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November 18, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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Help

Question:

I keep slitting my arms with sharp things. My friends know, but my family doesn't. I sometimes feel suicidal, but not always. There are times when I feel really happy and want to keep living. Other times, I hate life at home because my family hates me. I really like them on some occasions, but sometimes I hate them and want them to die.

People keep saying I need therapy, but I find it difficult to talk to people about how I'm feeling. Now and then I don't even know how I'm feeling - which makes me feel angry with myself. I usually can't be bothered to get up in the mornings, but I do anyway, because in school I can hang out with my friends and get away from my family.

I hate myself more than anything. I live with my grandparents, but my mum won't tell me why I live with them. I don't know my dad. My mum got remarried recently and I like my step-dad. When I am happy I like my mum, but when I get upset I hate her.

When I'm am alone I cry for no reason. Even those times when I am happy, I suddenly get really down for no reason.

Do you have any idea what could be wrong with me?

13 year-old Girl

Answer:

Dear Constance,

If I carefully read what you have written, it's as if it was from two different people, fighting with each other. There is one side of you, which is accurate and honest: '' I really like them on some occasions, but sometimes I hate them." This seems to be true; sometimes you get along with your family, and sometimes you don't. However, there is also a lying voice there, one that tries to trick you into killing yourself and slitting your arms, causing you to feel terrible. This voice tries to get you to believe that you hate your family all the time and that they hate you.

You know that your family doesn't hate you, and you know that you don't hate them, but you feel as if you did, even while knowing it's not true. My dear, are you going to stand for this? Are you going to let this inner thing kill you? Isn't it time you stopped it from wrecking your life? Fight back!

When something inside says "I hate myself", ask a simple question: "Why?" I don't know you at all, but my guess is that in your life, you have done nothing terrible. The worst things you've done have been to hurt yourself. I know you are a good person, because even in the few words you've written, you said you have friends at school, and that you are friends with your mum's new husband. These kids at school and your new step-dad can see good things in you, even if you can't. I trust their judgment. So should you.

Now to answer your question: There is nothing wrong with you. You are OK the way you are. However, there are lots of problems with some of the things you do, think, and believe. You believe that there is something wrong with you, and everything else comes from this. Remember that you are a teenager now, and can use reason. When you were little, you thought like a baby, then like a toddler, then like a kindergarten kid. Such young kids can't reason the way you now can. They see the world they find themselves in, and try to make sense of it in a childish way. Of course.what else could they do?

Let me make some guesses: I guess that when you were a very little child, you got it into your head that you didn't have a father like other children because you'd done something so bad that he went away. You thought that you lived with your grandparents instead of with your mum because you were too terrible for her to put up with. To some extent, you still have these beliefs, but now you can look at them with your teenage brain. Do you really think that a baby girl could do anything so bad that her father would go away?

My guess is that your mum was very young when you were born. She may have behaved in ways that were unwise. She may have gotten drunk at a party and woke up later, remembering very little of it - and then found out she was pregnant. Or, she may have had a boyfriend for a while, and had sex with him, and when she got pregnant he was too irresponsible to do the right thing and stick around. It could be a dozen or so other tragedies that happen so often.I don't know. However, this says that when your mum was young, she may have been bad. Your father may have been bad. They have grown and matured since, and there is no reason for you or anyone else to blame them now. The point is, you didn't do anything bad. You were born, and had no say in this. You, the baby, are blameless.

When, with a childish mind, you decided that you must have been a terrible person to have ended up in your situation, this was a false conclusion. Somebody else made mistakes, and your grandparents were wonderful and took you in so that your mum had a chance to go on and build a life for herself without needing to be tied to a baby.and that was all.

There is nothing for you to feel ashamed about. There is nothing for you to feel guilty about. You don't need punishment. You need to be loved, but first of all, you need to be loved by yourself. Look in the mirror. Say to the girl you see there, "You are OK. I love you." At first, this will seem false, like a lie - but keep doing it until it comes true. Also, I suggest that you go to your stepfather and show him this email: your question and my answer. I am sure he will want to help you on your new path to a good life. You didn't leave an email address. If you read this, email me (bobrich@hotkey.net.au).

Bob.

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

For more information visit the site or contact information page on QueenDom.

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