I make my parents cry

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hello, I am a 16 years old boy, and attending my second last year of school.Time management has always been a problem for me, but my grades never showed this as I was gifted as a student. Things started changing at the beginning of the year, my grades were dropping because I was not putting in the effort. I used to play games, and this may have contributed somewhat.

I know my parents love me, and they do their best to help me, but recently they have become increasingly frustrated and annoyed with me. It seems I have pushed them to their limits to love me. My mom has now started ignoring me, and my dad recently got a job out of town, so he’s not here most of the time. My mom doesn’t want to talk to me, as she says everything I say is a lie to try and please people, and that all I ever do is be “Mr. Nice Guy”. Once she even said that I have lost my soul.

I have made both my parents cry numerous times, and I feel numb to all the pain and suffering I am causing. I would lock myself in my room for days, and just sleep. I haven’t been to school for the past week, just sleeping and playing games, which today I deleted off my computer.

I feel that if I don’t do something to change soon, i will regret it for the rest of my life, as this is a crucial time now: these marks start counting towards my end result.
I have thought about ending my life at times, and that just makes me cry, I would never do it. I write all over my school books that I’m a failure, and I believe it. But I know I must change, this just isn’t me.

Please help me, I don’t know who I am anymore or where to turn for help. I am spiralling down into a pit that has no joy or happiness left in it. I feel that everything I do is fake, and I am just living as a shell with no purpose. Please help me.

A: Okay then. Your letter is the first step in reclaiming yourself and turning your life around. Actually, the first step was deleting the games from the computer. So you’re really on step 2. Now let’s get to steps 3 and beyond. . .

Sometimes students act like this because they are so afraid of failing that it’s better to not even try. If you don’t try, you can always tell yourself that you could do well if you only make the effort. It’s a tactic that may save your dignity but it does so at the price of your future. I think you can do better than that.

Another possibility is that you really are depressed and need some focused help to get out of the depression.

It sounds to me that your parents are just as frustrated with you as you are. They are suffering from their own problems and don’t know what to do to help you with yours. Parents who cry are parents who care — deeply — but you know that. Since they don’t know how to help, it’s time you found someone who does.

Please consider talking to a school counselor or your doctor or someone else you trust about how to go about getting an evaluation from a mental health counselor. You’re stuck. If you knew what to do, I think you would have done it long ago. You strike me as a smart, decent guy who is as mystified by his own behavior as his parents are. A counselor will help you understand why you are so self-defeating and will teach you some strategies for getting back to the business of realizing your potential. A counselor can also provide much needed support for your whole family if you are willing to have some family sessions. Since you and your folks do care about each other so much, it would probably be a great relief for you all to learn how to be more supportive of one another.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Nov 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I make my parents cry. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/11/26/i-make-my-parents-cry/

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