I know this is an old thread, but I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt lately. I just got married and should be happy, but I have friends who also want to get married and they haven’t found anyone yet, which makes me guilty. I want my friends to be happy as well… Of course, I realise that marriage doesn’t equal happiness and no marriage doesn’t mean you can’t be happy, but it seems really important to them.
Then again, one of them only wants to date guys above a certain income level and another woman I worked with in my previous job said she felt alone, but never went out and shut down almost all my and others’ attempts for social contacts, so I guess some people make their own misfortune?
But I also have a friend who is lovely, the nicest and most responsible person ever, and she had her mother run out on her as a child, her father pressuring her career-wise which led to her health being destroyed due to grad school stress, which also destroyed her self-confidence etc. I love her and it pains me to see her unhappy. I know she wishes me nothing but happiness, but I feel guilty. She was there for me during the worst time of my life, and I can’t help her at all. I can’t be that one special person who she wants so badly. A spouse is different from a friend, even a very good friend…
But, as I just alluded to, it’s not like my life was all roses and sunshine so far. I was bullied at school, my parents would fight a lot and blame me for having to stay together, they would treat my younger brother preferentially and scapegoat me etc. We have a much better relationship now, so much so that I dread their eventual passing because we finally get along, and I guess after my past, I am still afraid of lacking the coping skills to deal with being parentless in later adulthood, even though I’ve lived alone and all.
I also have endometriosis and thyroid problems which cause depression – the doctors always seem to think I need less medication than I really need, so I’m always fighting to get enough to keep the depression away. It’s really not as if I have an easy life – my first work place was horrible, I was harrassed by bosses and co-workers, and now, grad school is tough as well. But I also feel really grateful for still having much more than others do, and I’m scared if I get too complacent, it will all get taken away.
Maybe that’s what many people mean when they say ‘guilt’?