Self Punishment

How accurate is this I wonder?
How accurate is this I wonder?

As Iyanla Vanzaart wondered in her memoir titled:

Yesterday I cried‘, ‘Why do we subject ourselves to the hysteria of expecting the worst?’

Before we are even reprimanded, we are quick to self-punish. We are anxious, nervous, and end up so frightened. If we already have some mental illness, we break down further and all because we were anticipating the worst.

Let me elucidate with a personal experience. Yes it comes again from that ‘once in a life time vacation‘. I mean, who would let anything temper with such a moment unless you are ‘shaggy’ like myself.  I started involuntarily clinging on to the least hurt, and now I was punishing myself in anticipation of ‘rejection’, ‘punishment’ and what else?

The Incident/Trigger

I had had the good intention of descaling the toilet bowl. There were some bags with powder with the instruction of pouring same somewhere. Yes, I still am a “Mary Just Come” (just landed from the moon sort of) in some respects. I didn’t understand the instructions and instead tore-open the bag and threw both it and its contents in the flush. Bam! there was a blockage and a plumber had to be called.

Result to my already frail mind: Panic. Guilt was written all over me, I started sweating. Over breakfast, that was the main topic of discussion although none knew what had happened. I was suspiciously calm once more. I was thinking at what jerk I had become. I have seen a plumber’s invoice out here for a mere 30 minutes job. I was so sorry, I sure  had to teach myself a lesson.

Punishing Myself

Self Isolation
Self Isolation

I started off by reporting myself to my darling, and when he tried to soothe me, I took offense. I went to another loo, yes an unpopular refuge of mine up till recently? There I thought I would ground myself at home. No more going out with the others smiling after messing up so – you ‘villager’ I ridiculed myself. I was so scared. I stayed pretty much in the room all day, reading my kindle.

My Take or Make

That is just a mild incident, but I do realize that sometimes the urge to self-punish is so great we just have to feel blood gush from our veins. We resort to cutting, piercing, flagellation and what have you? It may soothe but it’s sad. As my good friend MK asked me, is being angry and fighting with yourself healthy? My answer then and now is no – but, there is a but!

When you don’t understand what is wrong with you, you don’t feel or think any one does, you can only take it out on your own self. At least, ‘you are in control’ there right?

And yet, this is where we must seek for help or receive the ‘genuine ones’ which sometimes come from our secret angels.


It ain’t easy and sometimes even calming down our raging brains, is like trying to stop the rain in an already flooded area. We have the rain to worry about, and the flood to think about latter. This flood surely has already caused some damage we may really not want to face. I took a huge step recently to rethink this notion and brain train myself (or maybe the other way round?) to stop thinking of punishment as a deserved lesson, but as another big problem altogether.

Dear gentle followers and readers, may we all who identify ourselves with this issue, someday come to find that peace which wouldn’t just crumble to pieces with yet another trigger.

© Marie Abanga 2014


5 thoughts on “Self Punishment”

  1. Self-punishment is a difficult thing. I use to cope in really unhealthy ways in regards to self-punishment. I have gotten better over but it can still be difficult at times. I am glad you are training your brain to think about it differently : D.

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