Parental Guilt & Shame
I retired last June from a very busy job (providing support and assistance to individuals with acquired brain injury) where I had a lot of responsibility & my self-identity was closely tied to my work.
Although I have tried to do things to keep busy, I have found myself with time to “think” about my adult children’s issues (son has some issues with anxiety/depression).
I had thought I had done a pretty good job of parenting my children; however, after reading articles/self-help books (most attribute children’s issues with anxiety and self-esteem to early parenting experiences).
I find myself mired in self-blame as well as blame towards my husband. When I apologized to my son, he stated that it was not my or my husband’s fault—stated that it was due to bullying when he was in middle/high school—stated that we were great parents. Of course, now I blame myself for not doing more re the bullying—although my son reassured me that I tried to get him to talk about it and he wouldn’t.
As you can see, I am mired in a cycle of self-blame, which I am having difficulty getting past. I have been trying meditation and will be going to counselling. Still bombarded by thoughts and memories of situations that I feel I handled badly, which is leading me down the road of depression.
Would appreciate any thoughts/suggestions.