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Does anyone else feel that they have a rotten core? On the surface I am a nice person - lots of friends and pretty sociable. Work really hard and get on really well with colleagues. Pull my weight and try my hardest
I work outside the home and struggle with feelings of guilt about that but ultimately I reconcile with that as I am the primary earner and needs must. I do focus on my children when not working. So far so good. I give to charity regularly, have taken animals from shelters and made them family pets. I try hard to support struggling local businesses and support the arts by attending things and making donations. I tip well and generally try and live a good life. I work hard at my marriage but this is where the rotten bit comes - I was unfaithful a number of years ago and just know that I am this stinking rotten person on the inside. I have moved geographically away and put practical obstacles in my way. I have had counselling and yet and this is why I am disgusting - I struggle to completely let go of that time. It was very powerful. I know now that it was not love. A secret cannot be love. Love is being constant and true and loyal and I try so hard to be that wife now but I know I am disgusting and rotten. Something terrible happened 15 years ago and more and more it won't stay in the box I put it in. Is this why I am so effed up or am I just basically bad through and through.
Of course you're not disgusting and rotten! You made a big mistake. You've recognised that and taken steps to prevent it happening again. Have you any idea though why it happened?
I think you need to put in the past now and leave it there.
No, you're not rotten or disgusting, people make mistakes and do things they feel bad about.
You need to find a way of reconciling this and putting it behind you, and not one that involves hurting someone else.
Stop indulging yourself on this one, it's a really shitty way to self indulge.
Rotten is as rotten does, and you don't seem to be the latter. You are haunted by the past and that's what needs addressing, not cultivating a self-hatred. Look towards living with whatever happened, perhaps with a talking style therapy, because I think you need to let this out before you can lay it to rest and make peace with yourself. Good luck with it.
Thanks. It is shitty and it is self indulgent. I just want to look at myself in the mirror without seeing a piece of lying shit.
I am melting down a bit and I need to atop myself from getting embroiled even tangentially with the person in question. He is thankfully a moral person but life made sense for me at one point and he had the answers. I can't do that so I need to outlet it. See I am rotten. That shouldn't be anywhere within my head.
The 15 years ago wasn't the infidelity. It was a death but all very fucked up.
So put that particular mirror away.
You did something you are not proud of, we all do. What did you learn from it?
From your OP you have not really processed it and are using it as a stick with which to beat yourself. Do you want permission to label yourself an utter bitch, forever? Or do you think that maybe you need some help to look at this more reasonably?
If the latter find a counsellor and discuss it all in detail. But don't carry it round like a badge of (dis)honour. You will really hurt yourself and all around you if you do.
Bloody hell, clean!
You made a big mistake. Who you are and what you do are two different things - if you did something bad it doesn't make you bad.
It must be exhausting perpetually paying penance, totting up your 'goodness' to counterbalance your 'rottenness'. You are not rotten, you did a horrid thing.
Tell you what, lust can be immensely powerful. I think it takes ppl by surprise how powerful and all-compassing it can be. Lust isn't just about sex, either. I'm not surprised you can't forget it, there is nothing like it. We like to think we are civilised, all under control, but our animal instincts can hijack us and it can be dismaying when they become evident. Instead of thinking 'I would never do that!' ('that' being whatever base things humans come up with) it's perhaps more accurate to think 'I hope I never do that' bcs imo ppl are capable of the whole spectrum. As you have seen.
I don't know where you're at on the God front but it may help to talk to someone of the cloth. The clash of personal expectations and reality - or good and bad - is their bread and butter; they are used to dealing with this type of very real angst, assuring you you are forgiven, guiding you to release.
I wondered if that comment would be controversial, but it wasn't meant in a cruel way. I know from experience that i can get stuck in a similar way of thinking, and it can be something that becomes a cycle of negative self indulgence and it feeds itself. I have been known to negatively wallow in hating myself. It is a shitty way to self indulge. It is self indulgent, no-one else is telling you you're disgusting except yourself. Sorry, i should have been clearer.
If it's any help, i managed to stop myself doing it by having hypnotherapy. I still hear myself saying crappy things, but it's not a really long drawn out destructive cycle anymore, i can stop it in its tracks.
Fair enough, clean. Good explanation.
I still feel the seering self-judgement of calling yourself 'self-indulgent' isn't ultimately helpful for recovery, though. Bit of compassion for something so debilitating wouldn't go amiss; oils the wheels.
Yes I was not a likely candidate for what happened. It has made me see all sides in other situations where previously I might have judged quite harshly. It was all encompassing and ultimately very painful for all concerned. The man in question maintains that he would never wish it away and would do it again despite the devastating consequences for him personally. Whatever it was I never want to feel it again - too raw, too nerve endingly painful - I felt wrenched open, exposed and more vulnerable than I have ever felt. Totally out of character, out of control. It has stained my character, put a huge scar on my thirties. The sands feel they are shifting.
You would not believe it to look at me.
i feel like this, I'm currently being treated for depression.
I actually found thinking of it as self indulgent helpful, because it was only me that was doing it and because you "reward" yourself with feeling even shittier than you already did, if that makes sense. It's that cycle. I feel bad, i'll tell justify it by telling myself how awful I am, oh look, i feel even worse. By not indulging the first thought, you don't go lower and feel worse.
