Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fantasy Friday reveal and Advice Request

I want to let you know the author of this weeks Fantasy Friday. You can click here if you haven’t read it yet. The voting was very close Grace got 13%, Eva 25% and Ressa and I each got 31%. Adam thought it was Eve – he was close, it was her twin. Yep, I wrote Playing Games. Do you see what you folks are doing to me?? I am reduced to posting my own old stories. I am not great at fiction but I love to write when I get the chance. There is one more story in the cupboard for next week then it will be empty again. Keep writing folks and send your stories to elisspeaks@yahoo.com

Now on to the real reason I am writing today. I need advice.

I hate feeling bad. I am not talking about being sick I am talking about feeling bad. I am sure no one likes it but I just don’t know how to handle it. Most of the time I just avoid it, I don’t let it in. I don’t let things bother me. By nature I am happy and up beat. I don’t get depressed easily, I am too laid back. I hate feeling bad so much I have been guilty of avoiding any feelings at all good or bad just so I can avoid the bad ones. Guilt is the worse feeling and somehow I turn all bad feelings into guilt one way or another. So forgiveness is something that intrigues me.

Forgiveness – a powerful and often illusive thing. I have to tell you that I love stories where a woman has done something wrong. She feels guilty and confesses. Her man disciplines her with a spanking and she is totally forgiven. I love these stories but for me it is a total fantasy. I find forgiveness a hard concept to understand.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am a very forgiving person. Holding grudges is entirely too time consuming. I don’t have the energy. If I feel anyone has wronged me I can easily let it go and forgive them. (One noted acceptation is a woman who made fun of LJ when he was a toddler, I would still like to punch her!) But mostly I understand that people make mistakes and I just let things go.

There is only one person I have a hard time forgiving – me. I am no good at guilt. Since I don’t know how to get rid of it I usually just never accept it – I avoid it like a plague! But sometimes it creeps in. I have deep guilt over something that happened when LJ was only 4. I didn’t hurt him or anything, didn’t even yell at him. I just failed to do something I should have done. The guilt is deep and as I write this I am in tears. That always happens when I let myself think about it. Now you have to understand, it was really nothing. If I told you what it was nearly every parent out here could tell me a similar story.

LJ and I have discussed this several times. He swears he has no memory of it and gently laughs at me when I cry about it. He has also assured me that whether he remembers or not he forgives me. It has been 16 years almost to the day – why does it still bring me so much pain?

But guilt is something I don’t think a spanking would change for me. Suppose Nick decided to spank me for this now. All I think that would do would be to confirm that he thought I was a rotten person too. It wouldn’t change what happened. I would still be guilty.

But something has bugged me recently. Just go with me on this analogy please. Let’s say I stole a cookie. Not the biggest deal in the world, right. I not only stole the cookie but speculated with Nick about what had happened to the cookie and never let on it was me. But finally the guilt got to me and began really bugging me. I felt so bad about what I had done I began to avoid Nick and just closed up in myself wallowing in guilt. He would ask what was wrong and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him. Not because it was such a big deal but because I was ashamed I had kept it from him in the first place.




So finally I told him. He was surprised but he wasn’t shocked or horrified. We emailed a bit and he indicated that I had a spanking coming. I was the one surprised at this; I always am when he says he is going to spank me for something real. When he spanked me Friday morning he made it clear it was not for stealing the cookie – it was for keeping it from him, shutting him out, letting it affect us and tearing myself up over something that he did not think was that bad. He spanked hard but not long. I did feel better afterwards. Better… but that old spanking magic just wasn’t completely working. I still feel guilty. Spanking or not – I still took the cookie, it’s gone and I can’t get it back – I am still guilty and I still feel like crap. I don’t want to feel this way. It’s punishing Nick when I feel this down and that’s not fair – he didn’t do anything. Sometimes I can forget about it and I am laughing and happy about something and then I hear in my head “You’re nothing but a cookie thief and a liar. What right do you have to be happy”. And I feel a weight descending on me again.

Somebody tell me what to do. Nobody is mad at me for taking the friggin cookie; Nick has completely forgiven me for taking it and for lying to him. I know that right now the only person upset with me is me. And I know I have to forgive myself I just don’t know how. And I don’t want this dragging me down and eating away at me like the incident with LJ for the next 18 to 20 years.

I won’t be whining about this out here anymore, I promise I am good at stuffing stuff down. I don’t mean to be melodramatic. Maybe just writing and posting all this will help but I will also take any suggestions you may have to help me forgive myself and release guilt.

Written by PK at 9:43 PM

18 comments

18 Comments:

At 1:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right PK, even with all the forgiveness of everyone else, you still have to forgive yourself. Trust me I know this feeling all to well, sometimes feel guilty for things that aren't in my control, and even knowing that I did the best thing for the situation doesn't release the guilt.

So I am not sure that I am one that can give advice. Please forgive me if I am wrong, but I've gathered from your posts (hope yours not another blog) that you are a Christian. There is a great book, the name is escaping me (ok did a search); Andy Stanley's book It Came from Within. Stanley talks about forgiveness, and the damage we do to ourselves holding on to things.

