Monday, April 15, 2013

The guilt factor

I was at a meeting last night and it was a meeting that happened to be filled with hurting parents. Several of them made reference to feeling guilty for not working their program well enough. For not doing it right. For sending money, for not being strong while the cops searched their home, for feeling sad, for not being able to let go, etc. etc. etc.

Finally, it was my turn to share and this is what I said. Right, wrong or indifferent.....

"There is no guilt for this. No parent is ever prepared for these types of circumstances. No one looks at their beautiful precious newborn and thinks about their plan if they by chance grow up to become a drug addict. No parent knows how to live with the possibility that they could get a call that their child has been found dead of an overdose, weighing on their shoulders day after day. These are abnormal things that we deal with. They are painful and scary and its ok to feel afraid and sad and not know what to do. I would say those are "normal" feelings. We are doing the best we can each day under some unthinkable circumstances. AND THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH. Our programs, our Higher Powers, our self help books, and our friends and families give us support and tools to navigate this crazy world we live in...but it does not remove the pain and the sadness. We can find peace in the midst of the turmoil....I do believe that. I have experienced that. We can learn how to continue to function and live our lives, but that does not mean that we don't feel the pain or that we always know what to do next. It means we get stronger and we learn how to carry on *despite* our children's issues. Its ok to not have the answers, to not do *it* right sometimes. Are we enabling, are we loving too much, mothering, interfering, we can drive ourselves crazy trying to figure it all out...so its ok, in my humble opinion, to just be. We get through each day the best we can and that is good enough."

Moving on to other depressing subjects.....I mailed out the almost last of our measly reserve to pay the IRS today. We haven't owed the IRS in many years, but this year due to some kind of weirdness with our house interest, we owed. We are left with barely anything...we didn't have much to begin with. Hey, college and rehabs are expensive. I read on another blog that I read, about the writer's frustration with paying even more of her hard earned wage into a system that is not managing their funds well and leaving many of their citizens untended too in some very fundamental ways.....Amen! I am not happy that on top of what they took all year, we have to give MORE to a system that is failing in some very basic areas....education, health care, care for their mentally ill are at the top of my list.

On the other hand, after I sent the check off certified mail, I felt relief....at least we had the money to send. Its done now. One less thing to hang around nagging at me. Afterall, the two things in life we have to do.....pay our taxes and die. One down.

Little one and I are going to do some paper-mache work today. Paper-macheing with little kids....now that is right up my alley! Its going to be a good day.

Annette

Update: I am watching coverage of the Boston Marathon tragedy. God be with those families affected by this act of evil today. Fill all of us with courage to continue on during these dark days.

7 comments:

Tiny little reveries said...

Amen to what you said at the meeting. It really is "One Day at a Time" and since we can't change the past, there is no sense dwelling on it, wishing we had done more. That applies whether we're talking about our addict child or talking about our own recovery. We just do the best we can.
So true. And I'm with you on the IRS thing! Hope you had fun paper-mache-ing. Creativity is a great outlet, isn't it?

Signe said...

Well said at the meeting. Though guilt is hard to ignore, you are so right--who could have planned for this? As far as the taxes, I'm so angry about how this government is not working. I was going to start writing about that on a seperate blog. Forty-seven cents on every dollar I make goes to them? Don't get me started...
I hope you had fun crafting. :)

Syd said...

I like what is said in Al-Anon about there not being any right or wrong ways to do things. We have to learn what suits us and what our own path is. Judging others isn't a good thing nor is judging ourselves so harshly. As you said, no one is prepared for the horrors of living with addiction/alcoholism. We simply do the best we can.

SoberMomRocks said...

This is why I love to read what you write and just be in your space. You were so spot on in that meeting.

Thank you for blessing us with that.

Sherry

abbie said...

I struggle with guilt on an almost daily basis, of late. As a recovering addict and also psychiatric patient, I recently was reminded by my eldest of some things I did several years ago that I was MORTIFIED to learn of. Yes, I believe that these things happened, I'm just so sad that I was unable to control my behavior any better than I did at that time. Working my way up and out of that guilt pit, now. Thanks again for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Exactly what I need to hear. I am struggling so with this overwhelming sense on guilt/anger/fear/sadness/ frustration, this is not what I pictured when I met my sweet little baby boy that was so wanted!I want to feel that life IS worth living....maybe I will
Lisa S

Anonymous said...

Yes, we do the best we can with what we have. And yes, we continue to feel pain and sorrow. I'm not in Alanon. Is this why people continue to go to meetings for years - due to the sorrow that they feel? I've wondered about that. Can you explain why Alanon seems to become a way of life? Thanks.