A mother's guilt.........

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kaiasmom, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. kaiasmom

    kaiasmom New Member

    My 8 year old daughter has been having some emotional & physical issues lately. It seems that either her leg or stomach hurts all the time & she almost seems depressed. Part of the problem is that my fiance's 7 year old son has ADHD, and is very taxing on us. Not to mention the full time job that drains me of all engergy. I think her "pains" may be just a cry for attention, at least I hope so. I remember having growing pains as a kid, but not nearly as frequently as she is lately.

    Last night she was having a tough one, so I took her into my room for a private talk. I asked her what was wrong & she said she misses me. I'm almost in tears typing that.

    She worries about me so much. She told me that when I'm running late picking them up after work she thinks something happened to me. She also worries about my health, for obvious reasons. I have explained to her about fibro as much as I can, so she won't worry about it killing me or anything. I just don't know what to do.

    I will be taking her to see her dr about the pains, and feelings she has been having. Hopefully we will be able to work through this......I hate seeing her this way. She cried herself to sleep last night. She said she misses her friend that moved away last year - her friend that "never left her alone." She is so sensitive & delicate & I try so hard to be there for her. I guess the problem is that I can't even be there for myself. Dr. Phil always says you can't give what you don't have......I just don't feel like I have anything to give. Guess I better find something.

    Sorry for the long vent....I am just so torn over this & feel like the worst mom ever. How could my child that I live with miss me?? So sad - she means the world to me & I know I need to do more to show her that....just have to make some one on one time for us I guess.

    At least I know that I won't be judged here.

    Leanne
    [This Message was Edited on 12/29/2005]
  2. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member


    Hi, your resident prof. counselor here! Children will often express their feelings as reflections of what we are feeling-if you hurt all over, your daughter, although maybe not hurting all over (but check that out too) may be expressing change in her life by using some of the same expressions that you use.

    Does her school have a good counselor? I stress good as some have dreadful ones. This may be the route to go, as they may be able to explain your own pain and pressure to her.

    Did you know that in the USA the average parent spends less than 15 mins a day communicating with their child? I say this, as you may be just being too hard on yourself as it is my bet you spend a lot more time than that.

    Mom/child play dates: What may help is to plan a calendar so that you have a short time, and I mean short-so you do not get over tired, as a play date time ONLY(phones off etc.) This may help you schedule a time when you can say, "I know you can look forward to Wednesday at 7.00pm when we are going to make bead necklaces or whatever....

    Was it your es that made you riddled with guilt? You really seem willing to take the blame and you do seem to be doing really well keeping up with a job and family etc despite all your pain. As I said before, you really should be congratulating yourself for doing so WELL.

    Also it may be worth talking with the teacher and see how your child is at school as you may get a different take. Re worry about you being late, set a time target, only worry a bit if I am 20 mins late, if I am 40 mins late, contact..... or what suits you to say. This will give your child a target worry time period.

    Finally, a worry box may help. You can write a one sentence worry and drop it in the box every day, one worry a day. At the end of the week read the worries and see if they seem as bad seven days later.

    Hugs and try not to be so hard on yourself. Cromwell
  3. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    my daughter is 11 and she has raised herself and taken care of me to boot. it isn't fair to her, but hopefully she is learning life lessons without too many scars.

    One thing, don't dispute your daughter's owies. Having FMS, you know what it is like to have people not believe you when you say something hurts. Your daughter could be having medical difficulties.

    The other thing i would say is that many of us are finely wired--we are more sensitive emotionally and responsive to physical stimuli. It seems that some aspects of FMS are inherited. Your daughter could be very sensitive or she could be having health problems.

    I have had the same problem with my daughter. It seems that oftentimes docs wanted to treat her as having psychological problems, but I don't agree. Recently she was having upset tummies and had dark circles under her eyes, itchy feet, and caught everything going around. The doctor treated her by recommending probiotics and a capristatin tablet per day. That cleared up the problem--it was a yeast problem.

    You may feel guilty as I do over not being able to do everythign with your kids that some get to. But it sounds like you are very in tune with your daughter and are listening to her and spending quiet moments with her. These are invaluable. You are doing a great job. Give yourself a break. Boy, I make it sound like i know something--wrong--just struggling along with you. Jen102
  4. Jana1

    Jana1 New Member

    How long have you been divorced? Does your fiance and his son live with you? Maybe your daughter feels like she should be first in your life, and not have your attention split up yet. Sounds like you have to hold down a full time job as well.

    You do need to take care of yourself as your number one priority so you can be there for her. Sounds to me like you have too many things besides her pulling at you for time and attention.

