Dec. 20, 2022

When you finally wake up to the pain you've caused the people you love

I received a voicemail from a listener who was feeling overwhelmed with guilt. In a moment of emotional dysregulation, she had lost her sh*t with some close friends, who hadn’t spoken to her since. She wanted advice on dealing with the natural guilt that comes up when we’ve unconsciously hurt people we love.


I talk a lot on the podcast about the “I am the problem” moment many of us who identify with BPD traits experience along the path of recovery. It’s a painful but essential step. The key is not to wallow in shame or self-hatred but to get to the root cause of why we lash out at people we love.  


In this episode, I’ll explain why these “episodes” or “blow-ups” along the path of recovery don’t have to mean that you’re back at square one. We’ll explore the concept of “atonement” and why it’s so important in healing yourself (and your relationships.)


​Questions answered and topics discussed in this episode:


■ “Am I the problem in my relationship?” (Facing and overcoming our own toxicity)

■ Signs you might be emotionally abusing people you love

■ Realizing your mistakes and taking accountability

■ Investigating the root cause of your mistakes and abusive behaviors

■ Healing the issues that caused your mistakes and abusive behaviors

■ Admitting your mistakes and asking for forgiveness (when possible)

■ How to sincerely make amends for the hurt you’ve caused people you love

■ The importance of practicing new, corrected behaviors (walking the walk)

■ How to ACTUALLY forgive yourself after hurting someone


Recommended resources:


■ Article by Jim Tolles | “7 steps to Atoning for Pain You’ve Caused Another”

■ TedTalk by Kristin Neff | “The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion”

■ YouTube video with Lisa Romano | “Verbal Abuse in Relationships”


Disclaimer: information contained in this podcast episode is for educational and peer-support purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for treatment or consultation with a licensed mental health professional. 


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