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’s 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…

A: 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