Feeling guilt

There’s a photograph I go back to, primarily because it reminds me of the life I had where I didn’t know about my physical disabilities. I was 9 years old.

It reminds me of a life lost, a life troubled, a lie. It wasn’t me. It was a different version of me. That was my life until I found out. I felt the rug pulled and guilt too, because this wasn’t something I could impart to those who needed to know.

My neurological difficulties were too bad for my condition to be ignored. I could feel myself struggling, I knew I struggled and since finding out nearly 7 years ago, I’ve had to continually work hard at bringing about a new understanding on my life and my disability. Although I understand why my parents didn’t fight for me on everything I had to deal with, it will be one skeleton that will never be laid to rest, because it’s not how that should be.

It was a coping mechanism, but for anyone like me having to live with physical and neurological difficulties they know nothing about, it’s important we know and those involved with us help us, if we are to know and have peace the other end of knowing. As I continue to talk about my experiences, I am choosing not to think about this. I understand it, but I don’t agree with it.

I lived with guilt because I didn’t know and because the non-diagnosis and lack of support held me back, particularly through my school years. I’ve had to work things out, filling in the blanks as I go. I’ve had to get to know myself for the first time. I’ve had to learn about my neurological difficulties and that hasn’t just involved me. That’s been the most difficult part.

Guilt also, because I couldn’t impart anything. I knew I had a bad leg and foot. That was it. I had no idea at the time what my neurological impairments and difficulties were. I carried guilt because no informed choices would ever be made when they should have been for those close to me, who also needed to know, particularly when it came to personal relationships.

When we know what it is we need to know, we get to make informed choices on the knowledge we acquire, good or bad; whether those choices work out, in our favour or not. We’re all entitled to make those informed choices. That was taken away from me.

Would the same choices have been made? Well, I will never know now, but it’s always important to be given a choice and in my case, sadly that didn’t happen.

11 Jan, 2017

4 thoughts on “Feeling guilt

  1. This guilt isn’t yours to own. You were a child and your parents’ took a decision that you were not to find out about; until later in life. That wasn’t your decision, but theirs.

    While you had to live with the consequences of their actions, (or inactions) you were innocent of any responsibility. You tried to speak to your family but you were ignored.

    Again this is not your responsibility, but theirs. There should be no place for you to feel guilty and I am sure if your parents were around to ask, they would have to agree.

    1. Thank you. I have now found an acceptance on the decisions that were made by my father particularly, in the early years.

      But when we move on with our lives and introduce other people who are not part of that scenario that can leave us with guilt, because others will always be unaware of our neurological, emotional and physical difficulties; unless we tell them or they were part of that scenario.

      People who we come into contact with later on won’t have been given a choice to know and that’s not right or fair.

  2. I was about to ask why you feel that way. But then I thought about victims of abuse and how they often feel guilt for being abused, especially if the abuse happened in their adolescent years; we should pay more attention to that.

    The guilt is not yours to burden Ilana, give it to the very people who deserve it.

    1. Thanks Tim. When it comes to any form of neglect or abuse, others will know their part even if they don’t admit their part.

      It’s always very difficult to know what we’re going through at the time. It’s not always obvious, but it’s only when we look back that we think about and equate what we’ve been dealing with.

      Often, other people’s behaviour towards what we deal with either makes it easier for us to let go of the guilt we feel, or serves to continue to reinforce where we are. I think that will be the problem for many of us dealing with a disability.

      There has to be an acceptance and an understanding from everyone on what we deal with, particularly if they’re dealing with us; dealing with it.

      Not to just reinforces the guilt we feel. Writing my blog and reading your response/s has helped with the process of letting go.

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Ilana x