“You’ll Never Be Able to Stop Feeling Responsible For Your Child.”

What did I do?” Siri is asking. “Where did I go wrong? How did I make him turn out this way?

Karena rolls her eyes, she hates these questions so much. “Nothing, Ma,” she says, exhaling an exasperated cloud of smoke. “You know that. Dr. H said it. Everyone says it, all the books. It’s a chemical thing, remember? It’s like — having a recipe not turn out right or something when you’ve made it a hundred times.”

…”You’re sweet,” she says. “Thank you for trying to make me feel better. And I know you’re right, logically. But in here” — she thumps her chest and sips her Diet Pepsi — “you just feel so guilty,” she says, “when you’re the mother. You’ll never be able to stop feeling responsible for your child. You’ll see.”

~The Stormchasers, Jenna Blum (pg 179)

This quote is so powerful that I began to tear up when I read it.  As a parent, especially a mother, when there is something wrong with your child, you question yourself. You go through all the things you may have done wrong, even if you know logically that there is nothing that you could have done to change the way things are. You feel helpless. In this particular case Siri has Karena and Charles, twins. There has always been something off with Charles and then the family got a diagnosis, Charles suffers from Bipolar disorder.

This goes to the heart of many problems that I have seen in my own little world. Too many parents feel so responsible for their children and worry about how their children’s actions reflect on them that they enable their child to make themselves feel better. They justify their child’s actions, even after the child has become an adult. The parents fear that if they admit that their child has a problem, they have to admit that they have somehow failed. This just isn’t true. Admitting there is a problem is the first step in helping your child, or other loved one. The only thing you are doing to fail that person is pretending that there is no problem at all.