Guilt over child’s depression


My eldest son turns 18 next month. He struggles with depression.

My 2 thoughts
-It’s all my fault
-I’m responsible to “fix him” before he goes out in the world so he doesn’t hurt himself (past evidence exists) or others (no evidence from him of this)

F: Dispair
A: keep trying to talk to him
R: small gains at healing, but more pain for both of us as unconscious memories are made conscious

I divorced his dad when he was 4.

He was suicidal at age 5.

I married his step father when he was 7. I rationalized all of the obvious red flags of a dangerous person because I was so desperate for a man to want me and protect me. The step father eventually became verbally and emotionally abusive to him. Then it turned physically abusive. I divorced the step father and got orders of protection in place.

A year later my current husband moved in. My husband’s default emotion, to triggers, is anger and his action is passive aggressive anger and blaming the kids.

At age 12, my son became suicidal again. In his suicide note he said he wanted to shoot himself in front of the class so they could see how much pain they have caused him.

Counseling helped him. But he stopped after 6 months.

After a year of scholars, I see how my people pleasing tendencies and inability to create and maintain boundaries has enabled this environment.

I’m taking action that is improving the environment (yay!). I’m not at my “After” yet, but the progress is miraculous!

Unfortunately, the effect on my son remains.

Today he shared how he continues to feel disrespected by most people around him. When I asked “in what way?” He described how my husband treats him. He also was talking about the actions of others at school and the community. He told me he wants to go live alone in the country side where there are hardly any people.

I’ve tried sharing CTFAR with him, but he is not interested.
I don’t think he is equipped well to go out in the world. I don’t know if I should let go of trying, or if I should try something new.