My hearts been shattered – How I’ve massively failed as a parent

Today has been one of the most emotional days I can remember.  It ended with me standing in the AT&T Wireless store crying.  How did I find myself there? Simple! I realized how massively I’ve failed as a parent. 

Yesterday morning, we took Elliott’s cat Greysha, to get spayed.  We prepared him for this, well in advance but he was still really freaked out about this. 

The surgery went fine but she had to stay overnight.

I could just see the stress, anxiety and fear on his face, ever since she was dropped off on Tuesday morning. When I picked him up from school on Tuesday afternoon, he walked up to me with tears streaming down his face.  It just broke my heart.

Fast forward to lunchtime Wednesday.

Lizze and I were running a few errands and I decided about noon that we needed to do something a bit outside of the box to help Elliott with this whole Greysha getting spayed thing. 

I called the school and said I would be there soon to pick Elliott up.

When I picked him up at the office, he looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.  As we walked out together, I explained that we were going to pick up Greysha and bring her home.  This way he could have some quite time with her before the boys came home and things got crazy. 

His little face just lit up the moment he heard what we were doing.  The next thing I know, my heart was shattering into a million pieces….

While we were walking out to the car, Elliott handed me a Valentine Card  that he had made for Lizze and I.  This is what I read….


Dear Family,

I’ve been feeling left out. It doesn’t feel nice at all.  So PLEASE don’t forget me! Mom you are the best! Dad you are cool!

All I can think is that I’ve massively failed my sweet, beautiful and sensitive Elliott.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken down since reading this….

It’s not about me, it’s about Elliott but I just can’t explain how utterly horrible I feel right now. 

Lizze and I both spent the afternoon talking to Elliott about this and spending time with him.  He explained that we spend so much time taking care of Gavin and Emmett that he feels forgotten….

I been so worried about this exact thing for years now.  I knew that he wasn’t getting as much attention as his brothers but I thought I was doing okay. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

This has to get fixed and fixed immediately.  I’m honestly doing the best I can but I need to do better than that…

This evening I had to run a few more errands after the boys went down. My last stop found me at AT&T having to get a new SIM card. While I was waiting, I was cropping the picture above and I just started to cry.  I fought back the tears and finished what I had to do. 

On my way home, I stopped by and showed my Mom the card and talked about this whole thing because I’m so overwhelmed by everything and I’m not coping very well right now. 

That basically brings me to writing this post and sharing how I’ve failed Elliott. 

Look, I know I have a lot on my plate.  However, I have set a very high standard for myself when it comes to my family.  Elliott is the last person I would ever want to let down and it kills me that he’s been feeling this way and we are only just  now finding out about it. 

Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll continue to do the best I can.  Knowledge is power and so I will take what I’ve learned and do my best to improve……

Thanks for listening…..

This site is managed almost exclusively from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Please forgive any typos as auto-correct HATES me. 😉

Update: If you like this post, check out these as well. Click —–> Here <—– for my Top Posts.

“Like” me on Facebook

Visit the My Autism Help Forums

To reach me via email, please Contact Me

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
0 0 votes
Article Rating

Join The Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

most voted
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Janet Meliti

That heart and his note is so wonderful to see. I’m sorry bout the the tough times there still is . Hope the cat is doing okay.

its great hes telling you how he is feeling so look at the posative and u are still the coolest and mom is still the best, just do more things together xxx

Rosie Bishop Dreyling

Remember too, this could have been a that moment feeling, but not how he feels all the time. For us, it has to represent how he has been feeling for days, and we feel the guilt. For a child, it can be a moment thing. Have you ever had a bad morning, yelling at the kids, and you feel guilty all day? But they get home from school, they have forgotten all about it. They are so happy to see you. He did let you know how wonderful he finds you. So while your heart has been pierced, I wouldn’t worry that his is broken.

Kim Kennedy

You have NOT failed. Your the backbone that holds that family together. You do your best and that’s all anyone could ever ask for.

Lisa Higdon

Peace be with you, Rob.

Teena Miller

Shit its hard to get it right xo

Lost and Tired

Thanks everyone

Jackie Coles

It shows how close you are for him to tell you this-you are a great dad x

Cari King

I am so sorry that you are feeling like this, please see that a boy that can tell his parents how he feels has been parented well! He is letting you know, so you have a chance to fix things. Hugs to your family xxx

Melissa Zewe

While you may feel like you failed, you haven’t. a child who can let you know they are feeling like this, can tell you what he needs, has not been failed. He has been raised with love and security, with trust. While it hurts, you have done an amazing job, So I am proud of Elliott and of you.

Elle Hansen

Rob, Elliott trusts you enough to tell you what he needs. That is the ultimate awesome as a parent. Now do you see how you have not failed him at all? He’s just telling you what he needs. All children have needs. Not all children feel safe enough to tell mom and dad what they need. But you’ve created an environment where he feels safe enough articulate what he needs to be okay. Now all you need to do is ask Elliot what it looks like for him to be not forgotten. And then implement what he says. No Rob you and Lizze have not failed Elliott as parents. Not in the least. In fact I see this as an incredible success!

Nicole Logan

He still feels that you guys are the best and the coolest. He still loves you. And it is awesome that he was able to express this.


I know you have written before that Elliott keeps things in and has a hard time expressing his feelings. I’m so proud of him for communicating with you!! And guess what, he obviously feels safe enough to tell you what he feels. Lots of love in your family.


i know you feel bad/guilt. I think you have what is called “mommy guilt”. that is where as mothers we feel guilty about every single big/little thing that happens. Great news is he loves you and Lizzie and you don’t have to figure out what the issue is cause he told you.


Rob- my son (Jack) was in the bathroom pretending to vomit the other night, then came running into our room shouting mom, now you have to come be in MY bed, not Nathan’s!  I have been so wrapped up with Nate and working on his communication and other issues that I didn’t even notice how left out he was feeling.  Totally felt like a knife was being twisted in my heart.  The good news is that Elliott felt safe telling you how he was feeling right?  Because he has loving supportive parents.  Don’t lose sight of that!

Lost and Tired

This is a tou BeckyRogersWiren @jenny616BP @Tina thanks everyone for your supportive words.  This was really difficult for me and I truly appreciate your advice and support.  Thank you so much.


AspieWriter Lost_and_Tired Yes!! In the storm of raising an Aspie kid our other get shorted. it’s sad


Look at it his way- be glad that he was able to express this to you. He was comfortable enough and articulate enough to tell you how he is feeling. I know you feel awful but I do not think this is a failure at all on your part. Hang in there!


Rob, I am so sorry. You want to do your best and you feel bad. You are trying and tomorrow is another day to do better. Talk to your son. He probably doesn’t feel bad all the time, but sometimes. That isn’t good but it will help you to deal and to know how to live the way you want to for him too. God bless you!