I wanted to write to let you know that when I put 'guilty' in the search box on the top right of the page, it came up with 45 pages of posts where 'guilty' was mentioned. For some reason the word 'guilt' was too common to warrant a search by the software.... I dearly hope that at the right time and in the right ways you find some insights that help this terribly difficult loss of John.
How did I cope? I don't think I did. It did help when someone was brave enough to say that I had given my son a wonderful childhood...such a simple notion disappeared the day he died. I could not see any light, so that comment carried so much weight - more than that person could have imagined. * I hear motherly love and concern in your words.
The 'bad mother' zone is so so so crappy. Really hard to live with. Every mum here knows it... and dad, and daughter and son and friend....all with different circumstances and all leading to guilt. For me, now, it mostly disappears or sits in the background. When I am tired or emotional, it pops up and my not-so-better self uses it to self-flagellate. These days I actually do this AND watch at the same time and KNOW it is happening. Like I said, crappy, but being both punisher and punished doesn't quite have a cancelling out effect for me, but it certainly weakens and shortens the time in the bad mother zone.
I can't and don't want to reason you out of this - it has helped me to share this problem with a counsellor - someone who will listen. It seems to me that in being heard, my mother's guilt did not get fixed but somehow began to find a way to be 'held' by the stronger me....the one who does not banish these feelings, but takes care of them if I am able. It's been hard, Johnsmom. No sense of achievement there, just utter relief that there are some moments of peace. I care not how those moments of peace come to me these days, but I do try to be fairly quiet within them.
Ok, I shared. I wonder if I stopped making sense a while back? Please take care. It IS a long journey. You sound such a loving mother.You are not alone on this journey.
If nothing else, give refuge to those in need.
Three things have helped me- the first like Hurt described - is knowing with absolute certainty that if I had known the pain Liam was in, I would have moved heaven and earth to save him. That does help for a while... And then I feel guilty about not having known. I was his mum- I should've known.
Second the difference between regret and guilt. Somehow classifying the feelings that I might label guilt as regret makes them more bearable.
Finally, my brain works in such a way that I can at times say to myself - it's done. You can't change it. These feelings are hurtful, damaging and a waste of time. Stop them. And sometimes it works.
And sometimes there is nothing that works, and we just have to feel the feelings to the depths of their awfulness.
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be.
Sending hugs and well wishes your way.