So, it’s Mother’s Day here. I spent much of the weekend at my parents’ house which, as you know, is never a good thing for me.
My father was his rude obnoxious self, making snide remarks to me and calling my mother awful names. Why does he do that? I just don’t get it.
My mother spent most of her time complaining about my father. When I offered the “logical” solution of putting him in a nursing home (which is what he needs), she just made various remarks on the theme of: “It’s not that easy.”
I thought, “Bulltish it’s not, Mum, but this is your life.”
Anyway, none of that is really the point of this post. The point of this post is guilt – feeling guilty, to be precise. Or ranting and rambling about feeling guilty. And being confused about feeling guilty.
It struck me today that I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I no longer play the “good daughter” routine where my father is concerned. I will be civil to him, but that’s about it. I won’t engage in conversation with him, and I try not to look at him as far as is possible. Given how rude he usually is to me this generally means we say hello to each other, and nothing more. I certainly don’t make any effort, not like a “normal” daughter would. Thankfully, at least, this trip I didn’t have to sit through dinner with him – that’s always quite triggering for me.
Anyway, as I was packing the car to come home, I made the mistake of looking at him. He gave me that look – the look of a sad, frail old man. I hate that. It made me feel guilty for not feeling more compassionate towards him, and for not making the effort.
Now I’m confused and torn because as soon as this guilt thing hits, I start yelling and screaming at myself that I don’t need to feel bad for not being the adoring daughter – he’s hardly been the adoring father.
So… guilt and confusion. It’s a mess.
When I came home I settled in to some colouring. It didn’t solve the guilt, or the confusion, but it calmed me a little (even if it’s not William Morris; not even a real Roger Burrows book).
I also took some photos in the garden after the rain.
I still feel guilty, and I still feel confused, but I’m better able to sit with those feelings. For now, at least.