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September 26, 2007


Mary Witzl

Wish I could tell you, but I had a well-developed guilt complex even before I had children. Ditto for the shame and the pride, and I'm not even Asian.

I also had a compulsion to do a conscientious job. In my experience, employers soon figure out who will work unstintingly, leaving no stone unturned, and automatically target those people when seeking to get a job done. The harder you work, hoping to satisfy, the more they will expect -- until something gives. I did set limits in one office where I was being asked to do more and more: I finally ended up quitting, but to this day I believe I saved myself from having a nervous breakdown.


I have no idea how to get off. When you figure it out, let me know. And when you figure out how NOT to pass it on to my kids, let me know that too.

I will say though, that I get very annoyed and resentful of those people who don't feel the same guilt that I do. For example, the ones who will say no to a task without any shame, whereas I can't. How do they do that? NO GUILT. However, I also often categorize those people as selfish and rude. So... what's right?

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