Can't feel happy


Can't feel happy


your avatar   Aakruti, 18-year-old woman

I'm the only child of my parents. My parents have a very troubled relationship and I have to constantly hear that they stayed together only for me. Due to this, I constantly feel guilty of probably ruining their lives and careers. I feel I should not have been born so that both of them could go their separate ways. This is mainly why I hate myself. There is also a huge generation gap between my parents and me. This too causes problems, as I cannot communicate with them properly. I don't have many "real" good friends and no one really to talk to. I have created some "imaginary" friends and I talk either to them or to god. I keep telling god to "please" kill me, but that really doesn't happen. I feel no one wants me to be happy, and they make me cry whenever I'm happy or I laugh.

Do you think I should simply stop being happy and just blindly do what others want me to whether I like it or not?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Aakruti my dear,

No, I do not think you should do that at all. Instead, you should do the opposite. You deserve to be happy, as much as any other person. You should never blindly do what others want. When somebody wants you to do something, that's an invitation. You have the power to choose to agree or not. So, consciously, deliberately, do what you feel is best for YOU. This may sometimes mean agreeing to a demand, at other times declining it.

All your life, you have been emotionally abused by your parents. They don't see it that way, and perhaps you haven't seen it that way, but it's true.

OK, 19 year ago they had unprotected sex. That was stupid of them. It was not a stupid, evil, or even inconvenient act by you, because you didn't even exist then. So, your mother got pregnant. This was not your fault.

Then, they decided to stay together "for the sake of the baby". Maybe, in your culture, they had little or no choice in this. But it was a bad decision. Again, it was their bad decision, not yours. You had no say in it.

Their third bad decision was to fail to make the best of a bad situation. They could have chosen to build a good life together, despite the poor start of the marriage. Many couples do that. Again, if they were not mature enough to treat each other with kindness, this was not the fault of their young daughter, was it? Finally, the worst choice they made was to blame you for their bad decisions.

Now you have a choice too. For 18 years, you have believed them when they blamed you. Now, let me tell you, you can choose to continue to suffer by believing them, or you can choose to throw away their sick way of looking at you.

At 18, you are old enough to break free from them, or at least to start actively planning it. Either get a job, or enroll in a course of study so you can qualify for a good job. When you are ready, whether that's tomorrow or in three years time, say good-bye to them. There is no need for rejection - they did the best they knew to do - but simply move on with your life. You don't need their kind of negativity in it.

You mentioned God. God allowed you to be born, into this family, into this situation. There must have been a reason. Find that reason. It must be some role in life in which the misery of your childhood is useful. This is what happened to me. I am a therapist, a healer, because I also suffered as a baby, a child, teenager, and young man. So, you can turn bad into good too. Find a profession in which you can help hurt people to heal. In the process, you will heal yourself too.



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:


Look for the "silver lining" in every situation.
"Sometimes you have to just hang on and trust that life's storms are carrying you to better shores."
Jane Lee Logan
Set personal boundaries as to how you want others to treat you.