I’m trapped

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

I’m trapped.
Let me say this to start:
I am young. Twelve and three- quarters.

My parents believe that people develop problems through traumatic events and it begins very young; therefore, if they didn’t see anything wrong with me at four there isn’t and won’t ever be anything wrong with me.

They refuse to take me to a therapist and/or be screened and/or be given medication. (I was diagnosed with severe depression and when the doctor prescribed drugs and yet my parents refused them)

Yet: I was born with a facial defect: a cleft lip, nose and palate, and I began traumatic surgery within 12 months of my birth and they still continue today. Also when I was very young I lost two younger brothers and thought it was my fault.

I really hate people.

Kids my age are very stupid, so I spend most of my time on the Internet and drawing instead of being social.
I also have a few strange habits:
I bite my thumb a lot.
I can never keep eye contact with someone.
People always say I rude or mean (I don’t think I am)
My voice often is a monotone: (when I want to speak with emotion it doesn’t always come through)
My interests are strange, but they mostly evolve around a specific character from a specific anime that I specifically love to death.

And, I hate the way I look; couldn’t hate anyone’s face more than my own.
My emotions control me.

I will have periods of happy, hyper, super-creative moods (I’m very social during this; very peppy, like I had just inhaled pure caffeine) and they last for three weeks maybe.

But for about half a year in Fifth grade I couldn’t enjoy anything; I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

The same thing happened about a month ago. Between being miserable I’m mostly angry at everything. I really don’t understand why my parents won’t help me. (I had a breakdown; crying, screaming, begging my mom to do something because I was in a terrible state and she just told me to buck up, quit talking and clean my room.)
It makes me hate them.
It makes me feel bad about hating them.
It makes me feel bad about myself.
But I know that there’s /something wrong,
That this isn’t how it has to be.
Am I so wrong?
What should I do?
I’m trapped.

A: “Beauty, as defined by society at large, seemed to be only about who was best at looking like everyone else.
— Lucy Grealy (Autobiography of a Face)

You are obviously very bright for a 12-year-old and I am very sorry your parents do not understand what you are feeling. I am not sure why this is, but it is time for you to get help. No one should be made to endure this without getting the services they need, particularly no one who is in the 6th grade.

Go to a trusted teacher, speech therapist, or guidance counselor in your school and ask them to help. Your parents need to realize they have a responsibility to help you and it sounds like they don’t understand how to do this. I would also call the hospital and the surgeon who did the surgery and get them involved. Hospitals typically have a social work department and the social worker can help you cope with your parents and perhaps find some therapy for you and your family.

Don’t lose your spirit, and, I might add, you do not hate people. Who do you think is on the other end of the Internet connection? What about the artists that created the anime you love so much? And what about us here? You don’t hate us, or else why would you ask us for help?

Lucy Grealy was a magnificent professor and highly influential professor of mine in a graduate school program. She wrote a book about her surgeries and distortions of her face. The book demonstrates the courage and character it took to cope with her disability.

Having a disability takes courage because you have to educate people about what you need, what you feel, and what is important to you. I know that if you are writing this letter at you have the courage to find your voice in the world.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jun 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). I’m trapped. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/06/14/im-trapped/

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