World Champion of the Guilt Cup

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m plagued with guilt about my dad. Despite the abuse he heaped on us, despite his total lack of child support once my mom divorced him, despite his refusals to get help for anything, despite his last contact with me being a message he left on the day I graduated high school telling me he was proud of me for the first time in my life… I feel guilty, like I should do more to get into contact with him. I’m not entirely sure what I’d do with that contact. I have no desire to be abused again and I really, really don’t want him to suddenly show up at my doorstep and become my problem rather than terrorizing the west coast or whatever he’s doing right now. I feel guilty for not wanting to help him, for not welcoming him back into my life though I can pretty much guarantee nothing has changed. He would never get help for his children’s sake when we were little, why would it change now that all of us are adults and mostly fending for ourselves? He wouldn’t get help for his mother’s sake, up until the day she died. He wouldn’t get help for his own sake. He doesn’t even know how sick he is.

And still, I feel guilty.

My psychologist talks to me about my rampant guilt issues. It’s funny, when I’m sitting here feeling guilty, all of her words of wisdom are suddenly gone from my head. Obviously I need to start taking notes. I always tried to take on all the responsibility for everything as a kid, and I still do. I need to prove myself worthy. I need to prove myself worthy of love, because obviously I must not have been worthy, or my dad would’ve loved me, right? This now equates to me finding and rescuing my dad from himself, which my mother and his mother tried for years and never worked, so I have no idea how exactly to save a man his age from years of alcohol abuse and untreated bipolar disorder. It only marginally works on my clients, and they have to want to be saved before it’ll work anyway.

The best part is, this isn’t all I feel guilty about! I’m also supposed to fix everything for everybody all the time, because only then will I be worthy of love and respect and if I fail, I deserved to fail and I don’t deserve love and respect.

Dear lord but my head is a scary place to live, sometimes. I’m usually able to resist a lot of this stuff but it has a way of creeping in…

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