How Can I Reach Out to My Family?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. Ok…this is going to be long…My parents got divorced 2 years ago. My father got custody of me and my now 20 year old brother. My brother and my Grandma (my mom’s mom) stayed in my old house while me and my dad moved to South Florida for a new start at life. He would often leave me at home, alone, and this was the first time I had ever felt so lonely. I was so lonely that I cried every night. In the present time, Me and my dad still live in South Florida. My brother went to college, and my grandma got an apartment. To this day I am still very lonely and cry every day (I’m home alone all day) and at night. My dad doesn’t know how sad I am and I don’t know how to tell him. We used to be close, but now we as far apart as ever. He leaves at night and comes home at 2 AM. I don’t know where he goes, and I figure it is none of my business. I am very lonely and very shy. I have no friends because I am so socially akward. I even have a hard time talking to my family. I feel so hopeless. I think I have depression, but I am not sure. I miss my dad. I miss having friends. I cry so often that I am starting to get wrinkles in my forehead and I am only 15. I don’t what to do. I feel like I have nobody. Please give me some advice. I am crying as I am writing this…I need help. What should I do?

A. It is understandable that you are sad. Your life has been disrupted by your parents’ divorce and your family has been split apart. When your parents divorced, you lost your home, your town, your school, your friends, your family and probably much more. Everything that you used to know is gone and you are now living practically alone in a new state, without most of your family or friends. Almost anyone would be struggling, given the type of life changes that you are encountering. What happened to you is not fair or easy. You unfortunately are a victim of their divorce.

You said that your father leaves you alone all day and night but you do not feel that it is “your business” to ask him where he goes. Please know that it is certainly “your business” and your right to ask him where he goes. It is also appropriate and advisable to ask him to spend more time at home with you. He moved you to a new town and therefore he, as a parent, is responsible for helping you to become familiar with your new surroundings. This is his responsibility as a parent. This is his job and he is currently not doing it.

It may be that your father is working to establish himself in your new town. This may be why he is rarely home. Part of the time he may also be socializing and that is why he does not come home until 2 a.m.

It is normal to feel sad and lonely in your situation and it is okay to ask your father for help. I strongly advise you to go to your father and tell him how you feel. Be honest and open with him. He may have no idea how you are feeling. Tell him that you do not like staying home alone and that you would like him to be with you more often. Tell him everything that you wrote in this letter. If you feel uncomfortable approaching him, why not give him the letter you wrote to me. Your letter does a nice job of explaining how you feel. You may even want give to him my response to your letter. Thanks for writing.

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Aug 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Reach Out to My Family?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/08/04/how-can-i-reach-out-to-my-family/