Hi , I’m in love with a boy i have known since i was 15 years of age. I am now 18 and i have never dated because i was always not allowed to .I live with my mother and two siblings and help out often. My mom is aware of the facts i like him and that me and him speak everyday. She thinks we have a nice relationship and understands i would like to be with him in the future. But she seems to have a very hard time with letting me hang out with him .
I know that i truly love him as a person and that he is trustworthy . He works two jobs, helps out is family, and really likes me and is a overall good person. I’m turning 19 in 4 months and he’s is turn 20 in 3 months. I love him and i know he feels like we have grown so much now its time to spend quality time together. My mom has me on a tight leash. i don’t know how to begin to tell her i want to be with him. I prayed about me and him every since i was younger and he has always entered back into my life. I’m very afraid of losing him ….what should i do ?
A: It sounds to me like your mother has lost sight of the fact that you are no longer her little girl. You are emerging into adulthood. That means that you are looking for love and will soon be leaving the nest to make a life on your own. Your guy sounds like an exemplary young man. Your mother should be proud and pleased that you have found someone to love who is so responsible.
It may be that your mom is afraid of losing your help. You didn’t mention a dad so I’m guessing that she is raising the three of you on her own. She may count on you more than she wants to admit. If that’s the case, part of the answer lies in figuring out what the family needs and alternative ways to get those needs met.
It’s time for you to stop being scared of talking to your mom. If you are old enough to have a relationship, you are old enough to have an adult-to-adult conversation with your her about how to prepare you and the family for the day when you will leave home. This isn’t something to have a fight about. Fighting will only confirm her idea that you are too young to take seriously as an adult.
Instead, lay out the problem and your suggested solutions as calmly and reasonably as you can. If she gets angry, resist the temptation to fight back. Simply tell her that you love her and that you know if may be hard for her to lose you to someone else. Emphasize that you have confidence that the two of you can work it out. Such conversations are often difficult and challenging but they are also part of growing up. I think you can do it.
I wish you well.
Is There Something Wrong with Me?
From a teen in the U.S.: My mom thinks that there is something wrong with me. Something that stops me from being nice to everyone that is close to me, like my sibling. She thinks that I WANT to cut off all the joy in my life.
I don’t really know why. When I was really young my dad had died, and because I was so young, it didn’t really have an impact on my life. I really don’t know if there was a void in my life my mom could never fill. My mom would and still gives us the occasional slap on the face. It’s okay though, it’s not like “actual abuse”. It’s just discipline. But either way, I know deep down inside, I am scared of her, because I was always afraid that she would hurt me.
I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to share their feelings. I keep everything bottled up inside, so much so, that sometimes I don’t know what I am feeling. I don’t want to people to know that I am vulnerable, and having feelings, to me conveys that you are weak and vulnerable. I stop myself from crying in front of other people. When my mom talks about my “issues” to me, I want to cry, but I never do, I just blink them away really fast.
School has always been an issue as well. My mom wants me to do very well, but I am not capable of that stuff. I’m in all honors and stuff, but she turns into a monster, trying to make me learn math for the quiz that is tomorrow, making me stay up until one or two am. School was just always miserable, but an escape from home.
My mom thinks I truly want to hurt my sister and herself. Me and my sibling fight A LOT. We wrestle, punch, kick each other, and annoy the heck out of each other as well. I love to annoy my sister, but I don’t think I hurt her. My mom feels like I also do the opposite of what she wants me to do. But when I’m not hungry, I’m not going to eat, and I will put up a tantrum if I have to dress up, because I hate dresses. I’m not trying to hurt her, but I am going to do what I want to do.
She thinks it’s so weird that I have no friends, well no close friends. I have a couple of friends but I don’t feel comfortable enough to invite them to my house to just hangout or come to a birthday party. I am a proud antisocial. There is a lot of stuff wrong with me, but my mom thinks I have some sort of mental problem. She thinks that I want to be a mean person, but I am the way I am, I don’t go out of my way to try to be mean to people. I don’t like people and shut them out. But is there something wrong with me and do you know the cause of all of that? Thanks alot.
This will be hard for you to hear, but I’m with your mom. She doesn’t have the best way of saying so, but I think she is right to be concerned about you. Being “mean” is not “just the way you are”. No baby is born into the world to be a mean person. No one comes into the world ready to fight, punch and kick a sibling. No one comes into the world antisocial, proud or otherwise.
I don’t know what is wrong. I only know something certainly is. I hope you will see a counselor who can get to know you and who can help you become the person you are meant to be.
And, please. Don’t refuse services just because it will look like your mother is winning. Real freedom, real independence, means that you do what’s good for you — even if your mother would like it. Take care of yourself.
I wish you well.
Please Help Me Find Out What’s Wrong with Me
From a 15 year old boy in Australia: Ever since I was a very small child I’ve felt disengaged from everyone else, as a 6-10 year old only having perhaps one real friend who I very rarely spent time with and many more friends that seemed very real to me but were in fact figments of my imagination I suppose. As well as this I spent most of my time reading. I think this may be built around the sexual abuse from an older boy who I thought I was one of my best friends, or my parents divorce. This has also affected my ability to trust people in my life now.
I no longer have problems with differentiating between real and not, but since the age of eleven I have been displaying other symptoms and such. I have little to no ability to concentrate on anything, my schoolwork is going progressively downhill, I’m almost permanently hyperactive, when I’m not hyperactive I lack in any energy whatsoever; falling asleep on my desk and staying in bed all day, on a normal school night i will get 4 hours of sleep,
I go from euphoric to depressive in the blink of an eye (eg. I will be acting like I on top of the world, jumping around, laughing yelling, and five minutes later I will be crying uncontrollably as I scream at myself in my head), I’m permanently irritable, I move in extremes, either moving incredibly slowly or moving overly fast. I never feel calm, I feel the need to be physically Self destructive,I find it hard to make friends and socialise, I make myself seem cold and emotionally devoid to those I am not close to. I have severe emotional breakdowns somewhat often, and I often find myself contemplating how much easier it would be to just die.
Im sorry if I haven’t given enough data but I would really appreciate having an idea of what’s wrong with me. Thanks
I’m very glad you wrote. I can’t, of course, provide a diagnosis on the basis of such a short letter. What I can do is strongly urge you to see a therapist who can do exactly that. You need a professional evaluation to determine if your symptoms are an outcome of trauma, a mental disorder or your sleep disorder. There are also signs that you should be evaluated for possibly being on the autism spectrum.
In my opinion, you have suffered much too long. You deserve the treatment that can help you settle down and live a happier and more constructive life. You deserve to feel better, to have friends and to get a good night’s sleep every night.
