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My mother Just wasn't there for me

Toni wrote:

So my mom was addicted to crack for about 6 years and she was in and out of hospitals, rehab, prison ... and my life. She also had a baby in that time who I knew for less than a year before he was taken away.

Since then, I haven't been able to relate to anyone or get close to even my 'best friend.' It feels like the simplest revelations or events in my life should be kept to myself, almost like my lips are sealed. My friend keeps asking me to open up and tell her about my day, but literally it feels like I can't. So I just tell her nothing happened, my life is boring. I find it incredibly difficult to relate to anyone and find myself people watching just so I know how to react in certain situations, because I have no idea on my own. My point is, that I seem to be in a downward spiral. Are some people meant to be alone? Are trust and intimacy overrated?

Dear Toni

No, trust and intimacy are not overrated - but everyone's needs are different.

I don't think anyone is meant to be alone - and there again, needs vary; theres a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

Those who choose to be alone are those who are at ease with themselves and don't feel a need for other people. That's a choice.

Being lonely is very different; you can be alone and lonely, or around people and lonely.

It ssems to me that you feel isolated, but don't feel it's a choice; you feel trapped by your past and your mother's behaviour. However much you try to exercise choice, it clearly isn't working for you.

I suggest you seek professional help - you can be helped, and getting the aid of a professional may speed up the healing process that is already taking place - but slowly.

I do believe you might be able to do it without help - but it will be hard work, forcing yourself to break free of a difficult past; if you make a real effort to be a friend to others, you'll find that they will be friends to you. But it won't be easy, and it won't be quick.

You clearly feel abandoned, and trust can never be forced; that will take a long time.

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