More threads by lynnl


When I was a kid, I got into a lot of trouble... I was always hyper, loud, impulsive and easy distracted which labelled me "trouble-maker" at home. My parents used guilt and shame to straighten me out, and always compared me to how good, respectful, obedient and quiet my older brother was. My parents were ashamed of me because I was unruly and acted like a boy.

My mom always told me I was the most selfish and insensitive because I made her look like a bad parent, and I brought shame to the family. I never understood what she meant by that. All this was when I was in elementary school. I am 26 now and I am overly sensitive to how other people feel and I am very careful not to upset anyone - even if it means that I will be negatively affected in the process. Also, I am always concerned about how people look at me, but at the same time I hate being judged and I constantly feel like I'm a let down. Before I do or say anything I always think about how it would affect those around me and if I think it's cold and insensitive I won't do or say anything. I always end up getting hurt, making excuses for anything bad other people have done, I keep giving them second chances and letting them walk all over me, but I am careful never to let anyone see me sad, hurt, angry or upset.

My friends say I'm always spaced out, too caring and too easy going and that I am naive, overly optimistic and see the world through rose coloured glasses. Whenever something bad happens, I pretend that it didn't happen. I feel like a doormat and I constantly feel like I'm being selfish and inconsiderate especially as far as my parents are concerned but my brothers think I'm too hard on myself and I try to hard to please everyone. They think I should tell my parents to stop running my life but I don't think that will solve anything and I don't really like confrontations.

I tried talking to them a few times and they made me feel like I was the most stupid, selfish and evil person to walk the face of the earth. I just feel like I have created this false person - I can not be myself and I have lost my identity. I'm so tired and frustrated of being me. How do I fix me?

Another thing is that I used to get a lot of compliments on my looks as a kid but I guess my parents didnt want to let it get to my head, and so they told me that I was ugly and fat and had a big nose. So now I hate receiving compliments and I don't know what to say when I get compliments.. so I just ignore people or change the topic when they give me compliments.

I talked to my parents about getting a nose job done but now they tell me that I'm vain and I should be happy with my looks. But my mum always tells me that I look disgusting and she doesn't understand how I have friends. Now that its summer, I've got a tan, and I put on a few pounds eating ice cream and other comfort food and my mum said that I looked like one of those black and white cows grazing in the field.

I haven't gone out since... I hate being seen in public - I feel like a walking monstrosity. I feel so torn and I constantly isolate myself from people. My friends are worried about me especially when I turn off my cell phone and camp out in my room for days on end and pretend that nothing has happened. I've just been giving them excuses about not keeping in touch with them, and calling in sick to work constantly. But I think they are beginning to suspect something amiss.

I don't know how to fix this.

Please help. I don't know what to do to and I don't know how much more I can take.
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Hi Lynnl,

Glad to see you back.

But my mum always tells me that I look disgusting and she doesn't understand how I have friends.

It really isn't right for anyone to talk to you like this. It is verbally abusive. There is nothing wrong with you.

I know for myself, my friends were worried about me too as I did the same thing and depression does tend to isolate people. Do you have a doctor you can see for a check up and he/she can direct you to a therapist to help sort out what you are going through. You are definitely not alone in this.

are you still living at home with your parents? if so, you may want to consider getting a place of your own. the things that are being said to you are indeed abusive and you need to get out of that environment.

right now you have very low self-esteem. i would definitely talk to your doctor and see about getting referred to a therapist who can help you change your thinking and how you view yourself, and deal with any issues you may have picked up over the years.


First of all, how old are you, lynnl? Is it possible for you to find a place of your own, or is it necessary that you remain in your parents' home?

What you're experiencing is definitely abuse. If you go to school, it might be a good idea to talk to your school counsellor about what you're facing at home. There is help out there for you, but you have to reach out for it. The kind of abuse you're dealing with isn't visible to the general public, so people don't know unless you tell them.

You're a bright person and well-spoken. There's no reason for you to be denigrated in the way you're being denigrated. Just know you're always welcome here, and will be respected for the person you are. :hug:


Hello lynnl,
I've had a similar experience to yours. I am 25, and still living with my mom. When I was growing up, I was also made to feel guilty and ashamed. The way you described your interactions with other people is the way I am too. For about 2 months, it's been pretty calm around here, but for a long time my mom verbally abused me, and in July she actually hit me. I made it known to her friends and my brother, and since then things have been OK. I do still plan on moving out soon. I've been called a selfish b****. She's also made me feel bad about being concerned with my appearance. And she tries to blame her problems on me. Finally, I've started to believe that, hey I don't have to take this from anyone anymore. Some people can really beat you down. It messes up your thinking. I also don't understand why friends try to tell us that we're too this or not enough of that. Don't be ashamed of the way you feel. It's not your fault. There's a reasonable explanation for your feelings, and it's not your true identity. You seem very compassionate, and from what you've written I can tell you are genuine. You also have an intelligent way of expressing yourself. It will help you to talk to people who are more positive and supportive. It seems like the people you have in your life now are not very understanding. Easier said, but don't allow them to get you down.


