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Guilt and forgiveness

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Red Nightmare, Mar 5, 2016.

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  1. Red Nightmare

    Red Nightmare Well-Known Member

    My depression has always been a part of me. I've carried a heavy sadness and nervousness with me since I was a child. I know it is an inherent condition and not something I learned or created, as a lot of people seem to believe. (Mental illness runs in my family; it's real.)

    That said, negative events in life have a strong impact on a person's psyche, as well. Their effects can be magnified by the inherent depression and send a person into a more severe depression that it is hard to understand by others, who deal with setbacks more easily.

    For most of my life I was "stronger" than my inherent depression. It caused me a lot of pain, but it didn't rule my life. However for the past 5 years or so my depression has been on the ascent and now is the dominant force in my life. I have never felt such despair as I do now.

    I know one of the reasons my depression took over was the break-up of my second marriage, which was completely my fault, and the subsequent guilt I've felt ever since.

    I had always thought of myself as a good person, but after the way I hurt my beautiful, loving wife (not physically), my conception of myself as a good person shattered. This realization didn't come immediately, as I was in denial about a lot of things for quite some time. But eventually it hit me like a hammer.

    I am incredibly lonely and would do anything to get her back, and I did try. But it's far too late. I have to live with the loneliness, regret, shame, and guilt for the rest of my life. Carrying guilt is a heavy burden.

    I did eventually apologize and ask her forgiveness, and she did forgive me and is friendly toward me. But I know she went through a lot of pain. My problem is I cannot forgive myself.

    Recently I started going to a church, where we meet in groups and discuss the Bible and other things. I told the group about the guilt I carry. They told me that Jesus Christ takes away our sins if we accept Him. (I apologize if this is offensive or stupid to the non-Christians reading this.)

    Forgiveness is a miraculous gift offered to everyone by a loving God. All you need do is repent in your heart. I did repent, and I want to believe I am forgiven by the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

    But I simply cannot get rid of the guilt. I cannot forgive myself, even if God can. I saw how others in the church group, some of whom did awful things, were transformed and overjoyed by God's forgiveness. Why can't I be?

    I just have this feeling that I'm damned for what I did. Perhaps I just mourn for what I lost.

    Has anyone here been tormented by guilt and later were able to forgive themselves?
  2. WildCherry

    WildCherry Staff Member ADMIN

    I've dealt with guilt... not of the same kind, but guilt nonetheless. Forgiving myself wasn't an easy process, but it happened. It took time... a lot of time. It's not something that happened over a few weeks or months. For me, it was part of a healing process. I do think you can find the forgiveness you need. It may not happen right away... it's frustrating to see other people able to forgive and move on quickly, when you feel like you're still stuck in the same spot. But it sounds like you're taking positive steps to heal, and to allow yourself to forgive. Try to be patient with yourself; you can get there.
    Red Nightmare likes this.
  3. AJE

    AJE Well-Known Member

    Hi David
    It's uncanny how our stories are the same.
    I too live with guilt about my wife, although she's done some terrible things to me including physical violence & trashing all my belongings I still feel it's my fault because I didn't treat her right.
    Nobody can understand that & they cant believe I still want her back & love her so much.
    All they see is the aftermath of one of our rows & how I've been left as a result.
    I will always believe had I treated her better none of this would of happened but no one else can see it.
    I've seen the fragile beautiful her that just wants to be loved.
    I don't think I will ever forgive myself for not being a decent husband to her & it's hard to live with.
    If I ever get her back I will make sure she is the centre of my world forever.
    Keep strong mate.
    Red Nightmare likes this.
  4. Inspire&Inquire

    Inspire&Inquire SF Supporter

    Doing bad things makes it harder to forgive yourself, I believe forgiving yourself requires you to believe you are a good person. I am going through something so similar its uncanny, what I need to do is prove that I'm a good person, and I'm going to do that by doing things for others. Also you can do that by giving up the idea of achieving perfection, you can love yourself even if you're not perfect.
    Red Nightmare likes this.
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