Guilt gnaws,

Like worms at an apple’s core.

Conversation replayed;

Continuous track ‘til 3AM.

Barbs aimed,

Hit target-

Victory is bitter.

Dawn comes,

Sheds new light-

Tearful apology offered.


Freedom granted…



Guilt happens to be one of my demons, however, it is often more insidious than this.  In an argument, I’ll generally clam up and not say anything at all…because I know if I say anything in anger, it will destroy.  No, guilt sneaks up on me hours after a conversation, sometimes waking me in the middle of the night, making we worry that something I said came out wrong and I hurt the person’s feelings.  Guilt pulls on me until I call the person to apologize or explain. Most of the time, I’m met with confused acceptance because they weren’t bothered at all.

I know for a fact this affliction is hereditary because I’ve taken such calls from my mom.

TrifectaPicture11-1This was written in response to Trifecta’s weekend writing prompt, which they asked for for 33 of our own words that exorcise a demon.  One of your own, or one from your imagination.  Let it bleed on the page.

I’ve bled, you’ve read 🙂  This is a community voted challenge, so if you like what I’ve written, voting opens on Sunday at 7PM Eastern time on Trifecta’s site.  If you have time, check out the other entries (or write one of your own).  The tricycle picture will take you to Trifecta’s site.  As always, I appreciate your visit!


57 thoughts on “Guilt

  1. Draug419 December 28, 2012 / 9:38 AM

    I definitely feel this way sometimes. And like you, the guilt is sometimes ungrounded. ): Great piece!

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 9:55 PM

      Most of the time, my nagging guilt is nothing at all. Why I make it into something, I don’t know. I’m glad (but sorry at the same time) that you can relate, Draug. (If that makes any sense at all!)

  2. Kir Piccini December 28, 2012 / 9:49 AM

    Oh. Oh wow Janna.

    well I’m CATHOLIC and so I have been given GUILT as a present for most of my life. I too, worry too much, about how I have come across, what people think of what I said (what I’d think of what I said) and it does keep me up at night too.

    BUT the past decade of so of my life I’ve learned that Guilt and shame (double gifts) are such wasted emotions…better to just give the best of you and hope that you get the best of other people back. I wish that for you, that you know how GOOD you are inside..without the guilt.

    I loved the “Worms at an apple’s core” line. It was wonderful.
    I hope writing this out helped you shrug off some of the worry my friend.


    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:01 PM

      I was raised Baptist (I remember more about eternal damnation and shame, but guilt and shame are a package deal.) I do believe, based on other Catholics I’ve talked to, that you’d win the guilt contest! Not that that’s something you’d want to win 😉

      You are so right – guilt and shame are wasted emotions…but that still doesn’t stop them from creeping out at times – usually over silly stuff. It was helpful to write it, and a bit comforting to know that others can relate to the emotions at times. It makes me feel ‘normal’ and that doesn’t happen often! 😆 Thanks for reading and offering your kind words of encouragement, Kir.

    • barbara December 29, 2012 / 3:34 PM

      aha – catholic school girl guilt is what I call it – after 12 years among the nuns and padres, you see. Hubbymoose often says the nuns ruined a perfectly bad girl – HE says I couldn’t be bad if I tried – the guilt gets me every time.

      well said, Janna – and well replied, Kir – group hugs all ’round

      • jannatwrites December 29, 2012 / 9:54 PM

        Boy, I’m glad I didn’t go to Catholic school or I might be even heavier with guilt! I like your hubby’s comment that they ruined a perfectly bad girl – too funny! 😆

  3. ApplePieAndNapalm December 28, 2012 / 1:08 PM

    Beautiful post, thanks for sharing this. Too often, I feel exactly the same way.

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:03 PM

      Thanks for reading and relating, APaN. I don’t wish for anyone to struggle with guilt, but it makes me feel less oddball to know that others do feel it as well.

  4. Carl D'Agostino December 28, 2012 / 2:08 PM

    I agonize in guilt but probably all the things and reasons why I feel this way are insignificant compared to most others but I compare things to me not others. Part of depressiona nd anxiety.

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:05 PM

      I’m sorry you struggle with guilt, too, Carl. I wish I could tell you not to worry so much about it but that would be hypocritical of me! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your familiarity with guilt.

  5. Tessa December 28, 2012 / 2:45 PM

    I am right there with you and the guilt. I also always got blamed for everything so feel guilt over things that really weren’t mine to feel.

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:10 PM

      I wish you didn’t feel so much guilt, Tessa. It really is horrible and sometimes, not easy to get rid of.

