More threads by Verstehen


Hello all. I'm an American male of 17 years, and I'm trying to identify and fix the patterns in my life that contribute to the negative way I feel about myself and others. I'm not here looking to impress my dissatisfaction upon the world, I genuinely want to live a better life.

That said, here we go:
Starting in January of 2003, I've exhibited a great willingness to relocate. I was elated to leave my home in California to move 2 states away, but I did not sever relationships in my home town. I preserved a long distance relationship for 5 months, visiting every month or so. I lived in that second town for 6 months before moving to another town in the same state, where I stayed for nearly 9 months, after which I moved home to San Diego, though not the same area as before. I have been here since June, and I still have not visited those friends from my first high school. (ages 14-18 down here)

Furthermore, everytime I move to a new school, I invent a history for myself. I always paint myself pitiful, full of shame and guilt for things that weren't actually my fault. A miscarriage that left my ex-girlfriend barren preceded her suicide, a long-enduring addiction to vicodin, and a suicide attempt, these things never truly happened. Other things, though, like a father that I felt never loved me, I twist and augment. My father left my family, at my mother's behest, when I was 14. His version of paternity was not the most affectionate; I recall being nicknamed "Rotten Kid xxxx". But as my friends hear it, my father was a violent drunk that secretly hated me, and addressed me as "Bastard" when no one else was around. This pattern goes on: at age 15, my best friend's girlfriend came to me in tears, ashamed that her ex had kissed her while my friend was out of town. I was not the most forgiving then, but they got through it. The story today is that she had slept with him, and I was overly harsh, and that she had eventually killed herself.

Perhaps 6 weeks ago, I broke an ankle and received vicodin for the pain. Rather than take them as I was told, I saved them, taking 30 mg at a time with alcohol. I'm aware that by nature I submit all too easily to the lure of drugs, but thus far I have not had opportunity to become dangerously abusive.

Predictable from what background I've given you, I am fairly depressive. I recall, at age 12 or so, crying in the shower, telling myself that no one would ever love me. I don't know what brought that thought on, but I feel that it has been with me in all my endeavours for the past 5 years.

This past summer I committed myself to exercising and losing weight. I am in better shape now, and still working at it, though not as fervently as a few months ago. Despite feeling better about myself, I remain a bitter and caustic person. I don't like being like this, but I can't seem to change it. I would appreciate whatever insights you can offer me.

Lastly, because it seems relevant now, I feel ashamed in asking my mother for help in securing therapy sessions. She doesn't even know that I've been depressed, and I don't feel comfortable talking to her about it, even though she is chronicly depressive.

Thank you all in advance.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Let's start with the first and maybe most important question:

If your mother were to read what you have just written here, especially perhaps that last paragraph, what do you think she would say?


She would feel guilty, and ashamed, as though she had failed to make me whole. She would hate herself all the more for marrying my father. But she probably would drive me to a psychiatrist's office and make sure her insurance covered everything.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Feeling guilty is part of parenting. There's nothing you can do about that.

The important part is this: "She probably would drive me to a psychiatrist's office and make sure her insurance covered everything."

Translation: She would want to do everything she could to try to help you feel better about yourself, about life, and about the future... to help you find peace and a bit of hope and contentment.

Sounds like a plan to me.


As a depressive herself, there are probably few people who would (or could) be as empathetic as you mother can be, hon. She knows what you're going through. She's been down that road. As a mother myself, I can assure you that not only does she want to know, she needs to know. That's what mothers are all about.

Give mom a chance to be mom. She'll thank you for it. :)


as your name implies, it's all about being understanding.... :eek:) so, it's worth a chance to tell your mother and see how things go, it would be a relief off of your shoulders and she could be a great support to you. you and her may even grow closer b/c of this, b/c you know the other one understands... also, if you think she would react negatively and you're ashamed to tell her, I'm sure she feels some of that in regards to you knowing about her depression, but in the end being open about these things pays off... you wouldn't want her to feel ashamed right? she's still your mom no matter what, so you're still her son despite of being depressed- it's only a part of all of you. you're searching for ways to understand all of this, and by letting someone else know, you're on the right way...
I'd say it's better to talk to your mother now and work things out than just let things go worse. If she feels guilty knowing you are depressive, that is nothing in comparison to how horrible she would likely feel if she found out after it had progressed. Good luck.
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