Christine — The hardest part of this journey is the guilt, the shame and the questioning. We feel certain that we did something wrong and can’t imagine how we could have gotten so far off the mark. The self-recrimination can be crippling. Let me say this: No one gets instructions, even the ones who look like they are doing everything right (they’re not, nobody is). There are so many factors involved — the influence of another parent or adult, the personality and needs of the child, our attempts as mothers to do everything right, which many times backfires on us. And, truth be known, some things are beyond our control, as much as we like to think we can determine an outcome.
Please be gentle with yourself. The single most helpful thing for me was learning to stop telling myself it shouldn’t be this way. And to stop blaming myself for being a miserable failure. We can never predict what difficulties will come our way, but for sure we will all experience some. You and I drew the short straw. But we can go on living and learn to be happy again. Of this I am certain.
I wish for you that your son comes back quickly. Please know that I see your pain. Sending hugs. ♥