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Am I Cold Hearted?

by R
(Miami, FL)

Since I was around 12 years old I suffered the sudden loss of my grandfather that I have not been able to surpass. There came a time in my life that as I grew up I rebelled and felt that I could do as I pleased and I knew most of the answers (not all).

Faulty relationships, disasters, family problems came and went and now I'm not sure that I know any answer any more. I feel lost, confused like at times I know what I want but then I don't. Sometimes undecided. I don't feel I have gotten out of that rebel stage and that scares me. Sometimes when alone I stop and think about some of my actions and wonder if I'm cold hearted.

I've realized that at times I really don't care about people's feelings and I have never been like this. I have low tolerance for things and get frustrated very easily. At times I snap at my family and get angry and get so choked up that I start to cry and when I realize all that I do I have a hard time stepping out of my "zone" to say "I'm sorry".

My boyfriend (who I talked about previously in another story), says that I have little faith in God and that I don't know anything because I don't attend church. I do believe in God but I've always done so in my own way . I have attended church on numerous special occasions, and also at times when out of the blue I feel the need to go and speak to the man upstairs--just me and him.

By me not caring about what people think or feel sometimes, does this make me cold hearted? I've become so introverted that I really sometimes don't feel like going out any more . Just to be stuck in my room doing nothing or organizing but "at home." And when I want to do something out of my house it just simply doesn't happen. So I go from 4 walls to another 4 walls--my boyfriend's house.

I don't sleep right any more. I go to sleep late and wake up early and do always the same routine all over again. I don't do things that make me happy and I know deep down that's my fault. I always thought "Oh, I don't mind changing this and changing that." But people got so used to it that now nothing is expected of me to do.

I feel I have been a bad daughter and grandaughter to my family with all my actions and all the problems I have caused. My mother has given up on me and she doesn't know how else to help. What can I do?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello R, and thanks for writing again on this site. First I suggest you try to complete your grieving over the loss of your grandfather. You will find all of the information and guidance you will need for completing your grieving on this page.

That "not caring" place you find yourself in is simply a defense mechanism that you have unconsciously created to numb the pain you've been feeling. It doesn't mean you have a cold heart. You have a warm and good heart, but your fear and pain have temporarily cut you off from it.

Here is what I suggest:

Write a detailed account of any abuse, abandonment or neglect you received as a child. Don't hold back or leave anything out. Describe every detail. Write about everything that has ever hurt, frightened or angered you. I know it might take a while, but it will really help. This is for no one's eyes but yours, so don't worry about that. The benefit is how it will help you to revisit these memories from your present position. What's the point of this? You have to be emotionally healthy yourself in order to improve your marriage, and this will help with that. You will find a full description of this and other types of journaling processes on this page. I suggest you practice all of those exercises consistently until you start feeling better, then shift to to positive ones, and keep doing them.

The issues you are having revolve around self-esteem and your sense of low self-worth. As part of your journaling, be sure and write about what you appreciate about yourself, body, mind and spirit.

You have value beyond anything you have ever imagined, R. Don't give up--keep looking until you find your worth and value, then become very, very good at taking care of yourself and providing a good life for you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Aug 02, 2016
To the author of "I Have The Same Question..."
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for your comment. It sounds like you're not only abandoned by the males in your life, but it also sounds like your mother has abandoned you in some ways.

I want you to think about something. Throughout my 43 years of counseling, I have found many people doing to themselves what their parents did to them. In your case, that would translate into you abandoning yourself because of being abandoned by your caregivers.

What I mean is this...when you decide that you "just don't care," you are actually giving up on yourself...or, you might say you're abandoning yourself.

Your parents are wrong for abandoning you, and I strongly recommend that you not repeat their mistake. Abandonment creates feelings of low self worth in the abandoned...don't reinforce this idea that you have no worth by giving up on yourself.

Make up your mind that your parents missed the mark, and that you are truly a wonderful and highly valuable person. Set your mind and heart to create a high quality life for yourself, and never give up.

You are worthy and valuable. Demonstrate that fact by how you live your life and how you take care of yourself, and you will start feeling it.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Aug 01, 2016
I Have The Same Question - Am I Cold Hearted?
by: Anonymous

I feel little emotion anymore. This could be the result of my father and all my male role models abandoning me. Since those abandonments, my mother prioritized herself in finding a new boyfriend.

I've tried all throughout school to impress her, to the stage that I am now an A+ student. However she only criticizes me, and now I realize that I just don't care.

I isolate myself, and don't even feel physical pain anymore. I'm rebelling against my mum, and she has given up on me. But I don't care, not about anything.

I barely sleep and eat. I think I sleep walk, as I wake up with masses of bruises which I don't recall gaining…however that could be because of my inability to feel physical or emotional pain anymore.

Please help.

Mar 03, 2013
Cold hearted daughter
by: Anonymous

My daughter and I were very close until she
Moved after college. I understand that there were
times that I may have been too much of a
friend to her and not enough of a mother.

I did the best I was able to as I have 2 other
Children (boys) and pretty much raised then
alone since my husband was always working.
I understand that my daughter needed to
separate from me and perhaps needed to
be mean and hurtful. My husband is a Jewish
clergyman deeply devoted to his work. We
brought our children up with a good sense
of identity and my daughter loved the religion
and felt at home with it.

She started dating out of the faith and I could
see how she was struggling. She started coming
home less and has put up a huge wall with our
family. We were always respectful of her decision
and accepted her choice.

She is now married to him and we gave her
a beautiful wedding. She never looked at us
or thanked us at her wedding. She did everything
by herself and did not want ifs to be involved.
Again we respected her wishes and just wrote
checks. Devoid of religion, most traditions
( she wanted a Chuppa and for him got break
the glass.
She didn't want me to walk her down the aisle
with her father( again a tradition) but I insisted
as this was so hurtful and disrespectful.
She is now recently married and does not talk
to us. I feel that she wants to make his family
We gave her all the love and caring as a child
and unconditional love now. I do not understand
her behavior and cry all the time. I l cannot sleep, and reach out to her to talk. She will not.
Any advice would help.

Apr 21, 2012
If you were cold hearted...
by: Anonymous

If you were cold hearted you would not necessarily care or think about what you had done in a bad way and only see it as good.

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