Tag Archives: guilt-ridden

Guilt-ridden but relieved

Dear Global Counsellor,

I have just committed my childhood sweetheart and partner for more than 30 years to the nursing home.  I am 73 years old and he is 80 years old. We`ve been together since I was in high school. He was married to another woman but had left her and hooked up with me. We have one child together.  Over the years he worn thin but I loved him all through that. He never divorced his first wife so we`re not legally married. He has no will, nothing and it did not seem to mind.  I bought my own house and it is only a few years ago on the prompting of family and friends that I made sure that it was only in my name because I believed that if he had died his children and ex could have come and claimed part of my home.  Anyway, my honey has early onset Alzheimer`s disease and he was becoming more and more difficult for me to handle at home. He messes himself, he is a pack rat and keeps his room very dirty. I didn`t know what to do and I could not commit him because I was not his wife and his  wife wanted nothing to do with him. I had to give him over to the state and together we concocted to get him out without incident. Told him he was going to the hospital.  The men came with the ambulance a few days ago and took him away. I cried that entire day and the next, feeling guilty but relieved that I don`t have to deal with that. I could not handle it by myself. I feel I had no choice. I am dreading to go visit him because I expect he  will dress me down good.  This is one time I wish he will not remember anything.  Am I a d woman.  I feel it was my only choice.


Dear guiltridden,

You are not a bad woman. In fact you are a sensible woman.  First cardinal rule in life is to take care of number one first.  You are taking care of you and that is not a crime. You sound like a loving person who has given everything to this man and from the sound of things who has not given you much in return except your son. Putting him in a care home where he can receive the care he needs by professionals is the best and most loving thing you could have done for your honey.  Breathe, visit him and try not to let his anger if any affect you. It is a difficult stage of life for the best of us so be compassionate and let him have his say but I doubt whether he will be like that. God bless you.



My guilt is killing me slowly

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 58-year-old divorced woman.  I have four children whom I love very much.  My marriage was arranged and was a challenge from day one. I could not walk away because of our East Indian custom. In my community divorce is frowned upon. While a man receives support from the community, women are shunned the most by other women who become like rabid animals.  They give you dirty looks, you stop getting invited to their homes, you are isolate and you begin to withdraw.  My husband was abusive and an alcoholic.  I was so unhappy and I had nowhere to run. My immediate family are all living in the USA and England. I was isolated. I stayed in the marriage until I could not take it anymore.l I asked my husband to leave and he left without giving any support to our children,  I worked two jobs to support my children.    They were left on their own many times.  Unfortunately, my children’s fate seems to follow into my pattern.  My eldest daughter’s marriage ended because of emotional abuse.  My second son’s relationship ended after 4 years and he is left hurt and feeling all alone. My younger daughter is in a faltering relationship and my youngest son, he is the only happy camper in my family.

Globalcounselor, I am feeling like a total failure, I am riddled with guilt and I am at my wit’s end. My job is adding to my already overstressed life.  Some days I feel my head would explode because I have a demanding, overpowering boss.   My question is how can I get rid of feeling so guilty about ruining my children’s lives because of my actions.


Dear guiltridden,

Your load is heavy.  You’ve carried it for 25 years.  It’s time to put it down. Put it down today, this minute.  It does not belong to you. You did what you needed to do to survive and that is the cardinal rule.  When you’re in an aeroplane, the hostess will tell you when there is  an emergency landing or cabin pressure drop, place the mask over your nose first before trying to help anyone else. You had a right to take care of yourself and you did that by leaving your husband to save yourself and your children. Who ever told you that you have to stay in a loveless, abusive relationship is wrong. For better or for worse, in sickness or in health, till death do us part, says nothing that you have to stay in an abusive situation. For better or for worse means that if your partner loses his job,  it would be against your vows to leave him.  Together you have to find solutions to keep your family going. Guilt is a stubborn emotion that makes no sense a lot of time yet we feel it deeply. We feel guilt when we feel we have done something terribly wrong and the guilt that tears us up inside is like punishing ourselves for that wrong.  Societies and close-knit communities regularly use guilt and shame to control their members behaviour.  They use guilt to make you feel worthless and a bad person.  It is when you internalized their judgement of you take their side against you and you like them begin to hate yourself.  Do you see where this is going – self-hatred.  If you hate yourself, how can you love your children.  If hatred is what’s inside of you, it is that which will come out.  If you want to live your life fully, you have to find a way to forgive yourself, to embrace yourself love you and all your imperfections.  When you inside that is what will come out and people will be attracted to you. Your perspective will change and you will slowly emerge from the fog of 25 years to reclaim your life from your husband and your community.   Release guilt, forgive yourself, that means give up judging yourself harshly for doing the right thing when you did it.

Life gives us lessons so that we learn and grow; accept them graciously.