Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rats! Real Life Guilt

I was a social work major in college. I once had a professor who was pretty fantastic (really all of mine were, I was lucky), who once did an entire class on shame and guilt felt by women. I think I was 19. I later told her, a couple of years later, that I did not understand that class at all, but was beginning to. I told her that I didn't think younger women would understand the lecture. I think now, it only has to do with age because of life experience. When you haven't lived very long, you don't have very many things to feel guilty about.

Last night, I dreamed about rats, which according to DreamMoods, "signifies feelings of doubts, greed, guilt, unworthiness and envy." Wow. Thanks, DreamMoods for that shot of confidence first thing this morning. Maybe next time we can talk about how dirty my house is.

I have a bit of a delayed guilt complex. I feel guilt much later that the act that causes the guilt.
I'm a bit worried that this may mean I've some sort of personality disorder.
Guilt and shame are not the same thing. Guilt is an internal process, what we think & feel about ourselves, our thoughts, and our actions, whether or not these perceptions are accurate. Shame is when that internal guilt is exposed to others. It's not just the judgement or opinion of others, as this could be positive, but must line up with our own guilt. The shame is not that of the other person, but ours.

Shame is a social evolutionary tool. Shame is useful in enforcing our social norms. What purpose does guilt serve?

I originally thought I would list some things in this post that make me feel guilty. But then I realized I couldn't take the shame of you all knowing those things about me.