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Ask Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH Your Ow...
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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Girlfriend suffered childhood traumatic events, mother was

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girlfriend suffered childhood traumatic events, mother was abusive to her and siblings, mother big drinker and dated alot of men in front of children, girlfriend has problem commiting in relationships throughout life runs away at first sign of problems then shuts out all feelings and moves on, girlfriend also moody sometimes up to several days real quite and does not want to have any contact, she was with alot of men and women threw out her life, now says she only likes men, and wanted to marry me, I feel she is suffering from some type of mental illness can you define what it is, would like to recommend direction for her to get therapy, we are no longer in a relationship. just friends. Thx.
Hi there,
Thank you for posting your question on Justanswer. It is hard to know exactly what her diagnosis is without sitting down with her personally. However, it sounds like she has a lot of the personality traits that can come from growing up in an alcoholic and abusive home. In an alcoholic home, things are very unpredictable hence developing a problem with trust is pretty common. Alcoholic homes have very confusing rules like "don't talk about your feelings, shut them away and move on". This can cause major problems for adult children coming from alcoholic homes and they can display many of the symptoms (personality issues) that your friend is displaying. All of these things can manifest in a person having very poor relationship skills (moving from person to person) and suffering from depression (moody).

I would recommend she see a therapist that specializes in trauma/abuse and addiction issues to evaluate her more fully. A therapist that can treat her inability to tolerate feelings in a relationships and that can help her learn to have healthy relationships with people, as it sounds like she may not have learned these skills from her mother growing up. It also sounds like she needs to be evaluated for depression or even bipolar disorder which can be characterized by being "moody".

I hope this answer helps you. Please feel free to ask any other questions or for clarification on this answer.
Take care, Kym

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Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We started living together for about 4 mths we were together for 14 months her 16 yr old son created tension between us because of his messyness and laziness regarding upkeep of our home, we had an arguement and I brought up her past relationships which I think was very hurtful (stirred up childhood trauma) I apologized and she packed up house and left within 12 hours, she once before had packed house in 8 hrs, after a small arguement, but did not leave, I think she is so use to her independance living by her self for so long, at this point she has cut off all communication, she said she loves me and wanted to be my wife, but this is a severe change with her personality, but the past dictates the future and she has broken off 5 yr relationships in the past 2X, I don't know if this info helps. Thx.
Hello again, Yes it is helpful and makes sense that she would react in such a drastic way. It is typical to just leave rather than work out the problem because that was probably the typical reaction she saw growing up. (mother having lots of boyfriends). What you said about her Independence is probably true because she probably had to take care of herself while she was still a child. This is another personality characteristic of Adult Children of Alcoholics. The can be super independent which is actually a symptom of being unable to trust and to ask people for help.
I hope that answer helps as well. If she does come back into your life I would suggest therapy for yourself with a therapist that can help you learn to cope and support her issues.
Take care and let me know if you need further clarification about this answer.
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you