Guilt

My heart is heavy.

The last two days have been hard for me. I’ve learned some things I didn’t know before, and I’ve had things confirmed for me that I had long suspected.

Anger, frustration, sadness, guilt…all of this overwhelms me. I spent the majority of today crying. I tried to distract myself with reading and TV, but my thoughts always returned to the emotional whirlwind going on inside.

I worry about my brother. I left him behind in order to save myself. I left him behind to continue to be abused by our mother. He is suffering. He is trapped. And I’ve done nothing to help him. I feel incredibly guilty. I am no better than all of those people who turned a blind eye to my abuse.

I fear he suffers from similar psychological difficulties that I do. Considering what we have both gone through (and I’m not even fully aware of the extent of his experiences since he is seven years older than me), it’s not unlikely.

People that I love are being dragged into the mess that I created. Innocent people. People that don’t deserve to be affected by my mother’s toxicity are now having to deal with it. It’s not fair to them. I put them at risk. Because they chose to remain connected to me, they now have to endure my mother’s bullshit, to be pawns in her chess game. This adds to my guilt even more.

Then I have people close to me that don’t understand why my mother isn’t in jail. Why haven’t I pursued legal action? Why am I protecting her? She deserves to be sitting in a prison cell, not living her life taking advantage of everyone around her. And I know that, trust me I do. But what am I supposed to do? They don’t just convict people of crimes based on what someone says. I have no proof. And she has the charm and the know-how to work the system in her favor. It would be a fruitless effort.

To be told that I am protecting her feels like I’m being stabbed in the heart. I don’t want to protect a monster. But I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I feel guilty for letting her go free.

5 thoughts on “Guilt

  1. You probably already know this: you aren’t responsible for everyone else’s life. You aren’t exposing other people to your mom’s toxicity. She is the one sending the toxicity out into the world.

    It’s also not your job to save the world from your mom. If you aren’t able to bring legal action right now, that’s okay. if you can never do it, that’s okay too. The first thing you need to do is focus on taking care of yourself so you can become strong and whole and live the life you want to have. You really, really, do not have to feel guilty about that. And the other people around you that you worry about, they will also have to take care of themselves and manage their own lives.

    You are doing the right thing, and it can be hard. Be gentle with yourself, as you would be with a friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I battled this demon many years ago when I left my siblings, including my little sister, behind. My therapist at the time all but begged me to report my parents (my sister was only 8 at the time) but I couldn’t. Eventually I told her that she had to stop expecting me to save her or save anyone else. I was in treatment to save myself and I was barely managing that. I had no proof and no solid memories at the time. She eventually backed off but that guilt nearly ate me alive. My sister is 14 now and I’m sure her life is shit, but I am not the one who can save her. It is not my job.

    And it is not yours, either. You need to take care of you. Put your own oxygen mask on first before you put it on someone else, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Now I am just like them.” I hope you use all your will to challenge this erroneous thought. Some thoughts beat down like sledgehammers repeatedly and when they do they need constant challenging or ‘thought stopping.’ Stop, and replace the thought with of something positive, and try doing it as many times as needed. For me that can be countless times especially during the winter months.
    You need to save yourself. And you are. And in doing so you become an example to others that it can be done, and how. It has been said that guilt is a useless emotion. And I believe it is. It tears one down and paralyzes. If one makes a mistake, make amends, learn from it and move on. In this scenario no mistake was made certainly on your part. You got out, he didn’t. He is older by 7 years and has all the ability to get out too, even more due to his age. We each much save ourselves. We can have help, or help others if they reach out for it, but we are each on our own. If he was ready, he would ask you for help. And even then you could realistically only do so much as your own challenges are still many and overflowing. You are still raw from escape and the horrors done.
    I don’t know what fool is telling you you are protecting ‘her’ but they need to shut it. There may a time to address the crimes she has committed, but you don’t have to be the police. All these agencies failed you anyway. You are doing what is needed to save yourself. Who else will? That is enough. You are doing brilliantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. HI,

    Here’s how I see it. Everyone has their own choice. It is your mother’s fault she’s choosing to use them as pawns. They hav made the choice to stay with you. I hope you won’t choose to push them away because of her. IF she knows how to work the system, it would be fruitless. AS for your brother, you sometimes have to put on your own oxygen mask before even thinking of rescuing others. Yes, he’s being manipulative but you don’t have to save him. He must also make the choice to save himself. I know it hurts and doesn’t feel that ay though.

    thinking of you, sl

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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