I feel guilty about everything.
If I'm hanging out with my kids I think I should be working. If I'm working I think I should be hanging out with my kids. And don't even get me started on when I do something just for myself.
It takes me days to get over it.
I don't know if this is generational, gender specific, the fact that I was raised by a southern mother or some combo of all three.
Of course, nothing points out one of your habits like having one of you children pick it up as well. I've started noticing this about my son; he apologizes for everything. Even when it makes no sense. Sometimes I swear he apologizes for just standing still.
And now I feel bad that I'm probably the person who taught him to do that.
I actually notice this about myself the most when I'm at the grocery store. If I'm grabbing a gallon of milk and someone is standing behind me waiting their turn, I'll apologize. If I'm walking down the aisle and need to dodge out of someone's way, I'll apologize. If I grab the last good avocado, I'll apologize.
Now that I'm aware of this, I'm always kicking myself as I'm loading my groceries in the back of my car (not literally - that would take coordination I don't posses). WHY did I apologize?? I had just as much of a right to be where I was as anyone else. No one else is apologizing. Why am I apologizing for just existing?
Again, I wonder if this is part of my generation. We were raised on the tail-end of the "seen and not heard" movement, so maybe that's why. And it's funny how we apologize for everything, feel guilty about everything, and are raising a generation who seems to not feel bad or take responsibility for ANYTHING.
And for that, I'll say, "I'm sorry."
Your good news makes me feel like shit.
Not all of it. It's very specific good news. But it's a biggie.
A little background on me, for those who don't know it: My husband was in an accident on his way to work. He then had a stroke, followed by brain swelling. A doctor gave me the option of surgery to remove part of his skull, the outcome of which would have been a quality of life I was sure my husband would not have wanted. I opted not to do the surgery. Three days later he was declared brain dead. He was a registered organ donor.
So, a few years later a politician named Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Her brain began to swell. Her husband opted FOR the surgery. She lived (not as she did before, but she seems to be doing well). I'm very happy for them both.
And I felt like I had been slapped when that happened.
I couldn't stand to watch the news of her recovery. Every article and interview made me feel like I didn't love my husband enough to even try, when in the moment (and in moments of clarity) I knew I'd done the right thing for him.
Her wonderful, miraculous, incredible news is something I cannot stand. And that's the truth.
It happened again recently. I was listening to the radio and the announcer started talking about a woman who had been declared brain dead, who was also an organ donor, and who miraculously began to regain consciousness before the transplant took place. I don't know what her status is as this moment.
But that story made me feel like a murderer.
I'm not kidding. I sat in my car, hands shaking, thinking, "What have I done?"
Now, rationally I know that every situation is different. Ms. Giffords's injuries were not the same as my husband's. I don't know how the second person came to be in the position she was in, but chances are her circumstances were extremely different as well. And I'm so proud that my husband was an organ donor and helped so many.
But while the rest of the world rejoices at this wonderful news, it actually makes me feel terrible. Like, stay-awake-at-night-second-guessing-every-decision-I-made-nine-years-ago-terrible.
And then I feel worse.
Whew. Now that I look back on this blog, it's a real downer for a Monday.