Guilt

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by exhausted, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I have been thinking about this so much in the past few months. Despite really working on it for 2 years-I still wonder what I could have done to prevent difficult children abuse. While I don't talk to her about it, our therapist thinks it "oozes out", difficult child senses it and uses it in her favor. She has thrown it in my face on 2 occations in the last year-really hurt.

    We have done the best we could at each stage-I believe getting better and learning new things as we needed to learn. Last night our therapist said that he thinks difficult child may need a change of venue. At first he didn't think it was a good idea to throw her out at 18 but give her a chance to go to school, reset boundaries and try therapy again. She now refuses to see him(the guy she picked from the first Residential Treatment Center (RTC)), has been defiant about our phone rules and contributing to the family with chores.

    I don't know what will happen at court on Friday-they may lock her up, put her in a work camp, another Residential Treatment Center (RTC) ( I doubt this), or send her home on probabtion. No matter what, we cannot go on having our house so tense and our sensors up at every turn. My experience is that when she gets finished with any court orders or gets out of RTCs she goes right back to the bull. He said that he does not think is unreasonable to tell her she can't be here if she isn't in therapy and working a program. She accuses us of forcing her into everything. Of course that pulls at my efforts to let go and let God.

    I know I did the best I could all along the way intellectually, but emotionally, guilt still rears its ugly head. How do you all deal with these feelings and rid yourself of them?
     
  2. Exhausted - I am so sorry you are feeling this way right now. One thing that really helped me was that article someone posted the other day about the Pastor's family and their drug addicted son. (Could someone repost it if you have the link?)

    The mother said she went to a meeting and the speaker said "I am not God, and neither are you." or something to that effect. It really struck home. We are NOT perfect nor can we ever expect to be. If you can look back and say "Yes, I have made mistakes but I always did things with the best intentions and tried my hardest." Then you have nothing to feel guilty about. You did not cause this. Even God has trouble with His children.

    All people are born with their own personality and characteristics. Yes, we can have an effect on how they turn out but much of it is already there from birth. Your daughter is practically an adult and you have done everything you could to raise her well. It is time for her to start making her own choices and decisions. Yes, bad things happened to her (I'm assuming because of the PTSD) but she can choose to work through them or wallow in them.

    Something clicked in me very recently and I have decided that I WILL have peace in my home. I have been having panic attacks in the middle of the night, I often get the shakes for no reason, I have difficulty focusing and am really struggling emotionally - all signs of an impending nervous breakdown. My husband and daughter need me. School starts in one month and my daughter has significant learning disabilities and needs help, especially at the beginning of the year.

    I want things to change in my home for the better and in order for that to happen difficult child needs to see the psychiatrist and the psychotherapist and participate in his treatment and follow instructions. Those are my requirements for him to continue living in our home. He now has the choice to follow the requirements of living in my home or find a new home to live in. He can get welfare and go to the food bank. He will be ok if he has to leave. That will be his choice. I am not controlling him or his choices. I am controlling my life and how my home is going to be.

    I have the right to do that and so do you.

    Funny thing - now that difficult child knows I mean business and senses something different in me he is beginning to change his attitude. I think he is starting to realize that he is no longer able to play me like a puppet, control my emotions and scare me into submission. This is VERY new so I will have to wait and see for sure but I'm hopeful that my change will effect his change too.

    Big hugs to you. Take some peace in knowing that you have done your best and will continue to do your best.
     
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Exhausted,
    If you KNEW of the abuse and did nothing about it, you should have guilt. I'm assuming you had no idea. You can have regret that you didn't pick up on it, but guilt is not warranted in my opinion. The person who did this is the person who should feel guilt. I don't know if they're in jail for this or if it's unresolved, but THAT person committed a crime, not you. You're the stand-in. But whether we call it guilt or regret, it's still making you feel stuck, and feel bad and feel like you've let your difficult child down. I'm sure you feel like you'll never be taken seriously by her again, and that you've lost your status as a mom, because moms know everything. Don't feel like that...it's a waste of time. Truth is, difficult child has to stop thinking like a victim and start thinking like a survivor. If she sticks with therapy, she has a chance. difficult child's abuser will ultimately have power over all of you if difficult child doesn't accept your love, your help, your regret and try to move on and make a go of her own life. Otherwise, he wins, (I'm assuming it's a he) because even though he hasn't laid a hand on her lately, he's still "abusing" her daily if she can't function and if she doesn't take the reins of her own recovery. She's allowing him that power, and she's transferring all the guilt to you! You have to stay strong and SHE has to face this, work at it even though it hurts, and she has to stop her victim mindset. You can support her, but you cannot do it for her, and don't allow yourself to accept that guilt. All of you will be stuck right where you are if you do, and I know you don't want that. Hugs and more hugs for your hurting hearts.
     
