Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
October 25, 2021, 10:01:14 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Harri, Once Removed
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familiar, I Am Redeemed, Mutt, Turkish
  Help!   Boards   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
204
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Shame and guilt  (Read 3589 times)
redberry
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 997


« on: September 20, 2011, 10:10:25 AM »

I read often that BPDs live a painful existence of shame and guilt.  I also read that they have no empathy.  I understand the no empathy part and I fully believe that.  I lived it!  But I get a little lost at the shame and guilt part.  When I feel shame or guilt it's because I know I have hurt somebody else.  To truly know you have hurt somebody else to the point of feeling shame or guilt, you have to have empathy for them, right?  I guess what I'm wondering is how and why they feel shame and guilt when they don't really care about anybody else or how their actions affect other people.   ?
Logged
Willy
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 441


« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 10:21:16 AM »

My xBPDgf felt shame, not guilt. Her prime emotions were fear and shame.
Logged
RedRightAnkle
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: Single
Posts: 333



« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 10:34:04 AM »

They also have a sense of being fundamentally flawed... .maybe that's where the shame stems from. They have this idea that they are no-good, evil, worthless people who don't deserve to be on this earth, and that kills them. It could also be why some lower-functioning BPDs are suicidal (they feel ashamed to be living, so they figure, "Why live?" I really don't think it has anything to do with shame they feel about their behavior towards other people. They feel guilty that they have been a "burden" to others because that's how they feel  - like they're a burden. My ex would tell me that all of the time... .he didn't want to burden anyone with his problems anymore... .yet he kept piling them on in other ways.

It's possible the behavior they exhibit towards other people is almost a punishment - "How dare you love me, why would you waste your time, I'll teach you a lesson!" Also notice their tactic of destroying your self-esteem... .they make you think you're just as unlovable as they feel so that you'll stay with them because they don't think they deserve anything else.

So even the shame and guilt is narcissistic - it's only about them, not about the way they treat others. They feel unworthy of love, and so reel back when it's given to them. Maybe they think it's a trick (my ex used to get upset and suspicious and I would ask him why he treated me that way - he said it was because he was afraid I was pity dating him or that I had lost a bet or something). Then when we finally call them out on their bull___, to them it's reinforcing what they already believe - that they are useless, worthless, terrible people. Being faced with their own issues triggers the shame and guilt, and because they won't allow themselves to sit through an emotion and feel it, they put up the good ol' defense mechanisms.

Whenever I would blatantly state a fact of something he had done, supposedly I was "guilt-tripping" him. He HATED that. He always told me that guilt-tripping wasn't going to work, he was furiously against feeling guilty about anything he had outwardly done... .because he already feels guilty and he's just been presented with more reason to feel that way.

That's my interpretation anyway... .when I read your question I was confused a bit too - but everything I wrote above may have some merit (or maybe not... .who knows.)
Logged
harlemgurl
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 448



« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 11:05:11 AM »

Hey Redberry,

Shame and guilt are primal and instinctive founding emotional blocks of developing a conscious. These two primal emotions are instinctive in all human beings; its how we learn right from wrong.

Key word: Learn. The thing with BPD is that they don't learn because they don't emotionally grow. In order to emotionally grow you have to feel safe. When you don't feel safe you're stuck in survival mode. This is the disease.

BPD is guilt and shame is a script that goes something like this: I feel bad about my acts/behavior because I don't like the consequences that come with them. People get angry, leave, I have no friends, and no one likes me. No one "gets me" because I don't "get" myself. I'm broken and flawed.

They feel bad based on how others perceive their actions; not about caring about how they hurt you.

When you emotionally develop mature consciousness you think twice maybe three times before acting; not only because of consequences but because you have grown into empathy. You can feel how hurtful actions effects others. You can feel the pain that hurt inflicts. You can feel the humanity of others because you can feel your own. People with BPD cannot feel their own humanity cause theirs no core; just a vast wasteland of lostness. So while their bodies growth their emotions remain stuck in fight or flight survival mode.

People with BPD are emotionally stuck at a primal level. They may know that an act is perceived to be wrong but it doesn't stop them from committing the act because they haven't developed a conscious to chin check themselves. They can't feel YOUR pain; and this is where the signals get crossed and why they can't experience us fully.

They know how to survive because they use tactics in place of emotionally growing to get their needs met. This is where the seduction, the games, the cunning, the conniving, the manipulation all take root. The hardest part for us nons to accept is that it isn't intentional. We think their tactics are well thought out, calculated, and masterminded but for them its all reactionary and impulsive. They don't mean to be needy; they don't mean to be insecure. They don't know who they are and they are honestly doing the only thing they know how to do and that's survive.

