Welcome To Melissa's Mixed World Of Emotions!
First of all, I deeply appreciate your time. I realize you're a busy man, so I'll try to be brief.
I'm 42 yrs. old and the oldest of three children. I have two brothers; one who lives in Florida and the youngest who's 36 yrs. old lives here with my parents because he's mentally challenged.
I try hard to understand my parents' background and views on certain matters. For instance, one reason that it's hard for me sometimes to show emotion is because I was shown very little throughout my life. I can remember my mother hugging/kissing me maybe twice in my life; or my father waiting until after he was drinking heavy and being verbally abusive to tell us how much he loved us.
To this day, I have trust issues. When my mother wasn't working, she was devoted to household chores and my brother. When my father wasn't working, the weekends were his!
My mother is now retired due to health problems. My father still works, but still doesn't do enough to help her with my special needs brother. My brother in Florida does nothing to assist the family and never has. I take both my mother and brother for appointments, shopping and other chores around my crazy work schedule.
I try to love them in spite of, but sometimes I resent the ones who aren't pulling their weight. I know that my youngest brother can't be held accountable for his mindset (he has the mind of a baby/young child), but sometimes I even resent him for stressing my mother and stealing 36 yrs of her life.
I know that sounds bad, but for the first time in my life, I have to be honest about my feelings. Is it natural for me to feel this way?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Melissa, and thanks for telling your story here. Yes, it is natural for you to feel the way you do. It sounds like you're doing more than your share, and others are clearly not pulling their share of the load. It is completely understandable that this would bother you.
So, now that we've established that there's nothing wrong with feeling the way you do, let's talk about how you can feel better. There's nothing you or I can do about what your family is or is not doing, but you can change how you feel by paying attention to how you're processing your emotions, and how you are focusing your attention.
I suggest you start by doing the three part journaling process described on this page. This will help you in many ways, as you review your past emotional trauma, process your anger in healthy ways on a daily basis, and begin shifting your focus to what is good, right and working in your life.
I also suggest you use the exercises on this FAQ page to get clear with your parents and work on emotionally releasing them.
Families and the world are full of people doing the right thing, the wrong thing, and a whole lot of in between--the question for all of us is, where are we going to put our focus. If you follow what I've recommended here, you will start feeling a whole lot better, and you will notice more and more of the good in yourself and everyone else.
Make up your mind to create a beautiful, inspiring and uplifting life for yourself, Melissa. You can do this.
My very best to you,
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