Feeling Guilty – as a mother, a wife, and a friend

I hadn’t planned on writing so much about how I am struggling right now, but it seems as if writing about these things is more important than I realised.

This past week I have written two posts about my health and each one has received over 200 hits – my blog never receives that much interest in one day, let alone twice in one week! And this has given me the confidence to know that it’s okay to use this space to share how I’m feeling. And right now, sharing how I am feeling is so important because I need to let it out somewhere or I might explode.

So let’s start with guilt.

It’s not a pleasant feeling is it? It’s certainly not very helpful at times. But it is very, very invasive and creeps up on you at the worst possible moments, doesn’t it?

This past week I have really struggled with my physical health, and my emotional and mental health has suffered too. I have felt guilty over pretty much everything that has happened.

I’ve felt guilty for snapping at Little Man when he has jumped on me or dragged me off the sofa when I’ve been feeling really poorly.

I’ve felt guilty for not being able to remain strong and clear headed when TJ was changing meds and feeling out of sorts himself

And I’ve felt guilty for having to miss yet another friend’s birthday because right now it feels like all I am ever doing is saying, “no, I’m sorry, I just can’t make it.”

I felt guilty for not taking Little Man to toddler group because I felt so poorly.

I felt guilty for not cooking nutritious meals from scratch and making my family eat easy, convenience food.

And I felt guilty for missing my brother-in-law’s birthday because it completely slipped my mind.

Quite frankly, I feel guilty as a mother, I feel guilty as a wife, and I feel guilty as a friend. In each of these roles I am falling short because I am feeling so ill I just cannot give what I want to each one.

And that’s hard for me to take.

I was talking to a friend this morning about the way forward and whether I should be considering more drastic action to deal with my symptoms and I realised just how much this is taking over my life. A year ago it was bad, now it is unbearable.

I find myself in a familiar place, except last time I was here I wasn’t a mother and I remember very clearly saying to TJ that I didn’t know if I would ever be well enough to have children and maybe we weren’t meant to be parents.

And I feel immensely guilty about that! I have the most beautiful son, who is the light of my life, and I cannot give him what he deserves because I am so ill. And that breaks my heart.

The past two years have been spent coming to terms with the fact that we cannot have another child… and yet suddenly that means nothing. Right now my focus is on what I need to do to be well enough to give the child I have the best of me.

Don’t get me wrong – my son is loved, he is cared for, he is thriving in all areas. I am not failing him in any way other than the fact that I want to do more. I want to be well enough to plan activities and trips away to see family and friends, and actually be able to do them. Right now I just cannot do more than what I have to do. I can feed him, clean him, clothe him, play with him, read to him, teach him and love him… but at the end of all that I am so exhausted I don’t know how to recover.

And there are so many things I want to give him. So many things I want to give my husband. And so many things I want to give myself. I want to complete the HG book. I want to devote as much of my career to changing things for other women, so that they never have to feel these emotions. And I want to have a life where my health doesn’t dictate what I can and can’t do. Where we can invite Little Man’s cousins and friends to stay or we can plan a holiday of our own without thinking “will I be well enough to do this?”

And right now I know roughly what I need to do to get there, but the path is a scary one. It means considering more invasive surgery than I have ever considered and that terrifies me. But I think I’m at the point where I no longer want to live like this – I want to see what life is like without it hanging over me.

I’ve spent more years of my life controlled by my health than I have without these health issues, and that is a fact I want to change sooner rather than later.

And hopefully that will stop the guilt too…

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve just had the chance to come back and read this today, and I’m glad I did leave it until after my occupational health appointment because things were said in that which, while they don’t apply to me right now, they certainly apply to you, IMHO!
    As a briefing, I went to OH about my recurrent headaches: this was instigated by my manager(s) but I had no problem seeking a solution because this is the first job I’ve spent a year in and still enjoy coming to (I haven’t had a day yet where I’ve woken up and thought ‘I don’t wanna go!’: of course I’ve had them for illness reasons or had ‘I don’t wanna do X’). I also enquired about them getting worse if I do a parttime MA and whether the OH adviser thought that was a good idea or not.
    The OH nurse basically said I should see my GP for advice about them getting worse during my MA before starting it. She said, crucially, that while they’re *part of my life* that I just get on with, it’s fine, but when they *take over my life* that’s entirely different and really needs sorting.
    She was basically saying no-one should be too ill to do the things they want to: we can all cope with our illnesses but when they start to rule our lives it’s time to stand up and shout about it.
    Seems there’s lots of shouting going on at the moment! Good luck 😀

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