how to tap feelings of guilt?

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  • #21840
    AvatarSidney
    PSTEC User

    Hi @all
    I have a lot of experience with PSTEC products and bought a lot of them, but when it comes to tapping guilt and remorse and shame, I don't know where to start.

    What I want to tap is this:
    1. The person that abused and mistreated me, when I was a child, said it was my fault, because I (as a child) forced him to mistreat and abuse me. At least in his opinion. In my opinion no child ever asks for abuse and being mistreated. He wanted an excuse from me, which I refused. This child that I once was, feels guilty about that, as an adult I say, that's idiotic, abusing someone and then doing a blameshift. I know that there is a blameshift going on, but still.

    plus

    As I child I had a commandment to keep quiet and tell nobody about the abuse etc, if I would talk then horrible things would happen to me.
    I waited until I was 18, moved out there and starting talking, in therapy, to the police etc.
    The child I once was still feels guilty for talking and still fears she might be punished for talking even though I am an adult and I can help myself now.

    2. I was retraumatized in therapy and another therapist blameshifted and accused me because therapists do not make mistakes. If a therapist makes a mistake, then the patient is to blame, because the patient is responsible for what he / she tells the therapist, the patient is responsible for the setting and for everything. Once she started with blaming she went on and on until I ended therapy. Accusing a therapist of having made a mistake is a taboo, at least here in Germany. If you blame a therapist for anything, you are doomed more or less. Even my health insurance did not want to hear the story and refused to help me. In fact they were pretty rude.

    I am not making this up. I wish I was. Being blamed for that kind of stuff brought me into OCD, because that was the only way I could handle the cognitive dissonance. I tried to tap that, but it would be great to get some tipps, if anyone would like to comment on that.

    I was angry and anxious about all that stuff for a really long time, but now I want to let go and tap it away. Any ideas on how to do that?

    thanks and have a great weekend

    #24812
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi Sydney

    Re 1: The guilt is still a negative emotion that needs removing even if it was “induced” into your innocent childhood by bad people. You are still carrying that guilt even though it was not your fault. The guilt is still affecting you as if it really was your fault.

    Can you now recall those early abuse incidents and the guilt without triggering the OCD or other PTSD like symptoms? If you can then the simplest advice is to use PSTEC Click Tracks 2015 with the wrapper track and work directly on them. If this is still not possible then perhaps working on  the further complications with the failed therapy if those memories also have associated guilt etc. . Alongside the guilt do you also feel indignant at this unjustified blame being put upon you. Do you also get angry about it? Do you feel betrayed by others? If you get angry then it would be entirely understandable however it is not a helpful emotion even if more than justified.

    I think what I am getting at is another way of nibbling around the edges of the problem and working towards the center. This by Click Tracking other surrounding associated negative emotions. Anger is probably the one to start with as it is so damaging. So what gets you angry? Not just about your past history, but what triggers it now? Anything? Click Track any recent event or news or story that made you angry. This may not seem to be answering your question but it is certainly related to your past history and as such worth trying.

    Peter

    #24813
    AvatarJeff Harding
    PSTEC Pro and Forum Moderator

    Aloha Sydney and mahalo Peter for your response to Sydney!!

    Just a quick note…

    I just recorded an interview with someone (with Tim also contributing to this interview) who experienced abuse as a young person as well.  One of Tim's approaches you could call a core belief and mine as well is that when events occur it's not our “fault.”  Especially when we are young, we do not have a choice about our abusers… it is a situation that we are thrust into.

    What is important is how we respond … what is the level of our responsibility.
    How you responded when you were young matters not, but how you respond NOW is the key.

    So, be sure to address not only the emotions surrounding the abuse, both in your youth and by your former therapists, but also be sure to address your beliefs with PSTEC Negative and PSTEC Positive.  Acknowledge and make it a core belief that you have done your best and that you will continue to do your best and improve and learn as you move forward AND that you only improve WHEN you move forward!

    And, look for the email announcement coming in the next couple weeks for the interview and some other news.  Cool Stuff!  :D

    Aloha!
    Jeff

    #24814
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi Sidney apologies not Sydney and Jeff

    Jeff – I look forward to your new interview and thanks for your work on producing it and all the others.

    As PSTEC therapists we believe that only you can solve your own problems. PSTEC provides the tools and us therapists the support and guidance. Whatever you believe is important and we just help you get to where you want to go with the minimum of input. This is empowering for you, giving you the control. As such a situation like that with your past therapists is unable to happen because you are responsible for you. If you believe and feel that you are still controlled by your past then that is a belief that needs changing.

