Little Girl Grown

Yesterday I posted about guilt and God. I don’t know if it was the fact that I cried so much or just life, but I went to bed at 7:30 and woke up at 1:30 and then went back to sleep and slept until 8.


Was I that tired? Or was I running from life? I think I was just that tired.  This morning I have taken glances back over the past few years and looked at what I have done. This really has nothing to do with New Year‘s Ever resolutions. Nor does going to the class and walking today. I believe God knew that I needed saving and so he pushed me in the direction.


Can guilt make you depressed? I don’t know. My friend Viveka told me last evening that I am suffering from not having anyone to take care of right now. I think there is validation in this.

How does a child learn guilt? When I look back through my life I can see some points that may have helped mold me to who I am today. I can remember when my baby sister was born. I was ten years old. I didn’t realize at the youthful age that one person could get more attention than another. I do remember fighting for my highlight in my stepmother’s life.

It was the following summer that I was expected to be a mature young lady at 11 and start babysitting the little sister. I would care for her on school breaks. I was taught how to cook a complete meal, clean the house, and doing laundry and even ironing. But, does this bring guilt about?

At 13 I learned for the first time that I had a real mother out in the world. I don’t remember going into any mass depression, but I do remember thinking I was going to find her. I don’t think it was because I was so aloof from my step-mom, as much as it was curiosity, or was it?

From that point on, I was in the middle class of popularity in school. I worked part-time, sang in the choir and yet I do remember that I clung more to my dad. I thought of him as my hero. I was where he was. I learned that it was an ugly divorce between him and my real mom and that with the help of him, his parents, and the law, he had rescued Al and me from the big bad wolf.

I put my dad on a pedestal. I can remember mentally comparing him against mom. I had divided the two. She was the one who liked my baby sister more  than me. He was the hero of my life. Did this change me from an innocent person to one full of guilt? I still don’t know.

I can remember getting married and having children. The children almost became more significant than the marriage. Why? I have thought of this throughout my years. I believe it was because they were mine. No one could divide them or take them from me. I loved and cared for them like a mama bird cares for her young.

Divorce hurt more as far as my kids were concerned. The split, pain of words spoken and changes from a routine were very difficult. This is when I remember guilt beginning to start with a capital G. I felt guilt for the pain of what the kids suffered through it all. I felt guilt, that I was struggling in my own mind. I had found my real mom after all these years, and it wasn’t what I had dreamed of. There was only a surface connection between my mom and me.

It wasn’t strong like the yarn of a spider web that couldn’t be broken.The web was never formed. She loved the little girl she remembered, and not the grown woman. The depression that I was hurled into helped cause the divorce. No one understood what I was going through mentally, not even me.

I slid through the next few years by the seat of my pants. I did things that normally I would have put a way on the top shelf of my bedroom closet when I turned 18. It was like something had a hold of me. I needed to know that someone cared. I needed to feel loved. I didn’t cross the line of disaster, but I did make a lot of mistakes. I know that I still carry the guilt of this today, when I think about my own kids.

When my step- mom died years later, I was devastated. Yet there was a small part of me that I remember thinking, the guilt is now over. I don’t have to be ashamed of not being her real child. I am not sure today, that I ever let that guilt go totally. I don’t sit around and think about it. I do think of mom a lot, but not that part.

It was soon after that when I started caring for others. I began the career by working in nursing homes. I traveled pretty much throughout Indiana filling in for shortages for other nursing staff. After the price of gas started to skyrocket I looked for alternative ways to be a caregiver.

I didn’t plan on it, but I ended up beginning private care. I took care of elderly in their home. I became a part of the family. I went on outings with my patient and the family. I felt needed and cared about. I felt loved.

A husband and wife was one duo that I took care of for a few years. It so happened that I knew one of the grown children and had even visited in their home in my youth. I loved the entire family. They had a daughter named Anita, that I thought was the most awesome woman. We clicked right a way and I still keep in touch with her today.

The wife passed away first and then I came back and helped take care of the husband. At the latter stages of his life, I had become involved with the care of my own father. He had bone cancer. I was his primary caregiver for the next year.

Both dad and the husband died very close together, and then I went straight in to caring for my brother at millers Now he is in a nursing home and I have drifted off into some world I have never really experienced. It wasn’t like my divorce. It was deeper. The divorce ended. Al is still here but living else where. Is guilt what I am living? I do know that I hate myself for not being able to keep him home longer than I did. I always ask myself, could I have done it just a bit longer so he would not be in there so long?

I don’t know. Reading back on this blog posting, I can see that I have a deep desire to be needed and loved. Maybe being a caregiver is the way I was able to obtain that feeling. Now I am alone. I really think there is guilt mixed in with the loneliness. I think Viveka is right though. I am without someone to care about right now.

So does this stem from my childhood? I think so, very much. I don’t know how to change who I am, but I am going to at least get involved with something else besides being a caregiver for others. I am going to give it a good shot at caring about me too.

