All parents do it (come on admit it you do). If I had only listened when he said he didn't feel good instead of him dragging to that family party, he wouldn't have puked all over Aunt Petunia. If I had done A instead of B than C wouldn't have happened. I should have done this instead of that, blah, blah, blah, blame, blame, blame, SHAME.
It is because we are VERY aware of the importance of our role in our child's life. We who are entrusted with these precious little lives full of limitless potential, dependent on us to mold and guide. We are the potters, knitters, weavers of the most impressive piece of art we will ever create, a human being. A person who will in turn shape and create other works of art one day. That is the definition of a BFD!!! (For all of you who like to keep it clean just translate that to Big Furry Deal.)
It can take on a nasty tone, a destructive, anxious, shaming tone if you let it. And who hasn't let it get out of hand a time or two, blaming yourself for everything that has gone wrong for or with your child? I will be the first to stand up and admit I have painted myself with a scarlet B for Bad. As in I am a BAD PARENT!
Okay, to be honest, I often have called myself worthless, stupid, crappy, shitty and a lot of other unflattering adjectives too. When my son got kicked out of his first preschool for his behaviors.And again when he got kicked out of his private school kindergarten (where they LOVE to take your money but apparently it wasn't enough moolah to deal with my RAD kid). The time he told the cops that his then daycare provider was beating the kids with a spoon (despite no evidence of this having ever happened). Not only was he kicked out of there but the woman decided I was trying to persecute her and a year later when I had to help her at my job she tried getting me in trouble by claiming I was "out to get her". When I have bought (and wasted money on) thousands of dollars of toys, clothes, and other belongings that he's destroyed for no reason. When I have heard lie after lie, about anything and everything. Such as the time he got mad and ran away but told the cop who picked him up that he had only went exploring and got lost. I knew it was a complete bald-faced lie but the cop bought it hook, line and sinker. He comes home riding in the front seat of the cop car and got a high five from the officer before he went inside. The high five was AFTER the nice police man APOLOGIZED to him for not having a sticker or such to give him. Of course we were new to the area and the police soon learned better.
I, like every parent I know, have spent years teaching my son morals, manners and right from wrong. People compliment him all the time on his intelligence, vocabulary, and etiquette. But despite this he would rip holes in walls, kick those trying to help him, disrupt all his classes, steal whatever he could get his hands on (including his baby brother's medicine) and lie 98% of the time. Since about the age of two and half we have NEVER received back our deposit on any of the places we've lived due to his destructive ways.
You start to question every choice you've ever made regarding your child. Trying to find the cause, the reason your child is this way. But the center of it all is YOU. Did I not eat enough good food while I was pregnant? Did I make the wrong choice moving back home to be closer to family when he was nine months? Could he have done better if I had taken a different path? What choice did I have? What did I miss?
I thought by having a name for this, something that we could identify as the "problem" would lessen the burden. My child is the way he is because he has RAD. Instead it compounded the blame and shame I have heaped upon myself. After all everything you read will tell you RAD is usually diagnosed in adopted children who's biological parents used drugs, were inattentive, etc. I was flummoxed by all that I read that says your child was broke by his biological family and now you the adoptive family need to help them. I AM my son's biological mother, I didn't (and don't) use drugs and my entire life has revolved around him since the day I found out I was pregnant.
It took me all summer to finally realize that I couldn't blame myself for my son's disability. But it also took the help of my Teddy Bear Man for me to understand this truth. As he told me I could no more be blamed for our son's disability than if he developed cancer or some other serious illness. Our son is the way he is due to a combination of factors, most of which were out of my control. I did the best I could for him from the day the pregnancy test showed positive. Yes we lived through a lot his first few years of life and it crippled him emotionally in a way that most children and parents don't have to face. But that is because he internalized things in an unhealthy abnormal way. He didn't adapt as other children can and do. Our job now isn't to play the blame/shame game. It is to help our son learn to adapt in an emotionally healthy ways and grow. Sometimes, despite the dumb redneck he claims to be, Teddy Bear Man can be awfully sage.
So my question dear readers is anyone willing to admit what has them playing the Blame Game? How do you handle it? Or if you were able to stop playing that game, how did you finally kick the habit?