Wednesday, June 12, 2013

G is for Guilt

Dear Me,

Do you remember what it was like before you had kids?  You didn't feel guilty in those days.  And then again, the first four years of mother hood were largely guilt free too.  You went out to work, but Angel had a wonderful childminder, who we still visit, and you were pretty sure that you were a 'good-enough' parent, and that she would turn out fine.  And so she has.

It was the arrival of special needs and the break up of your marriage that led to you being dished out an extra large helping of guilt, perhaps to make up for what went before.

Now you have it in spades.  You carry your guilt around with you like a bag of stones on your back. Guilt over not doing enough for your kids, even though you know that you will never ever be able to do enough.  Guilt over feeling sorry for yourself when you know that so many people are so much worse off.  Guilt over writing this instead of doing something useful.

Yet you know that guilt is usually a pretty useless emotion.  After all, your counsellor says so. Oh yes, and you feel guilty about going to counselling too, it feels like a indulgence when there is so much else that you think needs your attention.

She says it's very simple.  If you feel guilty, can you make amends?  Or if not, can you forgive yourself?  Whichever, you need to move on, as guilt can stifle your life.  Maybe for some it's a safety blanket.  Their guilt is an excuse to stay where they are.

Guilt is also used by the state, especially towards women.  Just keep stoking up the conflict between stay-at-home and working mothers and neither group will question what is society doing to support children.  It's a tool of control.  And when we make others feel guilty, is it often about ourselves?  About absolving ourselves of responsibility, or about revenge.

You didn't feel guilty when you were a child, when you were a wayward teen, or when you were young, free and single.  It's only now, when you do less for yourself than you ever did in your life, that guilt is always there beside you, tapping on your shoulder.

G is for Guilt, but it also stand for Good, Glad, Glamorous, Gorgeous, Generous, Grand and Glorious.

Why don't you choose those G-words instead?

Love Me.


Written at the request of a wonderful new blogger Mrboosmum.  Head over to her blog here to read more letters on giving up guilt.


22 comments:

  1. You have written all my favourite posts this month! Love this, and will try and take heed xx

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    1. Thank you, your comments always brighten up my day :D xx

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  2. Lovely post. We are all wracked by guilt and you're so right - I never felt it as a teenager or young adult. I felt it a lot though as a young child. Which is probably why I resolve not to let my child feel it, and to feel it all myself...

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    1. Sad to read that you felt it as a child, that is not right at all...

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  3. Fab post. We do tend to focus on the negative emotions don't we? I've decided to be Gorgeous this week instead of Guilty!

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  4. Wow, I have felt nothing but guilt this month, I want to be one of those other G's!! x

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  5. I like the counselors idea - do something about it or move on. If only it were that easy! But I am going to try to smother my Guilt with Giggles and Goofiness this week - been far too serious with those poor kids of mine!

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    1. How did I forget Giggles and goofiness, definitely needed too!

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  6. What an amazing post. See, this is why I still read your blog when on a blogging break ;)

    it's all so true, I don't even think I can pinpoint when the guilt arrived. For me it was before motherhood (perhaps something to do with the surrogate parenting aspect of the teaching profession!!) but oh, how it comes in spades once you see that little pink line... SUCH a negative emotion, I try to feel less of it, but yes, so much working against us in that respect. Even with our bodies - I read a fab article the other day about how women have been controlled throughout time in regards to our bodies and food. Guilt, I think it's hard-wired now into our DNA xx

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  7. I think that guilt is a mother thing... As soon as those kids come along, we put them first! I am going to throw that awful emotion out the window and concentrate on all the other G-words instead! xx

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  8. For what? You have devoted yourself to your kids for the past two decades. Don't you dare feel guilty about anything.

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  9. Bloody fantastic post - stick with the glam, gorgeous and great writer G's!

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  10. I really relate to this post. Guilt is the bane of my adult life. Maybe we can take some comfort in our shared guilt and the pure daftness of it! I know it makes no sense but I still have it! and I'm glad you write instead of doing the other stuff (I always feel like that myself :)

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    1. Sharing always helps, that's the great thing about blogs x

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  11. Wonderful, you've pretty much read my mind. I recently had to return to work full time for financial reasons and the guilt is all consuming. My kids? Happy out in a wonderful creche, blissfully, mercifully, unaware of the turmoil in my mind. Guilt and should are the bane of my life! We're all just plodding along doing the best we can, and that's all we need to do. Guilt serves no purpose other than to make us feel bad. thank you for articulating it so well!
    www.sunnyspellsandscatteredshowers.blogspot.ie

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    1. Sometimes it's almost as though we feel that we SHOULD feel guilty, isn't it?

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