Blogs


Notices

Guilt

Old 08-06-2010, 08:17 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Kindeyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Jungle
Posts: 5,435
Blog Entries: 3
Guilt

I had a great session with my therapist yesterday. Our focus was on forgiveness....specifically self forgiveness. In theory, we have to forgive ourselves before we can forgive others, right? We were going through an exercise when we hit on the topic of guilt and it hit a nerve. A huge nerve. And here is what I learned about myself.

I carry a huge amount of guilt. HUGE.

The three C's. I can say them all day long but for me.....it has really been more the two C's. I can completely accept that I can't control it and I can't cure it (believe me I've tried both and it doesn't work! lol) But the "cause" thing........THAT's the "C" I have problems with. If I'd been a more perfect mother, certainly my son wouldn't have become an addict, right? GUILT.

My therapist pointed out to me that guilt has a purpose. It keeps us from repeating mistakes or puts us into action but when we carry guilt that is no longer SERVING A PURPOSE, we need to let it go or perhaps "do" something to get rid of it (like "call your mother"). If we're simply carrying it around because of historical life issues, it only continues to cause us pain and discomfort and SERVES NO PURPOSE.

She said "Ask yourself.....is this guilt serving me? If you answer yes....then DO something about it. But if the answer is no......let it go."

WHAM!!!!

I got it!!!!!!

I was a pretty darn good mother--not a perfect mother--but pretty darn good. I'm a pretty darn good human being. I'm NOT perfect and that's ok.

I didn't CAUSE my son to become an addict!

What a relief!

A HUGE weight has been taken off of my shoulders by simply accepting that I didn't CAUSE it.

gentle hugs
Kindeyes is offline  
The Following 21 Users Say Thank You to Kindeyes For This Useful Post:
Angelic17 (08-06-2010), bluebelle (08-07-2010), caileesnana (08-06-2010), cece1960 (08-06-2010), chicory (08-07-2010), Chino (08-06-2010), cmc (08-06-2010), desertgirl (08-06-2010), greeteachday (08-06-2010), KariSue (08-07-2010), Katyrose (08-07-2010), ladyhawk69 (08-06-2010), littlebird77 (08-06-2010), newnormal4me (08-06-2010), Nichole78 (08-06-2010), NightandDay (08-06-2010), SeaTurtle22 (08-07-2010), sofacat (08-06-2010), Sunshine2 (08-06-2010), wicked (08-06-2010), ZombieWife (08-07-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 09:11 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Forum Leader
 
cece1960's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Burgh
Posts: 1,988
Great post Kindeyes. I have trouble with guilt as well, the most vivid being things I have said in anger.

But I think that is something that serves a purpose. I know now the way it makes me feel afterward and try to refrain from spewing the mean stuff.

I didn't cause it either.
cece1960 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to cece1960 For This Useful Post:
Chino (08-06-2010), greeteachday (08-06-2010), Kindeyes (08-06-2010), wicked (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 09:29 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
NightandDay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: My Room
Posts: 138
i have an alcoholic brother. my mother is devastated by this.

she is always asking me "why? what did i do?" over and over. i know she is in a lot of pain because of my brother. but she has yet to see a therapist or investigate al-anon or anything to try to understand her pain. she is so afraid she actually did something wrong, i think, that she can't even try to heal.

i admire you for helping yourself through therapy and by coming here to SR. i'm sorry that your son has disappointed you. i know from watching my mother that it is very painful. my heart goes out to you.

you were very kind to me last week when i was posting on my issues, and i really responded to what you had to say to me; i could hear what you were saying to me because you were sensitive and gentle . . . you have a big heart, and you know what? those are the qualities that make, as you say, a darn good mother. congratulations to you for recognizing how good you really are!

we all need to remember to love ourselves, faults and all. that's why i keep coming back here. thank you for sharing, kindeyes.
:ghug3
NightandDay is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to NightandDay For This Useful Post:
chicory (08-07-2010), Chino (08-06-2010), greeteachday (08-06-2010), Katyrose (08-07-2010), Kindeyes (08-06-2010), litehorse (08-06-2010), wicked (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 10:27 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Kindeyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Jungle
Posts: 5,435
Blog Entries: 3
nightandday
Thank you for your very kind post. It is very much appreciated.

You touched on something that struck me too. Disappointment. I'm trying very hard not to be disappointed with my son (he makes it very hard sometimes though;-). Disappointment implies judgement......judgement implies that I know what is better for him than he does.....I'm trying very hard to let go of disappointment and judgement too. Not for his benefit......but for my own because it causes me icky feelings.

