Should we feel guilty?

I seem to be bombarded at the moment by posts on facebook and emails dropping into my inbox telling me not to feel guilty in my role as 'caregiver' (new word that I've learnt but don't like).  The thing is that I'm human with all the imperfections that come with the condition.  So should I feel guilty when I know I'm not perfect?

Should I have felt guilty when I booked a place for mum in a home knowing that she would be staying there?  No, because I knew that I couldn't look after her and she wasn't safe on her own.  Instead of feeling guilty I knew I'd found the best possible solution to an impossible situation.

Should I feel guilty when I sometimes spend the night in my mum's empty house leaving Ash on his own?  No, because I know he can cope for one night and those few hours spent in my own company recharge my batteries and help me deal with the rest of my life.

Should I feel guilty when I leave Ash on his own while I meet friends for lunch or coffee?  No, because it gives me something of the wider world to think about, lets friends know I'm still thinking of them and gives Ash his own space.

Should I feel guilty when I organise Ash's life so that he changes his clothes without thinking about it, eats without having to consider meals, goes to the doctors without having to make an appointment?  No, because reducing the number of decisions he has to make in his life means he has less to worry about.

Should I feel guilty for getting irritated and/or cross occasionally?  No, because I'm only human and as long as I can remain calm far more often that I get irritated then I think I'm doing ok.

Should I feel guilty for the bad times leading up to Ash's diagnosis?  No, because neither of us knew what was happening and we both struggled to deal with life as we knew it slipping away from us.  The important thing was that neither of us truly gave up on the other.

So I don't feel guilty and, if you're in a similar position, you shouldn't either.  As long as we're doing the best we can, learning as much as we can and looking after ourselves as well as our loved ones then I think we should assign guilt to the scrap heap.

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Lesley said…
I couldn't agree more! I get fed up with the constant assumptions that you must feel guilty too but I reckon, if you have always and continue to do your best then there's nothing to feel guilty about. On the contrary, we should give ourselves a pat on the back for doing so well in really tough situations.
Ann said…
Hear, hear Lesley 👏