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Snarp's avatar

Is there anything you've done in your life that you think of certain things you do now as penance or self-punishment for?

Asked by Snarp (11181 points ) December 22nd, 2009

I did something once that I am so ashamed of that I’m not going to mention it here (which I suppose doesn’t do much to invite openness, but oh well), for which I am still “doing penance”. This isn’t a religious thing, it’s just for me. There are certain unpleasant tasks that I intentionally take on even though I don’t really have to, and I think of them as something I have to do because of what I did in the past. Does anyone else do this/think this way?

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12 Answers

Cotton101's avatar

Everyone can relate with your comment Snarp! Here is my take on the subject. We all makes mistakes, the secret is not to make the same mistake twice! Seems like your learned from your mistake, give it up and go on! Burdens are not meant to be carried your whole life. Be happy with thy ownself!

CMaz's avatar

Is that not how it works?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Not anything I can think of.

marinelife's avatar

I had to take care of my mother during the last two years. it was horribly unplesant. She was not adjusting well to her life situation. She took it out on me verbally. She was nasty, short-tempered. It really almost killed my love for her.

This year my knees have suddenly turned on me. I find myslef having to use the same techniques she did to stand up. I find myself hobbling around, my movements curtailed.

In some secret part of me, I feel it is punishment for the bad thoughts that I had about her. In a weird way, it has let me see some of what she lost, suddenly and with no warning. I cannot quite forgive her behavior, but I can see her frustration.

jfos's avatar

I don’t think punishing yourself is the right way to handle it. I have done something really shitty, but I learned from it.

Silhouette's avatar

I speak of my gnarly mistake, I own my shame and then I move on. I don’t throw away my guilt, but I don’t wear it like a hair shirt either. Oh I forgot to speak of my shame, I stepped outside my marriage when we were much younger, and I intentionally set out to annihilate some SOB who tried to hurt my family. I did it with absolute malice and zero compassion.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Well, when I was a senior in high school, I went out with one of the loveliest, most emotionally stunted boys I have ever known. I broke up with him and it broke him. The next year, I had a six month thing with this awful guy who strung me out and treated me badly. I think that was me punishing myself for hurting that wonderful boy in high school.

UScitizen's avatar

I got married. I am punished for that mistake every day of my life.

filmfann's avatar

I used to require lots of pain medicine and happy gas for the mildest of dental visits.
Once I embraced the concept of self loathing, and accepted the pain as punishment for my attrocities, I no longer need medication or gas at the dentist.

HighShaman's avatar

I can think of several things that perhaps I should not have…. maybe that is why i have a few problems now…. BUT; instead of calling it “pentance” ; I call it KARMA.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ve always had an issue with clumsiness, especially in my hands. Sometimes I will get so frustrated that I will “punish” my clumsy hand by punching something like a concrete wall. I’ve broken a few bones that way.

Cotton101's avatar

Marina, so sorry about your experience and the loss of your mom!

@Marina thank you for sharing that with us. I’ve had a hip replacement and it did wonders for my life, have ever thought about knee replacement.

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