Guilt Project – Day Five

POSTING ANYWAYS – DESPITE LAST NIGHT FEELING LIKE I WON’T COMPLETE THIS REWRITE OF THE GUILT PROJECT. Because?  Because we must forge on….we must always keep pushing through…even the shit and muck….in fact especially the shit and muck.  I truly believe that in the shit and muck are a lot of the answers. Fertile Soil Right.

Day five is a hard one to read ……….and the irony is great that I’m getting texts from my ex as we speak and he is upset that I did not do more today at his house  ~ my weekend off kids….the weekends that I cover for him anyways.  The tension is as it always was “who has it harder” and me in this exact moment am triggered by “guilt”….it must be guilt that would cause me to feel anything other than angry when I do so much for him but it is never enough. Wow so powerfully ironic and I am upset.

Anyways….Day Five

Day Five – Way Far Back Guilt

When my oldest boy was little he used to hate our battles.  He would be sad and scared plus try to distract us. Nobody seemed to bother as much as he did/the oldest boy. I can remember him so little taking all three of his little brothers downstairs and all of them making as much noise as possible to drown us out.  I remember him crying.He had nowhere to go and nobody to lean on.  For a short time… at a time he would call his grandma.

Our fighting was not physical dear reader but it was verbal and loud and scary.  Truth be told dear reader, I was verbal, loud and scary. I never knew how to stop myself and the tools a counsellor had given me caused more problems and anxiety than staying in the fight. The tool was simple “one of you must leave”. The problem was who leaves?

We would promise each other to follow the rule but in the heat of the moment THIS is what would happen.  I would say “I’m leaving” …. and he would say “great you’re going to leave me to deal with this all by myself” or I’d leave and he’d be irate that I left him.  I would feel guilty the entire time I was gone and I’d have nowhere to go and I’d usually come home just as mad to be met by him angry that I’d left him. Calmer …. maybe but never resolved. OR I’d say “you need to go” and he’d say “great, you’re kicking me out of my house” and he’d either not go cuz I’d say “fine don’t go” or I would leave and say “fine I’ll go” (which of course lead to “you’re leaving me with this”) AND if he did go he’d experience a similar feeling like I did…. nowhere to go, rejection, resentment and unresolved when he came home.

So the very thing that should have protected my sweetest Boy was a tool we failed to implement and he saw the worst of us and the worst of it. He had nowhere to go at all…. powerless. When the battle was over we would all be exhausted. My dearest sweetest little boy would be tucked in with one or the other of us and he would hear our reassurances and apologies. “We love you, we are sorry, we love each other and we promise to always stay together”.  That was the promise we believed was right, that was the truth that we loved him, we were sorry, we did love each other and WE WOULD stay the course. But something about us – our situation, our personalities, our relationship skills kept us in battle.  We respected each other and loved who the other was but we wounded each other deeply, shallowly, constantly no matter how aware we were and how hard we tried.  We could not break our patterns.

I’m not sure when but eventually I said to my Boy “I can’t promise you we will always stay together”. It was at least 3 years before our move to BC because I remember the house we were in and I remember my shifting state of mind. My shifting state of mind was getting healthier and setting boundaries. I had been immersed in mother hood and assisting their papas business plus homeschooling. I was the mom who did all the tasks in the day (half ass) and all of the play in the day (half ass) but my half ass was most people’s all in.  I did it all and beat myself up anyways.

Around the time I started to tell my boy that I can’t promise I started to insist on time. It wasn’t time to party or gab with the mommas but it was this:

I insisted on two nights a week at library to do bookkeeping and then yoga class after.  I said I needed exercise and I needed time away plus I needed the quiet space to do the work I’d been doing at home for past 5-6 years.  I had to fight for these nights/ insist on these nights and create a pattern of these nights and I did it.

These nights were good but they cemented a realization of how much I’d needed them all along.  So while on one hand I was getting healthy. On the other hand resentment was coming up in my throat.  I’d been drowning and choking on resentment since the day my boy was born.  Their dad had been the same.  With both of us selfishly looking only from our own lens we were unreachable and in the healthy part of my transformation I knew that if we didn’t change we would never stay the course without doing more damage.

