You are here:

Counseling/Family problems


Hello, I'm Brittany 20 years old.
I'm having trouble I'm thinking of cutting my family off, just about everyone they cause me so much stress.
Me and my mother have a bad relationship, soon as I went to middle school it got worst when I turned 16 that's when I knew it got bad, I always got told I was ugly a hoe, bitch, slut, that I would end up like her and single with no man and 5 kids while my sisters went to school became rich and famous,she made me get a job at 16 to support myself while my sisters were given money for everything not to mention that I had to pay her for food and bills. When I went to college they were surprised I made a 4.0 but my mom grandma and aunts talked about how I would fail and get pregnant and drop out that no man would ever want me and it was my sisters that would be with someone first, she always black mailed me for financial aid not wanting to give me her info if I didn't let her control.

Not to mention I wasn't allowed to hang out with any friends or anything till I was about 19, when I do come back from school from the summer I work to provide for myself and save money but she complains that I need to give all the money I work for to her, I walk to the store to get food to come back home to see everyone ate it all and left me none, birthday cake my gma made me her and my whole family ate it :( only one of my 3 aunts called me on my bday, no one in my family mom/grandma talks to me unless they need money. I also recently have got an amazing boyfriend I love him and he is the exact opposite of what my family thought I would receive we been together for about 7 months but dated before that, I recently flew to dallas for my bday I came back to here everyone on the phone calling me a hoe and a slut and how he won't be with me for long that probably all I do is have sex with them only for them to smile in my face later...It's gotten worse now that I am starting to want control over my own life.

.but when I'm at school the only time my mom or grandma calls me is when they need money or if they want to talk to my sisters... this all has caused me so much stress. My mom threatens me now to kick me out and that she doesn't know why I come back all the time knowing that no one wants me here on christmas she ran off with my brothers and sisters to spend time with them while leaving me home and made fun of me crying.

I just don't know what to do anymore, It's too much stress my gpa went down fall semester after the argument my mom and my sisters who are a yr younger than me and attend school with me stopped talking to me, no one talks to me unless it's beneficial to them,everyone wants to  control me and I just want independence I feel thats the only way I can get away also I feel like I should cut my mom off well everyone but my mom and grandma are extremely manipulative, narcissistic and hurt me over and over and I just don't want to deal but I care but I feel like I been going through an emotional abusive issue and sometimes physical with my mom and everyone else for over 5 years

please help

Hi Brittany - I felt sad reading your description. You seem - thru no fault of your own - to be part of a very dysfunctional family who is scapegoating you for some reason. A key to gaining some direction and purpose to your life and growing solid self-esteem is affirm your rights as a dignified woman:

Then learn about assertiveness and setting personal boundaries with people who put you down:

In general, I encourage you to study online "lesson 1" - it's about the wounds you and your ancestors inherited, and how to reduce them.

Use this as a guideline for relating to the family members who put you down:

You have a right to enjoy your own achievements and to make the best life for yourself that you can! If you have questions on any of this, Brittany, please ask!


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about mood disorders, depression, suicide, relationships, communication skills, problem solving, clear thinking, bonding disorders, trauma recovery, addiction management, grieving, shame, guilt, fear, reality distortion, and trust disorders; courtship, family functioning, "problem kids," mediation, (re)marriage, divorce, stepfamilies, stepparenting, boundaries, self-neglect, abuse, parental neglect, personality subselves, ("parts work"). I cannot answer legal or medical questions.


I maintained a private therapy practice near Chicago for 27 years, and have worked with over 1,000 men, women, couples, and families on a wide range of personal and family problems. I have been in personal recovery from growing up in an alcoholic family since 1986, and have worked with five therapists to heal my own psychological wounds. I maintained a "warm (phone) line" for callers on the topics above for 20 years, and have taught over 200 seminars and classes in midwestern universities, churches, support groups, and schools since 1981. I have practiced internal-family therapy ("parts work") with trauma-recoverers since 1991.

National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council; Compassion and Choices, and Final Exit Network

# Several hundred articles in my non-profit "Break the Cycle!" Web site at These articles are augmented by over 150 educational YouTube videos .

# six books on childhood-trauma recovery, effective communication, and stepfamily courtship, coparenting, and management.

A bachelors degree in mechanical engineering (BSME, 1959) from Stanford University, a Masters degree in clinical Social Work, (MSW, 1981), and over 500 hours of post-grad training in the topics above - including clinical hypnosis, spirituality, codependence, addicrtion-management, and guided imagery. My post-grad traning includes two 9-month internships on doing internal-family therapy at the University of Illinois.

Awards and Honors
Hundreds of grateful emails and comments from students and clients all over the world.

Past/Present Clients
Over 1,000 average Midwestern-US women, men, couples, and families. A physical disability limits me to doing telephone and Skype counseling now.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]