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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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I spanked my dog a few months ago, I felt bad for doing so,

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Hi, I spanked my dog a few months ago, I felt bad for doing so, but months later I still feel bad. I know he's ok, but is it normal to continue to feel like this after all this time. The crying sensation comes and goes. Thanks
1. I didn't beat him up.
2. I spanked him to keep him from hurting himselft by trying to eat something bad.
3. He looked at me, and that look comes and goes, and with it a crying sensation.
4. When I was little, I was not spanked, I was beaten.
5. I love dicipline, I hate abuse.
6. I consider myself the best dog owner I know.
7. Love, disipline, walks, treats, etc..
8. I can't rewind time, and time doesn't forgive me.
9. Self guilt is such a pain, it won't go away.
10. No one is better than me with my dog, and yet I wasn't perfect. I tried and failed.
11. The failure reminds me of my childhood.
12. I know I'm better, if not the best parent for my dog than both of my parents put together were for me.
13. Here comes that sensation again...

Whenever a reaction is larger than the person feels that it should be....the reaction is usually being magnified by the person's past experiences.

While it is normal to feel regret and sadness and guilt over actions that we find unacceptable, a reaction that goes on for a long time, like this one, is usually the result of emotional "unfinished business" from the past.

In your case you were abused, and the action that you took on your dog is most likely in your own mind, abusive. That action would result in what is called an emotional double bind. You were trying to help your dog, wanted to do a good thing, but your reaction was larger and bigger and more severe than you would have liked. This in turn caused you to feel guilt and shame, and because those feelings are unresolved from your past the feelings remain, strongly.

What to do: Working through this is not only possible but very good for you to do emotionally. A great place to start is the resource: Adult Children of Abusive Parents by Steven Farmer. It is inexpensive on and is simply excellent. It will help you work through your own past and assist you in getting past these powerful feelings. The guilt about your dog will go away as you do so and you will feel better overall. Sometimes like iron sharpens iron we need a little boost to help get past these issues The resource I mentioned will do so, very well. Steven

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