Client Journal: Why I Feel Guilty

Client: I feel like a failure for being 29 and not being in a serious relationship.
I rationalize my dad’s behavior by thinking that maybe he doesn’t talk to me that much on the phone because I didn’t have a personal relationship with him when I was little.

For some reason, I don’t know why, I thought it was my responsibility to give my parents advice when they asked for it, I thought that was part of being a good daughter.

I feel guilty because I agree with my mom that my dad does and has done hurtful things to everyone, and I feel sad that she is in a relationship like that and I feel like I have to take care of her.

I feel guilty about not always remembering or being on time with a birthday card/phone call because I feel that it makes me a selfish person and a shitty daughter.

I feel guilty about judging my brother and my sister based on their lifestyles and how they live. I see my sister as a winner because she makes a lot of money and I see my brother as a loser because he lives with my parents.

I feel guilty that whenever my dad hurts my mom, I am unable to do anything about it to make her feel better.

Client’s Reaction: After reading what I wrote, I realized that a lot of my guilt comes from the fact that I have the messed up belief that a good daughter is someone who is able to take care of her parents, no matter what, even at an early age. And when I really think about it, it is a stupid belief. I shouldn’t have to be a parent to my parents, I am their daughter. It should be the other way around! A lot of my guilt also comes from me trying to be their version of perfect. And I still feel guilty that I am not their version of perfect. I am still trying to impress them, I am still trying to win their love.

Marta: We all want the fantasy. It is what helps us survive, but as we grow, the fantasy turns sour and limiting. Of course the fear is of the your own dark rage. How to build a container for it, use it to grow and build, instead of destroy and collapse – that is the work. Growing and receiving the world, family and yourself is not easy. Holding emotional energy is intense, particularly trauma energy. Feeling your feet and hips helps to stay grounded in the body, so that the child doesn’t exit or collapse. Where does your child exit from the overwhelm of the emotions?

You are disgusted and feel gross.  You hate them more than love them. Do you blame yourself that you hate them more than love them?Do you please people you don’t even like, be the good girl?

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