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Am I Sick Or What?

by Anonymous

Dr. DeFoore:
My family makes me feel like I have a sickness. Like whenever I get angry, it's because the schizophrenia from my grandma is kicking in. I can't tell if I really have a problem or not. I don't break dishes or punch walls.

I yell so my voice will be heard. All other ways are ignored. After I get angry, I feel absolutely terrible. I feel like smoking it all away. I don't know if this is remorse or disappointment that I'm misunderstood by the people I love around me. They take me for granted.

I'll be going to college next year and this will all be over but I'm sick of feeling this way. Is it me or them Dr. DeFoore? Am I as much of a monster as they think I am? Please help. My mom is the only one who understands.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. It doesn't sound to me like you're sick, or crazy or a monster. It sounds to me like you, as you said, are yelling to be heard.

However, it is obviously not working for you. It makes you feel terrible, and the smoking...well, I don't have to tell you that that is self-destructive. So, let's look at some alternatives for you.

I think it will be really helpful for you to do some things to emotionally let go of your parents, in preparation for going into the world as an adult.

Try these steps:

1) Write down all of the ways in which you are like your dad. Look at that list and ask yourself if there's any of those qualities or behaviors you want to keep. In other words, choose what you like from the list.

2) Then write down all of the ways you are different from your dad. These are the things that make you unique as an individual. Look at this list, and choose what you like from it.

3) Make a third list, that includes only those things you like from the above two lists.

Now repeat that entire process with your mom, and combine the two lists of the things you like and choose for yourself.

Next, picture both of your parents in front of you. Thank them both for all of the good things they've done for you, leaving nothing out. Then tell them both about the things you didn't like. Get it all out, and write it down--but picture their faces while you're writing. Now tell them, "I'm not your (son or daughter) any more. It is time for me to take charge of my life and make my own decisions."

I do not suggest you say these things directly to your parents. This is just for you. I realize you still live at home under their authority, but you can begin the process of becoming independent emotionally and psychologically even now. And it sounds like it would be good if you could get out on your own as soon as possible.

You are becoming an adult. This is your time to step into the world and decide the kind of person you want to be. Write out a full, detailed description of the person you choose to become, and look at that every day, adding to it when you think of something else.

Now, to deal with your anger:

I want you to do a journaling process, to help you deal with your anger.

1) Begin writing from your anger on a daily basis. Let your anger "speak" and don't hold back. This is for nobody's eyes but yours, so don't worry about what you're saying or how it might sound to somebody else. Make sure no one else reads it.

2) Write about what you like and appreciate about yourself, your family, your friends and your life in general. Keep a daily journal of what you're grateful for from the past, what you appreciate about the present, and what you're looking forward to in the future.

This is your time to focus on yourself and what you want in life. Make up your mind what kind of person you want to be, and start planning for how you're going to become that. What are your dreams? what would you like to do? Stay clear in your focus on what you choose.

Never, ever give up on yourself or your dreams.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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