Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Making kids feel guilty

Steve was frustrated the other day with yet more expenses on the condo (washer broke, shower broke). He started adding all the expenses we have incurred to support Naomi's lifestyle versus the amount paid to us (usually late, usually covers only a fraction). He wrote them all down and insisted that I show Naomi everything. Now why he wouldn't show her this himself, I don't know. She understandably had little interest in reviewing this. I know it's a big number OK?
As it turns out, Don'tae's new job isn't bringing in the money promised him. As it is, he took out a couple of paycheck loans (at a cool 225%per annum interest!!!!) just to pay us what he did. No more paycheck loans!!!!

Are we going broke because of this? No. We really don't have many expenses as we live in a modest house paid off years ago. Could she cut back on expenses? yes definitely.

Yet Steve wanted her to feel guilty. But now I think he feels bad that he tried to do that.

My father made  daily attempts to make me feel guilty. How hard it was to drive 20 miles to a job he much every little thing the world doesn't owe me a living. When I needed glasses, they were my birthday present because somehow, I wrecked my eyes. And I didn't hear the end of that. Did I feel guilty? Not one bit. I could do  the math. The expenses I was responsible for were minimal. Everyone around me got much more. And he grew up in the lap of luxury with everything handed to him. He had a variation of hoarding in that he hoarded money. The more money one has, the more one is worth. And spending the money decreased his value. But the funny thing about pegging your value to how much money you have in the bank, is that it is not fun unless others know how much there is. So he alternated between saying how broke he was and how much money he had in the bank.

He once made a social worker feel sorry for him. My mother due to her Alzheimer's was not able to cook. Meals on Wheels was proposed. She found a provider that would charge just $1.00/meal. He told her he couldn't afford that. So she called me thinking I should pay. I said that he had way more money than I did and that she shouldn't feel bad for him at all.

I don't think one can ever make kids feel guilty. You can certainly piss them off. This doesn't mean that I am incapable of feeling guilty. I am. I feel bad that I didn't rescue my mom earlier from her abusive husband. She didn't try to make me feel bad but I feel sad when I think of how much stuff she had to put up with. I feel guilty that I didn't spend more time with my kids. I feel guilty that I had such a short fuse with the kids especially Shanna. I feel bad I wasn't able to fix all of Naomi's academic problems.

Toasty yet again today. It was warm even before the sun came up. I went to help my friend with her post surgical stuff and take her to the market. I bought some Sweet Sues, a variety of peach I hadn't tried yet. I had to wait for fog to burn off before going on my bike ride (too hot and humid to run). A family of deer jumped in front of me out in the country. The storms today are supposed to bring cool, dry air in. We'll see.

I had a bit of Maya time while her mom worked. It has been decided to increase her therapy sessions to 2 days/week versus 2 days a month as she is about a year behind in spoken language. And today was Oliver's first day of preschool. He had been looking forward to it for so long.
He has the yellow shirt on


Teri Bernstein said...

I soooooo know where you are coming from!!

Holly said...

Dear Sue...I think you are WAY too hard on yourself!!


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