Guilt? message board: Politics and other things: Guilt?
Author: Missing_kskd
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 9:46 pm
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Been wanting to post this for a bit. Was not sure how. Have decided to just do it.

I lost a friend a few weeks ago. As kids, through our 20's we were close. This was the kind of friend that you could call a brother --that kind of close.

After high school, we parted ways like so many people do. He fell on really hard times, and did drugs and dealt in drugs to get his house paid for. To his credit, he accomplished that, then quit cold.

Just took a few weeks off, and dealt with it.

His family then didn't have as much as he wanted, but they never wanted for the basics. Food, school, clothes were always within range, living in a house that was paid off.

Something broke, and he was crippled. I'm not going to detail that, just in case somebody is reading. He went to the bottle and just stayed there, his spark gone.

Truth is, I think I lost him for real a number of years ago. Wrote about that just once here too. Over the years, we grew apart and I never could quite connect again.

The thing is, I don't care if somebody is broken! Probably most of us don't. That doesn't impact the mind we know --the person, right? I like to think it doesn't, and that's how I play it. I sure hope those that know me can muster the strength to do the same.

I've just learned WHY that is important. It's not for us when this happens. It is for the OTHERS who know us. I know that sounds rather obvious, but it has meaning for me now --the kind of direct experience kind of meaning that lies beneath words. That is the difference between simply knowing something, and grokking it. The latter makes it part of you, and it's instinct that plays out below thought, contributing to it, forming part of who we are.

Rough way to get there, but assuming it all plays out ok, I've got that to share and help another some day. (maybe)

He didn't see it that way, and just slowly faded away, only really visible at the occasional event, where it seems he would save what little of himself was left, and spend it huge for one evening. Spooky and very sad at the same time.

When he died, I felt almost nothing, despite thinking about this friend off and on over the years, nearly every week. You know, the kind of thing where you know they would laugh, or some insight they shared played out perfectly...

I've some guilt over that, yet I still don't feel much. Suspect this is some nasty cycle, I've not yet grappled with, meaning I've got to deal to understand, and that sucks, because usually I can reason my way through stuff and deal less.

Somehow, this one just isn't working that way, meaning I think I'm on the 5 stage deal. If that's true, then what is the closure? That has me worried some, because perhaps there just isn't closure.

I've achieved closure on a bunch of really ugly stuff. Doing so is extremely important, mostly because when there isn't closure, things fester and the mind is divided some, less potent, hurting...

Part of the guilt is knowing what I do right now, feeling it means I might have had the words to break that barrier and share some good time. It could have helped. Not being there isn't something I can lay personal blame on, after all who is perfect? But still, it feels as if I just didn't apply myself and think it through, when maybe I could have.

Any of you been here? What ended up happening?

Author: Chris_taylor
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 10:45 pm
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Doug you really opened your heart here bro. Thank you. Not an easy thing to throw out and give it to a group as diverse as this board has become.

I think you answered many of your own questions. And the closure one, well sometimes it never happens. Yeah it hurts, along with the guilt but the fact you are facing that real issue means you are in the dealing/healing aspect of this loss.

Grief is a hell of an emotion. Weighs you down. Some never really recover others just find a way to stuff it somewhere where they can at least function daily. Others deal with it and move on. However grief is never far away as far as I can see.

Sometimes the unanswerable questions remain unanswerable and that's just how it goes. Still, there's no problem in trying to answer them or at least make the attempt. To not do so seems to go against our own humanity.

Bottom line....I don't have an answer. Maybe time is our allie

Hang in there Doug and thanks for sharing.

Author: Missing_kskd
Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 8:55 pm
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I've come to guilt that is a natural artifact of things that have occurred, and there is guilt that is false.

False guilt drains the person for no good reason. It's unhealthy --like a disease that needs treatment.

Real guilt, where I'll say that guilt is warranted, does not necessarily need treatment as much as the person needs to deal with it.

I think I've got a mix of both. Losing this friend earlier to the bottle is real, rational and honest. The guilt I have over that is false, and I'm closing that down, including the shoulda coulda woulda elements of it.

Not feeling anything right now is kind of real --in that it's a bit selfish. Been through a lot, but selfish is selfish. I think that's real guilt that I am supposed to feel.