Red berry. You know you have hurt somebody because you have emotionally grown way beyond your emotional founding blocks of shame and guilt. This is why you're capable of empathy and compassion. People with BPD however have very little emotional room for anyone except for themselves and that's why BPD is a relational disorder. The ugly comes out when they have to relate to others. They don't emotionally comprehend beyond themselves and their need.

Hope this helps.

HG.
Logged
redberry
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 997


« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 01:02:24 PM »

Redright, I see what you are saying.  That makes so much sense.  Even the burden they are to others only makes them feel shame because it eventually causes the abandonment that they fear.  Again, it's right back to them and their needs.  Could care less that they are a burden to somebody else and how it makes that person feel, but are only worried about being a burden in the sense that hit causes someone to leave them.  Total selfishness.  It is interesting how these things hide in the disorder but are there if you look closely.

Harlem, wow. You made that crystal clear.  The  Idea is now on for me!  the script you mentioned really lays things out. It sounds like they feel shame and guilt only because they messed up and caused someone to abandon them, not because they care about us or how that affects us.  Ick!  Tactics... .Exactly.  I guess it's almost like a lazy, desperate student parroting information to a teacher to get a passing grade on the test, but in reality having no idea what they are talking about.  Learning how to take the test rather than understanding the material.  Maybe that's what they do with us--learn what actions they have to perform to make certain things go their way, but not really learning (or caring) what brings us happiness and what our needs are.  This helped immensely Harlem.  Idea
Logged
daybreak
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 177


« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 04:06:10 PM »

HarlemGurl,

Great post!
Logged
2010
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 808


« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 05:41:50 PM »

There's an old saying: "Guilt is for what you do, Shame is for who you are."

Borderlines have pain/victimization schemas, they do feel intense shame and this surfaces in acting behaviors. Guilt is felt mostly by the *partners* of Borderlines, due to the rage they often experience during the inexplicable distortions of the Borderline's accusations.  Paradoxically Borderlines will accuse their partners of the very things they are guilty of. Those accusations by their very nature ARE guilt-producing to the partner.

Since Borderlines are "as-if" personalities, they demand that people help them figure things out, similar to a parent-child system. This is where your guilt comes in handily.

Borderline guilt cannot possibly hold a candle to your guilt. Or to the shame of who they think they are- although you have a different thinking. The thoughts about what you think of them is predicated upon their perceptions of you as a punitive slavemaster and the abandoned or the angry child (the two part time selves that swing back and forth on the pendulum.) There isn't much of a feeling of responsibility or guilt there. Everything is a reaction to a supposed pre-set of plays which is the victimization schema of the Borderline.

Self-awareness of this schema is often protected from surfacing due to their dissociation. This is called their "self-protector" mode.

The reason that Borderlines are so difficult to treat in therapy, is that they often go into this detached self protector mode as it represents the "adult" self. The protector-that's the self that you see during a confrontation over lies. That's the adult you see when you try to get an apology.  The detached "self-protector" doesn't feel at all.  All you get is silence or avoidance of any conflict resolution.  You are a threat and the protector is shielding the part time children; one an angry child and the other an abandoned child.

"Borderlines are already pre-programmed and pre-scripted to identify with negative projections and ready to respond and act in a certain way.  First the Borderline complies, submits, gets depressed then apologizes, giving way to the submissive, victimized self.  In some case, the Borderline will retaliate, seek revenge and then betray" ~Lachkar

During this process, you are now being showered with all the abuse that was actually intended for the Borderline's punitive parent.  You've taken their place. It doesn't matter if you remove yourself physically, that hypercritical punitive parent sleeps inside their psyche and when awakened comes out and continues ranting. This is the internal "punitive parent" that lives within them and creates the fear for the two children, one trying to attach and the other trying to escape.

Detaching from this splitting means that your <guilt for what you couldn't do> and your <shame for who you think you are> needs to be addressed so that you don't get pulled back for successive tries without knowing what the point of all this is.  That's the beauty of radical acceptance right there- because you really need to address your own reasoning while also realizing the depth of the disorder. 

At a certain point, your partner needs to handle their own life. It's up to them. In turn, you must handle your own and you'll feel better about your life because it's not being used for someone elses need. Once you determine what you can change and what you cant- you'll feel allot better. You'll also realize that you loved this person, but they are emotionally unavailable for a reason- and the reason has nothing to do with you. That should eliminate much of the guilt and shame right there.  Just a little, but it's a start.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Logged
MaybeSo
Distinguished Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: Together five years, ended suddenly June 2011
Posts: 3680


Players only love you when they're playing...


« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 08:03:39 PM »

2010... .great post. I saw the scared child and the angry child and the unfeeling protector come out in my ex. He even had a name for his protector... ."mean (insert name)". When he feels overwhelmed, the mean protector takes over. He remembers first doing this as a child. The mean protector would see that "nice (insert name)" was getting messed with and didn't know what to do.  They even had a dialogue... .the mean protector would call "nice (insert name)" a pussy, and he would tell him to go sit in the corner and cry while the mean protector handles things for him. I do not agree that pwBPD do not have empathy. When he felt safe, I saw him have empathy. When the protector was on duty... .forget it, the mean protector was all about survival... .his face and eyes even looked different when this protector was in charge.  I feel like I lived and saw everything described in your post(s). And yes, it got better when I radically accepted this is how he is, and got away from focusing and reacting and personalizing... .and turned the focus more on myself.  I felt better, I had less guilt/shame as I quit reacting, and our relationship calmed down considerably. He still kicked me to the curb... .but at least our last two years together were much more stable.
Logged

eeyore
********
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: in a relationship
Posts: 5927



« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 08:53:13 PM »

At a certain point, your partner needs to handle their own life. It's up to them. In turn, you must handle your own and you'll feel better about your life because it's not being used for someone elses need. Once you determine what you can change and what you cant- you'll feel allot better. You'll also realize that you loved this person, but they are emotionally unavailable for a reason- and the reason has nothing to do with you. That should eliminate much of the guilt and shame right there.  Just a little, but it's a start.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

thank you so much for all of your post.  I would like to ask if you have a suggested process for how one would determine what can or can't be changed?
Logged
whitedoe
****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 359


« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 09:32:06 PM »

2010... .great post. I saw the scared child and the angry child and the unfeeling protector come out in my ex. He even had a name for his protector... ."mean (insert name)". When he feels overwhelmed, the mean protector takes over. He remembers first doing this as a child. The mean protector would see that "nice (insert name)" was getting messed with and didn't know what to do.  They even had a dialogue... .the mean protector would call "nice (insert name)" a pussy, and he would tell him to go sit in the corner and cry while the mean protector handles things for him. I do not agree that pwBPD do not have empathy. When he felt safe, I saw him have empathy. When the protector was on duty... .forget it, the mean protector was all about survival... .his face and eyes even looked different when this protector was in charge.  I feel like I lived and saw everything described in your post(s). And yes, it got better when I radically accepted this is how he is, and got away from focusing and reacting and personalizing... .and turned the focus more on myself.  I felt better, I had less guilt/shame as I quit reacting, and our relationship calmed down considerably. He still kicked me to the curb... .but at least our last two years together were much more stable.

MaybeSo... .

I NEVER saw any form of empathy whatsoever with my ex... .It pains me to truly admit this... .I kept "making excuses for his "off" behavior... .He hurt me so many times with his lack of sensitivity, no empathy... .his cruel remarks said out of "his truth"? Bizarre and so hurtful, illogical most of the time... .

He never seemed to have ANY ability to see anyone else's point of reference... .not ever... .He wasn't "arrogant" but rather, "clueless" for some reason? I am devastated by this realization... .Strange illness? Perhaps it was the NPD in my ex... My therapist (and 4 other mental health professionals) have told me that my ex had serious NPD traits?... .Aghhh... .

Why do I love such a heartless, confused and unstable man?... .I do feel insane at times... .God, all I wanted was to share my life with a loving man... .Be "real", honest... .to learn, grow as partners through this beautiful gift of life... .I believed we were both on the same journey... .God, how wrong I was... .

WhiteDoe
Logged
CVA
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 709



« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 10:24:15 PM »

Im digging this post...
Logged
MaybeSo
Distinguished Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: Together five years, ended suddenly June 2011
Posts: 3680


Players only love you when they're playing...


« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 10:55:45 PM »

Whitedoe... .I struggled with his lack of empathy... .believe me, empathy was something he did struggle with and I found his inability to show empathy when he had hurt me to be sometimes staggering. But he wasn't completely devoid of empathy... .it could come through at times, especially if someone was complaining about being taken advantage of by someone else... .as long as it wasn't about him, he could really join in and feel another persons pain or frustration. But if someone had an issue with HIM and was expecting empathy... .forget it.

