Guilt

There are all kinds of guilt.  Catholic guilt, Jewish guilt, survivors guilt.  What about chronic illness guilt?

Today I am really feeling it.  My husband is taking steps to get a better job (full time, with benefits) so that we don’t end up moving in with my parents.

The thing is, he will also be working at his current job during training.  He will be doing training in the morning, and his current job in the evening.  That’s 12 hour days for him for the next month.

This past weekend was a whirlwind of activity.  Egg hunts, hockey games, the annual Easter get-together on my uncle’s ranch, which is an hour away.

I was exhausted way before Easter.  I spent most of the time yesterday just sitting on the couch at my uncles.  I really had a hard time even functioning yesterday.

So the exhaustion carried over to today.  I forgot to set my alarm, and Sunshine slept through hers, so she missed the bus.  That means my husband had to take her to school.  It was not a pretty morning in this household.

I feel like I could pass out now.  But there is laundry to do, a mountain of dishes, various bits of the Easter holiday spread throughout the house.  Candy here, an egg (plastic) there.  It looks like a Easter tornado hit this apartment.

Plan is for me to go back to sleep for an hour or two.  Then start trying to whip this place into shape.

The guilt.  I feel insanely guilty about being sick.  Down to the pit of my stomach, I feel awful.  The plan was that I would work full time so that my husband could go to nursing school.  I haven’t been able to return to work, so I lost my job in January.  Along with my  benefits.  I was pulling the benefits for everyone.  And I couldn’t get better in time to save my job.

His mother passed away a week before the end of the summer semester last year.  Even though he had a near 100% in the class, they would not allow him to do the final when he got back to Texas six weeks later.  So he now has to take this class over and THEN he can apply to nursing school.

I’m doing everything I can with regards to applying for assistance, attempting to generate some income.  Saving the little money we do have.

But the words of my ex-husband rings very loudly through my skull “I fell out of love with you when you got sick”.

I’m terrified that history will repeat itself.  I am overweight, I look like the marshmallow man from Ghost Busters.  I’m not just fat, I’m swollen.  My face is swollen, my feet, my fingers and my abdomen.  I now have really bad acne.  I hate the way I look.  Its to the point that I can’t look in the mirror anymore.

And I can’t get the house into a state that is acceptable to my husband right now.  He is a little OCD.  He has explained time and time again that the state of the house influences his anxiety.  If it is cluttered and out of order, he feels cluttered and out of order.

The problem is, I learned years ago with the fibro that it is virtually impossible for me to be on top of everything at all times.  It goes back to the gas tank theory.  I only have so much energy.  I would rather spend that energy on playing with my daughter or attempting to generate income.

Yes, the dishes need done (that is a priority) and food needs to be cooked.  But in terms of dusting, running the sweeper, laundry….I feel those things can wait.

So my husband will be a crazy ball of stress for the next month.  And I can’t keep up with the things that keep his anxiety at bay.

I feel such intense guilt.  Guilt that I can no longer produce, guilt that I can’t be the wife I would like to be.  Guilt that I look hideous.  Guilt that I am sucking up all of the money we do have to pay for meds and doctors.  Guilt that I can’t just push through it and do it all.  That I’m not strong enough to just overcome this illness.

I’m not terribly religious, but I’m starting to pray that I get through this.  That we get through this.  That things will be better in the coming weeks and months.

Positive thinking:  I got to see my family over the weekend.  I hadn’t seen most of them since Christmas.  It just feels good to belong.  To be around people I have a common bond with.  I rarely get out of the house these days, so it was nice to get out, get some fresh air and a tiny bit of sun.

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2 thoughts on “Guilt

  1. I’d tell you to feel guilt – if it helped anything. Don’t bother – use your emotional energy to do what you can, and you just can’t do anything about the rest.

    Be kind to yourself, at least mentally: you are the center of your little family, and you didn’t choose this. You do the best you can. Look for shortcuts and cheats (I cheat a LOT), ways to do tiny bits at a time – instead of telling yourself ‘today I must clean the whole house.’

    Yesterday, after a shower, I cleaned the tub. The easy way: I used the toilet bowl cleaner (stuff is designed for enameled surfaces) and the toilet brush. Put it on liberally, sloshed it around, scrubbed very lightly with the brush, used my toothbrush glass and threw hot water over everything when I was done to rinse it down. While my hair was still wrapped in a towel.

    Why? Because it was dirty – and I noticed it – and that’s all the housecleaning I did yesterday. It took about 5 min.

    Better to do one tiny little bit than to tell yourself tomorrow you’ll do the whole thing.

    Your previous husband is a word I wouldn’t use in polite society – forget about him.

    You know if you got better tomorrow, it would take you a short while – and you’d be caught up. If you don’t, well, you’ll manage by doing what you can when you can – and not wasting energy on guilt.

    Sorry! I talk too much! Happy Easter.

    • Thank you for your wonderful reply. I’m trying, really hard. I guess its the remnants of Catholicism in me. Thank you for your ideas and support.

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