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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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I just spent a couple hours writing quite a bit about

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I just spent a couple hours writing quite a bit about myself. Anyone have time to read it? I don't think it will all fit here. It is a few pages.


I'd be happy to read it. You can cut and paste it here in two, three, or more pages-- simply reload the page after you post and you will get to a new box to paste more information.

Be sure that you have clearly indicated what you want addressed.

Nancy :-)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This is going to be long. I am reaching out but I can't accept any advice from anyone unless I think they have an understanding of why I am the way I am.

I recently realized how my childhood is affecting my life today. It was a realization that was full of anger, relief, grief and you go ahead name it. I had a really unhealthy "bad" childhood. My mother was a raging alcoholic. My memory is really sketchy up until about 5 years of age when she slit her wrists in front of me and I watched her almost die. She beat me and my brother on occasions and made it clear that I was not a good human being or person simply because I am a male. She told me she didn't believe in god while others told me to believe in god. My dad? Never met him and i think my mom gave up to easy trying to find him. I was in 3 foster homes and had moved at least 12 times before I even made it to the 7th grade. During middle and high school I moved another half dozen or so times and eventually dropped out. I was a loner most of the time finding a hard time making friends because I couldn't relate to them.

Though I was never physically touched sexually, I think there was some abuse. I do not think that a 5 year old should know what a blow job is, I saw my first "Kama sutra" book at 7, 8 or 9 and showed it to other kids. I do not think a mother should talk about the details of her sex life to an 8 year old who should be playing baseball and having an 8 year old life!

I had thoughts of suicide and I planned it out a few times by the time I was 17 or so. I actually attempted cutting my wrist when I was 18 and had to stay the night in the hospital. A girl set me off on that. When I was 25 it happend again! I planned on taking a bunch of pills but ended up drinking a half gallon of hard A in about an hour and believe me; I would have been knocking on heavens door if I was found about 10 minutes later. I can't say I was trying to kill myself, but I certainly did not care if I did die. Again this was from a rejection from a girl. The same girl I'm with now but I will tell you about that later.

I know that (after my "epiphany" or "realization") I will never do something like this again because I think that I did this in the first place because it was the feeling of abandonment that I felt as a child. Not because I am worthless or whatever I was thinking.

Looking at myself today, I think I stopped listening to my heart and making decision from an emotional perspective because there was no room for that when I was growing up. Its hard for me to make decisions. I have to interact with the world in a very very logical way. I had to make hard logical decisions that helped me survive that childhood. and I still think the same way today.

I'm like this walking brain constantly analyzing and never making a decision without thinking and thinking and thinking about it. I can't play my guitar with any originality. I can't dance. I can't keep friends. In fact I have made a good target for ridicule. I am always just a little "off" because I have to think while others just feel and live their lives with out any worries or fears. I have to admit I have stoped caring about a lot of things.

All in all it has been a pretty unfortunate ride (not that I don't have some good memories and I am very grateful for them and those people).

I want to make it clear that I didn't make it 27 years through all of this grief, heartache and depression to be a "victim" especially after this realization of myself. I now understand myself better than I have for a very very long time (if ever) and I feel confident enough to make most decisions. I still need help and my brain can only handle so much (about 7 things at a time i think I read in a book).

My career.

What the hell do I want to do? Don't get me wrong I have a great job with room to grow but, Its not full filling for some reason. Even though I have got to see the world and have been paid for it. I know I do not want to do what I am doing now (But will I really want to do anything)? I really do believe that there is a career path out there for everyone and I want to find mine. I dont think there is a limit to what I can do but I have to find what it is I want to do. I just hope that I dont feel this need to move to another career because of some "messed up" child hood experience that I'm not noticing. If that is the case why should I even bother looking for another career? I just won't be "full-filling" in a couple of years.

I have a 2 year degree and i want to go back and get a bachelors but I can't chose a major.

My social life.

