I am 24 years old. I was in foster care from the age of 12 and moved into my own property at 16. I had a 6 and 1/2 year relationship which broke down 2 years ago due to finding out he had two children behind my back. I have one good friend but I feel like I can't really trust her.
I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know how to laugh, smile, or just have fun anymore. I don't think I've ever cried until about two years ago - now I cry everyday over anything. I feel so alone and I have no one, apart from a friend and a very good manager. In some ways she has saved me; she took me to the doctor over a year ago and they gave me some antidepressants, which I took for a month and didn't go back. I just feel like I'm wasting time there. I'm not ill - I'm just not right in the head.
I went had cognitive therapy a few months ago and in some ways it helped but in others it didn't - it just made me realize that it is just me; she said it's only me that can change the way I think which made me so mad. I would if I could but I can't and that's the frustrating thing. She also said that she thought I had OCD thinking but she couldn't diagnose me as she wasn't a doctor. I had about 5 sessions and didn't go back and just tried to forget about it.
In the last 24 months I think I've only been happy for about 2 of them. I hate myself and don't understand why my parents don't want to know me. They split up when I was a baby and both have two other children who live with them - and they adore them. So why am I so different? That just shows that I'm the problem, not the other people.
I've tried to take my life a few times. The first when I was about 16...I can't even do that right. To other people I'm just a loner with a good job, house, and car. They are the only things that keep me going - it's very sad that the only things I have are just materialistic. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm lost and can't put a brave face on anymore. I just feel so alone and no one understands, but how can people understand if I don't talk? I can't talk because I don't want other people to know that I'm not right in the head or to think that I'm stupid. I know it's me, but I can't stop thinking. I can't be happy. Nothing makes me laugh anymore. I just want to be loved.
Danielle, 24-year-old woman
Clearly, you can't be stupid with what you have achieved in 8 years, starting with nothing. That is clear evidence that you are a capable person.
Maybe some of your other beliefs about you are false too? Your parents had a baby. They split, and put the child up for fostering. After this, each grew up enough to find a new partner and have children they love.
This says NOTHING BAD about the child they abandoned. What it tells me is that at the time, they were immature and irresponsible. Probably, they faced problems that overwhelmed them, and they had no emotional energy for responsible parenting. It is also possible that they then looked for a scapegoat, and blamed you for their failures.
Now, you are a reminder of their guilt, whether they acknowledge this or not. So, they want to have nothing to do with you, not because you are faulty or repulsive or bad, but because you trigger their traumatic memories from their past. To them, you represent the bad times, so they don't want to have anything to do with you. This would be the case even if you were an angel.
My question is, are you going to stand for this? Will you allow them to continue wrecking your happiness?
OK, you have long-term habits of thought and emotion, and habits are hard to break. The trick is the opposite of trying not to feel like that. You are right, and your counselor was wrong. What she told you was poor therapy. I suggest you read a wonderful book: "The Happiness Trap" by Russ Harris. That shows you how to have all the negative thoughts about yourself, and yet stop being influenced by them.
Have a good life (you can)