One of the topics that Morpheus and I touch on quite a bit is guilt and its stepbrother, shame. I tend to think the difference is a matter of severity, i.e. shame is “worse” than guilt. I am guilty about all the things I am ashamed of but I’m not ashamed of all the things I’m guilty of.
When we talked a bit more about it, she was trying to show me that they are two separate things. I didn’t really understand what she meant until I read The Difference Between Guilt and Shame by Joseph Burgo, PhD. Shame is much more about “self”, I am ashamed of something that I did that reflects, at least to me, a personal shortcoming. Guilt is much more about how something I did affects other people, did I do something to make others feel bad?
I’ve written before about how I’ve felt guilty that I survived when so many others haven’t. Others that seemed to be working so much harder at survival that I was.
After reading that article, I don’t think that I’m guilty at all.
I think I am ashamed.
Since I was supposed to die before I got through college, it was a failure on my part that I didn’t. I am ashamed at how my survival, with such little effort, has hurt others. Made them angry and ask “why him?”. Hurting others is something I don’t want to do and it is definitely a personal shortcoming for me if it happens because I “failed” to do something.
© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com