Why do I always feel guilty?

Today's post is inspired by a recent discussion on the support group.


Guilt is a bitch.

Over the years I have felt that boy's eczema was MY fault. Perhaps when I was pregnant I didn't eat well enough (although I know I ate a damn sight better than I did with my first pregnancy, well hello 4 stone..... I was a walking weeble) maybe it was those 3 glasses of champagne I had when I had no idea I was even pregnant. I wasn't planning on getting pregnant just yet, and Boy was a little sooner than anticipated. Maybe it was the stress during the pregnancy? We moved house and rescued a 5 week old puppy.

Then I began to feel that Boy's eczema was my fault because I wasn't feeding him properly. Perhaps I weaned him too early? Perhaps his diet wasn't good enough? Maybe if we went gluten free? Maybe if I cut out all dairy. More fish? Then I felt guilty that I wasn't allowing him to eat what his friends were.

Then I was told that perhaps it was my fault, one doctor expressed concern at my fillings (now those, although I felt guilty for I know were not my fault. My mum gave us loads of fruit juice for the vitamin C and it wrecked my teeth). I was cooking with the wrong pans, if I only used cast iron, and replaced all mine with Le'cruset perhaps, Boy would be fine.

Later on I felt guilty that perhaps I wasn't using the creams right, I wasn't applying as much as he needed or as often (even though I knew I was).

Then I was made to feel guilty about stopping the steroids and refusing immuno therapy.

But during it all what I most felt guilty about was Boys suffering. The crying and screaming The fact he looked 'different'. The disturbed nights. I even felt guilty that I found Boy hard work. Surely if you are a good enough mother you would breeze through the suffering, and listen with a kind ear.

So I guess what I am trying to say is bollocks to the guilt.

We all do what we can, with the information we are given AT THE TIME. None of us intend our children to suffer. We mean well, and we try to do what is right.

So if you are using steroids on your child and it works for you, good, I am glad. Do not feel guilty. I am not going to be a smug mother pretending that my world is perfect as we are not using steroids. I will not pass judgement. You can and must only do what is right for you and your child. The only caveat I will add to that is please make yourself aware of the signs of Red Skin Syndrome, I never even knew it existed and would have saved myself years of money and pain by knowing earlier.

If you have a child going through withdrawal....and its heartbreaking. Do not feel guilty. You allowed your child to use steroids because you truly believed they would work, and I bet like me you asked repeatedly about the side effects, and I would lay money on that all you would have heard about is skin thinning. I am sure like me, you beat yourself up with 'what ifs' and 'with hindsight'. We only did what was best for our children at the time.

So bollocks to the guilt, let it go, force it away.

Except then I have the realisation that I need to dash, as I feel guilty for spending so long on here. Perhaps this guilt thing may be harder to shake than I thought........

This was first published here, hope it helps someone....


7 Replies

  • I think as parents we are made to feel guilty about EVERYTHING! Bring eczema and allergies into the equation and the guilt is even worse. My daughter is suffering pretty bad with rashes on her face at the moment and I am wracking my brain to try and figure out the cause. We can only try our best, find our way and learn from our mistakes. I hope your son finds relief from his skin probelms. x

  • I can only agree with you...I feel awful everytime my sons eczema breaks out..i think it s MY fault for passing on my asthma and therefore the eczema...that i ate alot of junk throughout my pregnancy.....gosh it hard...

    I made sure from the day the kids were born and even before they were and i was carrying that i would use non bio and never changed have done ever since...what have i done wrong? what has my son done wrong to deserve this??

    I hope you son gets relief soon xx

  • Thank you Katie and Loopy, My son is 8 months post withdrawal and doing amazingly, but it was such an isolating time I just felt I wanted to help others.

    See its funny, my first pregnancy I ate nothing but rubbish, and yet my eldest is fine, I guess its the genes as much as anything else.

    Katie please remember it is very unlikely you have done anything wrong, and your son doesnt deserve it, it is mostly about coping mechanisms.

    Loopy, so sorry your daughter is having a tough time, we can run ourselves ragged trying to work out what caused it, but sometimes we will never know.

  • Hi all,

    Just a quick reminder that if you'd like to, the British Skin Foundation is always looking for case studies to help with their media work. It's an excellent way of spreading awareness about your condition, and really not that scary talking to the press (we do it all the time!).

    If this is interesting, please have a read here bit.ly/dGqClP or contact bevis@britishskinfoundation.org.uk

    Thank you!


  • Hi there , great blog - totally agree . I always thought that my daughters ezcema must be my fault and the skin speacialist (whos retire now ) said it was - he said it was my fault that she had it as i have asthma and they are conected . He said i passed it down to my daughter geneticly so she inherited it .

    She is 11 nearly 12 and in hospital at the moment- sad as she is missing school - but she gets called names there anyway xx:((

  • Lou mum, I am so sorry. What an obnoxious doc! I often wonder about the genetic side of things, why does one child get it and another with the same parentage doesnt. It is weird.

    So sorry your daughter is in hospital, the bullying is the pits too. These kids have enough problems with their self esteem without and added problems.

    Do you have a good support network Lou? There are some good groups on facebook which can help, even if only to make you feel less alone. If you need the links reply to this and I will add the links on.

    Good luck x

  • The stress alone may cause problems with the body and activate underlying conditions, we are all genetically different, some conditions skip a generation before coming to the surface. Kids can be stressed out at schools, a lot of underdeveloped brains using the law of the jungle and alpha male tactics. All this can contribute to an underlying condition. We cannot change what we inherit, not our fault, guilt and being conscientious are rather the same. In stress the body releases steroids and Vit C, My belief is that the Vit C can get depleted and steroid creams can interfere with the feedback mechanisms that control the bodies responses. I think that we may be able to compensate a bit on the Vit C side and have given comments on this elsewhere.

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