I don’t mean to run one downer blog after another. I just feel compelled to purge these things before I move on.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I didn’t have a hard time falling asleep; I just had a hard time staying asleep. I awoke to the sensation of a heavy, dark spirit on my upper chest and face. It felt a lot like a dentist’s apron, the kind they place on you for x-rays.

I was overwhelmed with guilty thoughts.  I felt ashamed and concerned.  I felt guilty for being away from my children so much.  Guilty for having ill feelings toward my husband.  Guilty for not seeing my grandchildren more often.  Guilty for not calling my adult children more often.  Guilty for not making enough money.  Guilty for not working enough.  Guilty for working too much.  Guilty for not cooking nice meals like I used to.  Guilty for not sending out thank you notes in a timely manner.  Guilty for not investing more energy into home schooling.  Guilty for running the kids to too many activities and not allowing us more time to relax at home.  Guilty for the house being a mess.  Guilty for being off of our schedule.  Guilty for what my kids have been through and seen.

My 3 year old was sleeping with me and barely came to.  Her voice was frantic, “Mama, Mama!  Where are you?  Mama, Mama, are you there?”  I snuggled close against her.  I rubbed her hair to calm her and responded, “I’m here.  Can you feel me?”  She said, “Yes, okay,” and immediately fell back to sleep.  I knew she was being tormented by worry, too.

Guilt and worry have been a permanent fixture in my life.

When I was in the 4th grade I got in really bad trouble at home because my younger brother had been picked on at school.  My dad sat in the wood dining chair and had me stand before him.  He questioned me, “Where were you?  Your little brother was in trouble, and he needed you!  Where were you?  You don’t let kids pick on your brother!  I don’t ever want to hear of this happening again!”  (I had been in my class at the other side of the school.)  It seemed to go on forever.  And, my guilt was just compounded by all of the memories of times he’d been hurt before because I hadn’t been watching him.

Because I was a girl I wasn’t allowed to do much of anything with my dad except clean.  I didn’t get to shoot, hunt, fish, learn to drive, learn to fly, play pool.  I got to clean or sit and draw all by myself if I was lucky.  My younger brother got to do the cool things because he was a boy.  However, I was supposed to fight his battles–that message was clear.  That message was repeated throughout our lives, from early times before this incident to up into his 30’s when he went through a divorce.  I was expected to bring the man-child meals, clean his house, and move him out of their apartment.

My parents handed me a double edged sword.  One side cut me deep with guilt.  My brother got beat up because I let him down.  I wasn’t there to take care of things for him.  I felt selfish for remaining in my classroom and enjoying being there.

The other side cut me deep with a tainted view of male and female relationships.  I felt responsible for rescuing him and taking care of him, but I had to just accept that I wasn’t in the privileged position he was when it came to receiving honor and rewards because I didn’t have the right private parts.

Is it any wonder I’ve chosen men who were narcissistic and infantile?  I’ve merely been fulfilling my role, my obligation, and appeasing my guilt.