Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This Norwegian Lutheran Thing - it's all about guilt

My mother did a fantastic job of raising me to feel guilty about everything. When I was little it didn't matter how hard I tried, I always managed to feel guilty about everything that went wrong in my entire family's life. And I haven't outgrown that - try as I might. I always feel that everything negative that happens is somehow my fault.

Now we have Ole's injury - he was doing me a favor by carrying a basket of newspaper down the steps into the garage to put them into my car so I could haul them to the recycling place. He missed the last step, stepped on my garden shoe that was on the garage floor at the bottom of the step, turned his ankle and down he went.

I felt awful right then and there. If I hadn't left that garden clog there none of this would have happened. If he had decided to go to the gym that morning instead of staying home to help me out none of this would have happened. If I hadn't been insistant about getting all the old newspapers out of the house that morning none of this would have happened.

When we were finally in the car he called the ER to find out if he should go to the Emergency Room or the Walk-in Clinic. I guess it didn't help my emotional situation when he explained to the nurse that his wife had set a booby trip for him and caught him. Like I left my shoe there on purpose. I know it's a bad habit - but I truly didn't leave it there on purpose. And the thing is - these medical people take all of this stuff seriously - it's not a joke to them.

I've tried to look at the funny side of things over the last few days when people have asked him what happened. I've tried to make jokes and made statements like "After 43 years of marriage I couldn't take it anymore and just kicked him in the ankle." But in my heart I feel so bad that he's hurt and it was my fault. I have very mixed feelings about the entire issue.

It's that good ole Norwegian Lutheran upbringing - no matter what it is, it's all your fault.

Now I know you're all going to write me and tell me that it's not my fault and that I shouldn't feel guilty. I just hope that I can absorb all those good words and quit feeling so guilty. I feel so badly because Ole doesn't do well with being inactive, and so as a result he gets kind of on the crabby side. And of course all you wives know how that goes - you all know which direction that frustration is vented. I hope I can make it through the next couple of months and keep my mental capacities normal.


Love Lena


~ Sil in Corea said...

Well, as John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans," or sumpin' like dat. Accidents happen, too. It's really no one's fault; he said he missed the bottom step. That was the cause, in reality. Guilt is really not healthy; I hope you can let go of it and give it to God. I know prayer helps in letting go of negative thinking. Hugs, ~ Sil

harrietv said...

If you hadn't specifically said "Norwegian Lutheran," I would have decided you must be Jewish! We usually tell the Catholics around here that "you had to go to Instructions to learn about guilt, but we were born with it."

It took me some fifty years to learn when it's really my fault and when it's not. Mostly it's not. I find myself quoting my dad: "it happens."

Marge said...

I'm with you one hundred per cent. Anything that happens, anywhere in the world, can somehow be traced back to me and I'm at fault. Our mothers did a good job of teaching us the Norwegian Lutheran guilt! So I understand the heavy cloud you are living under, causing Ole's injury and all, but you have to let it go and move on! I know, it's hard, but you just have to do it! Just tell Ole for the thirty ninth time that you are sorry you caused him so much pain.......but if he weren't so darn clumsy he could have sidestepped a bit and avoided the shoe! Tell him to get over it!

Seriously, I don't think there is a cure for Norwegian Lutheran guilt, so we just have to learn to live with it!

Carolyn said...

**Smile** I'm the same way. I wonder if it's not so much a Norwegian Lutheran thing as it is a woman thing? Remember to take care of yourself, while you're taking care of Ole!