things we've said

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by graceupongrace, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    I heard someone talking last week about how kids have been deeply wounded by hurtful things their parents have said to them. Well, I said some pretty mean things to difficult child years ago during our worst (pre-diagnosis, pre-medication) days when he was raging and violent. They were said in the moment when he was out of control. I apologized for what I said and asked his forgiveness, both immediately and later, when he brought it up. I have prayed and prayed about it, and asked for God's forgiveness. But I still worry about how things I've said have affected him. Has anyone else dealt with this? How?

    difficult child, of course, has said horrible things to me through the years -- way meaner and way more often than my few slip-ups. He brushes those off with "I was just angry." OK, I get it. He's the kid. He's the one with the problems. And so I forgive him. Over and over. But will he ever forgive me?
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think you need to forgive yourself.

    I think this is yet another area that separates the easy child's from the difficult child's. There isn't a parent out there who hasn't said something s/he regrets in the heat of the moment. We apologize. We're sincere. easy child's move on; difficult child's use it against you. Especially if they think you feel guilt over it. Our kids have said way worse to us.

    I don't mean to sound cynical, but with what I'm going through with difficult child at the moment, I'm being crucified for things I didn't even say in the context she's using them in - and things I didn't even say at all. Maybe that's blurring this subject for me.

    I think anything can wound a person forever if they let it. The basic truth is none of us are perfect. We do the best we can. Sometimes we slip. We make ammends.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I echo Heather's sentiments. We do the best we can, and when we know better, we do better, to paraphrase Maya Angelou. Forgiving yourself for being human is all you can do, and then keep moving forward.

    We've all been in your shoes. (((Hugs)))
  4. compassion

    compassion Member

    I agree with Heather and GVCmom. All I can do is forgive myself today, be gentle with me today, be non-judgmental today, non-critical today. We are not perfect. In my case, difficult child is expert at a manpulating out of guilt and fear and until not very long ago,was fairly successful at it. The less guilt I feel, the more I can love. It is very imortant to not to take blame. I think unitl there is a certain stabilty, growth level attained by difficult child, there can be quite a manipuliatve dance going on. I keep the focus on me today, No, difficult child DOES NOT like the limits but that is part of me being a an excellent mom to difficult child.
    I cannot reason with difficult child in mainic rages,and many times not at other times either. I daily practie loving and kind compssionate words in a moderate tone of voice. I am much better at NOT reacting today.
    I think it is vital also to have a support system that does not blame the parents.
    This is a brain disoder, not a parenting dysfunction.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I agree with the other ladies. Forgive yourself and keep going.
  6. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi there,

    You've gotten some great advice. Forgive yourself ASAP. And while you're at it, treat yourself to something you really like. You deserve it.

    When I think of all the things I've said to my difficult child (and some of them were pretty bad), I know without a doubt that I was doing the best I could on whatever resources I had within me at the moment (I like the quote from Maya Angelou, I think of it often and it strengthens me).

    I feel certain that you, also, were and are doing your best at any given time. Proud of you.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Something else I wanted to add....I've been thinking about this all day.

    I know my mom said things to me in anger that were bad. But, I couldn't tell you what they were. For all of our strained relationship, she took care of me to the best of her ability.

    My dad has said some truly awful things to me and I can quote them.

    The difference is there really wasn't any good to outweigh the negative things from my dad. So, it was just one more thing to add to the list. Does that make sense? My mom cared, my mom loves me; it was just hard times between us. My dad has only cared when it was convenient for him - and minimal then.

    Kids know the difference.
  8. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Oh, Lord, The Guilt! The eye of God over our shoulder! I know how to say "it's my fault" in five different languages.

    When my son was running away at the age of 17, we were begging him to stay to try to work things out. We were in tremendous pain and chaos following the sudden deaths of three of his grandparents under mysterious circumstances; he was cursing me, saying he "didn't need this family, I can make in on my own". I lashed out as hard as I could and told him that without an education he could only make a living doing what Monica Lewinsky was good at doing! I had to admit that to a CPS investigator when he reported me.

    They do know how to bring out the worst in us. I just did the best I could and screwed up a lot. Please forgive yourself, if you can't do that, you can't forgive your child. We have all made mistakes.

    I would like to thank Miss Lewinsky for making it possible for me to get past the board censors:tongue:.
  9. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Thanks, everyone, for once again providing a soft place to land. difficult child gets plenty of love and kind words, and always has -- and some days, that's not easy! A little while ago, he really unloaded on me. Incredibly mean and nasty. And I doubt that he'll ever worry about how things he said affected me - lol!

    But something Heather said about the difference between pcs and difficult children got me thinking...

    I have a warm, loving relationship with easy child. Maybe that's a more accurate measure of my parenting skills. I think that because our difficult children take up so much time and energy, sometimes we just use the wrong yardstick.

    (((Hugs))) to you all!
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My mom was tremendously abusive to me and I had to learn to break that cycle with my kids. I was not very good at doing that when my kids were young. I had my kids way too young and had no good parental figures. I didnt have anyone to look up to and say...Oh so that is how you raise a kid. Well...I did have TV. I loved the Cosby Show. I wanted to be like that family.

    I messed up a ton. I knew it wasnt good to scream bad things at your kids or throw household objects at them so I tried real hard not to do that. So I screamed in my room and tossed stuff out the windows or out the front I didnt hit my kids. Somewhat of an improvement.

    Jamie did mention something about how I yelled at him when he became an adult and it crushed me. I didnt realize he still remembered it. I wrote him a letter explaining the whole thing from my abusive background to my bipolar diagnosis and then told him how sorry I was. Later he told me he was just teasing me and he meant nothing by it but I dont know. I think he did. But he also turned out to be a really good kid and a good adult so I didnt scar him for
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Sometimes it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Or even when you don't say something. And then the misunderstanding because you kept it inside.

    No one is perfect, and yeah, we could always use someone to censor our mouths especially in the heat of the moment. But we're human, we can't control everything.

    Here's the thing though. If something awful is said, but if followed, even much later, by a heartfelt apology - then the target may continue to let it hurt them or they can let it go. If there is no apology, maybe the "shooter" for lack of better term doesn't realize it - and if it's pointed out, they may be sorry. Or, maybe not, in which case the target should let it go and realize that it's not them, it's the shooter.

    I've left a lot of things unsaid in my life and have missed out on things I truly wanted. But I've learned. I may not say the right thing all the time, and I try to apologize when I'm awful, but at least I'm communicating now.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Another in agreement about forgiving yourself. I think sometimes we are so much harder on ourselves than we are with others. Be gentle with yourself. Hugs.
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've been taught & have worked so hard to teach the tweedles that a harsh, angry or abusive (mean) word spoken can never be taken back; it may be forgiven but seldom forgotten.

    It's a hard lesson for everyone & when emotions are elevated for whatever reason, things come spewing out of our mouths before our brains kick in.

    Forgive yourself.
  14. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Words certainly hold alot of power. Power to remain with us much of our lives depending on the situation. That being said, words said in anger or heat of the moment, careless ones ... they CAN be altered to lose the painful consequences. Via more words. Forgiving yourself is great advice and I fully agree. I am a firm believer that if our kids mention something that pains them that we've said in the past, we can use new words to take the sting out, by virtue of a true apology. Now we all know we can't MAKE others see we meant no harm and spoke out of turn, but you know, an apology can make the world of difference. I know some things said to me in my life, if I had recieved an apology (even later on down the line) I probably wouldn't think twice about them today.
    We've all said things and later on went "uh oh". As much as we've done, so too have our kids, and they will have the same experience as parents themselves. We're human and to err is human. Be kind to yourself!
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member true about being human.

    You know, one thing this post got me thinking about. My mom abused me terribly in so many ways, verbally was only one of them. When she got so sick with alzheimers, one of the things I grieved over was that I had lost the opportunity for her to ever finally turn that corner and say she was sorry, be my good mom, have me be a good daughter. When she died...I cried for hours because it was over...I couldnt even have one minute when she could have had one brief second where she could have been lucid to say "Im sorry". I couldnt say I forgive you. Well...I have said her things and her ashes...but it really isnt the same.