~ Guilt …

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Don’t lose your balance. My name is Mallory Durrick. And I’m really glad you’re back to listen and hope you’re finding value in these episodes on this podcast. Today I’ve been thinking a lot about the last episode entitled choice. And now it’s leading me towards this conversation of guilt. What is guilt? What is guilty? When are you guilty? How much guilt do you or we hang on to? Why and when is it okay to let go of that feeling of guilt? I ask because I wonder who decides on the when?


There is a lot of judgment put on others, and more importantly, the judgment we put on ourselves? How much suffering do you have to endure until someone says, okay, you’re done. I’m not talking about criminal behavior, I’m talking about personal behaviors, choices, guilt for choosing one way over the other. There are also different degrees of guilt, and also your religious backgrounds and beliefs will drive you but I am not going there. And this isn’t about faith. If this triggers you please do what you have to do to protect yourself, even if that means, not listening. This is my conversation between me and me. And I don’t want to make anyone feel badly or even start a debate. I want to talk about guilt as it pertains to me and only me, I want to talk about guilt as it pertains to balance.


I make decisions every single day. And those decisions will impact me and they will also in some cases, impact others. Some decisions will be very impactful. And in the long term, they will likely really impact the people that may never be able to forgive me for the decisions and choices, including the ones I’ve made in the past. So I can feel guilty all I want, but it’s not going to change anything. If I went left, let’s say and got hit by a car, I’m angry with the driver that hit me or maybe I’m angry with myself for not choosing to go right or straight. Or maybe I didn’t stop at that coffee shop like I was supposed to. So I got there at that intersection 10 minutes earlier and I got hit. A choice was made and a consequence occurred. Sometimes I make choices and something great comes of it. And I celebrate those wins. Had I not been in that place, and at that time, I would never have met my spouse. My life is a scientific gift, an egg and a sperm right place right time made me and I was made with all my imperfections and in all my glory. And it makes me sad sometimes because I’m mostly remembered for the bad things I’ve done and less so for my wins and my successes. You know, I’ve often said the bad always outweighs the good. But it should really be the other way around. In my past I made a lot of bad decisions that impacted others. But I also made a lot of decisions that really impacted myself. I lived this life and if you ask many people who know me, they will probably say I suffered a lot. Even at my own hand. Yes, I suffered a lot at my own hand. And as a result, I’ve been holding on to too much of that guilt. And it’s a debilitating feeling. In fact, it’s actually exhausting. My mother even feels guilty for having failed me somehow. Surely the choices I made had to do with her, or something she did or didn’t do. Guess what? You didn’t do anything wrong, Mom, I made my own choices. I made my own bed and I’m still making choices, good, bad or indifferent. So as I move forward in life, I have to make new choices. And I have to decide if it’s worth living the rest of my life harboring guilt, or letting it go.


So I guess I’m “choosing” which is what we talked about last week, and I’m choosing to let it go. Uh oh, I’ve got a problem. If I let go of the past and my guilt if I feel like I’ve done the work to get on the other side of it. And I let go of the guilt. Does that mean I’m forgiven? No, I’m not forgiven and No, I don’t. I can forgive myself, but others may not forgive me and in this context, if I’m truly going to be honest and speak from my heart, I’m actually referring to my kids and my relationship with them. I decided in writing all of this, if I speak too vaguely, I don’t think I’m going to be true to myself and do the real work. I can’t seem to get through to my children now, and I don’t have any other platform or format. And here we are.


I said in episode one that I think I’m doing this podcast, because I don’t want my version of my truth to come out in some journal, or some book when I’m gone. So I keep moving forward. My father was the one who actually told me to do that. He said, Mallory, you need to keep moving forward. And he’s right. And that’s leading me right here right now, right where I am. And I want to send a message that I can’t send by picking up a phone. I’ve written letters that have never been sent. I’ve talked to my family, and it’s getting really tiresome for me and for them, and they really don’t have the answers. They don’t know what the answer is and the narrative continues to get twisted and turned. And it’s like the spin cycle in the dryer around and around and around and around and around. And it’s a Ugh, it’s awful.


Look, I get it, my children have these memories of when I was unhealthy. And that’s so true. And I own that, but I don’t see them often. And as a result of being unhealthy, and I made bad choices, this endless cycle of you did this, you did that, you didn’t do this, and you didn’t do that. And I never get any further than where I am right now. I’m sort of stuck in this place. The narrative about how I cared more about someone else’s kids or a boyfriend rather than caring about them looks true. But when I look back on it, I think I was trying to survive.  I was on my own and having to care for them on my own, my children, without any money was terrifying. And actually, it was really impossible. If I had had a boyfriend I might have cooked for him or cleaned for him or impressed his kids, maybe I would have been accepted. Maybe a part of me really believes that my kids were better off either with their father, or even with the parents of their friends. I was after all unhealthy, and most of all terribly unstable. They needed better than me, and I just couldn’t care for them who really wanted me? I have to say this because it’s true. It’s not that I didn’t care for or about my children. And it’s absolutely not that I didn’t or don’t love them. I think I was terrified during my divorce since I had no money and massively in debt, that they were just better off without me. They’re fucked up mother did not need to be in their beautiful, healthy lives. I was too guilty of too much sin and horror of abandoning them. But you know what’s worse, I gave up on myself, I abandoned myself, I pushed people away, because I believed they were way better off without me. I am guilty of that, I will own that I will own it all. But I can’t or shouldn’t keep apologizing for something I can no longer control. I let them move on without me, they will likely have a very different story. And I don’t know. But they’re more than welcome to tell it.


