Feeling guilty, not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MaggieDawn70, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. MaggieDawn70

    MaggieDawn70 New Member

    My difficult child and me have not spoken since the end of May, her decision. There have been a limited number of texts/emails in that time, most of those conversations ended badly. She's angry with me and vice versa. I cut her off financially after she dropped all of her college classes and proceeded to lie to me about the situation for several weeks. She had to move out of her apartment I was paying for and I'm not sure where she is living now. I know which town but have no idea where the house is. She won't tell me.

    Even though she's 20 and made the decision on her own to "cut me off," I sometimes still feel guilty for not "trying harder" to mend the fence, so to speak. Logically, I know this is ridiculous. Emotionally, a different story at times. It will bug me some days, others not at all. I also am still very angry with her. I gave a lot of different emotions about the situation. Thing is, I don't know what to do with the guilt. It's not as though she is trying to guilt trip me much either, as she never initiates contact with me for any reason.....at least not since May. I also know if I reach out, there's a very good chance it won't turn out that great. I am 99.99999% sure nothing has changed on her end.

    If I know all these things, why in the world do I feel guilty at all? I really don't even know what I'd say to her anyway, my anger is still clouding everything. Almost everything I have said to her since May, not helpful. Most that has been said to me by her over the last couple of years, all lies and manipulation.

    I know I'm not at a point where I'm ready to reconcile. However, is this wrong on my part? I do feel that my anger/frustration/exhaustion with this situation is justified, but something keeps telling me, as her parent, I should be the bigger person. But in all honesty, I really don't want to deal with her right now.

    Is this a "normal" way to feel? She is 20 and has caused two tons of problems, started way back in grade school. I'm tired of it, sick to death of dealing with it, and exhausted from being lied to and manipulated for so long. Never mind all the other trouble she has caused, personally and legally. But here I am, STILL feeling guilty.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You feel guilty because you are a mom and what mom doesn't want to help her kids. Leaving them to their own devices during difficult times in life goes against everything we "know" it means to be a mom. Quit being so hard on yourself and quit trying to "fix" the relationship. She may not be guilt-tripping you but it sounds like that is what is happening. She made her bed, let her lie in it. But, don't feel guilty for HER choices.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Ah yes, the mommy guilt. I feel it every single day, too. When I am eating a nice dinner, buying a snack I know she loves, clothes shopping and I see something that I know would look great on her, and especially whenever I go upstairs and see the bed she loves so much and the beautiful empty bedroom....yes, mommy guilt. I know it very, very well.... :(

    But we certainly didn't make their choices, did we? Nope. Had they gone by what we wanted, they would be spectacular adults!! Mine would be in college right now. But, we cannot make their choices for them and we cannot live their lives for them. Gosh, how I wish we could! All we can do is shine a flashlight on the right path. We can't make them walk it.

  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Guilt. This is a feeling I'm very familiar with. Not because I have much to feel guilty about, but because I had some sort of "guilt complex", where I would feel guilt over the most random things. Things I had no control over and things that didn't even affect my life directly. It occurred mostly when I was suffering from MDD episodes. It was strange to say the least.

    in my opinion the guilt you feel is directly related to the anger/frustration/exhaustion that you are still feeling. You are 100% justified in these emotions, however, since you are mom and 'created' the person that is causing these emotions, there is a natural sense of failure, which manifests as guilt. That's the part of you that thinks you should "try harder" to fix things. Problem is, you have already tried the best you could. Trying again, and being unsuccessful, would just feed all the negative emotions more.

    To rid the guilt, you need to rid yourself of the emotions causing the guilt - the anger/frustration/exhaustion. When these are gone, guilt has no way, no reason, to manifest itself.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Very well put.

    As you do this you learn the detachment process, which allows difficult child to live her life and you not to be pulled into the difficult child drama anymore. Takes practice but is well worth the peace of mind.