Lost in Life

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    Hi, I’m currently feeling lost. I recently had a break up from my 5 year relationship after finding out he was a pathological liar and narcissist. This was 4 months ago. I moved back to Chicago from Florida, 2 months later my mom passed away. I am living with my brother in my moms apartment. Our father also lives with us who was never really in our lives. He is recently clean from drugs almost 2 years for the first time in my life. I had a complicated relationship with my both him and my mother. After my harsh break up I’ve come to realize how emotionally unstable and codependent I am. I have suffered from 2 parents with addiction, being poor growing up, neglect, sexual abuse from my older brother from 5 years old to 13 years old as far as I can remember and severe self hate. I think I am doing pretty well for having lost 2 strong bonds in my life within the last 4 months. Finding my ex cheating on me with over 50 women was quite the betrayal. I still miss him and feel the codependency. I’ve dealt with a strong guilt after my mother’s death. I try to remain calm and positive and move on but feel so stuck in life. I do not want to live in a tiny apartment with my brother, father and niece but they now need me financially. I hate that it is winter, I think it has heightened the depression. I miss Florida but all of my family is here. I don’t which direction to take in life. I am 30 years old and planned marriage and children with my ex, now I have to start over. It hurts and is a hard pill to swallow. I am slowly losing my confidence. I think it is my living situation but also every time i find ways to feel better and be positive I regress back into negative thinking and no motivation. I just have no clue how to be alone or start a life of my own. Before my ex my life was living with my mom, caring for her and my brother and niece. Constant codependency.  Please help.


    Thank you



    Hi Nichole,

    I am terribly sorry for the loss of your mother, I personally do not know what I would do without her, she is my rock. I am sorry for your recent relationship, I  truly hate that for you. I am currently in an emotionally unstable state right now and just today I saw a counselor for the first time in 14 years (I am currently 21), I never believed in the practice of burdening others with my problems, but I recently had such a terrible anxiety attack and was tired of dealing with it alone that I scheduled one and bit the bullet and went for it. I cannot begin to express how much better I felt talking to her, she gave me tips and really just helped with coping in different ways with my problem. Granted talking about it was the hardest part, she was kind and understanding so it made it a bit easier to talk to her. I understand the feeling of the season taking a mental toll, I’m certainly feeling it so I don’t want you to feel alone in that. Coming to the relationship with your brother and father, I would just try to build better memories with them, try and mend what has been broken. I don’t have much experience with those kinds of issues and I apologize on not being able to offer better advice. But when it comes to getting out of ruts, I have a few tips. I would start going to the gym, find a good friend and do that, or even just taking walks or jogging (Humbolt Park looks promising!) get engaged with community activities, or find some friends and find something you all can do weekly such as trivia, or dungeons and dragons, or a book club, etc. Reddit has a good community when it comes to look for people who are looking to play games or start clubs, another thing I recommend is whenever you feel down or any feeling that you don’t want and you cannot go out and exercise or something of that nature is to start naming things you are thankful for and comparing them to things you see inside your apartment or outside, it may seem odd but it has helped me a lot.


    I’m sorry if this all is just rambling to you, I just want you to know you aren’t alone and with the right support and determination, things get better. I hope something I said has helped.




    Dear  Nichole:

    Welcome back.

    You were  betrayed  by your ex boyfriend in Florida. But not only by him.  You were betrayed by your older brother who sexually abused you for eight years and you were betrayed by your mother and  father who didn’t  protect you from  your brother, who didn’t notice and stop the  abuse,  and who didn’t  do their job of parenting  you well.

    The solution is  to  not move back to  Florida so to  pursue the relationship with  the man who betrayed you and it is  not staying in the apartment living with  the  father  who betrayed you and the  memories  of the mother who betrayed you as well (I know of the love you feel for her, and I understand about her pain that led  to her addiction, yet it doesn’t  change the betrayal fact).

    It is time for you  to do right by yourself, to be  on your  side, to no longer hate  yourself but to love yourself. It will not be easy because, like you wrote, “every time I find ways to feel better and  be  positive I regress back into negative thinking  and no motivation”- this regression  will happen again and  again.  Progress will be about  functioning well in  spite  of  not feeling  motivated, in  spite  of feeling distressed, to keep going forward nonetheless.

    I think you should  move out of that apartment ASAP. Find your own place away from your family members. Be good to  yourself in  each and every way possible. Choose people  carefully, people who will be attentive and  kind to you, people you can trust to be and stay on your side.

    How about a support group,  something  I mentioned to you before, or counseling?



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