Struggling with shame


Intellectually I understand the model, and therefore I know that my actions cannot cause someone else to feel pain (only their thoughts can do that). But……I am really really struggling in shame. I KNOW that I did something shameful. Long story short, I ripped my own son off by allowing him to continue making his regular monthly car insurance payments to me, even after the company lowered his portion of the bill by $80/month after he turned 21 (four months ago). I think I did this because I felt that he should be contributing some money to the household and he wasn’t – he had a job and was spending his extra money frivolously on clothes etc while almost all of my money goes to bills (though this does NOT justify my actions).

He found out the truth when he called the insurance company to put his insurance on hold, prior to leaving for Navy bootcamp. I could see and hear how hurt he was. My son trusts very few people – he has been abandoned by others in the past, and does not have many friends – in fact, it’s possible I may have been the only person he fully trusted. And now I’ve broken his trust.

And then… I made things even worse… I couldn’t bear for him to think that I would cheat him, and so I lied and told him that I was unaware of the payments going down. And then I yelled at him for believing that I would ever do that to him. But he knows me, and he knows I keep a budget and watch my money so he (rightfully) didn’t believe me.

Ultimately, he was so upset that he wound up leaving for bootcamp without even saying goodbye to me. I am heartbroken over my actions and would give anything to go back and change them (but I know we can’t argue with the past). I gave him a check for $320 before he left so financially we are “even.” But I fear our relationship may be broken beyond repair.

My thoughts are, “What kind of a mother would cheat her own son?” and “I am a despicable person.” I’ve heard Brooke say, “Shame is caused by the lie that there’s something wrong with you, but we’re always wrong when we believe this.” But clearly….something IS wrong with me. I just can’t believe I did this and I have so much regret – I’m literally crying while I’m writing this. Please help me.