“There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
In a perfect world my house would shine to a brilliant sparkle, my refrigerator would always be fully stocked with healthy meals that I would have prepared in advance, my teenaged offspring would feel the comfort of being well cared for…loved and safe in the nest I’ve built. They would know that their mother was home if they needed her. I would be available to attend all of their plays, and I’d never miss a sporting event or concert. We would take family trips. The world would be butterflies and rainbows.
Instead, each morning before I’ve left for work I have experienced feelings of extreme guilt several times. The primary source of the guilt I feel is the fact that I can not be two people. Since I am only one person, I am also the provider of the essentials that only money can buy: shelter, food, clothes, education, transportation, spending money.
I am one person who feels the guilt of two. I over think every decision I make, which leads me to feelings of guilt over how all of it will affect others. Compassion and empathy are overrated qualities that lead to guilt…how can they not.
“So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
The parental guilt I feel is for everything I can’t do, everything I can’t provide, anything that happens to my children that I could have somehow prevented. I feel guilt because I could have done everything better, and given my children better memories.
Because I am an overachiever, I also suffer from pet owner guilt. Every morning when my alarm goes off I kick the dogs out of the comfort of my warm bed so that I can keep on schedule. To leave the house and my dogs fills me with guilt. Why can’t I find the time to frolic at the dog park? Why can’t I let the lizard have free run of the house?
I often say I’m doing the best I can with what I have to work with, knowing full well that had I made different choices years ago I might have more to work with now.
I am not completely selfless. I also feel guilt for myself. I work too much. I don’t give myself time to do what is important to me. I need a hair cut. Friendships are not enough of a priority. I should exercise more. I should enjoy today instead of hoping I’ll enjoy tomorrow. I should stop feeling guilty about feeling guilty.
The Daily Post, December 1, 2015, Daily Prompt: The Guilt that Haunts Me~ Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome you guilt?<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-guilt-that-haunts-me/”>The Guilt that Haunts Me</a>