    I bet you do love her the most in all of this! Jana
  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Cromwell is right - children will often complain of physical ailments when something else is bothering them, I think mainly because they don’t know themselves how to explain what is wrong.

    Is this new behavior for your daughter? If so, has anything major changed lately (e.g., such as living with your fiancé, or just getting engaged, or being around the ADHD son that takes so much energy)

    A child who has ADHD can be extremely disruptive. My grandson has ADHD and he could manage to ruin almost any family gathering. Are you living with your fiancé and his son? Is this a new situation? You mention picking “them” up – does this mean the fiance’s son as well as your daughter?

    There is a possibility your daughter may have real physical problems causing her pains, and it’s good you’re getting them checked out, but I think given your engagement and the ADHD son and your statement that you don’t have enough inside of you to have some left over to give to your daughter, that there is a very good chance her symptoms are related to external events in her life.

    I think you need to examine why you don’t have enough inside to give to your daughter. Is it because you’re working full-time, or the fibro, or other things?

    I feel uneasy playing shrink here. There are so many things I don’t know and I hate the possibility of making assumptions that aren’t true.

    But I do think it is very important to take your daughter seriously, get her checked out medically, and examine the things in her and your lives which could be contributing to her unhappiness. You’ve mentioned a few of them in your post.

    I would be very careful with the doctor – many of them medicate children and I think it would be a very bad thing to let the doctor give her an anti-depressant.

    A good counselor might help you sort this all out, much better than someone like me trying to give you advice from a distance with only a small piece of the picture.

    Mary
  6. kylesmom

    kylesmom New Member

    Is it a possibility at all for you to drop to part-time at work? We had to make a lot of sacrifices (that's an understatement), but I couldn't be a parent, battle CFS, and work full-time. If not, then do as you've said and make as many special times with her as you can. You've said she's a sensitive child, and the upcoming years get more difficult. Vent away. Many of us really do know exactly how you feel.
  7. kaiasmom

    kaiasmom New Member

    for your replies. To answer a few questions, yes we all live together. We all moved in together in August of 2004 and I was daignosed with Fibro in March of 2005. It has been a long, rocky road to this point. Fortunately though, my fiance is wonderful. With me and the kids. Well, when it's time to play with the kids anyways!!

    I feel like I need to clarify something. I think donnaeil took something from one of the replies & applied it to me. I would never blame my daughter for my guilt, nor would I think she is using it as a weapon against me. I haven't in so many words even expressed the guilt I feel to her. She is a sweet sensitive little girl and I can't imagine her doing that. I suppose anything is possible, but it is not a huge concern at the moment.

    I do wish I could work part time. Unfortunately, we would have to sacrafice our tiny apartment, food and a car for me to work any less than I do. I make a lot more money than Steve does, so it's just not an option at this point. I know that it would help a lot. Hopefully someday.

    We are getting help for poor Cody, my soon to be step-son. I know that part of Kaia's issues are because of him. She can see the strain he puts on me. We have found a program, for kids like him, with counseling & medication consults. I am very hopeful that we will be able to make some progress with Cody. I think the ADHD is the least of his problems. His bioligical mom has caused so much turmoil in his life. He has a lot of emotional issues because of her neglect & abandonment. He is happy to accept me in his life as a mother figure though, and we have a good relationship. He and Kaia are also both very glad to have a playmate, as they were both only children before. And they do love each other. Cody is very protective & has gotten in trouble already for defending Kaia when he didn't really need to.

    I obviously know what it is like to have my pain downplayed & try not to do that to Kaia. I do feel that she probably is expressing other issues by saying she hurts, but would never dismiss her complaints. It has been a hard adjustment for us all, Kaia included. I know it seems to her that I am not available like I used to be, and that doesn't feel as good to her. The fibro is more of a problem than anything though. I am just exhausted all the time, and it is hard to find the energy to do much of anything. I am hopeful that things will quiet down, now that Christmas is over...oh yeah, we're getting married in April. So much for things slowing down! The good thing is that we are flying to North Carolina (From CA) to get married at Steve's Dad's house, with all of his family. So, other than invitations, all I have to do is show up with my dress. Can't beat that!

    Well, this has gotten awfully long now too.....well, thank you all again for your advice & support.

    Leanne
  8. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    I have a now 9 yr old daughter who was misdiagnosed with ADHD at the age of 3-and at 5 with childhood depression. Years of counseling and a short time on meds (she had bad reactions) --I've learned a LOT. Over the 6+ years we've switched therapist 3 times, until we found one we were all comfortable with.