Thank you so much for your kind replies...

I never thought that what they did was verbal abuse...the thought never crossed my mind. I guess I thought that all parents were like that... God knows I'd never ever even consider becoming a parent. I just thought my parents had to be that way since I was such a handful.

I did try moving out ? it didn?t resolve anything. A few months ago, when things got really bad, earlier this year, I saved up a $1500 and moved to Mexico for 2 months.... I know it's drastic but I couldn't handle things at home. I told my parents that I was going on an internship to Mexico - I wanted to tell them the truth but they would probably disown me, definitely ground me (yes, even though I'm 26, I still get grounded), make me feel guilty and tell me how I can't take of myself and eventually they wouldn?t let me go. I want to move out and get my own place, but I'm trying to pay back 2 loans at university, and it wouldn?t be feasible for me at this point. And if my parents found out that I went to Mexico they'd say how irresponsible I was because I could have put that $1500 towards my debts. I know what I did was irresponsible and very stupid but I had to get away and see if I could handle living by myself, live within a budget and make sensible decisions on my own. Things got worse when I got back and I regretted leaving in the first place. It made me feel so selfish for thinking about putting my happiness ahead of theirs. Despite that, I have applied for an internship in South Korea and a part of me hopes that things will work out. And then the other part hopes that I won?t get in just so I can somehow fix things at home.

I did try talking to my counselor at university about a year ago but I only went for 1 session now that I'm done university, I haven't gone back. It just felt weird ... I felt like I was disrespecting my parents and being ungrateful because I guess in some sick twisted way, my parents maybe didn't mean to be hurtful or mean. Maybe they had issues growing up and in their minds, what they did was the only way they knew how to be good parents... and when I did go to the counselor, I felt like Judas! I felt so small and I was filled with remorse... I hated myself for going to the counselor. I did feel the same way when I sent my initial post here but I kept telling myself that I never sent that post and therefore, I didn't betray my family. For years I have been trying to get my parents to see a psychologist ? I figured that no matter how much I change, the situation at home will stay the same unless my parents make some changes as well. That and I don?t really feel like I?m betraying them if we go together? My mum, who is a staunch catholic, decided to go to a priest instead and when the priest disagreed with her point of view, she claimed that the priest was insane and didn?t know what he was talking about, and so we went to yet another priest, with the same result, and eventually we stopped going to priests. So I don?t know if that would help at all.

I hate the way I think and I really want out of this situation. And if I do go to Korea, I don?t want to be the soft-spoken, shy and easily intimidated doormat. I hate thinking about others first, especially my parents, because it prevents me from doing things I would enjoy. I do want to make a change in my life but feel like I?ve exhausted all my options.

Rebecca8, I wish you all the best with moving out. I hope I can reach that point soon.


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First off, did you enjoy Mexico? :)

I think that considering other peoples feelings is an admiral quality in a person, it prevents us from blowing up all the time and say things that are abusive. I did this for many years myself and I still consider other people's feelings. However, it doesn't prevent me being assertive and saying no when I need too.

The problem with turning the other cheek all the time is feelings are stuffed down, they don't go away and wait to be expressed. Usually against ourselves. Its ok to say, thank you for letting me stay at home and you are an adult now, have your own life and you need to feel your parents respect you as an adult. These are the behaviours that you won't tolerate and if they happen, as in verbally abusive language, you will leave the room etc. Respectful and assertive.

Having a full life outside of your home may help to. You deserve kindness and respect Lynnl.

Take Care

lynnl, your post made me think of the book Dance Of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships. i found it very enlightening and it may be a helpful read to you. it talks about how we have a certain pattern in our dynamic with each individual person in our lives, and that this dynamic can be changed. if one person changes in how they respond or react, then it forces the other person to react differently as well. if you continue to do what you do, then they continue to do what they do, and the dynamic doesn't change. what i am trying to say is that this thought here isn't actually true:
I figured that no matter how much I change, the situation at home will stay the same unless my parents make some changes as well.
it takes only one person to change the dynamic, and this book describes the why and how.


Wow, Mexico and South Korea. You are brave too. I'm whining about maybe having to move into the city. Would any of your friends consider being roommates with you? I can really relate to your feelings of hopelessness. I will try to remember this too, but supposedly there are an infinite number of options for us. There is so much that we don't know about here. You say you feel you've betrayed your parents by expressing yourself to a counselor, and to people in this forum. (I think that might be the first step to claiming your identity.......EXPRESSING yourself.) Have you ever heard that the only form of betrayal is self-betrayal? Have you ever thought about how unfair it is to you that your parents can still control you, and you can't become who you are and do what you want to do? I am denying myself what we are all entitled to, not living according to my own truth, so I figure I am betraying myself. From what you say, it seems like you were "programmed" to feel guilty about what you say and do. Just like me! There are so many people out there who have this same issue. You are definitely not alone in this. Thank you for wishing me the best. I wish you love and peace for yourself lynnl.
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