Parenting, Illness, and…Guilt?

Amanda Fellows, a fellow voice talent and radio host for Business Women Connect, interviewed me today for her show on Blog Talk Radio.  We had a luxurious half hour for the interview, rare in commercial radio. Of course, it went by in a flash.

Amanda Fellowa
Amanda Fellows

Amanda asked two questions I hadn’t heard yet in this round of interviews for Ben Behind His Voices. One was about the process of narrating my own words in the audiobook, published by Spoken Word Inc. (since we are both voice talents, that question wasn’t too surprising). The second was about two of the book’s chapters, and my feelings as a parent when I had to let go of Ben and allow him “freedoms” that terrified me: once when he wandered homeless in Idaho, a few years later when I had to declare him homeless in order to get him into the system of state care that would eventually help him recover without my constant watch.

Amanda asked, “How did you deal with the guilt?”

My answer had to do with recognizing the difference between productive “appropriate” guilt (e.g. forgetting your kid’s birthday and making sure you never do it again) and unproductive “inappropriate” guilt (e.g. I feel bad that I had to ground you, and you missed a party).

Mental Illness certainly raises these stakes – raises them high – but still guilt can be a waste of energy, and can hold back progress that is painful but ultimately necessary. You gotta do what you gotta do.

You can hear the interview here:

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