Treatment works! But treatment is only effective if it is targeted to what is wrong.
You made an important step toward health and well-being by writing to us here at LifeHelper. Now do the next step. Make an appointment, today if you can, with a therapist who specializes in teen issues. A therapist will be able to hear your entire story and then make both a diagnosis and a treatment plan. You have nothing to lose except a few hours of your time. You have everything to gain.
If you aren’t sure how to find a therapist, talk to your parents, your doctor, your school counselor or a teacher your trust. And do take your letter and this response with you to the first appointment. It will help you get started.
I wish you well.
I Realized I’m Not Being Myself
2 years ago I developed social anxiety out of the blue, and it was truly something I had never experienced. I had all of the symptoms of social phobia during the summer after 9th grade, and after weeks of experiencing it, I became depressed and really angry. When school started, I developed some ways to help deal with it, such as convincing myself that nothing was wrong with my face, and I reduced my social phobia significantly. However, I also began to have OCD alot more, fearing that I would get anxiety if I didn’t perform my rituals. Eventually my mother helped me get treatment for my OCD, and for the past 4 months (I am 16 and a half right now) I have had little to no OCD (compulsions and obsessions). These past 2 months, however, I have realized that my life hasn’t felt the same since my social anxiety. I still don’t speak as wittily and on command as I used to, and I notice that I ask obvious questions and that I mimic what other people say. I used to have my own way of speaking and thinking, and I feel like its hiding somewhere, but I don’t know how to bring it back. I don’t get scared around people like I used too, but I know that my social phobia is still there, and its blocking me out. However, I feel like its been so long since I’ve been myself (about 2 years) and I don’t know who I am anymore. I keep thinking that i have lost all my opinions and that I am a fake and I’m worried this is something bigger. I wake up several times at night, and sometimes the center of my head, around where the hippocampus is, feels heavy and I get sad. All my life, until I was 15, I got all A’s and B’s, but my grades dropped during that intense OCD phase and now I feel like an idiot and worry about my future. Everyday I think about how I have lost my personality and identity, and life feels unfamiliar to me. I don’t feel the need to hang out with friends or make new ones because I hate the way I talk, and how not-genuine I have become. I used to love to hangout with friends and even my parents, but nothing feels the same anymore and I don’t know who I am. I used to have interests and think about the future but all I do is think about the past and how good it was. I feel as if I mimic others and that my thoughts are infected with other peoples. I just have no idea how I became so lazy in school and I feel as if my developement is being hindered as a result. Can this all be anxiety, or is it something else? (age 16, from US)
Thank you for writing in with your question. Yes, everything you are struggling with can be related to anxiety. Anxiety disorders can affect our functioning a great deal and can take a long time to fully recover from. Even though there are distinct diagnostic differences, such as the ones you describe here with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Social Anxiety, the lines can also be blurry and cross over.
I’m glad that you are getting treatment but you didn’t say whether it was medication or therapy. Receiving both forms of treatment would be ideal in this situation and you may need to remain in treatment for a while. Please be very open and honest with your therapist about all your symptoms because they can’t help you with aspects they don’t know about. Tell your therapist about your social anxiety, about your grades dropping, about your sadness and worry, your sleep difficulties and so forth. You might also benefit from finding a support group for adolescents coping with depression or anxiety. It can be very helpful to be around others who understand. There are usually many support groups offered within a community but you can also find them online.
Don’t worry if you don’t fully feel like your “old” self. You are still at an age that you are continuing to develop and grow. Be open to new experiences and be proud of yourself for fighting back. Don’t give up hope. Things will continue to get better.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
I Don’t Know What’s Wrong with Me, But Know Something Is
I am alone on a daily basis since I can remember, at one and a half years old I got a nanny so both my parents could work. I always stayed in kindergarden and elementary school until 5 or 6 pm, my only friend was my older sister and there the friendship came almost only from my side, because she had friends of her own and I was a bother. In 6th grade people first started talking to me, and I didn’t know what to do or how to react to the things they did, I am still not sure sometimes. I first started paying attention to the people around me. Everyone else was intense to me, I didn’t know what to do when they were in a certain mood. I am not even sure how to handle the emotions of my sister. When someone cried, others came to them, they worried and tried to comfort them. I could look at the crying kid as long as I wanted, I didn’t really feel anything. But it is not like I didnt feel anything. I am pretty sure I feel as much as everyone else, just at the wrong place and wrong time. I don’t talk with my parents about it, I think I bother them. I would like to talk to someone about it, but I wouldn’t know what to say. I just feel out of place. When people actually talk to me, which almost never happens, I don’t know what they actually want from me, even if they perfectly articulate themselves. I never had enough experience with, well, people to know how to comfort someone, to calm someone down, to lead a conversation. I am partly afraid to do the wrong thing, say something wrong, gesturing wrong, act out of place as ever. Also I just have no clue what to do. As I already said, I am pretty sure I have as many emotions as everyone else. I feel numb on a regular basis, but I think everyone has that. But I have a problem with showing emotion, I don’t show what I feel and I have a blank face for almost all the time. I do it subconsciously and only found out because someone asked me about it. I would like to be like everyone else, but I don’t know what is wrong either. (From Germany)
Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like the time you spent alone, having to occupy yourself, has created a bit of a hesitancy. I believe this something can can change with some practice over time.
First, let me direct you to our forums. These will allow you to talk more about what you are feeling and you will soon discover that you are not alone. This is a great place to get ideas and support about how to change.
Secondly, I would recommend you find a club, or class, or connection in your high school where you are learning and working with others who share your interests. This is a very good way to warm up to the idea of connecting.
Finally, I’m going to suggest you try to talk to at least one new person a day. Simply saying hello will do. The goal is to develop the skill of reaching out — and not to wait for the inspiration to come to you.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Do I Need Help for My ‘Eating Disorder’
I started binging and purging almost two years ago, because of my extreme depression. I also started reducing my food intake so much that I lost a lot of weight very quickly. I’ve never been the correct weight for my size. I’ve always been underweight, so a large amount of weight loss is pretty significant. i went into therapy to treat the depression, but the food issues were never mentioned. Now, I’m still binging and purging. I eat as little as possible, and exercise when I can. I’m purging when I feel I’ve eaten more than I should have, which is every day at least. My friends have noticed my purging. A girl I liked gave me an ultimatum that if I didn’t at least try and get help we couldn’t be together. Stress is my middle name. I have issues at home, school, work, every aspect of my life is difficult. I ruin every relationship i am in, whether with friends or family. My self-esteem is very low, and i hate my body. I’m completely blind, so it’s just a bit more complicated. I am also albino so I’m really pale, and people are always staring at me. My grades are good, and I’m a perfectionist. I don’t think i have a problem. It’s just how I live my life. Do I really need help, or are people just jealous of me?
