July 31, 2012My Outlook On Life Has Changed
Hi Dr Laura,
Posted by Staff at 12:22 PM
My name is Ben, I called you for advice around Christmas time last year, because it seemed like no matter what I did right or well, my mom always put me down like I could have done better, or on her nice occasions, just spun my happiness into negativity. (The specific example was my miraculous acquisition of an A in College Algebra. She told me, "Well, that's because you finally decided to apply yourself.")
You told me her negativity toward me was a reflection of her guilt as a parent, since my older bum of a brother turned out to be a loser. You said she likes him being a loser, and cuts me down because it assuages her parental guilt. You told me I should be proud of myself for my accomplishments, and realize my parents are flawed too, and now it's time to create my own life.
This advice really changed my outlook on life. As long as I can remember up to that point, I had been working myself to the bone to gain my parents' approval. But the more I did well, the worse they felt about themselves. After I spoke to you I decided it was high time I was as proud of myself as you said you were of me! Now, with every accomplishment, while I still keep my parents informed, I give myself a pat on the back for surpassing everyone's expectations. (I guess success can be a good revenge, huh)? For my support and emotional needs I go to my closest friends who are happy and supportive.
At 22 years of age as I move on into adulthood, you helped me to realize I would be spending (and wasting) a lifetime fighting for my parents' impossible approval, and that there are much more productive things I could be doing with my time.
Thank you so much for helping me understand my situation from a whole new perspective, Dr Laura. And thank you for saying that you're proud of me.
With love and gratitude,