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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am 50 yr. old female who was raised by, in my estimation,

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I am 50 yr. old female who was raised by, in my estimation, the worst abuser I could ever think of,(my mother). I married at age 17 had two boys by age 20. I don't think I have ever thought I have done one right thing. Still looking for the mom to change or just like me. Do I just really need to be de-programmed from all the abuse so I can have a life?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

First, I am so sorry about what you went through. Abuse can leave horrible scars that interfere with your needs and feelings and affect you in many ways.

It is very common to feel as you do. Whenever a child is abused, they still seek out the love they didn't get from their parents as a child and as an adult. The lack of a caring, warm relationship can leave the adult survivor of childhood abuse feeling low self esteem, depression and that they are unworthy of love. We all deserve love and approval and when you don't get it as a child, it remains unfulfilled and can cause pain.

The answer to your situation is not so much reprogramming but helping you fill in the blanks left from your childhood. One of the most important things to focus on is that what you suffered was not normal and what you deserved was love and care. Acknowledging that you deserve those things is one of the important things you need to do for yourself. Another is understanding what your childhood should have been like. This will bring up feelings from your experience, but that is good. Those feelings need redirected to your abuser. Understanding that you were not wrong but the abuser was is vital. It is always the abuser who is unstable, never the victim.

Additionally, remember that you survived. You came through this, had a relationship, had children and are living your life. You are also seeking help. This is an enormous step. It shows strength, insight and determination to not let your experience become who you are.

I highly recommend you seek out a therapist. You need to work with a counselor to help you explore your feelings, figure out what is right and what is put there by the abuse, and how to find yourself and gain what you lost. The support and guidance of a therapist is very important in helping you to overcome and live your life the way you want.

Some books that can help you get started are Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Ann McMurray and Gregory L. Ph.D. Ph.D. Jantz and Adult Children of Abusive Parents by Steven Farmer. These books can be found on or your local library may have them.

Most of all, be kind to yourself and realize that you are on the first step of a journey that will help you recover and live the life you want.

I hope this has helped,


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