Ah…just as well I love this innocent little song from back in the day, as it has been haunting me for what feels like forever…
If you, like me, were growing up in the ’70’s, chances are you remember this catchy British version of the original First Choice song.
Also, if you are BPD like me, you will have a long, complicated relationship with guilt and will have done so, probably most of your life.
Because, seemingly, like many kinds of abuse, one inadvertently ends up wielding the same stick that one was beaten so savagely with.
I was, suffice to say, made to feel guilty for most of my life, for, amongst other things, being selfish (for expecting to be treated like I mattered), for not helping in the home (when my sibling was not expect to do so), for asking for normal clothes instead of old ladies cast offs (so I wouldn’t get my head kicked in at school quite so often), for causing arguments (aka defending myself), fighting with my brother (who was older/bigger and ALWAYS struck the first blow), yada, yada…
This resulted in permanent paranoia, the inability to trust, the constant need to defend myself, prove my innocence and point out the real perpetrator.
Much good that did me, really.
It also made me afraid of ever admitting failure or fault, which isn’t great as everyone makes mistakes. Even me 😉
But the most harmful side effect of this kind of abuse, is thinking that the reflex response of others is a good idea.
To be honest I didn’t even know I did it until recently.
Well, I knew I was very adept at defending myself, and felt more than entitled to do so, after all the shit I’ve had to endure to date, but the one thing I failed to realise is that no one likes to be proved wrong for all the world to see.
Even if they were wrong.
I’ve been let down many times by boyfriends, friends, family and work mates. This is because I did that classic BDP thing of putting all my eggs in one basket when it came to making friends.
I would eschew building lots of different relationships with a cross section of different people, find the one who I thought was my soul mate per se, bonded with that person, told them everything, showed them everything, trusted them implicitly until that fateful day arrived that they dropped the ball and fucked me over, betrayed me, or even just let me down.
Most people are upset by betrayal. But most people have a whole back up team of other friends and family behind them, so they will usually shrug such behaviour off, forgive and probably keep that person in their life in some capacity.
Someone like me however would be absolutely devastated and incandescent with rage, and would then seek to expose this bitch/bastard for their rude/selfish/vicious behaviour so that the whole world would see how awful they were, and how hard done by I was, before dramatically kicking their friendship to the kerb.
I know. Not very attractive behaviour, is it?
But the worst part is that when your anger dies down, and you put things in perspective, you realise that you’ve dumped all the good qualities of that person along with the bad.
Over the years, I evolved a little. I didn’t always dump people forever, but I did still, very skilfully, very stealthily prove to them that they were pretty horrible people, that their behaviour sucked, that I would NEVER, have done it (whatever it may be) to them, that others in our circle/family now knew what they were really like, and that they should change ASAP if they wanted to keep good, loyal, innocent folk like my good self in their lives for the foreseeable future.
It didn’t always happen.
It didn’t always happen straight away.
But eventually a lot of these so called sinners extracted themselves from my life of their own volition, and I am no longer in touch with them.
Because no one likes to face harsh truths about themselves.
This was especially applicable when it came to my love life.
But they deserved it for making me feel shit about myself!
This kind of reaction, according to my shrink is ‘angry child’, a maladaptive coping mode that i reach for in order to avoid ‘vulnerable child’ the most painful state of being of all.
In other words, anger is my default, and unless I learn to feel what’s really going on for me, find away of comforting myself in that fug of unbearable, powerless pain, instead of reaching for my metaphorical uzi, I’m never going to be able to adapt to this world, and find my authentic self and my place in life.
And guess what coping mode we’re doing in group right now?!
Awful, awful, awful….but I must and will grit my teeth and work through it.
I hated and still hate people who play the guilt card; including myself. But I’m trying to catch and make myself put down that weapon before doing irreparable damage to others, and inadvertantly, myself.
it’s not easy though, as I’m so very good at it.
Yes, like the song says I’m G-U-I-L-T – WHY, and housed in a prison of my own making.
But I’m working on my parole. Honest.
Shit. Why is life so fucking hard?
Namaste all x