i think the feeling of guilt and the sense of shame are very close to the same thing. at least i have a hard time telling them apart. the distinction that i see is that guilt relates to something that i have done and feel bad about because it is my fault. but shame is feeling bad about who or what i am - not necessarily related to a specific action that i am responsible for.
most of us feel like the abuse was our fault - and therefore feel guilt - or rather false guilt - for that. that guilt causes shame - which is a pervasive atmosphere that permeates our entire existence. i often feel guilty whenever something goes wrong - even when i had nothing to do with it. i think it is because i am so conditioned by my shame to feel like i am bad, inferior, worthless, and a problem - that the guilt kicks in. that is partly explained by the fact that i was cast in the scapegoat role by the step-father and as an outcast by my peers at school and scouts. both of those roles are very similar too. as a result, it is natural for me to take the blame almost unconsciously and automatically for everything.
but i am coming to recognize the lies of the false guilt that was forced upon me and to replace it with truth and reality. it takes effort - but can be done.
does that make any sense?
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9