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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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I had a very troublesome childhood, i was the youngest of 3,

Customer Question

I had a very troublesome childhood, i was the youngest of 3, my parents divorced when i was 10 through 11, uptil then they had constantly argued, but not infront of myself, always behind doors. Since then my father has moved to america with his new wife, and family (i really get along well with them) and my mother has stayed in the UK with myself and 2 older brother and sister. She remarried in 2007/8 with her new man however i had known him growing up, so i have a serious amount of resentment towards him as he was a family friend. And i felt that my mother had never told myself or brother and sister that he was moving in (may of just ignored possibly) and to this day i cannot stand the sight, sound of him. I did meet someone several years ago who also came from a similar background, and he no longer speaks to his father. But what im struggling with is my difficulty controlling my temper, im quick to anger, im quick to crying uncontrolably, i always have a smile on my face and laugh and cheery however i feel inside that im worthless even though i have a fiance, and that i want to no longer live. I just feel very depressed inside, but i dont have any idea what to do
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Levang :

Hello

Dr. Levang :

How long have you felt...worthless and that you longer want to live?

Dr. Levang :

And...what about your temper, anger and crying uncontrollably?

Dr. Levang :

Is that new or have you experienced those feelings for a long time?

Dr. Levang :

If you could reply to my questions, then I can look more closely at what might be happening.

Dr. Levang :

Also..tell me some about your plans to marry and how you feel about that relationship.

Dr. Levang :

Let me say, that often times children whose parent's divorce, feel resentment when a new wife or husband comes into the picture. And yes, sometimes there is great bitterness towards that new partner to the point where they cannot stand to be in the same room - or house - as that new partner. I just want you to know that your thoughts about this are okay.

Dr. Levang :

As I wrote, if you provide me with a little more background, we can proceed.

Dr. Levang :

Thank you.

Dr. Levang :

Dr. Levang

Customer :

Thank you for getting back to me,
I have felt worthless for a very long time, at least 10-11 years possibly more, as i remember when i was much younger (under 10) that i hated the way that i looked as i thought i resembled a boy ( i know i dont but it has since stuck in my head). The urge that i no longer want to live has been floating around my head since i was 13 - around the time i was starting puberty, i have never self harmed, because i am so worried that i will upset everybody else and put them in such a position that i am no longer allowed, i have almost tried to either cut my wrists, or jump off a bridge/out a high window, i can feel my self getting to that point because i stare at the sky and i believe that if im not in this world, that things would be so much better, and then like previous, i think of my fiance, family and pets, that i never go through with it, just feeling ashamed that i got to that stage.
When it comes to my temper, i was always, and still teased by my older siblings, they are 4 and 7 years older than me, even though we are incredibly close, they wind me up. I have asked them to stop teasing, but that tends to cause more problems as it winds me up more, so i get very angry, shouting, and wanting to hit something, so i can take away the pain/anger. I feel that i have a lot of anger inside of me, because the slightest thing will set me off and i will snap and get frustrated, pulling at my hair or scratching my face. Usually i cry uncontrollably after im angry, but in the last 3 years i have the constant urge to just cry and i find it very difficult to stop.
With my plans to marry i am incredibly excited, we are both very much in love, as we both just click and have been for several years. The only issue is my anger at times, pushes him away and have caused lots of arguments, because in my anger i ignore his feelings and focus on myself, when inreality i care so much how he feels and love to do everything for him and make sure hes ok.

Dr. Levang :

I see that you did see a counselor in your younger years, would you be willing to do that again? With the many issues you present, it would seem that individual therapy with a competent, compassionate, and skilled therapy would go a very long way in addressing the anger, the thoughts about death, and the feelings of inferiority.

Customer :

would i need to see a certain councelor again? or would anyone be able to help me? as in not in a particular field?

Dr. Levang :

It seems that a part of you really wants to be happy. You write of loving your finance and being connected to family and pets - these are all positives in your life. But yet your anger frustrates you and drives you away from others - and away from yourself. Your striking out at others, and the scratching/crying are about frustration - a sense that you can't get your needs met, that you can't be truly happy, that life is not going the way you want. Does this make sense? Can you tell me what is under the frustration?

