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I finally decided to break off my relationship after almost two years. There was verbal abuse to a certain point. I feel free but at the same time confused because I miss this person a lot as my other half. I have been seeing him as a friend but still have feelings for him. I have thought if I'm doing the right thing of not being with him and whether I'm letting my happiness pass me by.
On the other hand at home is also another mission. My mother and I can never end a conversation on good terms, especially if I speak about my ex. On a day like today (new years eve), I was expecting to spend some quality time with the family and it all looks like its going down the drain. Apparently now they all want to do their own things and want to go to separate houses. I have fought for the last couple years to maintain a good relationship with the family and bring us closer together and it's simply a battle that I cannot win.
I also have a problem with the fact that my father has a drinking problem. Not only does he drink when gets home after work (everyday) but also at social gatherings to a point that we are afraid that he is hurting himself alot. I asked my mother if she would dare to call AA but she said no. She said she didn't want to get into any problems with him and risk that he gets mad at her. But I told her "Don't worry, I will do it." I feel like I'm stuck in the middle and that for me is the worst feeling in the world.
On the other hand, I don't feel like I move forward. I want to move on with my life and have considered moving out of town on my own, but I have not acquired the strength or the nerve to do it. I am trying to finish school, but I feel that all of these problems interfere and don't give me any aspirations of finishing school (I am closer than ever to finishing).
I have been so depressed the last couple of days that nothing really matters at times. I keep remembering my grandfather on my mothers side that died when I was 12. Whenever I see an older person I get sentimental and I know he is around me, like protecting me (like he is right now, which brings me to tears as i write this).
I need help.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello R, and thanks for your submission. I think I see very clearly what is going on in your life, and in your family. You are trying to make sure they are all okay, before going on with your own life as an individual and an adult--and that is holding you back, because of their problems.
Also, I think you have some unresolved grief over your grandfather's death, and I can help you with that also.
First, let's look at how you can let go of your family, and let them deal with their own problems. You cannot help them or solve their problems--only they can do that. The longer you try to help them, the worse you will feel--it's just not your job.
Here is what I recommend:
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, and we're going to help you let go of the part you don't like.
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 little girl any more. It is time for me to take charge of my life and make my own decisions."
Tell your mom that it was her job to stand up to your dad, and when she didn't do that, you took over--and that hurt you. Tell her you are resigning from that job, and she can either do it or not, it's her business.
Tell your dad that you give him total responsibility for his alcoholism, and all of his other problems. Tell him about all of the times he and his drinking have hurt you, and tell him you're "giving all of that back to him."
I do not suggest you say these things directly to your parents. This is just for you. I realize you still live at home, but you can begin the process of becoming independent emotionally and psychologically right now. And it would be good if you could get out on your own as soon as possible, and become financially independent.
You are an adult, R. This is your time to step into adulthood and decide the kind of person you want to be. Write out a full, detailed description of the adult you choose to become, and look at that every day, adding to it when you think of something else.
Do the journaling exercises on this page, and that will help you a lot to shift your focus off of the problems you just can't solve.
And regarding your grandfather, use the grieving techniques you will find on this page to help you complete your process. What this means is that in the future, you will remember your grandfather with love and joy, and the sorrow will subside. The love lives on forever, and everything else fades.
You also need to let go of your relationship with your ex, because of the verbal abuse. Only be in relationships where you are treated with respect at all times.
Focus on yourself and your own life. That is your job, your responsibility, and it requires your full attention. Don't let anything get in your way of becoming the person you choose to be!
My very best to you,
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