Guilt

I was wondering why there is no group for dealing with GUILT?
I have a guilt issue that I have been dealing with for 2.5 years. It still eats me up inside. Any suggestions?

Why don't you just share here?

xo, July

Oh, in all honesty, I don't know if I can! I feel like it is eating me alive and swallowing me whole! This blackness, like death, devouring me, but never finishing me off! The ache of such guilt, it weight bearing down at me and I constantly wonder if I made the right decision? With recent events that have happened I am not so sure I did anymore. I am constantly trying to convince myself I did the right thing. Some have since kept their distance - never understanding my reasoning. But that doesn't bother me as much as forgiving myself - I didn't try hard enough to fix it - constantly running through my mind. I don't know if it's safe to say here. I don't want to be judged like the people out here do.

Okay, so the only way to get over this I guess is to talk about it?
I have been carrying around some horrible guilt for over 2 years now about giving up my 3 Foster Kids.
They were angry at me and couldn't understand the circumstances.
I love them - they are still my kids as far as I'm concerned - but I did what I though was in their best interest. I was unable to care for them at the time and wanted them to have a better life than I could provide for them.
My cheeks are burning red with shame right now.

I UNDERSTAND BECAUSE I AM HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM.

It's funny, one of my dearest friends (whom I just met this year) and I were talking about it last night.

I hadn't talked to her about it before, but her initial statement was "Why would you not want your kids?"

I had to stop and take a breath and not flip out. I have learned not to have a knee-jerk reaction because it's not the first time someone has said this to me.

But for that first instance I felt like I was about 2 inches tall.

I had to remember she didn't know me then, or the situation. Calmly I explained the circumstances and my inability to properly care for them at the time.

I tried really hard to not be defensive, chose my words carefully and kept reminding myself "She's never been in that situation, she doesn't understand."

It was a good game plan because at the end of the conversation she said to me, "I'm sorry Jen. Sometimes I forget I'm not perfect. It must have broke your heart."

I feel like I reached a milestone last night.

Am glad your letting out the pain, its the only way to be able to learn & feel better so its not repeated ever again. Do you still have contact w/them even though they dont understand what was going on in the past & feel resentment, scared (understandably so) kids have no control over their environment & need reassurance to help guide them in life not NO CONTACT, then THEY cant learn from it & helpless & they might become depressed, angry, addicts etc... & start acting out in school or directing it at others in years to come. Even if your feeling guilty, contact them if your allowed & working w/ them & their feelings over a period of time can only lead all of you to a good outcome even if THEY need/want to chew you out, help them trought it.

April

Unfortunately, my ex will not allow me to have any contact with them anymore.

Sometimes it helps to have simply release emotions and sometimes it does not, you feel shame, embarrasment etc. You mentioned rosey cheeks talking about this, well i laugh whenever i talk about my parents getting divorced and my dad living on a 34 foot boat. Sure it could come up in a comedic way but there is so much more emotion then that you know?
When you think of it as why did this happen what type of person does this make me, your getting emotional about the way you look at yourself and although its hard to do it is really important that you don't let this define you. You are who you are and that is not a bad person. you did what was best at the time. Life is VERY hard for some. But if you can say hey this happened and learn from the EVENT not by learning "I must be this type of person" you can hopefully understand better and have less termoil. Ultimately, when the kids grow older and learn themselves to forgive you, you may even take another step and become one of those supercharged humans who ride on positive energy! good luck and thanks for posting

Hey Beautiful,
I've been away from my computer but thanks for sharing, can't be easy. First of all, there's no judgment here, so please feel safe to share whatever is on your mind. There's no question you love your kids. If you've put this much time and energy into making the right decision, then you should stop making yourself feel so horrible about it. If you are unable to provide or care for them to the best of your ability, I would hope you'd try and find a better situation for them. I can't imagine the emotions you must be going through, and have been going through. It's a tough decision that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. But you had your reasons and they were in the best interest of your children. We never know what the future holds, so for now all you can do it try and improve your situation. Please let me know how you're doing. I wish you all the best.

xo, July

Hey July!
Thank you so much for understanding! Every little bit of positive reinforcement brings me a little closer to less guilt.
You know, it’s like when friends and I were talking the other night.
Right away she hit me with a knee-jerk “Why wouldn’t you want your kids?”

