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Ask A Therapist: How Do I Tell My Parents I Want Therapy?

These past few months have been different for me. I don’t feel complete. I have no hobbies, romantic relationships, or sports that I enjoy, whereas it seems everyone I know has these things. I belong to a middle class family and we have plenty of money and things, but something in my life is missing. I want to ask my parents if I can see a therapist or someone, but I’m too embarrassed and my parents will ask me questions about what’s wrong and I’ll feel stupid because I don’t have any answers. I don’t self-harm, but I’ve thought about it. I’ve got one good friend and a twin sister, but I always feel lonely… and I feel like something in my life is missing. I realize that I’m very young (14) and that life gets better, but I honestly just need answers. Why do I feel this way? What’s missing? Is there something wrong with me? Do other people feel this way?

A: Please talk to your parents from your heart. You don’t have to have all of the answers and it’s OK to tell your parents, “I don’t know,” if they ask you questions you’re not sure how to answer. Let them know that you want to see a therapist. Watch the video below to hear the complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: Feelings Of Complete Emptiness

Q: I do not . . . feel anymore. My lack of empathy has reached its highest peak. I do not feel the need to socialize with anyone at all. As self – destructive as it may seem a complete and constant escape from reality doesn’t look so bad after all. I just can’t help it. My heart is full of nothing but emptiness. How do I get my emotions back ?

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Ask A Therapist: Lost My Virginity and Now I’m Sleeping Around and Drinking A Lot

Q: I have a question. I’m 21 and I was dating this guy and well, I lost my virginity to him and I loved him. I felt like he used me. I was so hurt when we broke up and I then slept with his best friend and then another guy 6 times.  I drink a lot and I have low self esteem please I need some advice. I’m so lost.

A: It is incredibly painful to feel so deeply for your boyfriend that you would share your heart and your body with him only to have the relationship end. I’m so sorry that your boyfriend didn’t value the gift that you gave him, your first full expression of your sexuality.  While it’s incredibly difficult to feel used, there are many healthier options for dealing with your hurt than by doing things that cause more pain for you and others. Drinking and sexually acting out may temporarily make your feel powerful and numb your emotions but won’t lead to a healthy emotional place and will likely create more pain and hurt.

Please turn toward healthy relationships. Who have you gone to in the past for emotional support? Have you reached out to friends and family during this difficult time? If not, please share your pain with people you trust so you can receive comfort and strength.  Also, please consider seeking a therapist to sort through the loss of your relationship, understand the root of your unhealthy behavior, and to develop healthier coping skills. Click here if you need help to find a therapist in your area. You can feel good about yourself again. You can develop healthy love relationships.  Remember, you deserve to be with a man who wants to be with you and who cherishes you, body and soul.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: How Do I Disengage From My Ex?

Q: I was with my ex girlfriend for a year and half.  A few months before our breakup she moved a few states away and we tried to maintain a long distance relationship.  I did not go with her, because I was nearly finished with college.  At the time it seemed like a spur of the moment decision on her part to leave the area, but she really wanted to move out.  When she was away, we talked about moving in together and other promising things about our future with one another.  Ultimately, she met someone out there and left me for him.  I was angry and upset and we talked about the situation at length. She said didn’t want to be with one person for the rest of her life.  I told her we should stop talking and said maybe we could be friends down the line.  A couple of months passed and she contacted me telling me heart felt things and insulting her own actions in regards to how we split.  I was excited to hear from her, but I told her it wasn’t a good idea for us to be talking to one another being that I still had feelings and she was still with her new boyfriend.  But, to my fault, I ended up contacted her a few times; sending casual “hi, what’s up?” emails.  She came back home to visit for two weeks and we ended up hanging out a lot.  She told me she still loved me and we were intimate and sexual with one another.  Emotionally though she seemed very back and forth about me and her current boyfriend.  Also she seemed guilty one moment for hanging out with me and then was alright about it the next.  Obviously she is confused and giving off mixed signals, and I feel like I’m being led on.  We have talked openly about the situation before but didn’t really come to a conclusion.  She told me she is uncertain if she is going to continue living there or if she is going to live back in this area.  Either way, I know this situation isn’t healthy for me and I should definitely disengage from it.  But I don’t know what I should or shouldn’t say or if I should even say anything at all and just walk away from it.  Thanks for your help.

A: Thanks for your email. Letting go of a past love relationship can be very difficult, especially when you felt a strong emotional and sexual attachment. I’m glad that you can see that holding on to this relationship isn’t good for you and that it’s time to take responsibility to change.

The underlying question for you to answer is why you are reaching out to and trying to engage in a relationship with a woman who moved away from you, found another boyfriend, clearly states that she doesn’t want to be with one person, and is willing to cheat on her current boyfriend with you. Are you afraid you won’t find someone else to love you? Are you trying to get her to choose you over her current boyfriend?

She isn’t the only one who’s confused and sending mixed signals. You have both sent mixed signals to each other. From what you’ve described, you aren’t far enough down the the road to “be friends” without becoming intimate, so I suggest that you set strong “no-contact” boundaries with your ex and stick with them. No contact means no contact. It’s time to start spending your time developing yourself and seeking a relationship with a woman who wants to be in a committed relationship with you, instead of holding on to an unhealthy past.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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