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A guilt complex

(3 Posts)
LouieStrumpet Tue 08-Sep-09 16:15:59

I was reading a magazine on the weekend and found an article on having excess guilt and it really clicked with me - that is what I have felt for years in dealings with my mother - a great big dollop of guilt.

My mother had a mental breakdown when I was in my teens. I guess I feel guilty that I wasn't able to make her happy and well. And I feel guilty now when doing something that she doesn't like - marrying someone she didn't approve of, leaving the country, not going back for her birthday but going on holiday somewhere closer to my home. And I think she uses that guilt - although she is really kind and generous to my ds, I feel she emotionally blackmails me into doing what she wants.

One good example would be when I was talking to her the other day and she was speaking about her arthritis. She said "I think that it is worse now as I was beaten so much as a child." And of course my head says "No, it is beacause your entire family is riddled with arthritis", but my emotional part is saying "Oh I'm so sorry, I wish I could have done something, I feel guilty being over here and not near you to help you."

Anyway I have decided I have had enough of feeling guilty and being manipulated like this.

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle mis-placed guilt? I know my mother is not going to change, but I would like to change the way I feel.

HolyGuacamole Tue 08-Sep-09 17:51:37

Well, you have hit the nail on the head. You can't change her, but you can change how you react. Realising that, is half the battle I'd guess.

I'm not sure what the best advice is but wanted to bump your thread as someone with better experience will come along soon.

LouieStrumpet Tue 08-Sep-09 20:30:05

Thanks HG, just disassociating the guilt I feel over my mother with my actual feelings for her I guess is the first step for me. I really care for her, but don't want to feel guilty every time I talk to her.

Thanks once again.

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