GUILT...let's work through it.

Vickey__MNDecember 12, 2006

Okay people, our kids/Parents work GUILT on us a LOT, but in reality, GUILT is often their issue, not ours, they force it on us, so let's work through some of this together. I'll give examples of what I mean.

Here's a scenerio....

My kid is sick I think it is the "school bus flu" (you know the soon as the bus goes away, so does the flu), so I send my child to school anyway. Turns out the next day they have a rash, so I take them to the Dr. Guess what, they have Strep. I feel GUILTY. I am the worse Mother EVER. How could I do that to my child.


1. I would have checked for fever, no fever and knowing child is why I would have done what I did.

2. Dr. have to run test at first to detect strep, I couldn't have known.

3. Worse Mother EVER....I think not.

4. I made a misjudgement...not even a mistake, just a misjudgement. May not have even been strep yesterday.

5. I didn't "Do THIS" to my child. It just happened.



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I think you made an important point, Vickey.

Work through the problem/situation, dispense with any emotional tags, and then invariably you will come up with a solution.

Although my children, or one in particular, has said to me "Every other parent blah, blah, blah " and "I hate you", and "Why don't you ever have any food in the house" .....I can honestly say that I have "armed" myself against these savage words as I know I am a good parent, I always act in the best way, so that's it. If they are not happy with something, I see it as their problem.

Mind you I am willing to listen to greivances and change the situation if I think it is for the best, overall.

I still get confused, overawed, but as you said before...take a step back, when you feel like that, say "I will get back to you" ...go away and think, clear your mind, work through the problem and BINGO the solution will stare you in the face.

Good discussion.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 1:14AM
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First, I don't think guilt is necessarily a bad thing. I fear that at least as many people refuse to accept any sense of guilt as take on an unearned load because of others. Far too many people reject guilt as if it were impossible for them to have done anything wrong and that, in my opinion, is the same as refusing to take responsibility for one's actions (or lack thereof). Sometimes a feeling of guilt is appropriate and can lead to awareness and improvement. NEVER feeling guilt is surely misguided.

What's important is to learn to determine whether the guilt one feels is one's own and whether it is appropriate in the situation. It IS possible for guilt to be shoved onto us by others (for various reasons). It is also possible to feel guilty in one situation because of our awareness that we have not acted properly in another. We may be carrying a tendency to feel guilty on account of things we have done in the past. Or we may be borrowing guilt from the future. That happens, I think, when we have made up our minds about how we expect things to turn out and then we don't behave in a way that will lead to that outcome. We may have acted perfectly appropriately...just not in accord with the mythical future.

Avoiding the sense of guilt seems to have become an automatic positive for many people. We refuse to accept the feeling in the hope that it will mean that we are NOT guilty. It doesn't work that way. I believe it is far better to let our feeling of guilt guide us to examine situations (as Vickey did in the first post) and to learn from them. We should not be too quick to judge ourselves (or others) but we should not be too quick to excuse ourselves either. We can learn from mistakes and our sense of guilt may be the thing that focuses our attention on them.

Once we have had our attention drawn to the reality of the situation by guilt, we should try to move on from there without useless delay. If we actually are guilty we should try to fix the mess we have made. If there is no way to change the situation or to make amends we should at least express our regret and try to avoid repeating the bad behavior. But wallowing in guilt without allowing it to positively modify our behavior and attitude is not productive. It doesn't make us better and it doesn't help anyone else.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:26PM
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I work at home, and in school holiday times, its tricky with children home from school. If I work, I must admit I feel a bit guilty, so I stop and do something with the children. Then after that, I feel guilty and often annoyed, because I am behind in the work. Summer holidays is a busy time for me, work wise, but its the longest school holiday.

So I guess there is guilt involved here.

I see it as is up to ME to manage the situation. To be organised, which I try to do now. To work a few hours in the morning, have a break, take son to the beach (its summer here), back home, do a bit more work. Its exhausting, for me, and the house is a mess, but I think I can manage for these holidays.

In the past its been a real problem for me.

I must admit, I can't really see how another person can make me feel guilty....I am doing that to myself, the person is not the cause of MY feeling of GUILT.

Its important to turn this negative emotion GUILT, into a solution to the problem, which is a positive outcome.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:25AM
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Ah, but people DO make us feel guilty at times. I'm not saying feeling guilt is bad, but there are times when people USE guilt to MAKE people do what they want. We see this A LOT. I'll use the example in my family. I no longer go to my husbands mother's house. I feel no guilt. That person is a MONSTER IN LAW. This Christmas day she wants to have Christmas at her house. Fine, everyone can go, I will not go. I feel no guilt. My choice, I will stay home. I AM FINE WITH IT. My husband would in the past try to guilt me into going...IF YOU LOVED ME YOU'D GO. So he is saying that my love for him is based on me going. I know this isn't true, and I still will not go. Do I love him...usually except when he tries this!!! :*)...but there are people who would fall for that line...and go, have a bad time just to please their spouse. (There is MUCH to this story of the MONSTER-IN-LAW, and I will NOT subject myself to her abuse anymore). SO anyway this year he promised he wouldn't. SO, his brother is trying to guilt him into MAKING ME GO. Everyone knows why I won't go, they agree on what she does to me, etc. HE starts feeling guilty, He is putting ME before family, Because of ME I am making people not have a good time, My decision causes problems for everyone (Never mind how their mom treats me..that's besides the point). So they have him feeling guilty.

