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feel guilty

(2 Posts)
Ishwari Fri 26-Aug-11 01:56:16

For the last three years I have suffered complex post traumatic stress disorder. I have been in a psychiatric hospital for 4 and half months in 2009 and 4 months in 2010. I feel I have damaged my four boys with the stress, trauma and worry I have put them through, and because I have not been really there for them in the last few years due to being unwell. We were very close but I feel that things are not quite the same now. I understand why, but it is difficult to explain that what I did was not because I did not love them but because of my illness. I am really having to work hard at trying to rebuild their trust and love for me. It is not easy. Even my relatives and some friends cannot understand how I could do this to my children. Sometimes I feel that no-one really understands that I tried so hard, I couldn't help my behaviour. They only see that on the outside I appear normal, mental illness is not always recognised, accepted or treated with the support that one would receive if you suffered from another condition. I feel I have such a long way to go, and very isolated and alone sometimes.

joruth Fri 26-Aug-11 13:28:01

Dear Ishwari, people judge so harshly...it sounds to me that you did the best that you could whilst you were in a terrible place emotionally. It is true that your children will be affected by their experience, we all are affected by those we love. but you do love them and you have done your best.

If you can keep talking with them and make sure that the mental health issues that you have been (?are) dealing with are things that you explain and they can ask about then that will help. You do not say how old your boys are but just be aware that some children feel responsible for their parent's mental health and may blame themselves for your illness ( didn't love you enough, upset you with demands) and may have held on to insignificant exchanges and feel guilt...try to reassure them that there was nothing they did that made you unwell. You don't say whether the boys went thru' the trauma with you....All the effort you make is worth it, don't be shy about asking for help with family counselling if you need it.

I wish you every blessing and hope that your PTSD symptoms are manageable and behind you. For those who don't understand there is little you can do but forgive them in so far as you can. Not everyone has the capacity to walk in another man or woman's shoes and that is their problem...not yours.

Draw comfort from those who love and cherish you...I hope there are many....and take pleasure in every day that you can.

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