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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I need advice as to how to make my decision more palatable.

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I need advice as to how to make my decision more palatable. Essentially, I was not careful reading a contract and would be sued and evicted if taken to court. I was desperate and due to multiple unexpected expenses in the past few months, i did not have the money. A friend offered me some, but i was unsure when i'd be able to pay her back so i felt uncomfortable. I asked my parent to lend it to me, and i feel positively depressed and disgusted with myself. Said parent was extremely abusive and actually gave me a fracture, which she still refuses to own. I've been working since i was a teen and have paid for everything i have ever needed. My parent is manipulative and a phony, and i feel like i have sold my soul somehow. She said she didn't care when i paid her back and she def doesn't need it, but i told her i am definitely paying her back- yet, i can't get over this feeling of disgust for taking it from her. It took me a long time to acknowledge who she really is and was, and i'm worried now i will lose perspective, that she will feel i "owe" her, and i'm totally ashamed that i accepted it. But i was divorced this year, and had numerous stressors and changes and the alternative would be to leave my place AND still be Obligated to make payments per my attorney. How can i shake this feeling? How can i keep perspective? Whenever an abusive person is nice to me i tend to forget about the other side of them. Plus, i'm not sure if it was just fundamentally wrong to accept it from her. Please advise.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

Wow! This is a multifaceted question. Let's try to look at all the sides of it and see where we end up. Okay?

The first thing we have to clarify is whether you should have done ANYTHING with her. From your feelings of frustration with yourself, we can assume that she has not made an attempt to repair the relationship in general, as witnessed by her not owning up to the fracture. I'm not a believer in cutting off family relationships. Physical abuse of that nature is pretty close, though, to my cut off line for total cut off of relationship. But you haven't totally cut off and I support that. It gives her a chance to try to repair.

Yes, it opens you to continual disappointment: another month goes by and she's done nothing. And you write that you tend to still hope: whenever you ask her for something you forget that she's abusive. Well, right. That's natural. When a child asks a parent for help, that's the natural order of the world, how things are supposed to be. So it's easy to forget that she has perverted that natural order.

And yes, I can see that would make you feel like you betrayed your justifiable anger and loathing for who she was and her lack of making efforts to repair it. But I believe that a person who still gets hopeful and wishes things were different is a better person than the one who's just become cold and hardened. I work with my patients to NOT become cold and hardened but to let their innocent desire, like when they were kids, still stay alive. So that they can be more emotionally full.

And yes, it opens you to hurt. But it's better to be opened to hurt than closed to feeling.

So we are left with you having acted honorably toward your friend to not take a loan you were unsure of and instead went to the mother you wish you had to ask for help. And you are upset because that was a pretense: she's not that mother. She's the abusive mother. And maybe you are absolving her and letting her buy you with money.

No chance. If she would use the money as an opening for repairing the hurt, what better result could there be? And if she doesn't, it was just a loan.

So, after all this, the conclusion is: you are right to be determined to pay her back. It's not a question of need. It's a question of you not letting this be a permanent part of your relationship with her.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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