Customer :

I understand what you are saying, but im really not sure what the underlying frustation is, when i have thought about it, it feels like a number of things, when i was younger, i wished for my mother and father to get back together again, although i know this is not possible, however they are civil to a certain extent now, it isnt right. Other frustrations could be my mothers husband, and how i cannot stand him in any sence. Other frustrations which seem more likely alongside the not liking the mums husband, is last year i lost my job after working there for 2 incredibly stressfull years, i have since got a new job (aug) but its still the odd day of stress however, no where near to the extent as the old job. Which caused me to have blackouts (unexplained by the hospital after a year's worth of tests i fell into the middle of epilepsy and fainting/blackouts). After 6 months of no blackouts i was cleared and since then no blackouts (feb 2011) What i feel im getting at, is that the stress was a big factor in my anger i believe, as i would go to work, come home and instantly complain moan, shout etc at my fiance, which i shouldnt do, he also works hard

Dr. Levang :

Okay. So you have multiple frustrations - your past job being one huge mess of stress and frustration. Now that you are in a new job the anger is less - but is still there to some degree. Is this right?

Dr. Levang :

It also sounds like you didn't like - and perhaps still do not like - the fact that you got angry, went home and moaned and yelled at your fiance - whom you love and feel excited to be marrying.

Dr. Levang :

And...the most prolonged anger seems to come from your mum's husband and the fact that he prevented (in your eyes) your mum and dad from getting back togethe.r

Dr. Levang :

From my experience, most every child of divorce wants their parents back together again. They are your parents - you want the happy home that they were to create for you. Of course you would protest when someone came in to your mum's life! You wanted your dad back - not some other guy. This is normal and happens all the time.

Dr. Levang :

That you still despise him is unfortunate. You said your father and his new wife & family have moved away. That surely means that there is no opportunity for your parents to get back together. Do you have negative feelings for your dad's new wife? Do you blame her for standing in the way of your parents being together? Or...is it something about mum's partner that bothers you so badly?

Dr. Levang :

Hatred has the ability to eat at us and eat at us and fill us with all kinds of negativity. Yes..it was terribly unfair that your mother was not open enough with you and your siblings to tell you about this man and that he was moving in and why. You needed that conversation so that you could have been prepared for what was about to change in your life. For here again - your life changed! And...like your father leaving and their divorce..you knew nothing.

Dr. Levang :

So...I am wondering if the anger, frustration, thoughts of death are about feeling that you do not have control. That is, when you are in situations beyond your control (not being able to get mum and dad back together, not being able to stop this man from moving in to your house, a job that is stressful no matter what you do) do you get angry. The anger is about feeling that someone else is "running" your life.

Dr. Levang :

Does this make sense?

Customer :

With my father and my step mother, i really love her and my 2 step siblings, we get on really well, i dont know if that is due to not knowing her. Or that my dad was honest to me and told me he was looking for someone new, and that he wanted me to in effect decide who i liked - which turned out to be a lady from US. I can also see that she is making him very happy.

With my mum, and her husband, they can argue a lot, my mother works from home or has to work long hours because she likes to be a completist, so he gets annoyed when shes working into the evening, or sits in the office with her when he has a day off huffing and puffing which causes her to be annoyed. I dont like it when shes upset, so my annoyance/anger then adds towards him.

In some ways i think that when he upsets my mum, i then get defensive of her, and so i feel that he shouldn't treat her that way, he should respect not upset her.

When it comes to the feeling that someone else is running my life, i have a very strong feeling about that, I remember when i was younger around 14 and my sister had just turned 18, and since in effect you are an adult you can do whatever, thats what she did, she simply went "bye im going out now" and left, where as when i turned 18, it was or felt like a whole other kettle of fish, i had to say when i was home, who i was with, where i was going, it felt that i had to then ask permission everytime. This has since laps slightly but i still now automatically answer all the q's before im asked. I also have an issue with my older brother, hes incredibly protective of me and my sister, and since my dad moved away and my brother left after 4 or 5 years on tour in the army, he he very protective, and always goes on about how if i do something wrong hes very dissapointed in me, so i feel even worse, Because he may have some slight PTSS im very careful not to cause an argument, but when he is home, i cannot stand it because hes grumpy that he isnt in a decent job or cant see his partner often, so hes rude to me because he knows that i dont do anything back just listen.

