I had a very complicated relationship with family growing up. Guilt was a weapon used for everything from eating your peas to hugging people who made me feel uncomfortable.
I worked hard. Made good choices. And did everything I could to better myself and it paid off. But guilt was still there. It is one of those weapons that lingers over and over in the back of your mind. I felt guilty and unworthy of the life I had been living.
I felt like I shouldn’t spend money on myself or my family because of the shame I felt because others weren’t doing as well.
Every time I bought a new sweater, went on vacation, or any other time that normally you should be excited and happy to share with friends and family. In my head I could hear the nasty comments “Oh yeah, she can buy a new TV but she can’t be bothered with helping out the homeless!”
Even when I was doing something for others I would feel the chill of jealous eyes watching and judging me. “Sure she can do for everyone else, but when it comes to us we aren’t good enough!”
And it wasn't just self talk. I actually had real humans think it was alright to troll me both online and in real life. It was ridiculous. It took me a long time to let go of toxic people out of my life.
After a while I just broke. I wanted to scream “No more! I am sorry you haven’t done anything with your life and now you sit there with your begging hands out looking for attention and breadcrumbs. That isn’t my fault! You want to be angry about YOUR past, go for it. I'm not responsible for your baggage.”
It took me a while before I could say out loud that I am done feeling guilty. It's hard, really hard to face the fact that some people want to see you miserable because they are so childish and awful. But even harder to accept that just because you once loved them, you have to let them go because you deserve to be happy.
I work hard, I give to charity and spend my time working with those charities to help them and my community. I talk to strangers and listen when they speak. I don’t treat other people poorly and in return they are kind back. There’s nothing wrong with that.
If you chose to walk down the wrong path even though everyone else tried to tell you not to go that way, that’s not my fault. Good luck with that.
So good-bye Guilt, you no longer have a room in my house. And I don't miss you!