How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. L Your Own Question

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. L is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Throughout the years, I have increasingly isolated myself from friends and family. I don&#

Resolved Question:

Throughout the years, I have increasingly isolated myself from friends and family. I don't return phone calls most of the time and down right ignore calls. Even from my mother. I have also been really negative toward my mother, feeling some kind of resentment toward her. She is not perfect, but I really don't like the way I feel about her. I moved to a new town 4 years ago and have yet to make any friends. I am married with a young daughter and I just want to get better so my issues don't effect my daughter. As a teenager, I have suffered from low self-esteem and bouts of depression, but I have coped with it. I don't feel bad about myself now, but I am hard on myself. Also, my parents are divorced, my dad (who was my hero) abused drugs but he is okay now. I also wonder why I can not follow through things that I finish...like my college degree which I am very hard on myself for.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Good Afternoon,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

It seems that there are several things going on here...one, isolating yourself, two feeling some resentment towards your parents (particularly mom) from childhood experiences, three being concerned how your behavior impacts your daughter, and four being overly critical of yourself.

Dr. L :

One of the things that might be happening is "fear of success". You might also have low grade depression. You wrote that you had been prescribed Prozac and had seen a therapist...neither of which worked out for you. However, it might be time to re-visit this subject.

Dr. L :

You seem to have a very healthy attitude about your parents...they made mistakes along the way but you accept those flaws and poor choices. As a parent yourself, it likely is eye-opening to see how difficult the job of parenting is and how challenging it is to always know what to do.

Dr. L :

It is easy to blame our parents for every difficult moment in our life...but as adults it is far better to realize that they did the best they could with the skills and abilities they had at the time...and now it is our job to heal any wounds, disappointments, resentments, anger, bitterness that we feel. This sounds like how you have approached that aspect of your life...is that true?

Customer:

Hello. Thank you for answering so promptly and understanding the situation so well. Your assessment is very true. I asked the question in the way I did because to me all of those issues seem related.

Customer:

I've been researching into also and looking into codependcy

Customer:

Especially with my relationship with my mother.

Dr. L :

What do you think of my suggesting fear of success?

Dr. L :

It really is quite normal to walk out of childhood with some bruises...it's not fun...but it's reality.

Customer:

That is amazing you said the "fear of success". Growing up I was acutally a straight student and was on my way to medical school

Customer:

I was the hero of the family

Customer:

but I do feel I disappointed everyone, and for some reason, i do sabbotage myself seemingly

Customer:

Can you explain more about fear of success

Customer:

it makes sense but why would someone be afaid

Dr. L :

Here's a short article on the topic:

Dr. L :

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201101/fear-success

Dr. L :

Essentially, you were on top of the world in high school...high achiever...there were high (maybe too high) expectations for your future. In your own mind's eye you might have said to yourself...what if I'd don't make it into medical school...I'll be letting everyone down.

Dr. L :

What if I get into school...but can't make the grade? What if other kids are smarter than me? What if...what if...

Dr. L :

The expectations you set for yourself and that others set for you might have been such a challenge that you sabotaged yourself rather than risk failure.

Customer:

Also, It is true. since becoming a mother, I reflect on my childhood, all of the negative things my mom verbally said to me, and things they both did. And now as a parent, I realize just how important the formative years are in shaping a person's thoughts about themself. I think that is what is going on with me.

Customer:

I just dont know how to deal with it.

Dr. L :

Very good insight!!! Exactly...you are replaying your history and see the flaws in how you were raised and now are worried about your ability to be that good parent...

Dr. L :

Let me offer just a bit of insight and then we can see what you want to do beyond that.

Customer:

Super worried!

Dr. L :

First....you are not your mother. You are not your father. You have the ability to develop as a parent different than how you were parented.

Dr. L :

Okay!!!!

Customer:

OK :)

Dr. L :

As a child, you saw the world out of the eyes of a immature child. A child that had limited cognitive abilities, limited social abilities, limited everything...correct?

Customer:

Yes that is true. I feel however that when I was 16 and things went down the way they did with my mom and dad I was forced to kind of put chilhood aside

Customer:

i became a mediator between my mom and dad

Customer:

a comforter for my siblings

Customer:

i kinda replaced my dad to my mom. i felt like i had to make her happy since she went through so much

Customer:

i was the hero

Customer:

and that has always been my role

Dr. L :

Ah ha!! One way to look at this is to say that you filled a hole in the relationship between mom and dad...and a hole in your siblings need for parenting.

Dr. L :

Does that make sense to you?

Customer:

Defintley.

Customer:

I feel like I am still the parent to my siblings too.

Customer:

I wonder particularly about the avoidance issues I have with friends and family. I will not answer phone calls and only call back sometimes. I have been in a new city far from my family for almost 4 years now and I still haven't made any friends.

Customer:

as a matter a fact, people a drawn to me and always want to get closer, but the minute they start getting closer I avoid them...not return phone calls, not show up to events invited to etc.

Customer:

Again, somehow I think this is all related, I know I won't get a quick fix solution...lol. Just looking for some more insight.

