Oh… The Guilt!

Please tell me I am not alone in this.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that feels guilty about literally EVERYTHING.

I have such a complex about seeming selfish and I’m so conscious of it, almost all the time, that I often battle with such terrible guilt!

I have struggled with terrible survivor’s guilt ever since Ava’s birth. I feel so guilty to be enjoying this special time while watching so many of my friends still struggling with infertility that, at times, I’ve had to turn away from them just to be able to cope with my guilt better.

I have a big mouth, which often gets me into lots of trouble, I’m not the type to hold my peace, or grin and bear it. If I have something to say, I will say it. I have to say it, otherwise the emotions behind it will eat at me until the entire situation is completely blown out of proportion. But when I do say my peace and the other person involved apologizes for it, I feel guilty about it and then I start worrying about being selfish.

How to you handle apologies? Do they also send you into an over analytical spin, all wrapped up with guilt or are you able to accept the apology, feel vindicated and move on?

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  • Reply wheresmybun

    Good question. I’m really not sure, as I normally keep my peace (but not always.I think it depends on the situation, who else was involved, how the apology was obtained, did yo make a big fuss, how you reacted etc etc. All in all, its best just to accept the apology and move on unless, you also have something to apologise for, then you should and both parties should move on. What’s in the past should stay there. As for the over analysing part, for me its part of my personality and I have to constantly remind myself to be kind to myself, that I can’t be perfect, no one is perfect. And then move on.

    August 20, 2010 at 9:57 am
  • Reply Zeu

    In an ideal world, a normal person will welcome the apology and move on. But as an ex-infertile (speaking from experience) we always have this guilt lingering, because we got what others still long and dream of. Should we feel guilty? No, but we do, and I suppose it’s normal, because we don’t want to feel that we are insensitive to their “needs”.

    Difficult one this, I can’t preach because I do it too… Will “stalk” this post, to see if somebody else can come up with a good solution..


    August 20, 2010 at 9:57 am
  • Reply suestuart

    I think in a way its a good thing to feel a little guilt, because it keeps us aware of other people and compassion for their situations. I don’t mean though that we should beat ourselves up about it. I feel guilt that I finally have my baby and others don’t. I feel guilt that I am married and I know so many singles who would love a spouse. I feel guilt that I am materialy blessed and that there are so many people who have little or nothing. I think it keeps us grounded, and makes us compassionate.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm
  • Reply Mash

    The bank phoned me to apologize about the estate after I wrote that scathing letter to the press. And I felt guilty (sleepless nights stuff), even though I knew I had nothing to feel guilty about. Isn’t it strange? Do you think it’s a woman’s thing? We don’t believe we deserve it?

    August 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    Guilt implies you did something wrong. You didn’t. You should not let guilt rob you of your joy. I think the right emotion would be empathy, you have that in spades.
    But if you say your peace, and they apologise, say thank you, move on.
    We are all basically selfish, it is human nature, but it sounds as if you worry that you are being excessivly selfish. Just the fact that this bothers you, means that you are not. A truly selfish person does not consider other people’s feelings at all, they are completely self involved, and don’t even notice that other people might be sad, or upset.
    Also, standing up for yourself is not the same as being selfish. If you say your piece to someone, and they apologise, say thank you, move on.
    It is good to remember that there are others less fortunate than us, I agree it keeps us grounded. But again, we did nothing wrong, so why feel guilty? When we meet someone that is more fortunate than us, do we expect them to feel guilty? Would we want them to?
    We should only feel guilt if we are directly responsible for someone else’s misery.
    (And yes, it probably is a woman’s thing!)

    August 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm
  • Reply tzipieastwest

    It is a woman’s thing. Who ate the apple ?

    August 23, 2010 at 9:37 am
  • Reply TJ

    Sharon, I’m one of the few in the world that doesn’t feel guilty. I feel sad for people, I feel obliged to do things but I don’t feel guilt. Living with guilt makes you miss out on the wonderful things! Feeling guilt would imply that you regret doing something. And truth be told, if you had to live in regret and guilt you can’t move forward. You have no reason to feel guilty! We live our lives and all the mistakes and accomplishments we’ve made in the past is what brings us to where we are now. No need to be guilty about it. You have the heart to empathise with your friends – you know how they feel and what they’re going through. And you can’t feel guilty for celebrating your gorgeous daughter – just as your friends shouldn’t resent you for it. But you can remember your friends – and they should be grateful because you’re still there for them. And even if they cut you off like you did with one of your best friends 4yrs ago… then so be it… they too may return one day!

    August 23, 2010 at 10:07 am
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