He makes choices....often very bad choices. I don't have to condemn or condone those choices. I'm just trying to keep my love for him in a very pure state. The way an dog loves his people or the way a small child loves everyone. That kind of love is so pure and it doesn't experience judgement or disappointment. What a cool thing to aspire to......but I think it's going to take a lot of practice. lol

Just my rambling thoughts for the day.......

gentle hugs
Kindeyes is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kindeyes For This Useful Post:
greeteachday (08-06-2010), litehorse (08-06-2010), Sunshine2 (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 10:50 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
Freedom1990's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 10,181
I drug an enormous bag of guilt behind me for many years when it came to my 32 year old AD. I made a lot of choices based on overcompensating, and trying to assuage that guilt, only to have it bite me in the butt later on!

I believe with all my heart that parenting is the toughest job any of us will ever have. We learn as we go along.

Thank you for sharing your growth, and I know the feeling of relief when we finally accept that it is not our fault.
Freedom1990 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Freedom1990 For This Useful Post:
greeteachday (08-06-2010), Kindeyes (08-06-2010), litehorse (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 01:22 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: dallas texas
Posts: 1,629
Thanks for the post today, I REALLY needed to read it!
caileesnana is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to caileesnana For This Useful Post:
greeteachday (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 04:06 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
The sun still shines
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 472
KE, thank you for this post. I often think that mothers struggle with the "I didn't cause it" part and spouses/GF/BF struggle with the "I can't cure him" part.

I am also trying to come to terms with guilt. I have done so many things I regret with my AS. I wish I didn't get as angry with him as I did when he came back hostile from weekends with his father. I regret that my little boy had to be so terrified of his father and I was not there to protect him. I regret that I tried to make up for his suffering by spoiling him. I regret that I had temper outbursts when I felt he didn't appreciate what I did for him. I regret that I was so immature when I raised him. I regret that I never managed to salvage our relationship as he grew older.

The truth is, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances. I also know that other people have much worse childhoods and they don't turn to drugs. He may have become an addict even if I was the perfect parent, whatever that is. I also know that I cannot change the past. It is over. I can only trust in God that everything happened and is happening for the greater good of both of us.

Guilt is such a draining, depressing and wasted emotion. I hope that all mothers who suffers from it will be able to let it go.
Sunshine2 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Sunshine2 For This Useful Post:
Angelic17 (08-06-2010), greeteachday (08-06-2010), Kindeyes (08-06-2010), litehorse (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 05:32 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
get it, give it, grow in it
 
Spiritual Seeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calif coast
Posts: 3,167
Guilt continues to let us think we had some power over our child's addiction.
If we had done A, B, or C things would have been different.
Maybe, maybe not. We can never know.
Drugs are an equal opportunity destroyers. Children from all types of families become addicts.
Every so often I think I failed my child. Then I have to nip that thinking right off.
Like you KindEyes, I am a loving, attentive, caring and compassionate mom that did my best.
An addicted child is the hand we were dealt.
Now it is for us to make the best of the hand we were dealt.

When we take my own inventories it is important to clearly see and understand that we were good mothers.
Spiritual Seeker is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Spiritual Seeker For This Useful Post:
Angelic17 (08-06-2010), greeteachday (08-06-2010), Katyrose (08-07-2010), Kindeyes (08-06-2010), Sunshine2 (08-07-2010), wicked (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 07:29 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Kindeyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Jungle
Posts: 5,435
Blog Entries: 3
wheredoiturn
You DID do the best you were able at the time. We can't change the past. It is what it is. And you are so right.....guilt is draining. Give yourself a hug.

Spiritual Seeker
You have been an inspiration to me for a very long time as we walked this path of being the mothers of addicted sons. You continue to inspire me. Thank you. I think we all need to hear (and repeat often to ourselves) that we raised our children with love. They made choices that we couldn't control. And we need to move through life forgiving ourselves and losing the guilt.

gentle hugs to both of you
Kindeyes is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kindeyes For This Useful Post:
Angelic17 (08-07-2010), greeteachday (08-06-2010), wicked (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 07:57 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Angelic17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,249
Blog Entries: 12
Kindeyes, I totally understand the concept of if I were a good mother, my son would not be an addict. I felt that way so many times. And I too struggled with addiction, and hid it. So, I felt that my son inherited that disease from me. More GUILT.

I have learned so much about addiction. I like you am a loving mom, who raised my son with love, affection, and everything he ever needed. Very recently I let go. Which by the way wasn't easy. I let go because I was being dragged. I know that I am a great mom. I always was. I put my boy first, since conception. I had nothing, and I managed to get everything on my own for my son. I worked to put my son in private school from pre school-high school. I cooked every single day. I cleaned, my house was immaculate. I read bed time stories to my son every night when he was growing up. I saved and saved and we got a beautiful house. He never missed a bath, or a dentist or doctor appt. I packed his lunch box every day with nutrituous healthy foods. I washed and ironed his uniform every day. He sparkled when he went to school. With his cute haircuts and polished shoes. I did his homework with him, I went to his plays and shows. We went to church together every Sunday. I had him in sports, basketball and football, and went to all of his games. I never hurt him in anyway. I loved him with all of my heart. Just like you love your son. It's not our fault. DRUGS are a sociological problem. Society is infested with drug abuse. It's an epidemic. We are powerless. Don't blame yourself in anyway. You didn't open his mouth and stick the drugs down his throat. You didn't put drugs in his baby bottle. So guilt is a total waste. I'm glad your therapist helped you to see that. There is still alot of hope for our boys. I pray for every addict who struggles with addiction, every day. My prayer group at 8.30 every morning says the rosary for the addicted. That comforts me. It makes me feel like I am doing something to help. Thanks for this post. It opened my eyes to my own guilt. I definitely will let it go.
Angelic17 is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Angelic17 For This Useful Post:
greeteachday (08-06-2010), Katyrose (08-07-2010), Kindeyes (08-06-2010), Spiritual Seeker (08-06-2010), Sunshine2 (08-07-2010), wicked (08-06-2010)
Old 08-06-2010, 08:22 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
Angelic17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,249
Blog Entries: 12
Originally Posted by wheredoiturn View Post
KE, thank you for this post. I often think that mothers struggle with the "I didn't cause it" part and spouses/GF/BF struggle with the "I can't cure him" part.

I am also trying to come to terms with guilt. I have done so many things I regret with my AS. I wish I didn't get as angry with him as I did when he came back hostile from weekends with his father. I regret that my little boy had to be so terrified of his father and I was not there to protect him. I regret that I tried to make up for his suffering by spoiling him. I regret that I had temper outbursts when I felt he didn't appreciate what I did for him. I regret that I was so immature when I raised him. I regret that I never managed to salvage our relationship as he grew older.

The truth is, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances. I also know that other people have much worse childhoods and they don't turn to drugs. He may have become an addict even if I was the perfect parent, whatever that is. I also know that I cannot change the past. It is over. I can only trust in God that everything happened and is happening for the greater good of both of us.

Guilt is such a draining, depressing and wasted emotion. I hope that all mothers who suffers from it will be able to let it go.

Wheredoiturn, It sounds to me like your a great mother. I went through all of the same things while raising my son. I was 21 when I had him. That isn't 16 but it's young. I too spoiled my son, and just like you it was because I love him so much. My son also came back from his fathers house rebelious. And while our boys were with their dads, we couldn't protect them. That was their dads responsibility. I too had outbursts of anger at times while raising my son. All moms do. That's not abuse, that's being human. Being a mother is the toughest job in the world without any training. Be kind to yourself. None of this is your fault. GUILT is a useless emotion that helps nothing.

:ghug3
Angelic17 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Angelic17 For This Useful Post:
Sunshine2 (08-07-2010)
Old 08-07-2010, 04:14 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
The sun still shines
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 472
Thank you Angelic. Deep down I know that I was a good mother. I think for these words
"You didn't cause it
You can't control it
You can't cure it"
to really be felt and believed on all levels, comes in stages. It took me a long time to really get the Cure and Control part, but I do get that fully now. The last thing to work through is the Cause part, especially as a parent. I know that we all deal with it and are at various stages of recovery. I think my recovery is getting there because I am really allowing myself to look at the guilt feelings and to see that even though I would like to have done some things differently, I am human and as such are allowed to make mistakes, the same way I am OK with other people making mistakes.

Thank you again KE for your post. Some of the words I read here recently was to hold our children in our minds with a feeling of pure love. When I do that, all the guilt feelings I have and the judgements I have against my son, disappears and it feels good and right.

I say thank you to my HP often for leading me to this forum with its very wise people.
Sunshine2 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Sunshine2 For This Useful Post:
Angelic17 (08-07-2010), Katyrose (08-07-2010), wicked (08-07-2010)
Old 08-07-2010, 11:52 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
Chino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In a good place
Posts: 4,482
Blog Entries: 3
I regret that I was so immature when I raised him.
I used to feel that way about my RAD, though I had no regrets about her older brother. As I've worked my way through recovery my thinking has shifted a little to "I wish I knew then what I know now, about codependent behavior."

I save my regrets for willful, deliberate actions; learn from them, forgive myself and move on with my new knowledge and acceptance.
Chino is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Chino For This Useful Post:
Angelic17 (08-07-2010), Katyrose (08-07-2010), Kindeyes (08-07-2010), wicked (08-07-2010)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:07 AM.