Sunday, February 28, 2010

Went out last night with a friend of mine for my birthday.
It was a great time...

We danced at a club downtown and it was a whole lot of fun...however, I am left with terrible guilt because I danced with a man. Normally I don't feel guilt about that and why I do this time, I'm not sure. I did nothing wrong.

I think I feel guilty because when this man said, "you are so beautiful," I liked it. I LIKED hearing that and I feel guilty for it.

He is from orignally from the Caribbean (and had the lovely accent) and moved to NYC, in Manhattan and Brooklyn where his did his undergraduate work. He is now teaching at UK and working on his dissertation. I told him I teach English...I also told him I am unavailable and he was totally cool with that. He did not seem to try to hit on me after that. He was genuinely kind and respectful. Now before that, he was indeed, trying to hit on me. Anyway, he asked if I might consider editing/proofreading his dissertation and I said I would. I gave him my number and a part of me wonders if that is a good idea. I really don't think he was trying to hit on me.

We parted with kind words and it was fun...that's it and that's all. So why do I feel so guilty? I think I feel guilty for the liking part...I liked the attention. I am not usually like this. I liked that he was successful and I liked the way he looked at me. Oh god, I'm a terrible person. All we did was dance and chat. Half the time I was not even around him.

Am I a bad person for having liked the attention? Why on earth do I need such ridiculous affirmation? My husband seldom tells me I'm beautiful....he generally says that I "look good" or that I'm "cute." It was nice to hear "beautiful." I shrugged off the compliment and never said thank you....but inside I was thankful and I think I even blushed...

I think my age is getting to me. I'm so embarrassed.
I really am.


Nicole said...

I can totally relate to this. It's so interesting how people with eating disorders (I have an ED too) tend to have such identical mindsets. Whenever I feel good, I immediately feel guilty for feeling good. My brain can take any compliment I receive and turn it against me to make me feel bad about myself or make me feel like I'm a bad person.

I'm working on this in therapy right now, actually. Did you know that we have emotions about our emotions? It's kind of confusing, but we have primary emotions and secondary emotions. The most common and prevailing emotions people with EDs tend to feel are guilt and shame, but those aren't usually our primary emotions, they are secondary emotions that override every other emotion we have. So, no matter what primary emotion we experience, such as feeling good or angry or sad or tired, our secondary emotions (usually guilt or shame) spring up and squash the primary emotion.

Oh my goodness, I hope my rambling hasn't completely confused you. My point is this: it's perfectly okay to feel good. You did nothing wrong, and you shouldn't feel guilty at all. Someone gave you a very nice compliment and you are allowed to feel good about that.

Sorry this comment is so long! I just want you to know that you have permission to feel good about yourself. It really is okay :)

Take care,

Sunny said...

Nicole, thank you so much for that. You know, I hadn't even thought of it that way, because I tend to think of myself as "recovered" from my E.D. I do however have a long way to go and have relapsed in many it actually makes sense that what you said may be true. Thank you for your insight!

I am also always worried about hurting others...and while I think this is a good thing, sometimes I let it get in the way of my life. That is also part of the guilt, I think.

Don't apologize for your post! It's totally okay! :) I appreciate it!