Guilt.

I mentioned before that I consider my mother to have a drinking problem. It’s existed as long as I remember. It’s never affected her duties as a mother, but it made me feel upset many a time. I asked her to stop and she refused to acknowledge that she had a problem. These days she seems to have scaled her drinking back a lot. But who am I to tell – what people perceive to be true isn’t always the case.

My mothers drinking and her refusal to stop made me feel angry and¬†frustrated and sad. It made me feel unimportant. Why couldn’t she stop, for me? Once when she was drunk she told me that she ‘needed it to cope – what else have I?’ That shook me. Weren’t we enough?

I’ve been angry for a long time. This evening I had a huge argument with someone close to me and I was distraught. I contemplated going out. I had a fleeting thought about drinking, but I knew that it wouldn’t make me feel any better. I knew that had I gone out I wouldn’t drink. But somehow I ended up staying in, with my mum. Who had had some wine to drink. She talked to me about life and the past and her and my father. What she told me upset me, but I needed to hear it. She cried, but I held it together. She suffered from depression when I was a child and told me a lot about her struggles. She told me that she wants to try to change her life now – start exercising regularly and taking better care of herself. She asked me to help her. Of course I said yes. The night ended on a positive note.

Now, lying in my bed I feel guilt.

For the anger and frustration I’ve felt over the years. For brushing my mother off and making her feel like a bad person. For adding to what made her sad. For being impatient with her, and not making her feel as loved as I could have. For forgetting that she’s human too.

We’re not that different, my mother and I. Maybe eventually I can help her in the way that I’m helping myself.

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6 thoughts on “Guilt.

  1. Thank you for sharing your story about your mother. I have found that to deal with my guilt over the past, I can make a simple statement of amends to the individual, and then let it go. I will say that those amends have never gone as I expected. Often the person to whom I made amends did not even remember the incident or behavior. In other cases, the individual said they felt they owed me the amends. In some instances, the process did not go well at all. And in other instances, their was sincere reconciliation. The important thing for me is to clean up my side of the street and then move on.

    I hope that you and your mother have a continued reconciliation over your mutual past, but do remember that you can only be responsible for your own sobriety. Ultimately, your mother will have to be accountable for her own as well.

    Best wishes,

    Robert

    • Hi Robert,

      Once again, thank you for your insightful comment, it’s given me a lot to think about. I am glad that you’ve managed to make amends. I’m sure it’s very good for the soul. Life’s too short to be unhappy. Slowly, I want to strengthen my relationship with my mum. But you’re right – she’s the one in charge of her own sobriety. Take care.

  2. I believe it is stamped on our birth certificates when we are born. A little button just automatically installed. Activated when our family presses the darn thing. My job in the family was always to take care of everyone’s feelings. Most especially, my job was to take care of the most negative feelings in the neediest member. I suppose everyone took turns being the neediest, which meant I didn’t get a turn. Showing up on me now, for sure. I hope you can kick that unnecessary guilt to the curb. Good luck

    • Hi sobertherapist.
      I’m so sorry to hear that you suffered so much for something that wasn’t your fault. Being the worrier in the family sucks. Always tending to everyone else’s feelings. I’ve been lucky so far that I’ve not had to many family issues to worry about so far, but thank you for reminding me that I need to continue to put myself first.

    • Hi sobertherapist.
      I’m so sorry to hear that you suffered so much for something that wasn’t your fault. Being the worrier in the family sucks. Always tending to everyone else’s feelings. I’ve been lucky so far that I’ve not had to many family issues to worry about so far, but thank you for reminding me that I need to continue to put myself first.

  3. Thanks for the response, young. You know, it is interesting that I’ve never really thought of it as suffering. I’ve just thought of it as giving me a great career. You know, that early training and practice. Did my field experience before I did my education!

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