Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt is real. It’s powerful and it can crumble the strongest of women.

It is painful, shaming, blaming, isolating, gut wrenching and all together time consuming.

If you let it, IT WILL DESTROY YOU.

How do I know this?  Because it almost happened to me.

The guilt I felt had such a strong hold that I was numb.

For the first time in my life I felt nothing, I heard nothing, saw nothing and was NOT okay.

My family was afraid to leave me alone and in all honest, they should have been.

In my random thinking mind it was scary. The thoughts consumed me, took over me and almost destroy my self-worth.

I felt alone

I felt isolated and locked in a deep darkness that I had never felt before. No mattered how hard I looked, scoured the Internet, researched for books, articles, ANYTHING, ANYONE…I  found nothing.

I found no one to relate to who had ever felt this way.

The were no resources for someone putting their child in a temporary placement facility.

No one talked about this.

There are no great books, blogs or even a damn website for this subject…I felt even more alone.

No knew what I was feeling, not even my family members.  No one could relate to my pain, the horrible thoughts in my mind, the pain in my heart and worst of all the Mommy Guilt that was stealing my life.

I didn’t have to worry about others passing judgement because I was the hardest critic on myself.

Failure, worthless, undeserving, horrible, shame, deep regret, disgust and unbelievable grief.

These were the thoughts no one knew about me.

What did I do wrong?

Was it something I ate when I was pregnant?

I must have done something wrong during my pregnancy.

Did I not do enough during his early invention/ABA?

Certainly I just didn’t try hard enough?

I felt that I had failed.  I could no longer take care of my child.  I couldn’t help him!

For the past year he was my life, my focus,and  my priority.  I had done everything I knew how, including a very intense treatment plan.

All the professional in my life told it was time.

The time had come where I could no longer keep everyone safe in my home…I had failed.

Yep, I WAS A FAILURE! (Note: This came after his second inpatient stay at a temporary placement PMIC facility, in Iowa.)

Judgement

I remember once placing judgement. How could a mother do this?

How could a mother possibly give up on her child?

Why would you ever quit?

What could ever be that bad that a mother would make this decision?

I could never do that.

That day came

We’ve arrived at this day. A day that I’ve been trying to avoid for months.

How did I fail after all I’d done?

How did we end up here?

One day my daughter looked at me crying. It came after days of violent outbursts and intense aggression towards all of us and destroying everything in his path.

While cleaning up one of his many mess of the day she stopped me and said…

“I know that you are trying as hard as you can to keep our family together, keep Urijah home and pretend that everything is OK.  I know you think if you take most of his beatings you are protecting the rest of us…But if we lose you, we lose EVERYTHING!  We cannot afford to lose you.  Quentin and I will be lost without you.”

It was at that moment that my autopilot stopped for the first time in days. 

I hadn’t slept more than a few hours in the past fours day, my eyes permanently wore dark circles and I was weighing 103 pounds.

I hadn’t even thought what this was doing to my other two children.  I was just trying to keep Urijah home and everyone else safe.

I didn’t care about me.

I was last person I was worried about.

I left my daughter and cried for the first time in months.  Reality hit me.

This isn’t life, this isn’t fair to anyone.

Yesterday, my other son was bit so hard that it broke his skin.  What if something worse happens to him or his sister, something so bad that I couldn’t fix it or reverse what was done?

How could I live with myself?

I would never be able to forgive myself.

How does a mother come to a realization like this?  How does a mother ever make this decision?

You have to give everyone a chance.

I realized it’s not giving up, it’s giving them a chance.

It’s giving them a life that they may never have had if they were kept in the home, if things were kept the same.

Its giving your other children a chance to live as well, a chance to heal, a chance to feel safe.  I didn’t realize how scared Quentin was and how much it was affecting him until Urijah was no longer in the home.

It’s finally admitting that you do not have super mom powers and that you too need help. It coming to terms that this is not living, but rather the quite opposite.

Everyday your surviving, trying not to die but in reality you were already dead inside.

You’re just existing in a shell of yourself.

It’s doing the most selfless thing possible to give your whole family unit a chance.  But at first it is going to hurt like hell and if you are not careful that Mommy Guilt will try to destroy you.

It’s believing in hope for your children and a bright future in-spite of what is happening right now.

We cannot predict the future based on situation we are currently living in.  We have to have hope…and believe that everyone can change.

We have to believe in ourselves, the decisions we make, and most importantly our instincts as mothers.

Deep down we know what is best for children.

We might get lost sometimes, we might lose sight, we might hide in the darkness but we will find our way.

And as far as Mommy Guilt goes, well it can suck it!  Because we all know we are trying the best we can, with best tools we are given for the current situation.

We didn’t choose to live this way or create this life. This life, this insane, unpredictable life, well that was chosen for us.

It is with forgiveness to ourselves for the times we feel we have failed or not been good enough and grace from others or those who like to judge us that Mommy Guilt loses its power. And without it’s power Mommy Guilt has nothin’ on us mommas!

Rise up!

I challenge you to ask forgiveness, forgive yourself. Offer grace, stop the judgements and RISE UP!

Let’s take care of each other, support each other and make a difference. People need people and in our already isolating world we need each other more than we realize.

Start connecting, start reaching out, share your stories and listen to each other.

Start removing barriers, encourage and lift each other up.

Stomp out Mommy Guilt.

A pissed off mom gets shit done. A group of pissed off moms…they change the world!

Written by, Christina Maulsby

From the author: My name is Christina Maulsby. After the past year of two failed inpatients and one intensive outpatient my son is in an Institute intensive inpatient unit in Baltimore. He was having approximately 400 self injurious behaviors a day and 25-30 aggressions towards others daily. He has been in Baltimore since September. He lives in Iowa. It’s been an overwhelming experience, filled with both gratitude and deep sadness. Writing is the only way I have found to cope with all the feelings I am experiencing.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • Maureen

    December 15, 2018 at 1:47 am
    Reply

    Christina, thank you. You bared your soul, told your truth. I think you are very brave. I wish you and your family, ALL, of them, PEACE.💕

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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