I have a hunch that this is going to get better just after my realization. I don't assume people are against me so much. I think I have been coming off as an asshole at times. My fault. Sometimes someone may say something that I take as an attack but may not be. I just have to slow down a little bit. But I can't help but question their remarks and then they get defensive. what is this?!


How can any logical person like me chew on this? Someone is up there who has the answer to everything? knows everything? OK then how do I "surrender." What if I am not able "surrender." is he really the kind of god that is going to damn me to hell to burn for eternity. I know that my way so far hasn't worked out and I am reaching out for help now. but how can I "surrender." Unless anyone can make some sort of since to me I think I would be better off trying to move a pop-can with my head.

My Girlfriend.

The one that has the most influence on me is definately my girlfriend. I have been with my girlfriend for 7 years. We have lived with each other for a little over 3 of that. When I first met her all my fears, anxiety, troubles just went away and I fell so deeply in love with her. Unfortunately I became jealous at times, I didn't want her to go out without me, I always thought it was going to end at any moment and everything else that happens when you are insecure. As much as I hate to admit it, she sometimes took advantage of that just because she could.

We were young (She was 17 and I was 20 when we met) and we ended up cheating on each other. Me first and then her immediately after she found out to get revenge (I'm mean with in 2 hours!). It has caused so much heartache and it is what drove me to drink that bottle when I was 25 (I know that was my own fault). Never have I ever felt so much despair as I did that day. After that happend we got back together for about 6 months before she cheated on me again and broke up with me. We didn't talk or see each other for 2 weeks (the longest we have been apart in the whole 6 years) before she contacted me and wanted me back.

It is hard to describe what happened to me during that 2 weeks. I drank a lot and I was promiscuous; basically anything I could do to get her out of my head without ending up in the hospital again. A couple of my friends say I just changed a bit. I called out of work a few times. I didn't let her back in my life fully but never let her go completely. I lived with my friends for a year after that and we continued to take it "slow." We didn't see each other but once or twice a week. I had a one night stand during that time we didn't live together and I had no emotional connection with the girl (she was the same and made it clear so I wasn't being an asshole).

I could tell toward the end of that year that she felt horrible and wanted to do whatever she could to make it right. I was hesitant but, we just moved back in 5 months ago and I think I did it out of fear of her leaving me again. I was content with how things were at that time and she really wanted to keep going. She was a total $%##* for a while there and I think that now she realizes it.

Me on the other hand I don't know. I'm just stuck now. All her friends are asking her why we arn't married. All my friends are asking me when we are going to get married. And all I can say is I don't know. I know that she is ready but i don't know if I can. I feel like I need to go down and buy a ring right now or we need back off again. After everything we have been through I feel like we HAVE TO DECIDE RIGHT NOW!

Ever since since she contacted me after that split up (year and a half ago) she has not given me one reason to believe that if I married her she wouldn't be anything but faithful and loving and everything a wife should be. So why the hell don't I propose? Here is a girl that is wanted by so many guys and she wants to marry me and all I can think about is meeting other women. I'm damned if I stay and I'm damned if I leave. I don't know which one hurts more. I don't even know if I took the risk and ended up heartbroken and then I did meet another woman that I wouldn't just be tired of her in a couple of years.

I guess my biggest fear is taking the risk and falling into deprssion filled with heartach and despair again (been there quite a bit). I don't even have any good friends or family to turn to for support. I mean I have both friends and family but no one that I can turn to for somthing like this. Not to mention that I am ashamed that I'm 27 years old and can't make this decision.

Someone is probably going to say that these are all things that I need to decide and I know that. But it doesn't hurt to get advice so that just maybe I can make a confident decision.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I must have wrote to much?


I am so glad you wrote back. It's funny that you found me... if I could pick a question or issue after 20+ years of doing what I do for a living, this may be it ;-)

I don't think I could, as eloquently, describe how my life and professional background so completely matches your needs... but in a tony nutshell; I grew up a weird home with a psycho father, which lead me to want to fully and completely understand everything about everyone; it makes sense, right, knowledge is power -- the more you know the more you can "intellectualize" it all -- no need to be affected by it, especially if you can sit on a high horse and ponder...

