Struggling with realizing my true self

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Mark 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    I just need to put all this on paper, so to speak.  I recently finished up a traumatic relationship – I developed a deep emotional bond with this man but ultimately we were both extremely troubled people… which obviously was not a good match.  Over 7 months I dealt with his push-pull behavior, talks of suicide, drinking too much (both of us), and just general depression and anxiety.  It ended in infidelity (his).  It was not a pretty ending.

    I have since moved states and started a new job about a month ago.  I started seeing a therapist 2 weeks ago.  I’m 33 years old (female).  What started out as an effort to work on my behavior in romantic relationships has turned into a full blown analysis of my person.  We have just started discussing my problems with moments of blinding rage. They’re fleeting, but I admit, my rage has caused me to do some terrible things in the past.

    Last night I had a phone conversation with my mother.  I told her I was seeing a therapist.  She was immediately saying things like how proud of me she was, that she and my father always felt I was different, and they always worried I would never be happy.  She said pretty much my whole life they have “walked on eggshells” around me, that they frequently wanted to get me into therapy but I would adamantly refuse and change my behavior for the better… for a while.  She said they actually went to therapy WITHOUT me to try and understand my behavior.  ADHD was apparently a common suggestions from my teachers, but my parents never thought I actually had it so I was never treated.

    I find myself now struggling deeply with the big question: “Who am I?”  All my life I can say I’ve always felt… not human.  Not in the sense that I think I’m INHUMAN, but I just don’t process things the way everyone else seems to.  I can recall many times where I’d be in a social situation, laughing with friends, and internally thinking “I hate this,” or “Why am I here?”  When I walk my dog I look at people walking down the street, talking about inane, everyday things, and I think “How can they do that?”  I smile at people because I think they expect it, not because I want to.  I realize now for most of my adult life I have shoved these thoughts to the side.  Now I am confronted with them and they’re terrifying.

    I intend to continue with therapy.  Life is just very confusing for me right now.  I can’t focus at work.  When I’m at home I force myself to work through a series of scheduled events so I don’t have to sit at home and think (or I just drink to numb the thoughts in my head).  My mind has always been “on” 24/7.  I have a constant running monologue.  Sleep is difficult for me right now.  I can fall asleep, but I always wake up around 3am with racing thoughts.  I do not struggle with thoughts of suicide or even what I’d qualify as depression.  I just feel… ??

    My mom texted me this morning saying again how proud of me she was, and how she’d like to continue talking to me about this. It makes me cringe. I regret telling her. I don’t want to talk to her about it. I don’t want her to be proud of the fact that I’m going to therapy.

    I know therapy is a process.  I trust it will help me.  I just wish I could stop feeling like I’m on the verge of crying/laughing/screaming all the time.  Thank you for reading.



    Dear KM:

    My input about your share may distress you if you did not consider what I am about to suggest as a possibility before. I am not a professional and this is not a therapy forum. If you read the following and find any validity in it, or the possibility of validity, you probably should talk to your therapist about it.

    I will submit my input in a new post to follow, so that it is easier for you to not read it, if you so choose.




    Dear KM:

    My input: when you told your mother that you attend therapy, she was scared that you will find out in therapy that she and/ or your father harmed you, that they were not good parents. So she has let you know that it is you who is the problem, not them. She let you know that there is something wrong with you, not with them. That you were born faulty.

    Believing her will hinder your therapy because you were not born faulty, with something being wrong with you. It is true that there are babies born with a brain damage, true, but not you. How do I know it:

    1. Your writing makes sense, is reasonable, no problems in logic integrity.

    2. What you described in your share about your behavior, I read from hundreds of members in this very website and am familiar in my own life, in my behavior and people I know. In all the cases I got to learn about, these were caused by what is referred to as dysfunctional homes, homes were the child got harmed, emotionally.

    If you are reading this, and you would like to, let me know what you think/ feel.




    Your mother was likely worried about you so her reaction is understandable. Family dynamics however can get in the way of family members ‘helping’ each other. Let her know you appreciate her support however need space to work out your thoughts and feelings with your therapist.

