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My mom said I’m a burden


Cent

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So today I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. My mom said some things that really offended me because I had no idea she felt that way. She said that my social anxiety is uncomfortable for her and others to be around and that she walks on eggshells around me because she doesn’t know what will trigger my depression. I’m just sitting here thinking about it and I feel like that’s just one more reason to avoid people, so I don’t burden them. I don’t know if I really believe that but I don’t think that was what I needed to hear. She also got on me for my opinion of my stepfather. She thinks that because he’s better than my biological father that I shouldn’t criticize him so much. The thing is though that just because he’s good to me doesn’t make him not annoying as hell sometimes. I don’t know. I thought she understood what I go through and that was why she didn’t bother me but I guess it’s just because she didn’t want to deal with it. So I dont really know what to do now, it’s not like I can just stop having social anxiety.

Oh yeah and one more thing was screen time. She hates that I sit alone in my room all day playing video games. She seems to know that it’s like a mind pacifier so I don’t have to worry about everything but she thinks that the screen time is also a cause of it. I mean that could be true but I still don’t want to go through the day without my mind occupied. I don’t know man.

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44 minutes ago, Cent said:

So today I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. My mom said some things that really offended me because I had no idea she felt that way. She said that my social anxiety is uncomfortable for her and others to be around and that she walks on eggshells around me because she doesn’t know what will trigger my depression. I’m just sitting here thinking about it and I feel like that’s just one more reason to avoid people, so I don’t burden them. I don’t know if I really believe that but I don’t think that was what I needed to hear. She also got on me for my opinion of my stepfather. She thinks that because he’s better than my biological father that I shouldn’t criticize him so much. The thing is though that just because he’s good to me doesn’t make him not annoying as hell sometimes. I don’t know. I thought she understood what I go through and that was why she didn’t bother me but I guess it’s just because she didn’t want to deal with it. So I dont really know what to do now, it’s not like I can just stop having social anxiety.

Oh yeah and one more thing was screen time. She hates that I sit alone in my room all day playing video games. She seems to know that it’s like a mind pacifier so I don’t have to worry about everything but she thinks that the screen time is also a cause of it. I mean that could be true but I still don’t want to go through the day without my mind occupied. I don’t know man.

I am sorry that what your mother said was hurtful to you. Is it individual therapy that you are doing or family therapy? If it is individual therapy - I would recommend working through these feelings with your therapist. If it is family therapy - remember that the therapy environment is a safe space - you should feel free to express to your mom, in as rational a way as you can, that you were hurt by what she said.

All that being said, remember that your mother is a human being. Mothers are not perfect - nor are they one-dimensional. They have feelings, concerns and anxieties about their children and apart from them. I have three children who I love very much and would give everything for if need be. Two of them are diagnosed as depressed. I would be lying if I said that I was never frusterated with them - or that I never said the wrong thing. It sounds to be like she is worried about your need for the pacification of technology. I have had that same concern about my boys - and have tried to express it is the best way I know how.

It sounds to me like she cares - which is huge. Having grown up with a narcissistic mother - I would like nothing more than for my mother to actually be concerned about me - rather than about herself.

Basically - talk to her about it - and try to remember that she loves you.

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Hi Cent,

     I'm sorry this happened to you.

     I don't know if this would be helpful to you, but I will take a chance and share it with you.

     A famous psychiatrist named Aaron Beck, one of the fathers of Cognitive Psychology believed that human beings seem to be wired for focusing on negatives and ignoring and not appreciating positives.  This, he theorized is probably because focusing on negatives might have more survival value than appreciation and gratitude.  According to this psychiatrist we notice and zero in on negatives in ourselves, in others and in the world around us.  It is a trait in human beings that has survival value.

     This is one reason, he theorizes that a lot of our thoughts involve "should" and "shouldn't"  We don't generally go around appreciating and being grateful to those around us except perhaps on special occasions.  We often "should" or "shouldn't" people for the way they dress, wear their hair, how they drive, how they act and , and, and. 

