Guilt

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Rainbird, May 21, 2011.

  1. Rainbird

    Rainbird New Member

    Do any of you turn the childrens issues onto yourself? Do you blame yourself for any of their issues?

    Even though I am doing detachment, and everyone around me is telling me I am handling my daughters issues the right way, I still feel like I should have been able to prevent how she is right now.

    Somedays standing my ground and for detachment feels good and the right thing to be doing. But on other days I want to call her and ask for her forgiveness.
     
  2. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    I do it a lot. I posted a similar thread on here one time and some wise person said the following (I'm paraphrasing, of course): Did you intentionally ignore, neglect or in any other way try to harm your child? Did you do things on purpose knowing that they would adversely affect your child? Of course you didn't. You tried your best and did what you thought was in your child's best interest, therefore you are not responsible for how they turned out. And this is true. I would bet all of the people on here were conscientious, loving parents because otherwise we would not still be so concerned about our children and posting to these boards to get advice and comfort. When I feel really bad I try to remember that. And I can't tell you the number of times "I didn't raise her like that" runs through my mind. Think of some of the people you know who are great people and came from horrible parenting situations. If it was all because of parenting then those people would turn out horribly while our children would be great!
     
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hon

    If you didn't love so much, care so much, and want the very best for your child..............

    You wouldn't feel guilt.

    Try not to be so hard on yourself. It's easy to look at the past and say oh, I could've done such and such. Unfortunately we don't get to look at the future with such clarity.

    (((hugs)))
     
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    If she had leukemia, or juvenile diabetes, or any other physical childhood illness, would you still feel like you should have been able to prevent it? Most parents actually answer yes. The reason being that we want to do everything to protect our kids, and have magical parenting thoughts that if we make ourselves suffer then our children will suffer less. The real question is COULD you have prevented it? And obviously, the answer is NO.

    Resist apologizing. There is nothing for your to apologize for. Prepare instead for the day she may come demanding an apology. In the process of going out into the world on her own, she will be seeing and learning new things. She may start to grow and mature and become responsible. She might decide "Mom should have done this or that different, and then I wouldn't have had to struggle so much" (by the way this a theory of mine that many young adults go through this thought process with their parents when they start to struggle with the realities of life - even non-difficult children) The reality is that you did EVERYTHING you knew to be right. And even if you didn't know for sure, you got the best information you could to make the best decision. If she demands an apology, there is still no reason to apologize for because you did EVERYTHING you knew to be right. Hopefully as she matures further, maybe becomes a parent herself, she will begin to see the wisdom of your ways, and the difficulties you had - not just because she was a difficult child but because you were a GREAT parent.

    I've seen this struggle with parents of non-difficult children, so for us the worry is multiplied, our struggles are multiplied.

    Stay strong in your detachment. No guilt! in my opinion simply because you are struggling with detachment, means you have been and are a WONDERFUL parent
     
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Yes I have gone through this and sometimes still do... what I have realizes though is that I did the absolute best I could at the time and in fact I don't know if I had done this or that differently if it really would make any difference. The thing is we can't go back and change the past, it is done, it is over... ALL we can do is to look forward and to hink about what is the best thing to do now.

    I get the wanting to ask for forgiveness and someday there might be a place for a mutual conversation around that BUT right now it would be so easy for her to just get into oh this is my moms fault, if she hadn't...... and the fact is she needs to be accountable for herself now and you don't need to give her any excuse not to.
     
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    A little...but only once in awhile.
    I think it is only normal and kinda healthy too. When something goes haywire, it is probably healthy to double check that we did the best we could.
    It is NOT healthy to stay in that place....whipping ourselves for something that probably has nothing to do with our parenting skills...would have happened regardless.
    I think in my own case and in the great majority of cases, there was little (if anything) that could have been done and adhere to the AA mantra...I didn't cause this, I can't cure this and can't control it.
    I know I tried my best. And for many years, went above and beyond. It is very sad that my difficult child has a mental illness. I am willing and able to provide medical assistance for her even now that she is a young adult. I hope and pray she will take the medical care provided, make personal efforts on her own behalf and move forward in life to the best of her ability.
     
  7. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Feelings such as these nearly destroyed me, Rainbird. It has worked for me to say the following to my child: "You were raised better." This was incredibly freeing because it was true. All at once, because it WAS true, I had a place to stand, again. Whatever your child is doing now, that it makes you uncomfortable indicates that she was not raised to do that. She DOES know better. She WAS raised better. She is choosing to ignore that. In addition to enabling me to stand up again, these words, and the changed attitude they enabled, gave my son a visible line...and I think that visible line, that mother who loved him but would not accept what he was doing ~ who in fact, condemned what he was doing ~ gave him a way to know how to come back.

    Another phrases I found helpful was: I love you too much to watch you destroy yourself. (This was always a good place to slip in another chorus of "You were raised better than to do what you're doing.")

    I wish you and your family well, Rainbird.

    I'm sorry this is happening to you.

    Barbara
     
  8. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I have felt extreme guilt from time to time. Not because I feel I created a difficult child by my parenting, but how I handled situations with difficult child's extreme behaviors thru the years.

    When you hold your baby in your arms for the 1st time, it never crosses your mind that they will someday grow up to have such issues and problems. NEVER did I dream about the future with my difficult child and see what our lives have become.

    So maybe that is why I didn't always handle things properly, I had no knowledge of my sons disorders. Sure, I know how to change a diaper, bathe a baby, wash their clothes, make bottles, nurse , etc ... Most of all I felt such extreme love and joy for difficult child, it was us against the world.

    But did I know how to handle a kid jumping the walls, talking excessively, being angry and obsessive, asking me hundreds of questions a day, being the most stubborn human being on earth, and so on and so on ...???

    No, I did not so I handled him the best that I could. I am still learning and trying any technique I can ... I think I always will.

    Don't beat yourself up. You are doing the BEST you can ...
     
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