Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guilt

I realize my writing has been full of Kenny lately, well not today.


Today I write because this all has to go somewhere. I realized how much my life has been ruled by guilt. Everything I did was because of guilt of one degree or another. When I was drinking, (which was most of my life thus far,) You could never tell I'd been drinking the next morning, by looking at my home. The empties were concealed, the ashtrays were washed the house was spotless. The kids had their breakfast, clean clothes, and were sent off to school on time, I went to work did my job and did it well. Not for any other reason than I felt guilty if I didn't. My yard in the last years was beautiful, I was either drinking while I did it or hungover and sweating it out. Having to get things done, so it would look right. I truly don't know if this was all a cover for the alcohol or if it was rooted in me long before beer ever passed my lips.
I got berated or my mother and sister did by my father if what tasks were set out for us were not completed and we had done something different. Like play. Girl Scouts, or any kind of extra curricular activity, all depended  on if we had done things to daddy standards. I suppose this is not unusual  especially for the time in which we were raised. What it did for me was make me resent just about everything. After I had confronted dad and he ignored it and berated me more, I had no respect for his rules at all, or for him. Fear of him? Yes plenty of that, he was a mean man in many respects.
Everything I did do right at the time I did because I did not want my mother to suffer for what I had done. As I started having babies I transferred this to my children, even though daddy was no longer there to tell me what to do; he still was. My kids suffered horribly for the abuse that was put upon me. I am blaming no one and nothing for my alcoholism that was entirely my own doing.
My guilt was so all consuming I don't know how I functioned. When I was about 10 mom put me in swimming lessons, I was excited. As soon as I got there I realized it wasn't for me. We were in a brand new community swim pool in Crescent City, Calif., This was a 30 min trip from home. Long commute in those days. We all had little locker baskets and were supposed to put our clothes in these and bring them out to the pool with us and stack them in order in their special spot. I decided I wouldn't bring mine out, I was confronted as to where mine was. I answered, "Oh I put mine in with hers," I was promptly sent back into the locker room to retrieve my own basket. I didn't, I stayed in there for the rest of the session. Rather than admit my fear then and there I carried guilt for that incident for years and years. Daddy had spent money and I wasted it.
When I was searching for help for Kenny I talked to one of his councilors about myself and my own guilt's and fears, he told me guilt was a useless emotion and to get over it. Well if it was that easy my life would have been a piece of cake you asshole.
I felt guilty for what my grandfather had done, I felt guilty that I was not my sister, I felt guilty if I got bored in class, I felt guilty if I forgot to water a plant. I felt guilty if I had gas for pete sake.  This all came down to fear and I have taken steps to alleviate both the fear and guilt. Sometimes they come rushing back and hit me like a freight train. I no longer take care of my home, my children, my husband or my mom out of guilt, but because I love them and want to do whatever I can for them to make their lives a little smoother. Is it to late to be a good mom, wife, sister and grandmother?   

2 comments:

  1. There's a Kathleen Edwards lyric that goes "you spend half your life trying to turn the other half around." numbers aside, it rang true to me. We all (as far as I know) spend time trying to fix what we used to be. I think if you're trying, it isn't too late. Some people never even try. At least that's my two cents.

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