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Resentful Toward Family Members

by Carmen

Hello Dr. DeFoore,

Bio: Married 48 yr. Female/recently retired from x-ray. Completing masters of psychology. 2 children. Middle child of two brothers.

I have a lot of difficulty feeling angry and depressed. Here's why:

Mother left family when I was a teenager.

Father - very good but let stepmother be somewhat abusive (verbally only). Showed a lot of anger toward me. I experienced this between 15yrs and 19 yrs.

Father has done very well in business and took on my two brothers and they now run a very successful business. My older brother owns 4 homes and many other assets. Both their wives have been able to stay home and never worry about money or pride.

I have a lot of difficulty with this. My husband and I recently returned from living in Europe with my two children. Great experience! My husband is a paramedic. He is passive. Even though he was happy that we had the France experience, it took me an exhausting amount of time to convince him we should do this.

This is the one thing we have that my older brother cannot have. He is too busy at work. And now his children are grown. I love my younger brother but I question my love for my older brother. He has a horrible wife and he seems to have adopted her behavior. They show no respect for any other family member and have shut us out for years with nasty and controlling comments.

Hope you can help.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Carmen, and thanks for telling your story here. I understand that you have a lot of feelings about your family members, and sometimes have trouble controlling your anger related to this. I will try to help.

I suggest you start by doing some in-depth journaling as described on this page. There are three exercises described there, and I strongly encourage you to do all three of them. This will really help you with your anger, and it will help you to feel good about the positive aspects of your family members.

The positive journaling process will be especially helpful to you. You will feel so much better when you focus on what is good about your life as opposed to what you don't like.

Take these exercises seriously, Carmen, and it will really help you.

Believe in yourself and the well being deep inside you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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