22 July 2010

Crushing guilt. As usual.

So I've always been good at feeling bad. I still feel bad for dumb things I did in 1st grade. What is wrong with me? That can't be normal. See? I feel bad for feeling bad.

Shaun's illness has offered lots of new opportunities for guilt. Guilt for serving sodium-laden food all these years. Guilt when I crave (and can eat) carry-out pizza. Guilt when I forget to start the sodium-free pot roast, so he has to have a salt-free peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Again.

Then there's the generalized guilt: Guilt for not blogging more, guilt for posting whiny blog posts like this one, guilt that V watches too much tv, guilt that I don't get my papers graded faster, guilt that I don't write more letters/eat more vegetables/go to the library more.

And I know all the stuff about forgiving myself, and moving on, and taking steps to let go of guilt. And I feel guilty for not doing them.

Mostly, I'm posting about all my guilt so that I can get it out of me, air it out, and move on. We'll see how well that works.


Anonymous said...

Well, I guess we are related!! I tend to give the Immanuel Lutheran Church and my mother most of the credit! The good, protestant, "it's sinful to feel good," message rings loud and clear, even at my age! I still suffer for possible slights or offenses from fifty, sixty, plus years ago. And I know I don't deserve anything good. And no one can possibly like me.

Does that make you feel any better? At least you are not alone!!


Charlotte said...

You are perfectly normal. Either that, or we are both perfectly odd, because I feel guilty about everything all the time too. I try to tell myself that it's because I care so much. Nothing wrong with that. But even though I care, I don't always do what I know I should do - because I am flawed, because I am human. Don't sweat it, Jen. You are doing your best!

Tenessa Glee said...

Yup, you and I should both be doing hundreds of things differently, but I still like you so much more than most people, so you must be doing something right.

Crystal Jensen and Nikki Corley said...

I offer this idea, which was recently offered to me, when I was in the middle of this kind of thinking:

There is one challenge in life, which is to remain aware of our capacity for change.

There is another challenge and award, stronger, in life, which is to know that we are imperfect, but we are enough as we are. We are exactly as we should be and everything we are.


Anonymous said...

Very little good comes of guilt particularly when it's not warranted. What's more, great physiological harm results when you meditate on guilt longterm (chronic stress causes both poor physical and mental health). Acknowledge it, let it go, strive to do better next time, and then follow through. There are roadblocks everywhere, and not all of them can be cleared every time. That's okay.

Be kind to yourself, Jen - you wouldn't tolerate that level of chronic criticism from someone else, so don't allow it from within either.
love ya,