Here's the interesting bit:

Say you've some real guilt. Guilt that an ordinary, healthy person would feel. Simple awareness of that fact alone; namely, that an ordinary person would feel it, is in and of itself therapeutic. Not sure what that means just yet, but I feel better knowing that I'm on a path that is normal at least.

Author: Brianl
Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 7:30 am
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Missing, wow. That's tough ...

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my father, even though we were estranged for so many years. I really fought internally, wanted a good solid relationship with him throughout my childhood, and once I reached a young adult.

I now realize that it would have never happened, as long as he was married to the woman he was married to, hate is not a strong enough word between her and I. It reached a point when I was a senior in high school that once I graduated, I left, not looking back.

The day I graduated from high school was the last time I saw or spoke to my father. Over the years I thought about him often, having lost touch. I even attempted to look him up on the Internet and other avenues, to see how he was, to no avail.

I got a call about six years ago from my mother on a Saturday morning, I remember it like it was this morning, right after completing the radio show. I knew something was wrong, my mother rarely called me, and at 7am it was unheard of. She called me to tell me that she got word that my father had passed away.

I sat there, completely stunned. It hit me - I will NEVER have a chance to rectify things with him, to make them right, to have a relationship with my father.

And I will take that with me to my grave.

When I have talked to others about similar things they are going through, I always suggest to fight to right that perceived wrong (whether it's perceived or real), to not live with the acrimony and bitterness, and to make amends with that person. Parent, sibling, distant relative, close friend ... build a bridge, don't dig a canyon.

Author: Shyguy
Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 9:01 am
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Its hard to do but I try not to play the "coulda shoulda woulda" game. It doesn't work and most of the time only screws with your head. Missing remember the good times you and your friend had. Maybe let your late friends family know that this person meant alot to you at one time. Maybe that will help with closure.

Friends that you had a connection with in your younger days may wander a different path than yours but it doesn't mean we still don't think about these people or ever stop caring. We just grow apart sometimes as we age.

However that tight knit circle always seems to come together in times of need, as my friends did when I was hospitalized last year. We may be off in our own worlds but we still think about the good times we shared. Back in the day!

Author: Missing_kskd
Monday, April 27, 2009 - 7:19 pm
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That's a good call Shyguy.

It's time to go visit some people this coming weekend.

Author: Chris_taylor
Monday, April 27, 2009 - 9:30 pm
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Staying in touch. What a concept. With today's technology maybe we're in touch too much.

I have found myself more and more grateful for the people in my life. My wife and I had as about as opposite upbringings as you can have. Her story is not new and many of you on this board have similar stories of childhoods that were not pleasant.

You became adults sooner than you should have, and the trusted adults in your life, well they couldn't be trusted. Why is this seemingly the way it is and not the exception? Why do adults have children they don't intend on loving or nurturing?

When I read these stories and listen to what my wife grew up with I realize just how different I was raised. Not trying to hold this over anyones head but for whatever reason my folks made different choices. My siblings and I are the benefactors of a childhood steeped in real love, being cherished, and seen as precious.

This doesn't mean things were perfect. The loss of my sister at the 3 1/2 years of age with all other kids 5 and under, made for a difficult time. But again-my folks rose to the occasion. When my sister came out as a lesbian in 1983, it was another hard time for my folks, but to their credit they worked through it, saw my sister as valuable and today I have a wonderful sister-in-law that loves my sister deeply.

Missing-Love is a verb. It has action. It's premeditated and it can help heal difficult wounds. Scars are the reminders of what love can cost sometimes.

When I lost a dear friend in 2002 unexpectedly it rocked my world. I was looking forward to sitting back in our old age sharing memories along with our spouses of the good old days. I wanted to share with her the success of the business my wife and have been building and exchange photos of our kids for years to come.

The communication with her husband ended even after several attempts. I have many questions that I know won't be answered unless he chooses to contact me. It's a hope of mine.

We need each other. We humans are made that way.

Author: Missing_kskd
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 8:41 pm
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Thought about your post a bit. There is keeping in touch, and there is actually just going to spend time with people.

The two are different, and perhaps that is more of a problem the tech brings us. Real, full on face time is quality time. It costs both parties, and that makes it special, because some effort must happen to make it real.

A twitter, IM, e-mail, etc.. doesn't roll the same way.

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