"Are you sure you're not Catholic? You seem to have a lot of Catholic guilt..."
It was a random comment in a jesting conversation between my roommate and me. Though I laughed it off, saying "Ha! Maybe so!" it didn't come back to me until today. I never really thought of it so directly before, but I do harbor a lot of guilt.
I feel guilty when a man holds a door open for me when he can see me down the hallway. I feel the need to rush toward the door so he doesn't have to stand there for very long.
I feel guilty if someone buys me a drink. Or if someone buys me food. I have a hard time accepting gifts.
I feel guilt when I have to ask someone to help me. And we all know how the guilt was overwhelming last fall - when really, I didn't do anything wrong in the relationship...
So where does this come from? I wouldn't categorize it as selflessness because it causes more of a self-pain and an obnoxious after-effect. Weird. I don't think I learned it from family members - there isn't really anyone else I know that has such a strong guilt-pull.
Last week, I sent an email out to my family members asking them to help me network so I could try to find some other employment opportunities. Genius, some said... but I couldn't help feel the tiny twinge of guilt after sending it. Why? They're my family! They wouldn't get upset because I asked them to talk to some people... still - there it lies. I don't get it! Ugh. I obviously need a therapist.
Part of my New Year's Resolution was to understand that it is okay to ask for help and that there are plenty of people out there that WANT to help (just as I would) but I still have a very hard time letting go and saying "could you do this for me?"
Well, half the battle is understanding that you have a problem, right? There it is, blog: I have a guilty complex.