      It makes me think of this line in Sanctus Real’s song, “Forgiven” – “I’m reminded of the wrong that I have said and done / that Devil just won’t let me forget.” Whenever I get too weighed down with guilt, I try to remember that God doesn’t want it to be that way because I’m already forgiven.

  6. Tori Nelson December 28, 2012 / 3:29 PM

    Great job, Janna. Ending it with the “temporarily” was haunting!

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:11 PM

      Thanks for reading, Tori. The thing about guilt is that it always goes away…but always comes back, too.

  7. nrhatch December 28, 2012 / 4:00 PM

    Good share, Janna. These days, guilt is a less frequent visitor . . . because it knows it’s not welcome. 😀

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:14 PM

      I’m glad guilt doesn’t darken your doorstep much. I don’t make it welcome, but sometimes it sneaks in anyway. Glad you stopped by, Nancy!

  8. deanabo December 28, 2012 / 4:01 PM

    Guilt can be devastating. Great job expressing that.

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:15 PM

      I’m in awe of those who haven’t had issues with guilt. I can’t imagine what that would feel like. Thanks for reading, Deanabo!

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:16 PM

      Oh, so you’re a member of the guilt club, too? I wouldn’t have guessed that, Joanne! I hope guilt doesn’t visit you that frequently 🙂

  9. Lumdog December 28, 2012 / 4:41 PM

    This writing is so real. But the reality in the head of your narrator may not be so real. That endless playback can be deceiving. Nice work.

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:18 PM

      Like most self talk, guilt’s point of view is skewed. For me, there might not be any grounds for it, but I feel it more when I’m insecure (which is in most social situations 🙂 and it doesn’t creep up until I replay conversations later and realize that something I said could’ve been taken the wrong way. I hate it when that happens. Thanks for reading, Lumdog!

  10. agjorgenson December 28, 2012 / 8:47 PM

    I have a friend who describes guilt as the gift that keeps on giving. You have nicely relayed its pervasive quality.

    • jannatwrites December 28, 2012 / 10:20 PM

      It does tend to hang around, Ajorgenson. In my mind, I know that it might be unfounded and I should let it go, but sometimes the weight won’t lift that easily.

  11. pattyabr December 29, 2012 / 8:43 AM

    I had a pang of guilt last week. My guilt happens after suppressed feelings are expressed at a moment of stress. Sometimes not a good combination. Oh well I have to move on from there and time helps heal my guilt.

    • jannatwrites December 29, 2012 / 9:40 PM

      I’m sorry you’re feeling guilt, Patty. Time can sometimes help, but other times, it can make the guilt worse for me. I hope your heart is lighter, soon 🙂

  12. Paula J December 29, 2012 / 10:28 AM

    Guilt is an impostor. It impersonates a just judge when, in fact, it is a condemned criminal. Guilt has been nailed to the Cross. Do not take it down and breathe life into its jaws by rehearsing the lie of your unworthiness. If you have, with a harsh word, dishonored Love’s demand, move in Love’s direction by making a decision toward a heartfelt “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” If Guilt still accuses, call it what it is. A liar.

    • jannatwrites December 29, 2012 / 9:48 PM

      I love what you wrote here, Paula! Guilt does lie, and I agree that a sincere apology should be enough to put guilt to rest.

  13. Linda Vernon December 29, 2012 / 11:01 AM

    sigh . . . it’s the temporarily that really sucks! Great poem Janna. It’s sharp. 😀

    • jannatwrites December 29, 2012 / 9:49 PM

      Thanks, Linda. Luckily, I don’t get weighed down as often as I used to, but still hate it when it comes around!

  14. atrm61 December 29, 2012 / 11:45 AM

    Yes,you are so right,guilt gnaws & most times the respite is only temporary!Well written:-)

    • jannatwrites December 29, 2012 / 9:50 PM

      Guilt can be like the uninvited guest who overstays her welcome. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Atrm61!

      • atrm61 December 29, 2012 / 11:18 PM

        So true:-)It was a pleasure Janna!Wish u & your loved ones A Very Happy New year:-)

        • jannatwrites December 30, 2012 / 7:15 PM

          Thank you so much, Atreyee! I hope you have a safe and happy New Year as well 😀

        • atrm61 December 30, 2012 / 10:04 PM

          Thank u my Dear Janna:-)

  15. RogRites (aka BetaRules) December 29, 2012 / 5:17 PM

    Freedom is granted

    How true thus is. Well done (and happy new year).

