My parents don’t love me.

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

So I’m in the 8th grade right now and love being at school or with friends, away from home, but only because I don’t love my parents and they don’t seem to love me. Now, I do come from a very privileged family, but when I’m around my parents I’m hardly ever happy, even when they spend thousands of dollars on birthday presents or anything for me. I was in the musical last year, and my parents felt I became a worse person because of it, that I became more… feminine. It’s not my fault if I’m not who they want me to be! Sometimes they tease me for it and make fun of my love for looking nice and design (I want to be a real estate developer when I’m older) but they don’t understand that who I am is who I want to be. Sure, I’ve had my share of mistakes, but they told me I’m not allowed to be a part of the musical, I can’t do any choirs, I can’t have any female friends, I can’t have any gay friends, blah blah. They are so restrictive. Personally, I don’t think sexual orientation or gender is a defining trait, so I ignore that rule, as I do most other things. They hardly ever support me except for soccer. When I have piano recitals (almost twice a month) they never come, even when I play for the city or for significant meetings. I’ve been independent forever. That’s why I write in my journal. Anyways, my dad the other day broke my phone and called me a cocky, arrogant, snobby, bratty, girly boy. They get me a lot, but I don’t want any of it. All I wanted for Christmas was a new camera, an ipod touch, and to go to a summer camp, but instead they got me Burberry ties and shirts, cologne, jeans, the ipod, no camera, a lot of things but I specifically told them no. Now they hold that against me. There’s so much more so I’m going to sort of summarize:

They make fun of me.
They don’t want me to be who I am.
They want me to believe in a religion I don’t believe in for the next few years.
They don’t support me.
They never tell me they love me.
They always yell at me, either because they’re upset or they want me to clean.
They ALWAYS hold things against me.
They won’t let me do anything I want to do that requires a permission slip yet they don’t care enough to ask why I come home around 8 PM.
They won’t let me follow my dreams of art.

My mom is always on the computer talking away to strange guys and her sister- she never has time for me. My dad is always working and whenever he’s home he yells at me.
Last but not least, they won’t let me be happy.

Please, I’ve tried everything. I write in my journal every night, I talk to my guidance counselor; I talk to my most trusted teacher in school. I’m the odd one out in the family because my grades suck, my personality is apparently a wreck, and my parents perceive me differently than other adults. I REALLY want to go away. I want to either run away or be adopted (preferably) and my teacher, well a teacher at the school, said if I ever reach the breaking point that he would definitely take me in because he somewhat knows what I’m going through as he’s been down the road a bit and he’s the teacher I tell everything to. I can’t stay home much longer because I HATE my parents, brothers, and everyone. No matter what they do, buy me a car, talk to me, support me, I will NEVER love them. They could love me, but I won’t’ love them, and it’s not just because I’m stubborn. They just make me sick and I don’t even trust them or know who they are. Please, if someone could help me, that would be great. And my email might be up I don’t know but contact me ASAP! Thanks.

A; I am sorry you are not feeling your parents’ love. But I am very glad that you have written. I know you said your grades “suck” but I can tell you from grading thousands of college and graduate school papers that the quality of your writing for someone in 8th grade is excellent. Your clarity of thought and feeling is something that people much older than you struggle for, but that you already have. What I’m saying is that your skill already shows through. I hope you will be able to find a way to express and have your gift flourish as you enter high school.

Your journal, for now, is a good companion. But I think a discussion with the school guidance counselor is needed. He or she might be able to broker a connection to a family therapist, something that I believe is essential in this situation. Some possibilities for a connection to such a therapist are here, and here is some information on family therapy

Your parents are not acknowledging your uniqueness and talents and the pain from not being seen for who you are can feel unbearable. It can feel like growing up in an amusement park fun house. If the distorted mirrors in the house tell us we are two feet tall and ten feet wide, but we don’t feel that way, we move out into the world uncertain as to how we are truly perceived. As you develop, find people who can see the real you. You will know them by how you feel around them.

Ask the school guidance counselor to help find a way to have you and your parents in a therapy setting with someone who can help them come to an understanding about your feelings. Maybe then they can become the mirrors that can accurately reflect who their son is.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). My parents don’t love me.. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/07/my-parents-dont-love-me/

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