Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
I would like to help you with your question.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
I've been researching into also and looking into codependcy
Especially with my relationship with my mother.
What do you think of my suggesting fear of success?
It really is quite normal to walk out of childhood with some bruises...it's not fun...but it's reality.
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
I was the hero of the family
but I do feel I disappointed everyone, and for some reason, i do sabbotage myself seemingly
Can you explain more about fear of success
it makes sense but why would someone be afaid
Here's a short article on the topic:
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.
What if I get into school...but can't make the grade? What if other kids are smarter than me? What if...what if...
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.
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.
I just dont know how to deal with it.
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...
Let me offer just a bit of insight and then we can see what you want to do beyond that.
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.
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?
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
i became a mediator between my mom and dad
a comforter for my siblings
i kinda replaced my dad to my mom. i felt like i had to make her happy since she went through so much
i was the hero
and that has always been my role
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.
Does that make sense to you?
I feel like I am still the parent to my siblings too.
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.
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.
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.
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..
That makes so much sense!
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.
Make sense to you?
Especially since I always feel like I personally am responsible for everyone"s happiness.
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!
And guess where you learned that????
That is true
I recall you saying that you felt responsible for keeping your mother happy.....
Yes. even now
I want to suggest a book to read:
Secrets, lies and betrayals by Maggie Scarf
I feel guilty also having moved so far away too
And look for an article on Holes in Roles..
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.
I would say you made the right choice....
that is true
my eyes opened so much once i moved
but i still feel a lingering guilt
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.
Sure you do....that's because of your past...
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...
Let this new knowledge sink in...roll it around in your mind and in your heart.
Be patient here...
Get the book I suggested...take a look at the website I suggested...
Then write me back if you like and we can chat more...
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.
that would help my marriage I think to have other social outlets besides my husband
ah my marriage
that is a whole nother question...lol
but I think it would benefit me and my marriage if I did make friends (and held on to them) in this new city
Is your child in school?
One of the easiest ways to make new friends is by volunteering at school and getting to know the other parents.
no, she is just 2 now. and now I am a stay at home mom with her
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.
Usually this is just an hour or two session. Again...a way to make friends for the child and the parent.
What about swim lessons, library reading time...
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.
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.
You might also consider joining a book club for yourself...or some similar club.
I do like to read
Do you attend church? Have you met your neighbors?
No to both.
Great...see what the local library has..or the local bookstore...
and when neighbors try to get too close, I don't let them
but those a great suggestion
and a good start
With summer coming...how about hosting a BBQ at your house and inviting a few neighbors over.
I do love to cook :)
Yes...I understand your "past" behavior...but now that you have new insight...you might be able to look at your neighbors differently.
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....
You are NOT the same person as you were at 16...
You no longer have the responsibility of keeping your mother happy!!!
You no longer have the responsibility of parenting your siblings!!!!
You are free to be you...
And...that is the choice I encourage you to take!
Cut the cord to your past....
The past is over...today is a brand new day.
Great advice and so on point :).
I will take a look at those articles.
This transcript will be available for me to review also...correct?
so I can reference
Yes. This is stored under your account. You can print it off as well.
Is there any last thing I can help you with today?
That is all for now. Thanks for your help. best $$$ I've spent in a while...lol. Mommy duty calls, literally. Thanks again.
You are very, very welcome.
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.