Oh, and when you indugle it and persuade yourself that you're awful, you can justify doing harmful things, because you're a terrible person anyway and deserve to feel really bad.
The man in question maintains that he would never wish it away and would do it again despite the devastating consequences for him personally.
Are you still in contact with him? Because if so, I'm not surprised you still think about those times.
Did the affair happen in the wake of the trauma you experienced 15 years ago? Have you spoken to anyone professional about that trauma? "Putting it in a box" is a common technique that survivors of trauma tend to do, however as you're now experiencing, these are unquiet ghosts, and stuff starts to spill.
I really like LazyLou's post, oldwounds because that 'badge' or label that you've slapped on yourself (and other people just love slapping on others), is something that isn't part of you. We are not the sum of bad or awkward things in our life, not if we can't include all of the good and joyous things too. There is no 'core' of good or bad, only 'strength to keep on going'. Actions are rarely taken by just one person in isolation so when you look at 'things that were bad' it's unfair of you (on yourself) to take all of that responsibility and 'award' yourself the guilt that you feel you deserve. It's also very pointless unless your only purpose is to destroy yourself bit by bit. Don't do that, please.
If you find talking in RL difficult then perhaps get yourself a new journal, fill it up with all that's in your head and tell yourself that once you've either finished getting it all down in a 'story' - or you run out of pages - it will be 'out of you' and you'll be free to move on.
Wrenched open, raw, exposed could describe bereavement. Were the two events entwined?
It didn't happen in the wake of the trauma no. I do think that some life choices I made were part of my running from that trauma. I was diagnosed with PTSD and saw a counsellor in the immediate aftermath which the police liaison person organised. I was young and couldn't handle it and didn't continue with the sessions.
As for that person we have had long periods of no contact at all. Verr occasionally there is email contact - through work accounts only. No texting or talking or face to face. I haven't seen or spoken to him for years. He checks in from time to time to see I'm ok. My birthday, the anniversary of the trauma (which was before his time but he knew about it) for example. It is very anodyne and pretty formal really.
Sorry I am too slow. Thanks for all the posts. The journal is a good idea. I have started a few times to write it out of my system but perhaps now is the time. I do want it 'out of me' - closure.
If you are going to go down the journal route then please, throw away your previous attempts (burn them) and get a brand new one. It's symbolic and very, very cathartic. I was an OW a long time ago now. It doesn't leave but I made restitution as much as I could - and eventually forgave myself. Now when I think of it, of that time, it's just a gentle prod, a nudge saying, "Never again, right?".
Closure and peace of mind is within your grasp, oldwounds.
Are you blaming your actions for causing the death? If that is the case then you really should seek professional help with your feelings. Likewise, if you have survivor guilt that is also an area where trained experts can offer you help in dealing with what you do not seem to be able to resolve on your own. You have a duty to yourself to make a sensible choice instead of continuing to self-punish.
I think I do blame myself. He was my boyfriend. Suicide. I found his body. I spent his last 36 hours with him. We were in a bit of an ambiguous relationship state at the time. I think he had been giving me clues on that last day. I had no idea. So. Yes - the likelihood - despite what everyone including his mother says - is that I caused his death. I have never been able to verbalise it. There followed 2 years of blackness. I took overdoses myself. Didn't work. Just woke up feeling completely fucked and ill for a few weeks. Nobody knows that. My brother found my suicide note after the event but I talked my way out of it. I am just a massive toxic fuck up basically. I am a workaholic. Busy busy busy. Don't think. The other man heard most of this (not the overdose bit - too shamed to have failed). He still loved me. I was free because I told it all and he didn't judge and tried to get me to heal.
And tonight's crutch will be an excess of booze.
OP, you are in no way to blame for the death of your bf. As hard as this is to accept, HE made the decision to end his life, and people who do that very rarely have just one reason. If he had wanted you to save him, he would have told you he needed help. Please don't blame yourself for that.
And maybe go back to therapy as I can't even begin to imagine the psychological damage caused by the guilt you are carrying.
As for being unfaithful, hundreds of thousands of people do that every day. They are not all bad people. A bad person would do it and feel no guilt, wouldn't care if it changed their character. You are not a bad person. You are a person who has experienced one of the worst kinds of loss and has made a mistake. To feel better, you need to start being kind to yourself.
Also, does your dp know you cheated? Because if you're still keeping it a secret, that is only going to make your guilt feel worse.
I think he was trying to get me to help him. I just wasn't hearing him. I think he was terrified and asking for help but couldn't explain it in explicit terms. He was talking in terms of 'don't let anybody ever say this to you' etc. He was thinner (I had been away for a bit - we were reunited and I was due to leave again). I thought all the intensity was because of that. Stupid selfish me - I wasn't fucking listening to him. I couldn't find him. He disappeared and switched his phone off. I had a terrible feeling before I found him. Terrible gut wrenching feeling. So deep down I must have sensed something
If I had listened and acted on it he might still be here now. I feel a bit raw now - I sit on this stuff usually. Switching off amd and going to drink myself to a deep non feeling sleep.
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