Tag Archives: guilt

The Choice.

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The Choice.

Warning…many will take offense. Some will hate me. Or pretend they do not know me anymore. Some will even pity me…

That is THEIR choice.

It was about ninety degrees on June 1, 1991. It felt like 110 in the shade as I lay on the steaming hot pavement in my own vomit…retching. Sobbing.

I will never forget this day…ever.

It was a few weeks before I was barely about to graduate high school. I had just fooled them all at my senior prom. I could have kept up the facade for a little longer…but I didn’t have a choice, I was told this was the only way out…

As an adult now, I realize I did have a choice.

But when you run away from home, or get kicked out and are reliant on others…you feel like you have no choice.

I woke up on the table after being sedated, in the midst of it all…the loud noise, the lights, the people hovering over me.

I believe that is the moment that haunts me the most…waking, even groggy still from sedation, knowing what was happening. More so than the cowardly way I slumped in my chair in the waiting room before it began…wondering if the others were feeling the same way as me.

I cried myself to sleep in the back of the car, begging for fresh air to cool my face, covered in dried vomit and tears.

Somehow I managed to make it to my bed, and awakened hours later…pain so bad I could tear my own heart out…not physical pain so much, but because it was my heart that was aching…

And the empty feeling in my belly. I clawed at my stomach screaming to make this madness stop. To undo what had happened.

Next thing, I am given a Valium…out cold again.

I was in a dark place mentally back then…before this all happened.

It was literally my first time…and then I was pregnant. A senior in high school. An aspiring fashion designer. A child who just wanted her divorced parents’ love and for them to stop fighting.

Well, this got their attention alright. They found out a while later…they shed no tears for me…just more anger and pain. I was ashamed. I kept my story to myself… I was absolved of my sin by a priest after my family found out. Time to forget it forever…put it behind me.

SHAME.

I live with this every second of every day.

I couldn’t put it behind me. Even as life moved on.

But in no way shape or form, did life fill the void in my belly...in my heart.

Did I want a child at eighteen? No…I had no clue what I would have done. But there is not one day since June 1, 1991 that I do not think of him…I know in my heart it was a boy.

I swore God would never allow me to be happy again…my Catholic guilt growing larger everyday.

God was good enough to let me heal enough to graduate and temporarily mend things with my family…but I knew that he would punish me. The little girl in me said I would never be a mommy because of what I did that day.

Almost five years later, I was granted a gift. After almost losing my baby and  my life during my pregnancy, God gave us a beautiful baby girl…I lost an ovary through it all, but I felt like I had truly been absolved…that there was a God and that I had to suffer a little to finally appreciate what I had.

And I did. Life was challenging then, but I had this beautiful baby and thought I would never have any more after losing an ovary and all that my body went through to deliver her safely. And yet I was given a second chance… 

I had to embrace it.

Three more amazingly beautiful children later and almost nineteen years of a happy marriage with a husband who has heard this all and held me as I cried over and over, and I feel like God forgave me…but why am I still not forgiving myself? Is it that Catholic guilt or shame? Or simply because it truly wasn’t my choice?

I cringe everytime I read an article on this topic. I cry. I mourn. I had a choice. Maybe I made the wrong one, but my life would be very different today if I had fought back and said to them that  I had a choice in the matter.

He didn’t love me…and I didn’t love him.

Yes I was a fool…but I was just looking for love after years of being lost and made a terrible mistake.

I will never tell anyone to rid the world of abortion… There. I said it.

Abortion.

It is an ugly word. Our world has made it ugly.

But what about that girl who is raped or molested?

What about the girl like me?

What would I have done?

I would have been sent packing to live on the streets pregnant and alone…fearful of what my very catholic family would say…or maybe worse…maybe I would have killed myself or attempted to from the deep depression and shame that was setting in.

Or maybe turn to adoption…but that was never an option for some reason and I was too naive to think these things through as an eighteen year old fighting the world and everyone in it.

Do I believe that maybe I could have beaten the odds?

Found the strength to fight back and keep my child?

Found a way to finish school and pursue my dreams as an artist?

