Not realizing you still feel guilt - anyone else?
Morning everyone :)
So on Friday night a friend of ours came over and we did an exercise in writing down a few personal items and discussing them, personal things like fears that are holding you back in life, things you hate about yourself, etc. etc. All in an effort to realize changes we need to make and as a cleansing tool. I realized through these exercises that I still harbor guilt over how I was raised versus how I live my life now. Oddly enough, nothing really as concerned with Jehovah or religion, but more the familial aspect of things, based on their JW beliefs. Like I never feel bad or anything like that about what the elders think of me, or my official status. Nothing like that. More that my parents don't approve of my life, I'm spiritually dead in their eyes, I'm going against everything they ever taught me, etc. etc.
I'm sure to a degree this guilt has been there for a while and I just haven't realized it. Lately though I think I've been unknowingly feeling it more. My life has changed so much recently, all in positive ways, but it is definitely new situations for me, situations that previously I didn't have the opportunity to process through my JW filter and then correct myself because I've never encountered this before. E.g. I am now engaged, I am starting to make progress with my screenwriting, I have a family that loves me which is made up of my friends, and we openly call ourselves family. ALL very wonderful things. And I think as a reflex I feel guilt, but because I'm so used to it I unconsciously ignore it. Now in the past because I was in the midst of dealing with many things from my childhood and other larger issues stemming from that, it was manageable.
NOW I am embarking on adult life in much more of a real sense than ever before. I am getting closer to my potential and have nothing but opportunities before me, and I think this guilt has been an anchor on me that I really just haven't realized. My fiance and I were talking about it the other night, and even in small ways it creeps in, but it still affects me. I noticed that after we got engaged, and I started thinking of her in terms of my wife, I felt better about having sex. How messed up is that??
I think that my questioning, rationalizing and correction, usually all done subconsciously, is really wearing on me. Now that I see it, it feels like it's holding me back. And I think in addition to the JW aspect of things, my silent lamb background adds to it, and it turns into this sensation of not feeling worthy of attaining my dreams, which doesn't really matter anyway because my dreams are "bad".....and even though my conscious mind can logically tell me none of that is real or makes sense, it's all ingrained SO deeply within me that I feel I'm battling myself a lot more than I realize.
Does/has anyone else struggled with this? Especially after so much time away? I was DF'd 7 years ago and this is still affecting my life...
Do you feel responsible for your parents pain?
I guess sometimes I do, but not too often. It's more of feeling like I can't fully enjoy my life because they dont approve of it.
WOW, what an interesting post! Yes, I felt the same kind of guilt for years after being df'd. I think it has to do with childhood abuse. Once something traumatic like that happens, a person carries unnecessary guilt afterwards. Maybe it's because children are self centered and feel responsible for what was done to them. My guilt started to erode when my youngest sister was born and then totally unraveled after I started raising my stepchildren. Being around kids made me realize that what happened to me wasn't my fault, and it carried over to the guilt I felt over the disappointment my mom felt about me being f'd.
I hope you realize that you were in a cult that had unrealistic expectations of you and that you are now living a normal life. Anything that the cult or its members think about you aren't worth the powder it would take to blow them up. If nothing lse, yo'll come to this realization after you have kids.
I never felt guilty. I know I'm a good, and, kind person. I'm a caring, loving, and nice person. I'm everything my parents wanted me to be except a JW. My morals haven't changed. I still know right from wrong. I still try to help people. I'm still a good daughter. I help my parents out when I can.
What's there to feel guilty about?? The choice whether to be a JW or not to be a JW is something everyone makes who was born and raised in eventually. If being a JW was right for you, you would still be one. Part of growning up is learning to not feel ashamed of our choices and learning from our mistakes, if we make the wrong ones. Everyone has thier own choices to make in life. You should be proud that you were strong enough to know being a JW wasn't right for you and you made the choice to leave. You could have been a sheep and just stayed because everyone else did, but you didn't. You stood up and made a stand for yourself.
My parents don't like the fact that I have had boyfriends who slept over. My mom once told me she thought she raised me better than that. I told her I don't ask for, nor do I need her approval to live my life the way I see fit.