I’ve read many posts in which ALI bloggers ask the question Why me? But usually they are wondering why they are being forced to endure the struggles of IF and loss.
I have been asking the question Why me? a lot lately, but I’m asking it for the opposite reason.
What I want to know is why do I get to have a second child when so many others are struggling to have their first or were never able to have a second… or have no living children to parent at all? Why do I get to have so much when so many others are left wanting, when they have struggled for so much longer than I have and endured so much more suffering? Why were we able to get pregnant despite two diagnoses when others can’t get pregnant when no causes are found? Why did we only suffer one miscarriage when others have lost so many more babies?
I know I will never know the answers to these questions. I try not to let the guilt overwhelm me, but sometimes I just feel horrible that I’ve been given so much when others are wanting. I feel like I cut in line, not once but twice. I recognize how horribly unfair it is and I feel guilty for being the one who is on the more advantageous side of the lopsided equation.
The truth is, my life is pretty close to perfect right now. We have achieved everything we worked for in the last five years. We had our daughter. We bought a house in the city we love. Mi.Vida got a new job that will better support our family and give him valuable opportunities in a field that interests him. We are expecting our second child. We can finally get married in the state where we live.
Why do we get to have all of these things while other people are left wanting one or more (sometimes all of them). Who are we to have so much?
On the one hand I feel like I should apologize for all I have, that I must constantly acknowledge the MUCHNESS of it. On the other hand I feel this great responsibility to appreciate it all, to take nothing for granted. Knowing how much others would give to have what I’ve been given is a great weight, resting heavily on my shoulders.
With great happiness comes great responsibility.
My therapist urges me to combat my anxiety with gratitude work, but she doesn’t tell me what to do when all that gratitude becomes guilt. How do I appreciate everything I have without feeling guilty for having it when others do not? I don’t know how to do that yet. It is a puzzle and I’m barely able to piece together the edges, let alone see what the picture is.
I know this community is a complicated place. I want to make clear that absolutely NO ONE has made me feel this way. I have only received love and support for my successes, even from those who have been left wanting while I have forged ahead with my shiny new perfect life. Everyone’s gracious support has been so appreciated. I know this is my own shit that I have to deal with, and I’m sure I’ll figure out how. Eventually.
Have you ever felt guilt for what you have? How do you manage it?