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Guilt is going to ruin my life

 
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 03:45 pm
I feel guilty about everything and I mean everything!

I have a gorgeous, beautiful funny 8month old baby girl whom I love. But occasionally like any parent I need a break from her. So I send her to my In-Laws, sometimes just for a few hours, sometimes overnight - she loves going, is always happy when we pick her up and is well cared for by her grandparents who adore her. But I feel guilty about her going, like I'm a bad parent for wanting an uninterpreted nights sleep or to have a hot cup of tea rather than a cold one for a change. When she goes away overnight (once a month) I drink wine, which I don't do at any other time, as I know I won't need to wake up in the night for my daughter and I feel bad about that too. I usually only have 1-2 glasses but I feel like thats a really bad thing to do like I'm not allowed to enjoy myself when she's not around.

I feel guilty that I don't speak to my dad or his family anymore. My dad physically and emotionally (and possibly sexually) abused me while I was growing up, the thought of what he did to me sickens me. His family encouraged him telling me I was wrong and naughty. He threatened violence against me when I was pregnant and made me feel small and horrible. Growing up I was never good enough. But now I feel guilty that I don't speak to him because people tell me he's "missing me" and has had a nervous breakdown over it because he doesn't know what he did to make me stop speaking to him - he's never met my daughter, wasn't at my wedding, and only knows how I'm doing as my brother still speaks to him occasionally.

I feel bad for liking my In-Laws and disliking my mum. My mum acts like a child, not a 50 something grandmother, she jumps around and gets silly. She embarrassed me when I was a teenager in front on my entire form group one weekend by pouncing around and popping bubbles in the way a toddler would, I never lived it down. I had 50 balloons at my wedding for the children to play with (I mean the actual children not my mother) and she bounced around screaming and shouting like a child, she actually scared the 3 toddlers that were there as she almost crashed into them jumping about. She says I'm a grump and I need to "let her have her fun" but she embarrassed me and my husband in front of our friends and family - including my husbands boss. I feel guilty telling her off like a child though because she cries. I keep her at arms length and I feel bad about that because she wants to be in my daughters life.

My In-Laws are lovely, they know how to behave like adults but still enjoy themselves. They've never embarrassed us, or belittled us. The way they behave makes me want to cut my mum out of my life too, but I feel guilty for evening thinking that. I'd never want my daughter to think that about me.

I just want to stop this guilt. While it's eating me up I can't be assertive and it makes me doubt my decisions and life choices.

Please help me!
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 04:15 pm
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
I'm throwing down the counseling card right now.

Life does not have to be this way.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 04:36 pm
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
I think that there are two kinds of guilt. There is true guilt, which is what you feel before you commit an act that is not in harmony with your deeply felt convictions concerning right and wrong. And then there is false guilt, which is what you feel after you commit such an act, which is actually self-loathing. True guilt serves a purpose; false guilt (self-loathing) does not. If dropping your child off at your in-laws is not a detriment to anyone involved, then your guilt is unfounded, and is probably based on what you believe it might mean to others. Life is hell when you can no longer tell the between your own expectations of yourself, and others’ expectations of you. There’s no law against not being perfect.

The family issue is difficult. What do you believe that you owe them? Do you have a right to not like them? Do you think you have a right to not see them?
ThroughHellandHeaven
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 05:08 pm
@Glennn,
What do you believe that you owe them? Do you have a right to not like them? Do you think you have a right to not see them?

My dads family made me feel like they own me, so I suppose I feel like I'm still owned by them. I feel like I owe them my ownership almost.

With my mum it's really different. She describes me as her best friend, and tells me that she adores my daughter and can't wait to see her grow up. So I suppose I feel like I owe her that pleasure, even if she doesn't deserve it. I don't want to hurt my mum but I do love her.

I do think I should like my family and see them yes, but I don't want to endanger my daughter.
vikorr
 
  4  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 05:40 pm
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
Jespah is quite right that you need counselling, because no matter what is said here - you need ongoing support to implement any changes you wish to make (in how you think about things - which is what is causing the guilt).

