Bad thoughts over an incident

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About 2 years ago now, I was a Support Worker for people with mild learning difficulties. One day I had to do some cooking at the service user's flat. There was a gas cooker and I'm not used to using gas. I accidentally left one of the rings on when I left the flat. I could have killed the service user, especially if he had of flicked the light switch. I punish myself for this everyday. How do I get over this?

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  • Posted

    This is a hard one to answer and if you have actually punished yourself in some way everyday for the two years since this happened then you probably need professional help.  Tell me how did you learn that YOU left a gas ring on after you used the gas stove? Is it even true?  First of all I think that anyone who works with the disabled is an angel.  It takes a very special dedicated person to work helping others. Second, you are not familiar with using gas to cook on, but you didn't refuse to make the meal that was needed.  You tried, you figured it out and you did it. Good for you.  No one went hungry.  Third, you accidentally left the gas on. Guess what?  I have a gas stove that I cook on everyday.  When I use a low flame sometimes I don't see it and I have left the gas flame on for hours and even overnight and so has my husband.  My bad!  You accidentally forgot something that you were not familiar with and nothing bad happened!  Are you not allowed to forget something or to accidentally do something?  Answer this question.  If you think that you are not allowed to forget things or not allowed to do something accidently then please tell me why you are so different from everyone else in the world.  This was not a deliberate act by you and no harm came to anyone except to yourself because of your sense of guilt.  What is the service user, with mild learning difficulties, responsible for in his own flat?   Do you expect perfection in everyone?  Has anyone let you down because they forgot something?  Did you forgive them?  Have you been hurt accidentally by someone?  Did you forgive them?  Did the service user forgive you for this accident or not?  You have not forgiven yourself and that is what you need to work on.  Tell me how is it that you punish yourself.  Are you a cutter like my son was or do you think badly about yourself daily and feel worthless?  How did you feel when you were helping special needs individuals?  When one helps others it usually makes them feel good about themselves.  The more one helps another, even to simply make a stranger smile back, the more money in the bank of feeling good.  I think that when ever you even think about punishing yourself for this accident you need to do immediately do something helpful to put money in that feel good bank.  It doesn't have to be for someone else.  Clean out that messy drawer that has bothered you.  Good $$ in the bank.  Okay, that's enough from Mom.  You have my best wishes to get on with your life, forgive yourself, and have some FUN. 

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    • Posted

      Hi thank you so much for replying. I'm punishing myself by not letting go of the thoughts from 2 years ago. Every day I replay the thoughts in my head by saying that I could have killed him. You're right though, it was a tough job, but everyone makes mistakes as you'very said. Maybe it is time to finally let go and to concentrate on the future x

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    • Posted

      As a support worker you are doing a demanding and challenging job in very little time with minimal support. Mistakes are inevitable in life and the main thing is that you have learned from this but you now need to move on. Speak to your doctor if you are continuing to feel this level of anxiety or get in touch with a support service, for example, Anxiety UK.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying Amanda. Even though I had a few hours, there was still a panic to get everything done. I left the gas oven on as well. I did phone the company that I was working for as they said ton phone them if I had any problems with the cooker but I was still confused.
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