Note: I wrote this post yesterday. Today, after receiving that news over to the right, I’m feeling much better.
Recently, I wrote a post entitled Guilt. It was about guilt in Nicola Morgan’s YA novel, Wasted, and the way it spawns dangerous behaviour in one of the main characters. This current post is more personal, and it’s also influenced partly by Nicola Morgan. This time it’s her post about emotions and writing. She writes about events that can render a writer temporarily incapable of writing, especially fiction writing. She mentions emotions that stump creativity.
By chance, that post appeared exactly two weeks after my mother passed away, an event that caused emotions in me, although not the ones you might expect.
People, when they heard the news, started to talk to me or send me messages. They all said one thing: you must be feeling so sad. I said thank you and felt awful because I didn’t feel sad. And, because I didn’t feel what everyone expected me to feel, I thought there must be something wrong with me. It took me some time to work out the truth.
My mother was 98 and had suffered from dementia for at least five years. I felt sad five years ago when I realised I no longer had a mother I could consult with or converse with. I lost my mother five years ago, when nobody said how sorry they were. Working that out made me feel better but didn’t completely wipe out the guilt, because there were other reasons for it.
My mother and I were never close. I never shared my life with her, neither events nor feelings, especially as a child. There was a reason for that. She was over-protective of me. She worried so much about the little things that I felt I couldn’t tell her about the big things. In particular, I never told her that I was bullied at school. I wanted to protect her from further worry and also felt that telling her wouldn’t help me and could make things worse for me. I don’t know how much that was true. By not sharing, I drew a wedge between us that remained to the end.
When, late in her life, a suggestion was made of looking for a home for my mother near to where I live, I made enquiries and decided against it. I won’t go into my reasons for that here. They relate back to a way in which my mother made my childhood very difficult for me, although she didn’t intend that at all. The decision not to have her near me put more of a burden on someone else; perhaps that was wrong of me.
So, although I’ve found logical reasons why I don’t feel as sad now as people expect, I still have reasons to feel guilty where my mother is concerned.
Do feel free to comment on this post, whether you think I should be feeling guilty or not. I wrote it to let out my emotions and (hopefully) free my creative tubes.
3 replies on “Guilt”
I had a very uneasy relationship with my mother for other reasons. I felt more upset for my father than I did for myself. It was actually a relief when she died because she was so ill and the stress on everyone was so great I thought my father was going to break down as well. As it is he has now outlived her by eleven years and I think, although he misses her, he is more relaxed and sociable. She overpowered him.
It’s far too easy to carry guilt over past actions, or ‘reactions’, especially when we talk about events stemming from childhood. Feeling guilty only makes it easier for us to not live our lives to the fullest, to not step out. In a way we punish ourselves, which is a little unfair when often we only reacted due to upbringing.
We can love ourselves more when we can forgive ourselves… for being human. It’s human to make mistakes. It’s human to not be perfect. Learn and try to move on, live and enjoy the wonders that life has to offer. All of us deserve that. All of us are imperfect. I know, easy to say, not always so easy to do.
… and congratulations about “Who Sees the Light? “!
Many thanks for the replies. No one is perfect – not even mothers. Except for this one, of course. Or not.
And now it’s time for me to move on.