Oh, the Guilt

I’ve been feeling guilty.

But it’s really no wonder.  I think I’m one of those fragile beings just prone to guilt.  When I was a child, and I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, I’d realise that not all of my stuffed animals were in bed with me–some were on the floor (horror!).  How would I like it if I had to be all alone in the middle of a cold floor all night because no one cared enough to cuddle me?  So I’d hop out of bed (disturbing my older sister who complained nightly that I always “fluffed the cold air under the blankets”), gather up any stray stuffed animals, and cuddle them tightly, feeling just awful that they weren’t cuddled to begin with.

Once, I lost a small plastic blue frog on the bus.  When I got home, I couldn’t help imagining him, on the filthy bus floor, lost and confused.  I considered making LOST posters, but cried a lot instead.  My mother well-meaningly bought me a new frog, but it wasn’t the loss of the frog that I was sad about, it was the poor lost frog.

When I was in third grade, I started drinking chocolate milk at lunch.  My family never drank much milk, and while it wasn’t expressly forbidden, we just “knew” that we didn’t take milk at lunch.  The guilt ate me up.  I remember asking my mom to come into the other room during my little sister’s birthday-cake-eating so I could confess my chocolate milk sins, because who can eat birthday cake and enjoy it when you know you’ve been drinking chocolate milk?  My mom probably wanted to laugh, but she just hugged me, and told me it was okay.  Come to think of it, she hugged me pretty tightly, so she probably was laughing…

These days, I feel guilty for all sorts of things.  Dropping Theo off at daycare is the biggest weight on me right now.  It’s made worse when he has a rough morning, I know he doesn’t want to go, and when I’m leaving, he puts his lip out and makes his wanting-to-cry-but-trying-to-be-brave face, which is far worse than when he cries.

I feel guilty for staying home without Theo here.  Guilty that we’re paying for daycare before I have a job.  Guilty that Andreas is the only one making money, and I feel like I’m just spending it. Guilty that we can’t go see my family as often as we wish we could, and even guiltier for spending the money to go when we do.  Guilty that I don’t write poems as often as I should, like I’m doing my immensely inspiring college professor a disservice.

I don’t think I’ll ever be less prone to guilt, but I’m hoping that soon I can rid myself of some of this specific guilt.  That I’ll just have fewer circumstances in my life that pile guilt onto me.  That maybe soon I can feel prouder of the mother/wife/person that I am, and maybe thereby escape some of the guilt.

Oh, the guilt!


2 thoughts on “Oh, the Guilt

  1. I totally understand and can be exactly the same way. (I used to do something very similar with my stuffed animals when I was little!) The weight of all those “I should”s really can add up after a while, and it’s soooo hard not to listen to that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you should be doing something different or differently. Even when you know that little voice is wrong and that what you’re doing is best for you and your family! I guess sometimes you just have to feel it and ride it out.

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