I have never had a very good relationship with my mum. She would always let me down emotionally and say things that hurt me, and when I would point it out to her she would counter with something on the lines of ‘the thing I said hurt you because you’re sensitive and not confident in yourself, so it’s really you hurting yourself’. I would turn to my dad for comfort and he would always tell me that I get disappointed because of my own expectations. He told me I should expect nothing from people so that I wouldn’t be disappointed. I took this to mean that I shouldn’t expect emotional support and empathy from my mum. This kind of thinking has messed me up. In any relationship, I just give and give and try not to expect anything in return. Of course, when my friends disappoint me, I get upset and angry but I tell myself I shouldn’t feel this way because it’s my own expectations of them that caused this upset. It has gotten to the point where I deny myself the desire to have relationships, both platonic and romantic, because I tell myself that I can’t expect anyone to not want to hurt me and to be kind and respectful of me so why should I bother. And I tell myself emotional support and good relationships where people can be vulnerable and rely on others to fulfill their emotional needs are for those ‘other people’, because I don’t have the kind of luck to find someone who could be all that for me. I know this isn’t right and that I, too, should have someone I can depend on emotionally, but I can’t stop myself from thinking ‘hah, that’s never going to happen’.
- You have grown up not really finding the support that you needed form your family. This means that you have taught yourself that a relationship with someone who supports you and cares about you is never going to happen. Teaching yourself not to expect anything from friends, family or other loved ones has made you unable to share yourself with others.
- Unlearning what you have learned can be very difficult. Your family taught you that you were asking too much from other people and that you should not expect support from others. Please remember that you are not to blame. Try to think about what other people can reasonably expect in a relationship and set that as your goal. You deserve to find comfort and should not continue to sell yourself short because of what your parents believe.
- You are right, you should be able to depend on someone for emotional support. Sometimes it can be hard to find people who you can really trust and open up to. However, please don’t give up hope. They are out there. Finding them may mean that you continue to get hurt and frustrated sometimes, but keep seeking out people who you can become close to. Please try not to be discouraged. You can find someone who you can have a good relationship with.
- It may require that you step out of your comfort zone and put your feelings out there for someone you care about. Weighing the pros and cons of this act would be a good starting point.
- If you made a list of reasons why you deserve to find someone to trust and share your feelings with, what would that list look like?
- Who are the individuals you can reach out to to discuss this very private issue?
- If you knew someone who felt the way you do, what would you say to them to help them?