At War With Myself

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Lately I have had this constant nagging feeling when I get home. Like I’m worthless, maybe broken or damaged beyond repair. I am not suicidal as most I have found here but rather I have this horrible fear that I will die before I can fix my problems. before I finally get up and do something about it. At work I excel and am constantly receiving praise. Currently my mother lives with me and her and I have always had a horrible relationship. Though her complaints may sometimes be true, she is the child of an abuser and she says things so aggressively. She tells me I’m a 500lb loser that nobody cares about (I am overweight but certainly not 500lbs). Sometimes as soon as I come home she picks a fight and it like my whole day gets ruined. In my head I know just who I want to be and what I want to do but its as though I’m paralyzed. I want to lose weight but I lack will power and self control. All of my relationships end in angry emotional words filled with hate. What steps should I take to turn my life around and develop some sort of structure?

A. You feel as if you are “worthless, maybe broken or damaged beyond repair.” It is a nagging feeling. Each individual must find his unique way in life. Jung would call this individuation. Maslow would term this self-actualization. Existentialists would refer to this process as living authentically.

If I may speak generally and of course I have no choice since I am unaware of all of the details of your life, persons in your situation have stopped the process of growth that I have referred to above. The unpleasant feeling that you have described seems to be the same one that I have heard described by hundreds of clients. It is an urging to move forward. Where does that urge come from? Well that depends on what theory you ascribe to and thus what language you would use that would be true to that specific theory.

Though the theories use differing language, the message is very similar. To be happy, to live a life of meaning, you must follow that path of self-growth. That path may take you to another continent, to a completely new career, to a new life philosophy or to the realization that you must separate from your mother. The path of growth will not be easy in any case.

One can think of a thousand reasons why moving to a new continent is impossible, why a career change is ridiculous, why it is preposterous to think of accepting a new life philosophy and how it is unthinkable to separate from one’s mother. The required changes, whatever they might be, are all hard, maybe extremely so but they are absolutely necessary to your life.

If you were to ask Jung or Maslow or Nietzsche, they would tell you that all people, including your mother, must face this growth process.

Jung considered murder the only unforgivable sin. You must not take another life but you cannot let another take your life from you. They are both sins.

I have already stated clearly that I could be wrong in your specific case because I cannot be specific with knowing specifics. However, in general, when applied to “being” en masse, it is so very true.

A good counselor/therapist would get the specifics that this Internet format denies me. I would highly recommend you begin the solution to this problem by finding a therapist who could provide you the additional insight that will help you along the path to self-actualization, individuation, authenticity etc.

The “find help” tab, at the top of this page, can help you locate psychotherapists in your community. Goup therapy may also be very beneficial. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). At War With Myself. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/07/31/at-war-with-myself/