I did everything wrong - Need to rebuild

Hi. I have done some things I am not very proud of. I sent a good man into emotional ruin and eventually myself. That's not all. I then secretly dated his coworker/family friend after we broke up. It was basically shitting where you're eating type of situation. You'd think I would have learned there -- but NOO. Another similar situation happened just over the last year. I'm not a teenager. I'm an adult. I should know better. This is a big but feels like a very small town  as everyone knows each other.... Basically, I have tainted my own reputation among the circles of people I know. Among many other issues I have (major depression and anxiety), this one has been biting at my the hardest. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time -- I wasn't. I know people have done 'worse' things but to me this type of  behaviour in unacceptable of myself. I don't know how to go about rebuilding my reputation but most importantly forgiving myself. Any words of advice/wisdom would be appreciated...

User Comments

I've been going through a process of changing myself. I've been a depressive for over a decade now because I allowed a toxic relationship from 14 years ago infect me and everyone I've loved since. And as a result none of them have loved me back. I carry this emotional burden everywhere and have tried to find someone who is willing to take it from me, but that is just asking someone else to have a ruined set of emotions like mine are. Like you, I keep following a pattern and just yesterday I figured out why.

The difficult truth I'm coming to accept is that any change we wish to see from other people has to start from within. There's nothing anyone else can do to erase my burden, and there is nothing you can do to rebuild your reputation that someone else can provide. You are right in that you have to forgive yourself first, and make a drastic shift in who you believe you are. No one will love me if I keep asking them to take away my pain, I have to remove it first and then love will find me.

You must understand yourself and why you have done the things you've done. There is a reason. When we act out like this and do things we know are wrong, it's an evolution of experiences we had when we were impressionable kids. That doesn't have to mean 6 years old, my experience happened when I was 18, but once I realized what it was it all became so obvious. We carry the child we were around with us forever, and we have to also become the parent that knows how to properly deal with the child.

You can forgive yourself by recognizing that it was this child who acted this way, and taking steps to teach her how to behave. I can't tell you what that means for you, but it starts by saying the words "i forgive myself for my actions" in your own head, maybe every day, maybe 100 times a day.

The hardest part for me right now is accepting that happiness can only come from within. As I've been seeking out other people to take my burden and allow me to be happy, I've only made others unhappy and myself even worse. But I am choosing to erase my past and start over completely. The burden was never mine, I took it from someone else, and so I'm casting it off and instead choosing to love myself. My life is not awful, there are so many good things about it and the same is true for you. So allow yourself to love yourself. It sounds obvious, and impossible, but I think it's as easy as making the conscious choice, and doing so every day. When I woke up today I thought "I'm going to be in love with me today" and now I'm looking forward to my day, which is not common for me.

Once you can love yourself, everyone else around you will see it, and they'll feed off of it. Those who now look at you with disdain because of your actions will become envious of you. You don't need to act like you love yourself in any particular way, they'll just see it, and you'll start to attract people who feel the same way and those who still look down on you will fall into the background. 

Anon-1

hey we have all done things that we regret or are embarassed about. You can use these as learning experiences and move on from them and not let them destroy you.  If you decide to take action and be better, you can do it. Beating yourself up about it will only make it worse, trust me.  If you decide to learn from it, you will be able to forgive yourself and move on hopefully.  Hope this makes some kind of sense :)