GUILT…by Tabitha McKendry

Good morning fellow fibro fighterz! Hope everyone is having a good of a morning as possible! I just wanted to talk a little about guilt. If you are a mom, I think you automatically have guilt built into your body the second you find out that you are carrying your precious bundle. You are overjoyed the second that you find out that you are going to be a mommy, then the guilt hits….what if that drink that I had, the cigarette I smoked, the chemicals that I accidentally inhaled…etc etc…cause harm to my baby? The entire pregnancy is guilt and fear, every little thing that goes into your body makes you think you are doing something wrong. Then when your baby is born, the guilt REALLY kicks in!! No matter what you do, you feel it isn’t good enough. At least once a day, you feel like the world’s most horrible mother!! Sometimes it gets so bad that you want to turn yourself in to someone, anyone, for them to punish you for your horribleness. NOW add the guilt of having fibromyalgia/chronic illness to the mix. Not being able to jump right up and do the things that you want to do with your children, spouse, friends, family, etc fills you with guilt and shame. Not being able to be like the other moms and be a full time, hands on everything kinda mom. You see the other moms going school boards, parent/teacher organizations, sport booster leagues, the list goes on and on and the guilt feels like cement you are carrying on your shoulders because it is so crushing in its weight. I know that personally, the guilt that I feel for not being the mom and wife that I want to be is sometimes all consuming and it feels like it is going to eat me alive! When my kids, ages 10 and 8, come home from school and I am laying on the couch unable to get up, the disappointment on their little faces literally makes me feel sick to my stomach. I lay there and think about how a “good” mom would have already had dinner made, be ready to take the kids to a billion after school activities, help with homework, and on and on. Only a “bad” mom would be indulging (yeah like it is possible to ‘indulge’ in rest when your body is consumed with pain) in an afternoon nap (if only it was possible to nap with fibromyalgia) while the house looks as though a tornado came through, dinner is still in the freezer cause it hurts too bad to get up and sit it out to thaw, can’t take kids to after school activities because your skin literally feels as though it is inside out and even clothing touching it is excruciating, so you are still in your comfiest pajamas, looking like a walking zombie cause you can’t lift your arms to comb your hair or put on makeup. You try to listen to how their day went and keep up with every detail of school time friend/enemy drama, but sometimes the fibro fog makes it impossible to mentally keep up, so they get frustrated because it seems like you aren’t listening to a word they are saying. Which also makes helping with homework hard, cause in the midst of fibro fog, remembering what 2 plus 2 is seems monumental. So you lie awake at night, thinking about what a horrible, horrible person you are. It’s not just moms of course, I think everyone with chronic illness holds considerable guilt on their shoulders and not being able to sleep at night, lie there and mentally beat yourself to a pulp. You can’t help thinking what a loser you are. How can a grown, responsible adult have a house that is so messy that it’s two seconds from being condemned? How can a grown up have bills piling up that you forgot to pay because you forget everything, big and small? Why does everyone else have their lives together, wrapped up in a neat little bow while you are falling apart inch by inch, second by second? Where did I go wrong exactly? When was the exact moment that my life jumped the track and I ended up here? I wish I could tell you how to make the guilt go away. If anyone has a solution, please let me in on the secret because I honestly have no idea. But I think acknowledging your guilt and talking about it, not letting it be the pink elephant in the room, helps to lighten it, at least a tiny bit. So try talking about it, even if it is just on here with your fellow fibro fighterz. Comment me and let me know how you deal with guilt. We can all help each other. Hope you all have a good day!!

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6 comments

  1. I wish I knew how to stop feeling guilty too. I just think we want to feel as “normal” as possible and not need help with everyday life. Especially when you have a good day and the pain is manageable. Then when it hits like a freight train, it sends you back a few steps. I wish I had the answers.