Flying skyrocket


Big Bad Wolf


48 thoughts on “Little Girl Grown

  1. What you’re maybe experiencing is likened to ‘retirement’. I know that you’re not the age to do so…yours’ is about finding yourself not a caregiver…but it’s similar in that when I worked at a job outside the home there was familiarity with my days and weeks….and when I all of a sudden I retired on disability it’s like I was in a different world..All of a sudden I didn’t have to get up a out of the house and apply myself all day to a job…and having other people around to talk to and interact with…was gone.. I was on my own and it took a lot of adjustment.

    So hoping that your period of adjustment goes well and your determination to the exercise program I think will kick start this for you…Diane


    • I sure hope you are right. I didn’t mind going on disability so much. I had Al to occupy my time, but now……..I am where you were when you went into disability. I am going to give it my best shot at finding more parts of who I am. thank you for commenting. i so appreciate it Diane


  2. Terry, inducing guilt in a person is a form of emotional manipulation used to justify the actons of another person or to justify what someone else wants you to do. I hope i am not stepping out of line but here are my thoughts.

    You should not feel guilty because you were not your step=mothers real daughter. Quite the contrary–she should feel ashamed because she did not make you feel loved. She knew that by marrying your father and into the family that she was to be the new mother-figure especially since your real mother was not around. Therefore she failed not you. Also why did she have a child if she was not going to take care of it? Why did you become the resident baby sitter when you yourself were only a child, that needed nurturing as well? Fail number two as far as I can see on the part of your step-mother. That issue of being your baby sister’s care-giver now leads us into the present day feelings of guilt and depression. Terry it seems that you were set-up from very early life to recieve validation for existing as a human being by taking care of others. First your baby sister, then in your job and then you Dad and Al. The idea being put into your head that if you are not taking care of someone else you are not worthy to exist. Like I said I may be going out on a limb here. So, of course you are feeling bad now. At the age of 11 you were informed that to be worthy and accepted and validated you had to take care of your siblings. And it is not possible to do that now physically because of the illness that Al has. But the message you have learned over the years is, ” if you are not taking care of someone else—you are not worthy.” Yes, that would make me feel depressed as well. You are having normal reactions ( part of the emotional manipulation) to the old programming that you were fed as a child.

    So how does one let go of the guilt? It’s a process. You are worth far more as a human being for just being you than because you are taking care of someone else. That is the idea you need to get into your head. Two, you were a real daughter-your step-mother did not know how to be a real mother. She failed not you.

    Three—it is about time Terry start taking care of Terry and her needs. It is okay to put yourself first for a change in life.

    Okay I am sure I can say more but I am sick so I will leave it at that. Bed is calling me back.

    Anyway I hope my words are helpful and not hurtful.



    • your words have brought tears to my eyes. not from anger, not from stepping out of line, but because you brought out the truth. I have always felt like i needed to prove myself, always. I always blamed me for not doing something just right or trying hard enough. I found myself thinking of new foods to make or ways to get acknowledgement that i was loved. now the part of seeing who i am is clear but i do not know how to go about finding out who else is hiding beneath the guilt. I so appreciate what you have said Ivonne. you make perfect sense, and I know that you are right. I am going to this class and giving it my best. I have a feeling that the reasons I shined so bright when I was running my antique store is because I did it myself. I built it, I ran it, and I loved it. if i could only find someone to build me a web site, i would be selling again online


  3. what a childhood! no wonder you are such a caretaker. now that al is in the nursing lodge (this is what julie calls it) you have the opportunity to take care of yourself. it is obvious your health has suffered while you cared for others and now there are no reasons for you not to focus on yourself. this is a good chance to find what makes you happy, gives you comfort rather than what you can do to make someone else happy or give someone else comfort. i will be here, holding your hand and cheering you one with each step.


  4. I can’t explain this in English, but it’s life and psychology, we’re doing mistakes in our life, it’s just to learn of our mistakes and go on, it’s easier to say than do… It’s hard to read in English, I speak Brittish English, academic, but only basic…


    • thank you for leaving your comment Maria. You did a good job. I understood what you were trying to say to me. it is a change now I must are right. it is easier to say than do but i am working on it


  5. Some very good points have been made and I won’t repeat, but your worth is not based in your caring role – though I think you have fully proved your worth if it were.

    My only worry about the nursing home was that you would suffer guilt, despite doing your utmost. Have you considered that you did the selfless thing by placing Al? He now has his sister back, less stressed too. He is seeing you as his support when he needs it, rather than the big bad wolf he needs to manipulate to get his own way. It certainly sounds as though he is happy and you did your very best for him, always. I hope that you recognise that and it brings you comfort.

    I wiouldn’t jump into another caring role, take time. But if you do need this as part of your personal ‘makeup’ there are plenty of people out there who could use a carer, reliable and caring. Think of the battle you had for support.


    • I try to tell myself that he is better off there. He has more care than I could provide alone. He is more content. I am fighting hard to move on. I don’t know any other thing to do as far as work. I only know care giving and antiques


  6. My Mom told me almost these exact words…about taking care of her youngst sister when she was 10 years old…and my Aunt being the baby…was so spoiled!…
    Mom rmembered spankings for not doing right by my Aunt when she was young…and my Mom was YOUNG too… And sad to say…it carried through until they were so much older…
    Got better…but would show up every once in awhile…
    The retirement idea is so true… That’s why I joined the YMCA for water aerobics…belong to a weight loss group(TOPS)…stay busy with Grandchildren…I belong to two BUNCO clubs now…
    BUSY…is the word…It so helps!…I believe WOMEN in general are born care givers…and we NEED to have some sort of that in our lives…Although I worked with kids for 30+ years…
    and still like dealig with them…I think a change is so good…A newness …different thoughts…Let’s us know we can still learn and do new things…I thhink you are on track!


  7. Hi Terry,

    We all have a great desire to feel needed and loved. The more we recognize the Lrod’s blessings in our lives, the more we recognize His love for us. Likewise, the more we see His open doors of opportunities for service, as we serve Him by caring for others, we recognize the great need that others have for us.

    It is such a wonderful thing to know that the Lrod can fill both of these voids in our life as we continue ot seek His face and serve Him as He would desire for us. Lrod bless you Terry. The Lord is at work in your life and our prayers continue for you.


  8. Remember, Terry, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. Guilt is not part of God’s plan for our lives. He doesn’t love you because of what you do or don’t do; He loves you because of who you are. And who you are is who He created you to be. Start each day declaring scripture verses that put you in a positive mindset. When those thoughts of guilt try to worm their way into your mind, kick them out and replace them with positive confessions that God loves you, cares for you, protects you, leads you, that you are accepted in the beloved, that you are under His wings, that He holds your right hand with His right hand, that when you fall, underneath are the everlasting arms. God bless you and strengthen you as you venture into new things at His leading.


    • Hi Diane, do you have any favorite verses that I can refer to? I feel like I know my bible fairly well, but I am terrible at memorizing. To look up something special, I have to reference key words


  9. I think guilt is an insideous thing, and it is difficult to pinpoint when it sets in. I think a mothers love is the most fundamental of things we need, and if we do not have it it messes with how we see ourselves in the world. I struggle with this as well.


    • You do? HOw do you get through it? I wasn’t even sure it had anything to do with my childhood until I blogged it and then reread it. I was pretty sure then that it was instilled in my head


      • I’m 49, and I’ve only just realized that I’ve been wanting this all my life, and that I never really came to accept that it just wasn’t going to be until now. I think I sabotaged relationships by expecting from them what I didn’t get from my mother. I’m writing a piece about the enormity of the importance of a mothers relationship with her children.


      • I think this is one of the reasons I want to date so bad. I am thinking they can make up for the void i feel. i can’t wait to read your new post about mothers


  10. Love you, Terry, and am thinking of you. I am thinking guilt is something that the enemy uses .’s not from God. So am praying that you find a way to say NO to it, whenever you find those feelings creeping in. Like giving it to Jesus right away and asking Him to help you.


  11. Terry, to be honest I don’t think you should go into care – you have to come out that box, because that you care for everybody – and you will bring it with you home at in the evenings, you will worry about them when you are of duty. You will feel guilt if something happens when you were not there.
    It’s doesn’t help to fill the gap with something similar.
    Al is okay and happy were he is – you need to talk to somebody and get all your guilt and worries out the system – and when you gone through that process you have to look for something else – something new .. and exciting – a challenge.


  12. The “One” who dissolves my pain…
    The “One” who without conditions loves me…
    The “One” who gives me peace that surpasses anything I can imagine or think…
    The “One” who took away my guilt, feelings of condemnation…
    The “One & Only” who understands the “missing pieces” such as in your life, is to this day, Jesus.


  13. Hey terry1954…two things I wanted to add.. the first one is that.only truly special people are caregivers so you must be extraordinarily kind. That’s a gift. Second thing: when my mother was diagnosed with dementia and I had to place her in a Memory Care Unit in Houston in 2007, my doctor in South Carolina prescribed anti-depressants for me with the remark that ANY person who has a mother with dementia will be depressed. He was right about the depression and the meds do help if you find one that suits you! Bless you for not giving up.


    • thanks for sharing some of your life with me. I never thought I would become depressed, but now that I realize and admit it, i am trying like hell to get a way from it. I like the lighter side of life not heavy and sadness. I will admit when I go see my brother, it triggers me back two steps. a constant reminder of where he is and his tears and pain do me in. if i could get by without seeing him for a spell, I would, but i am all he has. thanks Sheila. I hope I don’t have to take the meds but will if this doesn’t work with the class


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