Feelings of Guilt – My Confession!

Except my quote I won’t do another post today. Therefore I hope you can take the time to read this one. It would mean a lot to me.

During the past 5 to 6 years I learned a lot about letting go, making peace with the past and becoming a very tolerant person. But when I read Amanda’s post yesterday I noticed that there is still something lying deep inside that makes me feel guilty. I planned to prepare a post about “Feelings of Guilt” for next Monday. But after what happened last night I have to do it here and now! You will understand right away.

I woke up last nightΒ  and had a warm funny feeling in my throat. Since I am dealing with high blood pressure I was scared.( I take medication from time to time under professional supervision). I had my great-grandmother in mind. Her aorta broke and she died of internal bleedings within a short time. Did my blood pressure cause something like that? I got dizzy although lying in bed. My arms and legs got num. I tried to get up in order to get a glass of water but I immediately fell back into my bed. I knew that my scary thoughts would make it worse. Shall I wake up my husband and have him calling the ambulance? But what if this is only some simple weakness as I experienced it when I was sick or at times as a teenager? I did not wake him. But I started thinking about “what if”… What would be with my children? Do they really know that I love them? Do they know how much they always meant to me? Do they know how sorry I am for all that I did in my stupid attitude of wanting to be the perfect mom only because I had no self-esteem? Or would they feel guilty for any fight we had? Would they even feel guilty because I made them feeling guilty in the past?

I guess the first time it happened was January 4 1999. I will never forget those moments. That time I was pregnant with my second child. My husband, my daughter (3) and I flew back from Orlando to Buffalo. Since our flight was cancelled two days before because of an ice-storm in Buffalo we had to change planes in Atlanta. We were even upgraded to business class. When we entered the plane in Atlanta we had dinner. My daughter sat with me. Everything had to go fast because it was a short flight. As soon as everything was on our tables onto cloth napkins my daughter said she had to go to the toilet. I told her that it wasn’t easy now and she could go after dinner.Since I had to go with her that all was very complicated. She was wining around and instead of simple moving everything away I insisted that she eats first. I even forced her to eat well. Then she said that she peed in her pants – and of course all over the seat. I was so embarrassed and let her clearly know about that. I told her to eat now and we would take care of it later. But because of all that pressure she even threw up unexpectedly. Now I was completely overwhelmed. I had my husband to help out who was still eating and did not feel to hurry. It was a complete disaster. Instead of calming and comforting her I blamed my daughter for everything. When we were finally home I realized what I did. When she was in bed I broke down crying and shaking. How could I do that? She was only three and needed my help? I promised myself to never let something like that happen again… But it was only the beginning.

I loved to cuddle my kids whenever possible. As I wrote yesterday I never banned a child from my bedroom when it was scared. When they were sick I was sitting at their beds all night long if necessary. I cared that they got all the support they needed and wanted. I always defended my kids even in front of my father which was one of my big breakthroughs. I never stood up in front of my father because he was dominating me all life long by then. I was afraid of discussions because I was always helplessly lost. But when it came to my kids one day I spoke up clearly.

But there was this other side – the hurt child within me that again and again showed up when things did not go the way I planned it. I always wanted to be perfect in order to proof that I am in control. I was taught to be perfect all life long but “failed” again and again to meet expectations – at least I felt that way. I was the oldest and had the part of the role model as well. Now that I had my own family I started to develop an attitude like “nobody ever tells me anymore what to do – I am in control!”

The poorest one was my middle one. He has been a dreamer which I adored on one hand but alsoΒ  judged on the other hand. He had to be the big one and the reasonable one when my third child was born (there too it started during my pregnancy). He was such a sweet, sensitive, compassionate and helpful little boy. And thinking back I did not honor that. My daughter always had to be the big one. There was barely mercy when it came to her. With three kids I got so impatient and rude at times when I was overwhelmed and OF COURSE lost control about the schedule. But that was a no-go as I was taught. They had to function and to fulfill what I imagined as a perfect family. I was impatient with them, loud and hot-tempered. And if they did not obey I could get very personal and offending. I wasn’t myself anymore.

There were many nights when I was crying about my unfair behaviour. When all of them were lying in their beds and everything calmed down I saw with distance what happened. I hated myself and fought a fight with me. Again I promised to make it better the next day. But the story repeated. I am so, so sorry for that. The memory breaks my heart again. And yes, I am crying right now. But it is ok. It helps moving the debris to the surface. These tears are good tears.

Over time I started realizing that there was something within me that kind of took over in times of pressure. I felt like being unable to do anything about it. But when I started working on myself more and more I was able to stop myself at times and remind me of not doing anything I might regret later. That was the beginning I guess when I realized that it is in my hands to change something. It is up to me how things are going and not up to others to change for my benefit. I am the adult, I have the experience, and I am there to lead them.

Of course I did not constantly distress them. That were the situations when my own past seemed to be mirrored in my life with switched roles. I was shocked when my daughter once said: You are like grandpa! Finally then I was awakening. I swore I would never treat my children the way I was treated but I did.

I can’t erase what happened. And right that was it what was tearing me apart for many years. I pretty soon understood that I can never blame anyone. What I did was in my responsibility only. That was a tough insight when I was in my early 30s but also the one that helped me to make changes step by step. First and foremost I started working on myself in order to make it better for my children. I wanted to show them how much of a gift and treasure they are to me. They are part of my heart and all the three have a part of my heart within them.