As I've said I have a few things that I am struggling with (they are recent). This book helped me let go of guilt that dealt with my divorce, an engagement that ended (3 years after the divorce), and a few other things.

No I am not the author, or a bible thumper. I am a Christian that got a lot from this book, and have shared it with other friends.

 
At 7:10 AM, Blogger Jflame said...

PK I too have a problem forgiving myself. I don't think its anything that can be solved with a spanking. Its an inner thing, a mystery that will never be solved.
I too am a christian and have tried praying, fasting, talking to my Pastor and even a church councellor. None of that worked.
I do however have some advice that I gleaned from my own experience. I constructed a mental memory store, kinda like a big castle with a moat that only I can get into. Inside are all my unhappy memories and feelings that I just can't deal with. They can't get out to bother me and this makes life a little easier.
So that is my advice, although you should tell Nick if you decide to try this. Uncle Paul says "communication is the key to any relationship." Even when you feel bad and don't know why you should try to tell Nick, write him a letter or something.
Or try some happy music, something you can sing along with.
Hugs, Jay

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Greenwoman said...

Did you ever get a punishment for it or do anything to make amends? If not, then maybe that's what it will take to get you to forgive yourself.

Sometimes I think that I have this little monster inside myself who needs an outlet to pick on myself about something. So I try to give her something constructive to do instead of torture me. I give her a project that requires that magickal magnifying mind that likes to critique all things something useful to do like reorganize something for the person I offended or something that will benefit the community I live in. Shuts her up...and I still end up feeling good about myself despite her.

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger K said...

I don't hold on to guilt, so I may not be the best person to advise you. You could try separating the action from the person. In other words, you took a cookie, but you are not a cookie taker. Doing a thing doesn't define who you are. If, on the other hand, you habitually take cookies, then you may have to accept it or change it. So you take a cookie now and then, so what? If you and Nick have a rule that you don't take cookies, that's a little different. Not taking the cookie then becomes a bit more important. It's quite a challenge to see that cookie, know the rule, hear that voice in your head telling you that you are a cookie taker, and abide by the rule. But you can do it. It's a matter of changing your internal dialogue. Be strong. Tell yourself that you took a cookie, but you are not a cookie taker. Just because you took a cookie before, does not mean you will take a cookie next time.
If all else fails, remind yourself that Nick loves you and take comfort in that.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Andrades said...

Hi PK:
You ask such a deeply complex request. Personally I think that if we were all REALLY proficient at forgiveness (whether it be at ourselves or others, which is really the same thing at heart)there would be no wars or fighting anywhere, it would be truly peace on earth. I also think that part of what makes forgiveness so complex is that each of us thinks of it in a slightly different way. Personally I think of forgiveness as a peeling away of layers, somethings have 100's of layers that mite take years to let go of, and other things mite just be 1 or 2 layers. From the little "story" that you told us about your son it seems as if you have raised such a wonderful and loving son, which to me seems WAY more important than something that you "can't" let go of. However I do really understand the struggle of letting go and forgiving yourself. Its a process; and I am sure that such a gentle, loving and caring being as yourself will find your way to peace with it. Perhaps sharing this with all of us is part of the process of letting it go.
P.S Just wanted to thank you for all of your comments back to me they have been soooooo helpful, more than you can know.
Take Care
A
Andrades Girl

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Marie said...

Sometimes we have to live with guilt a while as a reminder not to take the cookie again, especially when taking that cookie was a means (even if unintentional) of hurting another person. It doesn't mean that you can't be forgiven by others and by yourself, but real and appropriately placed guilt is a necessary recognition that we've done something wrong...and living with the guilt for a time IS the punishment. In fact, guilt is the worst punishment I can imagine. Put it in perspective though PK. How long is a reasonable amount of time to be punished? With the example of your boy, it's obviously time to let it go. With the more recent problem, maybe your mind and heart aren't ready to be done with the punishment? I believe also that we can be forgiven through Christ, but often the guilt will remain with us a while....good luck PK. It sounds like you have a loving and supportive family and lots of friends to take the difficult walk with you, and that will make all the difference.
Hugs,
Marie

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger Paul said...

PK, guilt has a purpose, once that purpose is served it should be released.
It's purpose is to help you heal, if you hang on to long it it does the opposite.
If you can't make restitution then put the whole matter into The Sources hands, you might like to call The Source God, or your higher self, or indeed Nick.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

 
At 5:17 PM, Anonymous sara said...

PK, first of all, there is obviously much more than a cookie involved. Cookies are simple, real life is usually not.

Second of all, it has been my experience that spanking can only relieve guilt if the issue has been dealt with and you are ready to close the door and move on...the issue is resolved. If you have not made things right, resolved the issue, there is no amount of spanking that will relieve the guilt. One of the things AA does is ask each member to apologize to people they have wronged. They do this because it is part of moving on down the path to self forgiveness.