If your ex could never really understand or empathize with another person's pov, then yes, I would suspect more NPD traits.
Logged

Sabine
********
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 1489



« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 11:09:00 PM »

My exBPDbf simply decided I didn't have any empathy because I broke up with him. Oh, and that I am cold hearted and callous.   whatever... .
Logged
Finallyfree123
****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 292


« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 11:40:33 PM »

":)uring this process, you are now being showered with all the abuse that was actually intended for the Borderline's punitive parent.  You've taken their place. It doesn't matter if you remove yourself physically, that hypercritical punitive parent sleeps inside their psyche and when awakened comes out and continues ranting. This is the internal "punitive parent" that lives within them and creates the fear for the two children, one trying to attach and the other trying to escape."

2010 great insight. This is called Psychological Transference. I always told my ex that I was paying the price for the sins of others. Whoever is closest to them will pay the price. Sad but true.
Logged
diotima
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 2808


« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2011, 01:32:03 AM »

Re the empathy part of this thread: I noticed that my ex had what looked like empathy IF he felt in control of a situation. For example, I had surgery in December. He insisted on caring for me. This had me really worried and I thought I should handle it all by myself. He insisted on being with me. Turned out there were a few complications. He was like the knight in shining armor. He did everything for me, including finding a lawyer, running interference with doctors--you name it. Fixed my dinners, took me to doctor appointments, etc. It was probably the most loving period of our 4 yr r/s. Then he ran off with another woman (when I had to care for my mother shortly thereafter!)  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) While he was my good protector (as opposed to the other kind mentioned by Maybe So) and calling the shots and I was in a weakened state, he couldn't do enough for me. Was this empathy? There was a bit of empathy mixed with control, which may be the only way he can do it and so I am not sure what he feels. He is the same with his younger daughter--does a lot for her and they seem enmeshed. Mind boggling.

He could identify with the downtrodden, so to speak. Leftist politics, always talks to and gives money to the homeless, and so on. Is very sweet in that regard.

He is a monster when it comes to intimacy on an equal basis that involves negotiation and compromise. No empathy there! No empathy for needs in those situations.

Diotima
Logged
Finished
formerly "ABD Attractor", "Circus Topper", and "checkmate"
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Posts: 734



« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2011, 01:32:32 AM »

This was an amazing post. I have been living this for your years.

THe part about the apology, submissive then betrayal/retaliation ... .I lived so many times ... .

I'm very very over this whole thing. It's crazymaking. I'm really glad it's over.

Logged

eeyore
********
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: in a relationship
Posts: 5927



« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2011, 06:08:51 AM »

Whitedoe... .I struggled with his lack of empathy... .believe me, empathy was something he did struggle with and I found his inability to show empathy when he had hurt me to be sometimes staggering. But he wasn't completely devoid of empathy... .it could come through at times, especially if someone was complaining about being taken advantage of by someone else... .as long as it wasn't about him, he could really join in and feel another persons pain or frustration. But if someone had an issue with HIM and was expecting empathy... .forget it.

If your ex could never really understand or empathize with another person's pov, then yes, I would suspect more NPD traits.

I identify so much with your sentiment. 
Logged
flashcard
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Relationship status: living apart 2 months
Posts: 239



« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2011, 10:00:27 AM »

Shame reinforces negative behavior... .i do bad therefore i am bad.   our world is full of shame... .we all experience it... .some have shame resilience... .which would be tied into a sense of worth and belonging that helps us connect in other positive ways and get over our mistakes.

Guilt is actually completely different and mostly says, My behavior was bad but i am not.  Guilt promotes change... .unresolved, deep shame keeps you from becoming the person you are worthy of. 

Most severe BPD's have had traumatic event after traumatic event that reinforces the shame... .in their childhood, etc.  It has been such a part of their lives that they have to keep it going, it is their normal and how they cope.  We are all hardwired in many ways.  Each one has their own stuff to figure out.

I am working on my shame issues.  i never realized how much I had ignored  until i found myself with someone who's shame has impeded her to such paralizing degrees.  I hope the best for her and deep down... .way deep down, thank her for showing me how important I truly am, to myself.

BPD's don't realize the shame... .along with what it creates... .most of us don't... .until we do

Logged

Can You Help Us Stay on the Air in 2021?

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Our 2021 Financial Sponsors
We are all appreciative of the members who provide the funding to keep BPDFamily on the air.
12years
alterK
Andi1956
Anondad
Cnvi
doghouse
drained1996
EyesUp
Harri
JD2028
lovenature
Mac5
Methuen
Mommydoc
Mutt
old97
P.F.Change
Skip
snowglobe
Swimmy55
Teno
Turkish
wendydarling

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2020, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!