  4. Saunder1540

    Saunder1540 New Member

    Welcometowitsend...very well stated! Your post has helped me with my "mom induced guilt"!
    thanks!
     
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Exhausted you know we share some things only you have been a far better mother than I ever had. Oh I wish I had the mothers on this board! It has taken me all these years to find myself and start getting better. Your kids have the advantage of early intervention.

    Can I tell you that your dtr will leave your home and go out and prosper? Oh hell no. Do I think she will make a ton of mistakes before some of the things that she was taught start to knock around in her head...yep. What you have to hope for is that the mistakes she makes arent lasting. Will she allow herself to get on long term birth control? The last thing she needs is a baby. Or it could be the best thing for her. It was for me. Of course it took me finding a second man who wanted me and a baby in tow. My first husband was as big a difficult child than I was. I dont recommend this course. Hopefully she will figure out that she needs help before lasting damage gets done but there is nothing you can do.

    You didnt set out to hurt her like my mother did. I dont know why my mother ever had a child to be honest. Maybe she was hoping for a boy and that would have been a better outcome, I dont know. Whatever, you did the best you could. You got the best help. You didnt just say...phht. Some would. Lots would. You didnt. Let the guilt go and let your dtr have her wings to fly. She may just surprise you when she has to be completely responsible for herself.

    Hugs. I know it hurts.
     
  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you everyone. I did read the article. Some really good points. I have to process the part about whether or not I understand her feelings and have some empathy for what her life has been like. I think I have and I think I have shared that empathy. I just dont accept that she has to wollow in misery. Maybe I need to Janet. You said it-she will need the world kicking her over and over to get it together.

    Calamity-I love what you said-she takes victom always. She needs to say I am a survivor. she use to while in treatment. she needs to believe it. But, I cant do it for her. I hope she developed enough love for herself to do it.
     
  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you just have to keep telling yourself that your did the best you could with what you knew at the time. That helps me.

    ~Kathy
     
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Amen, Kathy. And in many of our cases our choices were not ignorance or passive...we took action to protect our children. Sadly, many of us lost. DDD
     
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Exhausted, she is borderline. She doesnt think she deserves love. I am borderline and I still dont. This is not something you did or caused. I think you need to join one of the borderline groups on yahoo. They have one for parents of teens I believe. Borderlines have to prove to themselves that they arent worthy of love so they engage in risky behaviors and push away the people that really love them because they are so sure that they will leave them some day anyway. They want to be the one who makes that call on their terms.

    Let me give an example. I have forever thought Tony would leave me for one reason or another. I was convinced this would happen especially when our boys all hit 18 because we werent married and I thought he was only with me to take care of the boys. I couldnt even imagine that anyone would stay with me for that long which would have been 21 years at that point simply because they wanted to be with me and not just because it was his moral duty. I didnt let myself actually love him for a long time and oh did I try to run off over those years but he held on. He had no clue what demons he was fighting but for some reason he felt it was worth it. Odd thing is it is now we are having the most trouble! I think now its because I am getting so sick that living with me is simply taking its toll on him.
     
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    As always Janet, thank you. You have such good insight. I believe that is exactly what is happening. All her "crimes" are committed against us. She said to the PO, "My parents have to love me". My husband said, " I dont have to love you difficult child, I choose to." She does everything in the book to keep us at arms length. She has even asked, "Why do you keep trying and why do you have any hope?" I am so sad. We are all Gods creatures and all deserve to be here-even in the awefullness we have been dealt at times. Janet, look at all you did for those boys and all you put up with in you husband. You too have given so much. The worst of us is deserving of love-you are certainly not the worst of us.

    I will keep saying to myself, "You have done the best you could all the way down the road." It is true, I have.
     
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