The Guilt of Being Free From Caring for My Son With Special Needs

The Guilt of Being Free From Caring for My Son With Special Needs - - -
2 min read

I am filled with guilt.

I feel guilty for living my life without the daily responsibility of caring for my son with special needs. It is a guilt that I try to push far back in my head, yet it still resurfaces and continues to badger me.

There is something within me that feels that Nate should be with me and I should be his caretaker.  Yet, instead I am living free. I am doing exactly what I longed to do.

Since Nate has been gone, I can now sleep late.  I can decide when I get out of bed.  I no longer have to wake up for Nate.  When I do get up, I can go for a morning run or go to the gym. I can go out with my friends, staying out late, catch the last movie, or getting pizza in the late night hours.  I can do this all without the need for childcare or “Nate-care.”

Yet, there is guilt with all the freedom that I have.  It seems wrong that my former life is gone. The life of caring for my son with special needs full-time, and making sure that I had help for him. That time no longer exist, when whatever I wanted to do required, making sure that I had coverage for my child.

My plans went through the normal process of…

Friend: “Can you go out?”

Me: “Well, let me see if his father can have him that day. If not let me ask if my mother, sister, or brother can take him.”

If they could not, I would return with a response….

Me:  “I don’t have coverage for Nate. I can’t go.”

Now that he lives at a residential facility, I am free. I can come and go as I please….

And….there is guilt.


Because my son is not home and I feel as if I should be caring for him. Yet, when I think about it, I know that where he is living is best for him….and for me. - -

Please Like:




Add Yours
  1. 1

    I felt that way also once Stephen got placed in his Group Home Residence back in 1989. I was so used to him running down the stairs to meet me when I came home from work every day. I must admit that I did cry but it was all for the best.

    He has learned more, done better and grown in many ways by living at his Residential Facility. They have given him freedoms and opportunities that I could never nor do I have the ability to give him.

    After a while the guilt will subside and your journey will become smoother.

    • 2

      Yes, I hope the guilt will subside. I went away with friends and here was a little guilt. It’s just being used to caring for someone. I love caring for my child.

  2. 3
    Marissa B.

    My son is not in a facility, he passed away on 4/4/17 and I feel crazy amounts of guilt.. My family is going out and doing stuff, we are moving on with our lives in different ways and I am guilty that Owen isn’t here to share it with us. In fact I was just talking with my husband an hour or so ago about how I essentially torture myself with the “what ifs” that revolve around his passing.. I’m sure in time I might be a little better about not doing that, but not yet.

    • 4

      Awww! I thank you for sharing your personal feelings. I really appreciate you sharing your feelings. It is difficult. Although Nate is with me and I am able to see him, I realize that if I allow that guilt to continue to bother me, then I won’t be any good for him. I need to be mentally and emotionally strong to visit him and continue to be his advocate. I understand what you mean when you say you wish your son, Owen can be there with you. It is difficult. I will pray for you. I hope that God will show all parents who feel guilt how to use our energy to perhaps help others and share our children’s lives and memories with Moms who may need it.

  3. 5

    I think it might help to realize that Nate is now an adult and as such has the right to a life of his own, just as you have a right to your own. It is natural for our children to leave the nest and allow us to continue to grow as adults ourselves. Peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.