When Guilt is Really Sadness

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I know a lovely 20something who is the daughter of two sucky parents. I am making this judgment after watching their behavior towards her for the past three plus years and hearing her stories from growing up. These parents are selfish, wounded, and don’t know how to even be grateful for their lovely daughter. Sadly not all parents are good.

This daughter is lovely somehow. She is actively working on her baggage to bless this world.

Just recently her mom, once again, did something awful towards her “beloved” daughter. This is such a sad situation.

However my friend wasn’t feeling sad, she was feeling guilty. Guilty for not being a good daughter. Guilty for maybe doing something to cause her mother to behave so badly. Guilty for the traumas her mother has gone through. Traumas that the daughter herself did not cause. She was losing her identity and the life she was creating for herself because of this guilt.

This guilt is misplaced. What she really feels is sadness. Sadness that she has a bad mother. Sadness that her own mother would do such things to her. But to admit this sadness to yourself is so hard. No one really wants to admit the truth that one’s parent is so wrong and selfish. That one’s parent is so far from ideal. That one’s parent does not love unconditionally. It is easier to feel misplaced guilt than the truth that this is really sad.

You may have felt this misplaced guilt also. You may have stayed in a relationship too long because you felt guilty for leaving. But now you don’t see it as guilt. You see it as sadness. You are sad that this relationship is not working out but because you think you are feeling guilt you have decided to work on you to try to fix this relationship. You can work on you to fix the guilt. But this is not guilt. This is sadness. It is sad that you are in this relationship. It is sad that this person is not who you thought he/she was. It is sad that you need to brave up and have an ending.

The truth is my lovely has bad parents and the sadness comes with the realization that she wishes she had good parents. It is easier to take on this false guilt than realize the true sadness that she has sucky parents. The same for your situation. The truth of your situation is sad.

So pain is the beginning. This is sad and it hurts deeply. From this sad point she can now walk forward to develop endurance which leads to strength of character. (Romans 5:3-4). It is in this strength of character that she can create proper boundaries for her parents. To find that place where she can be their daughter but not have her happiness hinged on their returned love. This growing strength of character becomes her Plan B to find hope for her future as a young woman and future wife and future parent. This strength of character is going to attract a good match.

I’m cheering her on. She is worthy of writing a different story for her future children. She is worthy of having joy in her future marriage. Today it starts with reminding her that she is not guilty but that she is sad. There is a huge difference. One is based on truth.

God hates her pain. And will redeem every bit of it. Part of that redemption will be the marriage she will get to be in.

Read also:  Another List to Help You Know if Your Other is Actually Going to Change This Time

(photo credit:  Pexels.com, Rick Gailer)

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