Re: Feel guilty about everything
Thank you for the post/thread. I am not married, but I have been dealing with this compulsive confessing for about two or three years now. It really shows up when I feel a strong connection to someone. The most random things will pop into my head about some "shameful" thing from the past, or a comment I made about them to someone else, or if I don't get the wording to an explanation or confession right, and I HAVE to tell them. If I try to hide it/work on it without telling them, they can tell something is wrong because of a wall I put up or my inability to look at them in the eye in the same way I do when everything is fine.
I logically know that I don't need to tell them these things, and wrestle with myself and expend tons of energy and time, only to end up having to tell them. So, yes, there's a feeling of weakness over my own body/emotions, and a feeling of defeat (as if somehow they or some controller outside of my will won, as if they "got it out of me"-even if they didn't want it).
And it's driving me crazy. Almost all my important relationships have been blocked by this distance of me trying not to tell them something that I most likely don't need to say.
I am seeking a therapist now. I can't take it anymore. Another therapist from a few years back didn't really know what was up, but I know that I'm not alone now that I've read your post and a few others I've seen online. Though I've not found many at all.
I would say that what I've been able to understand so far is that the only thing that perfectionism has to do with this situation is that I want to keep the slate clean---spotless. With no desire for build-up of feelings of guilt or "what-if-they-knew"s. That to me is not a desire to be perfect, but a desire to be as open and authentic as truly possible. It is ALSO a deep, deep desire to be loved and accepted no matter what. So all of these things that I could be hated for or rejected for or yelled at for start to come to the surface. What it feels like to me is a test. A test for them. And there is a proctor of the test who lives inside of me that feels he MUST give the test. To see if I really am loved. And it is the proctor of the test that I'm fighting with:
Me: "No, I don't need to test them with this."
Proctor: "But how do you know that they love you if you don't divulge this?"
Me: "I know they love me."
Proctor: "Good, then I WILL make them take the test to show you how right your are...or wrong. This one thing could be the straw that breaks the camels back..."
It's also a test for me. Can I find out how to appease the proctor before the need to tell becomes unbearable? (I often feel a lot of pain in my body, if I don't tell/confess).
Telling all of ones secrets could also be a sign of what I may expect out of my loved ones. Everything I'm saying to you, that's the kind of thing I want to know about you, on that level of intimacy.
However, I think the bottom line is about love. The amount of license/power I give to someone else to let me know that I am loveable. Even wanting to tell everything about myself could be seen as an act of love ("I'm giving you all my secrets-that's how much I trust/love you"). And even DEEPER than that is trust. Knowing where to draw the line is a matter of personal trust. Can I trust myself? That is the most essential question for me. Even before, "can I love myself?". Because it is my trust in myself that enables me to trust that I am lovebale. How do I cultivate self-trust? THAT is the question I really am trying to find the answer to.
Those are my thoughts on this issue. I hope that they add to this thread in a positive way.
Last edited by CrystalGaze; 11-24-2010 at 08:28 PM.
Reason: for to put "I" in the second paragraph beginning