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November 18, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Hard Knocks

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Is it my past or my personality?


I faced trauma at a young age and come from a family with depression.

I try really hard to love people but I'm not able to feel anything. I only feel a strong bond with my grandmother. It's really hard for me to let people in or trust anyone. I was used and abused from a young age and I feel I am traumatized from that. Could my past be the reason why I am the way I am or is this just my personality? I care about and worry about only myself. Am I just selfish? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

Bambina, 28-year-old woman


Bambina my dear,

This feeling of not being able to feel anything is a result of trauma in infancy. I have the same thing. For much of my life, I could only feel sadness or anger. My solution was to study other people, and act like them in certain situations. I don't "feel" joy or love in the way I know other people can, but I am able to DO joy and love.

This means that my friends and loved ones FEEL that I love them. I am able to affect them the way they affect each other. I've been called passionate, and there is a lot of powerful emotion in my writing, and when I give public speeches. It's all genuine - but it's all in the head; intellectual, not from the guts.

Therapy can help. I am now able to feel something like a black and white silent movie of emotions, compared to others' technicolor dramas. But it doesn't matter. What matters is what we do, whether we act to benefit and support others, or to be selfish or cruel. I've lived a good life, and been of service to a great many people, despite my "handicap," or perhaps even because of it. You can do the same.

However, the effects of sexual abuse (if that's what you were referring to) are something else. Find a therapist to work with. Enter "sexual abuse help" in a search engine referring to your state; I got several promising links. Help is out there, and probably free.

Have good life. You can.


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.

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