Family Guilt

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Any This is Us fans out there? I am talking about the kind that excitedly looks forward to Tuesday evening only to sob their way through the entire hour. I was crying extra ugly during the Season 2 finale. If you don’t follow the show, first, I recommend binge-watching the entire thing pronto. Second, bare with me and do your best to read between the lines to connect with the point I am trying to make here.

Before I go any further, I am well aware that I am comparing real life to an NBC drama. However, one of the reasons the writing of this storyline is so genius is its relatability. So even though I am comparing real-life events to that of fictional characters, I still feel strongly about connecting our stories to theirs.

As a fellow daddy’s girl, I can completely relate to Kate and the closeness she feels to her father. Now, I am fortunate enough to have my father still living, but that flashback scene to when Kate was young talking to Jack about the guy she’ll marry had me all weepy … “The guy that gets to marry you, Katie-Girl, he is one lucky guy,” 

Now, fast forward to Kate and Toby happily married and then a year in Toby deciding to up and leave. How disappointing would that be for not only Kate (of course, Kate), but her entire close-knit family. They gave Kate fully to this man, trusting with 100% of their being that this man was going to care for their dear sister/daughter. Almost like it is partially their responsibility for who she ends up with. We’ve all had friends who have dated douchebags and we’ve felt like it was our place to speak up before god forbid it goes any further. Now, magnify that feeling times a billion and that’s how a father feels about their daughter. I imagine entrusting them to someone in marriage is an unreal experience.

If you’re close to your family and you’ve been through a divorce, you know that it affects evvvvvvveryone. Each family member goes through the divorce with you. And it’s easy to take other family member’s pain on yourself. I remember thinking, I can’t believe I am putting my parents through this. I felt so much guilt for so long that I caused my family this pain.

Even though I was the victim of our divorce and did all that I could to stay married, I still felt like it was my fault that my parents and family had to go through this. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone in my close circle was concerned for me, not blaming me. In hindsight, I put a lot of extra stress on myself, feeling guilty for what I had put my own family through. I know it’s natural to place blame on yourself at some point, but while the load is already heavy, let’s do what we can to make it lighter, not add to it. If you’re in this same boat I was in, remember your family cares about you and are devastated for what you are going through. Think that guilt out of your mind and focus on what will help you grieve today. Let your family experience their pain the way that helps them. Don’t take on the extra losses when you have so many as is. Your family will get through these painful times and come out stronger.

As always, please write in with any specific questions that may have come to mind from reading this article. My prayers are with you!

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