A: Usually if someone asks, “Should I get help for…,” I typically answer with a yes. If it’s been on your mind and you are struggling with how to handle it on your own, why not get help? In your case, you already have experience with therapy so it won’t seem like such a huge leap to address another concern.
Not all therapists are trained in picking up on an eating disorder, and ultimately it is the client’s responsibility to bring the issues to the therapist that you want (or think you need) help with. Unlike some professional relationships, psychotherapy is a collaborative one.
You state that you purge daily, the binging and purging has been going on long enough to know that it is not just a “phase,” and you have had significant weight loss, so taking all that into consideration, I do recommend that you address these issues in therapy. In my experience, an eating disorder is often an outward sign of an internal struggle such as self-esteem or body image issues. It can be a way to have some control when you feel that much of your life is out of control. The good news is that you can learn many other coping skills that will not harm you and will ultimately lead to feeling much better about yourself.
Thank you for writing in, and I hope that you get some help soon.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
I am a 17 year old male and I live in Boise, Idaho. I have had chronic insomnia for a while and I simply can’t sleep but when I do I sleep a lot. I have an IQ of 150 and I heard that high IQ individuals usually stay up late. The chronic insomnia however makes me have sound hallucinations sometimes and I constantly lose touch with reality, I sometimes pace around the room in bliss while making weird grimaces. I only do so at home when alone. I sometimes feel like losing it and running around like crazy in public or flying into a rage. I barely manage to control myself.
I also sometimes erupt into wild laughter especially at night for no apparent reason. I have to motivate myself to take a shower these days or to brush my teeth; it takes a lot of mental effort. As such I only shower twice per week or five times per week when I have school.
I write a lot and I would like to publish novels although I would like to be a Psychiatrist, so writing would be a secondary profession. Since childhood I’ve had a love for books and I read a lot. Recently however I read less and books that took five days to finish initially now take one month.
This is because I feel that I have to read perfectly as though in public. I have racing thoughts and I constantly guess sentences before even reading them. When I discover my assumptions were false I literally beat myself or bang my head against a wall, I do this to the point that I can’t bear the pain so I read the sentences correctly. This makes reading books unpleasant so I read less.
I also get anxious when asked to read in class for fear that I won’t read well. I also don’t talk much and prefer to be alone due to the unpleasant feelings I associate with socialization so naturally when I talk people are like: “He talks?” and they give me their full attention which exacerbates my anxiety. I therefore stay indoors most of the time and I leave the house only when I have to or to go to school.
I also hate sunlight and all other forms of light, they annoy me. I have f.lux on my phone and laptop but our classrooms are well lighted and my mom says she “hates” darkness so I practically rejoice when she’s not at home. I have very sensitive ears that can pick up the smallest sound so I obviously hate noise. However, my family is one of the noisiest families around so I absolutely hate being with them. My classmates are noisy too so I hate them. My room is dark and I tried my best to soundproof it.
These are the problems I have.
Your symptoms are concerning. Clearly you are suffering. What you did not include in your letter is whether you have ever had treatment. There are treatments for all of the symptoms you have described. Medication and psychotherapy could help. Without treatment, your symptoms will likely worsen.
Psychosis is often indicative of a mental health disorder. It is associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and several others. It’s imperative that you seek treatment as soon as possible. With psychotic disorders, early treatment and diagnosis are important and can lead to improved recovery and outcomes.
If you have not done so already, tell your parents about your symptoms. They can assist you with finding treatment. You should consult both a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist. Both psychotherapy and medication can effectively treat your symptoms. You might also need to see a sleep specialist. Your primary care physician can refer you to the appropriate treatment professionals. Please seek help as soon as possible to prevent the worsening of your symptoms. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Becoming My Abusive Mother?
I have for a long time believed my mother to be emotionally abusive. Recently after a fight with her, I began to google general characteristics of emotionlly abusive/narcissistic mothers, to reassure myself but I found several things that reminded me of my relationship with my 6-year-old little sister.
I often tell her, and myself, that I only want the best for her and that I want her to have the life I never had. I often buy her candies and toys because I feel like my parents give her even less attention than they did for me, but recently I’ve noticed that I’ve been telling her that I can’t buy certain things because they are too expensive. To reassert my point, I sometimes say things like “You don’t need that” or “You don’t really want that.”
I’m afraid that I’m manipulating my sister like my mother manipulates me. I’m also afraid that I am developing NPD because while I worry about spending too much money on her, I seem to have no problem spending money on myself, especially after a period of depression. I also noticed that I tend to give my sister my old things instead of buying new things and I’ve read that narcissists’ overly self-centered personalities cause them to give hand-me-downs to others and new things to themselves.
I like to think that I am being a good sister, but I’m afraid I’m just lying to my sister and myself. I just want to know how I can tell if my sister is affected by my recent behavior or not and how I can help her if she is.
With 12 years difference between you and your little sister, you are an important adult in her life. My guess is that she has always looked up to you. So, yes, how you behave towards her does affect her. Because you are so much older, you are a role model as well as a sister.
You are asking very, very good questions. At 18, you are at the age where you are sorting through your experiences and deciding what kind of person you want to be. You are trying out being generous and being selfish; being self-critical and self-forgiving; being manipulative and being indulgent. Although you could decide to be narcissistic, you have had the experience of being treated poorly by a narcissist so I don’t think you’ll go that route. But it is a choice. By looking clearly at what you are doing, you are taking an essential step in the right direction.
It’s wonderful that you buy your little sister treats but she doesn’t need those things as much as she needs your loving attention. A few minutes reading to her most nights or coloring with her or just chatting and snuggling will put more into her emotional bank than any candy bar ever could. How you give her your things matters more than the fact that they are old or new. Little sisters love to get jewelry and scarfs and things from big sisters when they feel they are being given something special that connects them to their hero.
Keep it positive. Give her attention and encouragement. You’ll find you get as much as you give from the relationship. It’s pretty wonderful to be seen as special through the eyes of a child. Meanwhile, keep asking those good questions and making good decisions for yourself. Your relationship with your sister is important for the two of you and it’s also important as a rehearsal for how you will be in realationships in general.
I wish you well.
Afraid of Talking to People About Issues of Myself
Hello, I have problems talking to people about issues or problems that I have. My family (parents and siblings) are the people I trust most in my life.
However, the prospect of talking to them about issues that arise in my life (such having the feelings of lacking direction in life, feeling like I have not ever achieved anything and will not achieve anything, as well as the issue I am now describing) makes me nervous and afraid, and thus I never follow through with it.
