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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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I would like to begin by saying this has bothered me for a

Customer Question

I would like to begin by saying this has bothered me for a very long time. My husband and I have 3 children, which are now 36, 35 and 30. My 36 and 30 yr.old are extremely good looking and are successful in life and have families. Our 35 yr. old has had some challenging issues concerning his looks. He was born with a class 4 underbite which required major reconstructive surgery at the age of 19. Following that surgery, he had to have nose surgery because of the correction of the jaw. That surgery broke down in a few yrs., so he had to have another one to correct that one. He also was born with a lazy eye that was corrected to look straight but does not move to the left. All in all, all the surgeries have taken a toll on his self esteem. Through the yrs. I have seen him gradually sink into a depression, he experiences anxiety and has lost his self assurance. He has tried dating to no success. Each time he's rejected I see him deflated. He wants marriage and family but I see he's lost his confidence to pursue a relationship. This makes me so sad as his mother. All these yrs. I have felt guilt regarding his health issues. When I was pregnant with him, I took very good care of myself, no drinking and I'm not a smoker. the only thing that comes to mind that might have been different than my other two pregnancies is the Dr. gave me medication for morning sickness. I've wondered all these yrs. if that could've had some effect on the pregnancy. WE have been supportive and done to help him all we can. I don't know what else we as his parents can do and would it be detrimental to find out what medication the Dr. put me on and if it had any effect on the pregnancy? I've worried about this for 35 yrs. I wish I could put this to rest in my mind. Actually I've suffered with headaches for many years and wonder if this hasn't played a part?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.
Do you want a therapist or a doctor
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Whichever would help me the most. I'm thinking a therapist
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.

It sounds like your son has had a host of problems and you are seeking reasonable explanations. This leads you to concern yourself with possible explanations that may or may not have anything to do with you. You should focus on his recovery as opposed to the rational explanations. These are questionable at best and it takes the focus off of his well being. He needs you and the reason for his ordeal is not as important as the emotional and physical toll it is taking on him. If you find that you are struggling with how to deal with this both of you have therapy available to you. You can also contact any advocacy groups for support as well. Headaches can be a symptom of stress and this can effect your exchanges with him as well. When you focus on the reason you can experience more guilt then you would if you were focused on his recovery. I would see a physician yourself if you feel that your headaches are not stress related and see a therapist to have the support you need. Also encourage him to do the same. The mental obstacles are present long after the physical ones.

 

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Your expertise sounds logical but this has been going on for so long, he has tried many of your suggestions to no avail. At the present, he has no health insurance to afford him any therapy even if he would go. I see him slipping into deeper depression. The holidays are very bad for him. I have doctored for my headaches and I'm on medicine concerning them. I'm not the problem other than letting go of the guilt that he's had to go through all that he has. As fas as focusing on the "problem", unfortunately, every time he looks in the mirror, he's reminded. He's reminded every time he's rejected by another woman. He also feels different than his sister and brother. As his mother I don't know how else to help him, other than be there for him. I
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.
Hello there and I am sorry about your son. That must be very difficult for you to see your son hurt this much. I have heard that some medication for morning sickness that were given to women back in the 60's cause birth defects but have not heard of any that would do that in the 70's or 80's. I am sorry that you son has no insurance to be able to afford a therapist. I think he can get free therapy or low fee therapy services in his area. Most psychology colleges have interns that do very low fee therapy. Maybe he should be focusing on doing activities he enjoys with others and a relationship will eventually happen. I know is not easy but there is someone for anyone out-there. I wonder if he can recieve social security and medical benefits that can help pay for therapy.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We have never checked into any sort of benefits. His first two surgeries were covered by our insurance as it was considered a congenital defect. In the beginning of all this, he had pretty good self esteem but as the yrs. have gone on, I have seen it go down hill. As much as he wants a family, he's afraid of being "rejected" one more time. He feels safest in his group of friends of which he went to school with and all but one are all married with children. I can see on his face this is what he wants. I've encouraged him to branch out with other single groups, but again he's afraid. All in all I question why he of my three children, has had to have these difficulties. I wish I could get over the guilt a parent feels. I've tried to work through this myself because other than taking morning sickness medication, I took very good care of myself. He is a wonderful, soft hearted person and would make a great partner for someone. He's gone through the "school of hard knocks" at a very early age.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry about the guilt that you are feeling. I can imagine that most mothers feel that when they have a child who has special needs or any other disease. I don't think you can find the answer to why this happen to your son. I hope someone can see deep down to his heart into the wonderful person he is. Maybe a church group or a group that works with children with disabilities would expose him to others who care about people more than they do about looks. I also think that doing something with children that are born with disabilities may help his self esteem. I think you also need some help coping with this. I wonder if there is a group for mothers whose child has a congenitar disability in your area. Having a support system will help you cope with your own guilt and make you realise that you did not do anything wrong. Congenital defects happen to children of healthy mothers. My own brother was born with a heart disorder and died young and my mother did not even take aspirin. I think sometimes we can try all we want but have no control of the outcome of our pregrancies.
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience: I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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