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Question
Posted by: Just me | 2010/10/16

i Cant forgive myself :-(

Hi.

Growing up i did not know my mother after 5,(because of metal health issues she was abusive and tried to kill me when i was a baby(i only discovered this later on)). As i got older i started asking everyone more and more about her(it was a taboo topic), ive always wanted to contact her, and about 18 months ago I finally got her details from a tracing comp i hired to find her. Shortly after i also found out just how bad she was to me and decided not to contact her. a friend still asked me how i would feel if she died and i never tried to see her, and i said i wish she dies, then at least i could move on. then she died, and they let me know, and they also told me that in later life she was a lot better, the treatment lately, is a lot better then it was 20 years ago, and she was sane, and i missed out on seeing her.

Im 25 now and shes been dead more then a year, but i still cant move on, even though my life is great and im really blessed, and im supposed to be happy, i regularly still have to fight the urge to kill myself. Especially when im happy i feel like this, sometimes i just cut myself(mostly i can control it, but sometimes i cant, the last time was esp bad), or i live recklessly and that seems to help, but i want this to stop, i just want be happy(im actually a upbeat person, this just gets me down).

Sometimes i dream about seeing her just once and hugging her, and hearing her say she loves me, and then i wake up, to reality.

How can forgive myself and move on?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Above all, forgive yourself for having sincerely tried to figure out the best thing to do. Whatever you decide in such situations, it's easy to later worry that the OTHER alternatives would have been better. Because they were not taken, you can never know whether or not they may have been better or possibly much worse, than what actually happened.
She could, presumably, have put similar time and energy into tracing you, and with the knowledge she had, it might have been easier for her to do so. It appears that she chose not to try. Maybe she worried that it would be unpleasant for you - maybe she felt guilty at what had happened in the past, and assumed that you would not want to see her. That's almost certainly unknowable now.
Surely one thing is clear, she would absolutely NOT want you to be basting yourself in guilt and regrets, or harming yourself, or thinking of suicide.
One hopes that she managed to forgive herself ( for in trying to harm an infant, she had something definite she once did, which understandably could lead to guilt and a need to feel forgiven. Had she felt a real need for you to confirm that you had forgiven her, she could have tried harder to find and contact you.
YOu seem to be feeling guilt almost as a reflex, - because you actually did absolutely NOTHING wrong. Your reactions and thoughts were normal, and well-intentioned, and your decisions sensible and justifiable.
The detailed work o forgiving yourself and movin on is something best dealt with in working with an experienced counsellor / psychotherapist.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
Our users say:
Posted by: two-stone | 2010/10/19

Well said " Me"  - perfect!

Reply to two-stone
Posted by: Me | 2010/10/19

I used to feel guilty for decisions I made (or did not make) in the past. Then somone explained to me that I dont need to feel guilty.

People make the best decisions they can every day with the information they have available at THAT time. If you have to make a decision NOW, you use the information that you know NOW and make the decision to the best you can.

If additional information becomes available later, it does not change the fact that you made the best decision that you could when you had to.

Maybe there was a specific reason why you did not have that information at that time. You will never know. As long as you are convinced that you made the best decision you could with the information you had at that time, then dont feel guilty. You could not have changed it.

Reply to Me
Posted by: two-stone | 2010/10/18

Oh I feel so sorry for you my sweetgirl as you are punishing yourself for something that is really NO FAULT of yours. Please forgive yourself as I am 100% convinced your Mom knows how you feel and that she had no thoughts of you " betraying"  her in any way before she died. You sound such a lovely person, and I am sure you inherited that side of you from your Mom. So how could she not be happy for you - even now. I don''t want to preach religion, but if you pray and send her a message, she will know how much you love her and miss her. Forgive yourself and start living the life you know she would wish on you.

Reply to two-stone
Posted by: Unique | 2010/10/18

there is nothing to forgive yourself for. You did nothing wrong! Seeing her may not have been a romantic seen from the movies - with hugs - and that. it may have been worse.

I understand it''s hard to reconcile issues when a parent who did unpleasant things have died. See a counsellor, you''ll be able to move on in time.

Reply to Unique
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/17

Above all, forgive yourself for having sincerely tried to figure out the best thing to do. Whatever you decide in such situations, it's easy to later worry that the OTHER alternatives would have been better. Because they were not taken, you can never know whether or not they may have been better or possibly much worse, than what actually happened.
She could, presumably, have put similar time and energy into tracing you, and with the knowledge she had, it might have been easier for her to do so. It appears that she chose not to try. Maybe she worried that it would be unpleasant for you - maybe she felt guilty at what had happened in the past, and assumed that you would not want to see her. That's almost certainly unknowable now.
Surely one thing is clear, she would absolutely NOT want you to be basting yourself in guilt and regrets, or harming yourself, or thinking of suicide.
One hopes that she managed to forgive herself ( for in trying to harm an infant, she had something definite she once did, which understandably could lead to guilt and a need to feel forgiven. Had she felt a real need for you to confirm that you had forgiven her, she could have tried harder to find and contact you.
YOu seem to be feeling guilt almost as a reflex, - because you actually did absolutely NOTHING wrong. Your reactions and thoughts were normal, and well-intentioned, and your decisions sensible and justifiable.
The detailed work o forgiving yourself and movin on is something best dealt with in working with an experienced counsellor / psychotherapist.

Reply to cybershrink

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