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Thread: Feeling guilty

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Feeling guilty

    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to this site, and forums in general so please bear with me.
    I've very recently ended a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. To say my ex didn't take the breakup well would be an understatement. I had a no contact protective order against him and the night I officially broke it off with him he broke into my house and attempted to assault me. He's in jail now, and at first I felt the greatest sense of relief knowing that he could no longer harm me. But lately I've been feeling so guilty that he got locked up. In my mind I know none of this was my fault, and i hate myself for even typing this, but I just can't help myself from thinking about how he must be feeling. What is wrong with me??

  2. #2
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    I would say nothing is wrong with you. In fact, sounds like what is wrong with him is what's right with you. Compassion can be a weird thing. He apparently had none, but you do. Also no one is all bad. I'm sure there were qualities you loved about him that are the reason you got together in the first place. I see a lot of dv survivors say similar things, so seems like a fairly common thing.

    I'm not a professional, and obviously I don't know the whole situation, so take with a grain of salt what I've said. Welcome to Fort, I hope you benefit like I have.
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  3. The following user says thank you to weepingwillow for this useful post:

    Jane (09-23-2016)

  4. #3
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    Sorry to hear the situation you are in. I also use to judge myself harshly. Helped me to look at the situation as though it involved others than me and my partner...helped me to see it as it was for example in the situation you describe you called on the help that was there for you, clearly you did not do this to be mean, spiteful or whatever...rather you did what you and everyone is entitled to do, to call the appropriate authorities when you are dealing with a crisis beyond your control...fear for your safety. Other thing is police can not just lock people away without justifiable cause...have to have something that will stand up in court.

    Agree it is a sad and depressing thing to have to do what you did, however I am glad that you chose to protect yourself - imo was a reasonable and healthy choice...one I am sure you did not make lightly.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  5. #4
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    agree with the above, got another random thought:

    theres a balance between whats my problem and whats someone else's problem - i might sympathize with their hardship, but i dont feel responsible for it. so in abuse this balance is shifted from the center, where its supposed to be, to the side instead, where all problems (both of victim and of perpetrator) are the victims fault and responsibility. like you can get beat up because he was late to work, or have to apologize to neighbors and bake cookies for them because he broke their fence in a fit of rage, or other such. i know i felt this way during abuse. and so of course i felt huge guilt when he was in any sorta trouble. and if i somehow "contributed" to the situation, that guilt was pretty much insurmountable.

    helps me to bring that balance of whats whose problem back to the center if you know what i mean, to separate his issues from mine. you didnt lock him up, hes not a little boy in your custody that got sent on a timeout, you dont have the authority to do that. a judge in court locked him up, based on laws of the country youre in, the laws that he broke, freely and voluntarily, with full knowledge of what the consequences might be. it was his decision to break the law, and the judge's decision to put him in jail for it.

    i bet he's miserable, and i personally am a freak who sympathizes with everyone, including convicted felons serving life without parole and those on death row, so i relate to the whole idea of feeling bad for him. but i limit my sympathy to postcards on holidays and occasional donations to amnesty international. cuz at some point having a big heart crosses the line into dysfunction, into worrying about other people more than i worry about myself, ensuring their comfort at the cost of my own safety. which isnt healthy for me or helpful for them - cuz just gives them the wrong idea about boundaries and makes it more likely that they'll break the law again and get locked up for even longer...
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  6. The following 2 users say thank you to Manya for this useful post:

    Jane (09-23-2016),weepingwillow (09-25-2016)

  7. #5
    Unregistered Guest
    OP here. Wow, thank you all so much for your responses. You've definitely helped me to begin looking at my situation with a fresh set of eyes. I'm very grateful to have found this forum. I know this will be a long process but I'm very hopeful that I can begin to stop blaming myself for everything that's happened, and it helps knowing I'm not alone and others have felt and continue to feel the same way I do. Thanks again!

  8. #6
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    Up to you...but you are more than welcome to register as a member. If this appeals click on the guidelines link in the header - check that you are happy to comply with these - then scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the link to the registration screen.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

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