  2. It’s because we’re hard wired to feel the need to take care of everything. I don’t think that my husband feels one single iota guilty when he’s laid up sick on the couch.
    But I am, and I feel like a complete failure.
    I try to remember that we can’t be all things to all people all the time. It’s impossible.
    One day at a time. It’s all you can do.

  3. I really haven’t figured a way to deal with the guilt of it yet. What helps me most is being able to come on pages like this and get insights from others that suffer from fibro, because unless you actually have it it’s nearly impossible to understand the daily struggles (which seem like nothing to others; but are MAJOR to us). So, thank you for being here for me. You’ve gotten me through more than one day. 🙂

    Along with fibro, I am also bipolar……..so i’m a hot mess! ❤

  4. Guilt is my passive-aggressive unseen companion. I’m a mother of five, ages 12, 10, 7, 3.5, and 16 months and having MORE children means that the guilt over not being able to be the mom that I once was .. .increases exponentially with each little one added to our huddle. I feel SO worthless and, I try to hide it, but the fact that my 3 year old doesn’t even ASK if we’re going anywhere anymore fractures my soul. When I go to the store, he kicks and screams to go inside with me b/c he knows that it’s the only place that we ARE gonna go. My first 3 children had a much different mom and they remember outings and fun activities and running errands the way that I USED to. Now, I can’t even get my daughter (in her baby carrier) in the car without someone asking “Are you okay? Can I help?” Thanks for giving this a voice. 🙂

  5. Wow! I certainly can relate to so much of what you said. I never really felt too much guilt of not being a good Mom when my children were little, but when my 3rd and 4th children arrived, I felt GUILTY for bringing then into the world and GUILTY for the pain they were going to endure in life. My Fibromyalgia, CFS and Myofascial Disorder came full force when my 3rd child was 11 and my 4th child was 8 years old. OH THE GUILT of not having the energy, the wherewith all to Jump right up and play, run, get out of the house, do simple outing’s together and the GUILT OF DISAPPOINTING everyone around you. I AM STILL Disappointing everyone, and even though they KNOW I have an illness, they still at some level think it’s my fault or my choice. So then there’s More GUILT! Did I do enough? Can I do more? What did I do wrong? What can I change? How much damage have I done? I should be FIXING everything for others, and I can’t even fix myself. I should be supportive and TAKING care of others, that’s the person I am..a CAREGIVER, a Mamma who wants to do everything and anything to make others happy and feel loved. GUILTY OF FAILING IN THAT ROLE. The guilt will eat you alive if you let it. It’s just another way of adding more stress and making the pain worse and the body more tired. I sometimes want to put a sign on me that says, HEY, I ALREADY FEEL GUILTY ENOUGH, BUT THANKS FOR POINTING OUT MY FAILURES! It’s important to surround yourself with support, with positive thinking, positive emotions and positive friends and family. Those who love us and care about us, HAVE GOT TO BE OUR SOFT PLACE TO FALL, when we feel so overwhelmed and overly Guilty. I know that most of us would definitely say, “I wouldn’t wish this pain and fatigue, this illness on ANYONE”. That’s because we know it’s horrible, it’s life changing and it’s the worst feeling in the world to be unable to PERFORM normallly, to FEEL normally, to just BE normal. If you were to imagine that it’s not you, but your FRIEND that has the illness, would you want them to feel guilty or bad or sad or like they weren’t enough? Of course not. We have to LOVE OURSELFS, and stop BLAMING ourselves for being sick. It’s not a choice. It’s just not. But it is our choice to Love ourselves and give ourselves a lot of credit for being able to handle what we go through, as well and with as much strength as we do. WE ARE FIGHTERZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!! ❤

  6. I’m so glad to have found this! I’m a new mother of a six-month-old boy and have been feeling really guilty for not being able to do everything with him that I want to. And for having to ask my husband to do so much. And for asking my friends to help me with basic things like the laundry and grocery shopping (we don’t have family nearby). But I guess I should give myself more credit for the things I am doing. Sigh… It’s hard.

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