I was abused emotionally and physically as a child and I suffered the trauma of finding my mom after she shot herself. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and general anxiety disorder. I have tried medication and EMDR therapy, as well as counseling. My problem is that I’m full of anger and pain. I feel scared most of the time, and while I have a pretty healthy relationship with my husband, he’s the only person in the world I trust. It makes me uncomfortable to receive compliments, and in turn I am usually extremely rude to people without meaning to be. I don’t trust anyone, and I pretty much hate people. I feel a bit paranoid at times. I’m told that I am cold and uncaring. How can I learn to be nice and friendly?

A: I can feel your pain through your email. I am so sorry about the deep trauma you’ve experienced in your life. It makes sense that you would feel extreme pain and have a hard time trusting people when the people who were supposed to care for you as a child have hurt you and abandoned you in horrific ways. What’s remarkable to me is that you have found someone you can trust – your husband. Please watch my response for the full answer to your difficult question…

Take good care of yourself.
Julie Hanks, LCSW