Guilt, Isolation and Embarrassment

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    • #112062

      Hello All. I am a parent to an 8 year old boy. It’s been a long journey with him. Since birth, I now know something was wrong (I have had two more boys since him). He was always “difficult”, cried a bunch and was not easy at all. There is a lot more history but I’ll get right to the point.

      I feel guilty as a mother. Guilt that I haven’t been able to treat him better. Guilt that I haven’t been a better support system for him. Guilt that I never understood enough. Guilt that I scream all the time because “he doesn’t listen”. Guilt that I don’t make more of an effort to be better and try more. I try but I know I can do more. I just feel guilty. I think, maybe if I bonded more with him as a child he would be different. or, If I was a different person, more calm and more collected then he would have came out different. I feel like I intensify some of his issues because of who I am.

      I feel isolated because I feel like other parents judge me. I am a tough cookie and always portray like I don’t care what people say but when it comes to my child it hurts inside. I put up this front like “F*** them” but the truth is I do want to do normal things like other parents. I want to go to birthday parties with my kids and throw birthday parties for him so he can feel special. I want to sit in the bleachers of his baseball games and see him having a good time. I want to see him perform on stage and experience life and enjoy the things kids are supposed to enjoy. But he cant do any of that and instead I find myself sitting far away from the other parents because its only a matter of time before my kids acts aggressively towards their kid or has a meltdown on the baseball field and has to be carried out or some shit happens and now I have to put face. I don’t know what to say in those moments. Do I say he has ADHD or just say sorry and stay away from them? I’ve chosen to just stay away because I don’t want to just go around and tell everyone that but we’re still learning how to deal with the public. Throughout the years, I’ve been able to get a handle with school. He has his IEP and there is an understanding there but now that he is in sports, its a whole new challenge.

      Anyhow, I am not sure what I was looking for writing here. Maybe to vent to a community who can understand me because I don’t come across that much. Or, maybe a few words of encouragement because sometimes we as parents of ADHD children just feel defeated. Maybe I just wanted to acknowledge my feelings and put it out there because I am feeling some kind of way internally and want to be better. Regardless of my purpose, thank you for having this sounding board to allow parents to express themselves, sometimes that’s all we need!

    • #112284

      Omg, I think we are the same person. I feel guilty and rotten much of the time, and it sucks. I love my son, but this journey is soooo hard. I’ve always felt like we’ve never quite bonded like I have with my other child, and I know it’s because of ADHD. My son was difficult from day 1, like he he wasn’t comfortable in his own skin, so going places and doing things is hard. Over time it has become isolating. I feel bad about what he’s missing out on. Hopefully he will figure it out eventually, but it can be very lonely.

    • #112318
      Penny Williams

      You have to accept and work through your emotions of grief, guilt, and anger that your child has ADHD. You can’t move past these feelings until you own them and work through them.

      ADHD is not your fault. Your child’s struggles are not your fault. Your child having a different journey though life is not your fault, and it’s totally acceptable. You are a great mom. You are online looking for ways to help your child. You’re doing the work to try to understand him and be the best parent you can be. You’re learning. When you know better you will do better.

      We have a crisis of conformity — we look down on those who don’t fit this one definition of a child, and that has to change. We need different perspectives and voices. We all have our struggles, your son’s just happens to be ADHD. He’s still a totally awesome kid. When you’re able to let go of traditional expectations and shift your mindset, life will improve for your entire family.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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