I've discussed this guilt thing here, this emotion that takes over my soul at times, has become another organ inside my body, like my heart or my lungs, but so much less necessary. And as I type this, I know I'm kidding no one when I say "at times".
My memory reaches far back into my childhood, and even back then, there's the tiniest whisper of guilt in some of my earliest memories. It walked with me to school, sharing my footsteps. It spooned with me in bed at night, stealing the covers and making me sweat.
When I felt jealousy towards my foster siblings? Guilt was right there, strangling.
When I felt overwhelmed and confused by my mother's strokes? Guilt held my hand.
Joy at my brother's 2 year old face lighting up when I came home from school? Guilt pinched the soft inside of my arm.
Rage towards my father for so many things? Guilt coursed through these veins.
Even in sleep, where unrealized desires and unspoken words prevail, guilt hung like a fog around my face.
Guilt for not being strong enough to give total forgiveness.
Guilt at not being able to force myself to learn to love-again- someone who broke me. Guilt at the rage I feel towards him for this.
Guilt for blaming him.
Guilt when I ease into bed next to my girl, watching her chest rise and fall, knowing I haven't done the best job.
Guilt that I'm breaking her, unwittingly, with my actions now.
Guilt when I hate life, even if for a few minutes.
Guilt at being frustrated with those that are trying to help.
Guilt when I find some joy in my days, selfish or not.
Guilt when I cry, when I ache, when I sleep in to avoid all of this.
Guilt when I wake up in the middle of the night, and for one split second, think I'm back in our first house, where things were fresh and frustrating but mixed with love and hope. Guilt that I can't bring that back, that I can't fix what I didn't break.
Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.
Learning to let go is hard. Learning to say goodbye to someone who has been gone from my life for awhile is painful. Moving on and finding happiness outside of the one person I thought I would be with until my dying day? Unbelievably rough.
And this guilt, this itchy wool coat a few sizes too small, makes it almost impossible to breathe another day.