aGuilt And Family

Updated on October 27, 2011
A.M. asks from Raymore, MO
15 answers

Long story (short hopefully)...many know from my replies that I am my family "fixer"...I fix all the problems, when there is drama they come to me to get me to fix it. Over the summer I had enough, I was so depressed, angry and resentful that I started taking it out on my husband and kids.

I made a choice! I blocked the serous offenders, the ones who hate me when they don't like what I say, but love me when they do. By mean blocked they cannot call me on my cell, contact me on FB there has been no contact for months and I love it.

Today, my mom called to say that my cousin (repeat offender from above), is in ICU because she overdosed last night. I don't know anymore details than she's in ICU and ODed. She has no friends and her boyfriend is her enabler as well as her mother. She has stolen my prescription drugs (Feb 2011), I tried to help her, guide her but to no avail. Her daughter and mine were such good friends but for my only family I had to separate us from them. Things were not safe around them even in my own home. With the news from today I am in guilt mode. My guilt is from not having guilt to go and see her. I have no desire to get involved . But I feel guility for not wanting to.
Can any of you relate? Should I go? What advice can you give me.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all have very valid and useful advice, encouragement, very much appreciated. I've decided to wait for now and see what my mom says when she calls me back. She may have more information.

Right now the best choice is to wait. Best choice for myself. If I'm needed my mother will let me know. Jaimee K...that's it! I'm only at about a 40% I should go...thank you!

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

I think Tracy's right. You can go and see her - love and support of familiy may help as she recovers. But you don't get involved again. You're just visiting someone in the hospital.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

I don't know about advice - but I do have some encouragement, I think.

I don't think you need to allow yourself to feel guilty for protecting your family and yourself by not getting back involved in her life, which would likely happen if you went to see her. Keep up with her condition through your mother and leave it at that.

BTW - my guess is you don't feel guilty about not wanting to go see her because you know it's the best thing for everyone in the situation. You're making the right choice - maybe not the socially popular choice - but the right choice for you and your family. Trust yourself.

You know that you did everything you could for her within your power. She chose to continue her lifestyle. You are healthy enough to not have guilt that you didn't "do more" or "try harder."

She's an adult, she made her choices. You have no responsibility for her.

Personally, I might get in touch with her daughter to see if you can offer her assistance in any way (as long as she's safe for your family).

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

If she's in ICU, I assume there's some chance she doesn't make it. Picture a year from now how you'll feel if she does die and you didn't go. If you will not regret it bc you have many many good reasons to not regret it, then don't go and don't feel guilty about it. If you think you will, then make it a brief visit but don't get involved again. Do what's best for you. It may mean going or it may mean saying enough is enough, I'm not dealing with her anymore,she's created her own problems, and that's totally fine.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well M, here's the way I see it.

If you are a nurturer and a diplomat by nature, perhaps continuing to do so is what will bring you peace.

If you are more inclined towards self empowerment and preservation, peace will come by detaching yourself from the matter at hand.

Only because you have GUILT for not becoming involved (as usual) answers the question for ME. Which causes the lesser amount of personal discomfort for YOU?


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Maybe this will be her wakeup call?
By going to see her you are not getting involved, you are going to see her.

I firmly believe that the people that deserve love and compassion the least are probably the people that need it the most.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

It sounds to me like you are using tough love (in the first half of your question) and I can relate to that. I don't think you should feel guilty either way. You cannot continue to help someone that does not want to help themselves. There has to be a breaking point and it sounds like you reached yours.

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answers from Dallas on

Always choose guilt over resentment. It is less damaging to you.

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answers from Tulsa on

No, you should not go. Maintain what is best for you and your family.
She needs more help than you can give. If she wants to get right, they can help her do it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Here is my brief and to the point answer, pay a family visit to the hospital and go on as you have to this point. Don't get involved anymore than the hospital visit. You owe it to your kids to be of present mind when you are with them and don't start worrying about the chaotic lives of your extended family (who probably don't think of you other than when they're in trouble). Be strong, don't accept the guilt. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My counselor told me when I was in a similar situation (different but same idea) that if I didn't feel 100% that I should go, then I shouldn't go. I was feeling 40% so it was an easy decision for me. It really helped with the decision and the guilt. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Sometimes it helps to remember that our "default setting" is GUILTY. So you have to evaluate whether the guilt is real and "earned" and something you need to act on; or just the chronic drag of not being able to be SUPERMOM and do the IMPOSSIBLE.

Fixing someone who doesn't want fixed is IMPOSSIBLE!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Do not feel guilty for blocking the people who have been toxic to you and your family. You should never feel guilty for taking care of your family. Your cousin was the gangrene on your little toe. You tried to treat it, but it didn't respond. Rather than let it spread to your other toes, you cut it off and made the sacrifice. Do you miss the toe? Sure, but it was poisoning the rest of the your foot. So here you are and you find out that after you cut off the toe, it continued to rot. Proving you made the right choice.

Okay, I'm getting grossed out with my own metaphor.

Here's my point. You did the right thing for you and your family and yes, even your cousin. No matter what you did or didn't do, your cousin would have over-dosed. She did not over-dose because you cut her off. She did not over-dose because you blocked her. She would have over-dosed even if you had continued to communicate with her these past few months, and chances are you would STILL feel guilty about it. Because you're a caring person and you love her.

You can love someone and still hate their actions. You can love someone and refuse to support their actions and behavior. When you cut off your cousin, you didn't stop loving her. You just stopped allowing her illness to take over your life and home. You did the right thing.

When you find out more about her condition, I see nothing wrong with visiting her in the hospital. Why not? You can stop in and tell her you love her and are relieved that she's alive. You don't have to talk about having banned her from your social networks or from your cell phone/texting. If she asks, tell her that you'd rather she focuses on getting better and healthy.

Or you can wait until she's decided to go to rehab and has completed rehab before seeing her again. Since you have children and a husband, I wouldn't blame you if you chose that route.



answers from Joplin on

I don't think you can help feeling guilty sometimes, we all do things we know are best for us and still cannot turn off the guilt. Seriously though, when people are toxic to us and to our families it is better to leave them and their drama aside and move forward to a healthier, happier you. Maybe send a card? Then you appease some of your guilt. Good luck.


answers from Houston on

I was in a similar situation with a family member. I chose to visit him in the hospital. It was better for me and him that way. This turn of hitting rock bottom gave him the chance to trust us and turn around his life. Had we not been there for him, we would not have had that bonding moment over the reality of his problems.

You can set boundaries, but still be there for people who are hurting. There is a fine line in support to give. But the hospital is a neutral environment in which you can show your sympathy without enabling her.



answers from Phoenix on

Hubby and I had similar situation with my MIL. She could be mean and nasty to him/me but he has always made amends and let her back into our lives for our boys, wanting them to know their grandma and hoping it would help her to be a better person. Didn't work, she went off the deep end over and over again with drugs, smoking etc even after heart attack & stroke that we nursed her though.

It was hard to completely cut her out of our lives expecially when we hear she is in the hospital or something but when your older son says "why bother calling her, she never answers or calls me back" for birthdays., holidays etc validates your reasoning.

So as hard as it is and the guilt you feel for not wanting to get your family involved again are completely understandable, but stay strong in your beliefs and your protection of yourself and your kids! I believe you are making the right decision and I applaud you for standing strong to your beliefs.

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