Make it work?

Hell yeah…I thought that an hour ago, and last week, or last summer when I almost had a nervous breakdown about the lie I have lived with for so long.

I know girls that did beat the odds and persevered alone with their child…yes, they have struggled to make ends meet and finish school and find love again while raising a child alone…

Some will say I gave up too easily.

Shame on me.

But even more shame for hiding it…it is part of who I am…he was part of me and will forever be my fifth child…my first. I ache for him, as any mother would over a child lost…even more so when I see how cruel life can be and take our loved ones away in an instant.

So why voluntarily do it?

My eighteen year old self said she did it because it was the only way out and because they told her to.

My Forty-something year old self says it was the shame and guilt that the scared girl couldn’t bare to face.

She did though. Faced all of it…

Took countless blows to the chin, and then when the dust settled, tucked her dirty little secret away…until now.

We all have choices in this life…and we have to live with the consquences each and everyday.

I feel that hot pavement from that day on my face twenty-four years ago like I  am living that moment now…it was a choice…one that will follow me like a dark cloud till the day I die.

Judge me, hate me, pray for me.

Do whatever you like. But I will not lie or hide this part of me anymore. My older girls know my story now. As a lesson to make better choices…but no one should make those choices for you…no one.

Today I honor the love that I lost, and all that I have gained…most importantly…

Truth.

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I smile today…I am owning this. My first ever tattoo…proudly wearing a badge forever of all my babies…four born, one lost, and one gained.

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Cheater.

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Cheater.

I know what happens when I cheat. But I still do it. More and more. It is like a drug. I cannot control that impulse.

I hate cheaters.

I grew up hating cheaters. It was embedded in my core that cheaters are no good.

And yet, here I am…cheating.

It may not be as bad as what I was told growing up. I can fix it…I can repair the damage that is done.  But how long will that feeling last and when will the cheating not be enough? Will I give up on everything for the sake of cheating?

I know I have a good thing. I finally have stability and happiness. 

But that obviously meant nothing. I did it knowing that my imaginary Family Bible full of do’s and don’ts says “Thou Shall Not Cheat”…I am a sinner in the eyes of my family, and now that I am realizing it myself…I have sinned against myself most importantly.

I am not a Holy Roller…but I believe (as I may have stated many times before) that everything happens for a reason…even my cheating.

I am guessing that my realization and guilt of cheating more and more is becoming a problem for me…and it has to stop...now.

I am not making light of an actual cheater,(one who has a relationship with someone else while married or committed to another), and the hurt and pain that causes or how it can destroy an entire family in an instant…grew up in that world and take it very seriously.

I am talking about me...my cheating with food. The love of my life…because in that Family Bible there may have been a hefty section regarding food…eat it, smother it on your face, let it make you sick or fat or sad…do whatever you want with it…it’s o.k

Food is my cheat.

I have taken the last year of my life to find that peace within myself and to understand my conditional relationship with food and my health and why I let it control me, and done really well. I am not dieting anymore, I am living…better. I eat what I want. I follow a list of restrictions, which was overwhelming at first, but not because I want to lose weight (and I have lost over thirty pounds of which I am very proud of but not focusing on too much), but because I want to learn how to live healthier and happier… not to just be skinny again for a few months, only to slowly add the weight and misery back on again.

And I was.

I made it through the holidays…usually my worst time with cakes and candy and heavy meals.

Soooo, I say to myself today, why have I cheated? I don’t know…I just wanted a cookie…albeit a gluten free one, but still a cookie. Or a few french fries…or a mixed drink…whatever it has been, I have paid the price afterward.

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Cheating does not sit well with me, literally. 

I follow a strict and fulfilling diet for several health reasons. I eat as clean as I can and have stuck to it for the most part, for almost six months now.

When I have unknowingly or knowingly cheated, I feel awful. Maybe similar to the guilt one may feel after really cheating, but more a physical feeling versus emotional.

But this is where the emotional part is catching up to me…I don’t want to cheat. I love this new way of life…so why am I doing it? Boredom? Being stuck in the house with kids and treats on yet another snow day? I don’t know…but it has to stop.

