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