Why do I feel so guilty??????


New Member
When my son was little he was loving and always smiling. As he got older he still smiled but was not so loving. He began on medications at the age of 8 or 9. They worked for a while but they lost their effect. We went to couselors and doctors when I could find him and he would tell them what they wanted to hear and we'd move on. At the age of 14 he became violent and down right mean to me his dad and brothers. I was everything but a child of GOD. He put his hand thru a window (15 stiches) and I was told to contact CYS for more help. I did and we had an in home team for 6 to 7 months. In March (13) 2006 we went to court for his behavior which was now uncontrolable. He was placed in a bootcamp for 6 months, it tore me apart, I felt I have failed him as a mom a protector as a person who would do anything for their child. He did very well there we talked like never before we became close his brothers were there with all the support anyone could ask for. That was 6 months ago. This year on the same day (3/13/2007) we were back in front of the same judge with the issue of not attending school, curfew violation, and not attending in home couseling. He is now back in placement waiting to see what will happen next.
I feel I have failed, I feel that it is my fault and the guilt is killing me. I love him with all of my heart but it doesn't seem to be enough. If there is anyone out there with something to tell me please do. Thank Tracy


Well-Known Member
Tracy, We have all felt that quilt at least once while raising our children. You need to know that you did what you knew to do to help him. In the end, that's all that matters is that you have tried. In order for any interventions to work, the person has to be invested himself. Until our children become invested in their own treatment plans, invested in their own recovery, there is little we can do to help.


Well-Known Member
Well, I dont feel it is your fault. Your son has free will and if he can behave elsewhere, he has the ability to behave at home. Putting his fist thru a window is serious. Cutting school, curfew violation and not attending counseling sounds like it was a condition of his probation and he knew those were mandatory and he chose to break them. His problem...not yours.

Has he ever had a psychiatric exam? Maybe you could ask the court for one.


(the future) MRS. GERE
Hi Tracy,

I hope your son can get another evaluation. It's not unusual for it to take multiple exams to figure out what is going on and even that isn't enough sometimes.

A couple of things...would you please put in a signature? It's very helpful for the rest of us to recall your situation if you keep one updated when you post. If you look at the toolbar at the top of the page go to "My Stuff" and hunt around for the profile area. You might want to read ours to see what kinds of information is there to give you a lead on what to put in yours.

Also........I would strongly urge you to go back to our early posts in this forum and read from the back to the front. It will help you get to know us and our situations and might give you some solace and help educate you, too! We talk a lot about "detaching" and "guilt" and you are right in the thick of these things and feelings right now.



Active Member
Hi there...please don't feel guilty. Your son is choosing to act out. He has to choose to change too.

My son is almost 22 now and has an infant son with whom he has no contact (by my son's choice). My son has chosen to divorce himself from us as a family. We too went the entire route: independent evaluation at the age of 8, medications, counselling, violence that started at age of 15 (threatening us, spitting on me, puttin his hand, feet, etc through walls, wrecking a couple of cars, smoking pot in our house, etc.. We did the detentions at school, suspensions, expulsions, court stuff, jail, Residential Treatment Center (RTC) x2 and 4 hospital stays in a 6 year period.

And....now we are still struggling.

Sorry that you are joining us.


You get through it one day at a time....sometimes even one hour at a time.

Hang in there Tracy. This women here are so wonderful in their support and counsel. Without this board to post to or the advice they give me, I know I would have cracked a long time ago and allowed my daughter to come back home....

She is defiant here at home but behaves outside...until recently when she was unable to keep up the act and her true self showed through...

Keep coming here for the support and to rant....believe me I've ranted quite often and only get back positive support for it...hang in there.



New Member
Hi, Tracy ~ and welcome to the site.

At the bottom of my post is the address of a detachment site. It will help you begin to separate and identify the feelings.

Going through something like this is overwhelming. There are no outward signs of grief for parents to wear so others will know they are grieving ~ but that is what you are doing, Tracy. Suz told me once (I think it was you, Suz) that I would go through the five stages of grief many times. She was right. Still, it helps sometimes to be able to label the feelings and understand that we are moving through them.

