How can I overcome my feeling of guilt?
Q: I am a divorced mother of a 7 years old son. I have still not come out from the bad experiences of my past relationship with my ex-husband. He used to say that my body looks dirty and ugly. As a result of this and other abuses I am in depression even after so many years and cannot think of another relationship. Recently, I decided to see for myself how my body looks and took some nude pictures but deleted them soon after I saw them from the camera. I also had some guilt feeling. After that I clicked some pictures of my son on his birthday but when I was downloading the photos from the camera somehow all my nude photos showed up for a minute and then disappeared on the laptop. The worst thing is that my son was sitting with me and he giggled when he saw those pictures and looked amused. After this incident I felt so guilty and don't know what impression this has left on my son. What should I do? How can I come out of this guilt feeling? I feel like the biggest offender in the world and believe that I have spoilt my son's future with all those dirty photos. I also think that he's a big mouth and one day he is going to tell this to all, if I tell him not to say anything then for sure he will say. Please help.
A:It appears that you are going through difficult times. It also sounds like that you have not been able to work through your divorce and its aftermath.
Self- depreciation and loathing do usually engulf us as we tend to blame ourselves for events and things. The negative views of self, about the future and about the world, however can be dealt with effectively. First, the prime task would be to evaluate that are these thoughts just present themselves or are there any associated features which could be indicative of a depressive episode.
This can be best done by having an evaluation done by a psychiatrist and further following the advice provided which may include talk therapy and/or medications.
The extent of guilt about the pictures and the effect it may have caused to your son is possibly related to some of the negative thoughts and should disappear, as you are able to tackle them with assistance.
The key also would be to see that you are able to care for your son and derive pleasure and satisfaction out of it. Fill your day and your life and do not hesitate to take assistance.