Years ago, you never would have thought I was afraid of anything, or did I ever feel guilt about something I didn’t do. Somewhere over the last year to maybe a year and a half, I have been fearful of leaving my home outside of commitments and things I’ve deemed “safe” to go and do, but with the intent of returning home.
A few days ago at my appointment, my therapist challenged me. She asked me what social things I like to do. I told her there are many things I love to do, that I always have the best of intentions, but somewhere the guilt comes in. Guilt about leaving my pets, guilt about not being home “in case I need to be”. She said that guilt is a reaction to doing something wrong. So what is it about doing something social that would be wrong?
Ever since this conversation I have been incredibly anxious. I have spoken out loud to myself and to my husband. I just can’t shake this fear and guilt. Even for Christmas and my husband will go out of town to see his family, I more than likely won’t go. I feel very guilty at leaving my pets at our boarding facility, even though I know they will be very well cared for. I just can’t make this feel o.k.
When I think on what my therapist and I talk about, no answer comes to me that could make me see the reason why I feel guilty makes sense (in this case, in doing something social). She said I deserve to be more of a woman than “the dog lady” “the rescue person” the “volunteer” person. She said I have friends, good friends, who I have known for long periods of time, there is no logical reason to be afraid to see them, or feel guilty about seeing them.
These feelings have jumped into my friendships as well. To those that have thought I disappeared or don’t care, that is very far from the truth.
I have also felt fear, she challenged me and asked me what I was afraid of? I thought on the fear and the only thing that came to me was the feeling of fear its self. This paralyzing fear that has literally stopped me from living a life of enjoyment and friendships in all areas of my life.
She said for a very long time, I have lived in a very safe, rigid box. It has served me well, trauma, abuse, no longer have entered. However, with saying that, the safe bubble I have created has also robbed me and replaced it with Fear and Guilt.
I have been challenged to start pushing myself, bear with me, the fear and guilt do cause anxiety, and I have been learning about riding the wave of emotion til it peaks, then as it peaks it starts down the slope. I know I can do this, I miss my community and I miss my friends and my life.
Do you have problems with feeling fear and guilt?