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Shame and Guilt

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by levfin003, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    My father ridiculed me when I asked for anything, be it a toy, a gift or a good education. That has left me with a feeling of guilt and shame for everything that I earned in later life.

    I feel shameful that I got a good education even though I did not deserve it. I feel that I am too dirty to live in the nice apartment that I have. I feel that I am too poor to take vacations. I almost feel the need to apologize for everything I have earned, be it my apartment, my car, my holidays. I feel that all good things happened by chance or by good luck. That I was never good enough to earn them. And I constantly feel that I am not good enough to enjoy these things. I feel ashamed all the time.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, levfin. Welcome to the club. Not only to the TMSWiki club, but to the club of those whose father ridiculed us. My father often ridiculed or just put me down when he was with his drinking buddies in our house, when I was a preteen. It may have gone into my early teens years, too. I never knew why he did that. I was a very good boy, always obedient, worked hard at school and pitched in on chores at home. He also used to teasingly grab for my crotch.
    Never touched it, but I was not happy with that. I doubt if he ever hugged me, although I believe he loved me, as he did my older brother and sister.

    When I began college, he just said, "Do your best." It may have been a good thing, but maybe also that made me pressure myself to succeed. He died when I was a freshman so he never knew that I graduated, became a Chicago Tribune reporter and editor, and have been a freelance writer of books for the past forty-plus years.

    We may not know why our fathers ridicule us, but I think it goes to their own insecurity and self-worth. Maybe they never achieved the education or work status they craved. Whatever their reason for ridiculing us, we have to just accept that and then somehow forgive them. If we don't, they win and we feel guilty and ashamed or unworthy all our lives.

    You have been an achiever. You have proved that in your work and life. I'm sure others think you are a successful person and deserve all the good things that you have worked for.

    I think you need to give yourself some positive mantra like "I like myself. I am worth of all of life's blessings."

    Youtube has some free videos on self-esteem that I think you will benefit from watching.

    Good luck, and stop bullying yourself. Okay?
    levfin003 likes this.
  3. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Walt. I was out hiking this weekend and just checked your message.

    You are correct. I also feel that my father's ridicules were because of his own insecurities. He had failed in his career, and financially. He always rubbed it on me that I was born disadvantaged, because he was broke.

    Unlike your father, mine witnessed me graduate..that too from an Ivy league school. But there was no celebration. He almost seemed pissed that I have succeeded. He attributed it to goodluck, specifially to the kindness of a stranger who had given me a loan towards my studies. He almost said, well if it wasn't for that stranger who gave you the loan, you would have never gone to college. So stop celebrating and realize that you owe your success to that stranger.

    Well, I know he was wrong and I do need to stop bullying myself. Thanks for that advice!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015

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