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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Please Help Me!

Wed, Jul 14th 2010

Hi Dr. Schwartz,

I have had relationship problems all of my life and I have finally realized that there is something wrong with me emotionally. I had a troubling childhood. My mother was an alcoholic when I was very young (before the age of 8 or 9) and became a heavy opiate drug user after that. She has been in and out of jail & rehab and attempted suicide quite a few times.

My mother did remarry after my father and her split up shortly after I was born. She had a daughter and to this day (I am 26) my mom treats me as if I am the "red-headed step child" and my sister is perfect. My mother would hit me but not my sister, when I was little.

My father on the other hand has been in and out of my life. He, too, remarried and started a new family. I always felt that I was treated as an outsider. He now will do any drug he can get his hands on.

I have been emotionally shut down for all of my life. When I received the news that my mother attempted suicide, was arrested or started using again, I would never cry or act out. I would just "get on with my life" and try forgetting about it. Everyone in my family would be crying and I never would. I wasn't fighting back tears. I just couldn't cry about it. I would just get quiet.

As I have gotten older, I have realized how much this has affected me. I went to a slew of different types of therapists, counselors and psychiatrists. NOTHING HELPS! I thought that I would get over it on my own and be the person I know I should be. I have never been able to hold onto a relationship for more than 2 years. I either end up finding some sort of flaw with the person I am dating and breaking up with the them, or ruin the relationship so that they would leave me. I find it difficult to express my feelings. Instead of crying, I will have explosive fits of anger. I had gone for years without a fit of anger then, out of no where, it comes out. If someone hurts me, instead of crying or telling the person what they said or did to hurt me, I flip out, say hurtful things and cut the person out of my life.

I do NOT want to live this way forever. I want to have a great relationship and be happy. I just dont know what to do anymore. Any help or advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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