What I can't get out of my head is, I am truly at
fault for the way my daughter is today. Of course not intentionally, but because I wasn't able to
provide her an adequate up bringing, emotionally or financially because of my status. Even though I tried my best, it was no where near enough, plus she had to deal with my mistakes and my
emotional unfitness. While it's over for me, it is
no where near over for her and that's where all
her rage comes from
I feel this too, Guide Me.
Especially, the heartbreaking part about it being over for you, but nowhere near over, for your child.
But here is the thing: there is no parent, whatever their circumstances, who could parent perfectly enough that she (or he) could continue believing in herself when, over year and years, through choice after choice, a child chooses to go a wrong way.
We start looking for where we went wrong. And for every one of us, there are instances when we, or when circumstances, were less than perfect. But here is the thing: those same instances (and worse) happen in every family.
The difference is that easy child children are not wired, are not genetically programmed, like difficult child children are.
What we need to do GuideMe is to put beating ourselves up for whatever parenting mistakes we made on the back burner for now. We need to concentrate on learning successful parenting strategies for difficult child children.
Even, and maybe especially, when they are 40 year old difficult child children, like mine.
They keep doing the darndest things, and they keep finding a way, a vulnerability in me, that finds me questioning myself and my intentions and taking the blame, somehow, for what the difficult child has done, again and again, against my advice and in spite of anything I could do to stop them.
Over time, hearing everyone's stories, we see our own story with more clarity.
Because you accuse yourself of not having been perfect enough in raising your child, I would like you to know that I am still married to the biological father of both my children. I have never been married to anyone else. We have been married over forty years, now.
I think we might still be in love.
I was the mom at home. I was Brownie leader, Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, PTA, Great Books ~ you name it, I was there. Blah, blah blah Guide Me, and everything looked so perfect that the only thing it COULD have been was me. A cadre of therapists could not convince me that my mothering had not been defective, somehow.
So, this is what I know about mother-guilt.
1) I am so happy that we have this site.
2) Responsible parents do not like to place responsibility for the wrong things our children do on our children. We are used to parenting, teaching, celebrating triumphs or nurturing through times of sadness. As our children grow into adults, we continue parenting, loving, celebrating as we always have. For normal children, this is enough. For our difficult child children, who invariably seem to choose a wrong way and who do things, and who believe things, they never
learned at home, who go ahead and do exactly what we cautioned them against AND THEN, BRING THE BAD PERSON HOME FOR DINNER
Where was I.
Your daughter does know all the good things you taught her. She does feel the love you have lavished on her (and that we hear beneath your words, here on the site). Your child, like mine do too, has extra challenges to deal with. Over the times of their lives, these extra hardships will make our children stronger, just as our own challenges have made us stronger. But for now, for this time, your child is struggling to master herself.
I am very sure she does not mean to hurt you with her words the way she does.
I don't know what else to do or say to make her
happy and to make her forgive me.
Guide Me, I think you cannot make her happy. Happiness, so they say, has to do with the tides of mind. Forgiveness will come in time, I think, as your child matures. For now, for this time...can you find it in your heart to forgive yourself?
husband said that to me once. Whatever I was going on about, he said: "You need to forgive yourself for not having been able to prevent what happened. You need to reach in and find that hurt little part of you who feels she wasn't enough, and who has believed that, all of her life."
And he was very right, Guide Me.
This is truly a travesty and truly a nightmare I
don't wish upon anyone. I wish God would come inand perform a miracle for us, a true miracle and heal us.
Not to be facetious at all, but I most sincerely believe the miracle is happening, is present, is here and now, for you and your daughter too, Guide Me. The parents here on this site have nurtured and taught and supported me so that I could come through what has happened, what I have lost, without bitterness or shame.
That is the miracle.
That somehow, we find a safe place when we need one, and that we are willing to learn, willing to forgive, willing to grow.
Now, when your child is safe with her uncle and you are safe in your home, take a moment to bless yourself for what you have been through, and to recognize how intricately everything works together to teach and to keep us safe.
We go where we are going one step at a time, I think, Guide Me. Honesty is the first step.
You are there.
Soon, you will be running through the rain.
But you can't make it better for her. She has to learn to deal with adverse things in her life on her own.
She does. This learning is what will make her strong.
Tell her you can't solve her issues or heal the hurt, that if you could, you would, but it is not possible
I love this.
So I have to believe that it's not ME. It's not YOU. She uses the fact that you have guilt over those things to justify her behavior.
Yes this is so true and I am only just now getting it. When we are hurt, we grieve, and then, we can't make sense out of anything and we blame ourselves. But when I see the way the nature of the accusations have changed over the years as I have healed and stopped blaming myself for something someone else has done
I am finally seeing the nature of the game.
I don't understand why, but that does seem to be what is happening.
I can only conclude, now that I am not tearing into myself about it anymore, that this is what it is to parent a difficult child child.
And acknowledging that frees me in some way, to love us all, anyway.
Your daughter has mental issues and much of her raging may indeed be coming from that, as opposed to anything you did or didn't d
When you explore your family generations, do you find mental instability? Do you see the same patterns, repeated over and over? I do. So, I believe there is much credence in the idea that much of what our difficult child kids are dealing with is genetic.
It could be possible that if your daughter could see this too, she would have a tool to recognize that her anger is not justified, and that she can take steps to control how it manifests.
That would be a beginning, for some other time. For now, your healing must come first.
How your daughter treats you is not an indicator of WHO YOU ARE.
It isn't. No one could help a person who cannot control his or her emotions. With commitment and intention, the person can learn how to cope with the overwhelming intensity of emotion, and can heal from it, over time.
So again, thank you all from the bottom of my
As you heal, Guide Me, and as you begin telling the story of how you and your child came through it you will find, as we all have, that to tell our stories and to share our pain and our understanding and our questions helps us, too.
I see myself in you.
As surely as I am (finally, oh for Heaven's sake halleluiah) learning ~ really coming to see and believe that this wasn't my fault, you will come to know that, too. Where once you writhed in guilt over your daughter's pain and acting out, you will find that place filled with compassion for your child, for yourself, for the whole crazy, hurting world.
And you will share, here on the site, and you will nurture the new moms (and dads) who come on, too.