I don’t know why it makes me nervous: I know (also from previous experience) that I can trust them, talk to them. I do not fear consciously that they will judge me or something similar.
However, there seems to be a disconnect in this case between how I feel and what I know: I am not able to convince myself that it is OK for me to talk with the people I love and trust the most. I find this worrying because that does not leave anyone else to talk to.
This poses a problem for me, as it leaves me to worry about my problems all on my own, which has mostly only exacerbated the problems themselves and made me feel worse about them and myself. I would be glad to hear some thoughts on this.
Writing this has made me feel a bit better, as I normally do not speak about this to anyone. I guess the anonymity of the internet makes it a little better, although also here I had to fight my feelings to go through with posting this.
Thanks to the person who took the time to read this.
How you are feeling about the prospect of speaking to your family about your most personal issues is understanding. Of course, you love and trust them, but these are still personal matters. These types of issues are better served by speaking to a therapist. No one in your family is a trained therapist. They simply don’t know how to conduct therapy. That is not a criticism of your family; it is a fact. Therapists complete years of rigorous schooling in order to treat the type of problems you have described. Your family can be there for moral support and in all likelihood would be, but these matters are best suited for professionals.
It’s great that you have a supportive family. Having the love of your family gives you an important foundational base. Not everyone has that luxury. You are fortunate. It something to be thankful for.
You don’t have to keep this entirely a secret from your family. You can be general about what may be wrong and tell them that you are contemplating seeing a therapist. They do not need to know the details. You can simply tell them that you haven’t been feeling yourself or as good as you could feel and that you would like outside assistance. This would give you the benefit of sharing a little about what’s wrong without having to delve into the more personal aspects of the issue. Asked them for their support. Perhaps they may even know of a good therapist or other people who have utilized therapy. It’s a good opportunity for them to support you in your efforts.
You may also benefit from group therapy in addition to individual therapy. The benefits of group therapy include being able to talk to other people who understand what you’re going through, gaining a supportive network of people in your life, and gaining a diversity of ideas. Group therapy can also help you to see your problems in the proper perspective. It can be a relief to know that you are not alone in what you are experiencing.
Alternatively, not everyone prefers group therapy. Sometimes certain members can dominate a group not letting everyone get their fair share of speaking time. Not all support groups are run well which can take away from the quality of the experience. If you did choose group therapy, you’d want to ensure that there is a strong group leader and that others who have participated in the group have benefited from their experience.
If you did choose group therapy, it should be in addition to individual therapy. You might want to choose a therapist who is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Many of the issues that you’ve described could be effectively treated with CBT.
When choosing a therapist, I always recommend interviewing four or five over the phone. Choose the one you like and meet them in person. This is a good strategy for finding the right therapist for you. Thank you for writing. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
How do I leave home when I have disabled siblings?
From a teen in Argentina: I suffered from eating disorders since I was 13 and bullying since I was 7. I used to be a very calm person,
Now I get angry over small things or depressed, I don’t show it though. Usually I bottle up all my feelings inside.
My mother and I usually fight over stupid things as I’m usually nervous or depressed and I think she is too.
I Think the main reason she is depressed is because my younger brother and sister are mentally disabled and her work is very demanding, I also think it is because her life didn’t went as she wanted it to go, she managed to finish her course of studies even though she had me, but she had to sacrifice some things because of my brother and sister and me. She is constantly very worried about my brother and sister future, which I understand, but she doesn’t want to get any psychological help.
We rely on each other but sometimes we get annoyed over nothing and I’ve have learned to keep my mouth shut, but sometimes I lose control and vent (but refrain from saying hurtful things), she does too and she told me to that it would be better if I kill myself twice. Once I was telling her how I felt to get help and I understand that she was frustrated by all the stuff going on and she said that out of anger, and the other time that she said it we were bickering over something not important at all but she did it again knowing about how sometimes I feel that things are too much and I’m insecure around people.
There are times I get angry and let out my frustration by hurting myself or get irritated with my mother because I wish I wasn’t born and I would have wanted her to have a better life. I knit its illogical.
I love my mother and I want to have a better relationship with her I’m starting college soon and luckily it’s near my home so I won’t need to move, but I know that I need to be more independent and eventually get my own place. I would like to keep a close relationship with both of my parents once that happens.
I would be grateful for some advice!!
Having a disabled sibling is difficult for any kid. It makes absolute sense to me that sometimes you get overwhelmed and sometimes angry. The bickering with your mother is probably not about whatever you are bickering about at the time. More likely, it’s a reflection of you both feeling overloaded with responsibilities. As much as you and your mom love your siblings, caring for them does influence what everyone in the family can do. But your letter also shows the empathy and maturity that are also often an outcome of sharing in the care of disabled siblings.
You didn’t mention your father until the very end of your letter. I hope he is as involved with your brother and sister and as concerned about your mother as you are. Ideally, he and your mother are working as at team to do their best to meet everyone’s needs. He, not you, is your mother’s partner. He may need to pick up more of the care as you move into more independence.
I’m very concerned that your mother is resistant to getting help. When I did a brief search, I was pleased to find that there are a number of organizations in Argentina that address special needs. I hope your family is taking advantage of what is available. If practical help is limited (or the quality isn’t what you wish it was), the internet has a number of groups by and for parents of disabled kids to provide practical advice and emotional support. If she isn’t already involved, your mother would probably benefit from being in contact with other families that are facing the same challenges. Peer support is often easier for people to accept than professional help.
The challenge for you and your parents now is defining your role as you emerge into adulthood. How do you balance your loyalty and concern for your family with your need to become an independent adult.? How much are you truly needed as part of the team caring for your sibs? Can you create a life for yourself that balances your talents, interests, and goals with providing some care or oversight for care for your siblings?
Planning for your siblings’ future should start now. Your parents won’t be around forever. It isn’t wise to assume that of course you will be the default full time caregiver if something happens to them. You may not be in a position to do so.
I encourage you to do some homework and to look for information on the internet to help you and your parents look at the next stage of family life; the stage where you and your siblings launch into adult life. There are a number of articles here at LifeHelper to get you started:
- When a Sibling is Disabled
- Siblings of Kids With Intellectual Disabilities Score High in Empathy
- Future Planning for Your Intellectually Disabled Adult Child
I do encourage you to work with your parents to create a gradual way for you to have less responsibility at home and more opportunities to be with your peers and to pursue your studies. Maybe, as an example, you live at home your first year of university but then move into a roommate situation at school with frequent home visits, etc.
I wish you well.
