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Something’s not right

Casual Contributor

Feeling Guilty

Hello! I'm brand new to this but didn't really know where else to go. It might seem long-winded but I promise it's related to mental health.

My job involves working with young girls and last year one of my co-workers was just overly friendly with them. It made both me and them really uncomfortable but I didn't feel like it was my place to say anything even though he gave me the heeby-jeebies and most of the kids indicated they didn't like the way he hung around. He always sectioned out two of them and they didnt seem to mind, but still I tried my best to keep him away from them but it was hard. 

Fastforward a couple of months and I found out that he contacted these kids on social media and harrassed them for explicit photos. These are just CHILDREN and they were very upset. Obviously my workplace and the police are handling it but I still feel incredibly guilty.

I just feel like I didnt do enough to protect them and it's really affected me. I have type 1 bipolar and the guilt over this is making me miss sleep (which is one of my triggers). I've turned to alchohol to help me relax and I don't think I've gone a day without drinking since it all went down, which isn't healthy at all. I have an amazing psych but I don't want to bother him when it isn't directly related to my illness.

So, I guess I'm wondering a few things. Should I move up my scheduled psych appopintment or just wait the couple of months? How can I stop feeling so guilty? Even though I tried my best I still failed to protect them. 

Thank you so much for all your help.


Re: Feeling Guilty

Hi @Magret , Welcome to the forums.  I'm sorry you had to go through all this. I wouldn't feel too bad about what your co worker has done, you took steps to protect the children and you weren't to know what he was going to do.  It was outside of your control.  I'd suggest moving up your appointment with your psychiatrist, it's his/her job to listen and to help you so I wouldn't be feeling guilty about that.  You sound caring and very compassionate and didn't deserve this to happen to you.  


Try and get back to regular sleeping, I know it can be hard.  You can support the children and maybe that will help you feel better about how all this went down.  Again, I think you did what you could at the time.  


Just as an FYI if you put a @ in front of my name it will notify me if you reply.  I did it with your name.  Hope to see you around the forums.  

Re: Feeling Guilty

You have nothing to feel guilty here for @Magret The total blame is on this guy who obviously stepped across the line. It is being dealt with seriously by those that need to deal with it. You did your best to protect these girls - you could never have foreseen what he woud do - particularly on social media. That is outside your scope of employment and certainly not something you could have protected them from. The entire blame and also guilt lies with this man and I hope he is dealt with severely. 


So often we take on the blame where it should lie with others and the first step is realising yourself that YOU are not at fault here in any way. Lay the blame where it belongs - with this man - and then you may be able to move forward within yourself. That is not an easy thing to do though so talking it out with someone is a great first step. I personally think it would be good to move your psych appointment forward if you can and talk it all over with them. If it is affecting you in the ways it is now then it is also affecting your MH so absolutely the right place to bring it up with your psych. 


Goodluck with it all and welcome to the forum Heart

Re: Feeling Guilty

@Magret  Hi Magret welcome to the forumSmiley Happy. I would definitely try and see your psychiatrist earlier if possible. I have extreme feelings of guilt over things that I have done when mentally ill which I am still getting over 8 years later ....  things that I don't even know are real. I suppose what I am saying is that you are not alone. Go and see your psychiatrist and tell him/her what has happened that is what they are there for. Bipolar 1 and alcohol don't go together (I know first hand).... Take good care of yourself and know it was not your fault. Love greenpea

Re: Feeling Guilty

My suggestion to you would be to bring your appt forward if you can to deal with it. And ALWAYS trust your gut. If you feel that there is something not quite right, report it to someone. Much better to be wrong than to later find out he has stuffed up the lifes of these youngsters. I often wish someone would have reported something for me. Then I may not have been where I am now.


Gut feelings are there for a purpose. Always trust them and go with them. 

Re: Feeling Guilty

Hi @Magret 

I am also new to this forum. Your post stood out to me as my 18 year old daughter was recentlt sexually assulted - and I feel guilt for not being able to protect her from what happened and what is to come. I definatly don't think you should feel guilty, but I also think it is so natural to feel like you do. I feel guilty about everything. I think sometimes that is mental illness and the way our minds work. We over think things... I believe you need to simply learn from this experience. If something feels wrong, talk to someone about it. If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone at work, talk to a friend. Sometimes just getting an opinion from someone that has nothing to do with the situation can put things into more perspective. Personally I don't drink at all. I am too scared at what it will do to me - I get so much stick for never drinking, but that is just the way I handle things. Be kind to yourself and remember this is a great way to get support. Goodluck!! 

Re: Feeling Guilty

Hello @Bear25

Thank you so much for your comment. I'm so sorry that happened to your daughter, I can only imagine what you must be going through. 

You're right, I should have spoken to someone. I tried to speak to my coordinator but she wouldnt hear a word against him, I should have gone further afield. 

I wish I would have the strength not to drink, I think it's reallt admirable that you don't! 

Thank you for your help, it really did help to hear that someone else had gone through something similar. How did you deal with it (if I may ask)? 

Re: Feeling Guilty

Thank you @cutiepiekitty I think I'm going to bring my appointment forward. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I agree, we should all trust our guts more often, it's just difficult when the person in question is in a position of power. 

Re: Feeling Guilty

Hi @greenpea 

Thank you for your message. I think you're right, I think I will move my appointment up with my psychiatrist. Thank you for your help, it might seem small but I really think the heklp of everyone on this forum has really saved me.

Re: Feeling Guilty

Hi @Gazza75 

Thank you for the tip! I think I will move my appointment with my psych forward. I know you're right, it's just hard to feel it, you know? 

But thank you so much for your comment, I've read it a few times since receiving it and it's really helped put things into perspective. I need to focus on the kids, and if I fall apart and something happens to me, then that would be way worse for them in the long run, and thats not fair. So thank you, I really appreciate it.

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