    The thing is (in my experience) is that it is very difficult to counsel a child- whatever their issues are-they still feel the same emotions as adults do, but aren't always able to articulate what they are feeling, so sometimes they tell you what they think they should and not what they really mean to. Or they tell you what they think will get the reaction they are seeking.

    Although she spent a lot of time talking to my daughter, the counseling was more beneficial to me, my ex-husband, his new wife and her two children. She even suggested home based therapy which, suprisingly, was covered by my ins.

    This was a God send... the home based therapist team came into our homes and casualy observed Carly interact with her new step brother and step sister and my younger daughter. Because she was comfortable in her own home she acted more like herself and the therpists really got to the core of her problems.. they were problems that sound like what you are experiencing.

    Much like my daughter, your daughter is old enough to remember when you were healthy and active- she has endured almost the same life changes you have. Added to the internal conflict of a divorce you have a receipe for some serious psychological affects.

    Again, in my opinion, and I only say this because it has helped me and my daughterS- is the truth. I have never hidden my illness or my guilt feelings from my daughter, I let her see me cry(age appropriate)-I let her know that I'm frustrated becuase my body broke down on me like an old car. I TELL her every day I wish I could ride my bike with her, or walk the dog or play basketball. TOGETHER we have found ways to compensate what we can't do with things we can do. And YES, I still have guilty feelings-becuase I like you, work full time and I also have a younger child and this stupid FMS...which doesn't leave me with a whole lot of energy to even "think up" things we can do- sometimes it's a cup of hot chocolate and a bag of mini marshmallows, but she takes it.

    Now, this didn't happen overnight and as I stated before it took quite a bit of looking around and meeting with counselers before we brought Carly in. But I think the key was the home based therapy- it really opened up doors for communication and for her to understand that it's okay to feel crappy about what's happening. It helped me understand that I have an obligation to give Carly the tools to be able to deal with less than ideal situations in her life, not just shield her from them.

    I do wish you and your blended family well-

    Sharon

  9. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    i first got ill with fm at 8/9 years of age and its steadily grown in intensity.

    as for her emotional state try to scratch a bit more beneath the surface and listne carefully to what she has to say
  10. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    Could you read to her? At 8, kids still love that, and it would be easier for you than other things. Maybe she would feel some better with that special "Mom" time that she misses...best wishes for a Happy New Year!
  11. gidgetsmom

    gidgetsmom New Member

    You sound like a wonderful caring mother to me!! My boys were 11 and 4 when their dad and I split. I think they worried about me as much as I did about them!! Please try Cromwells suggestions about the play dates and worry limits. Even if it's just 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted time for the two of you, I swear it works!!! The worry limits will ease her mind tremendously! The worry box is even funny because after a week, what you were worrying about is usually silly and good laughing material. BUT if it turns out the worry was a valid one, it will give you an opening for discussion!! Please keep in touch and let us know how it goes!!!
    P.S. Is there a way your daughter could by phone or mail stay in touch with her friend??
  12. kaiasmom

    kaiasmom New Member

    We had some alone time last night, Kaia & I went out to dinner & just ran a couple of errands, but we did enjoy each other's company, and had a talk about me making more time for her - just her - and me. I have to say, nothing is more valuable to me than my time. There just isn't enough. But she knows that, and making an effort was a step in the right direction. Now I just have to keep it up!

    I really do appreciate all of you reassuring me that I am a good mom. I really do try my best, and I think even Kaia knows that.

    She got a watch for Christmas, so I will talk to her about the time I will be there to pick her up at night so she doesn't worry. If she ever expressed a worry to our daycare provider she would call me in an instant so Kaia could talk to me. So, she must just worry inside. She is very good, almost too good, at not being a problem or burden on anyone. She probably wouldn't want to bother anyone with her concerns!! Guess that's something else we can talk about & try to change. An 8 year old does not need to feel a burden to her mom, or anyone else! We are here to take care of her!

    Well, both of the kids will be gone this weekend. Kaia at her dad's and Cody at his grandma's so I can finally try to recouperate from the holiday season. I have been so exhausted this week....probably more than ever!! I'm sure everyone else feels the same way. I know I'm lucky to get such a break too. It is nice to be able to re-group, and spend some time alone with my fiance. With the two kids, time alone is hard to come by!! Once again, all of you mothers know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Kinda funny, last night when we went to bed, I rolled over and said to Steve "We're sad. It's a good thing you're tired a lot too, or you would be pretty disappointed in the bedroom!!! Gotta have energy for fun too!!

    Ok, well everyone have a wonderful weekend!

    Leanne