I Never Feel Good Enough
Hello, first of all I’m going to thank you for taking time to read my story. I’m 14. I wil start off by saying that my parents are divorced. I go one week with my m an other week with my dad. When I was little my parents used to fight, Horible fights, when I close my eyes I can hear them telling at each other, other than yelling at them selves my mom used to yell at me, to the point where she went pysco. Se kicked things,pulled my hair, throw things, said things to me that still hurt when I remember them. I grew like that all the time. When my patents fought I would be in my room crying my eyes out. Time went by and my dad got tired of being in that situation so he divorced my mom, he said it was the best I was 7 at the moment.
I agreed that it was the best things to do so I don’t have to hear them fight al the time. My mom made this insane lie that she couldn’t feel part of her face because of all the stress , she blamed my dad for everything. My mom and me were renting an apartment with her cousin and it was fine, my dad had an apartment as well but by himself. My mom met this guy and they’re married now, I should be happy but I’m not.. I accepted him though. Sometimes she wanted me to go to his house to get to meet him but I didn’t want to do she went into a phyco mood and started yelling and yelling, I ddnt get why ? It was her life not mine.. When I get mad I tend to cry. I dont yell or anything I keep everything inside and cry as my way to express how I feel. I ended up going and it always was like that.
My mom always wants everything her way she doesn’t care of anyone who she stomps on to get why she wants. I was 11 at this point, my dad didn’t like the guy my mom married and he still doesnt. Me and my mom are in a fight right now she kicked me out of the house and told me horrible things and that I’m not a good daughter. I think she’s not the best mom either,
I always try to be the daughter she wants.. Im never good enough. I close my eyes and I can remember all I went through. Her words buzz around my head, I think I’m marked forever.. I’m scared of her. My dad is the only person there for me he listens to me and he’s the best person in the world. One day my mom was angrily brushing my hair pulling my hair back into a pony tail and she hit me with the brush I turned around and she tried to hit me again but I grabbed her arm and pushed her back, my mind went black, I couldn’t take it anymore I felt like I wasnt thinking I just reacted, I don’t even want to remember what happens after that, I keep so much inside I don’t tell anyone, I can’t trust anyone.
In school I’m smart I have good grades and I’m trying to get into a good college but I have self confidence issues and really low self esteem. IM NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Everything is wrong with me. My mom told me I was fat. I believed it everyday I looked at te mirror and hated my self my mind was devestated. I’m putting this out here at 1:40am because as I’m laying in my bed those moment go thought my head and they hurt me, in so many ways. Please help me.
Thank you so much for writing. Your letter is an important step in your own healing. It shows me that you know in your heart that you didn’t deserve the treatment you had from your mom when you were little and you don’t deserve it now. Now we need to help you get your head in line with your heart.
You’re just like any other kid. You want your mother to love you. You long for her approval. You hope you will find some little thing that you can do to convince her to love you as a mother should.
I’m very sorry to have to tell you that it’s unlikely you will get what you are longing for. I can’t offer you an explanation for your mother’s behavior since I don’t have enough information. But from what you say, she has never been able to put other people’s needs ahead of her own, even her own child’s. She doesn’t give you love and comfort because she can’t. If a well is dry, it can’t give you water. At some point, it only makes sense to be sad about it but to go looking for another well.
In your case, you are lucky. There really are other “wells” of love available to you. Your dad is there for you. I’m guessing your teachers also think you’re smart and promising. At 14, you’ve grown up enough to know that you can survive without your mother’s care. You do need love but you don’t need hers. It’s time to do the grieving that comes with that realization and to reach out to others for the emotional and physical support a young girl needs and deserves.
Please ask yourself why you are choosing to believe your mom over your dad. You yourself call your mom “Psycho” but then you let her opinion take over the good opinions of your dad, your teachers, and even yourself. Open your mind and your heart to the people who really do think you are quite good enough as you are. They are right. Your mother isn’t.
It might be helpful for you to find a therapist to help you make the shift. Giving up on your mother won’t be easy after so many years of longing. To let yourself feel good about yourself is to give up on the argument you’ve been having with your mother. You really don’t need to convince her of a thing if you can embrace the reality that you are a good, smart, insightful, and attractive person. On some level, you already know that. But it just might be helpful to have a therapist help you connect with what you know is true.
As you enter your teens, it is a good time to do this work. A strong self-esteem will help you better manage the high school social scene and relationships. Appreciating your own talents and intelligence will let you do well in school. With a foundation of self-respect, you’ll be better able to have the future you deserve.
I wish you well.
I’m Not Sure What’s Wrong with Me
Okay first of all I’m at rock bottom to ask for help here but lately I’ve been having a problem. There’s this really scary nightmare I have every single night for maybe a month now and it’s when I’m alone with someone in a darkish place and I’m on top of them and I’m stabbing them over and over and I can’t stop, like my arm isn’t even mine anymore and I usually wake up around there. Now this would be just odd if it wasn’t for the fact that I also have scary but enjoyable thoughts. I see people and want to hurt them really bad no matter who it is. I love the feel and smell of blood and enjoy having it around me. I’ve killed small creatures and I can’t fully remember doing it except knowing their dead. Am I crazy or is this some weird but regular problem? This can’t be normal and has been happening since I was young. The first time I hurt something was a dying bird and it felt disgustingly good. Oh god I still can’t believe I’m actually posting this but it’s too awkward to say it to anyone in person cause I tend to be more confident in my writing. Uh thanks if you come across this. (I’ve thought about suicide a lot and wrote multiple notes but I don’t have the guts to do it).
A: I’m sorry that you are having these scary nightmares and disturbing thoughts, but I’m glad you are reaching out for help. There are several things you mention in your question that concern me a great deal.
First and foremost, anytime you feel so bad that you would consider suicide, it is time to get some professional help. The suicidal thoughts, the nightmares, the violent thoughts and the history of hurting animals all lead me to give you the same advice: please get some help.
You are only 14 so if you talk to a therapist now there’s a very good chance that you will be able to overcome all these issues successfully. Please speak to your parents about helping you find a good therapist who works with teenagers. You may not even have to tell your parents exactly why you want to speak with someone in the beginning. Just be sure to be very direct and persistent that you want help now. Your school counselor or medical doctor may be able to give you some recommendations for therapists.
Don’t worry about being “crazy,” just focus on getting better so you can feel peace inside.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Why Don’t I Feel Guilty?
From a 14 year old girl in the U.S.: Hi. I think a year ago, I did something horrible that could have killed me and maybe even my family. Fortunately, nothing came out of it and everything is ok, except for myself.
I actually buried the memory until a while after it happened, when I remembered and I felt horrible. It seemed like for a while I was just waiting for myself to commit suicide, and I felt like I had already ruined my life.
