Behavioural wednesday – Guilt and responsibility

Behavioural wednesday – Guilt and responsibility

Sorry… Sorry, sorry, sorry. I think my first word was sorry. A lot of abuse survivors seem to use this word a lot. My Instagram poll showed 83%. Some where voted individually and I had to calculate them with the main one. Why do we say sorry so much? And why do we feel responsible, for everything? I have been thinking about this a lot lately.


I grew up to be responsible for my mother’s needs.  Obviously I wasn’t responsible, she made me responsible. I was her mirror to cast all her negativity on. Guilt grew with these responsibilities because my mother was never happy. Having to walk around on eggshells, made me responsible for everything that’d upset her. I was sorry I got angry with her, I was sorry for being upset with her.  I was sorry for crying after she’d hit me. I was sorry for getting the flu. I was sorry for getting a 9/10 on a test and I was sorry for getting a 6/10 on a test. I was sorry for everything, because she got angry with everything. By the time I was 13 years old, I was sorry for being such a burden and for ever being born. At 17 I felt guilty I had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. And I was sorry for not being able to get better immediately, as my mother wanted. It was never okay. On the contrary, I was never allowed to be happy either. So I felt guilty for feeling joy, I felt guilty for having friends, I felt guilty for doing things I liked, I was sorry she didn’t like the same things I liked. I was sorry for making her jealous because I had friends or enjoyed something. I even felt guilty for the love my dad showed me. I felt guilty for the bond my dad and I had, because it made her jealous. My mother was abused in the same matter, by her father. And I am starting to think that’s why she saw me as her negative mirror, except my father loved me. I think she could not deal with the fact I had something she never had. A dad who loved her. And I think a healthy parent would be happy their children have the love they never had. My father was never close with his mother and I was never with mine, that might be another pattern to be explored.


How has this affected me as an adult?

My dad died 3 months after my 18th birthday. So I spend my adult live without parents, though my mother is alive I have considered myself an orphan since my dad died. Being an abused individual who never got help, I fell in to the trap of other abusers and toxic people. So everything I grew with kept repeating itself. I made friends and without realising I would start to walk around on eggshells, trying my hardest not to upset them. Not to make them angry, to do whatever they want, be there for them 24/7 almost on demand. I tried my hardest not to make them jealous and there for I was never allowed to do anything I was remotely good at. Everything got crushed by emotional abuse, by letting me know I was not allowed to ask for any help in return and definitely never to be upset with them. They could treat me however they wanted and if I stood up for myself I got kicked back in to the corner where they felt I belonged. They manipulated me so bad, I always felt it was my fault. Much like with my mother, I was solely their to meet their needs. I was constantly feeling guilty, I was made to feel guilty.  I was constantly sorry for their negative feelings which they projected on to me, much like how I grew up. I was responsible for their needs, for their happiness and their unhappiness. There are too many situations to explain one right now. I have just started to accept these were never friends.


Apart from always feeling guilty and sorry with toxic people. I also feel guilty and say sorry to healthy people, the difference that I notice is that they don’t want me to feel that way. They tell me it’s not my fault or not my problem or responsibility. When I feel like I should do something, because someone else neglects their responsibility, I have healthy people who remind me that it’s not my responsibility. I am grateful to have these people in my live now, though they are not close friends I’m happy they are healthy and teach me a lot of things about healthy people. They show me that the way I was treated was not okay and they show me the difference between toxic people and healthy people. They show me I don’t have to feel guilty. or sorry. or ashamed for other people’s feelings. It’s their responsibility to deal with those feelings, not mine.


I am looking forward to what more I can learn through therapy. It’s overwhelming to learn all these behaviours and to see and understand what has happened to me. I’m grateful I get the chance to heal now and to learn it was not my fault. My only responsibility right now is to learn to not feel responsible for everything and to heal.

Love & Light, Sandra

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