April 15, 2011 - submitted by Elizabeth, United States of America
Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION - #20
Last May my parents decided to get a divorce, which was actually a positive thing because my dad was abusive to my mother. He's already remarried and I've never met the woman he married, nor was I invited to the wedding. I decided to cut my dad out of my life because he isn't a good person, but I still have really mixed feelings because he's my dad and I love him, and he only was bad to me a few times growing up. Anyways, ever since then I've been feeling sad non-stop, I don't want to get out of bed in the mornings, the things I used to be passionate about don't interest me anymore, and even though I'm a really good kid, I find myself doing bad things that I never would've done before. I'm afraid that I might be depressed and need some kind of help before I get worse but I don't want to tell my mom and have her make a big deal of it. What do you think I should do? Elizabeth
The Oracle replies:
There are two things here Elizabeth; the cause and the symptom. It's a terrible sadness to be caught in the middle of a divorce but as you say, it wasn't a bad thing. Whether or not you choose to have contact with your father is up to you. Yes he and your mum created you but you don't owe him anything. He's not exactly been there for you so don't beat yourself up about whatever decision you make regarding seeing him or not. However, the effect this is having on you is something you do need to talk to your mum about. It's interesting you assume she'll give you a hard time but she may offer her love, support, guidance and understanding as well as help. But if you really believe that to be the case, maybe talk to another family member or someone you trust but don't deal with this on your own. You're not alone, there will be so many people going through the same thing so don't be scared to share your thoughts and feelings. This very well could have triggered a depression which is understandable but I urge you to drag your self out of bed and to reclaim your happy. Those things that you were passionate about... do them anyway, spend time with good friends and stay away from the bad things that are out of character. It's easy to blame events in our life for downward spirals and dramatic changes in behaviour but all you're doing is running, hiding and blocking out the sadness by doing these things. Talking to a counsellor may help but I'm a great believer in giving yourself a good talking to yourself. The fact you came to me for help means you can do something positive as that was the first step. I KNOW you can find your way back from this because you want to. Talking is key so please find the right person to help you get the help you need. Good luck Elizabeth & hang in there as it will get easier. Over to you.
Since you have mixed feelings about your dad, you should try calling him or writing him a letter to let him know how you feel. Shedding light on these mixed feelings could potentially lift a huge weight off your chest, so try that first and see how you feel afterward. I know how parents can overreact and blow things out of proportion sometimes, but this situation is more on the serious side. Try talking to a close friend about what you are experiencing, then talk to your mom. She might make a big deal of it, but then again, how you feel right now IS a big deal. She will give you her support and want to help, even if she has an odd way of showing it. Blake.
You know what’s odd Elizabeth, I went through this EXACT SAME THING (and my name is Elizabeth). My parents divorced when I was really, really little, I don’t remember them ever being together. My dad wasn’t physically abusive, but he can be verbally abusive and I swore up and down for most of my teenage years that when I turned 18, I would never talk to him again. But that changed for me once I gave my dad a piece of my mind. I yelled at him over the phone about how I never felt like he truly cared about me. All of my built-up anger for all of those years came out in a matter of 15 minutes, crying and shaking and all that jazz. I thought that would be the end of our relationship, but it wasn’t. It made it better.
What it seems like to me is that cutting your dad out of your life has been hard on you mentally (he is your dad after all), and that’s a tough fact to face. I think you need to talk to him. Not with him, TO him. Tell him how you feel and how much he’s hurt you. It may not fix your relationship with him, but it could (and hopefully will) make life easier for you. I hope this helps a little bit Ellie.
Elizabeth, you need to get help RIGHT NOW. Don't be afraid to tell your mum about this, because she loves you and wants you to be ok. She has her own problems, but they involve you and I can tell you that she will be a thousand times worse if she sees you depressed and doing self-destructive things without knowing what happens. I'm so sure that she would prefer to know what you're going through now and will support you and help you to get out of this nightmare. Only if you are right, you'll be able to help your mother and make her feel better too. You both can be each other's support but only if you get some kind of help now. You can also lean on other people you trust and love. They can cheer you up and listen to you. Having someone to talk to, who can advise you, is what you need (and of course, some medical help).
You don't know how much I understand your feelings about your dad. It's not easy when your father cuts you out of his life and doesn't care about you. Mine did that and some days I find myself crying because of it. But someday, after thinking so much, you will be ready and have the chance and strength to confront him and tell him everything you feel and everything you think about him. I did, and it was kinda relieving although you feel wrong after that. Be strong, get some help and focus on the good things you have (like your friends, your hobbies, etc). Try not to be impulsive and don't ever expect your father to change. And don't expose yourself to situations like going to his house and facing him and her wife. Remember that your mother is not going to be fine if you are not and know that you are not alone. A hug from Argentina. Noelia.
I don't mean to scare you but, you may need professional help. I know it's scary to seek that kind of help because when I was just 17 years old I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I couldn't eat, sleep, or enjoy anything that I used to (not even Coldplay). Anyway, my parents noticed a difference in my behavior and I had to tell them everything. I got help, and now I'm almost 20 years old and have never been happier. I don't know what it's like to have parents who are divorced but I do know what it's like not to be happy. You have to tell your mom because all she wants is for you to be happy even if it's a scary time for all of you. Tell her and don't be scared! Hopefully with help, you can understand your feelings about your father. KP from NYC
One thing that you should know is parents always love their children even they are really bad kids and love of parents to their children will never stop.
Your dad was bad to you but he loves you very much.get your self out of sadness and be straight on your feet. Life has no value of spend a day in sadness. Dream Boy.
Thank you for your replies.
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