Shame and Guilt

Friday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 1 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- few slices of German salami
1 bottle of port + 1 tray of caramel squares (all vomited)

Saturday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 1 rasher, pot of tea
Porringer 2- soup: chicken, broth, carrot, turnip
Porringer 3- soup: chicken, broth, carrot, turnip
Porringer 4- 3 cumberland sausages, curry sauce
2 cups coffee with double cream, 2 or 3 more pots of tea
4 quarter cuts oatcakes with butter and cheddar cheese

I am writing this on Sunday, so I have had time to reflect and sort it.  Friday fell to pieces in a way that I am quite ashamed to admit to.  I am going to go ahead and be honest and reveal the way the mind and body falls apart topped off with the consequences of emotional immaturity and how they all collide.  Don’t expect a resolution, I have none.

Friday morning started out light hearted and well.  I had my Christmas boxes ready, I had baked three more loaves of rye bread for husband’s Christmas party and off the to the post off I went.  I felt good, the air was brilliantly cold and crisp, I still had the beloved Christmas tunes playing in my head from wrapping and packing.  Then the tons of bricks began to rain all over me.

The package to my daughter and grandchildren was over 2kg by 500g and would cost £65 to mail.  The package to my parents, was 100g over 2kg and would cost nearly the same, the birthday present of 3 paperback books to my grandson was £9.  I was devastated.  That was well over £100 (160 dollars) to mail goddamn biscuits and books.  It was insane.  I was told that if I could get the packages under 2kg the price would drop significantly.  So I went back home, angry as hell and carefully used a razor blade to open the ends and take some packets out.  Back to the post office and it was now down to a total £70.  On our single income, we cannot afford it, not for biscuits.  I came home with my packages and fell into a slump of tears and anger.  Because of our move, my daughter’s move and all the chaos, I have not been able to send any presents this year and was so looking forward to at least giving a token treat for Christmas.  I had no idea how expensive it was going to be or I wouldn’t have bought the gifts to begin with.  In the US, size is more important than weight.  Here, weight is costly.


I cried the entire time I put the gift packages in the cupboard, thinking at least it was edible and not toys, but neither of us need this kind of food around.  I was so upset that I went and grabbed the bottle of port I had been saving since October and poured a glass with the intention of calming down and getting a bit of a grip.  What I failed to pay attention to was that I had not eaten lunch and had nothing in my stomach.  I poured another one, sobbed some more and suddenly the whole bottle was empty and I realized it was hitting me hard and fast. 


I grabbed one of the treats from the cupboard and ate that to hopefully absorb some of the alcohol and I promptly became violently sick.  I mean violently.  The bathroom appeared as though a murder was committed with all that red port splattered everywhere.  I was sicker than I recall ever being while drinking.  I cleaned up what I could and stumbled into bed, knowing I was going to have to explain it all to husband and just desperately wanting it all to stop. My head was spinning, my gits were churning and I was feeling guilty that dinner was not getting made for my husband.

When he came home he saw the splattered bathroom rug, saw me in bed and asked what was wrong.  I told him he would have to find dinner for himself and I would explain later.  I was so sick I could not lift my head from the pillow.  He went and got fish and chips and came to bed by 8pm.  I slept and had to get up to vomit a few times more during the night.  Husband came to talk to me and see if there was anything he could do to help me by 8am.  We talked about the postage thing and I admitted my drinking the whole bottle and getting sick and he was very gentle and understanding which helped me with my deep guilt.  Poor guy didn’t get his usual hot breakfast either.  This is the first time in 9 years of marriage that I wasn’t up to fixing him a meal.

I felt well enough (hangover = throbbing headache and queasiness) to take a shower and make some chicken soup Saturday morning.  I knew I was going to need it.  I first drank a pot of tea, got down a couple of eggs and 1 rasher, then a few hours later, had a bowl of chicken soup.  By afternoon, I felt so much better.  Husband left for his Christmas party and I made sausages for my dinner.  I was still really concerned about my body’s reaction and more concerned that it took a relatively benign incident to set the whole stupid incident in motion.  The sickness, the hangover and now the side pain from vomiting was all seemingly over the top and out of proportion.  When younger, I have eaten and drank far more and not gotten that sick.  Or perhaps I am so far away from those days, I have forgotten.

Soon it was mid Saturday afternoon, I was settled, feeling better, knitting and watching films while husband was at his party. 




My father called.  My father never calls me directly unless it is to reprimand me (far in the past) or to tell me bad news.  My grandmother (his mother) died on Friday night.  So I talked to my parents for awhile, feeling utterly numb and distant.  All of my grandparents are now gone, my parents are now the oldest family members and I just don’t know what to think or feel.  I was emotionally and physically spent from the Christmas present episode which now makes me feel shame that I allowed it to become so huge that I am strangely not crying over my grandmother.  If I were to get drunk over anything, it should have been my grandmother’s passing, not biscuits.  Husband came home about 8pm from his party in such a good mood, slightly tipsy and happy, that I did not tell him about Grams until this morning.  No sense popping his bubble, he so rarely has a chance to be out and about socially.

So…what the hell happened?  I could not send my gifts out to my family, a family member dies and I am sitting here on the other side of the world and cannot put together the words that need to be expressed because I do not know what they are.  As close as I can come to understanding it, is to openly admit the shame in reacting so childishly to what I have to accept is the reality of separations and the passage of time.  I cannot afford to send gifts, I cannot afford to return for a funeral and I am so fully aware that I have no clue as to when I will see my daughter or grandchildren again.  This all ties in with the guilt of my not being employed, with my husband having to work to support us when he wants to be retired, and every thing that can be tainted with my selfishness and self importance.

I am also besieged with huge reality checks about my own aging.  I can easily drink a bottle of wine or port without getting drunk (or perhaps not anymore!).  I don’t quite know what happened on Friday.  Husband thinks it was the emotional whiplash that probably had me drinking too fast and too much too soon.  Having been in ketosis many times before, I do know that drinking is felt far more than when not in ketosis.  I know that a sudden high dose of sugar can make me sick, so I may have had an insulin surge that was ignited by the emotions and alcohol.  The hormonal loops of a middle-aged woman wrecking havoc.  I sit here on Sunday morning realizing that all of this was pointless, stupid and reminding me of the necessity of continuing my journey with permanent change to my hedonistic consumption and how I deal with the lumps and bumps in life.  Aren’t I getting too old to be acting like this?


2 thoughts on “Shame and Guilt

  1. ephemeral says:

    so sorry you got so very sick from all that. it really does sound like some tough days recently. My condolences for your grandmother’s passing. Its hard to lose people. its also a real bummer the postal stuff costs so much. just sounds tough all around.

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