     In the animal world, "should" and "shouldn't" are generally tied to matters of life or death urgency.  Survival.  In the animal world, "shoulds" and shouldn'ts", "must and "must not" are tied to real matters of life and death:  must find water, must find food, must escape predator and so on. Stress is reserved for life or death situations.

     Human beings, unfortunately give a sense of life or death urgency to matters than are not really life or death:   getting the best parking spot, getting the shortest line at the checkout counter and a million other "shoulds' and "musts."

     So we can spend a lot of time picking on each other or ourselves, either openly or in our minds.  This happens of course in families.  "Sons" should...  ""Mothers" should . . .

     This creates a climate where appreciating ourselves and others is rare and where feeling grateful is rare.  I'm sure there are thousands of things your mother could appreciate in you and that you could appreciate in her.  Thousands of things to be grateful for.  Thousands of reasons to compliment instead of criticize. This applies to me too!

     I guess in a "perfect world" appreciation and criticism would be balanced.  But sadly we seem hard wired for criticism.

     Let me give you an example.  I don't know much about you, but I know you are not a vicious criminal.  I doubt that you have ever committed a serious felony against anyone.  Adolf Hitler and some other men caused the destruction of tens of millions of people.  I doubt that you have caused the destruction of tens of millions of people, millions, hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, thousands, hundreds and so on. 

     Now I don't know much about making people uncomfortable or spending too much screen time.  But I do know this.  On the scale of good and bad, those things are far, far, far, far, far, far, far, away from causing the destruction of tens of millions of people as Hitler did during the Holocaust or Stalin did through his forced starvation campaigns.

     You are a good person, Cent.  There are countless things to treasure about you.  But in the real world, how often do parents tell children:  "It is so good that you exist.  I am so very glad that you exist in this world.  I appreciate you so much.  There are so many reasons to be proud of you.  In your life so far, I have so many memories of little courageous things you have done, little clever things, little sweet and beautiful things."

     Your posts here on the Forum help me and so many other people, Cent.  That is a wonderful and beautiful gift you give to us here.

     Something that helps me a lot when people are judging and being critical of me is remembering that human beings seem to be hardwired for criticism.  It is easy for us to judge, but hard for us to appreciate.  It is easy for us to criticize but difficult for us to be grateful.  Some people don't even seem to know that there is an alternative to criticism.  Perhaps they were overly criticized as children themselves and not appreciated and valued.  Perhaps they don't know anything else.

     My mother was very critical of me, but now that I am an old man I realize that I wasn't a perfect person myself when I was a child.  I wasn't as great as I thought I was and my mother wasn't as bad as I thought she was.  She could have appreciated me more perhaps but I could have also appreciate her more.  I think we were both basically good people for our ages.

     Sometimes we have to become our own parents.  When others are criticizing and being hard on us, we have to be good to ourselves.  If others do not treasure us, we can treasure ourselves.  If others cannot or will not acknowledge that it is good that we exist, we can acknowledge it to ourselves:  it is good that I exist.  When others focus exclusively on things that bother them about us, we can focus on our good traits and appreciate them.  This is not always easy.  But it gives us a sense of balance against exclusive negativity. 

     People [usually] choose to be parents.  No one chooses to be born.  Relationships are usually messy.

     When people are criticizing me I try to remember not to take it too personally.  I realize that people are hard wired to focus on negatives.  I realize that people often confuse matters of personal taste for matters of high morality.  I realize that people take matters that are really not of life or death importance and urgency as if they were matters of life and death importance and urgency.  This helps me a lot.

     I wish I had some practical advice to offer you about your situation, but sadly I don't.  I hope you will get lots and lots of responses to your post. Cent!

- epictetus

 

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12 hours ago, Epictetus said:

Hi Cent,

     I'm sorry this happened to you.

     I don't know if this would be helpful to you, but I will take a chance and share it with you.

     A famous psychiatrist named Aaron Beck, one of the fathers of Cognitive Psychology believed that human beings seem to be wired for focusing on negatives and ignoring and not appreciating positives.  This, he theorized is probably because focusing on negatives might have more survival value than appreciation and gratitude.  According to this psychiatrist we notice and zero in on negatives in ourselves, in others and in the world around us.  It is a trait in human beings that has survival value.

