How Do You Deal With Guilt?

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I've spent the last few days attempting to set goals for myself for the next year. Setting work-related goals has been relatively easy, but setting personal goals has proven to be difficult.

For example, among other things, one of the personal goals I've struggled with setting in stone is moving out. The reason I haven't moved out isn't due to laziness or financial issues- it's due to guilt. I feel guilty about moving out of my parents house and I don't entirely know why. I like my parents (at least, I don't hate them 24/7) and I think this might be the issue. The thought of me walking out the door and moving hours away (or to another country) and leaving them to sit alone makes me feel very anxious and guilty. I get it- they're adults and are responsible for their own choices (as am I) but that doesn't seem to be helping me at all.

So, how do you personally deal with guilt, whatever the situation may be? If the situation involves other people, do you just say, "I don't care- this is my life" or something along those lines?
 

CCarter

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I don't understand, do you think you are a benefit/advantage for them being at home? What's the benefit? Example: they can't have sex on the living couch with you running around the house.

Didn't your own parents say they didn't think you could make it out on your own when you asked them why they didn't kick you out?

You don't think your parents are embarrassed that they didn't give you enough skills and confidence to survive in the world without mommy and daddy? I'd be embarrassed that I did something wrong as a parent in that scenario.

You have these fantasies in your head that contradict your parent's OWN WORDS to YOU.
 
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What's the benefit?
I'm someone for them to talk (and complain) to. One parent is very negative and one is positive. The negative parent has basically no friends (other than siblings or friends from their past they speak to 1-2 times per year) and no hobbies, so I'm a social outlet to them. I also give the positive parent a break from the negative parent- if I weren't there they would have to deal with the negativity all the time along with the general stresses of day-to-day life.

You don't think your parents are embarrassed that they didn't give you enough skills and confidence to survive in the world without mommy and daddy? I'd be embarrassed that I did something wrong as a parent in that scenario.
I think one parent is embarrassed and the other is completely absent- they've never spoken to me about anything to do with moving on, progressing in life, growing up, etc.
 
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I wasn't really into traveling a long time ago, but once you try it you will see the benefits instantly. Other cultures open your mind and you will learn so so much.
Why not try an escape to Thailand or some other country for 2-3 months?
Honestly, what have you got to lose?
I suggested Thailand because it's very tourist-friendly and you will have a great time even if you're traveling for the first time. Whatever you need they will have it.

You're 25 (I think), you're wasting your life, this should be the time to have fun, try new things, go fck chicks, get drunk, and so on.
Once you try traveling/seeing other cultures, you will regret not doing it sooner. I visited like 15 countries only and I'm only a bit older and regret not doing it a lot more frequently.

CCarter is right, as (almost) always :-D. Be the captain of your life. Move out or at least move to another country for 2-3 months (for starters). It's not that hard as you think.
 
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I'm someone for them to talk (and complain) to. One parent is very negative and one is positive. The negative parent has basically no friends (other than siblings or friends from their past they speak to 1-2 times per year) and no hobbies, so I'm a social outlet to them. I also give the positive parent a break from the negative parent- if I weren't there they would have to deal with the negativity all the time along with the general stresses of day-to-day life.


I think one parent is embarrassed and the other is completely absent- they've never spoken to me about anything to do with moving on, progressing in life, growing up, etc.
This may sound weird, but this sounds like your parents are emotionally abusing you.
Okay, I may be reading too much into this. But there is no way their child is supposed to give one of them "a break" from the other. That's ridiculous.

They are adults. They need to fix their own problems. They need to make their own life happen the way they want.
And so do you.
 

illmasterj

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Read a book called how I found freedom in an unfree world.

You have most likely created a "trap" for yourself. If not, your parent/s have manipulated you into staying. Either way its not healthy.

Leaving the nest is part of life. It's not as if you are putting a bullet in each of them and taking their valuables. You are just getting a little space.

Move to your own place 2 streets away and visit for dinner every day if you need to, to begin.
 
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This thread is interesting because it is becoming an echo chamber. I think it might be worthwhile to listen to some non-western perspective.