One night, I cried and was the saddest I had ever been, until I got tired and fell asleep. However, the day after that night, I didn’t really feel sadness or guilt anymore, just content and apathy. I thought it would go away, but it hasn’t. A while after that, I did still feel sad about it, but each time I would suddenly feel happy and hopeful before just being apathetic again. Now, I barely even feel sad or guilty about it. I think I have some kind of defense mechanism where I just stop feeling guilt after extreme circumstances.
You probably think this is a good thing, but it isn’t. I should be feeling sad and guilty for what I did, and I’m also trying to make myself “redeemed” and become a better person, but it’s hard when it feels like what got me started on becoming a better person never happened. To be honest, I’m just a cold person in general. I used to cry a river thinking about horrible things, and now it just doesn’t affect me at all. I don’t want to be a cold, unempathetic person, but that’s the road I’m walking. Please help me! Please tell me there’s some way to fix this!
Of course there is a way to “fix this.” But you probably can’t do it on your own. Whatever happened was traumatic enough that you dissociated from the memory for a time. Then your brain did what brains often do to people who are traumatized. It divided your emotions between feeling bad and not feeling at all. Losing your feelings was your brain’s way to protect you. But it’s no longer helpful. You need to relearn that there is a huge spectrum of emotion available to you — from feeling terrible to feeling kind of numb and apathetic to feeling at peace and happy again.
That’s what therapy can offer you. With some serious work on your part, you can learn to feel the range of feelings again. You can also take a new look at what happened when you were only 13 to reexamine whether your evaluation of it at the time was accurate.
I hope you will take yourself seriously. You have a serious emotional block that will get in the way of friendships and love for family and potentially love for a romantic interest for the foreseeable future. These things rarely fix themselves. You need and deserve the guidance and support of a professional.
I wish you well.
Shy, Awkward Teen Wants Help
I need help. 🙁 I’m 18 and I have several problems going on in my life. I am a shy (male) senior student in high school unsure of my plans of what to do in college and how to get a scholarship in the art world. What is holding me back is lack of self-confidence. I’m not the person that I want to be. I have attempted many times to be outgoing, but as always come off socially awkward. Sometimes I fear of what people may think of me. I am sometimes unable to understand what people are saying to me. I don’t have any close friends, just aquaintances that I talk every now and then at school. No one ever calls me on the phone. My mood can strangely change in a single school day. At one time, I am depressed. Another time, I am laughing for no absolute reason to myself during a class session.
I become so angry when my dad tries to point out my problems with me lacking a driver’s license at the age of 18. I always fail to communicate my feelings based on his criticism. My social skills are terrible. It takes me forever to answer a simple question. I do not make eye contact most of the time, I stare at the ground. I hate myself for getting so bent out of shape when someone is trying to help me with my issues.
Another problem I like to share is that I am unaware of a environment filled with groups of people. As I’m sitting at a resturant, I am afraid to look around at times. Whenever I walk, I look straight forward without turning my head. Even when me and my sister went to Chick-Fil-A, I walked straight passed her on the way out the door, without realizing she was right there. And I thought she was already in the car ready to go.
People look at me funny whenever I go to public places. My parents point out I am not aware of my facial expressions. I often look in the mirror to help fix this problem.
That is all I have to share.
If you do not reply back, thank you for at least taking your time out and reading this. Thank you, Psych Central. 🙂
Hi. Thanks so much for writing and asking for help. That’s the first important step in making change. Bear in mind, please, that I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter. But what you are describing is consistent with the experiences of a person with Aspergers Syndrome. People with Aspergers are socially awkward, have trouble making eye contact and tend to be concerned with a narrow range of interests. Often they find the stimulation of large groups of people or a noisy environment overwhelming. Intelligence ranges from very, very smart to intellectually disabled. Since you’ve made it to senior year in spite of your issues, I suspect you are on the very, very smart end of the continuum.
If I’m right, the most important thing I want you to know is that being an Aspie (an affectionate term for people with the syndrome) isn’t the end of the world. Many of my best friends and some of my family members are Aspies. I think they would all tell you that there are some challenges they’ve had to work hard to overcome but their ability to focus on what they really love makes it worth it to them. By the way: Many tell me they have spent hours in front of a mirror teaching themselves how to make appropriate facial expressions.
I suggest you ask your parents to get you an evaluation. Criticism and correction aren’t going to help you. Working with a therapist who has experience with Aspergers will. You can learn how to interact more acceptably and, more important, more comfortably with others.
Meanwhile, you also need some serious coaching if you want to go to art school. It takes more than self-confidence. Most schools require a portfolio. I suggest you see the art teacher at your school for help with that. Then see your guidance counselor to figure out which schools might have a scholarship program you qualify for.
Thank you for your courteous letter. I can sense that you are a warm and interesting person. You just need some help to let others see it.
I wish you well.
How Do I Learn to Be Social?
From a young teen in Israel: So… i feel weird.. i don’t know how to contact people like others do… i get depressed because of it and i say “i wanna die” to my new class mates who are kinda cool, i think they annoyed from me because im not that popular i almost didn’t had friends before that i can talk about life with them, my parents never listen to me and don’t understand me.
i got bullied in middle school because i was diffrent and didn’t had friends.
i feel lost. i got to mental health center for 4 months for no reason…i got in my life to 3 psychologists and i feel they didn’t understand me. i don’t wanna die i just say it because i cant tell what im exectly feeling, i really think that i got ptsd because of my major bullying when i was in middle school,
somtimes i just hate myself because i cant talk like others do like normal people do how they do it? unknown for me.
how they have long nice talks? i dont know. no one can understand me thats sad. i dont have any support in my life.
i moved to a new school where everyone starts in 11th grade so yeah everyone new there and i kinda got a new friends but i dont know how to keep them, i hope i dont get bullied again and skip majorly school.
Being bullied often effects kids for a long time. It’s difficult to trust other kids again.
Often kids who were bullied try to be “invisible” so they won’t be bullied again. It’s understandable. But what starts as self-protection can become isolating and lonely.
The good news is that you and everyone else is in a new school. My guess is that there are others who share your experiences and who are just as shy as you are. It’s a great chance for everyone to start over. Other kids don’t know each others’ pasts. You can decide how you want to be seen.
One way to get over your fears is to “pretend” you are more comfortable than you are. By acting “as if” you are friend material, you can become one. After awhile, you will feel more and more at ease.
Another good way to start is to join in an activity or sport that you like and just be a friendly, contributing person in the group. That takes the pressure off for making an instant friendship. By doing something together, people naturally get to know each other. Eventually a friend or two will emerge from it.
As for keeping friends, you might find it helpful to read this article: The Care and Maintenance of Friendship.
If you are still unable to make friends after making a good effort, do consider seeing a therapist for a few sessions. It may be that you need more help to get over the bullying than what I was able to say here.
