I'm not perfect. I need to keep telling myself this and give myself a break. This is what I learned today at counseling.
Guilt; I have tons of it! If I don't wake up in the middle of the night from my mind attacking me with a thousand worries, then it is from the terrible feeling of guilt from past deeds. Have I murdered anyone? No. Intentionally hurt or slighted anyone? No. I'm not that type of person! I can't recollect doing anything heinous.
My guilt stems from small things, like never being able to take Rob to New York, or pawning the Royal Doulton figurine he bought me for our first Christmas together so that I could buy us food. I couldn't keep up the monthly payments to his computer repair correspondence course, nor could I help him succeed in his dream of being a drummer. I loved Rob so incredibly much that I wanted to give him everything he yearned for, and he felt the same way about me.
I have tremendous guilt where my mother is concerned as well. In recent years, especially the year leading up to her death, Mom grew very repetitive, as elderly people often do. Week after week, she would tell me the same stories about her life, both from the present and the past. It was endearing, frustrating, and scary. I could see traces of my grandmother in Mom then, and I wondered if I, too, would have my mind gradually affected in such a way as I aged.
It wasn't the repetitiveness that bothered me the most. My mother had always been a reasonable, pragmatic woman, and I had always admired this feature in her and tried to emulate it within myself. However, during the last year of Mom's life she had been caught up in this terrible phone scam and had given a lot of her money away, thinking she was simply paying taxes on a million dollar prize she had supposedly won. Bruce and I would convince her it was a scam, and then a few weeks later she would, rather sheepishly, say she had given more money away. It was at one of these times when I got so frustrated with her that I told her if she did it one more time I wouldn't speak to her again. Seeing the hurt and shame on my mother's face, I quickly apologized, told her that I hadn't meant what I'd said and that I loved her.
I can't seem to forgive myself for hurting my mother in this manner, or for not being able to give Rob everything he wanted.
I can hear them both now ....
Mom: "You silly goose! I've forgiven you. Forgive yourself, live your life, and have fun!"
Rob: "Stop worrying, Sweety! You were the best wife I could have ever had. Who else would have put up with me?"
I'm trying take their advice, trying so hard, but my perfection complex keeps getting in the way.