Once you see your worth, you will be able to be there for those that treat you like a friend, partner, or family member should be treated. I wish you all the luck in the world with the talk therapy! I did it for a short time and it helped tremendously. xoxo

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  7. I totally get the confusion, it’s good to be there for friends and if you can be there, then why choose not to, right? I think what your therapist is trying to say is that you can’t solve your friends’ problems and you don’t have to be the first one to step up and say I’m here for you. Let them come to you instead.

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  8. Everytime I feel something like this I go on We Heart It. There are so many thoughts that helped me. But in the end no one knows yourself better than you do. Help everyone you can but don’t destroy yourself along the way. When I feel anxious I always say to my self “You are Borka Šaula”, it doesn’t say anything at all, not any flaw or emotion or you are strong, it says I am who I am and the answer comes to me.

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      1. We Heart It is something like Tumblr, google it, it’s site for girls where are a lot of clothes/shoes/rooms/decor but most importantly quotes. I always find something I need that day when I am feeling down.

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  9. it’s normal to go through this from time to time, the important thing to remember is your happiness. Sacrificing that to make others happy can affect your health and wellbeing to an extent.

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  10. Sorry to hear that you’re in a tough situation. Sometimes we think that by pushing someone to the side we’re helping ourselves when in reality pushing someone away adds more stress to your life. Feel free to reach out to the person. Maybe they need some kind words to help them through someone. Unless, of course, the person is giving you negative vibes. Good luck, and please update us when you can.

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  11. I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a rough time but sadly I know all too well what it is like to feel guilty for the actions of others. I had some toxic friends who I was friends with way longer than I should have been but still I held on and when I broke away from them they would make me feel so bad that I couldn’t help but be drawn back into their fold. It was a vicious cycle and it sounds like it is similar for you, I hope that things do get better for you xx

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  12. Hey girl! Not sure if you have ever heard of chakra balancing, but that’s something that totally changed my life! Guilt lives in your sacral chakras and there are some quick meditations you can do every day to make it go away! It literally took me two weeks of chakra balancing to get rid of all of those random guilty feelings that used to plague me! You should look into it! Feel free to contact me through my website, I have some good meditations I can send you! xo

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  13. I prefer therapists over psychologists. They’re more hands-on. Have you ever read the book “The Nice Girl Syndrome” by Beverly Engel? It has helped me sooo much with establishing boundaries. All her books are awesome. Hope you feel better ❤

    lapetitecalifornienne.com

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  14. I partly understand your problem. I personally have the “hero complex” meaning I feel the need to help others in order to feel good about myself. However, I’m able to walk away with no remorse in case the person does not appreciate what I’m trying to do for them.

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  15. Thanks for putting your raw feelings out there, I can definitely relate to feeling guilty towards a friendship. Regardless of what’s going on with your friends, you need to put yourself first! If you are in a place that you do not feel guilt for yourself, it will be easier to reach out to your friends and reconnect. Best of luck ❤

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  16. I think if you feel you need to get away from this person, that means you aren’t on the same frequency, you are even annoyed by the other one. So if its true.. you couldn’t help him/her not even if you would really wanted to….because just being there not always enough! Its better for the friend to spend time someone who is Really there. I think.

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    1. I’m not annoyed by her. I’m frustrated. I feel like I put myself out there constantly but get walked over. When I’ve mentioned it in the past, I get either blown up on or the silent treatment.

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  17. Have you talked to your friend about how they make you feel bad and that’s why you walked away? If they still don’t understand that, then you did the right thing by walking away and there’s no need for you to feel guilty. Nobody should be treated wrong like that! You’re doing the right thing.

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  18. I’m so sorry that you’re struggling! Always remember, you are allowed to walk away from toxic people and friendships! And, as the matter of fact, you should really do that because you’ll be happier

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  19. Sending you lots of love and positive vibes today! Thank you so much for your willingness to share your experience with others. I hope today is a slightly brighter day! Keep your head up! I’ll be thinking of you!

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  20. Love and respect yourself and no one will walk all over you. I have no problem cutting people off from my life if it means I live a life that’s quiet and less stressful. I don’t ever feel bad because my happiness is more important than someone who clearly doesn’t care about me. It might sound selfish but it beats being miserable. That’s just my 2 cents. I wish you the best of luck in figuring yourself out!

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