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It’s not your fault.

When my three years old son started to walk, he showed a severe limp. Fortunately, it was totally corrected after a tedious treatment –my wife had to bond his little legs to a metal artifact every night for many months. I remember feeling very depressed those days.

josh hanagarne on genetic guilt

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I didn’t know it at the time but, now that I see Juanpi running like Speedy Gonzalez all around, I feel relief and grateful, and I realize that the main factor that depressed me was the feeling of guilt.

Feeling guilty for your own genetics is crazy. There is nothing useful about it. I know that now. I like how my friend Josh, a great writer and blogger, clearly puts it:

“In my talk I mentioned that when my son began having tics I felt an irrational sense of guilt. I ruined him. It’s my fault. He’s imperfect because of my genetics. Many parents of kids with disabilities approached me afterward and said “thank you. We have felt the exact same way.” To them, and to myself: it’s not our fault. Every parent probably feels some responsibility for their kid’s challenges, but there’s nothing useful about blaming ourselves for their genetics. What’s done is done. How will we help them move forward

If you don’t already know him, Josh is the blogger behind The World Strongest Librarian. In his blog, he shares his –successful- experience dealing with Tourette’s syndrome.

He also gives lectures on the subject for which he gets very well paid and gets to travel many parts in USA. He is planning to give away three Speaking Engagements for 2012. If you are interested in having Josh as a lecturer (totally recommended) follow this link.

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15 Responses

  1. Roberta Budvietas

    It is difficult to remember your lessons sometimes and to also remember that we never are given more to cope with then we are able. Like your cartoons

  2. Hey Roberta! Thank you for your nice comment and visiting.

  3. Ann

    Gustavo, it’s also hard to be forgiving to ourselves for our own genetic imperfections. My little old female ancestors were built like traditional women, not wraiths. I am built like they were. Except for the fact that being this size is unhealthy, I refuse to feel bad for being fluffy.
    Ann recently posted..Facebook’s Timeline—Love It, Hate It, Learn to Live with It

  4. This is a very good lesson. It’s easy to blame ourselves for anything bad our kids have to endure, but we can’t control genetics. All we can do is help our children make it through whatever they have to face.

  5. We all have a not claimed baggage. You’re absolutely right! We wouldn’t be here otherwise. Thank you Ann for your visit.
    Gustavo recently posted..It’s not your fault.

  6. It is such a difficult place to be in, as a parent. My daughter has Duane’s Syndrome, which in her case basically means she has limited movement in her left eye. It cannot be treated, it cannot be remedied, and it happened at around three weeks gestation when her nervous system had barely formed and I didn’t even know I was pregnant. The fact that this came from me, that it is a genetic anomaly that came from me…. Difficult is not quite harsh enough of a term.
    But it’s not my fault. I know that. And perhaps this twisting of the nerves governing the muscles around her eyes is somehow connected to the way that she is brilliant, funny, beautiful and wise. I can’t take credit for those things, either. They are just a part of her :)
    Desi recently posted..The Holiday Drag

  7. Kristen

    I love this post. I think that it points out one example that fits a lot of situations. Feeling guilty about something that you cannot control can make you upset. Finding new ways to think about that situation (like finding ways to support your child) can make you feel much better about it.
    Kristen recently posted..Air Travel With Kids: Tips for Reducing Stress

  8. Hi Lisa! Thank for your thoughtful comment. You’re absolutely right, that’s the best we can do.
    Gustavo| Frugal Science recently posted..How do your scars teach you to deal with emotions?

  9. Hi Desi! Always great to hear from you! Thank you for sharing. I also believe there is a connection with your daughter abilities. Everything in life is balanced by Nature.
    Gustavo| Frugal Science recently posted..It’s not your fault.

  10. Hi Kristen! I am glad you loved it and I can’t agree more. When we are not depressed for anything we are capable of our highest productivity.
    Gustavo| Frugal Science recently posted..It’s not your fault.

  11. Dan

    Sounds like an inspiration guy. I’m sure that would have been scary for you I’m glad your little guy is ok and of course I agree that feeling guilty about something you didn’t deliberately do and had no control over is crazy! But probably natural.
    Dan recently posted..SEO case study month 2 – Number 1 in Google – revenue doubled

  12. Thanks for sharing! I think I’m driving my kids up a wall trying to make sure they don’t follow in my footsteps w/ their eating habits & weight. I’m very thankful that we have tools & knowledge that didn’t exist when I was their age.

  13. Anna

    It is easy to say it is not our fault, but each of us seeing his/her kid with some imperfection tells him/herself – it is my fault. I suppose we must just live with the thought that there are no perfect people!
    Anna recently posted..dentists

  14. There can be certain traits that we can’t avoid. It just so happened that they are the ones having these but all we need to think is that, there are still other characteristics that make them better.
    ppc campaign recently posted..How To Find Affiliate Offers To Promote

  15. Hello Roberta, long time no see. I can’t access your blog lately. Have you moved it?

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