How Do I Stop Self-Defeating Behaviors?

By Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D.

I have been depressed for most of my life.My question is how do I get out of my self defeating behavior? I am Going to explain my problem. When I was three years ,my mom left me with my aunt and went to live in another island.Living with my aunt was like hell. It was like kiving in a military camp. I was not allowed to play, I was not allowed to have friends,I was not allowed to talk because she said that I lived at her house so she was the one who had the right to talk in her house. I was like a log( a standing one with feet), all I had to do was do her errands. I was not allowed to talk , I could not say that I didn,t like a particular kind of food that she cooked , or that I did not like to go to a particular persons house because I was afraid of that person.I was beaten constantly. She said spare the rod and spoil the child. She never made jokes with me all she did was criticize my mother.Ther was no love at home. I greew up in a loveless house.

My aunt died when I was about forteen years. When my aunt died I moved in with a neighbor and then I eventually moved in with my brother. My sister also moved in with my brother. my sister and my brother,s girlfriend could not get along so my brother moved out of the house.He left us all alone in the house.( The house belonged to my grandmother) One of the neighbors gave us food for some time ,but eventually I ended up having a boyfriend at a very early age. My sister never really stayed by my side during this time. She spent most of her time with her friends and left me alone to sleep in the house. 

My problem is that al this has affected me negatively . I don’t know how to have a relationship with someone. I usually get involved in bad relationships that leave me trumatised and depressed. hope do iI stop my self defeating behaviors.

A: Hello and thank you for your question. It sounds like you have had a very difficult time coping with a tough life, but seem to have managed professionally, and that is great! It also sounds like you truly have a good heart and care about people.  The good news is that you can overcome a childhood like yours but it takes professional help and a lot of hard work. However, it sounds like you are willing to put in the effort in order to have a normal life. 

You might also try to find some books on the Internet (Amazon is a good place) about building healthy relationships. If you are a Christian, I suggest the book (or series), “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend. They can teach you how to set and respect boundaries and what influences your childhood has had upon you.  I would not try to do it completely on your own since it hasn’t seemed to work too well in the past.

I don’t know how easily you can find a therapist in your area, but would suggest you find one with whom you can work. There are many very good ones out there who specialize in relationship problems.  Please find some help and begin your new life which you so richly deserve.

Best of luck,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Walcutt, D. (2009). How Do I Stop Self-Defeating Behaviors?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/01/how-do-i-stop-self-defeating-behaviors/