Dr. L :

From what you have said...I think the real possibility is that you are tired of parenting others...and anytime anyone wants to "latch" on to you...you freak out and push them away. Not answering calls, etc....is basically saying....leave me alone...I did all the parenting I care to...get away from me..

Customer:

That makes so much sense!

Dr. L :

Interestingly, many adults from large families who were forced to parent their siblings end up choosing to have no children once they are married.They often marry early to get out of that responsibility and then say that they did a lifetime of parenting and don't want to do it anymore.

Dr. L :

Make sense to you?

Customer:

Especially since I always feel like I personally am responsible for everyone"s happiness.

Dr. L :

In essence...you lost part of your life by having to grow up too early and take on parental duties. Now as an adult you are wanting to be in control of your own life...and that means NOT parenting anyone you don't want to parent!

Dr. L :

And guess where you learned that????

Customer:

That is true

Dr. L :

I recall you saying that you felt responsible for keeping your mother happy.....

Customer:

Yes. even now

Dr. L :

I want to suggest a book to read:

Dr. L :

Secrets, lies and betrayals by Maggie Scarf

Dr. L :

Also...google:

Dr. L :

www.pbsp.com

Customer:

I feel guilty also having moved so far away too

Dr. L :

And look for an article on Holes in Roles..

Dr. L :

I think moving away was about self-preservation...knowing that if you did not set some physical distance between "them" and "you" you would continue to be swallowed up.

Dr. L :

I would say you made the right choice....

Customer:

that is true

Customer:

my eyes opened so much once i moved

Customer:

but i still feel a lingering guilt

Dr. L :

If your sibs are adults...then you did your job...you are no longer responsible for them...and, more importantly, then need to grow up and be responsible for themselves.

Dr. L :

Sure you do....that's because of your past...

Dr. L :

But today...today the light bulb has come on. Today you have been made aware of what happened...and the connections are being made as to why you feel the way you do...

Dr. L :

Let this new knowledge sink in...roll it around in your mind and in your heart.

Dr. L :

Be patient here...

Dr. L :

Get the book I suggested...take a look at the website I suggested...

Dr. L :

Then write me back if you like and we can chat more...

Customer:

I will do just that. one more thing, In the meantime, although I shew people away, I would like to be more social and make friends.any suggestions.

Customer:

that would help my marriage I think to have other social outlets besides my husband

Customer:

ah my marriage

Customer:

that is a whole nother question...lol

Customer:

but I think it would benefit me and my marriage if I did make friends (and held on to them) in this new city

Dr. L :

Is your child in school?

Dr. L :

One of the easiest ways to make new friends is by volunteering at school and getting to know the other parents.

Customer:

no, she is just 2 now. and now I am a stay at home mom with her

Dr. L :

Okay...

Dr. L :

Does your school district have an early childhood program? In many communities the school offers preschool programming that brings parents and kids together for singing, dancing, play activities.

Dr. L :

Usually this is just an hour or two session. Again...a way to make friends for the child and the parent.

Dr. L :

What about swim lessons, library reading time...

Customer:

Yes, I know for sure they do. I just haven't made an effort to go out and socialize. I will look into that. It will be good for her development too.

Dr. L :

Absolutely! It will be good for both of you. You are very likely to meet neighbors or families who live close by. Then you can suggest play dates, or days when the parents all meet at a nearby park...that sort of thing.

Dr. L :

You might also consider joining a book club for yourself...or some similar club.

Customer:

I do like to read

Dr. L :

Do you attend church? Have you met your neighbors?

Customer:

No to both.

Dr. L :

Great...see what the local library has..or the local bookstore...

Dr. L :

Okay.

Customer:

and when neighbors try to get too close, I don't let them

Customer:

but those a great suggestion

Customer:

and a good start

Dr. L :

With summer coming...how about hosting a BBQ at your house and inviting a few neighbors over.

Customer:

I do love to cook :)

Dr. L :

Yes...I understand your "past" behavior...but now that you have new insight...you might be able to look at your neighbors differently.

Customer:

very true

Dr. L :

What I want you to consider is that you do not have to continue to live out of your past...you can begin to see life differently....

Dr. L :

You are NOT the same person as you were at 16...

Dr. L :

You no longer have the responsibility of keeping your mother happy!!!

Dr. L :

You no longer have the responsibility of parenting your siblings!!!!

Dr. L :

You are free to be you...

Dr. L :

And...that is the choice I encourage you to take!

Dr. L :

Cut the cord to your past....

Dr. L :

The past is over...today is a brand new day.

Customer:

Great advice and so on point :).

Customer:

I will take a look at those articles.

Dr. L :

Very good.

Customer:

This transcript will be available for me to review also...correct?

Customer:

so I can reference

Dr. L :

Yes. This is stored under your account. You can print it off as well.

Dr. L :

Is there any last thing I can help you with today?

Customer:

That is all for now. Thanks for your help. best $$$ I've spent in a while...lol. Mommy duty calls, literally. Thanks again.

Dr. L :

You are very, very welcome.

Dr. L :

If you would like to contact me again in the future...just ask for Dr. L in the opening of your question. I will be notified that you are wanting to chat.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
Dr. L and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions