From my journal: Is it possible for a mother not to feel guilt, shame, and intense hurt? Maybe for some, but I’m not there. I doubt if I ever will be. For me, I think I will wear this like a skin. Maybe I’ll forget I have it on sometimes, but it will be forever part of my being – my eyes, my smile, my thoughts – like a breath that catches me short or my heart when it misses a beat. That’s it. My son is my heart murmur. I have allowed his aches and traumas to damage my heart and it is beyond repair.
Reflection: I washed myself in guilt for a long time. I beat myself up with questions: “How did I miss the clues of his drug use?” “Where was I?” Every part of every day, I reminded myself of all the mistakes that happened in his young life.
The intense hurt was real, but I learned that I had to let it go. I needed to give my pain to God. I needed to start to take care of myself so I could take care of my family. The guilt and self-bashing kept me stuck in a place of immobility.
Today’s Promise: I will let go of guilt. It doesn’t help anyone – not me, not my son and not my family. I will quit blaming myself. I will forgive him; I will forgive myself.186
Thanks for this blog. I have learned so much from your book. Your blog will be a “priceless” addition to your story.
For me, letting go of guilt is key to my personal recovery. Guilt kept me in denial and I gave away my life to the disease. It was if the thief knocked on my door and I welcomed “it” to take whatever it wanted.
I was defenseless.
My dear Libby,
You are my friend Luciana’s friend and therefore my friend. As a vecchia Vincenziana, I have had to do, marginally, with the Centro di Solidarietà di Bianca Costa a Fassolo in Genova. I will remember you in my daily prayers – for strength and patience.
Un abbraccio, Carol
Dear sweet Libby,
I can’t thank you enough for having the courage to write your book that has also become my story as well as countless other people’s stories. My son is doing well. He is 4 months clean. I still take one day at a time because you never know when the tides will turn. I’m praying they don’t.
Best to you and your beautiful family.
I know alot about shame and embarassment and intense hurt! I still feel so ashamed when other parents are talking about their kids accomplishments and then the conversation turns to what my son is doing now. He’s had no job for a year now and my heart aches. He has been looking off and on but can’t seem to get hired. I keep hoping and praying that someone will hire him and then he will get the self confidence he so desperately needs to fight his anxiety issues and then be able to start a life. I think it’s a double edged sword because he says he has anxiety and then if he’s not on medication for it he wants to turn to other drugs. He seems to stay away from the drugs for periods of time and then will slip up. We all know that’s a part of recovery but I just want it to end.
Will it ever end? I have no hope left. I am struggling to let go. His very presence makes my heart ache and my stomach turn. Can’t eat, can’t sleep but know I have to find a way to go on. I am not sure if it’s guilt I feel. Right now I am so full of anger.My love for my son is being taken over by it,and every day I am growing more distant from him. I fear I will lose my son.