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How do i better myself?

By Anonymous April 11, 2011 - 10:02am
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I had a lot of trauma in my life as a child, my parebts split up and my mother decided she didnt want me so i went to live with my dad and his wife. I went 16 years without any contact with my mother because 'she didnt wanna know me' but when i turned 16 my fathers wife decided she no longer wanted me around so my father chose his wife over his 2 daughters. Now my biological mother has decided she wants to be involved, i've let her but she keeps letting me down. All of this has completely lowered my self esteem and confidence and i've become very angry, which i unintentionally take out on my boyfriend. What could i do to make me less angry and become a better persob without medication and psychiatrists?

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I have a similar story, My Mom always loved me, but didnt ever want to be a mother, so she left when i was a young child with my dad. He was a decent father, but he was addicted to drugs and would beat us when he was high. I also have a boyfriend of 5 years that i take out my anger on and say things that i dont mean. But he has been very patient and i have gotten so much better, i am still angry but i get better every day as i get older. You learn to forgive your parents, and learn what kind of person you want to be. Usually parents are only really important for the first 18 years then your left to figure it out for the next 60 years. Use your parents mistakes as a learning tool, to create the beautiful person you can become, if you have the determination to never be that way, you will over come it and be much more confident knowing you grew and got strong despite the bad hand you've been delt.

April 22, 2011 - 4:21pm
(reply to LindseyTLand)

Thank you for your comment, it has really made me rethink everything. I've always looked at the negative things in my life but now i see i can take the negative to become a positive. Thank you <3

May 8, 2011 - 12:49pm

This was my original question i just hadn't made an account yet. Thank you so much, just reading the advice you've given has given me a more positive outlook. I will definately read the book, it sounds like it could help me a lot. I really appreciate the time you've taken out to answer my questions. Thank you.

April 11, 2011 - 1:08pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for your post and I really understand how painful this is for you.

You have a few choices here. Firstly, you are an adult now and can make your own choices. You can accept your biological mother into your life with very few expectations from her. She may be the type to show up now and again, or show up, cause trouble and leave etc. She has proven to you that she is not capable of being a mother in the sense of true mothering: offering support, comfort and leadership to you. She has never offered this to you so you must not expect it to happen now, particularly if her new contact with you is filled with disappointment.

It's up to you whether you want to continue to try to have a relationship with her, but make sure it's YOUR decision and not hers. You had absolutely no choices as to what happened to you as a child. She had all the choices and chose to leave. Now that you are an adult, it's up to you whether you want her in your life but a word of warning: don't expect a fairytale ending. It's unlikely that's going to happen because she has proven for two decades that it won't. She may change but don't depend on it.

Regarding your Dad choosing his wife over his daughters, I also understand how confusing and painful this can be. Unfortunately fathers and mothers sometimes choose their new spouses over the children they had with their ex. It's a morally bankrupt thing to do and is a violation of the promises adults automatically offer their children at birth but it happens nonetheless.

I can imagine that you feel let down on both sides, right? You feel rejected by both mother and father and perhaps you feel like any contact with either of them is better than none. I agree with you unless the communication and interaction is toxic. If that's the case, it may be far wiser to go alone and make a family of your own, with your boyfriend, relatives and friends, instead of parents.

Are you close to your sister? If you are, make sure to keep that closeness so you still have some part of your biological family in your life.

Anger is a normal reaction to your situation, Anon. If you do not want medication (and it will only mask your anger anyway, not remove it) that's probably a good thing. You don't need to medicate a normal reaction to the kind of rejection you have suffered. I know you don't want therapy but I think talk therapy would be an excellent choice for you and will offer you the tools to cope with feelings of anger when they surface. You may always feel a surge of anger during your life when you think back about what was done to you,especially if you have kids of your own down the line - you'll protect them so fiercely because you'll never want what happened to you to happen to them but learning how to cope with those feelings in a positive way is very important.

You don't need to "better yourself" in the sense that you are doing something wrong. Lashing out at your boyfriend is never a good thing but you need to learn to cope in ways that don't negatively affect others around you - especially people who care about you.

Consider reading the book Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward. I highly recommend it. You can get it cheap online or rent it for free from the library. It's a very frank and truthful book about how to move past the poisonous childhoods that bad parenting causes. A bad childhood does not have to mean a legacy of hurt for you throughout your life. You've had enough to deal with already and you are still young. It's time for your to heal.

I'd hate to think that bad parenting that made you so unhappy as a child will also affect you as an adult. That's why therapy OR self help is so important. After what you have gone through, you deserve a happy adulthood. And your boyfriend does not deserve to be treated badly by you so you need to learn how not to repeat patterns. I know you don't mean to, but the results of your childhood and your untreated anger and disappointment (that are very natural) are manifesting themselves in the ill-treatment of others, no matter how unintentional it is. This needs to be addressed.

Let me know what you think about all this and thanks so much for writing,

April 11, 2011 - 12:31pm
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