Got Guilt?

2613557583_dd4b7d414e If you could weigh feelings and emotions, how much do you think GUILT would weigh? I think about that — often — because for me, guilt has become a constant companion. GUILT is also very mean and not at all supportive. Example of our twisted, often abusive relationship:

Wow, you moved cross-country to be closer to your mom, made some big decisions, affected other people’s lives drastically, and yet you really only see your mom about once or twice a week at the most. You are a bad daughter. You should be going over and visiting more often. Why aren’t you there? She misses you and wants to see you. Why aren’t you making the drive? You’re lazy. You’re cruel. You’re terrible. Even the most awful daughter is a better daughter than you are.

And so it goes. Of course, sometimes my friends LOGIC and COMPASSION step in and remind me that I am doing the best that I can do. Example a typical conversation:

Kat! Wake up! Relax! You moved cross-country, you’re doing what you can do, you got your mom medicaid, you’re there, close-by whenever she or your dad need you. You need to give yourself a break once in a while. And you need to ditch GUILT ASAP. GUILT is a major Debbie Downer… wah, wah. Kat meet CHILL.

GUILT weighs about 100 pounds and I weigh about 120 pounds. You do the math. Still, when I’m focused and not distracted by external factors, I seem to have enough strength in me to put my damn foot down. Moment of clarity: I am dedicating Saturdays to myself and enjoying my life. I’m 32 years old and I refuse to give up any more of my life or myself. I am here 24/7 for both my parents, but I need to find a balance… a balance between a full-time job, my parental obligations, and myself. I’ve said before that BALANCE is not in my vocabulary. But, clearly, balance is key, along with a schedule, when comes to this kind of life… and living a happy, fulfilling life. It’s no doubt a crap disease and a crap situation; thing is, it is what it is and you do have a choice.

I think most of us feel guilty… so take heart in knowing that you’re not alone. Cut yourself some slack. Try not to let GUILT bust your chops all day long. Step outside the disease for a moment because there’s a whole world and a life out there. We of all people should know that life if short, our bodies are fragile. We of all people should grab life by the balls and make our mark while we still can.

4 Comments

  1. Woo-hoo for you!!! It’s our constant demon companion. If you have no gas in your tank, no time for your head to clear – you’re no good when they DO need you. Thanks for this timely reminder. I’m about to book a ticket to LA to be there with my daughter for some recording sessions…time for someone else to be “on call”.

  2. Hi Kathy

    My mom was recently diagnosed with FTD. I came across your blog via Google Alerts. I am 35 and I feel you when you say we’re too young to be going through this.

    I began blogging (about my mom and my life in general) earlier this year. I had to abandon my original blog due to anonymity issues at work, but I’ve started a new one, anonymity in tact.

    Having just relocated my mom from her waterfront house in Oregon to a 1 bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility – I constantly feel guilt. My brother and I also took her car away. More guilt.

    We do what we can and we try to survive this, yes?

    Take care,
    Colby

  3. YES! this will make us stronger… and we’ll get through it. i have moments, as i’m sure you do, but i am determined to get thru this with as much grace as possible… um, there may not be much grace left, but you know what i mean. thank you for your support and good luck! KAT

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