Raised Without a Mom

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

My mother hasn’t been around most of my life. She has been a drug addict since before I was born and my parents divorced when I was 5. Then she moved back in when I was 7 or 8 and my dad kicked her out for good when I was around 14. She was bipolar and depressed a lot. My girlfriend thinks I have issues because of this and I think it’s a major reason I can never trust a girl. Also most of my friends think I’m very insensitive and rude to people especially to my girlfriend but I don’t ever feel I’m being rude. Are their any particular issues guys can have from being raised without a mom? I couldn’t find anything on it so I guess it’s not common.

A: Thank you for asking this question. The best thing I can say is that there are concerns whenever a parent is emotionally unavailable. In your mom’s case her mental illness and drug addiction kept her from being emotionally and then physically available to you. When this happens people cope in a variety of different ways. The coping style is likely to be something that will inform your future relationships. Here are two articles I have written on this process that may be helpful for you. My encouragement is to go to the counseling center at your university and begin talking about this. I think will help you learn more about your coping mechanism and how it may be affecting you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Raised Without a Mom. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/18/raised-without-a-mom/