Having been in a DD marriage for a few years, I can tell you that part of the process of punishment has to be my coming to terms with what I did, accepting responsibility, and making things right, whatever that may mean. The physical component of the spanking needs to be accompanied by the emotional process of talking responsibility.

Many people do not realize that Domestic Discipline is actually about a whole lot more than spanking.

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger grace said...

I have nothing to add. All of these wonderful commenters have said everything I would have said.

With that said....

You may be holding on to the guilt, but I still love you. Nothing you do can change that.

HUGS!
grace

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Caryagal said...

I'm with Grace. I couldn't give more or better advice. Of course, I am also one that holds on to it waaaayy too long. I still have guilt of things from many many years ago....

Me

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger PK said...

Anon,
I am a Christian and I appreciate you suggesting the book. I will look into it.

J,
That is probably what I will end up doing. Finding a place in my mind to carry it around where it can't hurt me most of the time.

Greenwoman,
That may be a suggestion I can work with. Thank you for the thought.

K,
Thank you for commenting. I know that one of my problems now is that sometimes all I can think about is stealing another cookie. I guess that is the main reason I told Nick. And I am most grateful that Nick loves me.

A,
Thanks you so much for what you said about LJ. I do need to stop and realize that both because of me and sometimes in spite of me he has become a wonderful, wonderful young man that I could not be more proud of. I am working on this; I just have a few more layers to go.

Marie,
I do know it is time to let the old hurt go. I have punished myself enough for that. I am working on this one. I just want to be able to let it go sometime.

Paul,
You are right. I can't make restitution for this so I am just going to have to release it. I hope anyone and everyone I may have hurt will someday know how sorry I am for that hurt.

Sara,
You are right in what you said. Sometimes things just can't be made right. All you can do is say you are sorry and mean it.

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the fact that so many commented and care. You all make me feel much better.

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger PK said...

Grace, Carye,
I needed every piece of advice I got here but having you guys say you love me was good to read right before I went to bed. Thanks guys.

 
At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs, PK, you got lots of good advice/ you weren't whining, but asking a valid question.
Thinking of you
Jean

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Terpsichore said...

I wish I had some good advice to share. Please know that I hear you. I have thought of this alot. I think we are so often hardest on ourselves and I too find it difficult to free myself of guilty feelings. I would love to talk more as I too would like to know the answer. I hope you find your own answer to help you feel better. And know that you are loved no matter what. :-)

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Impish1 said...

I'm pretty much the same way you are so I don't know that I have real advice as much as reassurance. You know how you are so you have to be the one to pat and reassure yourself as you wait for it to get better. I always say it's kind of like radiation - you have to wait for it to "half-life down". One day it will be this much, then half that much, then...and so on...Be sure you're saying the right things to yourself - you can sabotage the process if you're saying the wrong things.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger PrettyGirl said...

PK,

I do not have a lot of wisdom to add. The other commentors have done an excellent job of supporting you. But I did want to let you know that I am lurking and that I hear you and share your pain.

This is a struggle I know well, I can only share with you what I want to do to help address my feelings of guilt or pent up anxieties. I don't want to say maintenance because that is not quite what I mean -- but maybe penance is a better word. A series of actions and activities designed to help your emotions feel like the transgressions are addressed and paid for, therefore releasable.

That being said, I am going to try to find the book Anonymous mentions as well.

PK, one thing you girls mention often is feeling like your concerns are indicative of being too needy and having no value -- so you do not always mention them to your partners. Have you given Nick the full scope of how you feel? what you are carrying inside? Maybe he can help -- just a thought.

Be well and I am thinking about you.

: Pretty

 
At 5:18 PM, Anonymous TJ said...

TJ again! I sincerely hope that by now you've forgiven yourself about the damn cookie. (Going along with the analogy as per your request...) Cookies are an extreme temptation to some of us and the willpower to walk away from the cookie is sometimes fleeting at best. Don't beat yourself up! Seriously.

All the people that matter have already completely forgiven you and have not given that stupid cookie another thought. Let it go. Life is way too short to beat yourself up over petty little things.

I hope you don't think I'm being too forward since I'm relatively new here and am lurking around in ancient history but this struck a chord with me. Unforgivness is poison - even if it's directed at oneself. Pray about it, release it to God, and don't take it back. Every time those thoughts get into your head you know full well that it is Satan playing games with you. He hates to see us happy - EVER. Block the little bastard out of your life for good and for certain. God forgives our every transgression and FORGETS about them by casting them as far as the East is from the West. It will be good for your heart, your soul, and your relationships to do the same.

This may sound flippant but I promise I'm not trying to be facetious at all. HUGS!

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger PK said...

TJ,
Everything you say is true. I feel I have forgiven for the incident. Of the many people who were 'surprised' when they found out about it all, I only feel two or three still hold it against me.

I'm honored that you are reading my old posts. I like having a reason to go back and read some old stuff.

 

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