Am I Cold Hearted?
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,