Ending the Guilt of Placing my Son In a Residential Facility

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One year ago, I signed papers, allowing my son to move into a residential facility. The decision for Nate to live away was not done haphazardly, but it was one that I agonized and prayed about for years.

From the age of 14 to 21, prior to Nate graduating from school, I sat in his Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meetings with his team.  We discussed, his objectives, goals, and his transition out of special education and into the adult system. We talked about day programs that Nate could possibly attend.  Yet, the question that remained was if Nate was going to stay home or would he live in a residential facility.

Making this decision was one that I didn’t want to make.  However, after much thought, research, and more prayer, I chose to allow Nate to move into a residential facility.

The first few days, weeks, and even months after Nate moved, I struggled with the choice that I had made. I cried as guilt filled me. I felt like a bad mother, who could have done more to allow her son to live at home. And I stressed about everything, worried and questioned if Nate was adjusting, and if he missed being home with me. This led me to worrying about the facility, wondering if it was right for Nate. I asked myself if Nate was receiving adequate care, also if he was being mistreated? All those feelings consumed me as I considered bringing Nate home.

Then one day as I visited Nate, I watched him learning his new surroundings, as he smiled with happiness. He appeared to be acclimating to his new apartment well and there was nothing for me to worry about.

I soon realized that the problem was me.  I was feeling guilty.  And I needed to replace that feeling with confidence.  I had to believe that I was a loving mother that made the right decision for my son. I also had to trust that the research that I completed, as well as the time I spent in prayer to God gave me wisdom in making the right decision.

Once I gained confidence, I could see the feelings of guilt slowly diminish. And I could finally relax, believing that moving Nate into a residential facility was the best decision for my son.

Charlene

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