When i gain (not very often) enough courage to sit down and talk to either my mum or my brother about how i feel, or that i want to be an adult so i must make my own choices whether they are the wrong ones or not, but they simply say things like you dont have enough life experience, or you've already made several wrong ones so far (the only thing is my debt i had since loosing my job, but that is fixing with a service locally so that isnt bothering me) so they make me feel even worse that at 21 almost 22 that im still just this adolesent child who knows nothing of the world and shouldnt be allowed to do anything

Customer :

i just have an underlying feeling that because im the youngest i have to be proctect from everything so im in effect not really allowed to grow up unless they allow me to

Dr. Levang :

Greetings,

Dr. Levang :

You've obviously done a lot of thinking to the questions I posted. Good for you! These insights and reflections are very important in understanding your self. Certainly it does seem that being the youngest you've been treated as if you are a china doll that might break and so you've not been allowed to grow up in the same way that your siblings did - or that most people do. The overprotectiveness of your brother make sense - as the "big brother" he has done what big brothers are supposed to do - watch and care for the younger siblings. But where that got out of proportion, is when your father left. Think of it this way:

Dr. Levang :

Mother and Father have some problems and a divorce occurs.

Dr. Levang :

Mother is left to parent the children.

Dr. Levang :

In the absence of father, son steps in as the "magical" spouse to mom, and father to other siblings. I say "magical" because it's not his true responsibility, but more a role he is playing like in a play. Mum allows this to happen as she wants a partner and does not want to parent alone. Now - this is not something conscious and decided openly - it is unconscious. Son fills the gap left by father.

Dr. Levang :

As the "magical" father, your brother - who himself is just a young person - over-reacts and becomes extremely protective.

Dr. Levang :

Does this make sense?

Dr. Levang :

Then you have his army experience and perhaps some post traumatic.

Dr. Levang :

And so - yes - your interactions with mum and brother leave you feeling like a kid rather than the young adult you are.

Dr. Levang :

And yes - you are a young adult who deserves to take responsibility for your life. Yes you will make some great decisions and yes you will make some stupid decisions. But that is life. We ALL make mistakes - and often these are our greatest opportunities to grow and mature.

Dr. Levang :

Your response about your step-father is very insightful. You - in your own way - are protective of your mum. That makes perfect sense. With one marriage broken by divorce, you want to see your mum happy. When YOU see him not treating her the way you believe she deserves to be treated - your reaction is to see him as "bad" or "negative" a "jerk" or whatever. It's hard to like him. Right?! After all, if you could choose, your parents never would have gotten divorced in the first place.

Dr. Levang :

I like that you were able to see why you love your step-mother. She was new. But more importantly your father included you in his life. That certainly felt empowering and caring.

Dr. Levang :

The issue becomes how you can mature and lead your own life without constantly having your brother and mum interfere.

Dr. Levang :

In my experience, the answer lies in being courageous and assertive. You've had some chat with mum and brother about your desire to be in control of your life. Have you included your fiance in those chats? Certainly he has something to contribute to these discussions.

Dr. Levang :

I encourage you to have more chats about this subject. And to start TELLING them - rather then asking them - what you are doing or going to do. At the same time, you are your finance need to be more vocal about the life you are planning and what your immediate and future plans are.

Dr. Levang :

More than likely, your mum and brother will have some hesitation about all of this as they are used to controlling and running your life. But...if you continue to assert yourself and do the telling - not the asking - they will eventually loosen their grip.

Dr. Levang :

Maturity is all about ups and downs. Good decisions, not so good decisions.

Dr. Levang :

It will be important for you to point out to your mum and brother what role you want them to play in your life. They are used to protecting you. They will need to know how they can continue to do that in a way that fits your new life as a married woman.

Dr. Levang :

Dr. Levang

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