I wish you well.
Is This DID?
From New Zealand: I’m a 12 year old girl and i have been traumatized throughout my childhood up until i was about 8 years old. I’ve been going to counselling since i was 10 and everybody i see (including my own family) have told me that i have been traumatized even though i don’t feel traumatized at all.
I cant even remember the amount of times ive tried to tell my family that i don’t feel any attachment what-so-ever to my father (who neglected me and was an alcoholic, police getting involved didn’t help either…) but they keep telling me it’s all in my subconscious. I barely remember my childhood which doesn’t help, and recently ive been diagnosed with PTSD because sometimes i’ll randomly go into this state of aggression or depression, burst into tears in public, be spaced out and do weird stuff without remembering any of it.
I also developed imaginary friends around about this time last year, but i’ve been going to imaginary worlds since as early as i can remember. The psychiatrists thought this was odd that i only developed them now, and they don’t know why i hallucinate (because apparently i hallucinate too) but i have 2 particular imaginary friends that are special because they don’t live outside of me, they live ‘in my head’. They don’t have bodies and i can’t interact with them, they just talk to me through my mind and sometimes are the cause of my ‘episodes’ i think.
One of them is a 16 year old boy called Adrian and another is a 15 year old girl called Jane. Adrian talks to me more, but he hardly ever makes me have an episode because in those episodes i get violent (which isn’t often) so he’s basically my ‘insanity switch’, as i call him. Jane creeps me out because i will be controlled by her without even realizing it. Her personality isn’t as stand-outish as adrians so it’s hard for me to realize that i’ve been her. And i don’t remember what i’m doing, so i’ll find myself lying on the side of the road with a cop car beside me, and next thing you know i’m crying and hugging my mum because i have no idea what i’ve done wrong. One minute i want to kill my mum, the next minute i want to kill myself, the next i want to know why i can’t remember half of my life. This is Adrian, Jane, and me fighting over my body, and i’m sick of it. Is this DID?
I’m so very sorry that you’ve been through so much and that you continue to be in major distress. It may be that you don’t feel traumatized because you are psychologically protecting yourself from having the feelings. That’s what the people who are helping you mean when they tell you that your memories (and probably the feelings that went with them) are in your subconscious. Your visits to imaginary worlds and your imaginary friends are likely another way your system is protecting you.
Although losing time as you do and feeling like there are others in your head who talk to you or who make you do things are symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), I don’t have enough information to make a diagnosis. I trust that the mental health professionals who know you well can answer your question. Even more importantly, they can help you recover from trauma and become the girl you are meant to be.
I’m glad you are in treatment. You know that your “episodes” and your impulses to kill your mum or yourself aren’t normal. You know you need help to feel in charge of yourself. Your letter shows me that you are intelligent, curious and sensitive. Those are important ingredients for success in treatment.
I urge you to be an active member of your treatment team. Your therapists depend on you to be as honest as you can with them and to share all of your thoughts and feelings — even when they don’t make much sense to you; especially when they don’t make sense to you. Therapists can’t read your mind or your heart so your reports are a key part of your treatment. With time and work, you and your team can get you back on track to be a normal teen with just normal teen prolems.
I wish you well.
I’m 15 years old and I live in a well-off lifestyle with my parents and three other sisters. This summer me and my family moved from Connecticut — after 10 years — to Utah. Since the move there have been major issues that escalate in our family unit. However, one of them is particularly overwhelming. I have understood time and again the science and basic things behind menopause, but never truly embraced it. Because facing it who would? My mother keeps on telling me that she has finished menopause, but I can never shake the feeling that I need to make excuses for her mood swings. When her mood swings started she would usually apologize and I would say “it’s ok” every. single. time. However, not that we moved the mood swings come more often, more ferocious, and never actually go away. Fights have escalated to the point where she has stood in front of me and told me to go “fuck myself” I would then just stand there baffled while she continued to scream. To cool off I would get out of the house and walk my dogs for as long as I could. Getting back home she pouts and ignored me until my father comes home and she starts complaining about how I am “so disrespectful” and “should be punished.” As you can see, her plans never involve confronting me and trying to work things out.
I don’t know what to do anymore or how to act around her. I feel as though she is a ticking time bomb about to explode and I’m always the person in the line of fire. With the pressures of grades and all of the other problems I face at home all I can do is count down the days until I leave for college and never have to walk back into that house. Thank you for reading this and I hope there can be anything resolve our differences.
Thanks for your thoughtful letter. This is a tough one because you are caught in the middle of something that you have very little control over. At 15 you are not going to be able to manage all the family dynamics. Whatever is going on for your mom isn’t something you created or can cure. But you can be clear about limits.
I would first talk to your high school counselor about what is happening. In order to deal with your mom you need some support, and the counselor is the first person you can talk to about this. Additionally, here is a free hotline for you to call that will put you in touch with a counselor who will guide you through the next steps to get support, and how to deal with mom when it happens again.
Your mother telling you to “fuck off” isn’t ok in any instance, and you need to have enough support around you so that the next time it happens you can confront her. Verbal abuse by a parent isn’t acceptable. Her blaming you and not seeing her role in this will mean you need support to help yourself. The counselor and the hotline should help.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Will This Relationship Work?
Tonight my boyfriend of five years told me that he cheated on me (protected) last week while drunk at a party with a girl he dosn’t know. About two years ago he slept with another female during a brief break up and contracted and eventually gave me a STD, I broke up with him then. At the time he was about 18 and I about 16. About a year and a half ago I decided to give the relationship another chance in hopes that he had matured enough for this commitment. This past year and a half has been amazing, we handle all problems like adults and are able to compromise and he had ultimately gained my trust back. This recent infidelity has come as a complete shock to me. Our relationship seemed to be at its best and I was considering marriage as the next step. I am now completely devastated and I just don’t know what to do. He is BEYOND remorseful and has been begging for me to stay offering to do anything. Everyone I talk to claims “men cheat” and that what he did, while wrong and inexcusable, shouldn’t be ground for break up. I know more detail is needed for a complete response but to sum it up I have been with him (solely) since I was 14, now 18 and in college (& a little mature for my age)with our relationship/love being SO strong plans on moving together to our own place and marriage were in the making. I know how sorry he is and I am sure he really will do w.e. it takes to get me back, I just don’t know if I should. I am so hurt and I feel like it may be more hurt to leave that stay. I feel like I found something good and I wish he didn’t put me in this position. I am beginning to consider couples counseling? Please help!!!
Couples counseling is a great idea. However great your relationship is, your boyfriend has twice acted in a way that pulls you two back from a permanent commitment. He needs to take a serious look at just why he has done that. You need to take it seriously too. It could well be that he isn’t as ready to take the next steps toward a life together that you are but isn’t able or willing to face it to himself or to you.