So I got all this education and all this professional experience... I began working with substance abusing teens, then graduated to heroin addicts- from there to eating disorders, sex addicts, sexual offenders and their victims. I have an impressive resume working with the National Institute of Health (NIH) on a sexual offender study.

Blah, blah, blah... and what I am going to tell you, no matter how much you want to deny its simplicity --and the absolute crux of all of your indecision -- is that you did what I did -- what all children who are emotionally overwhelmed do: you shut off your feelings.

I know it sounds simplistic, and I know you might even think you FEEL, but you don't. I know you don't; because you have indecision in every area of your life. You don't know if you want to get married, you don't know what you want to do for a career, you don't know WHY you can't make this decision. PROOF that your feelings are buried -- not dead, but certainly buried.

By now you've probably come up with all the things you do feel. You feel love for your girlfriend. You feel angry and had all these feelings today when you realized how much your childhood affects your present day life. So... that's progress toward having access to your full set of feelings all the time.

Let's go one step further. REAL FEELINGS aren't predictable. But for those of us who grow up in dysfunctional lives, the feelings we actually experience are sort of trial feelings. They can be just as intense as anything in the universe, but we know what we will feel in any given situation -- those, I call our "safe" feelings.

REAL, honest to goodness, genuine feelings are not predictable. Have you ever heard someone say they were surprised at their own reaction or feelings toward something -- well people like you and I would think, "that's weird... I know what I'd feel". Real feelings are not always predictable.

So, if you are still with me, we've established that you don't genuinely experience all of your feelings. We also know it's because that was what kept you alove as a child-- had you fully emotionally realized your circumstances, you would have gone crazy on the spot. We have defense mechanisms in place. You used "intellectualization"; you can easily think things through, you are articulate, extremely keen and highly intelligent.

Intellectualization prevents us from having to feel. We think about things... we don't feel them on a gut level. We know people -- get things other people may not understand about people, the human condition and suffering, but we don't get down and dirty with our own feelings.

SO... what do you do? First of all, exactly what you are doing... this self exploration will get you there. You may also want to consider counseling -- a place to talk about it all. Hearing ourselves is a HUGE help. And lastly, start to feel your way through situations. Ask yourself, "how do I feel?" Search the internet for that huge poster of FEELINGS. Read them. Run a list of feeling words: happy, sad, joyful, irritated, fearful, excitable, apprehensive, find new words...

If you were deeply and genuinely feeling all of your feelings, you'd know what you want.

Sometimes knowing what we want leads us to make decisions we'd rather not make. You do have to accept that if you go down this path, you may find that you want new things - or different things. It doesn't have to exclude your girlfriend... but it could.

Finally, tons of young people get married, and there really is a peer-pressure environment to do so. But WAY more than half of those people get a divorce. People who tend to wait until they really know what they want as they age tend to do better and have marriages that last longer. Ignore that time-sensitive marriage/baby thing. Look around at who is happy and what makes them happy (common interests, mutual respect, being able to easily allow the other person their separate interests, and easy-goingness (as if that's a word)).

Stop thinking.... feel your feelings, all of them.

Comments... questions? Feedback?

Tell me your feelings!


Nancy and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Stop thinking.... feel your feelings, all of them.
If you were deeply and genuinely feeling all of your feelings, you'd know what you want.

Good stuff. thank you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I had $35 i hope that you got all of it

Thank you, ***** ***** very kind!

Please feel free to write back at any time :-)


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Did you get it all because my balance still shows $30.

I usually don't see how/when payments are made to me. If there is an issue, I am sure JA will resolve it; they are completely on top of things like this.

I'll recheck in a day or so... it's kind of you to be concerned :-)

Nancy :-)