Or moving at all, some days.

Anger, denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

Is that right, does anyone know?

And here is the Serenity Prayer. I was told to read it and read it until I felt it begin workiing. It was especially helpful to me when I would awaken at night, worried.




Please keep posting about what is happening, and how you feel about that. So many of us have been where you are, now. You will survive this. It took me ~ well, I'm still not altogether okay, but I am so much better.

The worst of it took a little over one year.

You might try the Teen site too for support ~ post in both if you find it comforting.

I am so sorry this is happening to you and to your son, so sorry for your pain.

I am glad you found us.




New Member
You get through this by being strong and learning to live your life. Many of us have been through similar situations and with the support of the people on this board, alanon, families anonymous, you name it, we have pulled ourselves out of many similar situations and learned to live our lives for ourselves and learned how to stop blaming ourselves. It is a process that takes a long time, but you can get there if you are willing. I have been there done that and people on this board can tell you how far I have come. Get yourself help and support and you can do it too!!


Psycho Gorilla Dad
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: tracy551</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How do you get thru this or do you get thru it? </div></div>

Hi Traci. That's a good question, and one we all face. While I haven't dealt with the depth of issues you face, wife and I have asked all the same questions you asked. "What did I do wrong"?

I don't know how others here feel, but I've recently learned that looking back at the path you've already traveled is only good if it helps you figure out where to go. I can look back at the last 18 years and find a myriad of things that probably contributed to the issues my family faces. I used to beat myself up for a lot of them; "we should never have moved three times in 10 years"; "wife should never have taken a job"; "I should never have moved up to a point where my job takes me away from my family"; etc.

Valid points all. But rehashing them did NOT help me figure out where to go from here, so I'm trying very hard to not dwell on those things anymore. It's hard to not feel guilty, especially when either difficult child is acting out. But the truth is we did the best we could, with what we had, at the time we had to do it. And now we are where we are, and both my sons are old enough to make their own decisions.

From other wise members of the board, What I'm trying to learn to do is "detach".

So far, though, relief from "detaching" has only helped a little because (a) I'm not really used to it yet, and (b) I'm an ex-military, fairly straight-forward kind of guy and used to taking responsibility for my own actions. So, while I'm learning to detach my guilt and reactions from the choices of my difficult children, I've also sought out professional help for myself and my wife.

Ultimately, we found some relief through counselling and medications that keep our bodies from overriding our brains when reacting to situations. Doesn't make it "good", but it does make it easier to see reality when difficult child is acting out,and to make better decisions at the time. I can honestly say that my difficult child is easier to work with when I'm not flailing around in the middle of an anxiety attack that his acting out brought on.

Okay, I talk too much. But from where I sit the bottom line is this: if you look back and believe that you did the best you could, then start with where you are now and go forward. If you're still in the middle of the fight, you might want to seek help for yourself and your significant other - not just for your difficult child. And talk/post here if it helps. For me, writing is very theraputic, and there's a good crowd here that will welcome you with open arms and warm hearts.

Best wishes and prayers for you and yours.



New Member
Hi Tracey, There comes a time when you will realize that you did everything in your power to give your children the tools they need to be successful. What they do with those tools is up to them. You cannot control them or their actions. It is theirs to own. -RM


New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #993399"> welcome, tracy.

am i reading your post right? your son is now 15? if so you micht want to also take a look at the general forum.

do you think your son might be drinking or doing drugs?? if you could what kind of diagnosis would you give him?

there is not a parent on the planet who hasn't made mistakes with-their kids. no one is perfect. the thing you've done right is worked hard to get him the help he needs. the glitch is that he is refusing to accept that help. THAT is his choice.....and while you can try to influence that choice it's still his to make. only he can open his mind & heart to accept the help.

come to this site when you need support &/or advise. we're here & we have strong shoulders of the been there done that variety.

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