Let’s Talk About Guilt

I’ve written about it before. I see it mentioned again and again on social media. I think it is time to revisit the topic. Almost two years (Charlie is 23 months today!) into my preemie parenting journey, I continue to have lingering guilt. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty but I continue to do so. At this point, I realize the logical part of my brain and the emotional part of my brain do not coordinate with each other. I can know something but feel something completely different. My guilt exists due to those darned emotions that won’t listen to reason. I feel guilty when…

  • I meet a mom whose baby passed in the NICU. I know how easily that could have been me. It is simply by chance that our situations are not reversed.
  • I feel  frustration, hurt, sadness, anger, etc about Charlie’s delays. I know there are parents who have bigger challenges and would love to be in my shoes.
  • I react irrationally due to some deep-seeded hurt, loss, sadness, or frustration. The guilt is immediate after I snap at someone.
  • I am jealous or envious of another parent. I wish I was better than such pettiness.

I feel guilty because…

  • I feel like I failed my husband and Charlie in some way. Even though I know better, I feel like all this is somehow my fault.
  • Charlie has a very good chance of catching up eventually. I know many parents aren’t so lucky.

I don’t know at what point the guilt will begin to lift. I can hope it will eventually.

About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

One response to “Let’s Talk About Guilt

  • LindaGHill

    My feelings of … were they guilt? More like misery. They began to lift when I started to realize I could help other people by sharing my experience. It made me feel as though maybe this all happened for a reason.
    Then, when my kids began to interact with people more, as they got older, seeing the joy on other parents’ faces when my kids smiled at them, and, completely unself-consciously went up to them or made a face to make them laugh.
    My special needs children – any special needs child – have a unique place in society for the sake of their innocence, their openness, and their unconditional ability to love.
    See this and know, that you have brought a gift to the world. Rejoice in it, and there will be no more need for guilt.


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