    Your paradigm of mind which forms yourself is ever growing and changing and not “set in stone” This flexibility extends backwards in time, what happened to you happened, but the way you feel about it can change and the way you feel now change as a result, and quickly, like a chain of dominoes falling. As a default we generally suggest working by removing emotions from past events first, but that chain of dominoes can fall the other way from the present backwards just as easily. By focusing your efforts on feeling better now you will change the way you feel about past events. In your case this means you would not have to spend your time immersed in your past terrible events which support and trigger the OCD and PTSD.

    There is lots more to say, but for now does this sound like an attractive idea to you Sidney?

    Peter

    #24815
    AvatarSidney
    PSTEC User

    Hello Peter and Jeff,
    thanks for answering me.

    @Peter

    Re 1: The guilt is still a negative emotion that needs removing even if it was “induced” into your innocent childhood by bad people. You are still carrying that guilt even though it was not your fault. The guilt is still affecting you as if it really was your fault.

    exactly :)

    Can you now recall those early abuse incidents and the guilt without triggering the OCD or other PTSD like symptoms? If you can then the simplest advice is to use PSTEC Click Tracks 2015 with the wrapper track and work directly on them. If this is still not possible then perhaps working on  the further complications with the failed therapy if those memories also have associated guilt etc. .

    I can recall a lot of them, I don't think I remember them all, but that doesn't matter, because there is a pattern.
    My problem with tapping that stuff was just that I as an adult refused to take the blame for something that was not my fault. But the child I once was had to take that on for sure. I had to set that straight first, that guilt, fault and blame or feelings of guilt are not the same. And that making a child feel guilty for abuse is indeed part of the abuse.

    I'll try the surrogate tapping approach. There was an interview with someone named Cynthia on the PSTEC website some time ago and she described how she did that. I tried surrogate tapping on multiple occassions, when I wanted to get rid of something that did not belong to me or when I wanted to understand someone better. Now I'll do that for a younger version of me.

    What I do right now is imagening the situation as it was back then and figure out where the guilt came from, why I had to feel guilty and who forced me to do so. Only then I can tap it away. And yes, I used PSTEC Click Tracks 2015 a lot.

    Alongside the guilt do you also feel indignant at this unjustified blame being put upon you. Do you also get angry about it? Do you feel betrayed by others? If you get angry then it would be entirely understandable however it is not a helpful emotion even if more than justified.

    It makes me angry, for sure, but there is an other important aspect.
    As far as I know I am biologically not the child of the mother's husband. As I child I just wondered why they always tried to exclude me, why they were that mean, they even invited people who were not part of the family to participate in what they did.
    I was the scapegoat and I had to take on everything, every problem, whatever they wanted to get rid of, I had to take it on or they acted it out on me.
    They threatended to send me to foster care or to not giving me food any longer.
    As bad as the abuse was, I was really afraid of being sent to foster care and so I specialized in taking on other people's emotional baggage, I'll sort it for them and give it back in small, manageable portions. That's exhausting and is a huge part of my OCD stuff.
    Whenever I had achieved something good, I had to share or give it to them, if I refused to do so, they'd destroy it and hurt me.
    For years and years I thought I have to be responsible for everything,do everything and disrespect my own boundaries, so that they'd finally accept me and stop hurting and hating me.
    With a “strategy” like that, it's not really a surprise that I found at lot of NPD people ready to take advantage of my “services” during the years, even as an adult.
    I've been reading a lot about healthy boundaries during the last month. A few years ago setting a boundary or even say no to something I did not like, was threatening to me.

    It took me a long time to realize that I was a person have a right to exist without acting like instand supply / surrogate for their needs.
    I am me and I have the same right to exist as everyone else. Being an abused child is just a part of my identity.

    I think what I am getting at is another way of nibbling around the edges of the problem and working towards the center. This by Click Tracking other surrounding associated negative emotions.

    It may sound strange, but this week I tapped that guilt stuff for the very first time, even though it's obvious that guilt and blame and fault is a big part of my OCD. I just couldn't do it before. Guilt and shame always paralyzed me before.

    Anger is probably the one to start with as it is so damaging. So what gets you angry? Not just about your past history, but what triggers it now? Anything? Click Track any recent event or news or story that made you angry. This may not seem to be answering your question but it is certainly related to your past history and as such worth trying.

    Therapists blaming me and taking advantage of my kind of makes me angry and very sad. They get paid for helping people, not for telling a patient “it's all your fault”, not for demanding that the patient listens to the therapist's problem and certainly not for yelling at a patient. And I am angry at the health insurance, telling me that it's not the therapist's fault, and my symptoms are certainly not caused by the trauma, the symptoms were there before the trauma, so I can't blame therapists or trauma for my OCD.
    The abuse and mistreating started when I was very very young, so the problems I have must be a result of a past life. I have to joke about that, otherwise I'd get trapped in anger and resentment.

