Today's post is a special one, and I hope that you'll all see what I mean. This person asked me to write about this topic, and I turned it right around on them. You do it, I said. Tell me how you really feel and why.
And they did just that.
I'm absolutely certain that more than a few of you out there will relate.
Such a powerful word.
People say you only feel guilt if you let yourself feel it. Hmmm...I don't know about that.
I'm talking about the guilt that you wrestle inside your head with.
I don't think I should feel guilty about anything. I'm a good person. I've raised my kids to be responsible adults, that job is done. I've lived a "fairly" unscathed life. I mean, who gets through this life totally unscathed by anything? I've been divorced and remarried. I've had a career I was good at. My grandchildren are starting to appear now.
On the surface, I'm a happy person. Ahhhh, but don't pick that scab. That guilt scab. The one I don't admit to out loud.
Now that the holidays are upon us and everyone is bustling about, buying this and that for family and friends, exclaiming, "Oh, I've found the perfect gift for (insert name here)" , and saying...how I wish my parents were still here to enjoy the holidays with us. Or, I miss my mom, dad, or both, who have crossed over. That brings the guilt.
My mom is still with us. Dad passed 5 years ago. He was always the healthier of the two, so it was a shock that she's outlived him, but that's another conversation.
Let me just say it. Out Loud. If my mother wasn't my mother, absolutely, positively, under no circumstances, would I have anything to do with her!
Yes, she gave birth to me.
Yes, she gave me life.
Her love is a strange kind of love. The love of, "you have to love me, because I'm your mother, and you better respect me, or else". On the outside, she's sickly sweet to strangers, outsiders and friends alike.
Growing up, when my friends would come over, after hearing me regale tails of her escapades, and she'd pour on the sweetness that would turn my stomach, they would think I was the troubled one! So consequently, I wouldn't have friends over.
It continues to this day. Her facade. Her fakeness.
Am I alone in this feeling of guilt, that I, the good Italian girl, can't stand her elderly mother?
I feel guilt when people gush holiday sentiment over their loving families and all I feel is dread.
I don't want to feel this way and Heaven forbid, I'd die if my kids felt this way about me!
I don't want to go over to her apartment for the obligatory holiday visit, so she can critique my hair, my weight, my husband, my kids. I have no feelings for her. It's been deadened by years of harsh criticism and now I feel guilt.
No one is making me feel this, because it's not been said out loud.
No one knows.
Will I feel more guilt when she does pass away?
Because of a relationship lost?
Don't get me wrong, I've tried to have one with her. I'm no spring chicken, I'm in my 50's. I've done some living. But doesn't there come a time in your life that you just say "Stop the Madness" ?
I'm actually jealous of people who have wonderfully loving relationships with their parents.
I wish I had that.
I never did.
I was a nuisance to my parents and they didn't have a problem showing that.
Who said I had to pay homage to my mother for the rest of her life? Where is that written? I'd like to meet the author.
So to try to make up for the relationship I never had with my parents, I try to be the best Mom and Gramma to my kids and grandchildren.
I push the guilt down.
I swallow the bitter pill when I have to go for a visit.
I ask myself, why do I keep doing this to myself and the answer is always, to be a better person than she is. To show my kids that I can be the better person.
Push the guilt down, take a stiff drink, and make my husband drive home from "the visit".
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