Reality...He is putting his wife before his siblings...isn't that what marriage is? They will have a good time, weather I am there or not. I am not the root of the problem. He is not in control of his wife. It is NOT his problem. He really had to struggle with thsi guilt (and anger for his brother pushing--trying to push--this onto him).

BEFORE he learned how to handle the guilt life here was NOT FUN. He'd feel guilty, he'd then conjoil (Is that the word) beg, and try to force me to go. I WILL NOT go. He'd get into a bad mood. He'd try to GUILT me into going. Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) was NOT FUN. There was a lot of tension. Because they MADE him feel guilty (or as Popi stated, he LET THEM make him feel guilty) he passed that feeling..skewed onto us in the was of anger. He did not have a positive outcome, he made it very negative. He let it eat him, and control him. This year he's learned to control it, and not let THEM control him.

Popi, you are right, you make yourself feel guilt...they can TRY, but you are the one that ALLOWS it. And it is something that is good to recognise.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:35AM
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Sounds like you are trying to look for an excuse for not getting along with your mother in law.
You choose not to attend. You say your MIL makes you feel uncomfortable/angry. You and only you are in control of how you feel....proven by the fact that you say you don't feel guilty about not attending family functions. So, put those same controls to work and smile through your MIL's bad behavior and attend and make your husband happy. Then you will be the hero!

As for sending your child to school when he was getting strep throat? I would hsay you should feel guilty, not only for "doing that" to your son but for exposing all the other people to strep. You should have looked down his throat, taken his temp and assessed the situation more closely before you sent him on. The guilt you feel will perhaps ( if you are a sensible and sensitive person) keep you from sending a very sick child to school to spread the strep bacteria on to others.

Sorry to be blunt, but you came here to start a discussion and I feel there are situations in which you should feel guilt. When you do something to harm or hurt others, and you CAN do something else.
You should not feel guilt because your newish tire blew and your car injured someone else...but you should feel guilt is you had very very worn tires and were driving in an unsafe manner and hurt someone else.
If there were another course of action and the one you choose causes discomfort or hurt to another, you should feel guilt.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:08AM
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I feel no guilt. SEnding a kid to school when I do not know they have strep is nothing to feel guilty about, it is an error, plain and simple. I would feel bad afterwards, but it is not something I would plan to do. (NOT something I did, an example I posted). Kids get sick in the middle of the day, you do not know they have something until after they are sick...can't beat yourself up. YES, IF I'd send a knowingly sick child to school, I SHOULD feel guilt. That is not what I was talking about.

FEeling guilt about not seeing my MONSTER IN LAW. No. Again long story. I will NOT subject myself to her abuse, I will not put a smile on my face and let her abuse me. Same as I would not put a smile on my face and let someone slap me. My husband, asking me to do this when he knows it the situation is NOT fair to me (That is how our relationship works, I do NOT ask him to do things that make him uncomfortable and I expect him to do the same for me, it's worked for 23 years for us). I will NOT be a hero at my expense, I LIKE MYSELF to much to put myself into an abusive situation. Took years of counseling to come to that realization!

I am not saying there are not situations people should feel guilty (and do not..seems to happen more and more in this day and age), BUT there are times families make you feel guilty when you've done nothing wrong. They do it to get their way. I only wanted, with the holidays when it's more prevelant, to help people through it.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 2:02PM
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Dear Vickey

I am sorry you have problems with Christmas Day, its not fair is it. But I must admit, I am surprised that you have not worked out a plan of action to handle you MIL. Its not acceptable that she openly abuses you....and YOU are such a strong person, with brilliant ideas, I am sure you know what to say to put an immediate STOP to that abuse.

Granted, I don't know the whole situation and cannot imagine the problems you have had with this woman over the years.

But its not worth all the hassle...focus on the day, your family unit as a whole is what's important to you. I think if you are unable to go, then perhaps you whole family should not go.

Sorry, this seems to have turned into a discussion about your Christmas Day problems, is that what you want ?

I have been reading a bit about Karma, and how it works. Basically, you look at the problem, and look at the solution, no blame, no retribution, no guilt. If the solution is to get someone else to help with the situation then that is fine. But basically your objective is to not get into that "eye for an eye" deal. I also read "an eye for an eye makes you blind", which is very true.

Don't let people make you feel guilty.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Popi, I am fine with Christmas, and have worked things out fine. If I don't go, trust me I have a better time than when I do go, so I am not missing out on anything!!! I no longer feel guilty about it because it isn't my problem, it is obviously hers.

I didn't start this to be about me, on another forum there are people who are feeling guilty for doing the right thing (their family is blaming them because they did the right thing), and that is why I started this. I feel guilt has its place, and there are MANY time when guilt has no place but to hurt.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 12:49PM
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Happy Chrissy Vickey, hope you have a nice day.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 2:12AM
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