    @Jeff

    I just recorded an interview with someone (with Tim also contributing to this interview) who experienced abuse as a young person as well.  One of Tim's approaches you could call a core belief and mine as well is that when events occur it's not our “fault.”  Especially when we are young, we do not have a choice about our abusers… it is a situation that we are thrust into.
    What is important is how we respond … what is the level of our responsibility.
    How you responded when you were young matters not, but how you respond NOW is the key.

    I struggled with that for a very long time, your words sum it up pretty well.
    Now I'd like to respond in tapping it away and accepting that the child I once was had it really bad, but I am an adult and I am able to handle things in a way that suits me.

    So, be sure to address not only the emotions surrounding the abuse, both in your youth and by your former therapists, but also be sure to address your beliefs with PSTEC Negative and PSTEC Positive.  Acknowledge and make it a core belief that you have done your best and that you will continue to do your best and improve and learn as you move forward AND that you only improve WHEN you move forward!

    that's a great idea. Now that I found a different approach to that guilt-shame-problem, my next goal is to tap that stuff away as far as possible and then use PSTEC negative for “it's all my fault” or “I am guilty” and afterwards find a nice suggestion for PSTEC positive.
    :)

    I am sure that said interview will be a good thing, I hope to listen to it some day soon.

    @Peter
    Sidney is not my real name, so it's ok to write Sidney or Sydney. :)
    No need for saying sorry.

    As PSTEC therapists we believe that only you can solve your own problems. PSTEC provides the tools and us therapists the support and guidance. Whatever you believe is important and we just help you get to where you want to go with the minimum of input. This is empowering for you, giving you the control. As such a situation like that with your past therapists is unable to happen because you are responsible for you. If you believe and feel that you are still controlled by your past then that is a belief that needs changing.

    I like that, I like doing my own therapy.
    I stopped all therapy a few months ago, and guess what?
    My OCD got a lot better since doing so. :-) :-)

    Your paradigm of mind which forms yourself is ever growing and changing and not “set in stone” This flexibility extends backwards in time, what happened to you happened, but the way you feel about it can change and the way you feel now change as a result, and quickly, like a chain of dominoes falling. As a default we generally suggest working by removing emotions from past events first, but that chain of dominoes can fall the other way from the present backwards just as easily. By focusing your efforts on feeling better now you will change the way you feel about past events. In your case this means you would not have to spend your time immersed in your past terrible events which support and trigger the OCD and PTSD.

    that sounds great to me, but I have to get used to that.

    During the last years with all that OCD and the therapist abuse etc, I thought that was all I get, that was my life, being abused as a child, as a patient, I won't get out of this trap ever again. The more I tried, the more it was like quicksand. Those therapists demanded that I'd stop EFT, PSTEC, self help books and all self help immediately, if I wanted to keep my therapy. They either yelled at me for using self help, belittled me or demanded to know where/how they could get it for their own problems.

    I try my best to imagine a good life, more than just existing, but it's not easy. Some days it's better than others, but I hope I am heading into the right direction.

    a heartfelt thanks to both of you
    Sidney

    #24816
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi Sidney

    You, knowing that “things can get better” and moving on to “things are getting better” and eventually “things will continue to get better and better” is really the only important thing. With that kind of belief everything else from your past will become less and less important and trying to unravel the complexities of your past less useful. You sound like you are getting there.

    “I try my best to imagine a good life, more than just existing, but it's not easy”

    Run PSTEC Negative with “It's not easy for me to imagine a good life”. :)  Follow with PSTEC Positive “It can be easy for me to imagine a good life” Or better still your words to the same effect.

    Mindfulness is catching yourself with negative feelings and thoughts, then immediatly refusing to accept them, “It does not have to be this way. I refuse, the past is past! I choose to do/feel …” and repeating the last part a number of times. Your subconscious reacts faster than your conscious mind and produces old feelings, thoughts and behaviours automatically. Your conscious mind “clicks in” afterwards and so always a little late on the scene. But as soon as you can, doing something about it, will eventually create new positive ways of feeling and thinking that become automatic in place of the old negatives.

    Sidney, you are going in the right direction. Keep going!
    Peter

    #24817
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Sidney

    Sorry, forgot!  In the Level 1 package there is a file “successandpstecpos” which is the instructions for Positive. Somewhere on that track Tim also gives a number of NLP examples. These could be useful to you with your long list of people who have given you a hard time in your past. As mentioned in my last post that “immediatly doing something” could be responding with NLP along the lines Tim suggests, in order to reduce the power your past still has over you.

    Have a listen to the track and let me know if it sounds useful to you.
    Peter

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