    Fear is to courage as doubt is to Faith (faith in Life/realizing true self). It is understandable and ok that your feeling confused and detached. Its a sign that you’re on the right path. Continue being courageous – you are being courageous seeking help in dealing with your fears.

    You want better and are actively working on becoming better. Part of what your feeling now is due to wanting better right now as well as identifying your seance of ‘self’ as being the labels and stories your applying to your experiences. You are not your experiences. The Self is more then the sum of its parts… and not a part at all

    My experience has been that embracing the process can help. By allowing myself to sit with being confused, doubt and uncertainty with out labeling myself for doing so, I was able to move though the experiences instead of getting stuck in them. When you want to cry cry, when you feel like laughing laugh when you feel like screaming scream.

    In the part of the process you’re in the task is to focus on the basic needs of life. Taking out the garbage, cleaning the house, Exercise, eat healthy, go to work… These tasks are not intended to “make you happy” or even better… there the stuff of life we do.

    As you work with your therapist and learn to quite your thoughts, as you begin to sleep better, the stuff of life accepted… one day you will discover something that sparks you. Something that awakens you to you and that you want to work towards.  You are on the right path. Trust the intuition that lead you to seek out help.

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Peter.


    Dear KM,

    I admire your courage to ask the most important question  in life…who am I?  Already there is a strong YOU who will not accept the inane stuff of every day.  You are on the right path.  Just because you are different from the “average” and labelled ADHD etc does not mean that you are wrong.  You are UNIQUE.  Under the skin, everyone is UNIQUE.  Some conform or act to conform better than others.  Numbing with alcohol I think is a waste of money and time.  You have already made good strong  decisions by finding a new job and a therapist. I think you are well on your new journey.   Sometimes people who mean well do not  make good cross country traveling companion.  They are backseat drivers.    This is probably why you are regretting telling your mother. You can always send them a post card 🙂






    I recommend living in the question.

    Live from your heart, your joy, your fun and do that.  Let go of the “Big Questions” and it will unfold.

    Journal, journal, journal.

    From doing that, those thoughts that keep you up will be put on paper.

    Physical exercise is good too.  Everything from running, to yoga, to walking your dog is all good.  It does not matter what it is, just that you need to do it regularly.

    Meditate.  Enough said on that.

    Insofar the ADHD, I discovered late in life that I had that. It answered a lot on why I could not be successful in the type of work I struggled with (technology project manager).  I had a couple of sessions of Body Talk (you can Google that) and it cured me of it even though my doctor told me there was no cure.  I did try the allopathic medicine route by taking Adderall but the side effects stopped me.

    Be gentle with yourself.  You just started getting help.  Sometimes things seem to get worse before it gets better.  It sounds like things are bubbling up which is really affecting you.  That can be a good thing.  Give it time.

    Let us know how things go.




    i’m in a similar situation. My boyfriend at the time ended the relationship after 12yrs because i could get into what you call a blinding rage.  My parents and my boyfriend at the time, felt like being around me was “walking on eggshells”. I was emotionally and sometimes even physically abusive towards my partner. I started to get help, got myself a counsellor to talk to and it wasn’t until close to the end of my limited 16 sessions that I realized everything I spoke about and the advices given to me i knew already. I would attempt to put them into practice but it never would work during my episodes.   I had enough talking with my counsellor because I would still fall into the same pattern.  Long story short, I got diagnosed with depression which manifested into anger.  I went on medication, took a few months to find the right dosage and finally am on the right track. My boyfriend at the time was happy that I was getting better, but was full of resentment as well. He left, it left me devastated. That was 3 weeks ago, I’m still grieving but I’m left with not knowing who I am as well.

    My whole life I had this depression and I never really knew who I was without this anger inside me.  My parents aren’t as supportive with the break up or as understanding with giving me time to grieve. I feel alone, I have friends to talk to but you can only talk so much.

    I’m upset with myself for allowing this depression to take away so many years of my life (I’m 33, female) and my relationship of 12 yrs.  I’m scared. I’m on my own, and I don’t know who I am.

    I just wanted to share my story as reading yours helped me realized that I’m not alone and either are you.

    Good luck on your journey, as I have hope for myself and you.

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