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30 Sep 2007

Failed my son
Hi there, I keep feeling guilty that I have not done enough for my son, He was diagnosed by the doctors with down syndrome just before we where about to leave the hospital and it came as a huge shock. It was like we were living and walking in a dream, and sometimes it still feels like that, that this is not real. I really do love my son, and we take him to OT, Physio, speech to help him. But when I look back at his photos I know in my heart that I could have done more for him at home, but the only way I know how to discribe what I mean is that I know what I need to do but I feel powerless and paralized to do it. I feel like I have failed as a mother, I hear what other people do for there kids and I think why am I not doing that for mine, I find my self getting irritated quite quickly sometimes, the more time goes by I feel like I'm loosing time and making it worse, which it would be, I don't want him to feel like I'm rejecting him or don;t love him because I loose my patience so quickly, unlike his dad who he adores because he always plays with him and has more patience. I have always battled to bond with people and I don't want my son to feel that I don't love him. I am just really tired and to do anything is an effort and I just seem to be stuck in a spot and cannot go forward very quickly. It breaks my heart because I love him so much and I don't want to damage him emotionally, I think I feel guilty for what my body has done to him and wasn't able to protect him and now I just seem to make it worse, have you got some advise to help me.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I can understand what a shock this must have been for you, but of course Down's Syndrome is quite a common syndrome, and not at all your fault. It can be hard to adjust to such a sudden revision of your plans and expectations for the life of your family. It will at times feel unreal, and as though somehow you'll find things are going to be just as you originally expected, rather than as they are. From your description it's hard to imagine what more, realistically, you could possibly have done for him.
Mothering any child can get very frustrating for a mother, and with a child with special needs, even more so. I would advise you, for your own sake, AND for that of your son, to see a good local counsellor, to work through these conflicts and feelings, to feel more proud of all that you have done, and to more clearly identify anything more that might be useful to do, and to be more able to do that. I'm sure your son knows that you love him ; and that you are not at all damaging him emotionally. Your body has done nothing to him, and there was no way you could have protected him from being b orn in this particular way.
And the counsellor could check whether, perhaps, you have been becoming Depressed, which also leads to inappropriate degrees of guilt and hopelessness, and responds really well to proper treatment. Again, that would benefit all of you.
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