I have big plans for when this cold miserable weather takes a vacation and lets Spring come back to work in its place…

The pain is not worth it.

                                                                     The guilt isn’t either.

My brain and my stomach and my heart are fighting each other…and now I am going to be my own mediator and tell them to stop…make peace with one another.

What has happened in the past, stays in the past.  I cannot take back the harm I have done but I need to move forward, just breathe and let it go…

Wish it were that simple for real cheaters…

Guilt and Worry. You are NOT My Friends.

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Guilt and Worry. You are NOT My Friends.

 

I was born and raised with it.  I am even raising my kids with it.  I feel it everyday.  Not just through my own doing, but all around me.  Others inflict it on me.  And I let them.  Still. This thing I speak of is GUILT.  Its best friend is worry.  They go hand in hand.  I worry that I inflict guilt on my children.  I worry that I make others feel guilty about things.  I worry that I will never escape the dreaded feeling of GUILT.  I was a pretty bad teenager, from what I remember and the stories people care to tell me of my bad behavior growing up.  I never felt deliberately bad.  I never even suffered from that awful feeling of guilt.  I fought it tooth and nail and ran in the opposite direction of guilt.  But it crept on me like a dark shadow following me everywhere I went.  I let it in the door after I became a mother.  Maybe that is one of the many gifts of motherhood, I guess.  I could hear the voice of my mother in my ear, as I repeated similar phrases to my girls to make them feel guilty about something…but why?  Learned behavior is what I am hoping. Because I quite honestly despise the feeling…

The guilt of eating the wrong things, saying the wrong things, not including someone in a plan, not helping someone enough, or not fighting hard enough to end a fight or not knowing when to just let something go…

 

I admit I use guilt to make myself better sometimes.  I say something or write a comment on a social media outlet to release some bad feeling I am having towards that person or situation, or maybe want to say ALOT more, but it is controlled by a smaller possible snide comment…I am a firm believer in saying what you think, but know that comes at a high risk…so I opt for this somewhat tacky and stealthier version of making someone feel bad…it is a mean and childish thing to do, but in comparison to someone that is being hurtful or dishonest with me, it feels right…for a split second.  That must be that “bad girl” in me that everyone was talking about when I was a kid…then the motherly side comes out and slaps me across the face, and tells me to grow up. Take it back.  Don’t try to make someone feel bad because they made ME feel bad…that was their choice.  And I have a choice too.  To behave as badly, if not worse than the other person, or let it go

 

Whoever wrote that Disney song, knew what they were talking about.  I feel like I am saying this phrase to myself and kids more and more now…let it go.  The drama, the hatred, heartache, sadness, and of course, the guilt.  We can only let people make us feel these ways…I do, so I know it is possible.  I need to stop the vicious cycle and move away from it.

I beg my girls to stay out of drama, yet it still seems to find them, and then sucks us as parents into its sticky web.  When my husband and I get stuck in this web, we inevitably seem to take the worst blows. We are blamed for all of it somehow, and even when we try to “play nice” it bites us in the rear end. I feel guilty for ever getting involved in any of these situations, where we felt like we were trying to diffuse the situation but it always seems to turn into a battleground somehow…not sure why, but as I have said before,  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that when we have opened the “gates” for honest talking with people, it turns out to be the demise of a relationship…as if it was brewing for ages under the surface.  I ache knowing that the outcomes of these blowups could have ended more amicably, but they don’t.  They are sad endings to long relationships that maybe were over long ago, and we just were too naïve to notice it coming or too busy worrying about this very thing happening at some point and biting our tongues to avoid it… we have taken them all on the chin and added it to the checklist of LIFE and GROWING UP…live and learn.

So next time I start to say something to make my daughter feel guilty for not coming home to spend time with us, or think about something I said to a dear one that could’ve been said nicer, or remember how someone tried to make me feel bad,  I need to remind myself to let it go…I cannot change the past, but I can steer clear of guilt and its best friend worry…they won’t be welcome, and when they come to my door and try to turn the knob and enter into my life again, I will simply tell them to “let it go”…