While working on my issues I not only got more liberal and tolerant for my children. I even worked on my own breakthrough. With every step I encountered happenings in my life that made me discover my inner beauty and my power. My self-esteem grew. One impacting event was the already mentioned stepping up towards my father when he mortified my son. I finished my daughter being bullied and therefore healed my own inner child a little more.

There was one certain insight that released me a lot from feeling guilty: I felt under constant pressure during my childhood and through my teenage years for being the way I was expected to be, actually even longer. But would I be who I am today without breaking free through my own insights – my own effort? No! If I never had to fight I would have never won. The most important, effective and enduring insights are the ones we make through experience. When are you more proud of yourself? When you past an exam or when you paid for getting it?

Through all I learned during the past 5 – 6 years in a challenging crash course of transformation I know that we get the family, the friends, the culture we need in order to develop what we are supposed to develop. We need to be imprisoned in order to break free and appreciate freedom. We need darkness in order to appreciate the light. We need domination in order to liberate ourselves and discover our own value and power. We need to feel what we are in order to make it a deep knowing.

This is not an excuse for what I did. I am definitely not proud of it. But today I know that I needed my issues in order to become who I am today. I know that my children will make there experiences in order to develop themselves! My daughter is turning 20 this year and I couldn’t be any prouder about this beautiful young woman full of self-esteem and self-determination with a lovely sense of justice for others. My sons are developing in their own perfect direction. I am here today to simply encourage them to be who they want to be and to support that. They are not supposed to be anything or anyone. I couldn’t love them more.

Of course we are still having arguments. I will always get mad when my son gets up from the table and leaves all the dishes just there. Or when my daughter occupies half of the house with her stuff. I will always get mad when they just drop their bags when they come home or when they walk around the house with their dirty shoes while I try to keep everything clean. That’s about house rules and mutual respect.

This post shall show that we all are having issues. I am glad I found an outlet with this post to let go of another shard. I accept that I am not perfect and I even don’t want to be it. But I am aware that I am not and I do my best to spread the love I finally found in myself right because of everything I experienced. We all are doing things at times we might regret later. But feeling guilty doesn’t help. It only weakens us and keeps us from growing out of ourselves. We cannot erase the past, but we can learn from it in order to make it better now. If you feel sorry, say it NOW! Don’t postpone it. You never know …

Tank you for reading. In Love and Light!

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52 Comments

The experiences from your childhood, teen, and young adult years resulted in your father’s mentality be imbedded in your own. It showed up in your interactions with your kids in certain situations. The pursuit for perfection is a leads to tearing you away from who you are to try and live up to the standards of others. You chose at some point to break from this mentality and reclaim your own and your true inner self. I believe your children at that time had no idea why they were being treated in such a way, but that was then and today, I believe they see the depth of love their mom has for them. Have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing this, Erika.

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I can only agree, Syl. I am glad I learned that lesson well and see that my kids are living their lives as they feel. No one tries to prove anything and for many years now I am the mom I wanted to be: supportive, encouraging, and hopefully inspiring in showing them that only their own path is the path of fulfillment. Thank you for reading, Syl.

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I grew enormously on it and can pass the insights now on, to my children and my readers. Nothing is in vain and there is always a reason for everything. No accidents in this perfectly organized universe 😊

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Thanks for lEating me this way sis! I loved this post, and can relate on every level. We all do these things, and much if the time,miss because we are striving for perfection, when we need to realise perfection is there in front of us… It’s just everyone’s perfection is unique, different! I’ll get there, like we all do! Thank you again Luna Sis 😍😍😍😍

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That is very well said, Ritu! We all strive for perfection. One day we reach the point where we realize that perfection is one of the biggest illusions. Because perfection is how we develop through dealing with imperfection. All a loooong process… lol

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Erika thank you for sharing this piece of your life. I am especially blessed by the idea that the struggle, helped you to be the person you are today. It helped you to grow. We go through things in our lives that are so difficult sometimes, and it seems to be an impossible situation. We can come through it made a better person. I really appreciate your humility. Blessings to you my friend.

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Hi Erika, I read this yesterday but was unable to respond as I only had a mobile connection going. I loved your post, your openness and sincerity. Being a parent is often challenging and sometimes quite overwhelming. Its also a topic not often discussed but experienced by so many, myself included. We are the some of our mistakes and successes, its what we do thereafter that counts. Thanks so much for sharing this. Janine

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Thank you so much, Janine, for your wonderful and also very open comment. Yes, my story is more or less everybody’s story. I felt the need to share it right because I know that so many are strugglilng with it or still suffer. I wanted to show that we also have the ability to make something out of it. To grow of it actually and that is a wonderful breakthrough. Nobody needs to be ashamed because of acting in ways we later regret. We are all human and life is there to learn… we only need to apply what we might have learned. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Janine!!!

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You are so open with this. I feel bad for the times I failed my children unintentionally, but worse were the times when I knew I was wrong and kept going. It seemed I enjoyed my self-perpetuating anger. That was so wrong to prefer my anger to the feelings of my children

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I so hear you, Linda! I honor your openness well. I know how hard it can be to confess to oneself that we kept on acting wrong although we already realized it. These are the blocks we stumble over until we are ready to take steps towards removing them. It is never too later. After my yesterday’s post I talked to my kids at night and apologized. I want them to know that it was never about them but always about me. That was the last step and now I am in peace.

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