    • jannatwrites December 29, 2012 / 9:57 PM

      Thanks for reading, RogRites. I hope you have a safe and happy new year as well 🙂

  16. kgwaite December 29, 2012 / 8:11 PM

    Nicely done. Writing is a great way to get rid of those demons.

    • jannatwrites December 29, 2012 / 9:59 PM

      I agree. Writing does help. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly!

  17. Sandra December 29, 2012 / 10:51 PM

    Janna, I was brought up with a heavy dose of guilt as a “motivator.” While I am still sometimes plagued by this terrible feeling, I am trying my darnedest not to pass this onto the kiddos. Now that I am not in a toxic environment of guilt, I am learning to feel free and be happy about it. I hope you beat this demon and find peace!

    • jannatwrites December 30, 2012 / 7:15 PM

      Thanks, Sandra. Guilt is a sneaky little thing. I am getting better as I get older, so that’s a good thing 🙂 Glad you stopped by!

  18. Gina December 30, 2012 / 7:50 AM

    I was raised with so much guilt, felt guilty about everything. I replay everything too. It sure adds a whole lot of stress.

    • jannatwrites December 30, 2012 / 7:16 PM

      If I didn’t replay average conversations, I wouldn’t have nearly as much guilt. Haven’t figured out how to disable this, though. Thanks for stopping by, Gina!

  19. OldDogNewTits December 30, 2012 / 9:54 AM

    Guilt is what propels me through life. I think it actually makes up about 33% of what courses through my veins. Great job, Janna.

    • jannatwrites December 30, 2012 / 7:18 PM

      I’m sorry you can relate to the guilt thing. It really stinks. I appreciate your comment, ODNT.

  20. Tina December 30, 2012 / 11:03 AM

    Guilt is an insidious, infernal thing. It should be destroyed where ever possible. Excellent job with the prompt!

    • jannatwrites December 30, 2012 / 7:18 PM

      Thanks, Tina. It really should be destroyed, but somehow, I think guilt is like roaches: if the entire earth was destroyed, these are the two things that would survive.

  21. themisanthropicmuse December 30, 2012 / 1:19 PM

    Guilt is a horrific demon indeed. It’s one that can drive a person mad or worse. Fantastic poetry. It was masterfully concise. I mean, not a single word was wasted. Brilliant job.

    • jannatwrites December 30, 2012 / 7:20 PM

      I’m glad you liked the poem! When we only have 33 words, choosing the most meaningful ones is so important 🙂 I appreciate you taking time to read it and share your thoughts!

  22. Imelda December 30, 2012 / 9:14 PM

    Oh, I commiserate. Many times, I am unable to sleep after I have scolded my children. As of this writing, I am bothered by something that I have said about my MIL’s cooking which I heard caused my MIL to cry. Well, in fairness, it was not just me but still…..

    Guilt has its uses though – it fills us with remorse for the truly bad things we did and resolve to do better next time. 🙂

    • jannatwrites December 30, 2012 / 10:08 PM

      You have pointed out the upside to guilt, Imelda! It can be a conscience of sorts. I’m sorry your comment hurt your MIL’s feelings, but I’m sure it will smooth over.

  23. Sandi Ormsby December 30, 2012 / 11:56 PM

    One of the most important things to teach the kids “watch what you say” “hate” is a strong word, negative language can hurt. Recognizing you are wrong, and apologizing and being sincere and specific about what your apologizing for…then I tell myself that. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 1, 2013 / 12:14 PM

      It’s so much easier to teach it to our kids than to apply it to ourselves, isn’t it? A little guilt at the right times is food…to much in the middle of the night-not so much! Glad you stopped by, Sandi.

  24. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) December 31, 2012 / 12:05 AM

    I admire the way you always lay it all on the line, let it bleed on the page. You do this with your fiction and with your personal pieces and it really shines. Thanks for letting us in.

    • jannatwrites January 1, 2013 / 12:17 PM

      Thanks for offering up the challenges that make it easier to create and reveal 🙂

  25. philosophermouseofthehedge December 31, 2012 / 4:05 PM

    Concise description of the battle.
    Guilt is bitter and hard to scrape off – especially if family is involved.
    Once the words are flung, they can’t be called back
    You pictured it perfectly
    Hope many smiles and intriguing adventures find you in the new year – and you have time to share with us!

    • jannatwrites January 1, 2013 / 12:53 PM

      I appreciate your regular visits to my blog, Phil. I’m glad you liked my depiction of guilt. I hope it doesn’t pay you late-night visits 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing what this year brings…and of course writing about it.

Got an opinion? Share it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s