Psych Central

My Father Fears Me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

To many people, I come off as the typical man. I’ve played sports and attended school while excelling in both. I seem like I am a fun person with a great demeanor. However, I feel like my emotions are sensitive and people don’t really understand me. I have always been angry and slightly manic. I have become good at repressing most of my volatile emotions in fear of my public image.

Lately though, I fear these repressed emotions are having a very negative effect on my life. I have lost motivation in school and it shows in my grades. I freak out at random times and it scares me to death. I feel like my willpower is the only thing keeping me from doing something drastic.

My own father has acknowledged his fear of my capabilities in anger. I’m scared and I have no idea what to do. I feel like people do not care if I go to them with my problems. I went to a therapist and he offered no advice or help to me. He only kept asking questions and it made me even more angry. My parents think I am just lazy and making excuses. The only solace I find is in video games, alone, isolated, where I can lose myself in my mind. Please help me.

A: Please trust your own instincts and the opinion of a father who loves you. You are, indeed, on some kind of edge. I don’t think you are making excuses. I don’t think you are lazy. (Even if you were lazy and making excuses, it wouldn’t matter. You could still be one angry guy who is afraid of his own feelings!)

So — Please. Go to another therapist!

Not all therapists are alike. Not every therapist is a good “fit” for everyone who walks in their door. Sometimes it takes seeing a few before you find the right one for you.

Do your part. If you find you are getting angry at the therapist, say so! The only thing a therapist has to work with is what you tell them and what you are willing to show. If you are as good at repressing your feelings as you say, it’s unfair to think a therapist will be able to read your mind.

As a way to get started, I suggest you take your letter and this response to the first session. That will give you both a jumpstart.

Thank you for writing. You are right to be worried about yourself. I share your concern and very much hope you will follow through and get the help you need.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 May 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). My Father Fears Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/15/my-father-fears-me/