I had to take a breath. A few actually.

Had I been in the room with her, I’d have probably laid her out on the floor.

And I said to her, “If I didn’t want my kids, do you think I would feel guilty about not having them?”

Dead silence…

Akward. But it finally registered with her.

Hey BD,
It is natural for you to feel guilt about that. But remember I am sure that that was one of the most unselfish acts you could have done at the time. You put your children's needs ahead of your own and that is a brave move...so pat yourself on the back for that. I am sure as they grow older they will understand better. You just need to forgive yourself now hun.

I also suffer from a tremendous amount of guilt, as you said earlier it does feel like a weight. However, my guilt is odd, because there is no reasoning for it. I am always scared I've offended someone. If I see someone in pain or hurting all I want to do is stop the pain or say something to try and stop it.

My therapist thinks that may have sprung from early childhood, when my mam suffered from depression, I didn't know what that was, so when she would cry, I would run to her and say I'm sorry I won't be bold don't cry...so in a way I've been kind of conditioned to think when someone is upset that it's my fault. Thankfully my mother is much better now, and I realise I was just being neive child, but that feeling of guilt never has left me for some reason.

If I talk to someone who is hurting I really get affected by it and absorb their pain much to my own detrement. Don't get me wrong I love helping people, but I am realising that I have to set up boundaries between the takers and the two way street people.

Sweetie try not to feel that guilt and realise what you did was a good thing.
Keep sharing your story hun.
Love to you
Moongal x

Oh Moon!
I am the same way too! Getting absorbed and feeling you did something wrong!
I drive my boyfriend crazy cause I’m always asking him when I know he’s just not having a good day “Did I do something wrong?”
It’s sickning isn’t it?
“Did I do something to upset you?”
“Are you upset with me?”
“I’m sorry for whatever I did.”
It’s good you are setting boundries!

And thank you for being so understanding of the situation with my foster kids.
You and July know exactly what my intentions were and the reasoning behind my actions.
I wish more people could understand that clearly.
I know in my head and in my heart I did what was right - I just still have not convinced conscience.
Thank you!

Hey BD,
Ya it is tough living like this. And trying to say look you did nothing wrong here, whatever is going on is their issue not mine. I am willing to help, not absorb the tension.
Maybe you should try it too, just to try and take that weight off yourself. You are not being unkind to the other person, you are just being kinder to yourself.

Yes sweetie I understand. And I can also imagine how difficult it was for you to do that. But you have to start to forgive yourself for it, and acknowledge you did the right thing.

Love to you hun
Moongal x

Thank you! All of you for your understanding! I knew I did the right thing I just never felt as if I did. And as far as my contact with them? They live out of state, their father wants nothing to do with me and wants me to have nothing to do with them.
Again, doing what I think is best, I have stepped out of the picture completely. For their sake.
Out of sight out of mind.
Their dad and I are better off this way and not dragging the kids through our drama at the same time.
He's always been good to them.
And so that is my story. I hope some day when they are older I will get an opportunity to be in their lives again. If not that is okay too as long as they are doing well. That's all a mother can hope for - even a foster mom.

I have a very vague memory of my father. My mother and father split when I was very young. Since the split, he disappeared and I never heard from him again. I’m sure he had his reasons, but it was hard for me and my sister not to personalize it. Children don’t understand things. It hasn’t really affected me in my daily life, but it has certainly shaped me into who I am today. I was missing a crucial role model growing up. I’m just saying, as a little girl who grew up without a father, I don’t have any interest in forming any sort of relationship now that I am an adult. Perhaps consider that? I am certainly not here to judge, just giving you something to consider. Again, sorry about the gender mishap. I reread all your posts and really don’t know why I did that!

xo, July

Yes July, I understand how it can be difficult to grow up in a situation where there is a parental figure missing. I'm very sorry that you had to deal with that, I'm sure that was hard to understand as a child. I hope you are coping with those issues better through adulthood.

I wonder beauty would the father allow you to let them know that you are available to talk to them if they need you. And they could write you letters and you could write them, if you would like that?

I understand also this could make the situation more difficult for you and they are his biological children, so whatever you decide I'm sure will be in their best interest.

Love to ye
Moongal x