     This is one reason, he theorizes that a lot of our thoughts involve "should" and "shouldn't"  We don't generally go around appreciating and being grateful to those around us except perhaps on special occasions.  We often "should" or "shouldn't" people for the way they dress, wear their hair, how they drive, how they act and , and, and. 

     In the animal world, "should" and "shouldn't" are generally tied to matters of life or death urgency.  Survival.  In the animal world, "shoulds" and shouldn'ts", "must and "must not" are tied to real matters of life and death:  must find water, must find food, must escape predator and so on. Stress is reserved for life or death situations.

     Human beings, unfortunately give a sense of life or death urgency to matters than are not really life or death:   getting the best parking spot, getting the shortest line at the checkout counter and a million other "shoulds' and "musts."

     So we can spend a lot of time picking on each other or ourselves, either openly or in our minds.  This happens of course in families.  "Sons" should...  ""Mothers" should . . .

     This creates a climate where appreciating ourselves and others is rare and where feeling grateful is rare.  I'm sure there are thousands of things your mother could appreciate in you and that you could appreciate in her.  Thousands of things to be grateful for.  Thousands of reasons to compliment instead of criticize. This applies to me too!

     I guess in a "perfect world" appreciation and criticism would be balanced.  But sadly we seem hard wired for criticism.

     Let me give you an example.  I don't know much about you, but I know you are not a vicious criminal.  I doubt that you have ever committed a serious felony against anyone.  Adolf Hitler and some other men caused the destruction of tens of millions of people.  I doubt that you have caused the destruction of tens of millions of people, millions, hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, thousands, hundreds and so on. 

     Now I don't know much about making people uncomfortable or spending too much screen time.  But I do know this.  On the scale of good and bad, those things are far, far, far, far, far, far, far, away from causing the destruction of tens of millions of people as Hitler did during the Holocaust or Stalin did through his forced starvation campaigns.

     You are a good person, Cent.  There are countless things to treasure about you.  But in the real world, how often do parents tell children:  "It is so good that you exist.  I am so very glad that you exist in this world.  I appreciate you so much.  There are so many reasons to be proud of you.  In your life so far, I have so many memories of little courageous things you have done, little clever things, little sweet and beautiful things."

     Your posts here on the Forum help me and so many other people, Cent.  That is a wonderful and beautiful gift you give to us here.

     Something that helps me a lot when people are judging and being critical of me is remembering that human beings seem to be hardwired for criticism.  It is easy for us to judge, but hard for us to appreciate.  It is easy for us to criticize but difficult for us to be grateful.  Some people don't even seem to know that there is an alternative to criticism.  Perhaps they were overly criticized as children themselves and not appreciated and valued.  Perhaps they don't know anything else.

     My mother was very critical of me, but now that I am an old man I realize that I wasn't a perfect person myself when I was a child.  I wasn't as great as I thought I was and my mother wasn't as bad as I thought she was.  She could have appreciated me more perhaps but I could have also appreciate her more.  I think we were both basically good people for our ages.

     Sometimes we have to become our own parents.  When others are criticizing and being hard on us, we have to be good to ourselves.  If others do not treasure us, we can treasure ourselves.  If others cannot or will not acknowledge that it is good that we exist, we can acknowledge it to ourselves:  it is good that I exist.  When others focus exclusively on things that bother them about us, we can focus on our good traits and appreciate them.  This is not always easy.  But it gives us a sense of balance against exclusive negativity. 

     People [usually] choose to be parents.  No one chooses to be born.  Relationships are usually messy.

     When people are criticizing me I try to remember not to take it too personally.  I realize that people are hard wired to focus on negatives.  I realize that people often confuse matters of personal taste for matters of high morality.  I realize that people take matters that are really not of life or death importance and urgency as if they were matters of life and death importance and urgency.  This helps me a lot.

     I wish I had some practical advice to offer you about your situation, but sadly I don't.  I hope you will get lots and lots of responses to your post. Cent!

- epictetus

 

Thank you so much for this response, it means more than you know. 

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