Sunday, 23 September 2007
I was having a bit of an email chat earlier, with a friend, and started talking about how guilty I feel about things.
It's not something I let out, very often. And when I do, the usual response is "But it isn't your fault."
I know that, but I can't help feeling how I do. And I'm fairly sure you'd feel the same in my situation.
My mum has early onset alzheimers.
She was diagnosed around two years ago, in 2005, just after I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. But she hadn't been 'quite right' for a while.
Before I moved into my new flat, I lived with my parents. And much as I really do hate to admit it, the situation with my mum was one of the main reasons I moved out.
I love my mum to bits, and get along with my parents extremely well. We've become even closer since my cancer diagnosis. But the whole situation with my mum was really having an effect on my, already delicate (thanks to cancer), state of mind.
I felt guilty when I was at home, because I didn't feel I was doing enough with her. Or enough to help my dad (who's now her full time carer. He gave up his job to care for her). But I was struggling to cope with my mum's condition, aswell as my own.
Cue feeling selfish, aswell as guilty.
Now I've moved out (and don't get me wrong, I'm still loving having my own space, and I do feel I've done the right thing), I feel guilty for not spending as much time with my parents.
I also feel guilty for putting my family (and friends) through all my cancer crap.
This is the bit where people tend to say "But it isn't your fault. You can't do anything about it."
I know that, but I feel like I'm letting people down.
Not only does my dad have my mums illness to deal with. He also has mine.
The chances are that he'll lose his wife to alzheimers, and his daughter to cancer.
I'm very aware that this may not be too far into the future. And I wonder how on earth my dad's going to cope, if both of these happen close together.
I feel guilty for putting him in that position.
I'm writing this here, because no-one's being forced to read it.
I'm not offloading my guilt onto anyone. Just putting it out there in the ether.