You are here:

Counseling/My life is a nightmare!!


Hello Nori,
I have a very complicated, serious situation. First of all, I'm 35 years old, living with my widowed mother. I was raised an only child, so naturally, separating is not easy. That said, I may be forced to, I just need help making that happen. I have countless health problems. For years, taking laxatives consumed my life, and I have horrible rheumatoid arthritis. I recently had an ileostomy done, which has now taken over my life, even worse than the laxative ordeal. I feel like that is what my life has come to; all I do is contend with this bag. My mom and I have not gone a day without fighting, since it was done. To make matters worse, I did something I hate myself for: when I could not finance a medication for arthritis (insurance denied me coverage, after a period of time), I was promised by the pharmacist that if I paid out of pocket, and wrote a letter to my insurance, I would get reimbursed. Insurance then agreed to cover it, but did not and will not reimburse me. I got the money by daring to go to my parents' safe deposit box. Because I just was so sure I would get it back, I took the money. My mom does not know, and I cannot tell her, as that will ruin my life for good. I run my own business, but I only make money, if I can find somebody willing to pay for my services, so I cannot get it back any time soon. If she finds out, I'll be forced to leave, which at this point, I may even consider good. Moving on, I don't really have anywhere for certain to go. I have one friend (we'll call her Juliette), who is 61, whom I feel a particular closeness to, but sometimes I think I'm too much for her. Even so, I think I may need to ask her if I can stay with her and her husband. I think it would be a good fit for me, as I think I would turn my life around better. However, I don't know how I could make this happen. Truly, I am so sick of fighting with my mom, that I just sometimes don't even know how I will go on, as it is, and if she finds out, my life is officially over~ there will be no more point to it. Mom does a lot for me, and I don't show nearly enough gratitude (she even lets me take over her carů rarely for anything fun, but at least she lets me use it if I finance fuel). However, I've reached my breaking point, and think eventually, Juliette may need to be involved. Do you know if I could find a mediator? It may even be the death of my relationship with Juliette, but I can assure you, she is the only person who is not a bad influence in my life. I'll admit, I'm clingy, but she does not know what she means to me, and how much I need her in my life. What do you think I should do? This is really, really, really BAD!! My mom would never, ever forgive me, especially since she laid the ground rules down, when she put my name on the locked box when Dad passed away; said I can only go in it if she is dead, if she is not present~ absolutely no exceptions. Juliette is the only person who can help me; the only other two women in my life who were mentors are no longer alive, and although I would go to them before Juliette if they were, I still could not do it on my own. Please help; I am officially SCREWED!!

Dear Kirsten,
Thank you for your letter and for sharing your story with me.
Getting caught stealing the money is not why you are screwed. Stealing the money you put yourself in this situation. Also, you have medical problems and need help for that.
Pulling Juliette into this might help you, but it could mess up Juliette's life.
Anyway, honesty is important. I'm not sure what the social safety net is like where you live, but I encourage you to find a social worker, or somebody from your city or county who can take your case. Be honest with the social worker because it will help get things back on the right track.
I hope this helps,


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Nori Muster


Art therapy, positive thinking, and abuse recovery.


I have been an expert at since 2000. Before that, during college and graduate school, I put in approximately three hundred volunteer hours working at juvenile halls. I also worked in drug and alcohol counseling agencies. In addition, I have done art and writing therapy with young people who grew up in abusive religious groups.

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), helps families, people who grew up in cults, and people leaving cults.

Books by Nori:
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World, a history of positive thinking and how to practice it in the post-9/11 world.
Child of the Cult, a collection of stories about children who grew up in restrictive religious groups.
Cult Survivor's Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life, a recovery handbook for people who had a bad experience in a group.

For a summary of all writing, see

Masters of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (psychology, counseling, and criminal justice), Western Oregon University, 1991.

Awards and Honors
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement won an award from for best selling book in its category.

©2017 All rights reserved.