It’s not incompatible for him to care for you a good deal and still not be ready. You two have been together through your teen years and have no experience with other people. There may be a part of him that wonders what he’s missing if he slips right into marriage.
It’s wise to think about couples counseling. A skilled counselor will help the two of you bring any doubts or fears to the surface so you can deal with them directly instead of by creating a crisis. You will deepen your understanding of yourselves and each other and you will improve your communication.
I wish you well.
I Really Don’t Know What My Problem Is
So, basically, I feel like I have real problems relating to people.
I’m a first year at uni and I’ve basically been having this problem my whole life. Its not that I’ve never had friends – or never had close or good friends because I have. The friends I have are important to me and I think I am important to them.
But I feel like they’re so much fewer than everyone else around me has. I don’t speak to people, I don’t know anyone, I only feel comfortable with so few.
Sometimes I feel like I have problems getting to know people because I’m unlikable in general, and sometimes because I am super ugly, or sometimes that I’m just awkward and don’t know what to say much of the time. I don’t think I am the sort of person who someone will go out of their way to spend time with.
Its not that I feel too bad in those situations. When I’m out or at a party I feel like I talk enough, and I make people laugh and form little bonds and all that, but they feel hollow and empty and they don’t last long. I have basically no friends in my course, or in my accommodation. And I’ve had basically no proper romantic relationships in my life.
I feel so okay alone, though. I can be so incandescently happy on my own, but I so rarely feel like that around other people. I never feel comfortable enough to be that happy with other people around me. And especially rarely if i’m not drunk or anything else.
Anyway, I just want to know if their’s something wrong with me or not. If so, what is it? I feel very lonely and awful. I feel kind of monstrous.
It’s very common for people to look out at the world, compare themselves to abstract “others,” and to think that they are not measuring up. Everyone else seems to be having a great time and you’re missing out on all the fun. This is especially true when it comes to social media. People post pictures of themselves experiencing what appears to be the grandest of times. Scrolling through those photos, seeing everyone having what appears to be a great time, can make you feel bad. It can make it seem like everyone else is having fun and you’re not. It’s easy to become envious of others who appear to be “living the best life.”
It’s important to remember that those images are, in a very real sense, doctored. They are not real. Not only are those images often literally embedded with filters, but people tend to post only the most positive aspects of their lives on their social media feeds. They omit the pictures in which they don’t look their best or when they’re unhappy, and so forth. People simply don’t post pictures of themselves in unhappy situations, at least not to the degree in which they post pictures of themselves having fun. This creates a false reality. In modern times, it can be difficult to avoid making comparisons between yourself and the social media images which many of us consume.
In fact, researchers have found that individuals, particularly adolescents, who spend large amounts of time on social media, have an increased level of depression. This mostly stems from people comparing themselves to the happy people they see on social media and judging themselves to be not as good. As a result, one’s mental health suffers. Individuals may come to believe that they are not as good as the people they see on social media.
In your case, you seem to be making comparisons between yourself and other people and then judging yourself harshly. In other words, you basically see other people having a great time and feel like you are “awful and monstrous.” Everyone else seems to be having a better time than you and in your mind, you are the problem.
You also mentioned that you basically had “no proper romantic relationships in your life.” The use of the word “proper” indicates that there is certain number of romantic relationships you “should” have had by now. The reality is there is no number of romantic relationships you “should” have had at this time in your life.
In reality, there are no rules about how many friends or romantic relationships you “should” have had by your age. Thus, if there are no rules, then you should not feel bad about having only a certain number of friends or relationships.
In fact, some of the psychologically healthiest people have only a few friends. That’s because true friendships take a great deal of time to develop. Having many friends may mean that those friendships are of a shallow nature. Have you considered that you may be doing things right, and that other people may be doing things wrong?
Often, when people presume the worst about themselves, it is because they may have low self-esteem, which can be indicative of depression. To know if you have depression, consider having an in-person evaluation with a therapist. They would be in the best position to know if something is wrong and most importantly, can advise you about methods to correct it. Give therapy a try. It could change your thinking to be more in line with reality. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
My Mom & I Hate Each Other
My Mom and I are constantly fighting. I can’t remember a day that we haven’t fought. I’ve told myself that I hate her since I was in fourth grade. I’ve always felt that shes had it out for me, constantly criticizing, calling me “rude”, ganging up on me. It makes me feel terrible about myself. I was diagnosed with depression when I was in sixth grade and it has been a difficult life ever since. I have tried to commit suicide twice and I blame my mother for it. I think she is a terrible person who doesn’t love me or anyone but herself. I am not kind to her either, though. I have told her I hate her and I recently told her that I feel like she doesn’t act like my mother. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t be around her without getting mad. I know that I have an attitude problem and I’m trying to fix it, but she doesn’t help at all. When I feel like I’m having a good day she’ll catch me off guard and just start screaming at me. I don’t know what to do except yell back and it just elevates the situation. She’s the type of person who will carry on until she feels she has gotten her point across. Even when my dad tells her to stop, she doesn’t.
She also favors my younger sister to the point where everyone notices. I get straight A’s in school, I’m in NHS, don’t do drugs, or drink. I feel like I do everything for her but I am never good enough. I never ask her for anything yet when we fight she tells me that shes never going to do anything for me ever again. I’ve tried therapy and they ask her to do family therapy but she wont because she doesn’t believe she has a problem. I just don’t know what to do anymore and I’m so sick of fighting.
I can appreciate the difficult situation with which you find yourself. You did the right thing by suggesting family therapy but, as you are learning, you can’t make people do things they don’t want to do. Sometimes, you can’t change a situation or a person’s mind no matter how hard you try. In these cases, it is best to try to change how you respond to that situation or to that person.
In the very near future, you’ll be turning 18. Then you can leave home if you so desire. It may not fully heal the relationship between you and your mother, but it will probably mean fewer fights.
In the meantime, you should try not to fight with her. She will, in all likelihood, do things that aggravate or upset you, but you should try to let it go. Fighting with her is not only ineffective, but it also makes your life miserable.
It’s important to recognize that your mother might have her own mental health problems. Some people are unwilling to work on their own problems even when it is evident that they should. You cannot control your mother but you can control how you react to her.
She was not interested in family counseling and that is her choice but it should not stop you from seeking help. Individual counseling could teach you how to interact with your mother in a more peaceful way and to develop coping skills for dealing with difficult people in general. Your mother will not be the last difficult person you encounter; there are many difficult people in the world. The better able you are to deal with difficult people, the less negativity they can bring into your life. Please take care.
– Dr. Kristina Randle