I don’t think it’s necessarily a guilty conscience – guilt is focused on the impact your actions have on others, and I can never know that. It’s probably more like shame. Although shame is usually centred around what others think of you, and apart from a couple of ex-therapists, no one knows.
The reality of it is, I have to look myself in the mirror every day, and know the things I’ve done (and the things a large part of me still wants to do.) And somehow live with myself. And I don’t know how to do that. Because my self-image feels unbearable to face up to. Acknowledging it leaves me with nothing but emptiness and despair. I am an irredeemably bad person, in a way that isolates me from everyone. I am not totally safe to be around people. I am not trustworthy. I have to manage myself. And that’s not a reality I want to live in. It’s not a life that holds any meaning. It would be better if it ended.
And if I was an actual psychopath then it wouldn’t be an issue. I would simply see petty human morality as beneath me, and go happily about my day. But I do have a conscience. I very much do care what people think. And I want to be able to see myself as a decent person, worthy of community, friendship, love. And I can’t. No matter what I do from this point on, I can’t see a version of myself that is fit to be involved in the lives of others. A version that is in any way “acceptable”.
I wouldn’t quite say that I’m trapped in a hell of my own creation, but possibly a kind of limbo. A between place, not quite dead or alive. And the logical response to realising that would be to kill myself, but I’m too much of a coward. And it would pull my family towards a similarly bleak existence, which they certainly don’t deserve. So I will once more take my sleeping pills, and wait for the reality to become fuzzy.