How you think about things is actually a habit. Further, how you think is often self reinforced from multiple different angles. It's needs awareness (which is much easier to develop with a 3rd party to help you), time (to build new patterns of thought), focus (not losing your way - which again is easier with support), and dedication (similar to effort, but a character trait where even if it gets difficult you stick to it).

All of that is much easier if you have a 3rd party - in any endeavour. It's why people have personal trainers for exercise, and why for dealing with your mind, a counsellor / psychologist / life coach is so useful.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 07:27 pm
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
Quote:
My dads family made me feel like they own me, so I suppose I feel like I'm still owned by them. I feel like I owe them my ownership almost.

My parents were intolerable to me in ways that amaze me today. And yet, when I left them, I nevertheless felt that I owed them my presence in their life when they called for it years later. It was not easy to walk away. Their was always guilt. A brother once came to me and said that our mother is very sad about my absence from the family, and that she really wants to see me. He even went so far as to say it's not right for me to deprive her of my presence.

I told him that if I pretend that all is well and I go see her, I would be depriving her and my father of a life lesson by allowing them to avoid the consequences of their actions and inexcusable behavior toward me. Of course, he then tried to use guilt as a leverage tool, saying that I'm not thinking about forgiveness. I argued back that forgiveness has nothing to do with my duty to reestablish a lost relationship.

Social convention is a powerful force. Sometimes it calls for us to overrule our natural desire to move away from what we feel as uncomfortable and undesirable. But sometimes it is necessary to move away.

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 08:43 pm
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
Where is your daughter's father in the childcare picture? does he take care of her for days/evenings?

__

Separately, do see a counsellor to help you sort out your feelings about, and relationship with, your family.
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 01:28 am
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
No one is obliged to love their parents. Some parents are just assholes and that's all there is to say about them. Maybe they will grow up one day and realise the wrong they did, maybe not. Be yourself, love whom your heart wants to, and let your parents be. They don't own you. You owe nothing to them.
0 Replies
 
ThroughHellandHeaven
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 10:47 am
@ehBeth,
My husband is my daughters father and is brilliant with her. He gets up every morning before he goes to work, gives her her bottle and her breakfast while I catch up on sleep. When he's not in work he spends time with her and me as family, and also takes my daughter out alone. But he does work long hours, so I'm left alone 9-10 hours a day with her which can be trying hence why his mum steps in to help occasionally.
Leadfoot
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 11:22 am
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
Sounds like the source of your guilt is the completely bogus concept of "unconditional love". Where this came from I do not know but the idea that certain people are owed your love without any qualifiers is perhaps the biggest lie we are ever taught.

There is only one rule governing who or what you should love - Love that which is lovable.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 11:27 am
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
this is what made me wonder where your daughter's father was

ThroughHellandHeaven wrote:
But I feel guilty about her going, like I'm a bad parent for wanting an uninterpreted nights sleep or to have a hot cup of tea rather than a cold one for a change. When she goes away overnight (once a month) I drink wine, which I don't do at any other time, as I know I won't need to wake up in the night for my daughter and I feel bad about that too.


you should be able to sleep through the night if he is around to take care of her

and you can certainly drink hot tea and an occasional glass of wine if the father is around to care for his child

__

in any case, make arrangements for counselling around your issues with your birth family

ThroughHellandHeaven
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 11:37 am
@ehBeth,
He often works 11am-9/9.30pm so I have 10 hours alone with the baby by the time he's home. He won't drink on nights he has to work the next day and sleeps through our daughters cries - I've tried waking him but by the time he's awake and faffed about going to the toilet etc. it's quicker for me to go in and deal with her to minimise her crying, we live on the top floor of a block of flats and I'm very wary of upsetting my neighbours so I just get on with it.
Lilkanyon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 01:09 pm
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
As much as feminists dont want to hear this, if your a stay at home mom and he works, its expectation you lose the sleep when babies are young. It gets better in time. They eventually sleep theough the night. As for the rest of your family issues, all that popped in my mind was therapy! Counseling! Or in my family case, disowning. Contrary to popular belief, you dont owe your parents anything just because they made you. If they cant respect and support you, well then....whats in it for you?
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 01:19 pm
@Lilkanyon,
Lilkanyon wrote:

