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Forgiving Ourselves

Forgiving Ourselves


Forgiving Ourselves

My son has often been abusive towards me and most of the time I am able to practice mindfulness and stay calm and focused. But occasionally I have retaliated and now my son has set me up and videoed me showing it to his counsellor who has now reported this to authorities.


I feel devastated because taken out of context this would appear that I am an abusive parent. I regret what I did and did not use excessive force but feel as though my son has manipulated the incident to make him feel good and me the baddie. Its interesting that teens can attack their parents but if the roles are reversed, us parents suffer twice over.


I just feel so awful but need to forgive myself. None of us are perfect and I acted out of total frustration and despair. I guess I shall just speak the truth if the authorities seek me out but I am wondering if this will be held against me? I feel so shameful and know that there are healthier ways to deal with an aggressive teenager. But, a person can only take so much.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Forgiving Ourselves

Forgiveness for ourselves is so important @Sister, because we are human and don't have unlimited coping capabilities. These situations are so stressful and as much as we're told to keep calm, it's not always possible as emotions run high and resilience levels decrease. 


Was it your son's counsellor who told you they'd seen the video and reported it? Could you make a time to see them and discuss what's going on with your son? 

To be honest, I wouldn't be too concerned about the authorities. I dealt with DoCs for a year or so after passing my breaking point 5-6 years ago and calling the police to take my daughter. They were wonderful and offered great supports after seeing the issues I was facing. If they get in touch at all, I'm sure you'll find the same. 


I have another appointment with my daughter's counsellor tomorrow. My daughter ended up at hospital the night before last after threatening suicide, so this is my second appointment this week. I've been completely honest about how poorly I'm coping and how stressed I am and I'm not judged or criticised - quite the opposite in fact. I'm hoping tomorrow we can work out a way forward. 


I really hope you'll be kind and compassionate towards yourself. I know what a loving mum you are, and I also know the hardships you are facing. I've been reminding myself of this a lot lately - "What would you say to your best friend?". It helps me with self forgiveness. 


Easy to say, but try not to worry. xx




Re: Forgiving Ourselves

Dear @taokat,


Thank you so much for your understanding, empathy and loving kindness.


You are absolutely right. Us parents need to totally forgive ourselves for actions that were acted out of emotion and burnout. My sons counsellor did not tell me about the video and reporting themselves, my son told someone else and it got back to me.


From what I recall about the video incident, it did look bad for me, however taken out of context was what I had endured beforehand. My son was also performing for the camera and overreacting I feel to take the onus off his own behaviours.


Its all so complex and I don't wish to blame anyone....I need to take full responsibility for losing control of my own emotions. But I am not going to beat myself up about this incident....its the past and all I can do is apologise and move on. Hopefully my son can do the same.


I read somewhere about forgiveness and if us parents are struggling with forgiving ourselves, then we need to forgive others first. So maybe I need to forgive my son for all his behaviours before moving on to myself.


Am not sure about seeing the counsellor myself......I shall contemplate on this some more. Either way though, I think its important to be informed. Trust is a huge issue.


You have been so gracious to respond to my message. Especially with all that you are currently enduring yourself.


Is your daughter still in the hospital? Are YOU being good to yourself? So glad you are not feeling judged or criticised by anyone.....I have felt these two responses to my own situation of late and no doubt will experience them again. I guess its all about forgiveness, acceptance and knowing that under the circumstances we are doing the best we can.


I'm sending you lots of understanding @taokat for your own situation and you have my full support here in this forum.



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