As a mother we all know guilt. Guilt for having to say ‘no’ so often. Guilt for not being Super Mom. Guilt that Susie’s mother baked her class birthday cupcakes. Guilt that we have to work and can’t always be there for them. The list goes on and on.
Also as parents, we’ve become pretty good at laying a good guilt trip.
Now guilt trips are not all bad; they teach our children to think about their consequences, shore empathy for others, respect their parents, take care of property. It’s a time honored tradition and a damn good tool when used properly.
What I am not well versed in is how to
NOT feel guilty.
I’ve been told Jace situation is not my fault.
I’ve been told I need to do things for myself to stay happy and healthy.
I’ve been told I’m already doing all I can.
Yet it doesn’t feel like it to me.
The emotions that family and loved ones go through in situations where a person is pulled from your life are immense.
Very similar to the emotions following a death.
When I was 29, my father died while on vacation with my step mother in Mexico. It was devastating to all of us, but like Jace situation, it was even more difficult as we had no warning, There one day, gone the next.
While we did have the year Jace was on bail, not only was that year difficult in it’s own right,
we NEVER imagined Jace would be imprisoned
for going to meet an adult woman. We were naive.
And now, even though life goes on, this will never be over.
So I sit here trying to understand how I can do anything for myself WITHOUT feeling guilty. When I smile I am flooding with thoughts of my son currently sitting in an 8 by 10 foot cell 23 hours a day. When I eat a good meal, I think of the bland, expired food my son tries not to eat. He has lost 40 pounds already. He was not fat to begin with.
I have refused to do many things that were normal in my life when Jace was here, as all I see is his laugh and smile when I do. And the wall of guilt that accompanies those visions.
And I try to make sense of it all, but there is no sense to innocent people in prison.
So here I am, writing my blog, waiting for my billboard to go up, and trying to make a difference in my life, the life of my son, and the lives of other innocent people on their way to jail. Or the family and friends of those falsely accused who also suffer.
Please reach out to me with any ideas or suggestions on how we can change this, it has to stop.