I Feel Like My Parents Don’t Love Me

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve had depression since I was very young but was officially diagnosed when I was 16. For as long as I can remember my parents have always fought with one another about every subject imaginable. For example, what to eat for dinner; my grades; my weight; money; or even the cleanliness of the carpet. Their fighting makes me want to crawl in a hole and never come out.

I have a closer relationship with my mom, but I still feel like she is dissatisfied with me. The only time she tells me how she feels is when she’s over the top mad and yells at me. Most of the time when she’s mad she completely ignores me and walks around with a smile on her face.

Most recently I got a tattoo on my leg using my money of a sport that I am very passionate about. My mom doesn’t like tattoos and obviously doesn’t like it. I can’t tell my dad about it because he would straight out tell me that I was stupid to get it and that it is a stupid tattoo. I have three other tattoos that they know about. So for the past week I’ve been walking around with a bandage over it so my mom doesn’t have to look at it and my dad doesn’t see it.

I feel like I can’t be myself. I feel incredibly lonely. I’m uncomfortable at home when my parents are there, and when they are there I feel like I have to walk on egg shells to keep them from fighting or getting mad at me.

I used to see a therapist specializing in teenage anxiety and depression, but I became well enough to stop receiving treatment. I don’t know how to tell my parents how unhappy I am and that I am planning on not moving home next summer just to escape the emotional roller coaster that is my house.

A. It makes sense that you do not want to be in the presence of your parents. As you said, their fighting makes you feel uncomfortable. Most people would feel the way you do. No one wants to be in the presence of continuous arguing. It’s very unpleasant.

What is less clear is why you feel as though your parents don’t love you. Are you blaming yourself for their fights? Perhaps you believe that if they loved you, they would not fight. Try not to take their arguing personally. In all likelihood, it has more to do with their dissatisfaction with each another than to do with their love for you.

I would encourage you to tell your parents how you feel. It is important to be honest and to voice your opinion. Their continuous arguments are negatively affecting your life and they need to be made aware of this fact. They likely are unaware of how their behavior is affecting you. If you have difficulty speaking to them in person about these issues, then consider writing them a letter. Sometimes people feel more comfortable writing about their feelings than they do stating them in person.

You might also benefit from returning to therapy, at least for a few sessions. It seems as though you could use the support of a therapist at this time. The therapist could also provide guidance with regard to how to approach your parents, how to better understand this situation and how to adjust your feelings accordingly. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Aug 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). I Feel Like My Parents Don’t Love Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/08/23/i-feel-like-my-parents-dont-love-me/