I hate feeling guilty. I think guilt and jealousy are the 2 worst feelings there are. Both will eat you alive and destroy all reason. I'm not feeling any jealousy at the moment, but I am feeling guilty. Intellectually, I know I'm being dumb, but emotionally, I feel guilty. Feeling attack-y, and in a criminal amount of pain, I am not up to my usual sub par level of functioning, and Princess has been picking up the slack. Bless her buttons! She has been doing all the things I usually do without any complaint or grumbling, which she would do if I were feeling fine and made her do those things. She has made dinner the last couple of nights, and brushed off my apologies for being unable to do it with a terse, "I'm not a baby!" I know she's not a baby; she will be 13 in February, but I still hate having her do so much. I know it is the foster parent in me. I want kids to be kids and not have to worry about keeping things together. They shouldn't have to worry about whether the bills will be paid or not, making the meals, doing all the housework, etc etc. I believe in them having chores, but not doing most of the work. It bothers me beyond words to have Princess have to do so much. I don't want her to have to care for her aunt regardless of what a baby she is not. I want to do the basics to keep the house running, not her.
I worry about her being embarrassed to be seen in public with me. She says I'm being stupid. She doesn't care and isn't even slightly embarrassed. I worry about other kids treating her differently because she lives with a diseased person. I know how kids are; I know they don't want germs from someone who has a disease. I remember not wanting to take candy from disabled people on Halloween, thinking it would be tainted somehow. And I was right! Look at me! I worry that she may not want me to come to her basketball games because people will see me and know I'm her aunt. She says she doesn't care what people think -- excuse me while I wipe a tear from my eye -- and wants me there, even if she has to wheel me in on a hospital bed. She told me the other day that since I have been diagnosed, she sees people with disabilities in a different light. She sees them like she sees me: a regular person stuck in a body that doesn't work the way it should. If anything good has come out of my having MS, it is that. The fact that she sees beyond a person's disability and sees the person.
That little girl -- excuse me, young lady -- is the joy of my life. I love her more than I love anything else on this earth. I love her more than you should love something that can be taken away from you. The other day I hugged and kissed on her and told her that I would have no interest in this world if she is not in it. I would have no interest in this life if she is not a part of it, so she needs to make sure nothing happens to her. She said she has no intentions of having anything happen to her and that she feels the same way about me, so nothing can happen to me because she will always need me in her life. That helps lessen my guilt about not being able to do more around here right now. Doesn't wipe it out completely, but does help take some of the sting out of it. I'm glad she would rather have to make frozen pizzas for dinner than not have to and not have me. It makes me think I should believe her words and stop feeling so guilty about what I am.
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