i feel messed up

Dear Suzie, I’m an 18 year old girl, and i feel messed up and really low about everything in my life. i feel bad for the loss of my brother and father because of the way i have turned out. i am feeling so horrid at the moment and dont know how to fix it please can you help!

I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling so unhappy. It does sound awful. But I wonder whether you should be feeling it’s your fault and that you are the horrid element here? You seem to believe that you deserve what is going on in your life and I’m not so sure that is true.

You say you feel bad “for the loss of my brother and father because of the way I have turned out.” What do you mean by that? That your family have cut off contact because of what they think is bad behaviour that is your responsibility?

Let me tell you something. Bad behaviour is a way of showing we have bad feelings – pain, fear, anxiety, anger. Children should have their needs for love, security, approval met. If parents don’t meet those needs, kids often act out their distress with what seems to be “bad” behaviour. What grown ups ought to do in such circumstances is to dive below the behaviour to try to understand what are the emotions and the needs behind them. You’re 18 and you’ve “turned out” how? Angry? Lost? Lacking self esteem and confidence? Your parents should have done something about it or not let you sink into feeling like this in the first place, not blamed you for it.

But it is up to you to fix it now, and you can. What you need is someone to talk to, someone who will help you work through your emotions and come out stronger and more in control. At 18, you have every opportunity to entirely turn your life around – you just have to do it. if you are in contact with a social or youth worker do trust them and tell them what’s been going on. Or, do you trust and like your GP? Doctors can put you in touch with people to talk with. Or, call Get Connected on 0808 808 4994. Their counsellors give confidential help for young people and can refer you on to face to face help or better suited phone support.

You deserve some respectful, caring help. Do, please, ask for it. Good luck!

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