As much as feminists dont want to hear this, if your a stay at home mom and he works, its expectation you lose the sleep when babies are young.


this has nothing to do with feminism

60 years ago, my father was responsible for caring for me when he wasn't at work - that meant evenings and weekends, he was on duty and my mother was free to read, go out with friends, have a coffee alone - whatever she wanted to do

more recently (20 - 40 years ago) my friends' husbands have been responsible for their children when not at work (if they were not stay-at-home dads)

currently, my friends' sons are responsible for their children when they are not at work (if they are not stay-at-home dads)

it is simply how caring couples share childcare
Lilkanyon
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 01:45 pm
@ehBeth,
Thats wonderful to hear! But I didnt mean to hijack this thread with that issue. Man or woman, whoever is home full time, is typically the one responsible for the majority of child care. Especially at night. Men doing it, is atypical. Thats all I meant.
0 Replies
 
KOTTONMOUTH1
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 05:34 pm
@ThroughHellandHeaven,
Let me try to make this as simple as possible for you....

#1) Be thankful you have good in laws that are willing to help with your child. This is a grandparents resposibility and joy.
I know lots of people who have no support of any kind. Its rough.
I have a 5 year old daughter, she is awesome, but some alone time to just relax and catch a buzz or have some tea is also awesome. No guilt there. At all.
If you didnt get a break like this you might freak out. So enjoy it. Just remember to give thanks to the in laws.

#2) As for the guilt about you dad, this one is easy. You owe him nothing.
He most likely had a breakdown because he knows exactly what he did and has a hard time living with it. Not your problem. He got what he had coming.
Let it go and move on.

#3) Your Mom. Honestly, its nice that she wants to be a part of her gandchilds life. it is. However, if she can't conduct herself in a respectible way, what is the point of you having to just deal with it. I would say something to her about it. Or distance your family from her, eventually she will notice and ask about it. When you tell her the truth, it may hurt her feelings, but it may be the only way to really get it through to her.

Do yourself a favor, get the in laws to watch your child for two days and have three glasses of wine. You deserve it! really! Just be sure that you tell the inlaws how much you appreciate them and how refreshing it is to have someone like them in the picture.

From what I can see, you are a very responsible, honest, and caring person. Your child is lucky to have you and your husband. I know some pretty lousy parents.

One more thing. Cherish every moment you can with your child at this age. it goes by quick and then they are talking back to you. Smile
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 09:20 pm
Seems like you like to envision life in extremes.
Even your online name says it all.

Your daughter is a "gorgeous, beautiful funny 8month old baby girl"
Your husband is "brilliant with her" and his parents are stellar too.

On the other hand, your mother "acts like a child"

The truth is, your baby is just a baby, just like the other millions and millions of babies in the world. Your husband is simply a man you are married to, and his parents are just folks too.

Your mother is just a woman who is uninhibited and not a stick in the mud.

You place yourself in the martyr catagory, because you have the audacity to be a mere human.

If you decided not to act like your daughter, husband and inlaws all walked on water, and that your mother isn't some insane person, you would unfortunately have to give up the role of the person who isn't good enough at anything,

You've given everyone parts to play and they're probably not even aware they are in your production.

If you gave up the role you've given yourself, the guilt ridden mother/wife/dtr/dtr in law, who would you be?


0 Replies
 
Boca
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 09:42 pm
What in heaven's name is wrong with being guilty? I am guilty when I eat that lonely chocolate bar that is just begging to be eaten, I am guilty when I grab the last cookie from the bag or even out the ice cream in the box just to make it look neat. I am gloriously guilty when I say yes to that special glittery gift that is about to be bought for me. Life's too short to never to guilty. Rejoice in your guilt. It's fun!
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 09:52 pm
@Boca,
That's the healthiest outlook on guilt.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2016 09:59 pm
@Boca,
There's a difference between the guilt you're talking about, and the guilt the OP is talking about.

Basically I believe that she is looking for permission to be herself, and permission to respond to others as she sees fit. But looking to others for permission defeats the purpose of being herself. She has to give herself permission.
 

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