A: I’m sorry that your childhood has been so painful and that you feel you have no one to talk to about it. The good news is that you are now an adult and can get the help you need without even involving your parents. It is time to take charge of your own healing.
It is natural to want to feel loved, validated and supported by our parents. However, if your parents are the ones who have abused, neglected or otherwise failed to support you in the past, it is unrealistic for you to seek their validation now. It would be more helpful for you to work through the wounds of the past with someone trained to help you do so. That said, I would suggest that you find a good therapist who has experience working with families and childhood abuse and neglect.
It is obvious that you have begun taking the pain out on yourself through self-harm, eating disorders and social isolation. It doesn’t have to be this way. Therapy can not only help you understand the effects of growing up the way you did, but also how to move past it and develop healthy coping skills so that you can have a happy and rewarding life.
Finally, you do not need to feel bad about what your “parents did for you.” It is their job to take care of their children. If they try to make you feel guilty for this, I see it as just another way of abusing you still. You don’t have to disown them or punish them or get them to understand you … You just have to learn to be responsible for yourself now and give yourself what you need to be successful. Good luck!
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts