Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are you Guilty?

Following on from:-

When you think about childhood, what toy comes to mind?
When you were little, what did you dream of becoming some day?
When was the first time you fell in Love?

We now reach the Guilt Zone!   We have all been there I expect.  You know the procedure, you do something, you regret doing it, then you are burdened with guilt!

I am pretty sure I started doing things WRONG from a very young age, after all it is all part of growing up, but when I think about the first time I remember doing something wrong, there is no doubt in my mind as to which event wins the prize.

I figure I was about five at the time, could be wrong give or take a year.  My Mam had given me 2 coins to put in the Gas Meter, a bit like an early 'pay as you go' system.  Anyhow, there I was with the 2 coins, and my logical brain immediately figured out that there was no way ANYONE would know if I only put 1 coin in the meter and put the other one in my pocket!  And so I did.

And guess what, my logic was right in part, except for one small detail - the ANYONE, included me.  I knew I'd done it, and though even now, I have no memory of what I spent the money on, the GUILT took hold and stayed in my five-year old brain, and stayed and stayed. 

We didn't have a lot of money growing up, and I may have been only five, but I knew that much.  I also knew, that I had betrayed a trust.  Now, I am not saying I articulated it to my brain exactly like I'm telling you now, but I know, I didn't have a good feeling inside me afterwards.

In the general scheme of things, it is not a big deal, but it stayed with me, and maybe on reflection it has turned out to be a good thing; because although, I have often done things that I have felt guilty about afterwards, I think in the main, I learned something really important at a very young age.  I learned that the prize isn't always worth the price, and if you think you are going to do something that will cause guilt afterwards, think again, because guilt really ain't a good thing to have in your life.

Now I know all of you out there are PERFECT, but if you happen to remember a tiny incident, or even a mad big one, and it has stayed with you from childhood - like the first time you remember being tempted - Did you do it, or did you not?  Spill the beans, you've come to the right place to share!

ALSO - I need to come up with a LABEL/TITLE for these posts, I can't keep listing off previous ones to explain what's going on - so if you have a suggestion, hit me with it.  I was thinking about 'WHEN YOU WERE SMALL?'


  1. Deliberately tripping up my handicapped sister when I was about 8 (and terribly jealous because of all the attention she received). I've never forgotten the guilt - I think it happened on Paddington station.

  2. Oh gosh, sibling rivalry - it sure takes its toll! But bet you gave her lots of hugs too.!

  3. some girl stole my My Little Pony in Creche, then my stickers in school, then my pogs. having had enough i conspired wjth a friend and stole them back rather than confront the brat. always felt ashamed of that. i still see her aroubd quite a bit now but to bring up 'you stole my my little pony from santy' at the age of 24 might seem a little unhinged?

  4. When I was 8 I once called an African American a "black bastard" when he was walking past me on a quiet street in my area one summer's day back in 1980. I remember the look on his face (he wasn't that old, probably in his teens or early twenties) but it was as if he was resigning himself to a life of abuse there and then and there was no escaping it and all because I wanted to feel better than him for a few short seconds. He could have gotten angry and slapped me around, but he didn't and that's what made it worse.
    I made a vow there and then never to be racist again, and I'm not, which is the only good thing to come out of that story, but I have always wished I could meet that man again and say sorry, but I never saw him again.

  5. "Borrowed" something from my sister without asking to take to show-and-tell at school and promptly lost it . . . and felt TERRIBLE for years far beyond the crime. Especially when she went tearing through the closets looking for said object years later. Sorry, Lis -- I should have admitted it to you sooner.

  6. Yeap Rachel, maybe bringing up my little pony now might be a tad too late, but thks for sharing!

    And Eamonn, the way that memory stuck with you from the time you were 8! As you said, in a way it changed you for the better, & understand completely how you would like to meet that guy again.

    Susan, your secret is now out, me thinks Lis will forgive you!

  7. I chewed off ballerina barbies toes, hid all my school milk behind a plant at the back of class, told people I took tap dancing classes & made them watch, sang my invented (three line ) song in the car all the way to donegal (5 hours) and told my sister she was adopted...there's lots more but I dont want to give the wrong (?) impression...:)

  8. Thanks Niamh, after reading that, it makes me want to change the post to 'submit your list'! So anyone that has one, which is like most of us I'd say, please shout it out, or if not, leave a comment! I too hid school milk, and sandwiches! Never sang a 3 line song for 5 hours, but then again I can't sing, so probably just talked instead!

  9. I have often shared such things in my poems on the blog - and quite often felt guilty about doing so. Inexplicable - as guilt often is. A fascinating topic, though. Great post.

  10. My mum had this little red pillar box that you saved sixpences in - I think it eventually held a pound. Can't remember how old I was, 7-8 perhaps, when I stole a few to buy sweets. I was racked with guilt afterwards.

    My guilt lived with me for years and I bought her special things to try and make up for it. I confessed in my early forties and she had had no idea there had been a little thief in her midst.

    My confession cleansed my conscience.

    Anna :o]

  11. Thanks Dave & HyperCRYTICAL. And Anna sounds like your story is a bit like mine - bet I bought sweets with the money as well!

  12. I was a good child, you know? Very little naughtiness... sure, there was the fire starting. And the prank phone calls. And the stealing of garden supplies for mud pies. And the keeping me awake at night for weeks until I confessed all in a giant purge to my poor mother.

    But generally a very good child :)

    Strangely though, while I remember various demented physical assaults on my big brother over the years, there is no guilt attached to these memories. I'm bad to the bone I guess...

  13. Sounds like you had a very industious start! Bet your mother wanted to laugh.....stealing garden supplies for mud pies indeed.

    As for big brothers, sure dats what they are there for!

  14. I was the perfect child... it was my two older sisters that did all the evil deeds. But I still love em!

  15. Ah Mark - you gotta luv them!! Lol


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