Becky wanted to go to the rec center. Noah wanted to go with to do some weights, and Joey, to swim. I was invited, but had a headache and declined. And I was instantly filled with tremendous guilt for saying , "No." I mean, really heavy, damning guilt.
I got to thinking why I felt that, and realized it wasn't guilt I felt, it was shame. I had been trained to respond to shame. It was a tool my family, even the kids, used to get their way. When I wanted to do something different, I'd be shamed, sometimes very hard, until I buckled. Eventually I just started shaming myself for even wanting something different.
I didn't realize until tonight how strong that still was in me.