“Guilt” 04.12.24

Everyone experiences guilt. Oft times, blame is misplaced. It is natural when we are hurting to harbor ill will toward a tangible culprit. In some cases, however, the object of our frustrations is invisible. Psychiatric disorders can uproot lives, yet we cannot see them with our eyes. This causes confusion, doubt, and misunderstanding. In which direction should we point our fingers?

Parents and loved ones of those suffering with mental illness are also in pain. There are many stages of this illness, some more crippling than others, so how can the people in our lives help us?

First, you must understand that this is not your fault. These cases are not due to the “sins of the father.” We are not apples that fall too close to the tree, in every sense. I believe we dance off the tree in our own directions, to find our own way. It is necessary for the trees to grow with us. Support is key. Our illnesses do not define us, and you remind us of that every day. We are not broken, though it certainly feels that way sometimes. Knowing you are in our lives gives us energy to continue dancing. Listen, guide, but do not force.

Life is filled with trauma from which you cannot protect us. Life is not fair. Not to anyone. We can all stare into the faces of our worst fears; they do not always disappear, though sometimes confronting our darkest moments can lead us into the light. Lend us your ears, hands, shoulders, and hearts. Banish thoughts of blame and guilt, as we look to you for solidity. We may fight with you, get angry, try to push you away. Understand that we appreciate you and this is not always reflected in our behavior. Love is the most powerful gift you can bestow. We need you, though we may be unable to ask for your help. At times you will feel you are failing. This is not the truth, and no one is perfect. Thank you for your patience.

Let us all leave our guilt in the past and move forward together, one step at a time.


Mom, I hope you are listening.