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Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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I don’t really know how to begin, so I’ll just start at the

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I don’t really know how to begin, so I’ll just start at the beginning. I’ve lived a very sheltered life at a Buddhist retreat center in California and everyone there is like family to me, my mother and I moved there when I was 4 and I went to public elementary school. We moved out of there into San Francisco so I could go to middle school. I went to public school like any normal kid, but I have hydrocephalus. Which means even a slight drop in barometric pressure gives me a crippling migraine to the point where I’ll scream “I don’t want to die” The other kids thought something was wrong mentally with me, I’ve always had low self esteem issues due to that. I’m 20 now those headaches have decreased in number( 3 to 4 a week, down to once a month) and severity , I moved to Canada to go to high school when I was 15. I had found a karate dojo where I had been studying for about two years (grade 11 and grade 12) During my grade 12 year, I fell in love with a friend of mine I made there (after only a couple months of knowing her), and we had a real loving relationship for about a year, there was that and before I graduated. That two years was the happiest time in my life. Then when I graduated in 2008 at the age of 19 everything went downhill, I tried to find work in the city but no one was hiring because of the start of the recession. So with no alternative, my mother packed us up and moved back to the Buddhist retreat center in California. As of now I have a job as a housekeeper that pays a stipend of 300 a month with my mother as my boss, my relationship with my girlfriend didn’t end and we see each other once or twice a year. Said BRC is 30 miles or so into the mountains, and I don’t drive. So I guess with all that I should be happy, “At least I have a job.” as everyone keeps telling me. My whole life I’ve tried to become my own person, and I don’t know where to go, But I’ve been doing martial arts on and off since I was six, but my mother and everyone has been telling me that it’s impractical to move off the mountain and go to china to study and “steep” myself in the culture that I loved so much. The martial arts has been the only thing I have ever loved besides my father and girlfriend (of 3 years now.) Everything and everyone else has put me in my place as being incapable of doing anything. My father and girlfriend have been the only two people who have ever told me to reach my potential. Unfortunately I feel conflicted and somewhat trapped in going to college while staying on the mountain( my mother’s plan) because I want more out of life. But since I moved from Canada my girlfriend has told me I’ve become despondent and emotionless. I’ve lost interest almost entirely in studying the martial arts. I feel like I have nothing left but my job and my health, Which for me as a Sagittarius is extremely strange. I’m usually extremely happy, social, the oddball always cracking jokes ect. I feel powerless to do anything to change my situation. I’ve researched and researched the phycological symptoms of my disease and have found nothing, and since I’ve never had an experience of therapy or pills I don’t know what to look for to even begin to diagnose myself. That’s is all there is I suppose. Thanks for your time.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today.

I'm sorry to hear that you are finding yourself in this unsatisfying situation. It sounds to me like you are somewhat depressed, which would make sense after everything you have described.

I totally agree with your father and your girlfriend. Your job in YOUR life is to find your passion and explore it. You aren't doing this, which is causing you to loose interest in everything. You are living the life your mother wants for you - not the life you want for yourself. This will crush anyone's spirit. It's not your responsibility to live your life in a way that makes your mother comfortable. While it would be nice if she accepted your choices and was supportive, it's not necessary to have her support in order to fulfill your dreams. A parent's job is to help their children grown up - which means they will leave to lead their own lives. Then a parent's job is to allow that to happen. Your mother is undoubtedly protective of you because of your health issues, but she isn't helping you by encouraging you to be dependent and to live in a place that isn't what you want.

It may be "impractical" to move to China and study martial arts. But who cares? Isn't that your call. If you are willing to take the risks (and the potential benefits) associated with that, then that's all that matter. You are 20 years old. Get out and live your life. Follow your passion. Your mother may not understand, but that's her issue to deal with, not yours. I say go for it!

Best wishes and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
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