I didn’t know that I knew we would part.  In fact I still had hope but I knew it would take two and I knew “working on relationships” wasn’t their dads thing.  He would say “he was buried in survival and making money”. Inside I was torn apart cuz I knew it was in part true but I also knew WE needed the work.

And I can’t finish this well… it’s a journal… it’s my journal. It’s not a literary piece per say.  And today I’ve looked hard at something very sad.  Guilt from way back. The reason I left? To stop the patterns we couldn’t stop.  I had to be the big girl who broke the promise to the little boy so he could see that in the end we had to make a healthy choice. A healthy, hard, risky choice…. the choice that came after a decade of not being able to STOP the fight and one of us leave. I had to be the big girl who broke the big mans heart and say “this is not enough… I can’t do this a moment longer”. I had to be the one to make “the call”… the decision fell on me to break every bodies heart. In the very end I was even the very one who had to move out.  I carried the relationship part of “us” and I was the very one who had to put it down on the ground.

See it again?  it’s guilt. It’s failure and it’s painful. I know my kids are much happier now but I wish we’d been able to give them more. I wanted the dream…. but you have to fight for that. You really do.

Day Five was a hard one. The texting was hard too. And if you are actually following any of this last night was hard.  I hope one day I am free.


Day One – Four of this project is here in case you missed them:

To understand what and why this project check the link here:

In short – I wrote about my guilty feelings everyday for 30 days.  I have decided that revisiting it everyday for another 30 days is where I draw the line and so I will chunk it where it is suitable to chunk it. The writing I expect will be raw and ugly as I don’t intend to edit much of the original content.  But sometimes life is ugly.  Sometimes we are ugly.  Take HEED

8 Replies to “Guilt Project – Day Five”

    1. Everything I do for him I essentially do for my kids. So he is not tense and stressed and angry…..with them. I also do it because I walked with him for the 15 years raising four boys and I know how TIRED we both are. Do you have kids? Kids change everything. You never look at the other in terms of the ex….but rather than father/mother of your children. And when you love your children you want nothing more than that they have a good relatonship with a healthy “other” parent. You don’t want to see the other fall. Technically if you go back you will see that WE also have arranged our custody in such a way that makes our kids have the uptmost stability. But it is hard on US….and hopefully worth it in the end. Trouble is dynamics die hard. I do not give up easily on peace and anything that has to do with my kids. Make sense?


      1. i have three kids. boy 26 going on 2, girl 21 going on 47, and a boy 19 who will probably be living in my basement forever.

        nesting is easier than kids moving from place to place, but it doesn’t mean that you do what the other parent let slide. if you continue to do more than expected, soon people will expect you to do even more.

        believe me, i get where you are coming from. btdt. but enabling just makes it more ‘on you’ in the long run’.

        he’s using you.


      2. I do hear you and I do agree but it is a fine line. I am in his house in the day schooling my kids. He has the bigger home and bigger expense. It has been very hard to agree on expectations. But the worst part is I could never for the entire marriage liv eup to his expectations. So for me its additionally challenging. But I have been pulling myself back and setting boundaries. This latest row inspired me to rewrite and put on paper where I draw the line. We are getting there…I believe….its a process…no?
        The worst thing… not the doing and helping…its the lapses where he is in a bad mood and decides he has the bigger burden….again mirrors our marriage. Anyways…so much thanks for the push!


      3. yeah I know. believe me I know. we did the nesting thing, and for me the worst part was the undone laundry. She’d complain to me about how i did her work clothes, and then yell at me if did them, because it wasn’t done “her way”. Then one weekend I find a whole bunch of her stuff rolled up & wrinkled under a comforter on the bed, covered in dog hair. got all of the dog hair off, ran them through the dryer to get the wrinkles out, folded them and put them away. got an angry text that she didn’t like how I folded and put them away. replied with a “go fuck yourself” and never touched any of her laundry ever again. go another text a few week later asking why I hadn’t helped by doing her laundry, and sent her the whole text stream she had sent me.

        no longer my circus, no longer my monkeys. AND EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, the kids have figured out all on their own that SHE is the problem.


  1. I missed this days ago. Guilt is the worst. No one tells you about the extreme guilt that comes with being a mother. You are doing a great job balancing it all. I’m sorry you had to go through all the rest of it. Fighting sucks! It seems nothing ever gets resolved.


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