The idea of moving away once you turn 18 is an alien concept in the East and most other parts of the world. It does not always lead to better outcomes, especially if you have to make it on your own. If I was your parent and you wanted to stay at home (out of choice) to be there for me, I would be stoked.

However, if it is really true that your parents don't want you to move because they don't think you can make it, I think they might need a reminder of why you are staying. Maybe like others have suggested, going away for a bit (a few months) will help you find all the answers you need including whether it matters to your parents whether you stay or leave.

One more thing I wanted to say is that the financial advantages of staying with your parents until you find your feet is extremely significant. I am moving away after college because I can finally afford to move wherever I want to and live a comfortable life.

Eventually, I would want to be in a position to visit my parents regularly even if that means flying from different parts of the world. Hope you find the answer to your question.
 

Ryuzaki

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Over-responsibility in one area (guilt about abandoning parents) is usually a self-smoke-screen to hide the true issue from your own eyes. It’s a coping mechanism and distraction from the true issue.

It’s a kind of sublimation where a bad is “transformed” into a good. You’ve been and are being abused and munchausen’d to a degree, and your brain has invented a way to put you back in charge of the situation. You’re no longer a psychological prisoner, or even a voluntary sufferer, but now you’re a noble gift-giver and alleviator of loneliness. You’re saving them. It’s a text-book case of stockholm syndrome.

The bottom line is it isn’t your job to be their babysitter. Your job is to spread your wings and leave the nest with zero strings attached. That is the only implicit contract between parent and child. And if you really want to care for them you must leave and create your own life and mature into a person that’s actually capable of caring for them. You’ve described the extent of how much they’ve crippled your development in the past. If push comes to shove, you haven’t collected the life skills necessary to help them, and it’ll be a disaster of their own making. And the sick part is you’ll feel guilty as if it’s of your own making.

It wasn’t your fault before. But this is the third thread we’ve had on this topic. It did become your fault the minute you became aware that you need to move on and didn’t do so. A lot of things are true but guilt shouldn’t be a part of the equation here.
 
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Another point to consider, it is much easier to move out now while your parents are still in relatively good shape and keep each other company. The real problems start when someone develops a serious illness. If your parents need help with the household, you can always hire someone for them. Sorry for the morbid example, but if, god forbid, you died tomorrow, they would still have to figure out something and go on with their life.
 
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This thread is interesting because it is becoming an echo chamber. I think it might be worthwhile to listen to some non-western perspective.

The idea of moving away once you turn 18 is an alien concept in the East and most other parts of the world. It does not always lead to better outcomes, especially if you have to make it on your own. If I was your parent and you wanted to stay at home (out of choice) to be there for me, I would be stoked.

However, if it is really true that your parents don't want you to move because they don't think you can make it, I think they might need a reminder of why you are staying. Maybe like others have suggested, going away for a bit (a few months) will help you find all the answers you need including whether it matters to your parents whether you stay or leave.

One more thing I wanted to say is that the financial advantages of staying with your parents until you find your feet is extremely significant. I am moving away after college because I can finally afford to move wherever I want to and live a comfortable life.

Eventually, I would want to be in a position to visit my parents regularly even if that means flying from different parts of the world. Hope you find the answer to your question.
Thank you Captain. I was going to say the same thing. The idea that "moving out" is an essential part of being an emotionally healthy adult is a concept we invented in western countries in the last couple hundred years, and most of the world didn't even follow suit. That said, in the past, people didnt move out because they were economically interdependent (like a family farm or family run business where everyone lives above the shop). You might be staying with your parents for unhealthy reasons though, I'm not privy to the other threads that CCarter seems to be referring to.
 

bernard

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Over-responsibility in one area (guilt about abandoning parents) is usually a self-smoke-screen to hide the true issue from your own eyes. It’s a coping mechanism and distraction from the true issue.

It’s a kind of sublimation where a bad is “transformed” into a good. You’ve been and are being abused and munchausen’d to a degree, and your brain has invented a way to put you back in charge of the situation. You’re no longer a psychological prisoner, or even a voluntary sufferer, but now you’re a noble gift-giver and alleviator of loneliness. You’re saving them. It’s a text-book case of stockholm syndrome.

