Feeling Lost

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

i lost my mother when i was eight and was sent to live with my aunt. my aunt had a drinking problem and i ended up running away with a guy who used to abuse me. i was only thirteen. since then i have a child and a new boyfriend of 12years, i can’t love him i feel lost and empty. nothing really matters i feel like im a robot just trying to live, but whats my purpose.

A: People who are unloved as children often feel like they have an empty hole inside of them where the love should be. Often they wonder who can love them, if their own mother couldn’t. Sometimes they alternate between grabbing on to whoever offers something that looks like love (no matter how inappropriate the person is) and not accepting appropriate love that is genuinely offered. I’m sorry if you find yourself having any or all of these feelings.

Your purpose is to heal your wounds so that you can finally give and receive real love and so that you don’t end up repeating what happened to you. Your mom physically abandoned you. I’m concerned you may be emotionally abandoning your son.

There are several ways to fill that empty space inside so you can be the loved and loving person you are meant to be:
– Finding a spritual life and a relationship with a higher power who is all loving.
– Finding a good person who loves you and working on letting it in.
– Going to therapy to help you learn to feel good about yourself and to “mother” yourself in healthy ways.
– Helping others who are in need. (Giving love often creates love)
– Spending time in nature and feeling part of something larger than yourself.

You already did the hardest part: You realized you need some help and you wrote to me. Now it’s time to take some of the action steps: Talk to a clergy person and/or a therapist and find a place that needs your help. You didn’t say if your boyfriend is good to you. If he is, please find a couples therapist to help you learn how to be a more committed partner and to help him learn how to support and encourage you. Go for walks in the woods, in a garden, or on a beach. Really. It helps.

You are still young. You could have as many as 60 more years ahead of you. It’s worth it to work to change things so that the rest of your life can be better and so that your son gets the mothering you didn’t.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Oct 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Feeling Lost. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/10/21/feeling-lost/