I just have a hard time with being in and out of people’s lives so I end up putting up those walls. And it’s like I’m walking away, but rather I’m protecting myself. But the pain. It’s too egregious. As adults, my kids are going to live their lives. And I hope and pray that they are happy lives. But I’m pretty confident they will live their lives with some regrets and maybe they won’t. I don’t know what that is. But I do believe everyone has regrets. Some are greater than others. You know, I didn’t make a conscious decision to go fuck up my life. I was too sick and too unhealthy to actually be present. The people around me, my kids and they’ve lived their lives and they’re going to continue to live their lives as adults. I have suffered so much and I have been in so much pain and I have done so much damage to myself that impacted others. I don’t know what else to do at this point. If I’m not forgiven and I continue to feel guilty for the pain I’ve caused, at what point do my adult children say I forgive my mother when I’m dead? Well, that’s not very useful. What if I got sick? Well, they try to make up for lost time? Will they put me in a home and forget about me? After all, I have no money, no partner, no one, I have no one. I get advice. And sometimes it’s just bad advice. Despite everyone trying to help me it’s really not great advice. You know, I’m not two days into healthy behaviors or happiness. I’m almost two years into it. Is that enough time to receive forgiveness? In fact, I think my punishment took two decades to find this peace and most of all, this balance, but at what cost? Who gets decide how long and how much time has to pass before you get redemption one year? One decade? 10 decades? Or never? If I let go of the guilt and my any less guilty, no. But what I am, is free.


However, there’s a problem. The problem is that I’m not accepted because the others aren’t letting it go. You know, I recently experienced trauma during a time of sobriety. And I’m not sure why I was treated with the same level of disdain, despite being healthier. I realized I’m not being accepted, because because the other people in my life are not seeing the healthier side of me. The way I see it. I’m already set up to fail because of preconceived notions and most of all memories. Maybe they’re waiting for the ball to drop? I don’t know. But it does ask the question, am I guilty forever? Or can they get to the other side of forgiveness and acceptance? I don’t know. And I don’t think it’s 100% my responsibility to keep reaching out and trying and having it fall on deaf ears. Because truth is, it’s just too painful. Writing does help. And forgiving myself is a super important component because that guilt is eating me alive, I am no longer responsible for the happiness and or pain of others. I am letting go of that responsibility. and that may be hard for everyone. But I cannot control that. They themselves have to do the work. And it’s not like a bigger house or a better car, another baby is going to fix the root of all of it. If I tried to get too close, I’m pushed away. If I’m pushed off the cliff, I owe it to myself, to pull the line for that parachute, to fly and not fall.


My past relationships are not really healed and I’ve owned the guilt for a very long time. But I can’t own the unhappiness of others. Not anymore, and neither should anyone else. I love my family. And I am so tired of talking about this all the time. I really just want to move on and be happy. Sadly, that may not include my kids in my life or even my grandchildren. Because it’s no longer up to me. I don’t get to decide if I’m in their life or not. They have to decide whether they want me there. If they don’t, I have to accept that decision and move forward. I can’t and I won’t continue to apologize to anyone for who I am.


Some people actually like me. And I like them. I don’t make up stories about my realities. And I don’t make excuses either. Despite the fact I was sick, I own all of it. Every single decision, every choice, all the guilt. Yep, I own it. But I am no longer holding on to it because it’s not even remotely productive. You know, what is productive? Writing, podcasting, journaling, painting, cooking, cleaning, practicing gratitude, and, moving on moving forward, and moving towards something. And that is a very powerful feeling. And that’s something? Yeah, I don’t know what that is. It makes me laugh because I don’t I just have this overwhelming feeling that something’s there waiting for me. I’m not waiting for it, like I said last week, it’s waiting for me. Just because I am not manifesting it doesn’t mean it isn’t waiting for me. I want to say this to the people that are listening. It’s great to have goals. And it’s even better to achieve them. It’s also great to just be happy with what you have right here right now and who you are, and all that you are.


Despite all the pain, no one has suffered through my pain greater than me. I don’t want to be in pain anymore. I’m happy. And I hope for anyone out there that hears this if you’ve caused pain to others find a way back to balance by first of all forgiving yourself. I truly believe I am in my own way better than ever. And if I’m not accepted by myself at my healthiest and others won’t or can’t accept me, I guess I have to move on without them and alone.


Give yourself some grace and treat your body kindly. Don’t poison it. Find the balance in your life by doing what we should all do. Make good choices and forgive yourself for the bad ones. And make amends to those willing to accept them. Look in that mirror and start with yourself. You’ll be glad you did.


Okay, see you next time and if you liked this or any other episode of Don’t lose your balance, I have a Facebook page of the same name and also a website and I’m also on Instagram. You can find me at Mallory Durrick or even don’t lose your balance MSD that’s Mary, Sam David. You can give me a follow. You can subscribe to this podcast, write a review or most importantly share it with somebody else that might need to hear it and help them find their way to balance. I am no expert but I’ve lived a pretty interesting life.


I’ve been very guilty of many and forgiving of more to find my way back to balance. Have a great day everyone. I’ll see you next time.

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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

About The Author

Mallory Durrick

Mallory Durrick

Hi, I am Mallory Durrick. I am a creative. A Marketing Strategist and Web Designer with a small and modest boutique Marketing Agency living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I am the creator and narrator of this podcast, Don’t Lose Your Balance. This is a culmination of decades of self-help books, countless doctors, numerous hospitals, including rehabs. Once a wife, now divorced, a mother, a grandmother and an addict in recovery. These are things that I am and have experienced.

I’m sharing it all. Baring it all. Hoping to help others; not lose their balance.