About Guilt

(Content Warning: More mental health stuff)

It has been a standing joke for as long as I can remember that despite not being born Catholic I automatically feel guilty about everything.

Some of this I put down to Anxiety… ok I’m easing off a bit on the ‘I have never had anxiety it was misdiagnosed ASD’ – I’ve been saying this since a psychiatrist said that this might be the case and it resonated with me. I think that realistically I have had Anxiety but that mostly I have dealt with it in various rounds of therapy.

I don’t generally look for reasons or read into people doing things. I generally take people at face value, but when I don’t that’s because I’m letting myself fall into the stress rather than taking a breath. Whilst I am incredibly easy to lied to I’m generally pretty good at stepping back from drama. I think not doing that causes Anxiety, however, I do have a tendancy towards hypervigilance which comes into play as background stress rises. And with hypervigilance comes Anxiety.

However, with the decline of my Anxiety because I was effectively managing my hypervigilance, the Guilt didn’t go. Some of it, sure, but the general background feeling of if something is wrong then it’s my fault hasn’t gone.

It’s different from Anxious Guilt because that’s about trying to find some semblance of control in a situation and a lot of my dealing with stress is about stepping back from things I have no control over. It’s feeling awful that I didn’t know I was going to make people I care about feel bad, it’s feeling like I should be managing my daily interactions better, it’s feeling like I should be performing massively better at work as well.

Ive previously been assuming this is ASD, and some of the management of that has helped but, and this is me back on my soap box of working out what symptom comes from what problem, not all of it has. Especially the dichotomy between making people feel bad and feeling like I don’t understand what I did in the present but in hindsight it’s perfectly obvious. That’s not so ASD, neither is the empathy which I think I do have albeit heavily filtered.

I think the feeling of being unmoored comes down to ADHD as well. But the guilt, some of it I’ve managed by learning to be less hard on myself for the stuff that I can track because it’s a trauma response, some of it because it’s ASD, the stuff that’s ADHD. I’m going to have to learn about that, but the background guilt that hasn’t been dealt with is at least beginning to make sense.

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