G is for Guilt: A-Z Challenge

G is for Guilt

illustrated by Rob Z Tobor

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

An innocent question most kids ask the moment they walk through the door.  Especially teenagers.

“Uh,” I said, glancing at the clock.  I wondered where the time went. “It’s fend for yourself night.”

“Again?”

“Yes. Again.”  I was annoyed by the question. I was busy!  I needed to make sure dad didn’t have a slip in his addiction.  Compulsively, I searched the computer for evidence.

It didn’t occur to me that I was addicted to his addiction.  Nor did I realize I was neglecting my own children in the process.

~~@  ~~@

Months went by before it dawned on me just how emotionally unhealthy I was. From being codependent on Devin to neglecting my children, I was a hot mess.

I was wracked with guilt. 

What type of mom put her own needs ahead of her kids?  At first I thought, “a really crappy one”.  As I recovered from the trauma of my husband’s sex addiction, I realized I was wrong.

I was trying to mentally survive my own marriage. But, how could I explain this to my kids?  They had no idea about their dad’s addiction. I felt they were owed the truth but knew it wasn’t my place to tell them.  It was

his

addiction to share.  Not mine.

When I was ready, I apologized for not being the mom I should have been the last few months.  For making them take care of themselves, and at times, me. 

Rather than meet my amends with judgment or anger, my children told me how proud they were of the work I’d done on myself.  They were excited for me.  They assured me they saw changes since I’d been working my twelve steps and been in counseling. 

My kids. Proud.  I was speechless.  I cried as the guilt lifted from my soul.

Have you ever felt guilty about something?  Ever make an awkward apology?

~~~

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?