Home » Ask the Therapist » Parenting » My Parents Treat Me Terribly

My Parents Treat Me Terribly

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Hello. I am 23 years and a graduate from a top university, where I graduated Cum Laude. I have never been in trouble at school or with the law, I don’t drink or smoke, I hardly go out with my friends at night and have tried to play by the rules my whole life. But my parents treat me like garbage. I have a younger brother who is 20, and for some reason they treat him like the KING. I would like you to please understand that l am very level headed and would not exaggerate anything I am saying here. My mother takes his food to his room and a tray, he will then ask for juice, or more food or whatever, then he leaves his tray on the bed and my mom takes it out of his room and cleans it up. My mom treats him like- well the best way to describe it would be how Dudley’s parents from Harry Potter treat him. It really would! Dudley oodly kins and all! And for me, well I wouldn’t wish such a treatment on anyone! They just treat me like I’m worthless, I don’t know how to describe it- it’s like anything l do is a nuisance to them… this has affected me SO much in my life. After being treated like a nuisance for so many years at the age of 23 I genuinely just feel like I have never seen love from my parents. I genuinely don’t feel loved.. Recently there was a shooting at my school but I wasn’t there that day- I remember over hearing my mom say that she was worried that i might have been at school and i WAS SHOCKED… like i was genuinely shocked that she would even care that I might have been killed… THAT is the summation of how they have treated me. I am beyond trying to repair it because I am an adult now and there‚Äôs no way I can ever forget/genuinely forgive. but what hurts me is that their treatment has truly affected my LIFE. in so many ways. It has given me anxiety, low self worth, unsure of everything i do, you name it… I used to be so productive and such a go getter… but now I just have played into the role of how my parents have treated me as a good for nothing loser… I wish I could lift myself up… but this is just pulling me down…

My Parents Treat Me Terribly

Answered by on -


Thank you for sending in your question to us. It sounds like at age 23 like you need a plan to leave the home. I realize this is not always easy these days due to economic reasons, but I think the time has come for you to realize you are not going to get what is needed from your parents.

I do think a visit with a family therapist with you your mom and dad could be helpful, but I think the more important goal is for you to start finding a way to have a separate life. Often once adult children are launched from the home a better relationship can evolve.

I am assuming that you have already tried to talk to them about your feelings. But if this is not the case I would let them know that their behavior has been a struggle for you. Perhaps this can be the opening to request to see a family therapist.

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

My Parents Treat Me Terribly

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Parents Treat Me Terribly. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 10 Sep 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.