The bottom line is it isn’t your job to be their babysitter. Your job is to spread your wings and leave the nest with zero strings attached. That is the only implicit contract between parent and child. And if you really want to care for them you must leave and create your own life and mature into a person that’s actually capable of caring for them. You’ve described the extent of how much they’ve crippled your development in the past. If push comes to shove, you haven’t collected the life skills necessary to help them, and it’ll be a disaster of their own making. And the sick part is you’ll feel guilty as if it’s of your own making.

It wasn’t your fault before. But this is the third thread we’ve had on this topic. It did become your fault the minute you became aware that you need to move on and didn’t do so. A lot of things are true but guilt shouldn’t be a part of the equation here.

Yes, listen to Ryu here, this is also my exact understanding of your issue here Daniel.

Everything about this screams gaslighting and infantilisation.

Narcissistic parents will often choose a golden child to heap backhanded praise on, with compliments that are meant to control the child instead of the typical derision that narcissists typically do.

The goal is to keep the child stunted, emotionally and in maturity, so that the child will feel as a failure and thus feel indebted to the parents.

And to those saying its a cultural thing, yes, but some cultures are toxic.

Listen to this smart psychologist:


Daniel, you need to bust out. Stop thinking, writing, working. Sell everything you have and run away with a plan, if only for a couple of semesters.
 
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I understand your reasoning.

But your parents issues are not your problems. These types of problems should not prevent you from leading your life and progressing. It's not like they are disabled or extremely poor.

Their situation is caused by themselves. They are grown ups, they need to deal with it. Not you. If you have this mindset, you will be stuck there until you are 50 years old.

They are the parents and you are the child. You should leave the nest and create your own life. As a grown man you need to stand on your own two feet and shape your own future.

Your parent created his or her own problem (if they see it as that) with no social life and a negative outlook on life. That's not for you to fix, it's not on your shoulders. That's something that both your parents need to work out. It shouldn't hinder your progress in life in any way.

Move out, man. That's the only right thing to do. You are not a boy and a child anymore. It should be your main focus at this point. You can't sit in your boysroom at 25 thinking "at least I don't hate my parents 24/7" and trying to fix their problems.

And just because you leave the nest and create your own life, it doesn't mean that you leave your family. You can still call them and see them from time to time.

Also, West is the best. So in regards to this, you should definitely follow our western culture.

All the best.
 

MinstrelJunkie

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Your parents may also find solutions to their problems once you aren't there to act as their crux.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was the push your negative parent needs to go and start living. For now, they have the excuse of looking after you, and with 3 of you there it's enough socialising to not make them go out and enjoy new social circles.

It's also proven that parents with an 'empty-nest' are happier:
https://www.shethepeople.tv/blog/happiest-parents-empty-nesters-research/

Honestly, I imagine it'll wake them up and have a really positive effect on them. Once kids are moved out it starts a whole new chapter in parents lives, where they can be themselves and start spending more time going out etc. It might take some getting used to, but they deserve to enjoy that chapter.
 
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The thought of me walking out the door and moving hours away (or to another country) and leaving them to sit alone makes me feel very anxious and guilty.
I don't know your situation, but moving close by might be a solution to look into so that you can still see them however often you want.

So, how do you personally deal with guilt, whatever the situation may be?
Speaking in the general sense and not with regard to your specific situation:

I'm a very empathetic person, much to my chagrin. Before I got a handle on that, I kept finding myself being taken advantage of and not really moving forward in life the way I wanted to and knew that I could. For example, I spent the majority of my 20s being anchored to someone in a relationship when I wanted out primarily because it seemed like she would have been screwed if I would have left her.

The problem with giving into guilt is that people hone in on it and take advantage of it, whether consciously or unconsciously. It's not even that most of them mean to do it. They're just human, and they can't help themselves. Fittingly enough, I empathize with that, but it doesn't mean you can just sit around and let it happen because it's a basic predator and prey dynamic.

If you're having trouble with guilt in general, I strongly suggest the book "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" by Manuel Smith. It's not the typical hand-wavy self-help type of thing. Instead, it's set up more like a textbook and gives specific tools to use and practice in specific situations since it was originally written to be used as the training manual for assertiveness training classes.